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God is in This

December 3, 2022

After being inspired by my partner, I decided to follow his suit and remove the word “should” from my vocabulary. Funnily enough, we used to squabble over my use of it from time-to-time, and I understand why now. “Should” is a judgement, and now I see how using that word can evoke feelings of shame, failure, and sadness.

I had a change of heart the other day when I was corresponding with my mechanic’s receptionist. I woke up to a sheet of snow on the ground, and naturally panicked a bit and emailed them to make an appointment to put my snow tires on. They are of course just about all booked up, as everyone was thinking and acting the same way as me. There seems to be this idea in Canada that it won’t snow that year, and then at the first fall of it we are in some random state of surprise, scurrying about. It’s a real phenomenon.

I have two very small windows this Monday coming up where I can take my car in, and of course those times aren’t available. I had to pause on making an appointment, and right now, I have no idea when I will have another opportunity to take it in. I was about to reply “I should have booked earlier”, but I stopped myself. As I backspaced on the word “should”, I showed myself some compassion. There were reasons why I hadn’t booked earlier, and there are reasons why I can’t book in the foreseeable future. Ultimately, I gave myself permission to not be perfect and proactive in this matter.

I’m reminded of all the times when something doesn’t go smoothly at work. Where the end result is anger, embarrassment, frustration, and the like. I never intentionally try to make a mistake, I don’t even cut corners. If anything, I spend too much time trying to avoid mistakes and their uncomfortable consequences. So I am applying this compassion at work, or any other situation that doesn’t go smoothly, as well.

I’m reminded of the verse from the prophet Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord”. We really don’t know why some things don’t work out the way we want them to. Sometimes something will happen that utterly baffles me, and I think, “God wants this experience for me”. This helps me to accept it and move on.

We all fall short from time to time. I have discovered that it’s not about being mean to ourselves and vowing to do things differently, though of course maybe some mishaps entail a lesson to refine a practice. Rather, it’s an opportunity to practice self-love and self-compassion, and this helps us then extend those graces to others.

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