“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” His answer felt like truth to me. Not an easy truth, but truth.” ~Brenee Brown, Rising Strong.
One of my mantras of 2017 is to blame nobody. It’s so easy to fall into the whoa-is-to-me role…only seeing the faults of others and not looking for the ways that I can do better and improve my own flaws. I’ve learned in marriage if I’m only looking at how my spouse is letting me down and not seeing how I might be making my own mistakes–feelings of bitterness and resentment overcome me–and marriage becomes a very unhappy and lonely place. When I choose to focus on his happiness, the returns are great for me, because he reciprocates the feelings I project.
Instead of looking at this world with the lens of suspicion and pessimism, this year I choose to look at the world with the simple concept: We are all trying our best.
When I stop blaming, I start giving second chances. And I’ve been thinking a lot about second chances. I heard a sweet little song by Gregory Alan Isakov and I play it on repeat while working out, running, and writing–the lyrics that make me pause are: If it weren’t for second chances, we’d all be alone.
I’m all blood and knuckles,
Longing for home
If it weren’t for second chances,
We’d all be alone.
~Gregory Alan Isakov, Second Chances
Second chances come to us in different versions—I’ve been given second chances in love, running, my Faith, my family–who despite my many mistakes as a mom–my children extend the gift of grace and continue to love me. Second chances can come to us in health and friendships. Sometimes they are things we give to ourselves. Sometimes we give second chances to others. Sometimes it’s another person who grants us with that second chance. And sometimes it’s something that seems by chance or luck– but for those of us who Believe, we know it’s God’s Grace.
I’m grateful for second chances. Pride and pain often hold us back from granting those second chances. Maybe we’ve been hurt one too many times. Maybe we want to protect our hearts. But the truth is, if it weren’t for second chances, we’d all be alone. So while my first reaction has been to protect myself–to build a wall around my heart from letting it get hurt–the truth is, I’d be broken without the gift of second chances.
The New Year is a second chance for many. Like a fresh start, it promises all a clean slate–a chance to start over, start again, or just start. Every time I take off on a run, I know it’s a second chance. Because sometimes the run that came right before it was everything miserable–maybe it felt too hard, maybe my lungs hurt too much, or I had pains in my body, or maybe my heart wasn’t in it–maybe my mind told me it was too hard. But when I try again, I know it’s a second chance to do better, feel better, be better. I’m humbled and grateful when people I’ve hurt give me a second chance and I hope to continue to live this year With Love, Blaming Nobody and giving second chances.