Step 8: Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
- My son
- My husband
Step 9: Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
I skipped a week. I did that partially because the whole red cup insanity sparked an old epiphany to resurface, and I really wanted to share that here. But, I will admit, I also didn’t feel I could write about these steps without at least starting the process of taking them.
And these are some scary steps.
In the last few months, since my son returned home from his grandparents’ house, I have struggled with anxiety beyond the scope of my understanding. I sought out a therapist and I wrote about it as honestly as I could, and I alternated throwing myself on God’s mercy with throwing myself in God’s face. It wasn’t what one might call pretty.
On the way to Memphis, last week, I was alone in the car with my oldest son. I turned down the radio and said I needed to apologize. He seemed surprised, but he listened as I told him how, when he came home, he truly had made a lot of progress with his attitude and his reactions. I told him that I was proud of him, and I am sorry I did not give him the credit he was due at that time. I let my own fear eclipse the real view of who he is.
He thanked me.
I cannot tell you how hard it was to say what I said to him, but once I said it, a weight lifted from my shoulders.
There’s nothing quite so humbling as apologizing to your 13-year-old.
But there is one other person I owe an apology. I am trying to make amends to my husband by picking up some of the slack he has had to juggle over the last few months.
This post, actually, is an apology to him.
I took advantage of how much you love me and how driven to serve your spirit is. I was struggling, and I know I could have handled myself better. I know I could have been kinder. I could have expressed my turmoil more in art and writing and less in starting ridiculous arguments with you. I am trying to be more real with myself, to move forward and not let the fear win out. I pray you know how much I love you, and how grateful I am that you somehow see past Depression to the real me, even when I can’t find her there at all.
It’s been a hard week, friends. I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, and the situation of fear and pain around the world is weighing on me. I want to crawl into Jesus’ lap and just cry for a while. I want to hear Him tell me it is going to be okay.
But it might not be.
Things could go from bad to worse, and if they do, I need to be ready to ride those waves. I can’t give into despair again. I can’t cocoon myself in coloring books and laptop computers and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist.
I want to make amends to humanity, to the people who are breaking around the globe…
And that starts right here, inside my heart, inside my home.
It starts inside your heart too… inside your home.
Who do you owe an apology? Who needs to know you care?
Start with your child, your spouse, your friend, your neighbor, your pastor, your employee, your boss…
Baby steps, my friend Nattie used to tell us… Baby steps are still steps.
Start small, but start somewhere.
*originally published on Middle Places