As delicate as an apology exhaled into the hope of being embraced in forgiveness, Autumn leaves fall, without regret, into the promise of memory's grace.
I took the photo this morning on my walk with Beaumont. As I sauntered further along the path through the grasses and into the trees, the line, “as delicate as a breath” wrote itself in my mind.
I wondered if I’d remember it by the time I got home.
As soon as I opened the photo, it flowed up and out of my body, through my fingertips, onto the keyboard and then the screen.
Without trying to hold on to them, or make sense of their meaning, or force them into order, I let more words follow.
And I smile. Because without even realizing it, ‘breath’ was transformed to ‘apology’.
The words (and the change of breath to apology) may seem random. Unconnected to this moment right now, but I know they’re not.
I often think there’s an equation for life’s journey. It’s not as simple as A (what we do) + B (what the world does) = C (the value of a life well-lived)
It’s more like,
[A + (Time/Events/Reactions/Unfinished business/Messy places/Wounds and Warts) + (Self-Awareness) + Self-Acceptance]
Temperment + Environment + Life Skills + Life Lessons + Life adaptations
the beauty experienced in all the moments adding up to a life well lived
Which is really just my very complicated way of saying, Life is messy. Humans are messier. Messes are inevitable. It’s our responsibility to clean up our own messes.
Which is why I had to apologize to my beloved last night for something I’d said that was not delivered with grace or kindness.
And here’s the messy part…
I’d really like to justify my actions with all sorts of caveats like, “But… you said/you did/you were…”
Fact is, regardless of what another person does, I am 100% accountable for my words and actions (thoughts too).
When I am out of line, it is not because of another person crossing the line. No matter how much I’d like to make them the problem, when I respond without integrity, I have crossed my own line of how to live my life. And making someone else’s stuff a reason for my bad behaviour is an excuse to not be accountable.
Ha. Says the critter. But you were in your rights…. You felt….. They did…
Yada. Yada. Yada.
And while all that may be true (the stories we tell on others are often a way to not have to tell the truth on ourselves) I am still and always… you guessed it… 100% responsible for how I respond.
No matter how heated the moment, or how hurt I am, or upset, or confused, or angry, or whatever else I may be feeling, I am 100% accountable for how I respond. And no matter how I’m feeling, I never have the right to be unkind or cruel or mean or dismissive of another or disrespectful or anything that would make another feel small or less than or dispirited or that we are not both fellow travellers worthy of respect and kindness on this messy journey of life.
I acted out of line last night.
This morning, nature beckoned me to fall with grace into the moment. Embraced in the beauty of my messy human nature, the sun shone bright, the trees whispered and the grasses swayed in harmony. And as I breathed into the delicate nature of the morning, I felt myself falling effortlessly into the beautiful messy of life flowing all around, lifted up by the beautiful grace of Love.