Who am I? Here's what I know...

I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. But I honestly know I am both, depending on the day. I need grace.

My goal is humility and integrity. I’ll never stop trying to stay on that path... even when I stumble or veer off course. And I will. I’ll need grace.

I’m put off by hypocrisy, arrogance and self-righteousness in others, but especially when I try to confront it honestly in myself. I need grace.

I have strong opinions and I’m expressive. I always endeavor to choose my words carefully. But when I find out I have come across differently than what is truly in my heart, I want to be able to receive criticism with humility. And yet, to do so without allowing myself to be defined through the perception of someone who is angry with me. This is a fine line to find and walk. I need grace.

I have never had such intense feelings OR emotionally charged conversations about an election, a candidate, or a political figure in my entire lifetime as I have the last year. I’m not alone in that. We all sense crisis in this country, though we strongly disagree about how to move forward and address our divide. I know many people who have either CHOSEN to eliminate people from their lives entirely (even family) or who have BEEN removed from someone’s life due to who they voted for or strongly opposed. I will never choose that path. I am committed to love, forgiveness and empathy, whether I relate to or understand a person’s convictions or I do not. I need grace continually to carry that from desire to action. Because, let’s be painfully honest, it’s hard sometimes. And we may be tempted.

When I say I don’t understand how someone can be for a certain candidate, I’m expressing confusion and distress. I am not elevating myself to moral superiority above you or others. I feel superior to no one. It takes the same sacrifice to save me from eternal judgment that it takes to save the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer. I try not to lose sight of that in my day to day life. It’s one reason why I apologize often. I recognize my shortcomings. And I feel a deep conviction to make things right wherever I can. So I want/need to say publicly that if I’ve EVER made you feel that I feel morally superior to you, I humbly ask your forgiveness. I need grace.

And I’d like to tell you that if you supported the man I opposed in this election, I have defended you to people who express a willingness to reject you for that choice. I have spoken up for you and your goodness/character when you’ve been labeled or lumped into a category in a discussion. I have said over and over that I know really good people who voted for that person and they have their convictions for doing so, even if I don’t understand their choice personally. I have also made careless remarks like “drinking the koolaid,” which I always later regret. I am inconsistent. I need grace.

What I never am is fake or dishonest. You will always get the real me. Sometimes the inspirational, gracious, encouraging, generous me. Sometimes the bossy, opinionated, over-communicating, abrasive me. (I made myself choose abrasive, as much as I hate that description and also BECAUSE I hate to see it in myself). But know that I’ll always be trying to do better today than yesterday ... even when I don’t succeed.

I will never give up. And I will never lose hope that we can find our way back to a kinder existence than the way we are living right now. I do not wish to be anyone’s adversary. AND I DO NOT HATE ANYONE. I want no hatred in my heart. Only love.

Today I am hoping to be part of the solution. I hope you will join me. ❤️