27 June 2014

Therapy for Pointless Score Keeping

 I write for therapy. It soothes my soul to put words to the gnarled thoughts and anxieties that pop around in my brain. Things get stuck for me sometimes, like a pinball that has found that perfect spot between the bumpers. Stuff pings back and forth, mostly unpleasant memories, moments I wish I could take back or fits of anger flash in short bursts of light and obnoxious noise. I am a score keeper. As I try to get through the agonies and annoyances of life, batting at balls with with flippers that are almost enough to keep things going, I am keeping score and remembering the faces of the folks who have wronged me. It is nothing if not exhausting and pointless.

Pointless score keeping. How is that for irony?

I can recite chapter and verse on the topic of biblical forgiveness.  I know that God's forgiveness of me and my sins is my model for forgiving others.  Love covers a multitude of sins. How many times should I forgive someone? Seventy times seven.  What does granting forgiveness mean?  That I can never again bring that offense up against the person forgiven. I must choose not to remember the transgression.  What happens if I do not forgive?   I fertilize a root of bitterness that will grow ever stronger,  tainting the fruit in my life and leaving those whose lives I touch with bad taste in their mouths. Unless of course they practice forgiveness and forgive me for my sins, faults and shortcomings.  I want them to. I expect them to and if they don't, I'll add that to my scorecard of offenses against me.

I can be a real jerk. The smile on my face and placid exterior are hiding the seething anger against those who have wronged me mixed with absolute contempt for myself for playing at being a "good Christian woman."   I don't  want to be a liar. I don't want to be a pharisee,  but it feels so good to go over and over in my head what I would say to someone who has been unjust with me. Humility is for people who aren't smart enough to come back with a retort that will slice an offender to ribbons, right?

What an ugly self-portrait. Honesty is as black and grotesque as the sin it confesses.