I have rules.
Rules that I don’t break because I’ve learned the hard way what works and what doesn’t.
Rules that have boundaries to protect me… or others from me. Rules that maintain my moral code, integrity, and how I do life.
And while I consider myself a rule breaker in many ways, I like having some rules to guide me through life.
There is a set of “rules” on my wall–I call them my “non-negotiables” for decision-making. There are eight rules to be exact.
1) What does my gut / heart / spirit say? Pay attention to that.
2) Will it be a joy-filled adventure?
…3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 yada, yada, yada
These are rules I thought long and hard about – and it’s a set I can go to when I’m confused and not sure what to do next. These rules have served me well.
I also have a set of rules…a little less formulated, but none-the-less important for the relationships in my life. Things that I know, if someone broke one of these rules, our relationship would be on very shaky ground or possibly end.
These rules have served me well. In-fact I could say my rules have been pretty black and white in some places.
For example, one rule (let’s just pretend) was that if a person I had a relationship with, took my clothes, put them in a dumpster, and set fire to them, intentionally, without good cause, without my permission, then our relationship would cease to exist. I mean terminate without jury. Done deal. No questions asked. Finito.
Sounds like a good rule right?
Well… figuratively speaking, my clothes recently were set ablaze.
And I have this rule… the “done deal – finito” rule.
And in real life I was faced with my rule. Gut-wrenchingly faced with my very own rule. In a relationship I highly value, with years of investment, love, and trust I had to ask myself, “just because they caught my clothes on fire, for no reason, intentionally done, is this the deal breaker for this relationship?”
Before the clothes burning, the answer was an emphatic “YES!!!”
….but now I feel different. And this isn’t easy for a girl who values rules of moral code, commitments, integrity, loyalty, and honesty.
Was my rule worth the loss of this relationship?
That question put me into a pit. A deep pit.
If I said yes, then I lose my relationship.
If I said no, then I lose my rule.
The choice kicked me in the stomach when I was faced with
….and holy shit! if I hadn’t been spouting off on the blog that I was gracisty-and-all. (damn)
All of this to say, I’ve learned that some decisions–where I forgive wrongs and trespassings, require that I be a Gracist to myself.
Rules that I held so black and white were broken. And was I big enough to give myself the grace to say, “it’s okay to give that person another chance, it’s okay to let that rule be broken–this once, it’s okay to give a “get out of jail free card.”
…was it okay to not let my dear and cherished rules have the final say?
Truth be told–I didn’t see it coming. (the clothes on fire in the dumpster)
~ and ~
Truth be told–I chose relationship over rule.
~ and ~
Truth be told–I gave myself grace to be wrong about my rule, for this person, for this time, for this set of circumstances.
~ and ~
Truth be told–it wasn’t easy. It’s still not easy…but I did it anyways.
I’m learning that grace is awesome and all to toss around when you’re loving others and the mess about. BUT, when you have to apply the grace to yourself, it’s a whole different story. And this isn’t the type of grace you give yourself when you goof up and burn the biscuits. Nope.
Rather it’s grace to set aside the black and white rule list AND not think less of yourself and your moral code, commitments, integrity, loyalty, and honesty. It’s a type of grace I’ve never experienced for myself. Grace for me when I did everything right.
Grace for letting “right” be “wrong.”
Because, sometimes, when it really matters, you (and when I say ‘you’, I mean ‘I’) need to find a way to choose the relationship over the rule. Choose love instead of the rule.
I think that sums up gracism every time.
Choosing love, instead of the rule.
Because sometimes the rule list really is quite simple:
1) Love Wins.
~the list ends here~