Funny how thoughts run in packs… I’m listening to Richard Rohr remind me that Christianity is about relationship, and staying in the relationship and not about doing it all perfectly. And then I go over to Creo en Dios! and see Susan’s post The Best That I Could and she’s talking about doing “the best I could with what I have/had.”

I never expect to be perfect. I am disappointed that I am not perfect, but I don’t expect it. The hard thing for me to accept so often is that sometimes I actually did the best I could with what I had or knew at the time. Most of the time I’m pretty sure I still could have done better. I’m sure I didn’t live up to what I could have done at the time.

This all brings back a time years ago when I went searching for the times when I was brave. “Brave” means doing what I knew was right, even when it scared me to do it. I think I came up with 2 or 3 times out of 45 years at the time. Ugh! That’s not much of a track record.

One of those times was in my kitchen, with my sister and her family and my neighbors who were suggesting that my husband join the local Elks Club. Bravery took over as I declared I wouldn’t stand for it because that was a racist group that didn’t allow blacks to join or even visit. A hush fell over the room. I felt like crawling under the table to escape. Wonder of wonders, the neighbors are still friends, and my sister still speaks to me.

Bravery isn’t my strong suit. I can find too many other instances where I just caved or slithered away.

It has taken a lot of work to learn to love myself, even a little bit, because I still think I should have been able to handle things better. No matter I didn’t have many tools to work with at times. The best thing that has come of this work is more tolerance for the shortcomings of others. If I can love me when I don’t do the best I think I can and allow myself to be loved through it, then somehow maybe I can love others when they fall short.