Last week ended on a rough note as, after several really good weeks, Don and I found ourselves at odds and slipping into old behavior patterns. The details aren’t important. He did a couple of things that angered and upset me. As I too often do, I let my anger become vitriolic which, as it usually does, made him shut down and withdraw. In turn I got even more vitriolic in my efforts to break through, and he shut down even more. A vicious cycle that has repeated itself throughout our marriage.
I’ve been working hard on not letting things go without getting angry, and on not letting my anger, no matter how justified I feel I am to be angry, turn to vitriol but last week was a major fail.
Friday night, after a tense day and evening, I came across these words in a novel that I was reading – “Love is an act of endless forgiveness.”
Those words, which were incidental to the story, literally took my breath away. They motivated me to get out of bed to go find Don and make amends, and they’ve been at the forefront of my mind ever since.
Today I googled the quote and learned that the phrase is part of a longer quote from Peter Ustinov, but to me it is those seven words that are so powerful.
As we head into the holidays, which are always a time of stress and anxiety for me and therefore a time when I am at risk of having my worst responses and behaviors come to the forefront, those words will become my mantra. I need to remember them when I am about to get upset with Don about something that invariably won’t be that important anyway, and I need to remember them when I let myself get triggered and feel that I have let both myself and Don down.
This Thanksgiving week I am grateful that that a lesson I needed to learn found me just when I needed to learn it.
Love is an act of endless forgiveness. Words to live by, for sure.