Thursday, January 16, 2014

don't let it end there

I want to talk about blame.

No, wait, maybe I should start here: I loved someone once.

I still love this person – but in a very different way. And after we went our separate ways, I struggled with guilt and shame for a very long time. Why? Because I was convinced that I was the one who broke things. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve come to understand that isn’t the whole truth. And more than this, it’s not about blame. It’s never about blame. Blame is a distraction. It's a poison.

After something breaks (and maybe distance is enforced) your perspective can easily become skewed. This is what happened to me: I took all the blame; I carried the guilt and it bled into the other areas of my life.

Over time (and with the gentleness and love of a good man) I started to see things clearly again. I started to remember that (for me) grace is the only thing that matters. I’m not talking about the kind of grace God gives – or maybe I am, but not exclusively, because as soon as it belongs only to God it’s about power and control and promptly gets used against people (not maliciously, but rather because the nature of ownership is power over). I’m talking about a more primitive kind of grace here. One that belongs to and is shared by everyone and everything. One that is un-ownable and un-corruptable. No one can take the ability to show mercy away from you. In fact, it is quite possibly the most powerful tool you have at your disposal.

Maybe I’m rambling here, but I just wanted to say that if you, dear reader, are someone who has broken something precious and have been blamed and now you wear the guilt like it’s your only attribute – you need to reject that shit. There is always more than one side to every story. And if you take that blame and let it corrupt your life, that’s how the story ends. Don’t let it end there. Especially if you did break something. Especially if it is your fault.

This is the thing that no one ever tells you: It’s okay to be the one who did something wrong. Everyone breaks things. Everyone messes up. The important thing is to not let it own you. It may be too late for whatever happened before, but you can still move forward. And the good news is that the moment you start to show yourself grace, you start being able to show grace to everyone else. And if the world needs anything, it’s more grace.

So. You broke something? You seriously messed up? This is actually the only thing you need to do: Be humble. Be gracious. If you can fix what you broke, fix it. If not, go out and aim to do better next time. I promise you, it will make your life and the lives of those around you so much better and more beautiful.

As this girl I know says, “You got this.”


  1. Beautiful words, Kristen and so true! We all have major things happen in our life whether that be something we have broken or being disappointed by someone. Although it remains a part of you, it is not all of you. And we need to find ways to learn, see ourselves in truth (not through a haze of blame or negativity or expectations), offer grace, and move forward. I love reading your blog and seeing your passion to live life to the fullest!

  2. Thanks Marissa. I've been enjoying your blog as well. I don't read nearly enough Canadian Lit, so I appreciate your reviews. :)