|Photo Courtesy of BBC Radio, TODAY show|
It's a showdown! Wild West style. Well, not exactly. No six-shooters. No holsters, chaps, or spurs. No tumbleweed rolling across the desolate landscape. The setting is less glamorous...just my home. No cowboys and saloon girls. The characters in this drama...my husband and I. But we have no shortage of stubborn determination and pride. Piercing gaze for the
I found myself in a showdown recently. Our relationship encountered a juncture that positioned me on one end of the street while my husband faced me down on the other end. We had named the issue we wanted to address. We knew what needed to be done. Yet we still waited, angry, frustrated, and each convinced the other was wrong. Each was committed to getting our personal brand of justice. Who moves first? And no--don't worry--not for a six-shooter. In this scene the move is to lay the six-shooter down on the ground. Hands might be raised in surrender of pride, or in a gesture to reach out to the other person. But alas, we continued to hold our ground and piously wait for the other to ask forgiveness so we could dole it out graciously, ever benevolent and tolerant.
I probably have spent enough time reasoning about why I'm right to have earned multiple graduate degrees. My evidence can reach thesis-level documentation and research into the facts pertaining to my case (as I perceive them, of course). Whether it's prosecution or defense, my verdict is always innocent. I even like to imagine the presiding judge shaking his or her head at the antics of the other side, clearly seeing the errors of my husband's ways and supporting my claims. Certainly I cannot be expected to be the first to back off in a showdown? Why, that would mean admitting I'm wrong. That I actually contributed to the problem. That I screw up--well, all the time. That my pettiness rises up and that my choices aren't always life-giving. That I like to find the speck in my husband's eye before I remove the log in my own.
Humility has to be one of the most difficult choices, ever! What if I don't get the apology I--ahem--deserve?
So that I don't leave you in suspense with a cliffhanger, here is the conclusion. The effort was made, by my husband and myself in different ways. Each of us took a couple of hard steps that involved humility and a dose of awkwardness too. I'm incredibly proud to say we both climbed that mountain together. It felt like a dam breaking open after a crack weakened the previously formidable structure. Forgiveness began to flow, conversation resumed and even flourished. Laughter broke forth again and refreshed our dwindling reserves. Our companionship deepened yet another level.
This isn't only about marriage, is it? That's just my story for today. Showdowns happen all the time in different ways with different people living out different roles of life. May I remember the fruit from this experience and use it for the next.
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