This week has been another week of sickness for us. Well, Jay & I. Somehow Zak has the immune system of steel. It’s been a lot of sickness this year. I have my own unfounded theories as to why we’ve been so sick so much this year, but ultimately I do not know why & it’s lead to many “WHY GOD? WHY AGAIN?!”moments. Not my finest. We’ve been lucky to still somehow avoid Covid & not have anything too bad. Just long & annoying. I hate being stuck inside with no energy for my snotty, cranky toddler who just wants to escape his sickness with lots of attention & fun. And I’m over here running on empty.
How I’ve handled it has been pretty OK – until the last bout. I’ve felt I’ve been able to function through each month’s sickness (yes, we’ve been sick at least a week every month of 2022) with the mindset: this will pass. But this last one coming just a week or so after the last cold – at my wit’s end. I coped by binging a TV show.
That show was “Selling Sunset” on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, I’d HIGHLY NOT recommend it. There are plenty of other good TV shows, such as “The Last Kingdom.” (Side note: this one is SO GOOD that it lead me to start the TWELVE book series & I am completely fascinated & immersed. I love the obvious & underlying themes of religion & hypocrisy & faith & love all in the context of history & battle scenes.)
Anyway, back to Selling Selfish – I mean, Sunset. The setting is Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. It’s a reality TV show that follows a group of realtors working for the same group. They sell very high end homes & also have a staff that looks like they walked out of the Playboy mansion (which, one or two of them did to work there…)
The show really isn’t about real estate. I mean, it is, but what propels it is the drama of the relationships between the women realtors. You can totally tell these ladies were hired for the show to start drama & they MUST be directed to start drama whenever possible because the amount of stupid, mundane conflict that happens is so utterly brainless… it’s hard to believe.
What really had me hooked was watching how these women tried to justify themselves. They’d talk about someone behind their back & then when the other person found out, they have to make up a false reason they said it or spin it or put the other person in a bad light to make themselves look better. All they say to each other is, “if you could just own what you said & apologize, we’d be fine!” But NOBODY CAN EVER DO THAT! Literally! And when they do “apologize” it’s so fake & “I’m sorry you feel that way” (which isn’t a real apology.)
It made me think, not deeply, because that’s impossible with this show, but about how that can be me… That is how I function when I’m not under grace. I have the inability to admit that I’m wrong, I have to continually justify myself & make enemies with anyone who took any issue with me. That is exactly a good picture of what it looks like not living under grace. Which does suck. It leads to alienation, pride, insanity & fear. So, as much as I judge the ladies of Selling Sunset, I judge myself. I am like that, but a lot less cosmetic.
Grace isn’t like that. Grace allows you to admit freely that I messed up, I’m sorry. And it allows you to forgive without grudging or dominating. I forgive you, I won’t hold this against you, let’s be friends. Even if you did really do something messed up, I’ve been forgiven of so much, of course we can work through this.
But that’s just it: I’m not great at living in grace. My pride is too strong. I love being right. I hate being wronged. I think I deserve everything I want & more, to be treated exactly how I want. It takes every effort of mine to release control & to trust God.
One of my greatest hopes is that the older I get the quicker I am to apologize. I don’t think that’s happening, but I pray for it all of the time. I don’t want to live under my laws or my standards nor do I want to hold my friends to that height, either. It’s impossible, destructive & DRAMA. Which reminds me of what Jesus said: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Peace is the opposite of drama, ain’t it? How wonderful grace leads to peace – internally & with my relationships.