Do as I say, not as I do.

How many times did you hear that as a child? In my house, especially as I grew older, I heard it more and more frequently. How apt is that expression? Parents tell their children that when the subject of speed limits, or drinking, or smoking, or anything else is deemed unfavorable, yet the parent or parents continue to do whatever it is themselves. Something about us knows what is wrong, but continues to do it. Like Paul said. It’s true in more than the Biblical sense.

Do as I say, not as I do. I’m well aware that my life is far from fairytale, and that I do things I ought not to. I am not perfect: I make mistakes. It’s not even that I make mistakes, exactly – it’s that I do (or have done) things that I highly doubt were right, and I don’t regret some of them. This is odd. This is also not good, for someone who has a relationship with God.

A part of me wishes that someone else could learn from my screw ups, from what I do, so they don’t go mess with their own lives. I don’t want you to repeat my mistakes if you don’t have to, if you don’t need to. Mostly, it’s because I recognize that the root of my screwed up actions is my screwed up head. So I don’t even want you to get to the screwed up head part. I don’t want someone else to hurt the way that I was hurt, and take my path to deal with that pain.

It’s not worth it. And yet when people come back into my life I keep trying to push them away. Then, of course, I realize this and make a conscious effort not to do what he did; not to push another away without giving them a chance. Everyone deserves a second chance. At least that’s what my head says. My heart says, “Really, do you see what we just went through? It’s been two years and that’s not long enough and you really haven’t learned your lesson yet, have you? Glutton for punishment. Let us heal in peace.”

I’m not saying life isn’t beautiful, and I’m not saying I’d do anything differently because I am, on most days, incredibly content and happy and enjoying the way my life is going. But that doesn’t mean the bad things I did were good. That means…it means something, but I haven’t exactly worked that out yet. All I know is that, looking back, I wouldn’t want someone else to make the decisions that I’ve made over the past two years and some, the decisions that led me here.

So if I let you back into my story again, be gentle. Play nice. I am more fragile than I’d like to think and I bite harder now than I ever did before.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Ultimately, it’s up to you.

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