Saturday, June 11, 2011

Forgiveness Pending

Se Pardonner
(Arles, France, 2004)

Bless me, friends, for I have sinned.

Too many times...

I've responded to feeling intimidated
by becoming intimidating

I've responded to feeling alone
by acting as though I was the only one who mattered

I've responded to feeling sad
by denying it
by blaming for my sadness
by feeling sorry for myself
by letting myself crawl in too deep, and telling no one

I've responded to feeling rejected
by removing my caring

I've responded to feeling afraid
by getting bigger and stronger and bulletproof

I've responded to feeling vulnerable
With cynicism

I've responded to feeling angry
by pretending I was okay
by yelling and threats
by shutting down my feelings
by walking away 

I've responded to feeling left out
by removing myself from participation

I've responded to feeling unappreciated
With disdain

I've responded to feeling betrayed
with betrayal
with dismissal
with self-righteousness

I've responded to feeling unheard
by undermining

I've responded to feeling unloved
with shame.

For these and all my sins, I am truly sorry. 

Can I forgive myself?

(can I stop?)


  1. You have captured all that we regret, yet all that makes us human, and all that makes us any god’s gift. This is perfect life; the complete texture of it. Perfect gods only dream that they can feel this complexity.

  2. Michael, thank you. You always remind me that being human is beautiful even when I'm feeling ugly

  3. You can. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things in life, also the most worthwhile. The other hardest thing is the trying to be perfect. Let yourself be the perfectly imperfect person you are. I still love you.

  4. Mrs.M - trying to be perfect was all I focused on for so long, letting it go requires constant vigilance. I love you, too.

  5. Thanks, Susan. I love knowing you're here

  6. In my ethically-darkest moments, when I needed to make some changes, and I needed to forgive myself, what I found helpful was to think of forgiving myself as a intention, not an emotion.

    That if I wanted to make different decisions about how to act, it wasn't that I would never act in the old ways, but that I could (with practice) notice them, and go, "Oh, right, I'm not doing that anymore." A redirected intention, a re-decided action.

    It helped, and with practice, it did create a new, and viably sustainable, path-of-action for myself.

  7. Oh wow, really appreciate Karen's perspective on forgiveness too. You gather an impressive group of commenters, sweet C.

  8. Karen, as always, thank you. Ethics - yes. Intention, yes. Redirection, yes.

    Liz - yes.

    Gee, this comment is feeling a little redundant.


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