Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"The thing about redemption is, you never run out of chances"
- Angel

I often consider myself a person who needs to be forgiven. At the core of my existence, I desperately want it. Ever since I was a little tyke, I've been plagued by guilt and self loathing. A large part of my life has been devoted to seeking redemption for the person I have been.
Everybody does terrible things, and I'm often able to justify the things I do, just like everyone else.

But then there's the guilt. The guilt that lasts for years and years and grips me like a heart attack in the middle of the night as I lie awake staring at the ceiling.

But the other day I had a revelation. Well it was a revelation to me. I'm only trying to forgive myself. To find a way to swallow all the self hatred I feel. Maybe the key lies in forgiving others?

This isn't an old idea. In fact it's one of the key precepts for more than one set of religious beliefs. But the notion rings true, and it seems to me forgiveness can bring symmetry.

When I was a kid, my grandmother (a devout Catholic) used to say to me "You should always pray for your enemies". What a concept! To pray for those who have essentially fucked me over?
Who are responsible for such damage?

How do I resist the urge to run certain people down with my car?

Wouldn’t clinging to the tasty need for vengeance make me feel a whole lot better?
Ultimately - no.

I guess as I get older, vengeance seems less appealing. Often doing nothing (and by default appearing to have the moral high ground) seems much more appealing. Firing at shot at your enemy after the fighting has ceased seems somehow dishonourable to me. Plus I don’t gain anything from it, do I?

Don’t get me wrong - I'm by no means a pacifist.

I relish a damn good fight. I've just begun to realise that carrying all this bitterness around with me cant be good. It's sort of like walking to the shop down the street and taking five or six suitcases. I only really need my handy man-bag. It has only the essentials.

So maybe the point I'm trying to make (when I finally get to it) is that I've decided to carry with me only grudges that are completely essential and relevant. If they're a few years old, or for minor misdemeanours (like burning my toast) I spose I can let em go.

This way I can forgive those who have wronged me in the past, and actively try and forgive those who still continually wrong me and burn my toast intentionally.

In a nutshell, I spose what I'm trying to say is that I feel I can start to forgive myself by forgiving others. The challenge with my philosophy lies in those people who are the guiltiest of them all. Who I still revile with a passion. I have to work at forgiving them and wishing them cool runnings on their journey.

Its not going to be easy. And maybe my redemption will work itself out.

Guess I have the rest of my life to work on this one.

the end.


Blogger Mel said...

You're right, you're the only one who needs to forgive you - you're your own worse judge and more often than not you're hardest on yourself. Wish you could see what we see, the pretty cool person who exudes kindness and warmth -
Hopefully we can show you and one day make you believe.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Denny said...

Hey, if it helps I'll forgive you.
I'll forgive you for being young, and cool, and smart, and cute, and friendly. I'll forgive you for driving me home when I've had a bit to drink, and for listening to me vent every now and then, and for trusting me with your thoughts.
Yeah, I'd forgive you - if I cold really think of anything that needs forgiveness.
Ermmm - just realised, that's two complimentary responses in a row. I might have to balance that out in the next one. Watch out !

6:52 PM  
Blogger bluemorning said...

we don't take anything into this next life , so why waste space taking things to our grave.

people burn people.
yet we forgive.
we are born with no one to forgive. we die with no one left to forgive

8:18 PM  
Blogger izchan said...

:) ... what I wanted to say is that I hear you brother. I do. Every once in a while, I seek forgiveness and well ... just to clean my slate.

I can't stand carrying all these burdens on my shoulder, which is why i shed them the minute that I can. I ask for forgiveness on all the wrongs I have done the minute that I do it.

But there will always be ones which I can never attain for whatever reasons it maybe. Those weight heavily on me and I feel them every time I am self-analysing.

Its just the way we are made. Don't let anyone tell it diffent. Forgiveness is something that both parties have to give willingly.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Slim said...

Guys thanks for all your varying perspectives on this heavy subject.

Mel and Denny: Thanks for maternal/paternal words there. Underneath all the sarcasm, I feel truly loved by you both.

Iz: As a fellow self-analyser, I knew you'd get this. Those burdens can be troublesome. Sort of like strapping a cement mixer to my back and walking round with it all day.

Blue: You're speaking my language here. Never really thought about this subject with such finality.

3:42 PM  

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