Human beings like myself make mistakes. We have lapses in judgment. We lose our tempers. We are at times prideful. I have been all of these things. I have behaved badly in the recent past and it hurt people. I’m not under any obligation to agree with people, but I am under an obligation not to hurt them unnecessarily.
Those of you who were involved know the story. I deeply regret how I’ve behaved. I fear that I’ve alienated the people I respect the most. I could make long speeches about how sorry I am and how I won’t do anything like this again. But on the whole, I believe it’s more important to actually work on not doing that again rather than to talk about how I’m not going to do it. Words are cheap and easy. Following through is hard and much more meaningful.
I also know that forgiveness takes time. It doesn’t happen all at once. Life experiences have left me with an inner certainty that people don’t forgive anyway. My therapist would tell me that’s what’s called a cognitive distortion. My pastor would tell me not to lean on my own understanding but to trust in God to guide me. (Prov 3:5-6)
Still, we all have our crosses to bear and mine is the belief that the slightest misstep on my part means personal annihilation. That and an addiction to chocolate.
So, I don’t really expect anyone to forgive me for my bad behavior. I mean, some people might, but it’s not something I’m able to expect. That means it’s all up to me. Which is why I need God, when you come down to it.
I believe that in order for me to survive I have to forgive myself and in order to forgive myself, I have to actually do what I expect of myself and not just tell people how sorry I am that I didn’t.
I don’t really expect anyone to really understand this, either. I expect all of you to shrug and move on. “That girl’s got issues.” Well, yes. I do. Sorry about that.
When I started this blog, I promised myself and my writing role model (and comrade in the war against the eight-legged), Clark Brooks, that I would be honest. There seemed little point in doing this if I wasn’t going to at least be honest, even when it made me look bad. Even if it was painful.
Well, I’ve got both shame and pain now. Just sitting on my soul like jagged, pointy rocks. Your soul can incorporate such things in time, wearing them down to a manageable size, something you can carry around without too much trouble. Everyone has their own collection, though they’re rarely on display like mine are right now. But they never dissolve completely and they’ll tear you to shreds for a while.
And as I said, forgiveness takes time, if it comes at all. If, over time, I am able to repair some of the damage I’ve done, it will be a blessing from God. If not, it will be a lesson to me in the dangers of hubris. I hope that I have learned that lesson regardless of what happens next, but I know myself well enough to know that I’ll screw up again at some point. Perhaps next time, I’ll get the chance to learn a new lesson and grow in a different direction for a little while.
All of this is to say that while I have faith that I’ll come out of this at some point, right now I don’t know where I an or where I’m going. I’ve got some things to keep me busy for a long time, some projects to work on that won’t bear publishable fruit for some time. So I’m going to work on those. And I’m going to try to catch up on things that need catching up on. And I’m going to heal and try to find myself again.
That means I won’t be writing much, at least not for the public. And I won’t be tweeting much, either. I can’t say how long this will take. I can’t say that I’ll end up back here again, to be honest. It all depends on where this part of my journey leads me. I might be back next week. I just don’t know right now.
It’s 11:45 pm, which is the worst time to publish a post, but I’m doing it anyway, because I’m afraid I won’t do it at all if I don’t do it now. And then I’ll be stuck in this darkness even longer.
Whatever happens, take care of yourselves. I’m going to be taking care of me for a while.