Doing wrong can have a more prolonging effect on someone than doing something right. When you do good, the moment eventually ceases and everyone moves on. It swells, augments and then fizzles down. You take in the moment in all its beauty and then it’s gone. To the contrary, when you do wrong, it takes time for the dreadful feeling to subside. It plagues your heart, your thoughts, your soul. Doing good is a visceral experience. It shoots out like a ray of sun, reflecting off the water and disappearing into our mere existence. Doing wrong entails more of a cathartic experience. It slithers through your veins, cultivating itself internally and proliferates like roots. You eventually have to get rid of it.
That is why I decided to write this.
Sharing only the benevolent, positive and triumphant aspects of my life would be selfish and hypocritical. As a writer I aim to be as candid and revealing about myself and my occurrences as possible in an effort to resonate with as many people as I possibly can. My face value as writer wouldn’t be credible if I only shared the good things I’ve done. Whenever I write about my personal life as opposed to covering the news or writing an article, my purpose doesn’t fall too far behind from my journalistic one which is the need to inform, give insight to an issue or reflect on a topic.
The topic here is self-forgiveness.
I’ve always thrived to be as good of a person that I possibly can be, even if that isn’t always apparent to some. I might stray away from some of the social norms of what is perceived to be proper social etiquette, constitutional and overall healthy human behavior, but never intentionally crude and inhumane. Well, almost never.
I was in a toxic relationship not too long ago. A relationship that I myself made toxic. Although I deeply loved my then partner very much so and had immense care for him, I still did a slew of pitiful things that to this day I am not proud of. It was never my intention to be cruel and a negative presence in his life. For the few people who know me thoroughly, that’s not who I am as a person at all. Nonetheless, I did much harm. I won’t disclose exactly what I did because it is irrelevant to this post and, even though I try to be as transparent as I can be as a writer, a very personal aspect of my past. That, perhaps, is for a future blog.
This one is about how you turn this situation around for yourself when in this predicament.
Amid the tranquility of a silent room and docile night, many hovering thoughts would leave me with a vehement mind and a heavy heart. Night after night after night.
I drowned my sorrows away. I recounted every single detail that led me to this point in life. I spoke to many family members and friends about the incidents in search of different perspectives, in search of answers. Nothing provided an avail.
It wasn’t until recently that I figured out that even though what I did wasn’t right, grieving over it was. Feeling pain over what you do that is wrong is normal. It’s quite human to feel regret, feel ashamed and even defeated about circumstances you can no longer change. It is part of life and the human experience whether we like it or not.
Once I came to terms with that, I also learned that because we can easily become a version of ourselves we don’t like, that doesn’t necessarily make us bad people. We can all be something we aren’t proud of as we continue to find ourselves as remarkable entities. And we all are remarkable entities. No matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how much wrong you have done, no matter what perception of you have left on others, you are still remarkable. You’ve learned something about being human; that we are capable of doing great harm, of feeling remorse, of hurting, of repenting and, ultimately, of obtaining self-forgiveness.
The process isn’t rapid or easily expedited. It might take a while before you can look and smile back at the reflection in the mirror. Just like anything that manufactures great pain, this too will also take time to explore and conquer. But once you do, you’ll forgive yourself for what you have done, even if others haven’t. You’ll recognize your wrongdoings, what external and internal stimuli caused you to act in such a hurtful manner, you’ll ask a greater power to forgive you. And one day you’ll also forgive yourself.
It is instinctual for us to gravitate toward the person who the harm has been done unto but we, as a society, don’t really discuss the damage that the person doing the harm has done unto himself/herself. Just like with any other matter, I strongly believe that nothing is strictly black or white. That sparse grey area is important. Everyone has emotions, sentiments, thoughts and sensitive areas. No one is born evil, it is a learned behavior. We all do things we aren’t proud of. However, those circumstances aren’t a definition of who we are. We are complicated, complex, perplexed and diverse individuals. It doesn’t matter if others do not understand us. What matters is that you learn to understand yourself. And forgiving yourself for the wrong you have done.
What is essential in all of this is that you talk and release those emotions and thoughts cluttering your head. Be honest with both yourself and others. Honesty is always key.
And always remember that you are a remarkable entity.