In my heart of hearts, I do believe that in many ways, I have forgiven myself for the things I did wrong in my past, and for the person I was…I have given myself the gift of grace. I have loved myself…at least enough to get from there to here. The bottom line is, that if I hadn’t, I would not be here today. It is what set me free in the first place and allowed me to have a life that I never dreamed I could have for myself.
The thought hit me last night after my yoga class, that I forgave myself a long time ago, from the place that I was, at that time. I am at a different place now…with a new and different perspective…I see things differently then I did back then. I have a whole new understanding of life and how very precious it is…of those past mistakes…of their greatness and the impact of those things that I did to not only the people I hurt or wronged but to myself. I need to forgive myself… to offer myself that gift of grace, once again, from where I am right now. If I want to keep moving forward in my life…if I want to see my glory in the mirror.
I remember back to when all this started…where my one life ended and my new life began. I was in drug treatment and I was miserable because not only was I not high, I was alive. How I ended up being in treatment when I didn’t want to be there, doesn’t really matter because the fact that I was there saved my very life. I was putting in my time, so to speak, until I could get out…I had every intention to die once I got out of there. Drugs were not enough to numb my soul anymore…I was done.
Yes, I was a mother and yes, I know this would have destroyed my children but in my sick mind I thought they were much better without me…and the sad thing is, they were. If I was going to continue living the life that I was living as their mother, they were better without me. I did not deserve the title of mommy and still to this day, this rips apart my mother heart.
As part of the treatment process, they have you meet with a Chaplin, to confess all your “wrongs” to. My Chaplin was a young priest, not much older than me, but very wise. I will never forget sitting across from him and it was like he could see into my soul. I was not nice to him…I was defiant and crass…I did not want to be there because there was no way in hell that I was going to tell this man, those hidden secrets of my heart. I even went as far as to tell him that I did not believe in his God. His answer was, “ it doesn’t matter, he believes in you.” He continued to tell me that God loved me and forgives me. My response was “there is no way in hell, that you can tell me that God could love someone like me…you have no idea the things I have done, so you can’t say that your God would love me!” His response was “God already knows the things you have done…he knows all of it, every secret you have is not a secret from him and he still loves you.” This blew my mind…I could not handle these things he was saying and I ran out of the room.
This man came back every day to meet with me. Each and every time, he was gentle, loving and kind, no matter how I acted. He never once preached at me…he came and met me where I was at…he never gave up on me. His persistence paid off…the love and grace he shared with me wore me down…until it was like my soul was totally naked with him. I bared my soul to him and in those moments of letting another human being into my world of pain and sorrow is the pivotal moment that gave birth to a new life. His response to my “sins” or “wrongs” was to open up his arms to me and hold me while I sobbed. He, my friends, was my Jesus with skin on.
It is because of him…his message of love and grace that I am here today, speaking from a whole new perspective, free of those things I was once in bondage to.
It is because of him, that I see every single person, through the eyes of grace and love no matter how deserving or undeserving they might be living. It is because of him, and the many people like him, that I have met since then, that I see people, differently…beyond what you see with the physical eye…I see between the lines…I see what is possible and what they could be capable of if they were set free and given a chance to live again.
It is how I need to see myself, right now, in the here and now because even though I am a new person, I still have the memories of those past wrongs and I still pay consequences for those things. I see those things I did wrong in the past from a new perspective and it hurts my soul that I did those things...hurt the people I hurt...it‘s time for me look these things in the eye and let them go and once again look at myself through the eyes of grace.