2016 was a difficult year…for a whole host of reasons.
One of my favourite blogs to read is Sara Tasker’s Me & Orla. She is living the dreamlife life that I am working towards. A creative life . She wrote a post in late October 2016 about the 10 things she forgave herself for. I was going through a massively difficult period then and I really wished I’d read this post when it was posted!
So I started writing this blog entry in 2017 (I was writing this in February apparently)…possibly in the newness of the year, and I was reflecting on how difficult 2016 was for me (I’d turned 40, my Abba had turned 80, we thought we were going to lose him, I had gone home to visit, and goodness knows how much of an issue my going home always was…that’s possibly another blog entry!). And I hadn’t finished writing it then. There were a lot of reasons why I didn’t finish writing this blog entry then. Reasons, when I think about it now, were probably unbeknownst to me. Things were different then. I think if I’d posted this entry then, I’d be feeling like an awful fraud if I read I’d written then now.
Forgiveness is such a huge thing. I don’t think my definition of forgiveness has changed essentially. It is still underlined by my faith and the love and understanding I’ve received from people who truly love me. I also have a wider understanding that forgiveness, its definitions and characteristics, isn’t necessarily a universal experience as I thought it was. Forgiveness is different for everyone, because everyone is different. Forgiveness has different permutations. I still look at Sara’s list and nod to myself.
I carry a lot of guilt. Maybe it’s because of how I was raised. Maybe it’s because of my inflated sense of responsibility. It might even be because of my religion. I find it hard to fully forgive myself for things I’ve done in the past. Some people might argue with you and say that I have no moral compass and that I am not encumbered by this so-called guilt.
I’ve come to understand that my behaviour or propensity to reoffend is a result of being “unforgiven”. Because I’ve not been allowed to move forward, I’ve allowed myself to carry to carry the unrelenting heaviness of the guilt and have allowed myself to believe that I am destined to repeat cycles of bad behaviour because I don’t deserve forgiveness or that my transgressions will always be held over my head. And they have…been held over my head. Constantly. Repeatedly. When that is done to you, it does something to your core self. Now I’m not saying to be forgiven is for all your transgressions to be forgotten. No. I understand that you have to face the consequences of your actions. But forgiveness allows you a roadmap to redemption.