Friday, September 30, 2005

To Forget What I Regret

It is far better, in a sense, to just move on with life, forgetting the past and all the people who have hurt us. After all, we are doing ourselves a favor by moving on.

We have selective memory with regard to the people whom we have hurt. We must have instinctively shut off those episodes of our lives wherein we did things we eventually ceased to be proud of.

Sometimes, however, the past catches up on us and we wonder if we have ever really moved on.

We seek wisdom, strength, grace, maturity. We desire to become better persons and live our lives accordingly. But we each of us carry within wounds that refuse to heal completely.

Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe it's a concern particular to me because of my stubborness. I have allowed many issues to fester, and when certain people resurface, the memories come to life like dry bones finding flesh.

Sometimes I succeed. I’m brave and grownup and mature. I did the right thing with that situation, thank you very much, and I’m so over it. Yeah right. But once in a while, a gnawing feeling arises and a little voice in me asks, Yes you did the right thing but how come you let others get away with it? Why were you such a martyr? And I walk around with a mountain of regret and resentment and find that I want to blame everything on God who allowed it to happen.

For all those times when I was at fault, oh, I still carry a huge block of regret! If only I didn’t wear my heart on my long sleeves so much, and if only I were not so blind and gullible, and if only I could take back what I said or did.

Once during confession I told the priest that I had been struggling with certain people with whom I had a falling out with. I was told, patiently, that faith means I should trust that God is in control of that situation, and that I should stop obsessing about my mistakes once I have confessed them.

When I look back at how I was as a person before I took my personal relationship with God seriously, I am amazed at how God chose to find the diamond in the rough. Nights like this one, I still have trouble finding the sparkle in me.

Faith means believing that nothing is impossible with God – that relationships are healed, and broken self-images are restored. Hope means trusting in a happy ending no matter how bleak the circumstances are, no matter how stubbornly we cling to the patterns of sin and weakness that have so become our comfort zone.

And the greatest of these is love.

To love means to accept that God loves me, to return to Him that love, and to let Him share that love we have to others. Now if only human beings were not involved in this matter, it would be a whole lot simpler.

Lord, let me trust, let me hope, and let me love again – in the sense that you want me to. In you.

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