A few times a week, on my walks, sitting alone or contemplating my next brush stroke, I think about my past transgressions over these +73 years. They range in consequences from minor to major. They involve friends, family and others that I barely knew. As I reflect on the origins of these transgressions, most, if not all, seem to be a result of my acting selfishly, being overreactive and defensive. Some of these, which were serious, hurt others—probably for a long time. I know that I am not alone in transgressing against others. I know that I have made amends to many who I have hurt. As part of my recovery from addiction in the late 1980’s, I worked hard at my inventory and the making of amends. But somehow, my inner displacements work against my basic nature.
Like the forest fire, destruction needs fuel. But after the fire there can be rebirth and regeneration. I have learned that I can fuel or quench my poor choices and behavior. When Jean Cocteau published The Difficulty of Being in 1947, he wrote “In the end, everything is resolved, except the difficulty of being, which is never resolved.” For me to have resolution I have to look back at how I traversed this 74 year-old trail. I know that I am instinctual and intuitive—often navigating territory impulsively. I am peripatetic. I focus on completion and not so much the journey. I am driven. Some say that I am intense—at times overly persuasive. This trait has resulted in others following my lead even when it is not in their best interest. Of course, their choice to follow is theirs. As they have entered my orbit they may be drawn to the flame like a moth; or like the beauty to the beast—only to discover that my inner self is not so threatening.
At this stage in my life I ask myself: Why Change?
I could, I suppose, just let it go and stop thinking about my inner swirling world. Just be. Is it an illusion that others live content in their own skin? Is it arrogant to think that my inner tussles are unique. I don’t think so. It seems that dissection in public (like this post) is a way of reflecting on consequences and reflecting back the actions of others. I do know one thing: the traces of transgressions remain indelible—while many joys are forgotten. These surface at odd times—sometimes in a dream; sometimes as I glance at something that triggers a memory. Since magic only happens in love, I can’t go back for reparation. I can only forgive myself as I accept myself.
It is trivialities that we cling to that can consume us—and prevent transformation. My goal then is simple: shed as many trivialities in my life as possible. By that I mean: doing what enables me to transform my view and generate new ideas for relationships and interactions. As Cocteau says “…I shall wound much more severely if I dig into the scars.” It is time to let the scars heal—full well knowing that there will always be a trace of the wound long after the healing. To those I have hurt, I say I am sorry. I will forever carry the knowledge of my transgressions. They will inform my forgiveness, They will light my path to transformation.
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It is always reassuring when I read that others bound for life’s answers are
curious about what others are looking for or what they have found. As time corrodes our strength and
changes the our goals we remember our highlights and those times we wish we could change.
I do too.
My starting point is to remember that we are imperfect, that is how we were made.
As we mature we learn about our creator God and his son Jesus.When we see how humble Jesus was and
how many miracles that he preformed and that are historically documented. Take Paul as an appropriate example. Paul was an tax collector and a trained legal scholar. He transformed his life when on the road to Damascus he was knocked out by a bolt of lightning and had a vision of Jehovah.Paul’s life changed forever
and during the remainder of his earthly existence he was a loyal and productive apostle. I have always enjoyed his words from Matthew 26 where he said, “ The spirit ,of course ,is eager but the flesh is weak.
Jeff, as you know the Bible is a wealth of wisdom that can make our lives happier, more satisfying, and
peaceful. I try to meditate and seek council on the examples, scriptures and prophecy
before making major decisions
Some other truths are:
Keep a simple eye.
Draw closer to Jehovah and he will draw closer to you.
Allow the other person to be before you
So many others.
I look forward to a Paradise Earth
where the righteous will live forever.
We will cleanup this polluted old world. There will be no death and everyone will live together in happiness.
It is all in the Bible.
Best regards and let me know if you or anyone of your readers have questions. Check out JW.org .
Thanks John. I am happy you have found a safe place and path to navigate through life. Each of us journey with our own companions–I am content to let others choose their path while I choose mine. While those who call themselves Christians make up about 30% of the world’s population (Catholics are about 1/3 of that amount), I know the other 70% are just as convinced and happy as you are about their path. Peace as we all navigate as a world community towards a common goal: love.
A lovely and important post, with food for thought for all of us.
Thank you Pat. See you soon…