Forgiveness – What one thing do you need to forgive yourself for this year?
Sin is a strange and awkward word on the lips of an atheist, but one I use without fear of misleading you. You will not be regaled with a tale fraught with lustful vengeance or selfish pride; I will not pray forgiveness for covetous greed, but sin is still the word that fits snugly in the hole I carry around just inside my jacket.
I have sinned against the child that used to glare at me in the mirror, sinned against the man that wishes I were stronger than I am. I have sinned against survival, against the people that can hold their head high in spite of their struggles.
I sit here ticking away the words preparing to send them off into the world to fly away on their own and I find the sting of them all too familiar, like a wound that festers and grows infected from a constant digging at it with my fingernail. I click and I clack every day, pointing at the scars I have and whispering the truth of their origin. I tell of abuse and fear, I shine light on my addictions; I talk about suicide and loneliness, but I do so with ulterior motives.
It is all smoke and mirrors; a trick of light and sound. It is a three card monte of dysfunction; I allow you to find the pebble I have hidden under this cup if you promise not to look under this other. I would rather you see the scared little boy, or the confused and bewildered ex-con; I would rather you stand tall in the shadow of my journey than see the crippled and broken man that tells it.
Yes, I have sinned against myself, and the struggle I endured, by not living; I still huddle in a corner, afraid to draw undue attention. Crowds overwhelm me, I can feel people laughing, I can see them whispering. I find reasons not to go out in public alone, my fear over powers me; it makes me weak and nonsensical. Even as I starve for companionship, I can’t talk to people I don’t know.
I cower in my cave and tap away at this keyboard, I tell myself “I’ll go tomorrow”—knowing I won’t, I find peace in books, nobody there will point or laugh, no one whispers, there is no chance of rejection. I wear death on my arms etched in black and grey as a warning to those who might cross an imaginary line only I can see.
I am not confidant, I have no voice in my head telling me I am better than this or that, I don’t know what it is that makes people call me a friend or ask my opinion. I am broken, scarred. I know that I have made mistakes in my life and these mistakes are what keep me from having the life that I desire and until I can forgive myself for them I will continue to be a shell of the man I strive to be.