I have been born, I have a body and I have died. I have lived a life of repentance and sorrow, and I have never asked for forgiveness. There are certain things in this world that cannot be forgiven, and those that have committed such crimes against their own soul will find it hard to find forgiveness. There are times when we must accept that actions we have committed in the name of all that is vain, cannot be forgiven by a simple man dying on a cross.
I have been reading this book by a fascinating author. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote a book called Unite the Strong Woman. It contains a journey, a journey of finding the Holy Mother and the ways cultures protect, shelter and reverie the woman. It is not a historical treatise on the life of the Holy Mother; if you are looking for facts versus fiction this ain’t it. Instead it is a look at importance of the Holy Mother in the world, and within ourselves.
Like most books I pick up of this type, there is usually some part that calls to me, or stops the literal breath from my body as I recognize a piece of my soul in the writing. Dr. Estes was writing about the mothers who suffer and her many experiences not only through her patients but through her own lens that she has seen. She was talking about the Holy Mother’s ability to forgive, to comfort, even to hold those many in society find as reprehensible. She began talking a group of women that many of us would consider sin personified, those that have had an abortion. But she came at the thought in a couple of ways; maybe it isn’t up to society to judge but God himself, and we tend to forget that truth. Maybe there are things that seem unforgivable that the Holy Mother can easily understand and find compassion within. Maybe we aren’t as all screwed up; maybe we deserve the Holy Mother.
There are things in my life that I regret. There are actions I have taken that did not have either my or those around me’s best interests in mind. There are words I have spoken that were better left unsaid, and there were feelings best buried deep in my soul. But there is one thing, one thing in my life that destroyed a piece of my soul.
Bad things happen to us and by us; it is a fact of life and one that must be acknowledged in order to fully understand the complexity we each have in our souls. But luckily there are very few things in this world that can actually destroy us; can actually kill us and leave us for the dead like that poor animal on the hot black top. Unfortunately, there are some that can.
It was the end of 2002 and I had received what I thought at the time was distressing news. Without thinking, without allowing myself to feel, I reacted, and portions of my soul died. There are things in this world I acknowledge as bad, I have never acknowledged this particular action. There are things I talk about with therapists, friends, even my God. Then there is this one thing I don’t even talk to my own conscience about. Yet, it is a whisper, a thought in my soul that does not sleep, that does not rest and frightens me with its intensity. In 2002, and I know the exact day, I killed a large chunk of my own soul and it is lost to me forever.
It is not a thing that I can ask forgiveness for, not even from a Holy Mother. It is not a reaction that I deserve forgiveness for, and it is not an action that I would ever dare to forget. It has shaped me like nothing else, and no one else ever will. It is the death of all my hopes for a heaven and life lived without hurt. It is the rationalization for everything bad that has ever happened to me. And it is a secret I will go to my grave with (if I believed that you could guess, I would never have mentioned it in this blog.)
At night when I ask my God to protect my children and watch over them, I know in my heart that I don’t deserve the same consideration. In my loneliness, I never ask for God’s forgiveness, even when I beg for his mercy. For unlike many, many things in this world, once you kill a piece of your soul, it is gone forever. And while I may hope that one day I can stop worrying about what others say and think about me and concentrate solely on God himself, there is also a part of me who finds that it is easier to care about enemies than acknowledge the truth of my Holy Mother’s forgiveness.