25 June 2008

Good Again

The last few weeks have been a series of unfortunate events. I sometimes can convince myself that I must have been an extremely evil person in a past life since I seem to have been hit with more than a decade-long string of bad luck that is probably meant as karma seeking justice for my past sins.

I really cannot say for certain what I may have done in a past life, but there are some things that I have done in this life for which I am still ashamed.

Specifically, there are two sins I committed that I cannot seem to forgive myself for doing.

When I was in college, I had dated a guy for five years. We were in many ways each other's first real relationship, and we grew into adulthood together. Five years is long for most relationships, but it is extremely long considering we were so young and in the first throes of experimentation and experience.

In the last year of that relationship, I cheated on him. Many, many, times, and for a long, long time. There were no real reasons for me to cheat on him. I just did. We were young and we were drifting apart, but regardless, I was just wrong.

Remarkably, he and I have remained friends, and I see now how much of an asshole I was to ever treat him the way that I did. He ended up marrying the girl he dated after me, and they now have three beautiful kids and a happy life together. While his marriage has been good, I struggle with an insurmountable amount of issues with mine. All I can say is that my bad fortune with my marriage is probably well-deserved.

But the greatest sin of all - the one for which I will never forgive myself - is the way I had treated my sister one afternoon, probably now over ten years ago.

She and I had an argument, the reason for which I no longer remember. But our argument was very heated, and had even escalated to the point of violence. Mine. Not hers. I remember I had hit her, hard, on her arm, and she fell backwards. Even as she fell, I continued to shout at her, and come at her, ready to strike again. She had crouched into a corner and to this day, I can still see the fear and hurt in her eyes that I had caused with my anger and brutality.

I cry now as I type this, at the memory of that day, and with the wish in my heart that I could re-do that day so that it had never happened. I tried to redeem myself with her many times in stupid ways, such as buying her things - ostensibly trying to buy her love and forgiveness. But I do not ever recall specifically asking for her forgiveness, even as she laid dying in the hospital. Although I know that she did forgive me, I still wish that I had said "sorry" to her. The guilt of knowing that she forgave me even though I never asked is something that will live with me for the rest of my days.

So, if my recent lack of fortune is payment for my prior sins, I accept it. I want to be good with God and with karma. I just want to be good with everyone again.

"My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

13 comments:

  1. It takes a lot of strength to bring a confession into the open, but it takes a lot of love to forgive, especially ourselves.

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  2. i think we lived parallel lives.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean. So much, in fact, that you'll see what I mean in tomorrow's post. I think that one of the biggest lessons of forgiveness is learning not only that those around us deserve it, but we do too.

    And yes, I'll take clouds in June over the unbearable heat that hit us this past weekend. I'll always prefer rain.

    Your openness makes me love you back. ;)

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  4. I think we all punish ourselves for things we did as kids. Everyone matures differently- and one of the ways we learn is by making mistakes. You shouldn't punish yourself for childhood or young adult things you weren't yet emotionally prepared for.
    I hope by expressing your sorrow, you are able to begin forgiving yourself.
    What's important is who you are today.
    Hugs.

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  5. tears are welling up, because the exact same thing happened between my sister & i. i was such an angry, jealous person, and i threw a pencil case at her. she's still very young at that time (but i am not). she hid under the table and refused to come out. she prolly don't remember it, but it will always stay with me.

    maybe i am evil, but that wasn't my greaatest sin. i wonder what it takes for someone to forgive herself? because i sure can't (for all the other "sins").

    but God is forgiving Nova, regardless of what we did. every unfortunate event is just a test. He's always there to guide us through.

    thank you for sharing. a big hug for you. i hope you're okay now.

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  6. if you can't do it for you, forgive yourself for your sister. i am sure she would cringe if she thought for one second you were holding onto a moment which she had moved beyond, if she thought you were in pain over something related to her, and if she thought she in any way was related to your thinking your past actions caused you to deserve an unhappy marriage or life. give yourself and her the gift of forgiving yourself so your memories of your time with her can be of happier days, of shared moments of joy, trust, and comfort. let it go. life is too short to torture yourself. you can begin now to teach your daughter these valuable lessons about life...be the model she needs so she can learn things easily which you have spent many years working through. perhaps that will be the real and positive result which can come from all of this?

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  7. Your not alone. There are some things which I would want to forget in my past, but you just move on I guess. I too have some issues which I left undone. Why is it so hard to do something that seems so simple? I do not know.

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  8. i don't believe that people deserve good or bad things, that they earn good fortune or bad fortune, to a point. a lot of what happens is random and coincidental to me.

    i do believe, however, that people are inherently good and that there is a certain equilibrium in the universe that is constantly at work, righting wrongs and defending the good.

    you may be "good again," but you have been good always.

    p.s. thanks for your advice :)
    i definitely need to learn to be like water.

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  9. Thank you so much. You always know what to say. It's always such a tough time. But I definitely feel better, believing that they're together.

    And I just might pick up the phone a little later. ;)

    xoxox

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  10. "I sometimes can convince myself that I must have been an extremely evil person in a past life since I seem to have been hit with more than a decade-long string of bad luck that is probably meant as karma seeking justice for my past sins..."
    _____________________________

    Dear Nova-San,
    karma is a mysterious thing, it works forward and backward simultaneously.
    Not all that we perceive as pain or joy in the present is created by old karma, that would be too simplistic.
    I rather hold the view that our inherited weaknesses and strengths of our own characters are the result of old karma but that our interaction in the present solely create new chapters in the book of karma.
    You have to see it both ways. In your sister's case it could have very well been that she had shopped off your leg "by accident" in a former life and now you got stuck with that inherited "karma" in this life.
    So yes, you yelled at her, intimidated her for that moment, which you now regret. We all regret those moments. And we all have them.
    But would she still be alive and hopping around now, would you have given this issue a second thought?
    Maybe.
    Is death the threshold that actually makes us be more awake?

    So no, you haven't sinned.
    All you try to do is to create a life tapestry that is your very own. The struggles and the delights change just like the threads in the weave.
    Karma is not the past alone.
    Karna is also the color you choose in the "now".
    That choice will assemble the tapestry of your future.

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  11. kumusta ka na? i miss talking to you but you i hope you know you are always my friend deep in my heart!

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  12. Nova, as usual, this was a beautifully written post. And judging my the comments and my own reaction, it was completely relatable. I acted the same way towards my younger brother as he grew up from his baby years. I'd choose not to play with him, I'd be intentionally cruel to him and I even hit him once or twice when he wouldn't leave me alone. I've hurt over my actions for years and years.

    I mentioned it to my mother once, my guilt and hurt - directed at myself - over my past behavior. And she said he probably didn't even remember it, because he'd been so young at the time, and that all of my good actions and love towards him more than made up for a few misguided moments.

    It is hard to learn to forgive yourself, much harder than learning to forgive other people. But I think it is the most necessary thing that we do, otherwise the guilt just sits there like a stone weight around our neck, ready to drag us down at any moment.

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  13. You're such an honest person and you have integrity and strength.

    Thanks for letting us be part of it this way.

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