I have a tough conscience. One that’s even tougher on me than anyone else’s judgment.
One that made a little girl say the Rosary at least fifteen times as she fell asleep the night she asked her mom what “fuck” meant, and why it had been written on the teeter totter at Sacred Heart School. Beneath the light pink sheets and lavender comforter, she whispered Hail Mary’s between the lips that had spoken the word. She couldn’t stop her tongue from wrapping around the words while she pleaded for forgiveness. Repentance turned to repetition, to guilt. With her fingers sliding over bead after bead, she reminded herself that she had said “the worst word in the world,” and for it, she would face certain eternity in Hell.
This, of course, was before I knew that there were worse words to say, and far worse things to do.
Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
This one bothers me. Something I have to forgive myself for? Does that mean something that I’ve already forgiven myself for? Or something that I’m still fighting with?
I bet it’s the one I don’t want to deal with. I bet it’s the one I’m still fighting with…the one I haven’t forgiven myself for…
These questions make you realize how monumentally open the web is. How open you are. To everything.
For years after preschool, I felt horrible about snapping at my teacher. Miss Missy (yes, that was her name and she was awesome. I can still remember her perfume) tried to help me tie my shoe one time. I must have been fussy, because I covered my laces, looked her in the eye and said, “I can do it.” I couldn’t do it…but she sat there and watched me attempt it for God knows how long. When I turned 18, I apologized to Miss Missy for this. Of course she didn’t remember it, but she gave me a hug, and in the midst of the same warm arms and same perfume I had smelled 16 years prior, I forgave myself.
But that’s obviously an example of the first one. Not the bad one.
…I still need to forgive myself for losing sight of some of my Catholic values. This past summer, I went through a pretty dreadful bout of Catholic guilt…which is normal people guilt, only multiplied by at least 20. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know about this dreadful period of my life. There is no need for details, but perhaps I will share them with you when I’ve actually forgiven myself.