I should be in bed.
I’ve got a long day behind me, and a longer two or three ahead, but I need to get this out of my system, out of my head, somewhere, so I can sleep.Â
Chris was asking me what I thought of tonight’s episode of LOST, about the exchange between Christian Shepherd and Claire.Â I told him that I thought they both handled it badly, but that they both handled it as well as they were able at the time.Â
There are lots of situations in my own life, in my past, that I know I handled badly.Â I screwed up.Â But I alsoÂ understand, deep down,Â that I did the best I could at the time.Â “My best” at the time just frankly sucked.Â I’ve forgiven myself.Â And I sort of thought out loud that most people don’t forgive themselves for the things they’ve handled badly in life because to get there, you have to first admit “I screwed up.”Â
You have to be be able to look honestly at yourself.Â You have to acknowledge your sin first.Â Then you can look at yourself with compassion and grace, understand that you did the best you could (even if the best you could do at the time was pretty awful), and forgive yourself for that sin, and allow God and others to forgive you.Â
And once you’re able to do that for yourself, you start to become able to do it for others.Â You become able to, first, look at others honestly, and second, look at them with grace and compassion.Â You stop seeing bad people and good people.Â You start seeing people, who do both good and bad things, for all sorts of complicated and often stupidÂ reasons.Â
You stop making excuses for the bad behavior.Â You stop seeking the reasons behindÂ the hateful choices.Â You also stop resenting it and expecting payback for it.Â It was wrong.Â It mattered.Â Â But it’s past, and whatever it was, you survived it.Â You’re okay.Â And if you’re okay, there’s nothing to gain by holding on to it, and everything to gain by forgiving and letting it go.Â