As I’ve meditated on what I’m really afraid of versus what I just tend to get anxious about sometimes, I think I am getting closer to some inner layers. I am trying to increasingly think about what issues are real spiritual growth blocks, not just worries. The idea of “the irreparable” is coming together for me as a major wall between me and God.
By the irreparable I mean a relationship or a situation that is so far damaged that it will never be the same. I have a fairly good record of being able to “fix” things I want fixed. I have also known situations that, even when I wanted to fix them, I could not. Where this dials into my deepest fears is where I feel I have done something by choice that has forever severed the repair I may seek. Something being unfixable. Permanently broken. All options gone.
Often I hear my perfectionist friends agonizing over making mistakes. This fear of the irreparable is beyond that. I make mistakes all the time. It’s actually part of my personal philosophy that it’s straight up crazy to be neurotic about making mistakes. We are human, it’s our nature, it’s not realistic or reasonable to truly expect that we won’t make mistakes. My fear is about being responsible for doing something that takes away any possibility of healing or repair to a situation.
What if in carelessness I say or do the one thing my spouse can never forgive? What if a friend is counting on me to remember something important that I completely forget about? What if I drop the ball and colleagues don’t feel they can count on me again?
As I look at that list, however, I notice that each item hinges on someone else’s response to an event. Yes, I did or didn’t do something, but how others respond to that is my fear.
My faith tradition tells me that God’s response to me will be consistent and reliable. Nothing is irreparable. Nothing when my heart and mind are focused on seeking redemption for mistakes I make.
And ay, there’s the rub……
I know myself to get quite weary with the forgiveness process. I’m all about it until I’m not. Sometimes it just wears me out. I want to say I don’t care anymore, I’m tired of struggling through complex issues of right and wrong, I just don’t care. Leave me alone, Universe. If you don’t like what I did, tough. I did it. I may do it again. Get off my case. I’m putting my chips on the bet that I’m not alone in this.
I think we have to be willing to get back in there. We have to do it with our human dynamics if we want peace in our lives, and we have to do it in our spiritual development for the same reason. I almost think knowing I am forgiven by a higher power makes it harder sometimes, because there is nothing to fight about, no argument to “win” and no real opportunity to say “I’m tired of you not wanting to work on this” because the only one putting up that B.S. is me. I truly believe the choice of finding peace and forgiveness and a clean slate is right in my own hands.
And that’s what I’m afraid of.
Image credit: Indian-Designers