Let it go

By Liso Donaldson    14-Mar-2013 11:50 UTC+02:00

future“You did a terrible thing but it doesn’t make you a terrible person” – Dr Bailey; Greys Anatomy.

I’ve never had trouble accepting this sentiment. Unless you are the spawn of Satan, a mass murderer, child molester and/or rapist who clearly have something innately wrong at your core and therefore are evil personified. People like absent fathers, adulteresses, rude people, bullies etc make mistakes but are still good at their core.

I wholeheartedly believed the above statement until a couple of months ago when a particular incident changed the course of the lives of my inner circle irrevocably. There are some mistakes that are too large to bounce back from it seems.

Needless to say this event warped my thinking for months. If I did something terrible, on such an immeasurable scale surely that means I am too now a terrible person. I didn’t murder anybody but a wrong is a wrong is a wrong.

The trouble however with being Judge, Jury and Executioner over your own life is that it leaves no space for reprieve, forgiveness, parole or early release for good behaviour. Hell hath no fury as women scorned they say, but what about the person who committed the offence to which the women got scorned? Is this person not apologetic and if they are, is that fact inconsequential to the offence committed? If we all stood on a scale and everybody’s mistakes became even; a white lie for an affair would there still be such a vast scale between the wronged and wrong doer? Would the wrong doer’s feelings on the matter still be insignificant compared to the wronged party’s feelings?

Sometimes you can do something wrong and apologise and that’s all you can do. The ball then is no longer in your court. Holding onto the ball is a penalty in the game of life. They say holding on to unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. How much more so then is holding onto unforgiveness destructive when the person you can’t forgive is yourself? Whilst holding on may pro long the illusion that the mirror isn’t shattered, the mirror is still shattered and no amount of self deprecation will make the mirror any less shattered.

Permission to feel, my confidante Charlie said is something we often deny ourselves for the sake of others and we need not do that. I too would like some permission to feel, permission to forgive myself and permission to move on please.

However high the price was to learn this lesson the lesson is learnt. A terrible mistake does not make one a terrible person.

Thank you Dr Bailey.

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