Letter: Where I Have Gone Wrong in Love and Honesty

For Christian
May 11, 2007
The Wonder of Dust Bunnies
May 17, 2007

Brothers and Sisters,

I have, of late, been more conscious of the constant combat of humanness and divinity within me. I have always said we are, in sum, the divinity we strive to reach individually. Knowing that as one integral and significant part of creation, I am a part of divinity, and have always been reassured of my inherent good nature. Whatever the sins committed, however grave the transgression, I can return to a redeemed life of truth, justice, honesty, and love.

But this does not, most certainly, empty me of my humanity. Some scholars have said it, and I have taken their words to heart: we do not know anything, except that it is different than something else. How can I know when I am redeemed if I do not know what it is like to be sinful? In whatever terms you define sin, it is a negative thing, detracting from the positive spirit of God. And this negativity, however much I try to smother it, always returns. It is, I feel, necessary to my humanity.

What comes to me in times of deep depression, when I have fallen in some way short of the honesty I love, is the immediate and instinctive effort at self-redemption. I was, today, made most plainly and coldly aware of my gross mistake to end a relationship when the reasoning was faulty. I am, I do believe, in love. What did the day have to say for it? Mistakes have been made, and decisions are irreversible. I am forced to live with my choices, and watch the person I love fall in love with someone else.

While I accept the conditions of consequence, I also seek to allay the depression by instantly garnering attention. And how did I do this? By telling myself I would pursue so many great things, make a name for myself in the light of goodness, to the day when the one I left behind would look to me and say, “Amazing!”

Horrid! That I should want attention for doing good! It is a sick way to redeem oneself, and I, for the first time, have consciously seen it. Resurrected from sadness by a promise to vindicate myself in the moment with promises of later glory. For God? For goodness? No. For myself. And the only salve I can muster for the wound that is still open and festering.

But there is a godliness present, isn’t there? The sort that stops the self-deprecation with words that lift me up, only to be manipulated by the temptation that wishes for love and attention as much and as fast as possible. Then, still, God intervenes, raising my head above my heart and stilling the storms already begun.

So it is in us all, I fear. There are the moments we are beneath the dirt of the earth, clamoring to rise up again, to be loved, to be satisfied. And in our desperation, wanting it as nearly as our bodies want oxygen, we grab the greatest, soonest glory and ride it to the stars. However, it is growth with God—all creation—that gives us that great gift of sight. And what of it? When the mind can rise above the din of argument, of emotional upheaval and truthfully see the good from the bad, and both together? Ah, God is not so much in loving then, but beloved by ourselves, as we know the complicated turns of our heart, our weaknesses, and our possibility. We know the truth, unsullied. Somehow, in these sad moments of despair, when love has been denied us (or we have denied it), we may still love ourselves, knowing through the wake of errors we are the essence of justice, the manifestation of love, and the promise of a greater future with love yet to come.

In whatever great God you pray to, I charge you with peace, and hope that this wisdom will grow in all of us, however imperfect we, as creation, are. For though we lack in ourselves, we give ourselves tremendously to a greater being than we might ever imagine.

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