The previous entry was because I had forgotten to do something important, and I could not forgive myself for forgetting because someone had been counting on me to do that I had said I would do. I was very angry with myself, but the worst part is that I could not forgive myself either. I was sad and angry, and I felt feckless, careless, stupid and forgetful.
But underneath it all, I remembered one thing:God forgives us. God forgives us for terrible things: murdering someone, betraying them, using someone else, hurting them: this is all forgiven! Yes, we will have to feel everything the other person felt; yes, we will have to take time to learn why what we did was cruel or unkind. But surely, if God forgives us for these things, surely we are forgiven for being human, for making mistakes, for forgetting things? Of course!
But the real thing I learned is: surely, if God can forgive me, it is not my right, it is not my place to not forgive myself. To do so is to think I am bigger than God: that I can arrogate what happens to me after I have already been forgiven. To hate myself and be impatient with myself for hurting someone or something else is bad enough: I am the child of the Diving Being, after all: it is wrong to hate such a child, or be impatient with that child. And to keep myself from God’s forgiveness? It throws the meaning of God down, and makes everything stop. So: if you will not forgive yourself, remember first that God has something to say about that.
Sometimes you can do something bad by mistake: you can forget to do something very important and something awful happens. Sometimes you misunderstand what someone said, and you do the wrongest thing at the worst time possible, it is so hard not to hate yourself, so very hard not to feel guilty and ashamed! It is sometimes so hard not to feel so bad when you have let someone or something down, when you made a promise and didn’t keep it. Sometimes the only thing you can do is reach for hope: hope that there is something that will make up for it, Sometimes you can believe that what you have done might not matter too much, or that there is something that you can do to make up for you mistake somehow, because you are sad and care what happens.
Sometimes there really is nothing you can do. Sometimes it really is too late, and you made a mistake that cost someone or something too much. And when there is nothing you can do after the fact, you have to accept that, even though that is so very hard sometimes, You have to accept that you did something wrong, not because you were being mean or hateful or hurtful, but just because you made a mistake. And then you can make sure you remember for next time. You can make sure that you will do better at remembering, do better at keeping track of things. But you still have to deal with the remorse: knowing that you have done something that hurt someone or something else. If you can really feel the remorse, really feel that you have been wrong, then you can understand it better when other people do wrong, too. You can understand how people can do bad things, not because they are bad, but because they made a mistake, just the same way you did.