I hate confessions. Because they hurt. Because it's like ripping out a part of my soul and handing it over to be tortured. Because I know I deserve the torture. I'm about to make a confession to you - and it's going to hurt.
I could say, "Oops, my bad!" But this isn't one of those times.
I could say, "Sorry about that!" I say this one quite a bit. It's actually second nature to me. I say it so much, I forget I'm saying it. It just comes out, auto response and means almost nothing. This isn't one of those times, either.
"You know I didn't mean it…" I say this one the most. Because I tease people. Particularly Boyfriend Javelin. And when I know I've gone a bit too far, when I know I should have stopped about a minute back, then I try to pass it off as nothing. "You know I didn't mean it…" Like it fixes everything. But it can't fix this.
"I'm sorry. It was my fault. Please. Forgive me."
Last week, I had to say those words to people I had hurt very deeply. And this wasn't a I-stole-a-cookie kind of thing. It wasn't a I-forgot-your-birthday kind of thing. This was the avert-your-eyes-train-wreck kind of awful I buried under layers and layers of denial. The kind of awful that destroys and alienates. And causes so much pain, you can't bear to look at it.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Except I did just the opposite. I was a sneaky, two-faced liar with a major arrogance problem. And devious. And self-centered. And self-absorbed. And self-righteous. A hypocrite, really.
I hurt my mother, my father, my siblings, my mentors, my childhood friends. My grandparents. And I didn't even love them enough to say, "I'm sorry." To say, "It was my fault." To beg, "Please, forgive me." For 10 years I said nothing. My grandparents died. My father died. Friends died. And I still couldn't put love first and say it.
Oh sure, there were lots of reasonable excuses.
"They won't accept me."
"I'm not ready to come out."
"Everyone is entitled to a little happiness."
"They rejected ME!"
"They don't care about me."
"I've got to work on me right now."
"I have a new family now."
"The best revenge is a successful life."
Dot. Dot. Dot.
A pack of lies to cover up one big truth: I suck.
Don't bother defending me. I hurt the people I loved and there is no defense for that. I lied to them. I betrayed them. I schemed about how to keep them in the dark. I ran away and ignored them. I became self-centered and arrogant. I even started a blog to talk about LOVE - when I couldn't even get it right in my own life! For 10 years, I couldn't say:
"It was all my fault." And to mean it. To deeply, utterly regret the whole sorry excuse of my life.
Or to confess, "I deserve whatever you do to me." In fact, I deserve much worse.
Or to beg, "Please, forgive me." And to know, with absolute certainty, that forgiveness will hurt so much worse than the confession.
And now I come to you. More lies, more deceit, more arrogance. I'm sorry for not being honest about my past. I'm sorry for not showing you I suck. I'm sorry for pretending I had a charmed life. I'm sorry for betraying your trust. And most of all, I'm sorry for utterly betraying love.
But please, don't you lose your faith in love. Don't doubt it's power. You can stop following me, stop reading my posts, stop talking to me. All that and more I deserve. But don't give up on love.
Love has the power to move even the suckiest of people. It has the power to wring a confession out of arrogant liars. To uncover truth buried under 10 years of denial. To leave us on our knees, face in hands. Weeping.
Because love has the power to deliver us. Love has the power to say what nothing else in the world can say. The one thing we know we need to hear - and never deserve to hear.
"I forgive you."
More from this series
- A New Command
- Freed for Freedom
- The Ideal Job
- Prime Directive
- Faith, Hope and Handouts
- Killing Monsters
- Jesus Loves Me
- A Letter to You
- Marriage, and the ONE Important Question