Over the years when I was struggling in isolation and fear to accept the reality of my gay sexuality, I was often at the centre of arguments and controlling behaviour with my close family which came and went with regular frequency.
Two years ago when I sought help after confiding the truth about my sexuality to my wife and experiencing her great care of me, I needed time in the open to come to terms with the reality of our situation.
It was difficult to come to a place in the present where I was not haunted by the past, and to move on in my life without suffering from the burden of guilt which I felt over my past behaviour.
I was very moved recently when during a sermon, a priest explained that in this season of Lent, Catholics are encouraged to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and that so often, the same people come back time and time again and repeat the same issues (sins) that they have said on previous visits.
He made it clear that in confession, the priest absolves (forgives sins) in the name of Christ and that we should emerge from the confessional at peace, at rights with God and accept that we are forgiven – there is no need to refer to those sins again, they have past.
These words had a deep resonance with me, and even perhaps for you in either a religious or non-religious context, if we have acknowledged a wrong-doing to ourselves and we have made attempts to reconcile ourselves to injured parties (I’m not talking about crimes here), then we should FORGIVE OURSELVES.
I have come to realise through Integral Coaching that in order to move forward and live in the present I must FORGIVE MYSELF.
Occasionally old thoughts and feelings flood into my mind, but I gently tell myself that these moments are gone and they are not a part of my current reality.
My wife sometimes refers to the past and I try to be patient in letting her express her feelings, before holding her and saying to her “but those days are in the past and we are now living in the present.- aren’t we!”
My next blog will be: Taking Stock