Shall I speak of my specific sins? Will such a confession allow you to speak of yours? Shall I show you my shame? Will you reveal yours, see yours, find yours, go looking? At which point is all this stuff about me ever really important to you; or is it at our intersection of consciousness that we relate? And when we actually do meet, do the specifics matter? No matter what? Does it help you to know that I stole the money off the bedroom dresser when I was six? Should I know that you were entirely self-serving when you seduced your first prospect? When I betrayed, lied, cheated, stole, did you not even once do so too? And now that we are older than all that, what sins do we continue to commit? Are our mistakes ones of withholding truth, withholding intimacy, and withholding perception? Do we continue our shame, being at our extremes either more-than or less-than human? We want to be perfect, or we don't give a damn. Degrees of the shades of getting greyer vacillate in-between, but essentially we are driven by the need to protect our ego within the degrees of this debatable dichotomy: To strive, or just to be left to be.
My specific sins haunt me. I shudder at certain reflections, can taste the bitterness of my once upon a time foolishness, churn the old misdeed over, or even chuckle at my hubris, my silliness of maturational mistakes; but then I remind myself of the essence of forgiveness: without consciousness of forgiving others, how can I possibly forgive myself? I could not do better!
No matter who did what dastardly deed, some essential trip-switch of insight was not within reach sufficient to stop them, or me, or you, for that matter. We may see the switch, know how to operate it, be reaching for it even, but ego, immaturity, desire, want, or plain obstinacy then takes over, and we drive too fast, drink too much, take what is not ours, or say the thing that hurts. Such is humanity. Yet forgiveness does not condone, nor does it excuse; it understands.
Understanding does not necessarily bring about compassion; different words are indeed used for a different reason. Understanding can stay intellectual. Compassion, being more, is always aimed at being entirely inclusive. As such, accepting the self, and others, arises from the certain knowledge that we cannot in a given moment do other than we do, than we have done, and so forgiveness allows for that moment, knowing that there is more than that moment to be reached for too. Compassion does not condone; it sees that one is but part of a greater whole.
"Ah but thy reach should exceed thy grasp, or what's a heaven for?" said the poet. And indeed being more-than human would go along with that. Perfectionism has its downfalls, its pitfalls, its frustrations. So does not giving a damn. We each are wrought from the daily grist. We each are moulded by the hands of habit. And we each are here, purpose-driven or not. Acceptance would have us just that: accepting of everyone's process of being alive. Not all need to look things up.
My specific sins make up a long list. So many names, hurt. So many misdeeds, done. So many self-serving thoughts, spent. So many opportunities to do better, lost. But in the face of all that, I can bring to bear the good things of my life too. Is there a balance? Does one outweigh the other? Time and circumstance and intention marry in the purpose-driven-life; so too for the one who neither cares nor pays heed; awareness indeed differentiates. Where I crack, there is light.
If you've read this far then you've journeyed with me through this pedantry, this pontification, this pretentiousness. And mayhap there be some seed sown of forgiveness of the self (if not of others) in the vastness of possibility, or not. I only know that some undeniable energy drives me on to cheep so into the wilderness, like a little bird calling out for sustenance, even though some snake may be alerted to its very presence. We make a noise, or we be silent. Either way, we breathe into life until we have no breath left to give. And we all 'sin', naturally, all along the way. And therein lies much matter, in-deed.