I’ve had a rough time with this one lately. Anyone else?
I don’t know if it’s the “obsessive thoughts” part of obsessive-compulsive disorder or the fact that I’m still kind of a recovering Catholic, even though I’ve partly returned to that faith, but either way, I am just haunted by guilt.
Maybe the word “haunted” carries the clue. Ever since my parents died, it’s been really easy to beat myself up over the mistakes – seemingly many in number – that I’ve made. Ways I messed up my relationship with Mom. A few ways I messed up with Dad, including two at the end of his life.
Things I just can’t change, no matter how much I want to.
And I may occasionally say Catholic prayers, but I am in no way ready to start going to Confession again. Yeah, I can just see how that would go:
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I can’t remember how many years since my last Confession. These are my sins: I converted to a different faith, which I’m still following, but I want you to absolve me of some shit I did to my folks. How do you feel about that?”
Yeah, I can’t see that going over very well.
So in times like this, sometimes it helps me to remember one tenet of my new faith, Kemeticism, which is that, like the above meme says, creation is happening in every moment. Kemeticism isn’t obsessed with sin and the innate sinful nature of humanity like some religions are (no offense to them, I’m sure that works for them, but not for all of us).
I’m told that this comes from the idea of the primordial mound (called the benben). The Egyptians were great observers of the world around them. And they couldn’t help but notice that every time the Nile flood came, it brought soil. This soil enabled them to grow the food that sustained them, and that process still happens today (although these days it’s controlled with a dam). So I don’t know whether they actually saw a mound that grew larger with time, or they just translated what they saw into the idea of the benben, but from this came the idea that creation is happening all the time, at every moment. The waters keep coming, depositing the soil, and it never stops.
Take this idea and translate it into a religious theory, and it becomes this: You can have a second chance at any moment. The past doesn’t matter as much as the future, because creation is always happening. The world is always being redone. Again and again and again. If creation is always happening, then you can start over whenever you want.
(Here, I was going to include that clip from Groundhog Day, where Phil – I never put together until now that the main character’s name is Phil, just like the groundhog – realizes that no tomorrow means no consequences, and gets himself arrested…yeah, this isn’t like that.)
There are consequences. I mean, someday you have to have your heart weighed in the Hall of Judgment. You have to account for yourself. If your heart weighs more than a feather – if it’s weighed with serious guilt – then maybe you’re in trouble. But as long as you’re trying to learn from your mistakes – as long as you don’t do an evil thing twice – you don’t have to obsess over it.
I created the above meme to remind myself of that, and maybe some of you might need that reminder too from time to time, so I’m sharing it with you guys.
Be well, everyone. And try not to beat yourself up too much.