Once wounded, we never forget. Scars have to do with a kind of forgiveness; if we are physically wounded, it takes time to heal and for the body to forgive the offense we rendered unto it. Forgiveness is never far from a freshly formed scar.
At least, this is something that we tell ourselves. But when the pain is deeper than the surface, what do we do? The easy thing to do is become infuriated, leading onward to more destructive (and more often than not, self-destructive) behavior. Or perhaps we can let bitterness seep into the heart, quietly storing up an acidic venom that will, sooner or later, ruin the relationships that we have. “To forgive is human, to forget is divine.” And yet, how hard is it to do even that, to forgive? Sometimes, I find that though I tell myself I’m a forgiving person, that very pride in my own forgiveness causes me to fail and that pride becomes warped into a kind of convoluted self-hate stemming from a lack of forgiveness towards others, and disappointment in myself for my pride. Inherently a very violent individual, the individual that people see comes from years of this process of hurt, failure to forgive, humbling before God, and forgiveness from God. Tempered by the anvil of experience, my personality is still an unrefined, double-edged sword; it bites to the extreme and cleaves to either one side or the other. And that is exactly the weapon that I am, to myself, to others, and to God. I am intrinsically an extremist; the notion of the radical is embedded with the veins in my body. Only through the molding of society, experience, and God am I made temperate and benign; but there are still moments at my core, particularly when I find myself feeling alone, that the most brutal, treacherous notions come to mind to truly destroy all relationships that I have built up. Last year, there was just too much encouragement – indeed, I feared it at the end of the year. I began deceiving myself into thinking that I am who I am in the eyes of others, that I actually had some wise things to say, that I was, perhaps, an example. I saw that I needed to be crushed, and no greater opportunity revealed itself save for this one. The one I completely poured my heart into, missing the vessel of God and instead splattering it all on the earth. The mask I forged in high school began showing; I was terrified of showing my true colors for fear of people fleeing from my true self; the love for man was greater than the love for God. There was a time when I truly desired God – I grew. And now, I can fear that growth being stymied by my humanity, stifled by the Enemy. I was too proud of my position; like Satan, I reached for the highest and have been brought low. Echoes of a past rebuke from parents, saying that a seed of Satan had been planted in me come to forethought. And over what? Hiding a quarter (not semester) report card because I (accurately) assessed that they would hurl my ascending motivation to improve back to the nether regions of morale. All of this is just an excuse to blame others in lieu of blaming myself, but after having put on the act of being selfless for so long, the selfishness of who I actually am is resurfacing. This, I find, is where humanity crumbles before the grace of God. I have been too reliant upon self for too long, and this makes me hate my humanity. As I hate my humanity, I grasp for the love of God, fumbling in the shallow blindness that is often self-imposed; relinquishing the veil is not something I am prone to do because acting has gotten me so far, hasn’t it? It’s gotten me to a point where I have gained respect, friendship, temporary happiness of a year or so. And yet, I have been deviously escorted to the domain of faithlessness, lack of trust, and pain all in the same swoop. The discordant sound of laughter rings in my ears, each tone a mocking pulse of consciousness, streaming directly into the soul. The darkness spreads, and the slow blood inches out.
Forgive and forget; scars and healed skin.
Forgiving the scars, and forgetting the sin.
Where does this grace flow from, I ask?
From the presence of God, in which I bask.
Yet why should this dark, upon my soul shade?
For I know that I am wholly made.
It is I again, insidious, insatiable I
interrupting in iterated insight, I.
Destroy myself full, that I may flee
and give my heart fully over to Thee.
The cries of a desperate believer, struggling through what may or may not be an attack of the spirit, but definitely of the soul. The despair looms great upon him, as he realizes the bleakness of his situation. And so, he prays. And prays. And prays.