It means different things to different people; to most of us it’s a word we see solely in fiction. “She was a warrior on a quest of redemption for accidentally poisoning her entire tribe of Amazons with the wrong variety of berries in their strudel. She is… Elsa, Warrior princess of Iceland!” I doubt I could find anyone in the so-called real world that is on a genuine quest for redemption.
And that’s why so many of us throw away the precious gift of existence. We’re convinced we can never undo the mistakes of the past and so we strive to “move on”, until the weight of our sins becomes more than some of us can bear.
#26: The Quest For Redemption.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone for feeling burdened by their past; in fact, I applaud anyone who is willing to acknowledge their errors and take ownership of them. I only wish my own progenitors were brave enough to shine in a light on their lives and the wreckage they’ve been responsible for. I sincerely hope that my mother is at peace now but I’m the first to admit that she was never able to accept and understand just how much her mistakes affected those around her.
Being human means you’re going to screw up your life at times. Being a parent means you’re going to screw up the lives of your offspring as well. There is no getting around these truths.
The Big Question is: What are you prepared to do about it? How far are you willing to go?
Okay, technically, that’s two questions. Shut up. And here’s another one, just to really piss you off: What exactly is redemption anyway? Try wrapping your head around that one, Sparky.
Can a person make up for a lifetime of mistakes with a few acts of kindness?
I’ll be damned if I know, but I do know this: Allowing oneself to be crushed by the weight of one’s errors with suicide is never the answer. No one ever found redemption by taking their own life.
Maybe it’s not about succeeding at atoning for your sins but simply taking that sometimes-painful first step, and then another and another, and so on, on the road to the Land Of Redemption, or whatever you want to call it. Just trying to be better, especially if you know you won’t ever make it, is heroic and worth living for, in my opinion.
What most people don’t realize about giving to others is that it can be addicting; once your heart starts to open you want to replicate that feeling, you get hungry for it. And it’s the kind of hunger that won’t leave you so large they need to tear down a wall to get you out of bed. Start small, treat people that have been a pain in your ass in the past with kindness. (It throws them for a loop and that can be fun as hell.)
Reach out to co-workers that seem lonely and detached. Give forgiveness where you’ve been denying it. Take a step.
And then another.
Trust me, it’s worth trying. It may not make the pain go away at first but you’re not really doing it for you anyway. It’s about the bigger picture, my friends.
See you in the lobby, kids…