Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Past

In China, when they are embarrassed about something or aware that they have broken one of their many rigid social norms, they lower their face.

I found this an easy cultural thing to adopt after I went there. Enough were the times and even now, are the times when I want to put my face down, I can't explain all the reasons why.

I guess part of me wants to blame it on something else, the misspoken words, the ill-conceived ideas, the overreactions. "I was brought up this way," "I was young," "That was a hard time in my life, that's why I did that," In fact, alot of times, I look for an excuse for my mistakes to understand myself.

And I am comforted by all the mistakes that I see in the people that God loved alot throughout the bible. I guess it makes me feel among good company of mistake makers.

But I don't live with God, I live among people. And some people have seen me at my worst. I have done stuff, said stupid stuff and hurt people I care about such that even now as a married person I consider how I can let them now how sorry I am.

It's not fake contrition, or histrionics, I don't talk about it and I basically try not to think about it because it does me no good to wallow in my mistakes.

But I do guess I wish someone would have told me that I would have to live with these mistakes with a memory as fresh as a warm loaf of bread.

And while there might be anxiety management, and anger management and ways to help with depression or all these other things, shame is something people get to deal with entirely on their own.

God forgives. But what about people who were friends? I don't think that most people are very good at completely forgetting when they were trampled. All the memory still is there.

And so why does it matter? Let go, be done with it. And so it is. But I miss the friendships I had with these intelligent, creative people, and I am compelled to stay away so that I don't do anymore damage or cause unpleasant memories to arise in them.

And ironically after every time I make a foolish misjudgement, I think "Well, at least I am smarter than that now," And while I would like very much to believe that, I have said it just often enough to wonder if I believe if I will ever be free of the mistakes I make, if ever I will just get to be a good thing to my friends.

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