"I confess my sins to you," I said.
"You don't need to, you didn't do anything wrong," she told me.
"But I need to get it off my chest, into the light of day."
"That's fine, I'm glad you told me, but you shouldn't feel bad."
"Ok, but I do."
"I can tell, I can hear it in your voice. No harm done. Move on with your day."
"Ok, thanks for listening, I knew you would."
And with that, the conversation was over, but my struggle to forgive myself is agonizing. The worst of it are the facts:
1. I did nothing wrong
2. Nothing bad happened
3. Circumstances changed and were out of my control
4. I can't let it go (I can't let what go?)
5. I don't know why (Ok, maybe I have some ideas)
One of my worst struggles is that of self-forgiveness. But how great is the church-of-the-understanding-girlfriend, where being forgiven freely allows us to learn to forgive ourselves, where love, compassion and acceptance are a sure thing, where we hear what we need to hear, the good, the bad, the ugly?
It was my turn yesterday, next week it will be hers, in that way we trade. And it is here that some of life's greatest gifts are given and received, lessons are learned. If only I wasn't so slow on the uptake.