When I was a child, I had a gerbil. I got him from school, took him home, cared for him and loved him. One day, ho got loose in the garage and while I was chasing after him, I accidentally stepped on him and he was gone. It crushed me. I was a murderer. This was how I saw it. I was actually responsible for taking a life.
Some would say “it’s just a gerbil.” But not me. It was a living, breathing, animal that I loved and he depended on me for his life. In the end, I failed. Not only did I fail to provide care for him until his natural death, but I had killed him … murdered him. It had nothing to do with intent. The irreversible damage was done.
And if I were to apologize, what good would it do? Who would I apologize to? This was the first time I realized that forgiveness was to release me of the burden. I had not intended to kill an animal that I had loved. And I had to forgive myself, for myself. It was the only way to get past it … not over it … but past it.
It took a while, but eventually I understood that terrible things happen once in a while. Through the years I have lost several pets. Birds, Dogs, Cats, Fish, etc. Either they had died, ran off, or had to be put down. It was never easy. But with the gerbil I had to deal with myself being the cause.
When we are filled with guilt, it can destroy us. When we enter the state of forgiveness, it releases us. Do you have something you need to release? Something you feel guilty over causing? If so, the only way you’ll be released is not by being asked to be forgiven, but by using the creative power of Source/God within you and forgiving yourself. Then, and only then, can you move on beyond the fear and guilt to a place of solace.
Just a thought …
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.