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SINS

By February 10, 2020August 18th, 2020No Comments

IF I CLOSE MY EYES, I CAN REMEMBER MYSELF AROUND THE AGE OF 10 KNEELING IN THE CONFESSIONAL VESTIBULE GATHERING UP THE NERVE TO CONFESS MY LITTLE GIRL SINS TO THE MYSTERIOUS PRIEST BEHIND THE CONFESSIONAL SCREEN.  I TAKE A DEEP BREATH. AS I LOOK AROUND THE HUSHED CHURCH, THE LIGHT IS DIM, AND THE AIR IS SOLEMN. I AM SURROUNDED BY DIFFERENT SAINTS FROZEN IN THEIR MOST PIOUS POSE. AT THE ALTAR LOOMS A BIG CROSS. IT DEFINITELY FEELS LIKE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT TO CONFESS MY SINS.

“LORD, FORGIVE ME FOR I HAVE SINNED…” I WHISPER ASSERTIVELY.  I RUN THROUGH THE CHECKLIST. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.  I APPLAUD MYSELF FOR NOT STEALING, NOT KILLING ANYONE, NOT DESIRING MY NEIGHBOR’S SPOUSE (YET). BUT I REALIZE, OOPS, I HAVE DISOBEYED MY PARENTS, A LITTLE. . . . I SCOUR MY MIND AND MY HEART TO ACKNOWLEDGE ANY OF MY OTHER SINS.  I WANT TO MAKE SURE I AM OF CLEAR MIND AND SOUL.  ONCE I FEEL CERTAIN TO HAVE LAID OUT MY WORSE 10 YEAR OLD SINS, THE NAMELESS AND FACELESS PRIEST GIVES ME THE NUMBER OF HAIL MARY’S TO PRAY IN ORDER TO PURGE THE SINS AND FEEL FORGIVEN.

I MUST. . . CONFESS (NO PUN INTENDED) THAT AFTER CONFESSION I WOULD FEEL A SLIGHT LIFT OF WEIGHT OFF MY SHOULDERS.  I WOULD GET A SENSE OF RELIEF THAT I WAS ONCE AGAIN SET ON THE PATH TOWARD HEAVEN AND I HAD ESCAPED HELL. . . . FOR THE TIME BEING.  SOMETIMES PEOPLE SEE CONFESSION AS A SHAMEFUL MOMENT BUT FOR ME, IT WOULD BE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WIPE THE CONSCIOUS CLEAN.

AS I MOVED AWAY FROM MEXICO AND ENTERED ADULTHOOD, I STOPPED GOING TO CHURCH AND OF COURSE, I STOPPED CONFESSING THOUGH MY SINS GOT BIGGER.  WELL, I AM NOT REFERRING TO TEN COMMANDMENT LIKE SINS, . . . EXCEPT MAYBE THE ONE ABOUT COVETING YOUR NEIGHBOR’S SPOUSE.  JUST BIGGER IN THE SENSE THAT THE CONSEQUENCES WERE BIGGER.  IF I LIED AS AN ADULT, WELL, THERE WERE CONSEQUENCES.  STILL, I HAVE PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS BEEN A SAINT.  NO, REALLY,  I HAVE.

BUT MY FAITHFULNESS TO THE CHURCH HAS DEFINITELY TAKEN DIFFERENT DETOURS.  ONE YEAR I FOLLOW. THE NEXT YEAR I FIND MYSELF QUESTIONING THE BEHAVIOR OF THE CHURCH.  THEN I GO BACK WHEN I NEED THE SUPPORT OF MY FAITH.  I MISS THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHURCH THAT I USED TO GO TO UNTIL I MOVED TO THE STATES.  I MISS THE CERTAINTY AND CEREMONY OF THE CHURCH.  I MISS NOT QUESTIONING THE CHURCH. . . BUT, LET’S NOT GO THERE TODAY!

INSTEAD OF CONFESSING, I NOW GO TO THERAPY FOR MY SINS! WELL, HERE I AM GOING TO SWITCH IT UP THOUGH.  I DO NOT GO FOR MY “SINS” OR TRANSGRESSIONS. I GO TO UNDERSTAND MY OWN BEHAVIOR IN CONNECTION OR COMBINATION TO THE BEHAVIOR OF OTHERS.  THERAPY HELPS ME LOOK AT MY OWN BEHAVIOR, ACTIONS, THOUGHTS.  HUMANS ARE SO COMPLEX!  WE HAVE TO CONSIDER NOT JUST OUR CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT BUT ALSO OUR DNA! IT IS NOT UNTIL WE ARE MORE MATURE IN AGE THAT CAN WE REALLY CHANGE OUR WAYS.  FOR SOME IT IS BEHAVIOR. FOR SOME IT IS SINNING! THE DIFFERENCE WITH SINS IS THAT THEY MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY AND MAKE YOU FEAR THE AFTERLIFE.  BUT IN THERAPY, WE UNDERSTAND THE REASON FOR OUR BEHAVIOR.  I MEAN. . . JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH HELL DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU MUST GO TO HELL!