The Gratitude List

“Well, you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature
Dumbledore

 

For a long time and until very recently, I did not believe that I was a good person.  I believed I was a nice person, that I was kind to people, smiley, friendly, but I didn’t equate this to being good.  In fact, I genuinely believed I was a bad, even evil person underneath it.  I would play through memories of bad things I have done, things that still haunt me.  Of uncharitable thoughts I have had.  Of negative impulses.  I took those to mean that I was a genuinely horrible person, irredeemable by small acts of kindness or moments of love.

I don’t think anyone is born evil.  I don’t think anyone chooses to be a terrible person.  I believe in the innate goodness of people; I believe that everyone has a soul which can remain unblemished despite the most horrible actions.  I believe in the healing power of remorse.  For myself, though, I couldn’t believe those things.  I believed only that something about me, something inside me, was tarnished.  That my soul was somehow broken.  I didn’t believe that any amount of remorse or shame or gratitude could fix that.    I did not believe that I was salvageable.

I think, I hope, I was wrong.  I don’t know if I am a good person or not, I don’t know that niceness does equate to goodness, I don’t know that being a good friend, for example, redeems some of the unkind things I’ve done, or felt, or thought.  But I know that I am trying to be good, and according to my own set of ethics, intention is key.

I’m not denying that there are evil people in this world.  But for today, just for this morning, I wake up grateful that I am not one of them.

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4 thoughts on “The Gratitude List

  1. Oh Becky, I’d never put you and evil in the same space, but I can appreciate why you’d feel it, I do too, so so often. x

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