The last few weeks have been a series of unfortunate events. I sometimes can convince myself that I must have been an extremely evil person in a past life since I seem to have been hit with more than a decade-long string of bad luck that is probably meant as karma seeking justice for my past sins.
I really cannot say for certain what I may have done in a past life, but there are some things that I have done in this life for which I am still ashamed.
Specifically, there are two sins I committed that I cannot seem to forgive myself for doing.
When I was in college, I had dated a guy for five years. We were in many ways each other’s first real relationship, and we grew into adulthood together. Five years is long for most relationships, but it is extremely long considering we were so young and in the first throes of experimentation and experience.
In the last year of that relationship, I cheated on him. Many, many, times, and for a long, long time. There were no real reasons for me to cheat on him. I just did. We were young and we were drifting apart, but regardless, I was just wrong.
Remarkably, he and I have remained friends, and I see now how much of an asshole I was to ever treat him the way that I did. He ended up marrying the girl he dated after me, and they now have three beautiful kids and a happy life together. While his marriage has been good, I struggle with an insurmountable amount of issues with mine. All I can say is that my bad fortune with my marriage is probably well-deserved.
But the greatest sin of all – the one for which I will never forgive myself – is the way I had treated my sister one afternoon, probably now over ten years ago.
She and I had an argument, the reason for which I no longer remember. But our argument was very heated, and had even escalated to the point of violence. Mine. Not hers. I remember I had hit her, hard, on her arm, and she fell backwards. Even as she fell, I continued to shout at her, and come at her, ready to strike again. She had crouched into a corner and to this day, I can still see the fear and hurt in her eyes that I had caused with my anger and brutality.
I cry now as I type this, at the memory of that day, and with the wish in my heart that I could re-do that day so that it had never happened. I tried to redeem myself with her many times in stupid ways, such as buying her things – ostensibly trying to buy her love and forgiveness. But I do not ever recall specifically asking for her forgiveness, even as she laid dying in the hospital. Although I know that she did forgive me, I still wish that I had said “sorry” to her. The guilt of knowing that she forgave me even though I never asked is something that will live with me for the rest of my days.
So, if my recent lack of fortune is payment for my prior sins, I accept it. I want to be good with God and with karma. I just want to be good with everyone again.
“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh