During childhood, when Easter rolled around, my mother thought of spring-cleaning, she literally meant “cleaning house” of all things. Likewise, in our personal world, we should clean ourselves of guilt, shame, anger and resentment yearly.
Jean Valjean, the fictional character in Les Misérables noted:
I have done wrong, and cannot escape it. I want to do good, forever, for everyone. Even if I became as wealthy as a King, I honestly don’t think I would spend it on myself – I’d use it to help other people.
I can forgive myself, and I can forgive others – but I will not excuse myself or resent the law or accusers when I am in the wrong. When I am wrong, I deserve the punishment.
Another person should never have to suffer in my place.
If I could possibly share anything, it’s that honesty, purity, unselfishness and love are essential absolute truths. Many Christians believe these four qualities perfectly express the life of Jesus. Thus, they represent an ideal for human conduct.
Throughout my life I suffered from my own mistakes, being selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened. Thus, rather than inventory those whom I thought had mistreated me, a central question now is “Where I to blame?” In every instance I ask, “What is my part in it?”
These days, I tend to distance family that only looks upon me as a burden. I acknowledge their pain is real, but they know nothing of my complexity and capacity to feel love and change this world into a place where I can thrive, where being naked and vulnerable is safe and encouraged.
It’s within this world we can reach outside ourselves and find true purpose of our existence. To survive my own addiction, I have to acknowledge there’s always been something within me that’s never seen the light of day.
Les Misérables’ Jean Valjean worked his whole life to love other people, to fulfill his promises, his duties. In the end, he found that “To love another person is to see the face of God.“
I got into a deep hole by trying to survive alone in a fearful world. I now know I am not alone; and there is much love, both within me. When another human being accepts you no matter how bad the things you’ve done, it’ll be much easier to accept yourself.
We’re only as sick as our secrets. This Easter, release them and be free.