From the desk of Rabbi Brian
|Plus an Ass Kicking|
I’ve come to notice many of us have a habit of beating ourselves up more than necessary after we’ve done something we feel is wrong. After we do something wrong, we chastise ourselves for it. But then we rebuke, reprove, and penalize ourselves even more.
Let me explain.
The problem itself – whatever we botched, failed, or messed up on – is bad enough. However, as if the difficulty, predicament, or crisis itself weren’t enough, we beat ourselves up for it in addition to having to deal with the consequences of our original mistake.
I call this plus an ass kicking.
Let me use my dear friend Larry as a perfect example of this. He’s the minister who writes the “simple prayers” column you read on the second Monday of the month. More than a year ago, Larry told me how guilty he felt after having committed some minor offense (something slightly worse than not saying “bless you” after a person sneezes). He told me he had apologized to the party he offended, but he could not really forgive himself for what he did.
Larry’s offense wasn’t egregious by any means. Yet for some reason, he held onto this terrible guilt, harbored it, and let it grow. He kept adding the ass kicking to his original offense.
We don’t need to do this. (Of course, I’m not talking about sociopaths who feel no remorse.) We can allow ourselves to move on after we make a mistake.
This pertains to the spiritual-religious concept of forgiveness – letting it go. A pastor told me once, it’s easier to feel guilty than it is to feel forgiven. Right? Isn’t that the main issue behind “plus an ass kicking?” It’s easier to feel guilty than forgiven.
This week’s spiritual-religious advice: Let it go. Forgive yourself. Whatever blunder you’ve gotten into, deal with it “minus” the ass kicking.
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