The memory still lingered in my mind. It was already ten years then. I worked in a place away from my family. I rented in a boarding house with five other people who also came from other parts of the country. Despite the differences of our local cultures we get along well. Ordinarily, there were few times we disagree over something. But we managed to patch things up. Other times we just had to pretend it was okay in order to avoid heated confrontations.
One time, one of my board mates got sick and was hospitalized. The main problem was, she did not have enough savings to pay for the hospital bills. All of my board mates helped her financially to get through it, except me. They also expected me to do the same. I had money then. But that money was already allocated for something with lesser urgency than paying hospital bills. Only later did I realized how selfish I was. I hate to admit this here, yet I have to let it go. Am I trying to come out clean? I do not know. As I get older I realized it does not matter whether I am right or wrong. It feels lighter inside to lay everything on the table. It does not matter what others have to say. I am not perfect anyway.
After that realization of mine, I tried to do everything in order to recover the good relationship we had, for I knew my actions displeased my board mates. I was able to do it. However, I knew in between the lines there was something broken that could never be rebuilt again. People may forgive but they could not forget. I admit, if you knew me before you would perhaps like me only a little bit. I used to be the person whose thinking was caged inside a box. That box is concrete, not flexible, no holes for seeing things the way others see it. Unfortunately, I was getting on quiet fine. I do not know if it was included in the total packaging of a loner’s personality.
The story above is not the only incident where I hurt others feelings. There are countless situations I did that; sometimes unaware, sometimes with awareness, with intent, at times without intent; at times out of hurt feelings, at times out of anger. No matter how I described it, it does not change the fact that I have hurt someone’s feelings. I am guilty, yes.
One day I woke up thinking to ask apologies for the people I have hurt. Would this act change the past? It would not. It would only cleanse me of guilt. It would only make me believe myself that I am a clean person because guilt is no longer lurking inside my head. Besides, forgiveness is a two-way street. I did reach out to my board mates through social media since we have been apart for a decade now. I only discovered a sad truth: I am not an ideal friend they want to communicate with. I could not blame them. There is no need to cry over spilled milk too. The good thing with life is that, we could always start living a life we want. And we could always become the person we want to be. To all the people I have hurt, whether it was your fault or mine, this is what I have to say:
I am not perfect. I hope it would not sound as an excuse. I ask apologies for what I have done. I was immature then. Full of hurts too. Full of issues. Full of fears. With a mind that was narrow and a heart so hardened by pains. I thought the world revolved around me. I found out now it is not. When I hurt you, I am hurting the more because we are connected by the same breath that gives us life. I already forgive you for hurting me too. If it is hard for you to forgive me, it is okay. I know you would when your heart is prepared. And may God give you the peace He has given me.
We are all not perfect. This is a fact that stares us in the face. We are all hurting. We all need acceptance. We all need comfort. We all need a safe place to just be our self.
The irony is, we have to trod through the path of acceptance and healing alone. We have to be brave enough to face our very self and conquer that monster within who is pushing us to hurt others and our self as well. If we were to live a peaceful and joyful life, we must do it. We can do it. With God we can.
May your day be full of purpose.