I was just day-dreaming (even though it’s quarter to one in the morning) and something disturbing popped into my head. How much do I consider how my words and deeds affect other people? Right now, in the level place I occupy, a large amount of consideration goes into what I say and do. The thing is, though, I never even pay attention to other people’s feelings when I’m having either a manic or depressive episode. That horrifies me and makes me want to right the wrongs I have committed. How do I do that when there are many of them? How do I do that when I am not in contact with a large portion of them (most by their choice not mine)? How do I do that when I’m not even sure what I did, just that I did something?
In many cases, I am not in contact with the people that have hurt so I will not be able to ask them for forgiveness. So, I suppose the first thing I need to do is learn how to forgive myself. This is going to take some time and some soul-searching. Here is a quote that I found, I think it captures where I am right now:
“Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.” – Buddha
But in my case, I’m remembering that I did something wrong to someone else, so the thought holds double value. I can forgive myself all I want, but I will never know if they forgive me as well.
“If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.” – Robert Brault
So… I forgive the one I can (self-forgiveness) and forget the rest? That doesn’t sound like something I can easily get behind. I need to stop the wishy-washy approach I am taking now and choose which action I am going to take. But wait. I am recalling a post I published recently, “Changing Energy”, in which I expressed a distaste for how five people reacted in the face of my psychotic break. In that same article I explain how I deal with those memories.
“That anger is still inside me, but it is in a different form. It’s no longer the negative energy that it used to be. I try to use it in my every day life. When I see something, or hear a familiar song, or even enter a situation that I recognize as something I had shared with one of those friends I say to myself “X would have enjoyed this” or “Y would have done this or that”. I treat my memories of those people as happy ones. I figure that Bipolar is going to come up with ways to attack me with enough negative shit, there’s no reason to add to it with something I have control over.”
In re-reading that I am reminded that this is how I should treat everyone that I wronged, or that wronged me during that time of my life. I either take the anger/negative energy I have for someone and convert it into something positive. Make it something I can use every day. Or I seek forgiveness in myself for harm that I may have caused another. If it can’t be found for one reason or another, I will seek self-forgiveness. In either case, I will change the negative energy that I produced and change it into positive energy.
I know this is going to take a while, and a lot of effort on my part. But I will eventually get it done.
I’d like to offer a special thanks to those of you that stuck around to the end of this. I know I was all over the place, that’s what happens when I think while I type. You all are the ones that keep me going.