Self-forgiveness – even when it seems so unnecessary

While I would acknowledge there are probably exceptional circumstances I am generally of the restorative justice point of view, as described by Correctional Service of Canada.

The holiday weekend news that Graham James – variously described as “hockey predator Graham James”, “convicted pedophile Graham James”, etc. – had been pardoned for his repulsive crimes took a lot of people by surprise, including his victims who, I am sure, had nightmares stirred again.

I know I did, launching into a hyper-vigilant state that rarely surprises me anymore.

One of the ways this manifested itself was living out a follow-up to my Easter post.

Of all the iTunes I have downloaded, a solid majority are from what iTunes Canada classifies as “Inspirational”. (I gather the US iTunes have more specific categories such as Gospel, Christian Contemporary, etc.)

This is music from individuals and bands that have exploded in numbers since my brief association with evangelical churches.

I wonder if my seeking out this music, also available on iTunes feeds of radio stations, is what many might think of as a self-hating exercise – a lapse back towards a time of such intense internal conflict (surviving non-familial childhood trauma, coming out, etc.)

It doesn’t feel like it. As I manage to ignore anything in the words that I deem objectionable I find comfort in most of the, to use the vocabulary, praise and worship of the music and lyrics. The sentiments still touch the loneliness I sometimes feel inside, the isolation I occasionally choose, and the memories of those days when life’s questions seemed unbearable.

It is all much easier when I translate literalist ideas into the mystical, where stories and ideas don’t have to be believed and yet still manage to hold truth.


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