Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Limits of My Love

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Total Black: $210.35
Total Red: $227,391.58

Since starting this blog, I’ve somehow tied each holiday to my post for that day.  I’ve done it for Labor Day and Thanksgiving; that wasn’t too difficult to think up something to discuss about work or thankfulness.  Christmas Eve brought it’s own reason: joblessness.  Christmas Day and New Year’s Day were easy enough too.  Halloween and Valentine’s Day were challenging, but I pulled it off.  So why not St. Patrick’s Day?  Catch is there isn’t much material related to this holiday to discuss on a laid-off  laywer’s blog about debt and treading the path out.  So how do I hook it in?  I suppose I could switch the font to green for today.

But I won’t.

Instead, while searching for holiday images—and possibly an idea to hook my blog to this holiday—I discovered an interesting post about St. Patrick on the blog Via Media.  Blogger Amy Welborn wrote in her post Ah, St. Patrick:

“When I think of St. Patrick, the word that comes to mind is forgiveness.  For St. Patrick had been kidnapped as a boy, and taken in slavery to Ireland, held there for years.  When it was time, years later, to share the Gospel, Patrick responded to the call—to share that Good News in Ireland, with those who had caused him great suffering and even killed members of his family. . . .  It makes you think.  What are the limits of my love?”

Very good question.  And certainly a more fitting and honorable way to remember the saintly Patrick than by guzzling green beer.  Perhaps we could turn St. Patrick’s Day into a national day of forgiveness—a day to mend fences, to heal old wounds, to reconcile ourselves with past mistakes and to forgive former transgressions.  Forgiveness is powerful salve to smarting wounds.  And for reasons lost to me, forgiving ourselves is perhaps one of the most difficult and painful tasks to endure.  No one will put an arm around you while you confess your mistakes and transgressions to yourself.  No one tells you that everything will be alright.  But that shouldn’t prevent us from confessing and seeking absolution.

Today I decided to forgive myself.  For my mistakes.  For spending too much when I knew—or even didn’t know—that I shouldn’t.  For mismanaging opportunities life may have granted me.  For buying things I couldn’t afford or didn’t need or could have gone without.  For taking my mother’s love and support for granted.  For clentching my fist to strangers’ out-stretched hand when I could have reached back—if only a little bit.  For being greedy and materialistic, impatient and impetuous.  I forgive myself for looking for love in too many places and all the wrong ways.  I forgive myself for giving in to instant gratification and for taking too many risks in too many ways that put my life in serious jeopardy.  And I forgive myself for not being there when my father was passing away—because I was too worried about getting a big firm job and now years later it’s gone and so is he.  And for anything that got me into this financial debacle, and that still keeps me there—for that too I forgive myself.

I am, after all, only human.  And as Welborn wrote in wrapping up her post, “Why should I forgive?   Why not?  What’s the alternative?”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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