One of the things I've struggled with in being Catholic is Confession. I never really *got it*. Possibly because I've never done anything that I really felt bad for? I mean I've done bad things, just like anyone else but I've never done anything REALLY bad that I felt bad about? If that makes sense.
Add to that the fact that I'm a fairly private person, about things that actually matter. My family, I think I've mentioned, is not the most open and sharing of peoples? We're loving, but there are things that we don't share. And I'm probably the worst of my family.
Which would be why they all think I was an angel growing up while my sister rightly earned the nickname Demon Spawn. I did a lot worse things than she did when we were growing up, I just never got caught and I know how to keep my mouth shut!
But I think I've finally got it. The Confession thing, I mean. Still not my favorite thing in the world, but it makes sense to me now.
I did a thing.
A BAD thing that I knew was bad and I did it anyway and it doesn't matter what it was, except that in the list of Ten Commandments kind of sins it's literally right on there in the Thou Shalt Not's. But I did it anyway and I felt sick about it immediately afterwards but it was already done and you can't go back in time and slap yourself before you do the stupid thing.
And sure, people have done far worse things in the history of the world, but this was...pretty bad. And high up on the list of things I swore I would never do because I'm not that kind of a person. But it happened and I just...there's no such thing as harmless flirting, okay? Flirting leads in a very specific direction and you should not be going that way with inappropriate people. But I can see now how people who probably don't even mean to do it wind up having affairs because it's a million tiny steps that don't seem bad on their own until you look back and you have wandered way, WAY, off the path you thought you were on.
I was sick about this the whole week, and I couldn't talk myself down from the knowledge that I had done something very wrong. So I got my butt in gear and did an examination of my conscience and hey, what do you know I had some other things that I felt I should bring up.
My parish holds confession on Saturday and it sounds ridiculous but I had to talk myself into going every step of the way. But I made it and I confessed and it was awkward and wonderful all at the same time.
I feel *better*.
I've done my penance and I have the Father's advice on what to do to help myself not fall down that path again. Maybe it seems silly to people, it probably does, it used to seem silly to me too but I don't feel sick about it any more. I don't think that what I did was right, or that I'm not culpable for my own actions but...I don't know how to explain it.
I got it off my chest, in an epic sort of way.