Posts Tagged With: Pat Metheny’s “Half Life of Absolution”

Day 602: Absolution

In this blog, I often write about letting go of guilt, shame, and fear.

I am not an expert on absolution, but I’m pretty sure that absolution is one way people let go of such things.

Here’s one thing  I do know:  “Absolution” is part of the title of one of my favorite Pat Metheny tunes:

(If you can’t play that YouTube video of Half Life of Absolution, try clicking here. If you don’t want to play it, consider yourself absolved.)

Let’s check Google for a definition of “absolution,” okay?

ab·so·lu·tion
absəˈlo͞oSHən
(noun)

formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.
synonyms: forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency,
antonyms: punishment, condemnation

an ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins.
“the priest administered absolution”

Wow.  That sounds great, doesn’t it?  A formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. That is EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking I need, as I prepare to return to work after a 10-day vacation.

Why do I need that? Are there sins I need to confess here?

Well, I do have one sin I committed last night before I went to bed. And as I was committing this sin, I was wondering (1) if I could forgive myself and (2) if so, how much time would it take for me to exonerate myself?

Perhaps we can all learn something, if I share this sin here.

Yesterday, our local supermarket had an unusual sale on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

buy 2 get 2 free!

As a result, I got one of these.

HT_ABC_ben_and_jerrys_hazed_confused_sk_140228_16x9_608

(image found here)

Even though I knew better, my jet-lagged brain, body, and soul chose to bring the entire pint of ice cream, with a spoon, into the living room, as I watched TV shows I had recorded during my trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Here is the result:

IMG_8354

(sigh)

As I was committing this sin last night, I was thinking, “Okay. Okay.  You can stop now. The more you keep going, the more you’re going to have to pay, in the future.”

I did manage to stop — as you can see — but  later than I should have.

During and after the sinning,  I knew I would be dealing with guilt — and other consequences — for some time.

I could not predict the half-life —  nor the full-life — of my absolution process, but I knew it would take some time.

Why wait, though?

I hereby formally release myself from guilt, obligation, and punishment for this sin —  granting forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, and clemency.

I could keep feeling guilty about it, but … it’s done. Nothing is bringing that ice cream back, at this point.

I also wanted to tell you this: I was thinking about absolution yesterday, even before I committed the Sin of Ice Cream.  On the day before my return to work, I was thinking about my manager Steve’s words:

Ann, you really have a harsh superego, don’t you?

… which means I tend to blame punish, and condemn myself for mistakes and imperfection, especially regarding things that matter to me.

So, as I head back to the hospital where I work, I wish to make the following resolution:

To absolve, forgive, pardon, and otherwise treat myself gently, for inevitable mistakes and imperfection.

Hey!  That felt better than a half-pint of ice cream!

Thanks to Pat, Ben, Jerry, & Steve,  to people who absolve themselves or others as best they can, and to you — of course! — for the full time you spent here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

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