The human condition is replete with
countless tales of advertent sin, unintentional sin and “original
sin”. It is only a matter of time, space and perspective before all
“sinners” are caught, or “catch” themselves.
With the commission of
“bad” behaviors, or the omission of “good” actions, the transgressor is
guilty of either doing what ought not to have been done or not doing
what should have been done.
In both of these instances, there is an
eventual sociological “fall from grace”, a symbolic “scarlet letter”
branded on the perpetrator’s public “face” and a societal censure
usually commensurate with the “crime”. This effectively renders the
offender “dead” to the community, until such time and place as said
“sentence” is completed.
If the individual is truly repentant, has
accepted responsibility and accountability for their misdeeds and are
“judged” as having been “rehabilitated”, he or she may be “raised from
At an intra-psychic level, the
relationship between a person’s subjective experience of “sin, guilt and
psychopathology” is both insidious and profound.
Consequently, it is a
sine qua non that “punishment” is a necessary, but not a
sufficient, consequence of having engaged is a psychological “crime”
against oneself or another.
Even in the most fleeting moments of fantasy, a
seemingly harmless and imagined “action” can be tantamount to having
committed an infraction. Moral trespass is really no different from
“doing the (offensive) deed”.
So “what's in a name?
That which we call a
rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
Analogically, “that which
we call a sin, by any other name would smell just as repugnant"!
too, must we deign to conclude a sin by any other name is still a sin,
and therefore, a sinner, a sinner!
It is but a short hop, skip and jump
to conclude that every sinner should be condemned to “suffer the slings
and arrows of (their) outrageous (mis)fortune” for the foreseeable
future and for the rest of their life to be filled with an admixture of
guilt, shame and doubt coupled with intense pain and suffering which
compels the sinner to eternal damnation in whatever unyielding and
incendiary “emotional hell” can be wrought upon them (“for vengeance is
mine...” and mine, alone)!
Fortunately, the assumption of “free
will”, is a powerful foundation-stone upon which many religions, secular
laws and mental health systems are predicated and provide a modus
operandi by which personal redemption and salvation are possible.
We know that sincere, “deep structure” expiation can lead to an emerging
and evolving “at-one-ment”.
Forgiveness is the key without which there
can be no authentic recalibration to repair, rebuild and renew one’s
damaged “center” and any of the surrounding edges.
The clinical psychologists at Northern
Illinois Counseling Associates, P.C. (NICA) can help you learn how to
forgive yourself and also to center yourself, no matter what the “harm
“Some people spend all of their entire lives searching for
the proverbial “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow; few discover
that the pot of gold is the rainbow”.
simultaneously a process and a destination. It is also a way of life.
Not to forgive is not to live. Forgiveness is the key.
Back to Top