Forgiveness and acceptance: Have you ever heard that punishment is a choice? That no one can actually punish you, that feeling the sting of punishment is entirely up to you? Once, when I was working at a maximum security psychiatric unit, I met a lady who had four kids.
Now, the reason she was there because she had killed all of her children, made soup and drank it. This lady had a very vibrant demeanor around her, I kept wondering how that can be? How is it even possible. I simply couldn’t get my head around it. I mean I had read about psychopaths and sociopaths but this was hard to understand.
One day, I gathered the courage to actually speak to her about this. It was a very sobering experience. She said, she had been in that unit for ten years at that time. Similarly, she said that she was depressed and she condemned herself and hated herself. She said that didn’t make a difference. It didn’t get her kids back, she couldn’t go back and mend what she had done. She said she came to the point where she accepted what she had done, and decided to accord herself grace.
That is when I realized that grace is free of charge and it’s available to everyone. Only you can give yourself grace. Nobody is able to do it for you. If you have made a mistake and asked for forgiveness, you are the one who is able to accept that forgiveness, it cannot be done for you.
This is notwithstanding the circumstances surrounding you, including in prison.