April’s gratitude work focused on mercy and atonement, on forgiveness and making amends to others and to oneself. And, as strange as it may sound, it was a tough theme for me to connect with.
I’ve always lived my life with a focus on being regret-free, always doing the right thing and being a generally good and nice person. Yes, I’ve made mistakes … I am human (much to my chagrin … couldn’t I be an elven princess?).
Anyway, it was an interesting month of gratitude work.
Immanual Kant, a philosopher who, according to Monty Python, was a real piss-ant, felt that “ingratitude is the refusal to acknowledge the good, and as a result is a profound moral failure of the human spirit.” In other words, many times our downfall is not recognizing the mercies and good things that are abundant in our lives.
I took the opportunity to really look at those moments in my life where I didn’t live up to my own standards, those times that I failed to do the right thing as I defined it. And I discovered that I had one big regret in my life that I’ve spent the last year beating myself over the head about.
You see, I was married for 12+ years to a less than ideal partner. This is not a recrimination of the man … I still believe that there is a good person in there somewhere, but I didn’t bring it out in him. We were not a good match. And I had plenty of opportunity to walk away.