I never had the close quarters ornate webbing separating me from he who would absolve me covered by curtains everyone can see my feet and they know exactly who is in here experience.
The only time I can recall confessing to a priest was some event where there were chairs set about the church at intervals and we got to choose who poured out those secret sins to, in the hope that a clean slate would be forthcoming. I remember the priest smelled like strawberry jam and he was a monsignor with a pleasant demeanor that made me think god liked me the way I was just fine.
Even before I started to drift from the dogma of my upbringing (an upbringing influenced by parents to taught me to think for myself but never be trapped by thinking my thoughts were true just because I had thought them) I never had any sense of being burdened by the things I thought, the things I wanted to do, the things I did. It never occurred to me that anything I did was wrong in a spiritual sense. If the stories are true, I never “strayed” from the will of the lord, the sensual earthly pleasures I experienced were the result of his creation, what is the point of setting someone up to fail if one is suggested to be a benevolent creator in any way? Someone who constantly feels the need to “test your love/loyalty/faith” is someone you are in a dysfunctional relationship with and you should probably reassess if you’re not just enabling an asshole to keep being a total jerk.
But stepping away from the metaphors, the doctrines, the tenets and traditions, there is a catharsis to confession. We all carry things that have weight, warranted or not. Denigration visited upon us, those we’ve slighted along the way. Those dark whispers that push themselves into ghastly relief in the wee hours of the night to remind of all the times we acted in ways that were unbecoming, invasive, incompetent and spiral with delighted glee in a loop of anxiety and rehashed conversations from so long ago that it might recede into the mists of time were it not for the inexhaustible memory of dickbrain.
I won’t lie.
When I made this prompts I had every intention of making a personal confession, as though writing the words would absolve me of some personal misgivings I have about choices I’ve made in my life.
But I have to confess that I have no shame, no regrets. The perspective I’ve gained is far too broad for me to consider that I have anything to unburden myself of, much less anything to prove.