How’s Your Conscience?
As I get older I have some regrets. I think about people I hurt when I was younger. Some of those early errors had long-lasting effects. They shaped relationships. Regrets like these drive me buggy. I wondered if other people experience the same thing.
So I brought this issue to my spiritual director who assured me that I am not alone. He said that psychological studies show that many people develop ‘more sensitive consciences’ as they get older. Later in life we often see what we couldn’t see sooner.
That comforted me. But now the problem is what can I do about it? I know I can pray for people I hurt. But that doesn’t seem enough. Mulling it over, I remembered that 12 step programs address this issue. Steps 8 and 9 include compiling a list of people that we harmed and making direct amends to them when possible.
So I’m trying to do this. It’s a little awkward, but it feels like the right thing to do.