A couple weeks ago I made a confession to my Facebook private accountability group. As their goal coach, my usual posts are cheering them on and giving them health and fitness advice. Being transparent and honest is the only way to run a true accountability group. My confession was about me allowing negative thoughts in my head. It's been quite a few months since I had felt this way. Every time I looked in the mirror, I judged myself. This funk lasted 2 full days. Even though I would immediately try to refocus on a positive, like my progress and how far I have come in my fitness and healthy journal, I was just being a Negative Nellie. I finally had to tell my self to shut up. I literally looked myself in the mirror and was so annoyed and told myself to shut up. I felt better, but not until I wrote out my trials to my accountability group. My support, my friends who trust me. They trust me to be real and honest. As soon as I clicked on the POST button, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Nothing really changed. I already kicked Negative Nellie out, but the felling of sharing my dark moments was so liberating. I realized, that is the beauty of the Sacrament of Confession. Raised a Catholic, as a kid Confession seemed like it was just a necessity to receive Communion at Mass. Sometimes we I to really think hard about what to Confess. "I didn't listen to my parents. I fought with my sister". Those were the standard Confessions. They were true, but the reality was, I still fought with my sister and ignored my Mom when she told me to wake up for school in the morning. A Confession is not asking someone to forgive you. That is asking for forgiveness. You are definitely not Confessing to a priest but rather he is acting as a witness to your admission of sin to God. (Like in Holy Matrimony. The priest is a witness to your vows to God and each other) God already knows us and everything we do. But how many times have we promised to have a better relationship with Him in a time of need and low and behold, our prayer was answered, but we were not really committed to our end of the bargain. God knows that we do that, but helps us anyway. He also keeps guiding us toward a better path, a better way. We are usually the ones who wander and loose focus. But surrounding ourselves with more and more people, striving to grow toward the light, regardless of where we were planted is a necessary part of reaching our pure potential.
We are ALL here to help each other grow and reach that potential. Like my man Les Brown always ends his talks with "You have something special, you have greatness within you". Yes, we do. Because we all have the light in us already. We are made in His likeness. He uses us as a vessel to help each other and share our trails so that we can lift each other up. Sometimes, I am carrying others on my back, and other times, I am reaching out for a hand as I'm hanging over a ledge. I am guilty of not asking for help. But that Confession to my accountability group, that helped me remember how proclaiming and sharing our moments of weakness to our friends and sometimes even to those who just need to hear it, is the glimmer of light. Confession is a proclamation, an out loud admission of our humanness so that we can be held accountable. It's not to be judged, although as humans, we judge all the time. And that is not something that will change, but our thoughts attached to those immediate judgments and any action after is what we do have control over especially our judgment or ourselves. Getting rid of negativity, including negative people is the key to stop getting off the path and wandering into trouble. Like the French Jesuit philosopher beautifully said: