I committed a grave sin and found myself in Hell. After several years of anguish, tears and gnashing of teeth, I came to a realization, an epiphany. I realized that my Hell was self-created and my anguish was self-inflicted. Since I had created my Hell, it stood to reason that it was within my power to destroy it or just walk away from it. It then occurred to me that I had held the keys to the gates of Hell all along. Then I found that the gates had always been unlocked and I could have left at any time. So I did.
In that moment I was free from a terrible burden. I had found the forgiveness I’d been seeking. It didn’t matter if those I had wronged had forgiven me, that was up to them. What mattered was that I had atoned for my sins and learned from my mistakes. The forgiveness I had so desperately sought came from within. I forgave myself.
It’s been my observation and experience that true forgiveness is very powerful and the one who derives the greatest benefit from it is the one who forgives, not the forgiven. We heal ourselves by own own grace through our own inherent divinity.
I did not have the luxury of therapy or counseling so I had to be my own therapist and counselor. The idea of appealing to a deity never occurred to me as a serious option. At the time, I already had one imaginary friend, the great and powerful IVOR (Irrational Voice Of Reason), a voice that has been absent from my head for many years now.
During my time in Hell not a single prayer was uttered nor did I invoke the name of a deity or a savior. I did the work. I found a path and I followed it. There was a lot of introspection and self-analysis. I took a hard look inside myself and I didn’t like what I saw; it was ugly. I studied and analyzed the causes and the effects of my actions. I researched the problems and sought out answers. I did not always agree with what I found but I took to heart what was applicable, made sense, and worked for me, setting the rest aside for future reference.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk on the path. Work out your own salvation. Do not depend upon others. However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do to you if you do not act on upon them?” ~ Buddha Siddartha Guatama Shakyamuni