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One of the Greatest Sins is the Unlived Life.

This is a beautiful poem. All the more so because it touches at the very deepest levels of ones being. It points somehow to an error in our judgement of our God. We do him an injustice.

One of the lines from this poem reads, “one of the greatest sins is the unlived life” I think for me this line says very very much because It speaks to me of the things that I would have liked to have done but didn’t because of the “what would people say” reason. I have yearned to climb on top of Mt. Tabor and just sit there but I have not done this because “others” would have criticized my action and told me the money would have been better spent elsewhere. I have yearned to paint, not a masterpiece in the true sense of the word but a masterpiece of words but it hasn’t happened because the time was better spent elsewhere. The litany of “should have” is long because the longer we live the more we could have done something and didn’t.

Why Didn’t I?

Many of the things which remain undone, the dreams unfulfilled remain so because of hesitation, fear, lethargy, insecurity and behind these emotions and behaviours lies a deeper reason, fear of God and neighbour. Fear of trying in case a mistake is made. Fear that humiliation will be the outcome. Indeed behind the barriers holding up the gateway to a realized humanity is lack of trust and an unnamed fear of God. Perhaps this is part of what we call “original Sin” we hide from God because we fear His “what is this you have done?” (Gn.3:13)

Gerald Jampolsky’s book “Love is Letting go of Fear”[1] comes close to a clue as to how to reach the end of life and not have any “unlived life” to regret. It is to love unconditionally. It is to love fully and without counting the cost. It is to risk something so that a new experience may be encountered and experienced.
I think it was St. Augustine who also said something similar “love and then do what ever you want.” This is such a deep and wise comment because we all know that when we love someone we will never ever hurt them. That the lover wants for the beloved all that is good. To love is to live in a state of complete trust. It is what children know (before disillusionment sets in) it is what the Father asks of His children. To trust Him, that all is well that which is done. That all the hidden talents that I have and we all have, need to be used in order to discover the greatest talent of them all, that is to love.

God has created each of us different, unique, and each individual has his/her Father’s seal. This should free us from the tyranny of fear and give us winds to fly towards our home. We know that along the way there will be obstacles (some large ones) but all of them have to be negotiated and sometimes ingenuity has to be resorted to. The ingenuity is the “lived life.” The times that I stood outside of myself and challenged me to go further and maybe even differently
I am different, unique, and to try and live a life according to the demands of others contributes my “unlived life” Others must journey and live with me but not to the point of sacrificing me because to sacrifice me is to help me not to live my life.

[1] Jampolsky, G.J. Love is Letting Go of Fear (New York: Bantam, 1970).
Anam Cara.Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue, (Harper Collins, 1998).

Anne Lastman

Anne is a qualified post abortion grief counsellor and sexual abuse counsellor who has worked in this area for nearly 30 years. Over the years Anne has developed a recovery strategy, which works well for those who persevere with the programme. Anne continues to study post abortion grief and the related, sexual abuse grief, which manifest with similar symptoms.

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