I’ve always loved this quote, especially when I was living a sinful life. St. Francis of Assisi always inspired me too, because he was a party boy and turned away from that sinful life like I’ve tried to do.
I am bipolar and have borderline personality disorder. Being bipolar does not just relate to your mood and emotions, but it is a mental disorder which also affects your morals. At times, I have aspired to live as piously as possible but then fallen to being morally reprehensible. The problem wasn’t believing whether or not God would forgive me. I was and am 100% positive that God will forgive me. The problem was that I couldn’t forgive myself because I simply hated myself. I was a complete alcoholic, narcissistic, player. I used women for my own pleasure with little concern for them, and I took whatever I could from friends. In honesty to this day, there are parts of me that I still hate. My self-esteem was so low and my depression so high that I hated myself
This all changed once I started praying on a daily basis. I wear bracelets with hand carved beads and for a number of years told myself to attach prayers to them in some way, shape, or form. I never did. Little did I realize that this gut feeling was actually a calling from God. When I stopped drinking I started wearing them. The first time I stopped drowning myself in booze, I was 20 years old. My parents didn’t believe me and sent me on a retreat to Medugorje, Bosnia-Herzagovia, which focused on the Catholic Rosary. I learned a lot about the Rosary and praying, which I still try to apply today. My personal rosary is a mixture between a Roman Catholic Rosary and Tibetan Meditation Prayer Beads. I can use them to either pray or meditate. Regardless of my initial intentions, I don’t know what the Pope or the Dalia Lama would say about the validity of this plan. However, it’s kept me sober for 20 years and helped me pray daily. For these two facts alone, I believe they would at least be supportive.
Once I started praying daily, my self-hatred started decreasing and I started accepting myself for who I am and not afraid to hide my negative aspects from the world.
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