By Dr. Michael Brooks
Ok! Right off the bat, I’m telling you this article isn’t about going to a priest and confessing all of your faults and sins and your whole life story. This is about getting things right with someone you have offended or wounded. It might be a family member, a friend, or someone at work you need to apologize to. A lot of resentment, anger, rage, misunderstandings, hurt, and sadness could be avoided by you if we are willing to right our wrongs against those we have hurt.
Confession is good for the soul.
Definition of confession: confess [k?n?f?s] vb(when tr, may take a clause as object)
1. (when intr, often foll by to) to make an acknowledgment or admission (of faults, misdeeds, crimes, etc.)
2. (tr) to admit or grant to be true; concede
I remember a few years back when a woman and her husband were in my office for marital counseling. The woman was confessing that she had an affair with a co-worker. It was very difficult for her to share it and even more difficult for her husband to hear. The affair was eating her alive. Her insides were so on fire that she was taking medication for an ulcer from the guilt she was carrying. She shared the secrets of her affair with her friends, who encouraged her to continue it. Yet, she knew it was the wrong thing to do. The haunting visions of her family breaking up because of her actions and the pain her children would go through were too much for her to bear. That’s when she called me. I told her that if she felt that she needed to confess the affair to her husband, then she should follow through with her feelings. I also advised her that there was no guarantee her husband would want to continue the marriage. She knew her confession would rid the guilt she was carrying with her 24/7.
Do you want to be free from years of guilt? Do you want to fix relationships that have been damaged by your actions, and you need to confess a wrong you have committed? Many people have a severed conscious and don’t care about fixing broken relationships. You don’t want to fall into that trap.
I often hear stories about someone who has passed on and a family member wishing they could have said “I’m sorry” for something that happened between them. I can remember a friend of mine who had a great deal of animosity and hard feelings toward his father. One night he received a call about his dad being killed in a car accident on an icy road. That’s when the guilt overwhelmed him as he lay in bed and wept. He was planning to ask his dad to forgive him for his anger toward him. He just didn’t know how to, and now it was too late. Sometimes we never get that chance to cleanse our hearts by confessing our faults to each other. So the million-dollar question is…why is confession good for the soul?
I’d say most people are good to each other and treat each other with dignity and respect. We all want people to think we are good on the inside and care about others. For most of us, we want to go to bed with a clean conscious that we purposely don’t want to hurt anybody. When you have done something to someone by accident (a remark or action), and it hurt them, we generally want to fix the pain we have caused them. We each have our ways of doing that (apologizing, trying to make things right). For many of us in this age of texting and e-mails, people will ask someone to forgive us and confess a fault through electronic means. I suppose that works for some folks, but a true face-to-face meeting is what is needed. It can be scary at times yet fulfilling if done with a true heart of resolving issues.
What if you’re on the receiving end of someone that comes to you to confess an issue they have had with you? How would you deal with it? I can remember when an acquaintance asked if he could talk with me about something. I met him for lunch, and as we sat and talked, he said he wanted to confess that he had been angry with me for something because I ignored him in a business meeting and didn’t respond to a question he had asked. He had held a grudge ever since. He said it had bothered him for several months, and he wanted to get things right between us. I didn’t know that I had done this to this man and asked him for forgiveness. We talked over what had happened and agreed it was a wonderful feeling to let the grudge go. So, you can see, confession is good for the soul!
Do you have someone that you need to go talk to and confess an issue with them? Do you need to let go of something that causes you anger? Are you confused about some of the hard feelings that you’ve been carrying for some time? If you answered yes to any of these questions, give me a call at 303.880.9878.
Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Life Coaching and Counseling Services. His services are affordable, accessible, anonymous, and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Zoom. The convenience of this type of coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching and counseling for those who live out of the Denver metro area. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!