To Enter Heaven, You Have To Confront Who You Hurt The Most

I stood in front of none other than myself. I, or he, seemed so wise, so enlightened.

Just like I had always tried to be.

He saw my reaction, and grinned. “Who did you expect? For all the pain you’ve caused, you’ve made no one suffer more than yourself.”

I shook my head. I had never been easy on myself, that was certain, but I had caused far more harm to anyone I’d ever loved. I didn’t even belong in heaven in the first place.

“You always wanted to be the best. To be perfect. You created an unachievable goal, knowing deep down you’d never reach it, so that you’d work harder and harder each day. You never allowed yourself to be content, because contentment gives room for mediocrity–and out of all the sins you’ve committed, that was that only one you felt unforgivable.”

I tried to speak, but he interrupted me, his voice raising.

“You wanted to be everything you never could. You strove for perfection, and you let it eat away at you. You idealist. You masochist. You stupid, stupid man.”

I’d had enough. “But it forced me to become better. It forced me to strive, to work harder and harder…”

“It forced you to hate yourself. To never be happy with any achievement, no matter how great. To toil, day in and day out, working for your flawed goals. You accomplished plenty, sure–but it was a double-edged sword, with the sharper edge always pointing towards yourself.”

He seemed to grow in stature, and he glared at me with a fiery fury.

“You broke yourself from the inside, and you never allowed yourself to be fixed, lest you lose that burning desire to become better. And look where it brought you. Look what it made you do. Look at how you ended it.”

I tried to reply, but the realization brought me to my knees. He walked towards me, and took me by the hand. He looked me in my eyes.

“Don’t cry,” he said, lifting me up, “this isn’t the Old Testament. God understands. Suicide is not unforgivable.”

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