Here’s something that you might not know: there is an old English concept of ‘onement’, which means reconciled. To be at onement (atonement) thus means to set aside differences.
One little-known aspect of creative writing is Creative Confession. This is where a writer confesses to past sins, by writing them down, in the hope of attaining a state of absolution.
These are the essential steps required for this often difficult discipline:
- Code. Subscribe to a moral code. There are many available and if you do not already have one, then all of the major religions and spiritual paths will have one that can be used for this exercise.
- Secrecy. If there is the slightest chance that someone will read your document then you will not feel free to detail the full extent of your sins.
- Completeness. If you do not dig out the complete root then there is alway the chance that the plant will grow back from what remains.
- Truth. Don’t be tempted to add false elements into the truth so that it is diluted. Stick to the facts so that you can reach to the core of the sin.
- Glamour. Resist the temptation to make the sin seem attractive in any way. If you try to make wrong seem right, then you will not be as inclined to stop doing it.
- Defending. Never try to explain away or justify the sin. Again, this will leave you more inclined to repeat the act.
Creative Confession is not, as the name suggests, geared towards creating a fiction. Rather it is a tool to honestly examine yourself and ascertain the truth of where you stand on an inner landscape with relation to certain truths and falsehoods. Only when you can fully understand what you have done wrong, can you start out on the journey towards putting it right.
What mistake have you made that you could put right, and therefore bring benefit to yourself and others in the process?