Shadowed Heart

30 November 2022


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“I’ve tried to forgive myself, God, but I can only come so far,” I said, in a heartfelt prayer to an autumn sky heavy with rain-soaked clouds. I knelt beside the Rose of Sharon bush that I’d planted next to the house in memory of my father-in-law. Summer blooms of white and purple flowers had faded to dead nubs and the bushes’ fern-like foliage was frost burnt. The wet curl of fallen leaves soaked the knees of my jeans and I shivered. The ground was carpeted in color; brown, gold, the odd orange-red-yellow discard from a Maple tree. A gnawed dog bone was abandoned in the yellowed grass.

“Please, God, can you do the rest?” I asked. My guilt was eating me alive. I had done a thing that had caused pain to many. It was unlike me. It had come from a place of desperation and anger. I picked up the red and rusted trowel that I’d carried to the spot. I dug a deep hole into the black soil. My fingers were splotchy, bleached and pink with cold. Satisfied that the burrow was deep enough, I dropped a small jewel into it. It was a memento given to me by one of the people I’d hurt. As I shoveled the dirt back over topaz gem, I felt the ping of something releasing its hold on me – but the sensation was slight. With a heavy heart, I rose and headed back into the warmth of the house.

Two weeks later, in an unremarkable moment, as I stood at the kitchen counter and folded towels, God answered. The warmth started in my chest and then became a tsunami in my body. I can’t explain it, but I knew what had happened. The gift of self-forgiveness had come. My heart was flooded with light; the shadow on it had lifted. I was free to make all possible amends with dignity and congruence.

It is possible to forgive the unforgiveable. We don’t walk the path alone. Forgiveness is a gift, a connection with the innocence of the soul.

© Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D., 2022
Photo by Ahmed Assem, courtesy of

#lindasandelpettit #advent #adventreflections #hope #love #beauty #grief #forgiveness #Christmaswisdom #spirituality
Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D. inspires intuitive-creative women healers to use their healing modalities, speaking voices, and written words to unfold and share the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine. For a peek at Linda’s poetry, see:

Linda offers sanctuaries, intimate small-group programs, to women healers who want to bring spirituality into their work, and to women writers who are ready to share, get feedback, revise, and publish.

Through her Apprentice’s Way individual all-in-one mentorship program, Linda encourages her clients’ spiritual evolution, psychological health, effective writing, messaging, marketing, and content creation.

Visit to learn more about her programs and array of masterclasses and courses.

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