[T]here are people out there who will give you redemption, no questions asked, finding your grappling and self-examination indicative of being worthy of it. Just prove them right by never doing it again, and remember to give grace in return.
That question is no mere academic/philosophical exercise; it's a very real question for me now. Though I'm not about to go into detail, I find myself in a situation where, despite a f--k-up on a colossal, EPIC level, there just may be the possibility of a second act, a second chance...and one that I quite probably don't come close to deserving.
Over the past year, I've worked hard at trying to remove my anterior from my posterior. I've been forced to realize that the reason I am where I am has a lot to do with my inability to see myself as a good person and to deal effectively with my demons. On an intellectual level, of course, I'm fully aware that I'm a good person. I play well with others, and I can generally get along with just about anyone. I'm a caring, concerned person more than willing to help others when I'm able to do so. Emotionally, though...well, that's a much different story. I never grew up with a loving, supportive family or anything resembling a support group, so I've gone through life trying to be my own support system. Regardless of where I've been in life, I've never felt that I belong. With essentially no family of my own, I've always felt like a ship without a rudder. I've been able to fit in, but I've never really felt that I belong...and not being able to deal with that effectively has cost me a lot.
I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that I am dearly hoping that life really does allow for second chances. I'm not sure I deserve one in this case, but that isn't going to stop me from hoping for one.