Again this morning, gentle reader, I will continue to offer passages from a piece that Greenleaf wrote in 1962. Perhaps some of them will speak to you. Greenleaf writes:
As one learns to manage his own life he seeks to avoid error; but he accepts the consequence of error when it comes (as it surely will); he makes sure that he learns the lessons that only error can teach…and starts afresh free from feelings of guilt.
I have suffered enough from error so that I know how hard this is to do. It is particularly difficult as one moves toward what he ought to be: sensitive, considerate, responsible, conscientious, venturesome. To be as one should, and yet be able to clean the slate and start afresh without guilt feelings, takes a special view of the self. There must be a sustaining feeling of personal significance and worth.
This feeling of significance and worth comes from the inside (it is not reputation). I am important to myself. I am not a piece of dust on the way to becoming another piece of dust. Each of us is a unique possibility of creation, unlike any that has ever been or ever will be.
No matter how badly we may be shaken, no matter how serious the failure or how ignominious the fall from grace, by accepting and learning we can be restored with greater strength. We must never lose this basic view of who we are.