Who deserves redemption? How can we talk about anyone not deserving redemption? What an asshole concept. That’s like saying there are people who don’t deserve love. Or grace. Or happiness.
You. Yeah, you in the stripes. Fellow, you deserve abject misery. And no high fives, man. You don’t even deserve condolence high fives. You’re grim, dude. You deserve no good things. Because I determine that shit, man. Who gets what. That’s my thing.
Mary loves Johnny Cash. She loves redemption stories. It’s funny to me that she loves that one because she’s constantly telling her clients they are not responsible for saving anyone. Or fixing anyone. Or redeeming anyone. They’re responsible for staying clean, and for being present and nurturing parents. It is not your job to save anyone, fellow humans. Being a fixer is bad news. Control all dressed up in work clothes is still control.
Could Johnny Cash have found redemption without June Carter?Love is a powerful motivator. Love is the biggest engine. But she didn’t save him. She just made redemption desirable.
Mary loves Johnny Cash the way she loves her brother. She loves him for the same reason she loves her job. She believes in redemption. She believes people can change. That they can get clean and stay clean. That they can be good. She believes that shit, man, she believes in goodness.
Do you know what that’s like? To talk to someone who believes in goodness. It’s phenomenal. She encourages me, but she didn’t save me. I want to be clear about that. I saved myself. I stood there in the middle of my life and thought, I don’t want this. I want to be different. I want to be better. I can do it. And then I changed my life. And I looked for her because I was ready. I was ready to be good. To be the person I wanted to be.
I could see that person clearly. And I refused to let anything get in my way of being brave and good. I redeemed myself, man. Because I wanted to be different. Not perfect. Perfect is boring. Perfect people are boring. I still fuck up all the time. I make messes that are familiar and tedious. I think, This again, seriously? But that’s how it is. It’s messy. Being alive is messy. We all deserve redemption. We all deserve better. All we have to do is want it.