You can feel like you’re a bad person when a lot of bad things are happening to you. When you don’t understand why or how, when you don’t understand your feelings of anger inside, you can start to wonder if you’re really the problem or a bad person. Self-reflection is healthy and necessary, it’s a biblical command to examine yourself and search out if there’s anything wrong you might be doing, but I believe that sometimes we can be overwhelmed with tragedy or filth, and not be able to clearly see beyond our circumstances.
I remember the first time I saw the 5th Harry Potter movie, The Order of the Phoenix, it was during a time when I had been going through a lot of pain and rejection with my family. The year before, I had a falling out with two friends that were close, that had I trusted, that had totally betrayed me. After a year of losing those friends and feeling judged and misunderstood, the family rejection was the nail in the coffin – I was officially “estranged,” from my own family.
When I was watching The Order of the Phoenix, I was on my honeymoon and probably in a very mild depression. A part came up when Harry was talking to his god-father, Sirius, about how he felt with all the bad things that have happened to him, that maybe something had gone wrong inside him, and that he was changing and turning bad. He talked about his feelings of unexplained anger and hatred, how he secretly feared he was becoming more like Voldemort (the seriously evil antagonist in the story). Sirius said something that I’ll never forget, read the script dialogue:
Harry Potter: This connection between me and Voldemort… what if the reason for it is that I am becoming more like him?
I just feel so angry, all the time.
What if after everything that I’ve been through, something’s gone wrong inside me? What if I’m becoming bad?
Sirius Black: I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry.
You’re not a bad person. You’re a very good person, who bad things have happened to.
Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us.
What matters is the part we choose to act on.
That’s who we really are.
If you’ve had horrible things happen to you, and you don’t understand why, or if you are caught up in something at this moment, and you are worried about the immense emotions you feel, maybe you need to hear these words.
It really all boils down to our choices, what we choose to do… like Sirius said, are choices are what makes us who we really are.