I always believed I knew the difference between right and wrong but it was a specific event around the age of 12 when guilt and outright fear would set my life course…for awhile.

In my Hybrid journey this week I explore how desperately I wanted to fit in and chose a friend with whom I participated in all sorts of illicit behavior, at the top of the list: shoplifting.   For months I would take items from store shelves: bracelets, hair ribbons, finger nail polish, rings, and stash them at home completely undetected by my ever-vigilant parents.

Then one week after hearing a passage from the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, I was overwhelmed with guilt. My interpretation at age 12: a righteous person who does something wrong will not be allowed to live…but if they return what they have stolen and do no evil, that person shall live and not die. Well, I wanted to live. So the only right thing to do was to return those lifted goods. And I did by going into the store and stuffing every stolen item into a sleeping bag before running out.

Soon after my friend was actually interrogated for shoplifting, and I lost it and spilled the beans to the officer who drove us home in a squad car. Our relationship was totally severed.

My behavior change all started with terror-stricken fear.

My Hybrid journey week 13.