Some weeks a theme starts to appear among the people I’m working with. And when I become aware that different people all around the world are wrestling with the same thing, I sit up and take notice.
They don’t know it – they don’t even know each other – but they have same kind of struggle. They use the same words to describe the places they’re in. The lament the same energy lost and wasted. The share the same weariness, and worry.
So it was this week that the common topic was forgiveness.
“Should I have forgiven for what was done?” California asked. Atlanta wanted to know, “Can I be forgiven for what I did?” New England asked, “Is repair possible?” From Texas: “Is all hope lost?”
I’m guessing, then, that forgiveness is probably on your mind, too. So I thought I would give you something I wrote a few years ago for National Poetry Month – in the hope that it will help:
I forgive myself. I said stupid things, did stupid things.
More than once. [Much more than once.]
I did not understand then. I understand now.
I understand the why. I understand the how.
And I understand who I need to be today.
I forgive you for all of your errors. Even if they caused me pain.
[The suffering was my choice.]
Oh, you had demons.
And demons had you.
Maybe still do.
I honor the lessons I’ve learned.
So I forgive you. And I can even thank you.
[Who would have ever thought that?]
I forgive us, for all the times we think we can heal the whole big planet.
Without first looking to heal ourselves.
I forgive us for our collective fascination with the unimportant [news that isn't news, manufactured drama, featureless fads].
How we let them control our emotions, building a mounting tsunami of anxiety.
I forgive us for allowing ourselves to be swept away.
[And failing to keep an eye on what's really important.]
[Which is love.]
Oh, it’s forgiveness we need. The whole big planet of us.
We know how.
And we know who.
[It's us. To each other. For each other.]
Let’s not make the past hurts present.
Let’s not let them drive our days.
Let’s acknowledge the pain (it’s real) and allow ourselves the grace to be better (now).
Can you forgive?