April is National Poetry Month.
To celebate, Bonny, Kat, Sarah, and I will be sharing poetry with you each Thursday in April. This week we're sharing . . . poems about forgiveness.
Personally, I've been working hard at forgiveness for the last few years.
It's . . . tricky business.
There's the "easy" kind of forgiveness - the kind most of us think about first when we think of the concept. Y'know . . . when someone genuinely apologizes for something they've done or said, and you can say, "Okay. I forgive you." And life goes on.
If only it were always like that.
But, it's often . . . not. Sometimes the apology isn't genuine. Sometimes people won't acknowledge or admit they have done anything to harm you in the first place. Or they're clueless about the fact that they did. Or they just won't give an apology. Or . . . sometimes you're too hurt to accept it. Sometimes, forgiveness is a "solo act". . . when we finally forgive someone for hurting us, and then move on from that relationship. And sometimes we just need to forgive . . . ourselves.
Like I said . . . tricky business.
"It's not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you."
--- Tyler Perry
The poem I'm going to share today isn't about forgiveness, exactly. But it does remind me of the power . . . of those "solo acts" of forgiveness. How we can forgive on our own, and move forward from a freer place. Folding whatever happened - and our forgiveness of it -- into our lives. The same. But also different.
We think we get over things.
We don't get over things.
Or say, we get over the measles
but not a broken heart.
We need to make that distinction.
The things that become part of our experience
never become less a part of our experience.
How can I say it?
The way to "get over" a life is to die.
Short of that, you move with it,
let the pain be pain,
not in the hope that it will vanish
but in the faith that it will fit in,
find its place in the shape of things
and be then not any less pain but true to form.
Because anything natural has an inherent shape
and will flow towards it.
And a life is as natural as a leaf.
That's what we're looking for:
not the end of a thing but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life
without obliterating (getting over) a single
instant of it.
Today's poem is from my copy of Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson, and published by Grayson Books, 2017. For more information about today's poet, Albert Huffstickler, click here.