“I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” Words we teach our children to say and we think we are masters of forgiveness. And then we find ourselves in that place… That place of mourning and grief and anger that consumes us despite our many attempts to forgive. So we forgive again in hopes of setting ourselves free. And again and again we are held bound. Why? Why do we struggle when the chains are cast off? Why do we tremble when we wake and have not perished in the night? And why do we look in the mirror with loathing? Because freedom is not what we seek and our forgiveness is misdirected. All healing, all change, all peace, all hope, all life begins with forgiving ourselves. And to forgive ourselves we must love ourselves. Completely. Without exception. We must love our flaws as well as our strengths and embrace the darkness in order to let it go and be filled with the light of the Creator. Forgiveness does not mean we will never find ourselves in the midst of the storm. It does not mean we will not experience pain and suffering. It does not mean that our desire to forgive erases all emotion or memory. Forgiveness ensures that we remember who we are and why we are here. Forgiveness is allowing our spirit to soar with wings regardless of the storm we face.
Forgiving and Forgiven
The waters come and rage again upon my soul so dark,
And spill upon my face again retracing sorrow's mark,
With penance due for life unpaid I slip into the sand,
And slowly sink with dying breath beneath the scourging land.
As darkness comes I fear the light and fight unworthy vigor,
To reach into the sun of life and hold a dream like figure,
For I am here and you are not and this is sorrow’s call,
Because the one who should have lived was counted in the fall.
Who am I to stand alone receiving love and light?
To hear the words of Heaven ring with fatherly delight,
My gift to you then cherished one is honor and belief,
That never in the end of days will I forget the grief.
But every morning when I wake the sun reminds my heart
To use the gifts you loved in me as given with my art,
And I am torn to smile and breathe while keeping to my course
Of always holding close to me the sorrow and remorse.
So now I beg with all that’s left forgiveness for my life,
And peace for all the times I fly with joy above the strife,
You see, my love, God promised faith and Heaven for us all,
And I am bound by His command to answer Heaven’s call.
So now my feet are placed again upon the shallow sand,
And I will lift my wings with grace and soar above the land,
For when I woke from guilt and pain I saw with humble sight,
The vow I made to honor you was causing me to fight.
I know the path that I must take contains another view,
I thought the face I looked upon was memory of you,
But when I saw the image clear my heart was opened wide,
And all the darkness I had faced was trapped with me inside.
So with the knowledge of God’s love and nature of His grace,
I’ll push the fear and grief aside look upon my face
For newfound hope as life begins is similarly driven,
And I will love myself for me, forgiving and forgiven.