Posted by: scintillatingspeck | October 29, 2012

Forgiveness.

The hurricane winds are starting to blow.  I hope I’ll have time to write and post this before the power goes out.

There is so much on my mind and in my heart that I hardly know where to start.  So let’s start with a song, Patty Griffin’s “Forgiveness.”

I heard somebody say
Today’s the day
Big old hurricane
She’s blowing our way
Knocking over the buildings
Killing all the light
Open your eyes, boy, we made it through the night
Open your eyes, boy, we made it through the night
Let’s take a walk on the bridge
Right over this mess
Don’t need to tell me a thing, baby
We’ve already confessed
And I raised my voice to the air
And we were blessed
It’s hard to give
It’s hard to get
It’s hard to leave here
Still I think it’s the best bet, baby
Hard to give, and I’m never gonna forget
Everybody needs a little forgiveness
Everybody needs a little forgiveness

To forgive and be forgiven, we have to be vulnerable.  I agree with Brené Brown who says, “Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.”  Brown is a researcher who studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.  She speaks candidly about her own experience as a rationalist who was forced to dive into her own heart, her own vulnerability, and find answers that she didn’t expect there.

This is the sense I’m trying to make of my recent experience: I have sought a lot of answers through my head, through logical thinking.  Why is the world so messed up?  What the heck is wrong with people?  What the heck is wrong with me?  Why are we so wounded and lonely?  Why is there savage destruction all around, if one chooses to look?  And what of my relationships, my personal story– how does it replicate the machinations of Empire?  How has my very mind been colonized, and how do I liberate my still wild heart?  It doesn’t help that I’m “smart.”  It doesn’t help, at all, to lean on the knowledge that I’ve gained, the reading that I’ve done, the work of critical thinking.  No, what is seizing me by the collar and screaming in my face is that I must show courage now, I must take action, and the route to that courage is only via the path of vulnerability, through my heart.  Intensely personal vulnerability, with all the risks intact and staring at me.

Forgive me, world, for all of the ways I’ve been blind and callous, clinging to imperial ways, believing my actions didn’t matter.  Forgive me my past silence.  Forgive me for hiding away the sparkling parts of myself out of fear.  Forgive me for a lifetime of dissociation and self-flagellation.

Forgive me, husband, for not being ordinary, for pushing us both so hard in the direction of understanding.

Forgive me, child, for inevitably stumbling, over and over, in this sacred task of guiding you forward.  Forgive me my impatience, my distraction.

I ask you to forgive me the intensity of witnessing these days.  Forgive me the worry I have caused you.  Forgive me the mistakes, the words I picked that weren’t right, the way my experience has threatened you.  Forgive me for bringing you to the edge of suffering, yours and mine, and asking you to look deeply into its darkness.  Forgive me for sowing confusion and doubt, even when that confusion and doubt is necessary.

I will forgive you in return, with my whole heart.

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