Saturday, May 25, 2013

Don't Wear Your Wounds

Today is Saturday, May 25, 2013

The following poem, written by Howard Jacobsen and Mia Genis, and posted by a friend of mine on Facebook, really grabbed me.  Here's the poem:

If you wear your wounds
Like an old dress
Too short
Too tight
Cutting into your arms

Know that dress is not you
It was meant to be discarded
At the moment you outgrew it

Don’t cling to that dress
Just because you think
You have nothing else to wear

Or because you’ve come to mistake that dress
For your own skin
Tight and raw
Prickling at a child’s reproachful look
Or a spouse’s off-key remark

Your vocation is not pain-master
Holding yourself together with safety pins
You have bigger, grander things to do
Than jab yourself with needles dulled with use
As you mend and mend again
The same split seams

Let that dress fall
Or wriggle out of it
Or cut yourself free with the same blade
You’ve applied to yourself all these years

Feel the real pain of this moment
The beautiful, throbbing ache of your true longing
Free from the ghosts that whisper “boo”
Just when you’re about to risk
An intimate moment with creation

Undefend yourself
Celebrate the kiss of life against your bare skin
Weep with relief
As you feel the depth of your desire
To say Yes
To sway in time with creation

*** *** *** *** ***

The image of  wearing your pain, hurt, grudges and bitterness like an old, tattered dress that you have outgrown is a powerful one.  I guess for men, you could envision a pair of old, tattered jeans that are too tight for you.  Not fashionably tight, mind you – too tight.  Uncomfortably tight.

Imagine how good it would be to get out of that tight clothing and be able to breathe freely again!  Imagine being able to get out of old, dirty, tattered clothes and take a bath to get the dirt and dust off.  Imagine how it would feel to move freely again, to walk forward with a purposeful stride. 

Someone said, "Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."   Truly, the only person who is hurt by your anger is you!

On Wiki-How, there is an article about How to Forgive in 12 steps.   Some of the steps are things I've been talking about in previous posts on this blog.    You start by realizing that your anger will not actually hurt the person you are angry with, that it will only end up hurting you.  Resolve to live a successful and happy life, regardless of what the other person may have done to you.  Think of the situation as an opportunity to grow personally and spiritually, and identify positive outcomes, or things you've learned from the experience.  Identify people who can help you and accept their help.  Be gentle with yourself, as you start the process of detaching from the other person.  Stop thinking about the incident that caused your anger, and stop telling other people about it.  Walk away from the other person but send them on their way with a blessing, even if you can't do this in person. Just wish them well and stop thinking about them.  Keep things in perspective, and don't take your anger out on others.

Thanks to my friend Paula for sharing this wonderful poem and contemplation seed. :-)

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