i forgive

i forgive myself
for holding my spirit
by the throat
with the iron fist
of self-doubt and recrimination

i forgive myself
for choosing the safety of a defined life
constrained by beliefs of worthiness,
for imagining that there must be
a right way which can be discovered
if i simply search for it
with enough sincerity and desperation
as though emergency exit lights
will suddenly illuminate the way
off of this insane flight from myself

i forgive myself for repeating the steps
of ho’oponopono a thousand times
i apologize
please forgive me
thank you
i love you
while always concealing in one hand
or the other
a precious piece of guilt or shame
tiny shards of a shattered mirror
that still hold for me
an irresistible gleaming allure

i forgive myself
for building boundaries into walls
so that anger and resentment
would always be securely held
as my treasured personal affliction
so that my isolation would ensure
the perpetuation of my loneliness
so that when connection is what i most need
no one can possibly reach me

i forgive myself
for piling up insulation
against more suffering reaching me
only to find myself turning blue
half dead from such quiet shallow breathing
lest anyone be able to hear
my soul crying out for union with divinity

there are endless ways to return to my cell
secret routes known only to me
i can be here now and disappear in an instant
as any need or want for my undeserving self arises

i forgive myself
for taking on the suffering
that rightfully belongs to others
i never understood that it is here as a lesson
to be lived by its owner and then released

i forgive myself
and return to this world
all of the painful bits
i tried to bear for you
believing then i would be fully loved

i forgive myself for feeling wrong when hurt,
for believing that strength is the ability
to withstand anything that fear can deliver,
that free will was given to me
to choose the cleverly concealed steps
to where perfection is reflected
from the crystalline water
of a pure and depthless lake

as a precautionary measure
i also forgive myself in advance
for thinking i am some kind of mistake,
something less than the divine love
that grew this body from nothing
and that created this shining heart,
an open gate which none can close before me

today i see
the whole hot mess of me
striving to be better
than absolute perfection
and today i do
truly forgive

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 9/25/17


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