Self-Forgiveness Sunday

by

Starts with flowers.

Flowers seem to be my motif, tears and petals and beauty, oh the ache that makes everything so beautiful that it feels like I’ve been gut shot, but still have this ability to see truth and beauty everywhere.

I woke up this morning in tears again.

A text from a friend whistled me awake.

It was not the text from the friend I was hoping to hear from, but it was a text of love nonetheless and it was nice to see it and another from a friend who’d reached out.

I had a lot of folks reach out to me today.

And hours and hours and hours of not having the one person reach out to me that I wanted to hear from.

What a horrible and horrendous gift.

I have seen so much into the heart of myself and seen so much of what shapes my life and how I can isolate and self-sabotage when given the chance.

I chose today instead, after much shedding of tears, of not being able to look at myself in the mirror and do the exercise that was suggested to me so many years ago, of forgiving myself.

“I love you and I forgive you.”

Write it down on a post it note and slap it on the mirror and say it to yourself every morning before you go out into the world.

Every morning?

Every fucking morning.

It took me a while to get there.

To that spot in front of the mirror.

And it was not the first thing I did.

In fact, I had forgotten, heh, yeah, “I forgot” to do it this morning.

I was busy mashing myself with the I should have, if only I had, etc, etc, etc.

So I got down on my knees and did a long session.

I have never spent so much time asking for forgiveness and so much of that has to stem from within, from that small quiet space.

I had to make a lot of room for that small quiet space.

I wrote a lot.

Then I was kneeling a lot.

Then.

I made breakfast and ate it and drank my coffee and just kept telling myself to not text, don’t call, give my friend space, don’t call, don’t text, repeat, rinse, repeat.

I don’t know that I have ever in my life expended so much energy not taking an action.

“Don’t just do something! Sit there.”

Ugh.

I knew it was not an emergency, I knew that it was not my place to reach out, it was my place to trudge the discomfort on my own.

The point of making an amends is not to feel better myself, it is to change the behavior and hopefully repair a damaged relationship.

If I get to feel better, than huzzah.

There have been amends that I have not gotten relief from, again, it’s not the point and I knew the point would not get to be made on my dime, on my time, no,not on my time line at all.

So I kept busy and every time my head said, well, what if you just call or text or say this, or.

Stop.

I would do the next action in front of me.

Finish writing your morning pages.

Wash the breakfast dishes.

Put on your makeup.

Why bother?

I thought to myself as I swirled some shadow across my eyelids, I’ll probably wind up crying it off anyway.

But there is a comfort to the routine and I was looking for any comfort I could get.

I did not really look myself in the eye until later though.

I did not actually realize that I had “forgotten” my routine.

I was too busy feeling the gut shot feeling of pain that would assuage me without recourse and I would find that I could not listen to some music and would switch it off and turn my attention to the next thing in front of me.

I was able to get on my bicycle and ride down to the store and get some groceries.

I was able to not kill myself.

I was able to focus.

After one stupid move which snapped me out of it.

Get present.

Breathe in the air, see the sky, feel the sun warm on my back, lock the bike, walk into the store, pick up a basket and put those in it right now.

Those?

Yes.

I didn’t question the impulse, but I felt a bit better when I deposited the bouquet of shasta daisies and pink gerber daisies into my basket.

Who cares that I was on a bike and the flowers might get mashed up a little.

Buy them.

And the self-forgiveness was on its way.

I kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I went to another grocery store.

I did not ride my bicycle to my friend’s house who was just there, just a few blocks away, leave him alone.

Do your thing.

Get your groceries.

Bring them home.

Then.

Two blessed hours.

Two hours, back to back, without thought of myself.

Such freedom.

And all I had to do was show up, read some things and listen to two women, one after the other share with me and let go of their on misconceptions of who they are and get to share my experience of walking through fear and how it continues to deepen and yes, it’s painful.

But that pain.

The price of admission for the glory that comes thereafter.

It is worth it.

And as my second lady left and wandered off into the sunlight of the gods I felt lifted again and I walked into my bathroom and realized, oh!

I had forgotten.

I looked at myself.

I said the words.

I could see that they did not register.

I did not want them to register.

I said them again.

Come on.

Drop the shame.

Let it go.

It is not serving you.

I gripped the corners of the porcelain sink and I took a big, deep breath and I looked up, I looked up into eyes the color of my fathers and the shape of my mothers and I said it, “I love you and I forgive you,” and the shape of my eyes shifted and the color lightened to a soft caramel.

And my heart heard.

It traveled from my head to my heart.

And it went back to bad shortly thereafter.

But each time there was more room in the chamber of my heart for the forgiveness to continue.

And when I didn’t know what to do I called other people.

I texted a girl friend and told her that I was not reaching out, I called my people and left messages and was honest about how things felt and what I was doing and not doing.

I swept the god damn sidewalk in front of the house.

I kept moving.

Then I cooked some food for the week and when I was at my wit’s end, my lunch done, my food cooked for the week, the rest of the afternoon stretching ahead of me in that shatter of light that is high holy summer, the rare day of July heat and sunshine in the Outer Sunset, when the grasp and suck of sorrow shimmered about me, another friend called.

“What are you doing?”

I rattled off a litany of all the things that I had been doing and could barely squeak it out through the tears.

“Hang on I’m coming down.”

I got a visit.

We went to Trouble and I had a coffee way too late in the afternoon and did not give a damn.

We talked and I got perspective, some more peace and some sage suggestions about, yes, not reaching out.

To let my friend have his time and when or if, because I may not get to make the amends and it will never be on my time, my schedule, nothing ever is.

Which is a blessing.

A gift.

The not on my time line thing.

When I allow the space for God’s hand to do its work, my life is the better for it.

I can see that.

I could see the bright diamonds flare on the ocean as it roared down the avenue and into my heart, the sun settled across my face promising another round of brown freckles to bloom on my nose and cheeks and my heart full, sad, grieving, but grateful.

I let it all go.

Again.

It was good.

I am good.

Life continues a pace and I have learned this lesson.

It has gone from my head to my heart.

It doesn’t hurt that I was able to make the amends a few hours ago.

But I am not here to report on the conversation.

That is a not on the table.

Love is though.

And.

I remind myself, gently, in the breath between the drops of music spinning into the air and the rush of the waves flying up from the dark sea.

Love was never off the table.

Just because I pushed it out of my periphery does not mean it fell off.

It was all there.

And I can see again.

And my heart.

She beats asunder.

Love underpins it all.

Surrender.

I forgive you.

I love you.

I do.

I do.

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