This poem is my journey into the world of forgiveness...
It's such a multi-faceted and deeply personal realm. What is there to do when someone asks you to forgive them but you are not ready? Do you feel pressure to go ahead so their feelings won't be hurt? Or do you try to honor yourself? What do you say to them?
Humans can fall into predictable predicaments. Sometimes we want to be forgiven without doing the hard emotional work of repairing hurt and betrayal, which means looking inward to learn from your mistakes. We want the other person to make it okay when that really isn't possible. Sometimes a person may feel ready to forgive no matter what, and that is wonderful. But if you are not ready, I believe it's okay to have a choice.
My poem is also about the healing power of Nature. I hope that both participants in a hurtful situation can use nature as a way to heal, whether it be the ocean, a hiking trail, or a garden. Bringing the green, wild, and beautiful world into the personal in a safe way is a strong healing medicine.
The Way To Be Forgiven
by Phyllis Klein
You trudge through a field
with guilt and fear
yet you must wait
patiently. Sometimes the seeds
of apology you planted
need extended tending.
Forgiveness flows with its own
power, the way an artist
draws lines that form
a painting; beautiful and sweet,
or rough and bitter.
You must let go of your longing,
for the more you grasp
at the tide pool’s rocky shore,
the more slippery it becomes.
Nature works this way;
invites you to return to the garden
to let the soil teach you to be rich
with nutrients for healing.
|'Sisterhood Path' by Catherine Ghosh and Vrinda Aguilera|
Phyllis Klein is a psychotherapist and certified poetry therapist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's been writing her own poetry spontaneously for over 20 years as a way to connect with herself and others. Phyllis was mentored into poetry therapy by Perie Longo and they developed a workshop together about the power of written dialogue. She believes that all poetry is a dialogue between the writer and herself, then between the writer and the reader. This circle expands as readers bring influence from what they have read and are reading, and the process continues. Phyllis finds her muse in museums, on the train, in nature, and in her weekly writing group. In her work, Phyllis finds ways to help people interested in writing for healing to connect with the power of written words. To learn more, please visit her website here.
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