This morning I prayed. I cannot remember the last time I started my morning out doing that. It’s been years, most likely. I have spent a decade now selfishly withholding my faith, because there’s still a part of me that believes I am punishing the universe by refusing it. It’s incredibly childish. I am doing the spiritual equivalent of bashing myself with a stick repeatedly to punish what I believe is an uncaring power. This is stupid; if it’s so uncaring, it couldn’t possibly give a shit about me hitting myself.
All I’m doing is causing bruises and adding to my pain.
That all sounds very negative, but the truth is, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m actually doing some stuff to take care of myself these days, and it’s so unusual and so pleasant that I don’t know what to do with myself, actually. Self care? What the fuck is that?
Yesterday here it snowed once again, and yes, it snows in March sometimes but I can’t stop shaking my fist at the sky and yelling THIS IS SO FUCKING UNFAIR BECAUSE I WALKED AROUND IN A T-SHIRT ON SATURDAY. It will warm up again but we have a few more weeks of lower than average temperatures and yet another cloudy and gray day and I am tired enough of winter and weather and dark skies that my friend’s little house in Tucson he’s got for rent cheap sounds more and more appealing, even though living in Tucson would be hard for this Liberal East Coast Elite.
No, really, I promise that I’m generally happy.
This morning I was thinking about forgiveness and practicing it and how I feel best when I’m practicing forgiveness but I think I’m going to get cut from the forgiveness team because I keep falling apart during the practicing part. I’ve long known that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, not the person or people you are forgiving, but these days I hold on to my petty grudges with greedy little fingers, unwilling to peel them off and release them.
That is not a good way to live.
Lately I’ve been reading some poetry – Tell Me by Kim Addonizio, specifically – and the first sentence of her poem Theodicy is this:
Suppose we could see evil with such clarity we wouldn’t hesitate/to stamp it out like stray sparks from a fire.
The thing is, the evil is inside me, and that evil is the hate and resentments I am harboring with such passion. Forgiveness is stamping out the stray sparks from a fire fueled by resentment and hate.
So, today, as I relax and read my book, I’m also going to spend a little bit of time fine tuning my forgiveness skills. I’m going to keep picking up that ball and throwing it toward the net over and over again and – pun intended – forgive myself for missing over and over again.
Boy, I’ve really pushed the boundaries of metaphors above. This is it. For right now, I forgive, and walk forward. I may turn around and pick my anger back up ten seconds from now, but I will keep practicing putting it down. Eventually, god willing, it will be so far behind me that it will be more work to go back than to go forward.