I forgive you for working so hard, for so long, to sabotage your destiny, your peace, your contentment, your life. You have been your own enemy. And I forgive you.
Who taught you to fear your strengths?
Who hurt you so bad that you learned to construct walls so dense and wide that love could scarcely find its way to your heart?
Who caused you to distrust your deepest instincts and to believe others’ lies?
What was your motivation to care so little for your body and life that you failed to treat both with the type of respect and care that they are due?
I forgive you for believing that every negative event that you encountered was your fault: being introduced to sex as a child was not your fault; believing that your body did not belong to you was not your fault; experiencing ridicule (because others failed to understand that all black boys who grow up in the hood aren’t straight) was not your fault; failing somebody else’s god was not your fault; suffering physical harm at the hands of other black men (some you knew and loved and some were strangers who you learned to hate) was not your fault; refusing to fight the brother who hit you and took your “no” to mean “yes” after you told him you were ending your “friendship” was not your fault; carrying all of the baggage from all of that shit into every relationship you had after, well, you didn’t know then what you know now, but I forgive you for believing that you had to.
I forgive you for hurting so many others because you perfected the art of destruction simply because you felt unworthy.
I forgive you for the hearts and spirits you’ve broken.
I forgive you for pushing love away every time it appeared.
I forgive you for sabotaging the good: good people, good opportunities, and good vibes because deep down within you believed that you deserved the bad.
I forgive you for your inability to see yourself live pass 23, soar pass 27, and even last week worry that you wouldn’t make it to your early 40’s.
I forgive you for diminishing yourself/your gifts/your work when in public and private as if you don’t know your own potential.
I forgive you for keeping people around whose purpose seems to be that of keeping you in your place: somewhere lower than blessed.
I forgive you for giving more attention to haters than lovers.
I forgive you for failing to see what others, and the Spirit, has always seen: vitality, potential, light, and purpose.
And I celebrate you for having the courage to pen these words, to yourself, today. Now, let go of the chains, which you have made yourself believe were adornments, and live.
With loving kindness,
Darnell, your reflection…