I learned a long time ago that I could not harden my heart and be successful in life. Working diligently to change the trajectory of our region requires that I, and leaders in the community, reconcile our personal and community baggage. A hardened heart creates bitterness that taints how people experience you. It corrupts your perspective and corrodes your being. This attitude is counterproductive to our personal and regional success.
Our community needs hope and optimism. We all waver under life’s difficulties. I have seen a lot in my life, and fortunately or unfortunately, I know that you have too. When you’ve gone through life’s wringer, it can be difficult to bounce back – but you must.
Even when you’ve mastered projecting outwardly that everything is alright, it takes more time to align your mind and heart. Alignment begins with forgiveness, and forgiveness is the gateway to peace and ultimately to success.
Below is a poem I wrote about my own personal journey towards that alignment and peace.
Here I stand
All grown into a man
Eagerly awaiting God’s great big plan
Wondering how things would have been
Had your life not come to such a tragic end
Thinking back it still doesn’t make sense
Though I never felt your unconditional love
The pain was still immense
There are so many things that I want to say
As I lay here and reflect on that catastrophic day
The precipitating events that culminated in your death
Consumed your every move
Till you exhaled your very last breath
You injected your veins with poison
To further escape your reality you drank in excess
You prostituted your body in search of money and love
Which you never did find or get
You allowed many invasions to take place within our home
I looked at you as my security above all and yet
You were always gone
You placed all others before me
How many ways did this manifest
You were naïve to the motives
Of a live in guest
As he crushed my childhood innocence
You neglected to hear my cries
You neglected to see my tears
You neglected to tell me
That you loved me
Even if it wasn’t sincere
You caused me to experience that kind of hurt
That doesn’t cure so easily
It’s taken me years to get to this point
But now I’ve found
Peace within me.
And I forgive you…
By Orv Kimbrough