Finding peace

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

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