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Why is it so hard to let go of past hurts?  Do you know, I’ve struggled with this and try as I may, I cannot come up with the answer.  But I have tried hard to do this – saying “I forgive you”, and at the point of saying it, there is a feeling of release.  But oh how easy it is to slip back into unforgiveness!  It’s as if I am in a wrestling match, trying to overcome my opponent.  I think I have him pinned down, but then he frees himself from my hold and grips me in another hold, where I struggle to free myself from that hold in my quest to become the victor.  My conclusion is that it’s not possible to completely let go, it’s an on-going process and if you can get to a place in your heart where you feel the grip is loosening, then you will feel better.  Perhaps for some of us it is more healing to say that “I am forgiving”, rather than “I forgive” realising that it is a process and a journey (for want of a better word) and that by looking forward to that place of forgiveness, each step taken, takes you closer to your goal.  I found that trying to release my pain through this poem was a step on my way to forgiveness and letting go.  I’m guessing we all have a poem to write …

Forgiving You, For Giving Me Hell

In this beautiful place

On this beautiful balcony

Overlooking the beautiful sea

I see

My father in a different light

I begin to view his plight


This morning it’s not about me

This morning it’s got to be

A gradual awareness of how blessed

He is, that God has made me see

How broken and wounded this man has been.

So now I reach out


And without a doubt

Release him, I free him

From the prison of my heart

I say: “get off your bed, you’re free to go”

I open wide the prison door

And stand aside


That he might slide past me

And fly outside

That he might soar

With wings of love

Into the sky above

So long I’ve held him prisoner


Watched him through the window of my soul

Refused to give him parole

Screamed that he in prison would die

But now I see that he must fly

His tormented soul begs my forgiveness

And so I release him


I can no longer his judge and jailer be

I’d like to say, with one fell swoop I set him free

But that would be a lie

My qualifications for this job did not come easily

The tears I shed, my wounds they bled

I flirted painfully with death


So you see, I earned this position

‘Twas not given me

I could not relinquish without a fight

A lifetime of immeasurable hurt

But now I choose to set him free

Go on, go quickly: I will not change my mind about this clemency


You don’t deserve it

You misfit

You don’t deserve it

You’re so unfit

But because I choose to let you go

To lose my sorrow and my woe


You’re a free man

Free to leave your prison cell

Free now to dwell

Wherever you wish.

Copyright Marie Williams July 2009