By Dee Newman
Whenever we try to constructively
Respond to feelings of regret and make
Amends by taking responsibility
For a past grievance, misdeed or mistake,
We begin to relieve conflict and pain,
Freeing our relationships of shame
By no longer attempting in vain
To hopelessly deflect or divert blame.
Though, love is the act of giving without
Expecting anything in return,
We cannot truly love others without,
First and foremost, loving ourselves in turn.
But, when we attempt to prove our self-worth
By pleasing others to find contentment,
We often arouse, provoke or give birth
To feelings of anger and resentment.
Those feelings do not identify us.
We are what we choose and refuse to do.
Regardless of how acrimonious
Those feelings may be or even how true,
They cannot, no matter how unkind,
Determine our self-worth and value.
Allowing feelings of shame to defined
Who we are, compels us to continue
Down the same old path towards a life of
Fear, despair, and compulsive self-loathing,
Alienating us from those we love.
Though we may hide in closets and clothing,
Attempting to conceal whom we believe
We are, it's only ourselves we deceive.