Once, a long time ago, someone close to me handed me a memo and asked me to read it. It was a work memo that summarized some unfair working conditions. I didn’t know who had written it, but my first comment was “Wow. Whoever wrote this can’t spell worth a damn and doesn’t know how to use punctuation, either.” The person who had handed me the memo didn’t hear me say this, for which I was instantly grateful, because it turned out that they had written it. This was a person I loved with all my heart. The shame I felt in that moment is something that will be with me forever.
The older I get, the softer I want to be. The judgment I carried around when I was young was mostly internal, but it was harsh. And what good did it do anyone? What good did it do me? In the course of my life I have seen how people blossom when they are surrounded with love and acceptance. And I have watched them wither and turn silent and wary when faced with judgment and scorn. Please, from now on let me be only ground. Let me be crumbled, that others may flower around me.
A Continual Autumn, by Jalal Al-din Muhammad Rumi
Inside each of us there’s
a continual autumn.
Our leaves fall and are
blown out over the water,
a crow sits in the blackened limbs and
talks about what’s gone.
There’s a necessary dying, and
then we are reborn breathing again.
Very little grows on jagged rock.
so wildflowers will come up where you are.
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