“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there.” Philippians 3:20
In the past three days, I have been confronted with a series of challenging perceptions, presuppositions, misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and multiple-perspectives on ethnicity, racism, and personal identity. From literary discussions to student issues, faith-based revelations to immigration conversations, it has been a heart-swelling week of looking hard at myself, my beliefs, my unintended biases, and my intentions. Revelation? I am still learning. Most importantly? I still want to.
My poem “Change Never Is,” is dedicated to every individual who maybe, like me, is still trying to discover how to be their best, most loving, undeniably compassionate self through it all, albeit imperfectly … and who is willing to step through the broken glass of shattered hearts, in the hopes of finding all the pieces to put us together again.
Go heal where you can,
Change Never Is
And suddenly … it’s different.
Just like that.
With the flip of a switch,
or the bat of an eye.
In the space of a heartbeat.
You realize something new about yourself.
Or maybe it’s old, but you wouldn’t admit it before now –
when actuality is staring back at you
clearer than the reflection of the mask you’ve grown so comfortable wearing,
you’d actually forgotten your own face.
You still might not want to deal with the truth of how you feel
but you do feel
and that’s the problem
(or some sordid beginning of the solution)
You can’t ignore it anymore –
and it’s jarring,
this knowing that you can’t go back.
Suddenly the innocence you had only just before,
is nothing more than a fantasy you can’t find your way back to
because reality demands accountability –
and there’s no longer room for the callousness of pretend.
We grow in stages,
but sometimes it feels as if a lifetime of lessons are hurled in our direction
faster than we can absorb the shock of their blows.
There is hardly a line between villain and victim –
the pain is dolled in equal measure,
whether it is deflected or digested? That depends on the user
and the used.
And as much as you thought that you knew who,
you were …
everything can change
when you’re challenged to accept as fact
that what you wished was just the remnant of a bad dream.
So now what?
There is no rest for you in dreaming … only in shaking off your slumber.
It’s time to breathe in slowly,
acclimatize yourself one fiber at a time …
There are thoughts to be sorted –
film reels of clouded memories to look at with new lenses.
The past may not align with the present,
but the future is yours to discern.
Endow a legacy stronger than pride.
Entitle yourself to an awakening.
That shifting in your bones … that thickening of your skin …
it’s not comfortable,
change never is.