A woman looking out into the distance

Spread grace thickly
along your dry, cracked skin;
use it to fill in the fibers of your soul
that have become frayed
by the chronic weariness of life
and the weight of self-criticism.

You pick at barely forming scabs–
those brand-new, baby-fresh attempts at healing,
and berate yourself for having wounds.

I hand you tissues and hold you as you cry,
your tears more from self-loathing than from guilt.

Your vision, constrained by a fixation with the present moment,
sees only a frozen spectacle of brokenness,
a journey ended at a standstill.

I plead with you to lavish yourself with care
and overwhelming mercy,
for your brokenness is neither unusual
nor your destiny: It simply is. 

To be human is to fail,
but in that lies not shame but opportunity:
a place to stand and walk forward,

to begin again.

Image via Cindy Chiara

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