The failures of others

Are not necessarily occasions
For your withdrawal
Or consternation,
As though you were an inanimate
Piece of paper
Yellowing under the unforgiving sun,
Curling in on itself
Becoming increasingly deformed
As though it had no choice.
Unlike that paper
You are not obligated
To bend into yourself
When you are in pain-
Something beautiful can be made
From your trauma.
The failures of others
Need not define you
Nor be the thing
You are running from your entire life
The point you have to prove wrong
The stumbling block you never step past.
And yes, this is the high road
The road that may feel eternally
Out of reach-
But it is the only way
From keeping the failures of others
Your own.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
-Matthew 18:21,22

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