Turning the other cheek..

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This was always a hard pill to swallow.  Even as a child, upon hearing that phrase for the first time, while I could understand the idea of not reciprocating harm, I certainly was not down with the thought of giving anyone the opportunity to harm me twice.  It was just going to be one of those things that looked pretty on paper.  For me, it was an idea to aspire to in principle form only.  On some deep, DEEP level that I’d never actually have to come in contact with.  Until one day in the shower..

I was thinking about changing my mind on things.  Literally trying to see and envision words, phrases, and ideas in other ways, and this particular phrase came to mind.  Turning the other cheek..

Now for some reason, I’d always figured it meant allowing harm of some nature without retaliation.  Right?

If someone says something rude, “turn the other cheek.”

Someone steals your parking space, “turn the other cheek.”

Things start to get a little more uncomfortable when it hits closer to the skin.  A little more unacceptable.  If someone breaks your heart, what then?  Turn the other cheek?  For how long?  And how many times?

I don’t know where the permission had been hiding, but somewhere inside it clicked that there could be another meaning for this phrase for me.  And while it may not resonate for everyone, it made such clear sense.

For me, turning the other cheek could mean looking in the other direction.  Not in avoidance! I want to make that clear, but rather looking into a new possibility.  As if to say, “that’s enough now, I’m moving on.”

And again, I’ve given myself the permission to think this way.

I’m learning to allow myself the gift of turning the other cheek.  Allowing myself the opportunity to look into a more positive light.

Saying “no more” to a negative space that’s become too comfortable.

Turn the other cheek.

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Sculpted

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With each passing she looked new.

With every conversation, a feature exposed.

Until finally she sculpted herself for him to see.

Revealing who she really was.

A flicker of fear in her belly at presenting her true self.

An act of bravery in his eyes.

And he, given permission to hold this fragile work of art, welded himself into a strong foundation that she could rest upon.

A pedestal to hold her high where no one could knock her down.

A place to admire her from.

And their love became a moment.

 

 

The train would come

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They never really met up.

Never truly stood side by side.

Always separated by the thin, wire fence that lined the train tracks.

He on one side, she on the other.

They walked miles and miles together looking for a break in the fence.

A place for them to be able to reach out to one another, but time never allowed.

Instead they’d graze fingertips through the holes in the mesh that divided them.

Holding tight to this barrier that they shared.

Hoping someday to hold love’s hand rather than just stand in front of it.

And when the train would approach and signal to them to get away from the tracks, they’d ignore it.

Gusts of wind from the passing train would blow hard against them, causing them to have to brace themselves, and hold tightly to the thing that divided them.

He’d yell out to her, and because of the rushing wind and roar of the train’s engine, she could only guess at his words.

When the train had finally passed, and quiet settled, they marveled at how they withstood another day – another train.

Needing to get back to work, they parted ways.

Making promises to meet again at the fence.

Making promises to get together soon.

Making the best that they could of this life apart.

 

 

A fog had settled

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Dense fog had fallen and settled.

And even between the two of them, it was hard to see clearly.

A dreamy shadowing, making liars out them.

Making them seem farther apart than they really were.

Betrayed by what their eyes could see – eyes which they had trusted at one time.

Yet, with the same fog, two views.

And neither could convince the other of what they had seen.

It was there — no, there that the light was shining.

They argued the position of the light – taking steps toward what they thought they saw.

Taking steps away from each other, unknowingly.

Until they were miles apart.

If only they had ignored their eyes.

If only they had huddled together and waited out the fog.

Or at least held hands so in the end they had not lost one another.