Dear Ones –

Here's a photo of me and the poet Mark Nepo yesterday, backstage at Oprah's The Life You Want Tour in Washington DC. I heard him say something truly magnificent and transformative yesterday, so I wanted to share it here with you this morning.

The question was about how to make peace with your own past. How to forgive, how to move on.

Mark began his answer by speaking candidly about his painful relationship with his parents, particularly with his father. There was so much suffering, so much anger. After his father died, he still held on for years to that outrage, that pain. By doing so, he kept those old wounds open.

He said, "Then I realized something. I was keeping my old wounds fresh and open, as evidence for a trial that would never come."

He further explained: "It was as if I was waiting for some big Law & Order episode to happen in my life someday, where I would be able to finally lay out my case against my father to a judge and jury. So I didn't want to let the old wounds heal, because — if they did — then I wouldn't have fresh evidence, and nobody would believe how much I had suffered. But then I finally realized — that day of trial, that day in court? It will never come. There is no such thing in life as that courtroom. Which meant that I was keeping my old wounds open for no good reason at all, when all those wounds really wanted was to be allowed to heal."

With that understanding, the healing began at last.

I love the deep goodness and humanity of Mark Nepo.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall