The Way You Are

balloons

In midst of my apology
you smiled and reached a hand to me
and said, “I love you just the way you are.”
That unexpected, simple gift
to give my heart a needed lift
was warm as toast (and fuzzier by far).

So now I want to turn around
and give the world the joy I’ve found
in loving me as well as them and you.
It doesn’t cost a penny more
to factor kindness in the score
and give the benefit of doubt when due.

No punishment can more constrict
a soul than what we self-inflict.
I’ve yet to meet a person without flaws.
A gaffe’s an opportunity
to learn, and then it’s history.
Forgive and love oneself because, because.

I’m what I am — no more, no less;
sometimes a saint, sometimes a mess —
like every rider on this carousel.
If anyone takes pleasure from
accepting me the way you come,
I’ll take the gift … and wish the others well.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 1997

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