And just like that,
my mood plummets.
Maybe it was the dream I had last night,
the dream where his friends
(who used to be my friends too)
were throwing drinks at me,
telling me to shut up and leave.
I woke up full of fresh grief
and a heaping new dose of betrayal…
and I couldn’t shake it.
Maybe it’s because of that dream
that I felt so withdrawn today.
I guess he noticed.
He felt a need to text me
and tell me how important it is
to “keep the lines of communication open.”
He told me I was being horrible, nasty,
that I was choosing to be like this,
that I could be more decent.
After reading all those admonishments,
I didn’t feel open to more communication.
I still don’t.
Why should I be?
And then I discovered
It’s all in my mind
And the world he sees—
it’s all in his mind too.
And we have as many worlds
as we have brains
to think about them.
And where do these worlds converge?
On some courageous shore
encircling a vast ocean of intimacy
enquire of one another.
And they listen to the answers.
And then I realized
I was still waiting for approval somehow.
Was I crazy?
I’ve waited so long,
why am I still doing this to myself?
So I decided to stop waiting
for someone else’s approval
and work on gaining my own.
I discovered that I try so hard to be good
and in trying I forget how good I already am.
In a moment of insanity
I see everyone as an enemy
who might not see how great I am
Then it must be my job to help them see
how very very good I am.
But even when my words are crystal clear
they cannot be seen
by those who have
intentionally blinded themselves.
Would shouting work
if you couldn’t hear?
Would jumping up and down in your face help
if you couldn’t see?
Why force people into behaviors
for which they have no natural aptitude
and absolutely no desire?
She told me she was a forgiving person
and in time we could be friends.
You can do it!
Just be positive!
See that it’s for the best.
Blah-dee blah-dee blah.
When I asked for clarification,
she told me she didn’t want to argue.
When I said I was attempting
to gain understanding
she said she needed to stop right now.
Now I see where he gets it.
Merry Christmas anyway.
You’d think after all this time
I’d have the sanity
after he’s had too much wine.
But my ego was bruised
and I guess my mind confused
which course of action
would lead to resolution
and which to more confusion.
When my fear speaks louder
than the quiet wisdom within
it’s time to shut my mouth
and retreat far away
from the din of those
who know not
that silence is an option.
Going through this transition,
everything in my life is changing,
and people (bless their hearts)
want to offer advice:
You’ll need to get a full time job, they say
Your standard of living will go down, they say
Talk to your attorney, they say
It’ll get worse before it gets better, they say
Keep your head down, they say
You’ll be so much happier after this is over, they say.
And I want to say
How do you know what you think is true?
It sounds like what they’re saying comes from fear.
I don’t take advice from frightened people.
I sit and I pray:
Thank you, angels, for making your presence known to me.
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say, and to whom?
We would have you stay right where you are.
We would have you breathe.
We would have you tell yourself
“I love you, I forgive you, all is well.”
Now that is some advice I can take!
Spoken words cannot be taken back.
Some words heal
and some cut deeper
than a knife.
When cutting words
are spoken to you,
offer healing words in return.
If your healing words
are not accepted,
let the silence stand
are the only medicine
that can dull
the pain of cutting words
spoken to you
and cutting words
spoken by you–
both kinds hurt.
with your words.
At the end of your life
as you look back on your story
would you rather see
That you spoke
more cutting words
or healing ones?
There is great power in your mouth.
Wield it wisely.
I started to put my fingers in my ears.
I didn’t want to hear him speak;
the sound of his voice sickened me…
but then I remembered
that this is why we are where we are today–
because we don’t listen to one another.
And so I resisted.
I looked at him there on the TV screen,
(what I consider to be)
the same old insubstantial rhetoric,
and I tried to listen.
We need to learn how to listen
especially when we don’t agree.
We need to learn how
to look at one another
and see the similarities
rather than the differences.
To find the humanness in our opponents,
to keep our hearts open,
to look for solutions.
Pretending they don’t exist
won’t make the problems go away.
May I keep my eyes and ears and heart open,
may I learn how to really listen.