I know your heart hurts.
I know you feel confused.
I know you wonder if you
will ever let yourself
be fully seen by another.
I know the world feels heavy.
I know that the tears
are waiting just behind your eyes.
So let yourself cry.
This world needs your tears.
They are the holiest of waters,
washing away the dust and dirt
of countless injustices
done to your precious, tender heart.
Dear One, I see you,
and I am grateful for your courage,
for your willingness to show up on this day
as messy and uncertain and vulnerable
as you feel.
Stay open, Dear One.
Stay open and breathe.
This too will pass.
This too will pass.
I can hear it even now,
the voice in my head
saying everything I do is wrong,
nothing I do is right.
It’s an old voice,
an anxious voice.
It’s the meaning I made
when as a child
my broken heart sought reasons
for not receiving the love,
I wanted and deserved.
But there is no blame.
There is this moment
and a brief space of clarity
where I can remember…
If I can hear the voice
and I can repeat what it is saying
then the voice isn’t me…
It’s just a habit. It’s an echo of the past.
My intellect can articulate this clearly,
but my body needs time to catch up.
It feels sad and mopey and droopy today,
like everything is wrong
and nothing is right.
How can I bring the clarity of my intellect
to bear on the traumatized inner child
who waits and waits and waits
for it all to be over,
that she is the one who is causing all the torment?
Healing isn’t linear and instantaenous…
and it takes time.
Now if only I could relax into the process
of awakening and remembering
the truth about myself…
If only I could land in a place
where these painful thoughts
no longer determine the color of my days…
That would be a miracle.
When the light fades
and we are plunged in darkness,
we look to the strong ones
who remember the light,
who can encourage us to remember too.
When your dark time comes,
may you find such a strong one
to lift you up and remind you of the truth.
And maybe, just maybe,
that strong one is YOU.
Enveloped in complete darkness,
she spells out clearly from her depths
words like ropes reaching,
asking someone to take hold
and pull her out.
Maybe if enough people
take just one thread of her words,
maybe she’ll be lifted out of her pit
and see the light of day once more.
If I am not the mean voice inside my head,
who am I ?
Am I any less the mean voice than the loving one?
And just who gets to determine who I am?
A houseful of belongings,
no motivation to figure out where they’re going,
and the clock ticks away unrelentingly.
This house is not my own.
Then again, neither is this body.
I rented this form from Planet Earth
and to her it shall return.
What will I do with this borrowed time,
as each day draws me closer to my death?
I dreamed of self-realization…
for the longest time I thought
each day would unlock a little more of the mystery.
But in the wake of this rude transition
from married to single
from wealthy to impoverished
from homeowner to homeless,
what does this self-realization journey matter?
Will God come and save me if I’m living in a box?
I need to take action,
and my will is gone.
My creative spark is snuffed out.
Or maybe these words provide a glimmer?
Someone had to write them.
Who is she?
I guess it isn’t all gone…
I feel lost, alone, directionless, uncomfortable.
What is my purpose?
It says: You have no purpose.
But why I am I alive?
It says: There is no reason. You should end it.
But what about my children?
It says: They’d be better off without you.
And my yoga students?
It says: You’ve been lying to them all along.
It’s time they knew the truth.
But surely this will one day get better?
It says: Not for you. You will never be happy.
But what about nature? The sun? The forest?
The cycles of life?
It says: What about them? You’re still depressed.
You’ll always be depressed. Face it. End it.
But I can’t do that to them. To my friends. My family.
It says: Why not? They don’t care. Not really.
Not enough to help you or save you.
I know there are other voices in my head.
Why is It the loudest?
I taught all my yoga classes
(seven in three days)
and I am exhausted.
I had dinner in Westminster
with my cousin and her family,
gave my father a card and a hug.
Back home the loneliness sets in.
My kids are with their dad and his girlfriend,
and I keep seeing
families playing together,
wondering how my life got to this,
where I’m working myself to exhaustion
just to make ends meet,
homeless in less than a month,
angry at the injustice,
lonely without my kids.
I want this to change.
I am willing to change.
But I need help to see beyond my pain.
I’ve been working my @ss off,
trying to boost my finances
for what will come.
I’m tired, overhwhelmed,
my body aches, my mind is fuzzy,
and I’m flooded with a sense of futility.
And it hits me…
I’m doing what my
grandmothers and grandfathers did…
I am struggling just to get by.
I thought when I married him
I’d be taken care of.
I’d raise our children
and take care of the house
and he would take care of us.
But that dream was shattered
in an ugly, unkind way.
How can my faith in life be restored?
My family struggled through
the Great Depression.
And countless ancestors before them
struggled through poverty, famine,
sickness, and endless toil…
and through it all…
they somehow survived to procreate.
And so I was given a chance at life.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been given this chance.
If I had known I would end up here,
wondering where I’ll live
and if I’ll have the mental fortitude to keep going,
I’m not sure I would’ve signed on.
What’s the point of living
when you’re struggling just to get by?
And I’m being asked to take on
and even greater challenge…
be strong for my progeny,
give them a reason to keep going,
pretend through it all
that I’m good at this,
that I like this,
that this is all ok.
Hats off to all the single moms out there
who managed to pull this off…
you deserve an award for your performance.
But frankly I resent being here.
I resent the weight of this burden.*
*I just want to acknowledge that in comparison to many, many people on this planet I am doing quite well. I currently have food, clothing, shelter (for now) and access to resources that could be of help. I recognize that all my whining and moaning and complaining about my situation here might elicit absolutely no sympathy at all from people who have been through far worse. I’m just sharing how I feel. I don’t expect that my feelings make sense to anyone. I’m just sitting in the middle of my own suffering wishing I could get away from it. Maybe one person out there knows this feeling. Maybe one person out there now knows that they aren’t alone.
A deep and pervading sense of futility strikes.
Why keep struggling?
You’ve been fighting for two years.
Where has it gotten you?
All this hard work…
what has it amounted to?
People say they wish they could help,
but there is no follow through.
I’m learning that I would rather people say, “Gosh, that sucks. I’m sorry” rather than “I can help.” Public service announcement: Do not offer to help a single mother on the verge of eviction and then realize later that there is nothing you can do to help her.
Back in anxiety and depression,
like they are waiting there
always in the wings
for a moment
that I might just gain some footing
at which point
they stick out their legs
just as I walk by
DOWN I go
tripping, falling, stumbling,
They tell me to remember my place.
They won’t let me ever forget.
How do you escape a prison with no walls?
How do you gain freedom
from the inner persecutor?
I would tear them out if I could,
but I can’t find where they live.
How do I find resolve to keep going
when it feels like agony just to breathe?