As I continue to remain perplexed,
and my mind resists the fact that healing isn’t linear,
and so I cannot identify the end point—
it seems to me that the key to peace
must be acceptance.
I accept that my healing is non-linear
I accept that healing from trauma can be very messy
I accept that there are no clear start and finish lines.
And my mind expects that everything will change
now that I have found acceptance.
I accept that acceptance changes nothing
except the way I relate to this moment.
I accept this moment.
I accept this life.
Loosening the ties that bind me
to an old, outdated mode of being,
learning to breathe deeply and slowly
and really see how unique this present moment is,
seeing how life has always provided me what I need,
and trusting that it always will,
it all becomes so simple.
Life isn’t meant to be figured out, dissected,
overburdened with assigned meaning—
but one breath, one step, one moment,
one day at a time,
life is meant to be lived.
When I’ve been pushing and pushing and pushing,
bouncing around like a ping-pong ball,
At some point my body says
I’ve reached that point.
My body is saying
Stop. Slow Down. Pause. Rest.
And yet I keep going.
It’s catching up with me.
I feel exhausted.
I want to rest,
but the children need to eat breakfast
and get on the school bus.
I drag myself out of bed;
God be with me. Have mercy. God be with me.
The doomsday prophet in my head says
It will always be like this.
The child in my head says
This isn’t fair.
My body keeps repeating
Stop. Stop. Stop.
It’s getting louder.
And I’m wondering when I’ll get the hang
of single parenting, really.
Some other voice says
Just one day at a time, darling,
just one step at a time.
I think I’ll listen to that voice.
If I suddenly dis-identified myself with my pain,
how would I show up in the moment?
If I no longer believed the stories told to me
or the labels I’ve been branded with,
who would I be, right now?
If I could no longer see myself
as the victim of my past circumstances,
how would I relate to this present experience?
I keep praying. I keep saying aloud,
I’m ready to let go of the past.
I’m ready to feel beyond my pain.
I ready to know who I really am.
And yet the old story persists.
What do I need to do to be free?
It’s time to retire to a quieter place;
my body aches from the work I’ve done
and I need some time to recover.
My plan is to slow down, rest.
When I awaken
I’ll face the mess.
Bit by bit I’ll keep what matters
and let go everything else.
Possessions, relationships, thoughts, behaviors,
it’s time to look at all of it and choose.
Taking time to slow down and rest,
to be quiet and still and listen,
to let my awareness settle,
and feel my whole body alive in this moment.
On retreat I deeply feel and know
how important it is to slow down and take time
to just be.
Day to day living is hectic, chaotic;
disengaging from this frenetic pace
I can see how I’ve been pushing, pushing,
trying to get things done,
but never taking time to just be.
I can feel my body is exhausted;
I’ve been asking so much of it.
This whole weekend has been
one long exhale, finding presence,
remembering that there is nowhere else
but this moment, and I’m home.
Your mind is always trying to fix things;
don’t listen to it, it can’t see the whole picture.
Your unconscious wounds are pushing you
to numb out, because feeling feels unsafe;
don’t numb out, we need you here, ALL of you.
There’s another aspect of you, the space of awareness,
bigger than your body, bigger than your mind or your wounds.
It surrounds you; it holds you; it loves you and sees you always.
Stay in that space.
Just let yourself be held.
You’ll feel and know that all truly is well.
Ok. Brace yourselves.
I’m almost all the way moved in.
Just one or two more CARLOADS.
I mean…how did I accumulate all this stuff?
People are telling me
Just be patient.
You just moved in.
Unpacking takes time.
And I’m thinking
I have way too much stuff.
I hoping that my letting go muscle
will get stronger and stronger
as I go through this.
I took one carload to Goodwill today…
toys, shoes, baby clothes, rugs,
shower curtains, towels…
and a beautiful (expensive) bedspread
that we got as a wedding present…
I looked at it last night and thought,
I couldn’t possibly take a new lover
into my bed with this thing on it.
(I mean, I’ve been celibate for 2.5 years,
but maybe someday there will be
a lover in my midst…)
And so this bedspread had to go.
I keep holding a vision
of myself in a better place
and I look at these objects
and ask if I want to take them with me
into my future.
If it doesn’t fit with my future vision,
I let it go.
I didn’t realize that I had been working so hard
my whole entire life
to arrive in this moment
with enough strength
to simply let go.
As I sort through boxes of papers,
kids’ drawings, greeting cards,
old photos, clippings,
my drawings, lists upon lists
of ideas, plans, goals,
as I survey many more boxes to go through,
boxes of stuff…random bits…
appliances, cleaning products,
textiles of every kind,
doodads and thingamabobs,
it brings new meaning to the phrase
Going through it.
I, my friends, am really
Going through it.
I’m going through layers upon layers
of the life I shared with another
when we were married,
when we were a family of four.
He left and took what he wanted.
He left me responsible for the rest.
I am going through it.
It strikes me as odd and yet fitting,
that I would need to take my old life
with me to this new place
in order to see how my old life
doesn’t fit in here.
I had to feel this feeling of my old life not fitting
in order to go through it and release
what no longer serves,
what is too heavy,
too laced with old memories.
I didn’t feel safe letting go in the old house.
Somehow the old things protected me.
But I had to leave the house we shared;
it’s no longer mine, or his.
So I took all our stuff with me,
and crammed it into my new space,
a smaller space,
a much smaller space.
Boxes and bags and bins
and little pathways in between,
it has felt like a hoarder’s den
the last few days,
as I carted the last bits
from the old to the new.
I see now:
My old life is choking the new.
I had to feel this.
I had to feel this discomfort.
I had to feel this feeling
of drowning in my old life,
surrounded by what no longer works,
so that I could clear some space
to welcome the life that wants to be lived
when I’m willing to stand in the present moment,
in a willingness to feel what is alive, right now.
Stuff, stuff and more stuff!
There is no end to the stuff!
Stuff that was left behind
when he walked away from our life together,
and now I get to sort through all of it.
Years of the content I created as a yoga teacher,
in binders, in bins.
Bins of fabric and yarn.
Books, books and more books.
Clothes and shoes.
Random bits of this and that…
Plus the household stuff.
Is there no end?
I’m am so exhausted.
But there is still more stuff.