I really don’t care
about the brand of clothes you wear…
I want to know what makes your heart ache
and which actions you take
to honor your own healing.
The specific work you do
doesn’t interest me as much
as the mindset you bring to what you’re doing.
Can you work with joy and gratitude?
Can you do what needs to be done
to show up as the best version of yourself,
can you still get up,
even if you feel like giving up?
I don’t care how much you can bench press—
what do you do
when life puts the pressure on you?
Can you breathe and expand into the challenge,
knowing that adversity makes you strong?
I want to see your true strength,
how you respond to the inevitable challenges
that life offers you
to wake you up to your ultimate truth:
You were born for more, much, much more.
Turning adversity into opportunity…
being willing to see value in difficulty,
not complaining, but doing what needs to be done.
Rewiring my brain is difficult.
My brain wants to complain.
It wants me to feel sorry for myself,
to feel like a victim,
to focus on the abandonment, the betrayal,
the grief and the loss.
It wants me to feel envious of intact families,
and look at women with their men
and ask, Why not me?
I’m tired of being tortured by my mind.
I don’t want it to remind me of everything that went wrong.
I want to focus on what’s going right.
But after four decades of negative programming,
I don’t know if I’m capable of seeing the positive.
Sitting in ceremony this weekend,
I realized how very much my mind
still wants this moment to show up differently
and how much suffering
this wanting things to be different
stirs up in my life.
If I could only love and accept this moment as it is,
how would my experience be different?
Could I soften into this beauty?
Could I accept my own wholeness, my completeness?
Could I love this journey I’m on,
and learn to accept that uncertainty
is an integral part of the adventure?
I’m walking on the razor’s edge
between acceptance and resistance,
every moment, between peace and suffering.
I see how much choice I have,
and how much responsibility
to make the choice that will help and heal
instead of hurt and hinder.
As a mother, the choice becomes even more impactful.
My kids are watching me make meaning
out of all of these life experiences.
I’m teaching them every moment
how to love or how to fear this life.
God, please show me how to love.
God, show me how to love this life,
so that by the time my kids are my age,
they’ll know which choice to make.
Haven’t I suffered enough,
Or do you want to break me even more?
I feel like I’m already mostly dead.
Do you want me to die all the way?
I am a ghost in a body struggling to live
and it feels like a burden to eat.
And yet I must feed this body,
because there are two children
relying on me to be here for them…
and they deserve a living, breathing mother
who can help smooth their way through
this rocky journey of life.
Is enduring this pain the sacrifice I must make?
Is this torture of terror, uncertainty and homelessness
the very thing that’s making me strong
and ready to change?
But how can I change
when I lack the energy
to meet my most basic of needs?
When it feels like a burden to be alive,
how do I choose to keep living?
Taking what’s necessary,
leaving the rest.
What is necessary, really?
And what have I convinced myself I need?
And what would happen
if I left all of it,
and sat with the discomfort
of empty space?
In this spacious present
I can relax, breathe,
recognize that everything is ok.
Why has so much of my time been spent
being educated away from what is here?
Can I unlearn enough
to have the space in my mind
to be truly present?
What would I do with such clarity,
such immense and immediate expansion?
Knowing that I could never shrink back
to what I was before,
is it safe to leave behind what is familiar
and face the adventure before me?
If I could snap to perfection,
If I could skip the journey and
just land in paradise,
Would I refuse to
climb the mountain,
if I knew I could be plunked
right at the top?
Could I enjoy any success
if I didn’t work for it?