Without my husband there to help,
getting a Christmas tree
seemed like a daunting task.
I cursed the tradition
as I arrived on the lot,
and inwardly resented
the happy couples tying their trees
on the roofs of their vehicles,
getting it done together.
But I had help too.
Two young men put the tree on the roof,
and I figured out the ratchet straps
to secure the tree (mostly).
Back home I even managed to carry
that seven foot tall
fragrant Frasier fir
inside my house
AND set it on the tree stand,
Someday, one day,
I may find a new love
who will delight in accompanying me
on Christmas tree expeditions…
can I love the one in me
who was strong enough to get it done
all by myself?
Who am I to dream,
to believe these dreams could be fulfilled?
Who am I to envision,
to see myself serving in a bigger way?
Who am I to imagine,
to fantasize that the Divine wants me
just as much as I want it?
I have no idea who I am,
but I know that I am not
who I once thought I was.
God bless this journey
toward the unknowable destiny
of my dreams, visions and heart.
Bless the questions that I ask,
that they may swell into
wide open doorways of possibility.
Let me surrender into this process
of asking again and again,
Who am I
I can understand
it’s the asking—
not the knowing—
that calls life
back home to life.
Swirls of feeling…constantly.
Will the waves ever let up,
will I always be tossed
on this turbulence,
or should I embrace
this intensity and surrender
to the currents moving through me?
Does deeper feeling
mean deeper experience?
Does more darkness
mean more light?
Tears and then laughter.
Rage and then serenity.
I try to hold myself together,
but who is doing the holding,
and who is in danger of falling apart?
I choose sobriety,
and without the buffer of some distraction
the feelings I’d been running from
hit me full force.
Is this my new normal…
and can I handle it?
This afternoon I was really wallowing
(Hey, at least I can see it.)
I was feeling sorry for myself,
lonely, listless, lethargic, worthless,
abandoned, powerless, broken.
And it finally struck me…
If this is my rock bottom,
then I’m doing pretty well.
I’m safe, warm and dry in a home
(even if it’s going into foreclosure
and I have no idea how much longer
I’ll be here).
I have plenty of food available,
electricity, running water, a car that works.
I love my work as a yoga teacher
(even if I am not currently being paid enough
to support myself and my two children).
I have so many books chock full of information
right at my fingertips; I can read and learn.
I can write.
I can reach out to a friend
(even if Depression lies to me
and tells me that no one cares).
And I realized that this is all about focus.
Which thoughts am I focusing on and believing?
And can I focus on thoughts that will help?
I can try to shift my mind
(even if I have tried and tried a million times
and I keep ending up back here).
I can put one foot in front of the other.
I can breathe.
(even if I doubt this will ever change).
Clearly, I need to focus on facts
and ignore the parenthetical nonsense
(even if it seems impossible in this moment).
Falling into the abyss
and there is no one there to see me or catch me.
I try to reach out, to grab a hold of something
to stop the free fall,
but I’m just flailing in space,
air passing through my fingers.
Maybe if I surrender into the fall,
I’ll eventually come out the other side
on a whole new planet.
Maybe I’ll feel welcomed there.
Maybe they will recognize me there.
Maybe they’ll ask
Where have you been?
Maybe they’ll say,
We’ve been looking for you.
Maybe there is a reason
I feel like I don’t fit in here.
Maybe I am not from here.
Maybe I’ve been searching all this time
to find a way back home.
Maybe this falling is the way.
I ask myself if I can change.
I know deep down I can,
but the evidence is lacking.
They tell me to focus on my future
when I feel mired down in the muck of now.
I am lifted up by the grace of others.
My mother gifts me with a plane ticket;
friends welcome me to a training
that they’re allowing me to pay off over time.
I’m flying to California tomorrow.
My heart bursts open…ready.
I can feel the old me struggling
to regain some footing,
and the new me is just plain tired.
I won’t let the old me win—
the old me needs to die.
Does it sound harsh?
I am no longer available
to live life the way I lived it before.
I know too much now
to go back to sleep.
But how to eliminate the struggle
with the old me
so that the new me
can relax and surrender
into the flow of cosmic synchronicity?
If you can answer that question
I’ll be your best friend!