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.
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to an old, outdated mode of being,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.
Forgiveness cannot be forced.
When my family fell apart
I tried to rush to forgiveness,
thinking that it would speed up
the healing process.
But I was just engaging in
using my spirituality
to circumvent the messy trenches
of deep grief and traumatic loss.
I prayed to God to show me the way,
hoping I could fly over
the dark valley and avoid
what lurked there in the shadows
of my deepest, darkest memories.
I read books and listened to speakers,
I attended meetings,
I thought I knew what I was doing,
but I was really attempting
to avoid the inevitable.
Finally I discovered
that what I really needed
was to allow myself to feel.
I had to go through the grieving process.
I had to face the loss of the life I knew,
I had to take each day
one at a time.
Some days the pain was so intense
I didn’t think I could live through it.
People would tell me
It won’t be like this forever;
I didn’t believe them.
Over time, as I remained clear
and focused on my goal
to find a place for me and my kids,
I noticed the fog was lifting;
I felt more like myself
with each passing day.
Looking back I see
that it was my effort to heal
that blocked the healing.
It was my belief
that things should be a certain way
that kept me from embracing things
as they were.
And now I’m still working on forgiveness,
but at least I have the sense now
to allow that grace to come, naturally,
when the time is right
and my heart is ripe
for such sweetness…
Learning to trust the Self…
not the little ego self
that’s always wanting and grasping
and never satisfied,
but the Divine Self,
the deeper, more expansive Self,
the One who moves with the currents of Nature
and who listens and waits
underneath the noise and turbulence
of our contrived human sorrow.
The One who waits for us to wake up,
and pause, and breathe
and see how beautiful peace is—
this is the One I practice to know,
this is the One I show up for every morning,
this is the One I am when I become still
and close my eyes, and journey inwards…
This is the One I am learning to trust.
I asked my inner critic to go on vacation
and invited my inner child to come out of hiding.
She still doesn’t trust me all the way.
I don’t blame her.
For so long I derived my identity
from a man who was unkind to me;
I tolerated the way he spoke to me,
accepted crumbs of affection,
thought this was the best I could do.
Now I need to build trust in myself,
and demonstrate to this little girl
that I am strong and capable enough
to provide for her,
that I love her,
that I am glad she is here,
and she is the most important person in my life.
Instead of just thinking about self-love,
I am working on feeling it, living it, expressing it.
God, show me how to love and care for myself
the way you love and care for me.