Now it’s the conversation
between the anxious one—
the one who tries so hard to be good
and doesn’t quite believe she’ll ever be good enough,
and the relaxed one—
the one who realizes
it’s all good, and wants the anxious one
to just relax, breathe,
let it go, let life be.
The relaxed one says to the anxious one:
Sweetheart, you’re doing fine.
Close your eyes.
This life is beautiful.
Can you feel it?
I love you.
Can you feel it?
I admire you, respect you, cherish you.
Can you believe it?
And the anxious one replies,
Well…if I could feel and believe all of that,
we wouldn’t be having this conversation,
now would we?
The relaxed one laughs
and gives the anxious one a hug,
and hugs and hugs and hugs
until the anxious one forgets
what she was anxious about.
Sometimes the most important part
of a conversation
has nothing to do with words.
I was thinking
I was going to get more done today
I was paralyzed.
With fear, with anxiety,
So, I did what any
self-respecting individual would do
under the circumstances…
I read a book.
The book is called
Living Your Truth
by Kamal Ravikant.
I felt better.
I took one step,
I went grocery shopping.
I tidied up the house
a little bit more,
took care of some phone calls
I remembered to repeat
I love myself.
When the kids got home,
I was calm,
and managed to stay (mostly) calm
Dinner was beautiful,
my kids—of their own accord—
had an art moment!
It was…glorious to see them
happily working away
while I tidied up after dinner.
They’re still making art
and here I am writing this poem.
I was thinking
I was going to get more done today,
but I realize now,
today was enough.
I’m discovering that
it takes more courage than I thought
to keep going in the face of uncertainty.
A part of me envies
those with established lives:
established work, established relationships,
complete with vacation plans, retirement plans,
and even plots for what remains of them
one day when they’re done with this earthly life…
Another part of me knows
that my spirit would wither and die
if I were made to exist within the confines
of so much familiarity.
Yes, my wild spirit
would not condone all these plans.
So where is the balancing point?
I’m tired of the anxiety that comes
from not knowing where I’m going.
I’m tired of feeling guilty and ashamed
that at this point in my life
I still haven’t “figured it out.”
More questions than answers,
and so easy to blame the one
who pulled the rug out from under
the stability I once enjoyed
as the female parental unit
in our family of four.
Faced with so much uncertainty,
I want to run and hide,
I want to escape…
but from what? From whom?
I realize there is no escape.
I cannot run from myself.
I cannot distance myself
from the one who craves stability
and who at the same time
wants to live wild and free.
How can I bring these warring factions
to rest within the space of awareness?
How can I get them to settle
and engage in some quality peace talks?
Ah, answer me that and I’ll dub you a shaman,
a wise one, a mentor, a guide.
Come to think of it,
seems like I need one of those right about now.
My mind gets caught
in the most current challenge.
Around and around in a circle it goes,
trying to figure it all out.
But what if it isn’t meant to be figured out?
What if it’s meant to be lived?
What if it were enough to
just make it through this day,
with a body, mind, heart and spirit
all seeking integration?
What if I could breathe deeply,
relax into this moment,
and trust the unfolding
of my experience,
allowing the answers to be revealed
when the time is right?
I drank some wine tonight…
specifically to alter my mood.
I was feeling anxious
and exhausted from enduring
the difficult feelings.
I wanted them to change.
I want to escape these feelings.
I wonder why I had children.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t.
I wish I could run away.
My children are the only reason
I’m still here in this part of the world.
I’ve thought about leaving this planet
many times this past year.
I’ve had more thoughts like these
since the holiday season has arrived.
The anger is back and so is the depression.
I wonder how long I can make it
feeling like this.
I don’t want to have to take pills.
I want to lick this on my own.
But it is licking me.
I’m angry at life.
Then I feel guilty for feeling angry.
Then I’m ashamed that I haven’t
fixed my life by now.
I keep working to improve myself,
but the deeper I dig
the more faults I discover.
Why did I start digging in the first place?
I could go on forever,
but you probably wouldn’t read this,
and your reading this is one of the only reasons
I’m writing this.
I thought this was for me,
but really it’s because I long to be seen
and heard and understood.
Thanks for listening.
I’m feeling sad,
wanting this moment to be different.
I want more space, more freedom.
I want financial autonomy.
I want to offer something that will help others.
I want to step into my power,
express my essence,
create something beautiful, inspiring.
But the depression returns
and covers me in a dark, heavy blanket
of lethargy, fear, anxiety, doubt, inertia.
How to break free?
I know there is more out there,
I know I am capable of more.
How do I move forward?
The to do list hasn’t shrunk,
but somehow I’m feeling less afraid.
If anything, I have more responsibilities,
but somehow I’m feeling more peace.
Am I fooling myself?
I don’t think so.
Maybe it was waking up early,
sitting in the quiet
while the world was still dark.
Maybe it was the run I took
in just above freezing temps…
Maybe I remembered to breathe more.
Maybe I realized I can trust more,
I can have faith,
I can believe in myself
and the ability to pull through
each challenge one by one.
I don’t know exactly how it happened,
but somehow it did,
and right now, I’m smiling.