What if I didn’t have to try so hard to succeed?
What if all I needed to do was breathe and see
and open my heart to the feeling of peace?
I give everything I have
and a part of me says
This isn’t enough.
I’m learning to listen to another part.
It’s quieter and deeper under
and I have to get still
in order to hear it and feel it.
When I tune into this part,
I don’t have to try so hard.
I can breathe and see
and open my heart to the feeling of peace.
I’m discovering that I need people to be happy.
I’m noticing that when I’m around people
I feel good.
I feel happy.
But when I’m by myself,
I become depressed.
I don’t eat.
I feel worthless.
I’m trying to bring more
into my life,
but connection takes time and energy.
How do I find the energy and motivation
when I’ve been alone for so long
that I’m feeling heavy and depressed?
What came first…the loneliness or the depression?
I sense that I’ve had this feeling for a long, long time.
Even as a child some part of me knew
I needed deep, meaningful connection,
and when I was made to be in groups
where only superficial connection was taking place,
I felt drained, listless.
I decided that I was better off by myself.
I labeled myself as an introvert,
and I’ve spent a lot of my life just wanting to be away from people.
But now I see a distinction to be made.
Connection is so much more
than being with someone for the sake of not being alone…
It’s being together with a sense of purpose,
engaging in co-evolution, exploration, sharing, growth.
Relating heart to heart, mind to mind, soul to soul—
this is what I yearn for.
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?
Caught in the trance of unworthiness*
Wondering what to do, where to go,
what to say and to whom,
which book to read,
what action to take,
how to stand, how to sit,
how to walk,
what to eat,
what to drink,
what to wear,
who will understand
all these questions, these doubts,
There is a darkness,
an unspeakable horror in me,
clawing to get out.
It visits me in my dreams at night
and wakes me up.
I feel exhausted by these nightly hauntings.
I want release, relief, respite
from being tossed around on these huge waves
in the infinite ocean of consciousness,
the surface of which
has been stormy for quite some time.
I’m tired of the turbulence,
tired of this endless transition
from what was familiar
into a new life that I cannot see or fathom.
They say I’m at the helm.
They say I have the power.
They say I can change my narrative, my perception,
They tell me I’m better off without him.
This is just talk,
and I am tired of being thrown about endlessly
on enormous waves out in the middle of nowhere,
no land in sight,
on a flimsy vessel that is sinking fast.
I have nearly drowned a thousand times
in the dark waters of my psyche.
Why do I keep thrashing my way to the surface?
I want a safe harbor, a home,
a place of belonging,
a tribe who knows and loves me.
Why in the moment when I most need connection
does it seem that no one is there?
Why with all of this love around
does it not show up in the way I’m wanting?
More questions than answers,
and afraid to go to sleep
because I know what waits for me in the darkness:
than any human should bear.
*Spiritual teacher Tara Brach talks about the trance of unworthiness in her book Radical Acceptance.
if I go deeper than I’ve ever gone before,
will I get lost in the depths?
Will I hit the bottom and bounce back up?
Will I get disoriented and not know
which way is up?
Will I run out of air?
Will I drown down there?
Even scarier than the thought
of getting lost in the depths
is the thought of staying forever
stuck in the shallows
wondering if I’ll ever
have the courage to go deeper.
I think I’ll just go ahead
and go deeper.