Today’s prompt asks us to write a concrete poem, which is a poem where the lines of words are placed in such a way to form a shape that is in some way connected to the theme of the poem. I wish I knew what uncertainty was shaped like. I’d write a poem in that shape…
🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳🐲🌳 The Shape of Uncertainty
It must be kind of wave like, the shape of uncertainty, because my uncertainty comes in waves.
Sometimes a little ripple, sometimes a crashing, roaring tsunami, whatever the size, the waves keep coming.
I haven’t drowned yet, because I’ve learned to keep breathing, catching my breath between the waves, finding a way to draw the air into my lungs.
Someday when I look back on this I’ll see that I stayed afloat somehow on this vast ocean. And though my vessel is tiny, it’s sound.
Come to think of it, aren’t all emotions shaped like waves? Love, anger, joy…don’t they all come and go, uncontrollable, unplanned, vast like the ocean?
You know when you go to sleep angry and wake up angry and try as you might to change it you go through the day angry? And then you feel depressed because you’ve been angry and the anger is exhausting and you’re looking around at your messy life, wondering when you’ll have the energy to get organized, but then you remember that you’re a single parent, and there’s already too much to do, and so you look at the mess and think, Someday I’ll…? Yeah, that.
This doesn’t feel right. It’s happening again. Sadness. Depression. Comparing my life to someone else’s, someone more successful. I don’t want to struggle to make ends meet. I don’t want to question if people really get me. And then…acceptance. I accept how I feel. I accept that this is happening again. I accept the sadness, the depression, I accept the comparison. I accept that life is a struggle sometimes. I accept my yearning to be understood. I’m still me with all my issues, but with acceptance, I’m a little more peaceful.
For the longest time I felt overwhelmed by my feelings, and then one day my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married. Now I wasn’t just overwhelmed by my feelings, I was drowning in them. In my devastation I found a coach. This coach suggested we try EFT. I found it helpful, but never remembered to do it on my own. Then, in spring of this year, I stood at the edge of the void, looking down, trying to figure out where my kids and I would live, and I started feeling overwhelmed. What can I do? I asked. The voice within reminded me of EFT. I began tapping every day at the beginning of my meditation practice. I cried every day for months. Every day I’d have mountains of snotty tissues piled around my meditation cushion. Time went on. I kept tapping. Gradually, I didn’t cry as much. Gradually, I started to feel lighter. To celebrate my 3000th day of meditation I shifted from tapping on difficult emotions to tapping on the truths I wish to embody as I become happier, healthier, stronger, more empowered. I am so grateful for this technique and for the teachers who have made it accessible to me. If you’re feeling heavy and you know it, tap away, my friends, tap away. You might be amazed at how it works.
Something beautiful is happening… I think it might be resilience? Stamina? Endurance? Wisdom gained from experience? But as I found myself caught in my monthly darkness today, instead of falling all the way down into the dark hole of depression and believing my life was never good and never will be good I remembered that this was a temporary darkness, and all I had to do was ride it out. I prayed. I breathed. I reassured the little girl in me who was never allowed to feel sad or angry that I saw her and loved her. It didn’t change the mood. it was still awful and dark and sad, but some part of me knew this was temporary. What can I call this? Empowerment? Evolution? Grace? That has a nice ring to it. I think I’ll call it grace.
I’m turning toward the one within who has been suffering so long trying to be good. Sitting on my cushion, tapping on the points,* releasing old stories, crying tears of old grief, something waits for me. Behind the stories, before the stories, before the layers were piled on top of me, there was just this Self, this essence of being, open, clear, available to the present moment. Uncovering that Self, listening, seeing, and celebrating her, setting her free to live and love authentically, this is why I do this work. It is so worth it. ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨ *I’ve been practicing EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) daily since mid-May. It has gotten me throught the worst moments of terror and anxiety about the future, and grief, shame and regret about the past. It has also helped me to stay sober when I had moments of wanting to numb out with various societally acceptable ways of escaping one’s feelings. Do you practice EFT or have you ever heard of it? There aren’t too many people in my sphere who have. I have found it so helpful that I’m feeing called to share the practice.
Freedom. Connection. Peace. Vitality. Abundance. Joy. Compassion. Service. Inspiration. Confidence. Generosity. Gratitude. Love. It turns out that the more attention I give to these positive feeling states the more my brain creates circuitry to support the experience of those states in my body, mind, and life. My mind has been focused on suffering and now it is time for a new habit. God, give me the strength to focus on how I really want to feel.
I just want to be a good mother. I try so hard. And at the end of the day, I lose it sometimes. I lose it with my kids when I’m tired and they’re tired. There used to be another adult around who’d step in when I couldn’t anymore. That adult is gone. When I’m tired and sick there is no one else to take care of me but me. I’m tired of taking care of myself, tired of being alone. I want help. It’s in these moments that the anger wells up if I don’t stop it. I get angry for being thrust into this place of missing my kids when they’re not here and overwhelmed when they are. I’m tired of this mess, this story. I can do so well for hours and hours. I can be proud of my mothering, the balance I manage to find. But at the end of the day I’m tired and they’re tired and sometimes I just lose it.
There is no losing or winning, just staying asleep or waking up. Every time I breathe consciously, I wake up a little bit more. I have more available to me in this moment, more to feel, and see, and touch, more to embody, embrace and become. I let the breath move through me. When I feel a difficult feeling, I ventilate it, and let it pass through too. Sometimes I don’t react to the feeling, I just breathe it. And I remember it’s not about losing or winning, but staying asleep or waking up. I choose to awaken.
Saturday night and I’m alone. I used to have a husband and we used to live together with our two children… I used to have a family. I try not to retell the story of how you made the choice to break our family apart, and share your heart and bed with someone else. But the pain is real, and the grief surges up inside me like a wave and suddenly I’m drowning. A drowning person can’t think logically… they’re fighting for survival. All they want is a breath of air. Just like this, I cannot think my way out of the grief that drowns me. I’m thrashing about inside myself looking for land, trying to catch my breath, but there’s no land, and there’s no breath, and I’m sinking deeper, deeper under.