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.
I want to trust the process of becoming
but the path is dark and lonely
and I can’t see two feet ahead of me.
I’m floundering through a forest of pain,
shadows everywhere, loud sounds,
and it’s all in my head.
I look up and look around.
I’m in a room,
it’s a bright sunny day,
But the night is approaching swiftly,
and this is when the painful thoughts
have the most power over me.
I want to trust this process of becoming
but the path is dark and lonely
and I can’t see two feet head of me.
You have to just let go
they keep telling me.
I think really
IT needs to let go of me.
IT has its hooks in me.
I want to be free.
I want to feel alive again.
I don’t want to be angry,
hurt, sad or depressed anymore.
I want to set my life in order.
I want my home to be organized.
I want to have work
that allows me
to support myself and my children.
I apply for food stamps
because my money is all gone.
I get angry when I think about this.
He left our marriage,
and has moved on.
Now he spends his time
and his money on another.
Yes, I want to let go.
Today’s prompt asks us to create a poem by engaging with a strange fact, or an odd bit of history, or some obscure morsel of trivia. I tried. Really I did…I read some bits and pieces in all the websites that were linked in the prompt, but nothing really spoke to me, so here I am, just thinking I’m going to write something and call it a poem, because I can!
FACT: I want to know how long it will take to grieve
FACT: I’m tired today
FACT: I’m waiting for things to change.
FACT: I’m scared they won’t.
FACT: I’m not sure I’ll ever learn to trust again.
FACT: I still have hope.
Give life a chance to surprise you.
Just relax and trust that all is well.
The alternative is to stress out
and fear that everything is horrible.
Which sounds better to you?
He gave up on me.
He didn’t want my sweet honey any longer.
He thought he’d find someone sweeter
and I became stronger.
He’s afraid of me now
though he’d never admit it.
And I wonder how this
being I find myself pitying
is the same one I met
and felt so much love for
when love’s first blush
painted the rosiest of pictures.
I love reality because I choose it,
and I live life because I love it,
and meanwhile reality and life
owe me nothing.
How could I be so blessed
to see the beauty of the wounding
and accept the turn our lives have taken?
He set me free. This is a gift.
And I choose it.
I start to feel like I’m slipping.
Is it because I’m so tired?
Have I done too much today?
am I not here
to help others?
I should be doing more.
But I’m not feeling so great.
I don’t want to do anything
Stop being selfish.
But I need to put on
my oxygen mask
Stop being so self-absorbed.
I’m feeling lonely.
I don’t want to do this.
Stop whining. Buck up.
Get back to work.
But I’m tired.
So many voices in my head.
Which one is telling