Tag Archives: mood swings

A Different Source

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As my inner turmoil has intensified
I have found myself remembering
a glass of wine
or a mojito
or a margarita…
It has been years since I’ve had a drink.
I chose to stop
because I wanted to go deeper
and to be clearer…
but I remember
the soothing wave of inebriation,
the giddiness,
and I ask myself if I’m being too extreme,
too ascetic, too prudish, too goody-goody.
I know many people who would say
I should have a drink
when I’m feeling this way.
It’s just a glass of wine,
it’s good for you
they would say.
Just have a drink,
it won’t kill you,
it will help you relax.
But I’ve chosen clarity,
and this means to stand and face
whatever arises with my whole self,
my real self.
How can I see what needs to be seen
if I have filled my head with clouds?
It was a personal choice,
a commitment I made,
and I feel honor bound to uphold it.
A quieter voice says,
Don’t look back.
This is your chance.
Summon your courage,
breathe.
You are where you need to be,
and these feelings are real.
They have something to tell you;
listen.
Trust.
Being able to hear this voice
is a taste sweeter than the finest wine,
more refreshing than
than the most perfectly mixed mojito.
Sure, these drinks might taste good for a moment,
but the inner longing would remain;
and after their sweetness receded from my tongue,
I would be still more parched,
the way drinking from the ocean makes you even more
desperate to find pure, clear, sweet salvation.
And so I dip not my hand into these waters.
Now I quench my thirst from a different source.

Too Blind to Reach Out

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When caught in the depths
of a deep dark mood
It’s hard to see any way out,
and there begins this frantic search
to escape the darkness
that cannot be escaped.
It doesn’t matter how many times
I have pondered the idea
that our pain has much to teach us,
when in the middle of the pain,
I don’t want to listen and learn…
I just want out.
I forget what I love about life.
I am blind to what is good in my life.
I feel alone and disappointed
that I haven’t grown out of feeling this way,
as if aging
would magically confer immunity
from the cyclical suffering
that has plagued me since kingdom come.
Who can tell me
how to navigate these murky waters?
Or, should I learn to stay in place
and dive deeper?
Perhaps if I had a hand to hold,
this journey wouldn’t seem so god awful.
But I am reminded that my inner world
is mine alone,
and this journey is one that I must face alone–
is it true?
Maybe this belief is what has kept me
from finding the hand I need.
Maybe the rope was thrown to me long ago,
and I have been too blind to reach out and hold on.

Breathing Underwater

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It began with multiple interruptions
to my morning meditation…
my son ran in the room
wanting breakfast,
and my husband wouldn’t wake up
to get the lad some food.
And so it fell on mama
to rise early from her cushion,
as she was attempting to awaken,
as her husband was allowed to simply sleep…
The stories about
putting everyone else’s needs before my own,
so many stories in my head
contributing to a dark mood,
repetitive thoughts,
and the noise from the outside world,
enough to make the sanest crazy.
There is no vacation from one’s darkest thoughts.
I haven’t had mind altering substances for years,
and sometimes in moments like these
I remember why I drank wine and beer.
But no more,
I made this commitment to being clear,
and that means diving deeper
when the water is dark and frigid
when the foreboding depths
seem to conceal
a terrifying truth…
There is no end to this pain.
Of course, I could also reason
that the deeper I dig,
the more space I will have to welcome joy.
When the light of awareness
pierces the murky depths
I might discover
there is nothing to fear,
I won’t suffocate in my pain,
I might learn to breathe underwater.

Reluctant Housecleaning

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I scrubbed toilets
with no gladness in my heart today,
felt overburdened and overwhelmed,
walked around scowling,
and when I wasn’t enraged,
I was feeling guilty and ashamed
for losing my temper with my kids.
I thought about people
who clean houses for a living,
what that must be like…
Keeping just one house clean
feels like way too much
for one person to handle alone.
And I thought of societal expectations,
what one woman is supposed to do
for her home, her family,
putting others needs before her own.
I thought of those who live
with more creative freedom than I…
do they manage to keep a clean house
and find time for the things they really want to do?
I wouldn’t have cared so much
about the dingy state of things,
but my in-laws are coming Friday,
and I have appearances to keep up.
If only I could vacuum the crud out of my brain,
the way I vacuum the crud out of the carpet.

The Best I Can

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First I ask for their forgiveness
and then I attempt to forgive myself.
I didn’t want to lose my temper
I didn’t want to jump up and down
and yell
and get red in the face.
But I’m tired, and sick, and human,
and sometimes I just lose it.
The critic said to me,
See? Five years of daily meditation
have done nothing for you.
You still lose your temper.
You are an imposter.
I said to the critic
If you think this is bad,
imagine how I’d be without meditation.
And then I forgave myself.
For what?
For listening to the voice
that told me I should have done better
than I was able to do.
I am, like everyone else on this blessed planet,
doing the best I can.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 3: Help Me Out

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Ladies, help me out.
Do you get mood swings too?
Do you feel enraged
for no particular reason,
and even if the sun is shining,
do you feel darkness too?
I want to know what will help.
I meditate, I breathe,
I keep myself busy with housework.
I try to give my kids my full attention,
but the monster can sweep it all away,
and all that is left is my anger.
Help me out.
Who knows how to stop the rage?
Who can pull themselves back from the edge?
Help me out.
How do you deal with your anger?