Tag Archives: pain

Our Greatest Teacher

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If healing were easy
everyone would be doing it
but there is no switch,
no magic wand
no quick fix.
And it doesn’t work to focus on the surface,
shining up the exterior
while the interior is full of darkness;
the light must shine everywhere.
Of course,
it doesn’t work to replace one extreme
with another either.
It’s not about eradicating the darkness
so that there is only light;
we learn through contrast,
and the darkness has its place
in this great wheel of life.
Balance is the key,
and acceptance that everything changes.
If we could drop the unreasonable expectations
and open our hearts to what is alive in this moment,
we might discover that the antidote to our pain
lives within the pain itself.
Our adversity is our greatest teacher.

In This State

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Our brains are hardwired
for love, connection and belonging.
In the absence of these,
our system goes into
fight or flight.
I have been chronically isolated
for two years now.
Besides my children,
I have had no regular contact
with caring people.
I have been in fight or flight
for two years.
When your brain is in
fight or flight,
your human ability
to think and problem solve
is hijacked
by your reptilian impulse
to survive what is threatening you.
I have been operating
from my survival response
for two years now.
When you are in
fight or flight
for extended periods of time,
your system shuts down.
This is the burnout stage of stress.
I am burned out, traumatized
isolated, and terrified.
How am I supposed
to recreate my life in this state?

The Strength to Climb

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When you’re 42 years old
with two young children,
recently divorced,
celibate for the last two years,
yearning for human contact
but trusting no one…
When there’s just $35 in your checking account…
and your AC has been broken for two weeks
and there’s a wiring problem in your house
necessitating running extension cords
from your refrigerator and freezer
to outlets in another room…
When you’re feeling
tired, angry, and lonely,
but you’ve made a commitment to sobriety
to try to claw your way out
of this pit you’ve fallen into…
When the only direction you can go is up,
but you’re so damn depressed that breathing feels hard—
HOW DO YOU FIND THE STRENGTH TO CLIMB?

Update:

Friends, that last question is not rhetorical. I quite literally want to know how YOU, you who have made it through tough circumstances and who have come out stronger, how YOU did it. I need some hope. Please share your experience, strength and hope with me.

I Wish Mine Could Be

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Terror.
Agony.
Uncertainty.
Future is up in the air.
What will I do?
Where will I go?
Where will I live?
So easy to go back to victimhood,
and blame the one
who made these children with me.
Recovering from the lies and deceit,
the abandonment, betrayal and loss,
some days it’s enough
just to get out of bed
and take care of the kids.
And now I need to take care of myself,
provide for myself,
fill up the massive hole in my chest
that he left when he threw me away…
And it has been two years.
Healing isn’t linear…
it takes many twists and turns,
and there are many in-between moments
of not knowing what action to take.
Healing isn’t linear…
I just wish mine could be.

Regardless of What I’m Doing

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A deep and pervading sense of futility,
like things will always be this way,
like I will always feel this way.
Darkness closing in,
suffocating in my loneliness,
counting the minutes
until I can be useful again
in the two roles I currently have:
mother and yoga teacher.
I can see why,
with these painful feelings,
some people become workaholics.
And, I want to get to the place
where I can celebrate the fact of being,
regardless of what I’m doing
and for whom I’m doing it.

Another Poem (Gratitude)

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Before he dropped the bomb
I had a regular, consistent gratitude practce.
I recorded five things every night
for which I was grateful.
I had been doing this for years,
faithfully,
and had already filled multiple books
with my nightly gratitudes.
After he dropped the bomb,
I expanded my practice.
When my mind was telling me my life was over
and that I’d never be happy again,
I recorded twenty things every night
for which I was grateful.
I began to count the smallest things
as important…
the way the sun rose,
the way my child’s voice sounds,
the taste of soup,
the temperature of the wind.
I realized that those “little” things
are enormous in their beauty
and their presence.
I realized I could be more grateful.
I started to realize that happiness
is a choice I make every day.
I’m into my healing process.
I can thank him for dropping the bomb
and blowing my old life to bits
so that I could create a new life.
I’m still working on forgiveness,
but that is another poem.


No End

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Grief:
Non-linear.
Messy.
Unpredictable.
Just when I think to myself
I’ve got this, I’m better,
suddenly,
I’m back down on my knees
by the side of my bed
sobbing the Serenity Prayer
to some Higher Power
I hope exists
but whose presence
I cannot quite feel
in those moments
of deep sadness and disconnection.
I turn back to my breath.
I sigh out the deep pain,
but it keeps coming,
the tears keep coming.
Is there no end to this?