Loosening the ties that bind me
to an old, outdated mode of being,
learning to breathe deeply and slowly
and really see how unique this present moment is,
seeing how life has always provided me what I need,
and trusting that it always will,
it all becomes so simple.
Life isn’t meant to be figured out, dissected,
overburdened with assigned meaning—
but one breath, one step, one moment,
one day at a time,
life is meant to be lived.
Forgiveness cannot be forced.
When my family fell apart
I tried to rush to forgiveness,
thinking that it would speed up
the healing process.
But I was just engaging in
using my spirituality
to circumvent the messy trenches
of deep grief and traumatic loss.
I prayed to God to show me the way,
hoping I could fly over
the dark valley and avoid
what lurked there in the shadows
of my deepest, darkest memories.
I read books and listened to speakers,
I attended meetings,
I thought I knew what I was doing,
but I was really attempting
to avoid the inevitable.
Finally I discovered
that what I really needed
was to allow myself to feel.
I had to go through the grieving process.
I had to face the loss of the life I knew,
I had to take each day
one at a time.
Some days the pain was so intense
I didn’t think I could live through it.
People would tell me
It won’t be like this forever;
I didn’t believe them.
Over time, as I remained clear
and focused on my goal
to find a place for me and my kids,
I noticed the fog was lifting;
I felt more like myself
with each passing day.
Looking back I see
that it was my effort to heal
that blocked the healing.
It was my belief
that things should be a certain way
that kept me from embracing things
as they were.
And now I’m still working on forgiveness,
but at least I have the sense now
to allow that grace to come, naturally,
when the time is right
and my heart is ripe
for such sweetness…
Thank you for this day.
Thank you for waking me up again.
Thank you for giving me strength
to make it through,
even when I’m tired, sick,
and all I want to do is rest.
Thank you for helping me to be
the most loving mom I can be to my kids,
for tending to their needs joyfully, patiently,
and with gratitude that I was blessed with children
(even when sometimes I wish I weren’t!).
Thank you for cleansing my heart
of envy when I see husbands
taking care of their wives
with love in their eyes.
Help me to embrace my loneliness,
so that if it is your will one day,
I might celebrate partnership again.
The tide has shifted
and I’m ready for change.
Somehow more empowered…
maybe my practices have coalesced?
Or is it the clarity arising
from 100% sobriety
100% of the time?
Is it that the Universe has aligned?
Is it that enough people have prayed for me?
I’ve begun to feel
that life is worth living again…
Is it the blessing of a thunderstorm,
cooling the air
after the sweltering heat of day,*
the look in my children’s eyes
as we pick wineberries
by the side of the road,
the hustle back home
as the storm approached?
Something is different.
There is more hope,
more conviction that somewhere,
this will all work out.
*My home’s air-conditioning system has be inoperable since May. If you are from around here, you know how godawfully hot and humid it is in these parts this time of year. If you’re not from around here, trust me when I say that it’s basically inhumane and cruel to not have air conditioning during the summer months…
(not an easy task.)
Holding a vision.
tending to the tenderness,
and breathing into
the gaping open places,
the void that was left
the last time around.
Openness and readiness
are a call for fulfillment,
but not its promise.
I am waiting for that promise.
Why do you elude me?
Why do I want you?
Why do I need you?
And why, when I need you the most,
do you desert me?
I think I may need to learn more about you.
I wish you could visit and stay awhile,
but you’re such a flirt—
you’re here one moment, gone the next.
If you can tell me who knows you best,
THAT one I’d like to meet.
If I could master you,
that would be quite the feat!
This healing is taking so long.
One year later and I’m still angry,
still depressed, still believing sometimes
that I’d rather be dead than go through this.
At other times I’m grateful to be alive.
It feels like an endless roller coaster ride.
Is this how life is supposed to be?
I want stability. I want peace.
And yet…I want change. I want excitement.
Can there be room for all of these?
I’m tired of asking so many questions,
tired of so much unresolved stuff
whizzing around my head.
But isn’t this how I learn?
I dedicate the merit of my sit
to awakening in awareness of my true self
for the benefit of all beings.
Could it be that every one of these
has something to teach me?
Could it be that every single one
of these heartbreaking moments
is part of the plan?
I’m tired. I want to be healed.
Am I just healing the hard way?
And is there any easier way than this?