When you think you should’ve done better,
be gentle; allow yourself to try again.
Yes, be honest with yourself
and make clear choices about the next time,
but still, be gentle.
Would you admonish a toddler
for not knowing how to sprint a marathon?
I struggle with the parts of myself
that feel unacceptable—
the anger, the sadness,
the fragility, the meanness—
and I realize I just want relief,
I want to feel better.
Then I realize
it doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Could I accept all these different parts?
Could I listen to them,
learn from them
what they’re here to teach me?
Again, I need patience.
There’s no going back to the old way,
and I cannot see
more than a few steps ahead…
can I just relax into this process
of making my way
one day at a time?
I need to be patient with this process.
I was in the victim story
for a lot longer than the story
of my empowerment.
I believed he shouldn’t have left me
for a lot longer than I realized he should.
My pain is older than the loss of this marriage,
my abandonment, my grief, my heartache
much older than that moment
one year and one month ago
when he dropped the bomb
on the life I thought I knew.
And he is gone.
He has been gone for a while,
and he won’t be coming back.
And so now it is my task
to turn toward myself
and sit with the aching little girl
who clamors for my attention.
She cries out in anger and despair
because I haven’t been there for her,
so taken was I
with the telling of my sad, sad story.
I need to be patient with this process.
Taking ownership of one’s pain
is something that many people
will never realize they can do
let alone go ahead and do
once they realize they can.
I am making this choice.
I feel alone in it.
But that’s just because
no one I know personally
has made such a choice before.
there are beloveds out there,
kindreds, who just like me
want to evolve until the day they die,
sweethearts who want to own their pain
so that they have the space,
and the presence
to own their joy.
Hmmm…for some reason I keep hoping that these NaPoWriMo prompts will get easier, but they seem to be getting harder, perhaps because of what is happening in my external world. But anyway, here goes. Today’s prompt asked us to write a list of all of the identities with which we associate ourselves, and then divide that list in two more lists, one list of identities that make us feel powerful and another list of identities that make us feel vulnerable. Then we write a poem in which an identity from one list is speaking to, or contending with, or challenging an identity from the other list. What a head game. Luckily I’m always game to play in my head, so, let’s see what happens.
I wrote my list, and artist and critic were both there. I figure that this a great place to start.
Hey! Me here.
Who do you think you are
getting those art supplies out?
You aren’t any good
and no one cares what you
are trying to create.
Oh sweetie, there you go again.
Why do you think you need to be good?
This act of creation is just for you….
you don’t need to impress anyone else,
and especially yourself.
Drop the pressure and radiate your light.
Life is your work of art.
Let your genius shine.
You don’t have to try so hard, friend…
Just relax and let your genius shine.
Asking how and why
and being told to wait.
and being told
I need to be patient.
I have these big dreams, God,
how will I realize them?
Child, just watch.
You are allowed to sit back
and relax as the majesty unfolds.
I want this for you.
Tired and low again today.
My fear is that this state
becomes my normal state,
that I cease to have hope,
that my resolve to change
crashes and burns.
I remember suddenly
that the solstice is in one week.
These are the darkest days of the year.
May I remember the inner light
as the world grows darker
and the nights longer.
why dost thou elude me?
Why, when I need you the most,
do you seem to be in such short supply?
that’s how it is.
While learning how to be patient with life,
you need to be patient with yourself.
Patience with Self
is a sure sign that you’re ready
to be patient with others.