I cycle up
I cycle down
and I’m not talking about riding my bike
I’m talking about riding the waves
of my own body
and the cycles of hormones
and how there are no brakes
no turn signal.
I apologize for the tone of my last poem.
Actually, I don’t.
I have raging PMS
and the veil between 3D reality
and the spirit world is thinner
and everything I have been suppressing
in my act to be nice and please everyone
is now coming up of its own volition.
So really, I have no control over it.
And so, if you don’t like it,
you know exactly what you can do.
The most painful thing
is the disappointment I feel
when I’ve been impatient with my kids,
when I can’t step up,
be the adult
and just keep going.
I get stuck, hung up in my pain.
It blinds me.
It makes me say things I don’t mean,
and then I have to live with myself afterwards.
I’m tired of this feeling,
so tired of the old way of thinking.
I have worked so hard to overcome it,
but it’s so easy to slip into the old habits.
PMS is back, and this is when it’s the worst.
Will this ever change?*
Or am I doomed to be Jekyll and Hyde forever?
*I guess I can look forward to menopause?
It’s a struggle,*
but only because
it’s always been a struggle.
If I can change my mind,
if I can see a different way,
this might become
This is an opportunity
to slow down,
to the rhythms of my body-mind,
honor the self
that tries so hard to be good.
Can I love her
when she wants to scream?
Can I love her
when she is tired?
Can I appreciate
everything she has been through?
Instead of doing
what I’ve always done,
can I try something new?
If nothing else,
has given me an opportunity
to come home to myself
if only for this moment.
I want to find the Self
in all the swirls of emotion,
in the body aches and fatigue,
in the loneliness—
and I want to love her fiercely.
*Ladies out there, give me an AMEN if you too find yourself accosted with darkness and mood swings in conjunction with your moon cycle. It has been this way my whole adult life. What helps you manage to make it through those days of darkness until the sun breaks through the clouds again?
And guys out there…when your ladies get this way, have you found a way to help them make it through, or do you run in the opposite direction? I mean…it is INTENSE, after all, and hard to understand the sudden changes in temperament. My recommendation: buy her some flowers, run her a bath, make her some tea, and tell her you’re there for her and that you love her no matter what.
I’m feeling funky
without any real reason.
I’m on vacation in paradise.
My family is here.
I had a good dinner.
Why am I feeling this way?
It must be my thinking.
Could it be I’m having
an unexamined thought
that is making me crazy?
It has something to do
with wanting connection,
wanting to feel seen, heard, understood,
longing to feel like I can relate,
longing to experience that my needs are important
in the eyes of others.
Also this could be PMS.
Note: Every once in a while it feels appropriate to write about the difficulties I experience in my inner world. One of the most common characteristics of depression is the belief that we are alone in this, we are the only ones in the world feeling this. When I write about the challenges I have with my mood, it is not to garner sympathy or to make anyone feel sorry for me. It is for those out there who are experiencing the same thing as I and who might benefit from learning that they aren’t alone in their suffering.
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,
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,
You are where you need to be,
and these feelings are real.
They have something to tell you;
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.
It began with multiple interruptions
to my morning meditation…
my son ran in the room
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,
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.