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?
Tonight I sit in ceremony again,
a new circle of strangers,
who just like me
are seeking the truth
of the one who abides
forever in wholeness.
Can I trust in this process
of surrendering to ALL THAT IS?
Can I drop the shield I was carrying
and stand vulnerable
in the truth of ultimate reality?
I am Source
and I am that which blocks Source.
Can I find the harmony
in the flow between the extremes?
I am human,
living a world of night and day,
male and female,
hot and cold.
Can I navigate the realm of duality
while staying connected
to the pure oneness of being?
Please God, show me the way.
Hmmm. In today’s prompt we were invited to write a poem in which something big and something small come together. I immediately think about (big) ideas like love, marriage, hopes and fears, beginnings and endings, and (small) units of time, like just one day in the life. The trajectory of our (big) lives is made up of countless (small) days. If I were to examine one small day in the life of my marriage (which, now that he has moved out, is swiftly approaching its endpoint) do I pick a day when things were going well, or do I pick a day when it had already gone to hell? Do I count the years of our marriage as a (small) period of time in comparison to the (big) trajectory of my life? Is this how I find healing? The (big) emotions of grief, pain, betrayal and loss meet the (small) moment to moment experiences of breathing, eating, sleeping, and taking one step at a time. In order to live skillfully as humans we must be deeply aware of all of these juxtapositions and learn how to navigate among them with grace and intention. Can I let the (big) vision of stepping into my highest self be embodied within the reality of my shortcomings as one (small) woman?
I see her now,
how she tried so hard to be good.
I see how she wanted it to work
and in ways big and small
sacrificed the best of herself
for a vision she held
of the grand institution of marriage
and the complexities of life with young children.
He held no such vision.
Unlike her, he saw their conflict
as symptoms of a mismatch.
Where she was ready to confront the issues
and find solutions,
he invested in the belief
that things should be easier than they were.
So he took the easy way out.
He blamed her for his pain,
told his story to countless others,
created an army that supported his victimhood
and started a war in their home.
She dove deeper into herself
to find the sanctuary promised by the scriptures
of all the world’s faiths.
As she came to rest in the arms
of divine union with self,
he sought the embrace of another,
one outside their sanctified union,
because by that point,
what they had once shared was dead to him.
She grieved. She lost weight. She lost sleep.
She lost friends. She lost hope. Almost.
From the tiniest stirrings of hope almost lost
emerged a new awareness, a strength
forged in the fires of mourning.
One day she looked in the mirror
and realized that it had to happen this way.
He needed to reject the self she was
so that she could discover
the self she was born to be.
Yes it hurts sometimes still…
but behind the hurt there grows
something that will never be tarnished
by the stories of victimization,
justification, and rationalization:
the big Self,
the miracle of existence,
the song of gratitude,
the promise of forgiveness.
Everything affects me these days.
I want to be so good,
and then I remember…
It all comes flooding back:
We were married,
then he was done,
then he met someone else,
lied about it,
and finally he’s moving out.
Finally I’ll be able
to reclaim my space.
Now how to navigate
the emotions that hurt?
How to find the courage
to stay with my experience?
It’s turns out that I really don’t know
as much as I once thought.
He gave up on me.
He didn’t want my sweet honey any longer.
He thought he’d find someone sweeter
and I became stronger.
He’s afraid of me now
though he’d never admit it.
And I wonder how this
being I find myself pitying
is the same one I met
and felt so much love for
when love’s first blush
painted the rosiest of pictures.
I love reality because I choose it,
and I live life because I love it,
and meanwhile reality and life
owe me nothing.
How could I be so blessed
to see the beauty of the wounding
and accept the turn our lives have taken?
He set me free. This is a gift.
And I choose it.
I wonder if you ever really loved me.
Why am I sad to see you go?
They say that shame can’t live
when it’s spoken.
Why in the speaking
do I feel so ashamed?
After this time,
the very idea of sleeping with
someone other than my husband
is utterly absurd
he has already slept with another woman.
My husband, the man who was mine,
gave a part of himself away to someone else,
a part that was reserved only for me,
and he shall never be with me in that way again.
I think again about forgiveness,
the years I was told I wasn’t enough,
I didn’t contribute,
I wasn’t a partner.
Two beautiful children
look up at us with wide eyes.
My contribution speaks for itself.
That’s all this really is.
Because our realities
are formed by our thoughts,
if we don’t like what we see
we need to rearrange how we think.
I’m not saying that we tolerate
the intolerable, oh no.
We aren’t being apathetic
to injustice or tyranny, nope.
A proper mindset
keeps us aware
of our power
and shows us how to wield it
in the wisest of ways.
I choose now
to be a stand for what is good
in the universe.
I see that good.
And I do everything in my power
to help others to see it
and express it
for the benefit of all beings.