Just get through today,
my recovery friends tell me.
Just get through the next hour,
the next minute.
I ask myself what got me here,
wondering how I’ll make it through
one more minute.
It’s a soul contract,
my spiritual buddies tell me.
everything you were meant to
and now the relationship
has run its course.
You can let go now.
and all I feel is the pain.
When did the pain start?
Surely before I married him.
I must’ve brought it with me
into the marriage,
and somehow, together,
we activated it
so that I could learn.
Can I thank him
for giving me a chance
to see and work through
my old pain?
Can I have faith
that Divine Love
brought me here
but won’t abandon me here?
Can I trust
that everything will work out?
I return home to an empty house.
I’m reminded of what I once had,
what is gone now.
They tell me You’ll get better,
You’ll get stronger.
They tell me
This is the best thing
that could’ve happened to you.
But what do they know?
Slogging it out,
one day at a time,
one year at a time,
on most days
I feel too tired to be grateful,
and yet I keep pushing through.
I write in my gratitude journal:
I woke up today.
My sitter was able to come.
I was able to pay for lunch today.
They tell me my gratitude
will open up the gateway to abundance.
But will it help me to live
when I have no money left in my bank account?
Caught in a story.
I tried for a year to believe.
A year came and went
and I’m still struggling.
How do I keep believing
in a chance for better days?
I always want to find resolve
with my words.
I always want to end these poems
on some kind of inspiring note,
some kind of opening into greater things.
Tonight, I don’t have it in me.
Tonight, the sadness wins.
One year later
and it still hurts,
I’m still crying.
A girlfriend told me
My sister grieved for eight years.
Do I have seven left to go?
I gather proof of their togetherness;
each image I see
drives the knife in deeper.
Friends ask me
Are you sure you want to see this stuff?
It’s for my attorney, I answer.
But there’s a part of me,
and terms like adultery,
who just wants to see.
I want to see how he spends his time,
the person he has become,
the images he chooses to share
with the world,
or at least the part of the world
he hasn’t blocked.
I’m on the outside looking in,
knocking at the door,
searching for a new sense of belonging.
I thought he was the door
to love, stability, family, connection.
I thought he was my savior.
But now I look up,
and I can’t see him anymore.
I look up,
and all I see is my reflection.
Searching for meaning
in all of this suffering,
this feeling of powerlessness,
My friend said,
I want to believe her.
But what is the truth anymore?
When will forgiveness come?
When will I be released?
I cry out to God
I don’t want to be in pain anymore.
I don’t want this anger,
What do I need to do to change this?
I suppose I don’t know anything at all.
I thought the choice to forgive
and the understanding
that my freedom relies on it
would be enough
to bring about the desired result—
the freedom of forgiving, letting go.
But nearly twelve moons have passed
since he torpedoed the life we shared
and I’m tired of living in a war zone.
Home doesn’t feel like home.
He left in April
and it’s more peaceful since he’s been gone,
but the war moved inside me
and it’s holding on.
I don’t want to be at war with myself.
Please God, show me how to forgive,
how to believe,
how to love and trust again.
This tender, vulnerable heart
wants to mend.
Please remove the grief.
Let me see with clear eyes again.
Let me forgive.
Let me forgive.
Help me forgive.
Caught in the trance of unworthiness*
Wondering what to do, where to go,
what to say and to whom,
which book to read,
what action to take,
how to stand, how to sit,
how to walk,
what to eat,
what to drink,
what to wear,
who will understand
all these questions, these doubts,
There is a darkness,
an unspeakable horror in me,
clawing to get out.
It visits me in my dreams at night
and wakes me up.
I feel exhausted by these nightly hauntings.
I want release, relief, respite
from being tossed around on these huge waves
in the infinite ocean of consciousness,
the surface of which
has been stormy for quite some time.
I’m tired of the turbulence,
tired of this endless transition
from what was familiar
into a new life that I cannot see or fathom.
They say I’m at the helm.
They say I have the power.
They say I can change my narrative, my perception,
They tell me I’m better off without him.
This is just talk,
and I am tired of being thrown about endlessly
on enormous waves out in the middle of nowhere,
no land in sight,
on a flimsy vessel that is sinking fast.
I have nearly drowned a thousand times
in the dark waters of my psyche.
Why do I keep thrashing my way to the surface?
I want a safe harbor, a home,
a place of belonging,
a tribe who knows and loves me.
Why in the moment when I most need connection
does it seem that no one is there?
Why with all of this love around
does it not show up in the way I’m wanting?
More questions than answers,
and afraid to go to sleep
because I know what waits for me in the darkness:
than any human should bear.
*Spiritual teacher Tara Brach talks about the trance of unworthiness in her book Radical Acceptance.