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I Must

I must keep growing, because I need to reach the heights my soul desires.

I must keep learning, because I still have so much to learn about me.

I must keep dreaming, because it reminds me of all I can be.

I must keep believing, because I still have much to accomplish.

I must keep fighting, because my demons have won for far to long.

I must keep focusing, because I get lost in the darkness.

I must keep hoping, because ii is sometimes the only thing I hold onto.

I must keep going, because my kids need me to teach them to fly.

I must keep doing, even when giving is seems so much easier.

I must, because it is the only way.

 

My Soul

My soul is tired.

My soul is bruised, from the attacks on the body every day.

My soul is muzzled, by all the things I cannot say.

My soul is overwhelmed, from all the demands made upon me.

My soul is blinded, for I cannot find the path in front of me.

My soul is screaming, but nobody can hear.

My soul is cowering, overwhelmed by the fear.

My soul is crying, for she feels all alone in this fight.

My soul is whispering, for she tries to give comfort in the dark of night.

My soul is hoping, for she wants to heal.

My soul is trying, but is afraid to feel.

My soul is tired.

The Mask

The mask I wear can disguise my pain. The mask I wear can change my appearance. The mask I wear can fool those around me. The mask I wear can help me make it through the day. The mask I wear is not the real me.  The mask lets me hide behind a smile. The mask lets me keep you at bay. The mask I wear lets the demons to view the world. The mask I wear lets me pretend the pain is not real. The mask is an illusion. mask2

I have worn my mask for so long that I sometimes forget my true self. I have worn the mask for so long that it I sometimes forget it is not me. I have worn the mask for so long that it is hard to leave it at home. I have worn the mask for so long that I am afraid to face the world without it. I have worn the mask for so long because it felt safe. I have worn the mask for so long. mask1

Can you see me? Can you see me behind the mask? Can you see the sadness behind the smile? Can you see the worry in the lines of my face? Can you see the exhaustion around my eyes? Can you see really see me?

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I wish I could go without the mask, but the demons are in charge. I wish I could go without the mask, but the pain is so near the surface. I wish I could go without the mask, but I don’t want to burden you. I wish I could go without the mask, but my warrior is chained. I wish I could go without the mask, but I am just not ready to show the world all of me.

The mask will stay with me to hide my pain. The mask will stay with me to keep you at bay. The mask will stay with me to get me through my day. The mask will stay with me until I go to bed each and every day. The mask will stay with me until the warrior is ready to rise again. The mask is an illusion.

The Return

They have returned. They found a way through the cracks. They waited patiently for the warrior to take a break. They have waited quietly for me to get run down. They have waited hungrily for a chance to be fed. They have waited and now they have returned.

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I can hear them whispering those messages I have heard for years. I can hear them telling me I am not good enough. I can hear them laughing as they tell me that I am ugly. I can hear them chanting you are unworthy. I can hear them all the time and I know they have returned.

demonsI need my warrior to wake up. I need my warrior to fight back. I need my warrior to scream. I need my warrior, but only I can set her free. Only I can give her the tools she needs to fight back. Only I can provide the nutrients she needs to get stronger and put the demons back in their cages.

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I am doing what I can to  keep my mask in place. I am doing what I can to give my warrior strength. I am doing what I can to ignore the demon’s words. I am doing what I can to take back control. I am doing the best I can right now.

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I know I am a warrior. I know I am stronger than my demons. I know that I need to face them yet again. I know that I am resilient. I know that I need to do more. I know what I need to do, but I am so tired.

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I will put them back in their cages. I will make them quiet again. I will starve them. I will free the warrior to rise like a phoenix. I will free my warrior to remind me that I am enough, I am worthy, and I am beautiful. I will not let them keep me in the dark when I know how good it feels to be in the light.

 

 

 

Finally

via Daily Prompt: Finally  

Finally, it is the end of the day,

and I can rest from keeping my demons at bay.

Finally, another month  has passed,

and I can rest my warrior who is gassed.

Finally, another a year has ended,

but my soul is still not mended.

Finally, it will be a new day,

and I can find my way.

Finally, a new month will begin,

and my warrior will rise again.

Finally, a new year will be here,

and I know there will be lots to cheer.

Come On In

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

 

A few weeks ago, my wonderful counselor read this poem to me to start a session and it has stayed with me since that night. I am not sure why, but it spoke to my soul and tethered itself to me. I am not sure why, but it spoke to my demons and made them cower in fear. I am not sure why, but it spoke to that inner child still full of pain and gave her comfort. I am not sure why, but it spoke to my warrior and it made her feel stronger. I am not sure why, but I know that it is important.

My guest house is a little stone cottage in the woods, complete with a thatch roof and a dutch door. It is surrounded by woods, gardens full of beautiful flowers, and sits on the edge of a small, tranquil lake.  It is a mix of all the fairy tale homes I have read about and my family camp on Lake Superior. It is old, but protects you with solid walls. It is small, but envelopes you in love and warmth. It is worn, but invites you in with safety and comfort. It has been battered by storms, but despite the damage is still a sight to see.

The guests as of late, have not been ones to enjoy, but ones to tolerate. The guests as of late, have not been ones to embrace, but ones to observer. The guests as of late, have not been welcome, but ones that needed shelter. The guests as of late, have not been friendly, but have caused me pain. The guests as of late, have not been calm, but have caused chaos within. The guests as of late, have not been my warrior, but instead have been my demons.

No matter who shows up each and everyday, my guest house is open. No matter who shows up each and everyday, I will welcome them with a smile. No matter who shows up each and everyday, I will try to learn from my guest. No matter who shows up each and everyday, I will let the emotions of their visit wash over me. No matter who shows up each and everyday, I will try to keep my balance. No matter who shows up each and everyday, I will look forward to my next guest.

My guest house is a place of learning. My guest house is a place of growing. My guest house is a safe place to feel pain. My guest house is a place of joy. My guest house is a  place of solitude.  My guest house is a place of gathering. My guest house is chaos. My guest house is my calm. My guest house is love. My guest house is me in all its imperfections.

Time

Time seems to be on my mind a lot lately. Where did the time go that my daughter is now seventeen, but it seems like just yesterday that she was learning to walk? Where did the time go that is already the last month of the year, and what a year it has been? Where did the time go that we are almost halfway through the school year, and yet I am so exhausted? Where did the time go that we are less than a year away from elections that could change the course of our country, and I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to see that change? Where did the time go that I have been in my new home for six months, but it feels like so much longer? Where did the time go?

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Time can fly by in an instant when you want it to last forever. Time can crawl by when you want it to move. Time can be wasted. Time can be cherished. Time can be painful. Time can be joyful. Time can make you cry. Time can make you laugh. Time can be a quiet mind. Time can be demons screaming in your head. Time cannot be controlled, but time can managed by how we fly through it and how we deal with the smooth times and the turbulence.

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Time is going to continue to pass me by and I can either fight it or learn to make the most of each and every minute. My kids will be grown and spreading their wings before I know it, and therefore I need to ensure that I find more ways to spend quality time with them. My job will be there each and every year, and if the passion is gone from that job, then I need to figure out where my new passion is and start doing that. My country will keep growing, and I will have to make sure my voice is heard. My home is my own, and I need to enjoy the small things about it that bring me joy. My life is my own right now more than ever, and I am learning to enjoy the time I spend with myself.

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With each passing year, I learn a little more about how strong I am. With each passing month, I move away from more of the pain that kept me from loving myself. With each passing day, my authentic self is more in command. With each passing minute, my passions are beginning to take the lead. With each passing second, I learn to appreciate my life more than ever. With each passage of time, my warrior is setting me free and I am changing.

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I will embrace the passage of time, for I know that is bringing me towards where the warrior has always known I would go, even when the demons have fought her tooth and nail. I will embrace the passage of time, for I know that I have much to offer those around me, if I learn to trust myself more and ignore the quiet whispers of the demons. I will embrace the passage of time, for I know that those that love me need me to be there for them and them be there for me when the demons are reaching through the cracks. I will embrace the passage of time, for I know that my intentions are good and even if time feels like it is slipping through my fingers because I am fighting my demons. I will embrace the passage of time. I will embrace the time with my kids. I will embrace the time with my family. I will embrace the time with my students. I will embrace the time with my friends. I will embrace the time with my resistance family. I will embrace time.