You may have made me, but you will not break me. I won’t let you tie my hands to the post. Because I’ve made up my own mind about you. Your lies won’t become my truth. Today, I start my own life. I make my own decisions. I declare myself out loud so that I can stand there and be proud of the soul still left in me. Your mind doesn’t know how to be free and so it clings to all of the insecurity you keep buried deep. But your fear gives you away. This time you won’t be able to sway others into believing what allows your ego to stay safe. This time… I’m looking you in the eyes and calling you by name.
Setting my intention for the day:
what needs do I wish to fulfill?
And how can every action,
bring me closer to my center,
bringing me closer to others?
What change can I bring about
so that my life doesn’t stagnate?
So that I don’t just become
what everyone wants
or expects me to become
I come to recognize the divinity
that is my soul?
If you love something, set it free. It’s something most of us have heard; this year has taught and reinforced for me many things and that is one of them. A few months ago, I wrote in a poem :
“It isn’t until you’ve been fully rejected that you can begin to fathom the possibility that you might be worthy.”
And ever since then I find that I keep coming back to that idea. Admittedly, sometimes I’ll put something out there without being totally convinced I have it right. Yet the truth–my truth–is that my whole life I’ve wanted to be made to feel by everyone I tried to love that I am worthy of also being loved. And too often I’ve been disappointed.
They say love is blind. But I don’t think it is love that blinds us. It is need that distorts our thinking and ability to see things for what they are. After finally accepting being rejected by people I care for, I began to feel a sense of liberation. I don’t need anyone to tell me I am worthy. Love–pure love–can only exist where there is no need. My worth is inherent. And anyone who can’t see that is the one who is blind.
This year has been a series of losses, let downs, crises, and failures; full of moments and experiences that made me stop and think and feel quite a bit. I’ve fought, I’ve lost, I’ve moiled, and I’ve mourned. I’ve been challenged in so many unusual ways I never could have prepared for or expected. I’ve had to let go of the life I envisioned for myself and my family in preparation for a life that was meant to be mine. I’ve endured rejection and hardship so that I could discover the true meaning of love and freedom.
So many people I know have been going through the same things. The struggle to accept our lives as they are, without need, without regret… this is one that few fail to fall into. We all long for something. We all look in all the wrong places before stumbling onto something right. We all get desperate when a sense of control is beyond us. We all want to belong.
But we also have to relinquish whatever it is we cling to if we are ever to experience pure peace. pure bliss. pure love. We have to remember the light that is inside, even in these darkest of days. I belong to myself. And, I belong to something much, much greater than me. I am a part of it. You are a part of it. It unites us in so many mystical and magical ways.
There will always be dark as long as there is light. 2016 was a dark year. I’m hoping 2017 is accompanied by a lot more light, despite the cards stacked against it. But I think no matter what challenge lies before us, loving our way through it is the only way to wholly overcome anything.
And so it is, as we reach the brink of both an end and a beginning, that I resolve to love and to let go. May we all learn to embrace our dark side even as we welcome the light. May we cherish the winter in spite of its storms while remembering the warmth that is promised. And to the New Year… Cheers!
That moment when you realize someone is not who they say they are. Or at least, you’re finally willing to admit they are who you thought they were. So really, there is no grievance to claim. Perhaps out of a need to control our fate we accept only the truths we want to be true, when what we’re shown contradicts that completely. Like a mask worn to conceal the reality underneath. Two luchadors circling the ring. And yet somehow it is the one who is defeated that must take off their mask, revealing who they truly are. So many people see that as a sign of weakness. I see it as a testimony of strength.
Photo of Luchador Huracan Ramirez courtesy of Tumblr
We reach the highest heights
only by first descending to the bottom.
It isn’t until you’ve been fully rejected
that you can begin to fathom
the possibility that you might be worthy.
The drive to seek is a natural instinct;
I seek to be free
Of the longing and waiting
No more wishing and praying
Or taking for granted
the pain required to grow.
No, I am rising above
all the critics and exes
who would have me believe
I can’t be loved
I expect too much.
They will see me waving,
they’ll be anticipating
my slow and steady slide.
But I won’t abide.
I told them I’d be right there by their side.
I guess, well, I lied.
We try and we fail. This is our constant sorrow, our never ending struggle, no matter where we are at in our progress or what we happen to be doing. There is effort and yet over and over again, there is failure. The longing to at last succeed is what unnerves us but it is also what drives us. And this is how we are able to grow, ceaselessly and undaunted by the challenges in our lives. In this way, meaning can be found in our mistakes. In this way, we learn to love the process rather than cling to a desired outcome. Because not everything worth doing is always done right.
I can see why some people just decide to spend their life alone with no one to share it with as intimately as you do with someone you love. I can see why some people simply give up on finding someone and making it work. I teeter back and forth with this idea. And I’ve come to accept more than I ever have the possibility of being alone. I’ve come to love who I am when I’m alone, which is to say I’ve come to accept that there is a lot about me to love, regardless of my relationship status. And maybe… just maybe… that’s been the whole point of it all.
This morning shortly after arriving to work I became fixated on something my 8-year old made for me when he was in preschool. To think that that was just over 3 years ago is bizarre. On the one hand it feels like just yesterday. But on the other it’s as though it were so long ago. Who I was then, where I was, what I was doing was completely different. And in that time my son has grown in so many of his own brilliant ways most assuredly.
What the message reminds me of is a lesson I have found myself sharing with my son over and over and over again. Because yes, there are times when I’ll catch him feeling sorry for himself; he feels he’s been cheated out of something that someone else got and he didn’t. And what I’ll tell him is how important it is to focus on what he has instead of what he hasn’t got. It’s amazing to watch those little wheels turning inside his head as a shift in perspective begins to take place on his face and in the way he proceeds with his life. He moves on. He gets over it. He learns to appreciate what he already has instead of clinging to feelings of jealousy and insecurity. He remembers the love in his life. (And the ice cream I just treated him to perhaps!)
There is something for me to take away from this, too. How often have I pined away for a love that couldn’t be reciprocated? How often have I wallowed in sorrow, loneliness, and discontent? Or wondered why other people get to fall in love and live happily ever after and I don’t? All the while forgetting–even deliberately–that I am already surrounded by so much love in my life. And who am I to expect more than what is already given me?
Good intentions don’t always yield the results we had hoped for. I found myself spouting this tidbit to a fellow comrade this morning, realizing the relevance it has had in my own life lately.
Rejection tends to leave one feeling broken, weak, and powerless. Instinctually, out of the pain and betrayal I feel, I want to hide behind my fear and anger. And I have done this. But once the dust has settled, once the storm is passed and I am back in touch with the deeper meaning of my life, I choose instead to express love, kindness, forgiveness. Because I believe those are the only things that last; certainly, they triumph over every misguided or ill intention I may have at one time harbored. And unquestionably they are what give my life meaning. I could choose to remain bitter, I could choose to disown those I feel betrayed by, to cast them out of my life like a thorn in my side. But all that does is increase the likelihood of eventually stepping on said thorn, creating more agony and turmoil for me down the road.
Ignoring someone who has hurt us isn’t facing our fears; it’s running away from them, especially when that person is trying only to show us the healing power of love and forgiveness. When we run from fear we run in circles, ending up always right where we started. Progression, growth, these things imply a linear movement forward or upward. They are also impossibilities unless we relinquish our fears and reach towards the light that is the extension of someone’s merciful hand.
Some motivations to express kindness are self-serving. Behind these acts there is a desire to get what we want, to feel better about ourselves, to feel less rejected. I’ve been rejected in love plenty. I now have what you would call a thick skin. You could set me on fire and I’d probably not bat an eye. And yet, to those who I have been hurt by and regardless of whether the same generosity is rendered to me, in the end I will always choose to extend graciousness and benevolence, not with my ego, but with my heart where the purest of intentions coexist often with the deepest well of sorrow and discontent. And in this way, I’d like to think I am destined for growth and for true love.
to make way
for new life.
we may be given
a fresh start;
we can begin
the pieces a