The Beauty of You

Celebrating Life

The world needs to know
the beauty of you,
the soft lines
of the tears you cry
when you think no one
is watching,
the hard lines engraved
by the myriad of tragedies,
large and small,
that form the rugged map
of your heart.

Bare it all,
show them who you are
under the pain mask,
in the spotlight
naked as the day
you were born,
show them your heart,
let them tread upon it
and then love them even more,
love you, in all your splendorous,
naked glory,
love you even more,
shatter the mask
and show the world
the love you hide within

©SpiritLed 2015

Let It Go

An angel in autumn light

As the cold anger
flows down like concrete,
heavy and clinging in all the creases,
let it go,
let it coat your soul
in its grey thickness
until even the sun can’t shine in,
and once dry,
let them walk upon it,
expose it to the elements,
wear it down, thin its layers
until the cracks form
and piece by piece it crumbles away,
washes into the sea of your indebted gratitude
save but for one piece,
held in your pocket
as a reminder of your hardness,
the road traveled as a heavy object
now shattered and lifted to the sky
as a symbol of the way
you no longer choose to be

©SpiritLed 2015

Tiny Cracks

Wet wall
Memories seep through tiny cracks
like a bird building a nest
you gather up all you can find
twigs, feathers, bits of trash
yet even concrete cannot seal you off completely
nothing stops the seeping

dripping in like
          the water leaking into a metal bowl
         from the pipe beneath the sink

slithering in like
         the venomous snake who seeks refuge
         in an unseen crevice in my garage wall

tiptoeing in like
         the cat who moves through darkness
         to appear where she wasn’t before

©SpiritLed 2014

Invisible

The well runs dry and, parched with fear,
I agonize that I, myself, may shrivel up,
run dry of heart-felt words, that in the end,
the new will once again be old, dwindling
on the page where the worn out and overused
go to seek their final solace, exhausted
from their time of service to the higher cause
of originating expressions of light,
inspiration, and heart-pouring sentiment,
the depth of inner being
spilled forth on public pages

I write my words for you,
my life laid platter-bare,
but what if, after all the words dry up,
there’s nothing there?  What if
I really was invisible?

©SpiritLed 2014

Thirty-Nine

Today I turn 39.  My last year in my 30’s.  If I had my nearly 4 decades to do over, I’d stay home with my kids, which is a total contradiction because I hated staying at home when they were very young.  Now I’d do it all over again and for longer, just for more time with them.  I’d go to graduate school the first time I had the chance.  I’d go back to that first relationship in high school, and I’d say no to that boy.  Yes, it would change the course of my life, but I’d avoid the pain of losing a friend.  I’d make and keep better connections with friends of my parents and my extended family.  I had no idea how much I would wish I knew them better as I got older.   I’d demand more of myself.  The status quo and self pity would never be in my coping toolbox.  I’d learn about self care early on and make it a priority.  I’d stop myself from picking up terrible interpersonal habits that negatively affect my relationships.  My poor husband really has to deal with a lot of baggage.  I’d let people get close to me, I’d be more vulnerable.  And I’d expect it of other people too.  I’d take back every mean word I ever said to my sister.  Maybe we were just kids, but I’m sure it affected her, and she’s the only sibling I have.  I’d set better boundaries for myself, and I wouldn’t be afraid to say no.  I wouldn’t find a sick comfort in relationships that make me feel bad.  I’d talk to my mom about her illness, I’d share my fears about living a life without her.  I’d snuggle up next to her that night when she asked me to.   I’d understand that in order to feel great joy and compassion, you also, at times, have to allow yourself to feel great pain.  I’d never stop writing.  Or dancing.  Or letting the world know how smart I am.  Or crying.  I’d cry a LOT more.  And I’d pray more.  I’d figure out early what makes me passionate and pursue that.  Or not stop pursuing that.  I’d have a job that I love, that fulfills me, that I can’t wait to get up and do every morning.  I’d force my foot into that Cinderella slipper and never let it fall off my foot.

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Happy 39.  It’s going to be a great year.

©SpiritLed 2014

Becoming a Creator

I took a long rest
A turning inward that started small
But grew to encompass a year or so sabbatical
During which I cloaked myself
In the caterpillar’s cocoon
Unknowing, going in, that change was inevitable
Only enjoying the solitude
The exploration of self
After so many years of living for the world
A short time (in the grand scheme of things)
To live for me

The caterpillar doesn’t realize
When she spins her protective barrier
That her entire makeup
Diminishes
Entirely new life is formed during her rest
And all the while the world goes on

I had a vision
I was on the edge of a ravine
With no end
Only unknown darkness
Those on the far side called, “We’re waiting.”
“Take the step.”
But I was too afraid
I was curious, felt the confines
Of the safety I’d created
But I wasn’t ready
And my uneasiness grew

Have you ever felt like you’re on the precipice,
Building up to a magnificent crescendo,
After which life as you know it
Will never be the same?
My wings were starting to form

The music became faster
The drumbeat more frantic
The tenseness of solitude
Began to nudge me from within
For often solitude becomes a fortress
Serves a purpose for rest and rejuvenation
But can hinder growth and expansion
Solitude became both a soul’s need
And a soul’s barrier
And the rhythm became stronger
Calling me to the next step in the journey

Until the realization came–
Creation is a birthright
The inner soul seeks to express
To use its gifts to affect the world
Shutting off of mind and body
Kills the soul
And with it joy, peace, and love
Contentment, happiness, gratitude, and health
Creation in all its forms brings new life
To a world that once seemed lost
A new message for this time

I’ve escaped my confines,
My self-imposed web of safety
Though I haven’t traveled far yet
The thin veil of freedom is still wrapped
Loosely around me
Drying in the sun
With the mandate to fully open to the world

Fear has taken up residence nearby
Tasked with showing me where I need to grow
Each day I take a step off that ravine
Into a darkness like no other
Each time I emerge with more
From deep inside
The pieces to the puzzle of a lifetime
Laid bare for all–
Raw
Vulnerable
Real

Don’t stand there and let the world happen to you, bending like a tree, subject to the wind.  Become a Creator.

(11-4-12)

Seed

Another reflection from my Woman Within weekend:

I had just gone outside to ground myself after the morning meditation when I found a nut, cracked open with the smaller seed inside.  I reflected on that nut, how I was the seed inside, small and vulnerable, breaking out of that old protective shell.  I know to become the fruit-bearing tree that I need to be, to nourish others with my bounty, I have to allow myself to fully break free, to leave that hard outer shell behind.  But like the seed I found, it’s still clinging.  The seed is exposed, but becoming vulnerable to the world is still scary.  Intellectually, I know the world needs me, my gifts.  Letting go of the outer shell means I let go of the past that binds me, the pain, the loss.  While I want to be free, why is it so scary to release that?  It was painful–why do I hang on?

Because it made me.  Letting it go is like releasing a part of me.  What if there is nothing else to fill the empty space?  And as I write that, I know that I have so much in my life to fill that, so much love from so many people.  And letting go leaves me space to give love as well, rather than putting so much energy into hanging onto the past.

(10-14-12)