Marriage

I dreamt my husband left me and didn’t say why, like when we fight because I fail to read his mind.

I felt unlovable, alone, afraid, sad, and defeated.

I told him that when he drilled the ceiling above our heads it created so much dust, noise, and falling debris that I feared for our lives.

He implied that I should understand his master plan.

Though we may disagree, I woke up with the feeling that my marriage is worth more to me than I thought.

There’s the devil that you know versus the angel that you don’t…at least he keeps me out of the horrors of the dating pool, though gentlemanly bachelors seemed to abound after we got married.

I just need to keep the sky from falling, and the sky is my mind.

Lightning

Born into this life, we are light wrapped in sinew and skin.

We’re given 5 liters of blood and a breath of oxygen.

Labels are soon affixed to our tender human egos like our gender and race.

Yet our spirit remains nameless, existing beyond the limits of time and space.

Beings of pure energy physically embodied, we are lighting in a bottle.

Life Sentence

I resigned to do time for my crime,

for all the lies to men and lying with men.

I signed up to marry a man I deemed at the time good enough, instead of great.

I felt guilty for my misdeeds, even the alleged ones he still suspects to this day.

Somehow I thought that a life of serving him might come close to redeeming the rough beginnings of our relationship:

a messy row of dominoes of cheating and lying.

Why do I feel that I owe him anything, after he has taken so much and given so little?

How can I build a strong marriage on a foundation of deception and shame?

It was harsh to give myself a life sentence.

The Search

I used to think that love was outside of me, to be found in the approval of others.

The search only left me longing, a hungry ghost roaming the ends of the Earth.

I thought everyone else was whole and complete and I was fractured, fated to forever fall short, wracked with imposter syndrome for life itself.

Slowly, painfully, I woke up to see the light within me; the spark in my heart where magic lives.

By magic, I mean the ability to transform fear into love by divine grace, without my knowing how.

Trauma cracked me open and I stared into the raw, open wound.

I pulled away bitter vines, I pried up nails of anger that were deeply rooted in my boarded-up heart.

I weeded and seeded, tended and waited, slowly, slowly…

My heart became a fertile garden, a lush paradise, a green Eden where compassion blooms abundantly.

Now I rest assured that I am love embodied, the same love which is the creative source of the universe.

How could I be anything other than the fruit of the tree from which I sprung?

Even when I fight with my husband to the point that knives of emotion seem to leap from my veins, throat, and eyes, I return to rest on a throne of love, my inextinguishable core.

My heart is a lighthouse sending greetings to those in the know, and illuminating a beacon of hope for those still in the search.

The Way

I heard today that the obstacle is the way.

So true, and yet, how difficult.

I know what I must do, and yet, I don’t.

I remain married to a man-child who drags me down in every way: he drains my finances with his selfish actions and poor decisions, he uses up my time as I endlessly provide for his needs and clean up after him, and he exhausts my energy with incessant fighting, judging me harshly at every opportunity.

Though likely no one would blame me if I left him, women always get shamed no matter what they do.

Now I have our daughter to consider.

My grandmother said that she stayed married for her children, then her grandchildren, and then felt too tired to do anything new.

That was her path.

My path has a long way to go still.

I see the pixie dust sprinkled amidst the pebbles and pine needles.

Opening myself to the unknown, I sparkle back.

Present

How can I be present when the trauma of my past howls loudly, calling me toward depression?

How can I be present when harm could befall my loved ones at any moment, riddling me with anxiety?

I practice presence by looking forward, all the way to the end of my life, in order to look back to this moment, now.

In the end, I want to look back on my life and be satisfied with the story.

In order to do that, I must pay attention as it is unfolding.

I use moments when I must wait, those in-between moments, to focus on my breath, to ground me in mindfulness.

I use the times when I feel alarmed as my meditation bell, calling my attention back to now.

Every time I remember to do so, I take a moment to notice what is above me, what is below me, what is before me, what is behind me, what is within me, what is without me.

I radiate love out in all directions, through all space-time dimensions.

In so doing, I tap into the universal truth that I am the eternal present, just as you are.

Find the Gift

I struggle with perseverating on traumas both ancient and recent.

I know my mind is searching for a way to protect me, though in doing so it binds me tightly to the experiences that seem to scald me.

I used to want to sever my ties to the subjects I perseverated on, to ablate the neurons in my brain that remembered the most painful moments and thought the most disturbing ideas.

Now I know that every challenging experience holds within it a gift, the lotus seed within the mud.

I invite you to try this: recall a traumatic memory, and ask yourself what lesson can be gleaned from it.

For example, in remembering the times my body has been violated, may I be reminded that I am worthy of respect and healthy boundaries.

In linking trauma to sacred life lessons, you will transform the uncomfortable memory into a powerful tool to heal yourself.

The traumatic memory may remain searing lifelong, however you will hold the gift in the palm of your hand and therefore be able to use it to create the life you want, starting with feeling better right here, right now.

When I do this I feel peaceful, hopeful, and at ease.

May you always find the gifts you need to soothe your heart, mind, body, and spirit.

Out of the Closet

What if we are all so closeted that we do not allow ourselves to know ourselves?

This may make you balk, but hear me out.

Who among us has not admired a physical attribute of the gender we haven’t habitually spent time in bed with?

Who can deny beauty?

What if we each stepped out from our usual hiding spots, the social roles we were groomed for without our consent?

What if we acted upon our misery and tried something radically different today?

I dreamt that a student of the romance languages asked me if a word was masculine or feminine.

I leaned toward them with a knowing smile and whispered, ‘It is a little known secret that everything is both masculine and feminine.’

Now you know.

Tired

I’m tired of censoring myself, of thinking of things to say but being too shy to let the words out, even now.

I’m tired of being deeply closeted about the neurodiversity of my brain.

My feathers are ruffled from being hidden so long, they long to stretch and soar.

I’m tired of trying hard to act like I’m not trying hard.

I’m tired of prioritizing everybody else above myself.

I’m tired of not giving myself time to read library books before they are due.

I’m tired of knowing what changes to make to improve my nutrition and yet changing nothing, as processed foods pour into my body daily, depleting my health in ways both seen and unseen.

I’m tired of feeling like I look even more tired than I feel.

I’m tired of my old habit of smiling constantly so that other people won’t feel threatened by me.

I’m tired of taking other people’s shit.

I’m tired of listening without returning the favor of speaking.

I know the road is both long and short, but I want it to be more joyful and less exhausting.

I’m ready to change my life because if I don’t, no one will do it for me.

The calvary may not be coming, but at last my self love has come along.

May I blaze a new trail in considering my own wants and needs, gathering energy with each step.

Meeting

If you look deeply enough into anything, you will see everything

The motion in the stillness, the health within the illness

The simplicity in complexity, the you within the me

We are cut from the same cloth, woven by threads of love

Love that ushers us into and out of this world

Love which flows in all places and all moments, caressing us tenderly even as we weep with unbearable pain and unspeakable shame

All of life breathes and moves and flows and transforms

In this moment, may we practice breathing, and thus, transforming

What are we ready to let go of, what is no longer serving our highest selves?

There is always something to surrender and something new to take in, even if only space for future growth