the wisdom of she: this is how you love

Love them…and let them love you in return.

Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

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First you admit and accept that your hard-ass, quick witted deflections and heart of stone behavior is bullshit. Then you become very afraid and cringe away from the god-awful discomfort of looking inside for the reasons why you live a life of bullshit. Then you ask your heart for the truth, and you have to listen when it says, “This is Bullshit”.

Your heart may lead you into scary and unknown territory, but it will not lie to you.

So you listen, and you ponder, and you write it all out. You build on the truths you hear and you let go of the pretending, piece by ragged piece. You quit saying words you don’t mean, you quit going places because you “should” and doing things that make you suffocate.

Your letting go of the parts and pieces that are not true to your heart will hurt you…

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inside out-the flight of the fallen

Spread your wings ❤

Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

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She had wings, but it hurt to use them. Even the movement of the air against her skin was an agony that caused her to remain perched where she was, totally still. She held them as close as she could without touching her body and lifted her face to the moon, letting tears slide from the sides of her eyes and into her hair.

It had taken her a lifetime to reach this place. They called it The Turning Point, almost impossible to get to, jutting fiercely into the heavens as if daring God himself to lean down and look the adventurer in the eye. Her journey had been a hard one; the path excruciating. Traveling the road she’d chosen, she had been mauled by the righteous, judged, mocked and ground into insignificance.

Every challenge she survived had left its mark on her. The battered dreams, the falls from grace, the ridicule and attempts to bind…

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The Saving Of The She-Living Your Story

Be your own hero ❤

Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

She filled the empty inside her with many things, but since that pit was bottomless and ravenous there was no success in the filling of it. There was no end to its acceptance, its demand, for more. She lived in a constant state of lack and sorrow that she carried within.

It began to kill her.

She had been hurt so many times, her disappointments and losses so defeating to her soul, that her heart began to harden, and her mind to grow harsh and judgmental towards herself for her follies. She began to withhold her thoughts and feelings, because she learned they didn’t matter to those she had surrounded herself with. She ate, drank, shopped and smoked her way towards a fullness that never came. She used her intelligence, sarcasm and quick wit to distract, divert and entertain all the attention away from her weaknesses. She became skilled at appearing to have it all together, and…

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Pieces of Her

For those still picking up the pieces ❤️

Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

Her scars were calling to us, the odd beauty of the pain she carried drew us closer, whether we willed it or not. In the dim light, we could see her bending down to choose a tattered piece of this, a scrap of that, and periodically sit quietly for a short time and stitch it onto herself. With her own hand. She didn’t make a sound but the occasional tear would slide silently down her cheek to land on the piece she was stitching~and then she would smile to herself and stand, looking for the next torn piece of her that was relevant enough to sew back on.

You could tell she had been a great beauty at one time, by the world’s standards, but every piece of her was from a different heartbreak, and her destruction was evident in the face we saw now. She would look at us…

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The Point Of No Return

point of no return


I watched her take that last step of indecision into the space in time that is the most paralyzing. The place where she was perfectly balanced between the person she’d been and the mystery of who she would become. She’d changed enough on her journey that stepping back into the old life would drive her to insanity,  but not enough to step forward the six inches that would put her in a world she wouldn’t recognize.

The expressions on her face were fascinating to see as they changed from sorrow, to anger, then terror and at last a fierce joy. I was certain she would take the step then, but still she remained frozen. I wondered how many times I would see this cycle before she made her choice. It disturbed me to not know the answer to that, to not be certain.

I saw friends and family around her, some urging her forward, others calling her back to them. There were one or two on the other side waiting patiently for her to decide between the certain and the unknown. They said very little, seeming to understand that she had become deaf to all but the whispering of everything inside her that mattered.

I decided to sit with the quiet ones at The Point of No Return, to see her face if she actually took that last step. For some reason, it was critical to me that I see her face in that moment. I wondered what I would write about her when all was said and done. Would it be a mysterious adventure or a tragedy that would cause me to weep long after I quit writing?

The general consensus among crowd on the far side was that she had lost her mind, possibly a breakdown that could be treated with drugs or therapy. Maybe she was sick in some way and hadn’t told anyone, or maybe she was just a fool. All they could see was that she would be leaving comfort and social acceptance. Some just thought her selfish to destroy so much for some flighty need to feed the fire in her that was barely flickering.

I could almost see the same questions running through her mind as she stood there, her eyes not blinking as she stared out at something only she could see. Regret, indecision and guilt warred with a ferocity of purpose that made me look over my shoulder to see what she saw ahead of her. There was nothing I could see, but I knew she saw it clearly, whatever it was.

I know now in retrospect that she was staring at her Second Chance. The last and final opportunity to leave behind all that was dead and meaningless, including those who had regarded her, and all she longed for as meaningless. I understand now, the desperation that she felt to have come that far and been so close and not know if she had the courage to move even one step more.

At the time, I didn’t know these things. All I saw was a woman frozen between two worlds, afraid to make a decision. I saw someone lost, angry, rebellious and afraid. She was a wild card to me at that moment. I had no idea what she would do next, and I was caught up in the moment. I  wanted to jump up and shout something that would make her take the step.

Whatever she decided was going to affect all of us in a big way. I knew that for sure. I think maybe that’s what held her frozen at that point. Knowing clearly all the lives that would change if she changed hers. Wondering if she were strong enough, smart enough or brave enough to begin again.

When she closed her eyes and lowered her head, my heart began to pound in a mixture of dread and anticipation. I found myself whispering for her to please take the step, please don’t look back, please. I watched her bowed head and sent her every bit of strength I could find whether it mattered or not. We all leaned forward sensing that she was about to make her move one way or the other. There was a lead ball in my gut, and my breathing matched the pounding of my heart as we waited.

All of us froze as she lifted her head and tears filled her eyes as she turned to look at the life behind her. Then, without a word, she spun around and took the last step, not looking back or flinching at the roar of the bridges burning behind her. There was no going back.

I will never forget the look on her face when she smiled at me.