Front Porch Therapy


Welcome to my front porch. Sacred ground. A place to share your pain, anger and silliness. It’s by invitation only because my first responsibility is to myself. If I’m not right, my porch is not the place for anyone to be.

My porch is Switzerland, baby. Neutral territory. No recognized extradition laws here.

Only the truth is spoken here, either in person or via phone or text. But I, at least, must be sitting right here for these laws to be in effect.

Your age, race, gender or faith of choice is rendered clear here. We talk, share, shout out, laugh hysterically and solve our issues. At the very least we part ways with new ideas to filter through our views of life.

It’s an awesome place to hang out when needed.

The Front Porch is a precious place to me. I’ve laughed here, cried plenty and healed to a wholeness I’ve never known before now. I’ve heart/soul talked with brothers, sisters, parents and friends who are my family.

I became real here. It will be hard for me to ever leave should I someday decide to.

My heart took its first free breath here with broken ribs, and a fierce joy.

Fierce.

Only those who have proven themselves soul-worthy have been welcomed here in person, or otherwise. It is non-negotiable to me.

One of my best friends says she’s not right if a week goes by without porch therapy. I get it. If your soul can’t speak out in a safe and accepting environment, it gets a little lonely.

We need each other. Don’t act like we don’t.

So my point is this, friends…find your “front porch”. Build it. Protect it fiercely. It will save you, and those in your inner circle who live in your heart.

Be the safe place. Open eyes, open heart, open mind…open arms…

Because hugs are a critical part of front porch therapy, even if they’re virtual.

You know who you are, you are welcome here, and I love you.

 

Advertisements

The Lion’s Roar


I saw this piece posted today, and it was like a bolt of lightning illuminating the answers to the how and why questions I’ve been asking myself the past six months.

I realize now that there came a time when I let my hands fall helplessly to my sides in a silent gesture of defeat. I see clearly now that the moment I did so was the death of my hope.

I welcomed the numbness that slowly filtered through my heart and dimmed my belief in the joy to be found in life, as well as the pain of it. I was so tired of hurting.

I became a coward. 

I had been, before that moment, one who would not comply when I disagreed with a directive. I was lion-hearted, and it roared through the silence of my deliberate actions, choice of words and the look in my eyes.

I knew how to get what I wanted. I made things happen. I got the jobs I chose for the advancements that would follow. I held the ones I decided to love for the time we were given. I faced losses and disappointments that took me to my knees and accepted  the consequences of wrong choices without a single excuse. I was brave, foolish and proud.

Until love chose me, and I let it break me.

At that moment, I let go and accepted what I believed to be true. I loved too intensely, demanded too much in return, my personality was too strong as was the fire of my imagination. I was too much to be tolerated.

I pushed the mute button and settled for the “sanity” I saw in the world around me. That choice, that path, that life that everyone else had-seemed so appealing to me as I sat there quietly…

Letting my heart bleed out.

I’m no light weight. I tried. I gave every effort, tried every suggestion, tolerated every insult I brought upon myself. This spanned decades. It felt like an eternity.

I felt myself dying.

I would wake up each morning with a sense of sorrow, whispering the question “why?”. Why was I still breathing? What was I here for? What was the point?

It frightened me that those thoughts didn’t frighten me.

Something, some survival instinct I suppose, flickered enough that I began to ask myself hard questions. When I did, I began to wish and want. As if lit by a match, a tiny feeling of hope sparked to a slow smoking spiral upwards.

I wasn’t dead yet, so I wasn’t done.

I began to dream, then plan. In an act of sheer bravery (or foolishness) I took a step, and then another. On my third unsteady stagger forward hope flared in me so brightly that I could see every possibility.

Every action I’ve taken since then is more gasoline feeding the flames of a hope that will burn you to ashes if you try to extinguish it.

Lack of action feeds hopelessness. Action creates it, feeds it, dances in the light of it.

If everything I dream of is not to be found in this lifetime… well then I will have lived a wonderfully adventurous life seeking it all …won’t I?

There have to be others out there stomped by life yet still determined to stand up with pieces torn and damaged, loving large anyway. I believe there are those who face being loved with equal parts joy and terror who still have the courage to open their arms wide and welcome what would overwhelm most.  The spiritual samurais who won’t shrink back, the ones who have the superpower of huge emotional capacity, the junk yard dogs of loyalty.

I can feel you out there. I can hear the beating of your hearts. I will find you.

You are not alone.

Ferocity


Once upon a time there was a girl

who believed she had to do

what she was told…

The terrible and wonderful thing

about her was that she could only listen

for so long before she got up

and did as she pleased…

This terrible and wonderful trait

kept her in big trouble with everyone

and although she said

“I’m sorry” a lot

she kept getting up and doing

as she pleased, her only regret being

how they wore themselves out

on her determination

not to be restrained…

In time, they wore her down,

and she grew in stillness

and built up her self control

until it appeared she blended in exactly

with those around her…

She built her life

with these borrowed stones

and everyone around her was proud

of her accomplishment

and praised her daily…

Then one day

she sat down

(without being told)

and wrote something on paper…

The words were her Heart

telling her what to do.

And those words

broke her wide open

and that Terrible and Wonderful Thing

about her stood up inside her

roaring so loudly that

her heart shook

within her chest…

And all I can tell you is

after that day

she let her roar resound

every day…

and while I can’t say

she lived happily ever after

I can tell you that she

Lived.

Triggering Change


I’m grateful to be reminded these past few weeks that I can direct how I allow things to change me. I’m stronger knowing that the switch inside me that triggers a permanent shift may be flipped on by circumstances, but it’s my decision how I allow that change to affect me.

Even when it’s a double sucker punch to the heart.

I’m really clear on who I am and what my boundaries are for those I keep in my life. First time ever. It’s a powerful feeling and I won’t be giving it up.

I worked my ass off to get here.

I’m blessed with a few people in my life who know me, love me as I am and celebrate all of it. Even the parts that make them shake their heads in astonished wonder. I have a handful more I love with all my heart who can only handle the Cliff’s Notes version of me and freak out, melt down or try to fix me if I show them more than they can handle.

Even when they ask for it.

I love them anyway, and maybe they’ll be strong enough to stand and be counted one of these days as someone I can allow all the way in. Time will tell I suppose.

It depends on their own work they’ve yet to do.

It’s embarrassing to look back and admit that I have always let hurtful opinions, harsh words and condescending judgments toss me around like a tiny boat in a hurricane.

Powerless.

Now I feel like the hurricane, or rather the earthquake that triggers the tsunami in my heart. A powerful force surging through my own life that uproots and washes away anything not strong enough to be a part of my present.

I’m good with that.

So I accept, with a mixture of sadness and gratitude the hits I’ve taken lately that flipped the switch. And I’m damn proud to know I’m smart enough now to show my heart how to grow from it instead of letting anger and hurt color who I am and how I live.

I don’t pretend to have answers for anyone about their lives. It’s only my heart and life I can speak for. I will respect and hold space for those doing the work in their own, because it’s hard.

But darling, it’s worth it.