The Shaman


Depression

is the inflammation

of the mind and body

lacking care.

We never ask

the question why

due to the thoughts we hide,

so hesitant to share.

With shamanic wisdom

we must take our hearts

and open up our eyes

to find where we neglect

to love ourselves,

by giving more than

what is wise.

When did we last feel

the sun shine warmly on

our own uplifted face?

Or move and dance

and laugh with sheer abandon

in our solitary space?

When did we stop offering

the pure and good

to body, mind and soul?

Why did we think

crutches, masks and lies

would be the things

to make us whole?

Isn’t it past time to

lay down everything

that we’ve been told is true…

and love ourselves so well

that we can’t keep

the truth of us

from shining through?

 

 

 

 

 

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Melancholia


Put down the drink, the smoke, the pill

the food, beleaguered credit card.

No longer mask the rage, the tears, the sorrow

sometimes life is hard.

Stop trying to dismiss what you must feel

to alchemize your struggles into gold.

You are not meant to flatline

let your heart learn how to warm the bitter cold.

You cannot become without the pain

that you allow to fiercely filter through.

Feel it, let it loose to roar and whisper,

as it changes every part of you.

Don’t apologize for being human

in your fear, your doubts, your deep dismay.

Refuse to silence any truth that finally

your soul would bid you say.

Do not suffocate the raw emotion,

the ferocity with which you fight.

If you restrain the fire that burns within you,

you will lose the world you would ignite.

 

 

 

 

Love Affair


She knew that he loved

by the way his words flowed,

endlessly admiring;

the way he spent his time

on his beloved.

He could not be swayed

from his belief

that no one else could

ever be as worthy

of his time.

He was steadfast

in his conviction to focus

solely, and without

apology,

on the one he desired

more than all

others.

So finally,

with a quiet resignation,

she accepted

the incontrovertible

truth.

There was no place

for her

in his love affair with

himself.

 

Shame On Me


I was not a good enough wife. Or daughter, or mother or friend. I dropped the ball too many times and couldn’t live up to the ideal. I’ll fess up to that. I did try with mighty and heroic efforts but it was not to be done.

Shame on me.

I wanted to be seen and heard sometimes. Yes, that is a selfish thing. I wanted to be valued, treasured and trusted. Too much ego going on. I wanted the love I gave to have value that carried itself forward.  I have no words for that.

I can’t change what I was born into, I can only determine how I want to live. We are so much better at dismissing pain than we are at feeling it. We’re better at causing it than facing it. We are lost in the midst of trying to hold onto that thing we cannot name.

Depression is the thing that says “Fuck you, I’m tired of the character you play”. 

I’ve heard that shame cannot cling where it is spoken. I hope that is true.

I’ll speak it. Let it go.

Love takes courage.

To give.

To receive.

A Paradoxical Life


I refuse to choose between wonderful things. I have always despised the times I’ve been urged to do so. I know I can’t have everything I want all at the same time, and I know I can’t have it constantly.  But have them all I will.

This truth about me bothers me very little.

I am an incurable romantic, and a clear-eyed realist. I can revel in someone’s presence and their imperfections because I expect the same in return. I can enjoy all things soft and feminine and still kick ass and take names when my work requires it.

I am, when I choose to be, the life of the party and I crave complete solitude when I have too many hours peopled with…people. I frequently give more than I should, but I resent those who take without asking, or attempt to by manipulation.

I can only be close to those who are willing to speak the truth to me, and reject anyone using truth as a license for mean-ness or disrespect.  Yes, I know the difference.

Don’t expect me to apologize for adoring the beauty of the great outdoors, the miracles of nature while simultaneously expecting bug spray and a plug in for my flat iron. I intend to look fabulous and not feel itchy while I adore creation, thank you very much.

I will view Ireland, Paris and the Black Hills with equal awe.

If you offer me three choices of jewelry or shoes or meals cooked from scratch, I will covet them all equally and expect them all in good time. I am patient and persevering. A cup of coffee brought to me from a gracious heart is equally appreciated. Anyone listening to my occasional diatribes with amused affection is priceless.

I am intense and light-hearted, I dream huge and respect the bottom line, I laugh easily and search for great depths at the same time. I suppose I make no sense to those who love me. I don’t blame anyone for that, but I do appreciate finding those who know how to enjoy me.

There are so many sides of us to celebrate…the deep and ridiculous, emotional and logical, poetry and porn…how can we choose, and why should we?

Embrace the paradox.

 

 

Battle of the Sexes


I’ve been in a lot of conversations about dating and relationships lately, the silent subtle question beneath the surface being why am I not doing so. Does anyone see where we are right now? How we are to each other? A better question would be to ask why we are not talking about where we are and what we are doing to each other.

Why is there a frantic and desperate silence when the conversation needs to begin?

It looks like the death of masculine and feminine or an overdose of each. Where is the honest celebration of the power each hold and the respect for the other? When did the joy of the dance, the fun of the game and the growth into “more than” turn into a mean-spirited, ball-busting, devaluating competition to rule? Rule what, exactly?

For the most part, we raise men to be this way, women to be that way, and since we can’t find our own damn way we’ve just messed up the gift we were born with and the balance of super powers we all hold from our first breath. Where is the genuine interest in getting to know someone and enjoying the differences in strengths, perspectives and DNA?

We misrepresent ourselves all over the place instead of being who we are becoming all along the way, and it breaks my heart and makes me weary. It doesn’t have to be the conflict, drama and choosing of sides. Neither is it beneficial for male or female to minimize, disrespect or belittle the other by our behavior. Maybe I should say instead, the masculine and feminine, because I’m speaking of what’s inside a person.

As men and women, we are wonderful creatures. We’re walking miracles.

 The masculine and feminine in each of us seeks its balance in another to expand what we’re capable of experiencing as an individual. Why would we want someone to mirror our every thought, feeling and belief when we could learn more, see more and have more than we do alone? I don’t get the hard line push to “be like me, think like me, act like me”.

I’m a female in charge of a predominately male business. My father and brothers are amazing men. My ex-husband is phenomenal and my son is my pride and joy. While I don’t agree with them always, I admire them all for who they are and I’m grateful for what they add to my life. This being said, I don’t hesitate to go toe to toe when need be, nor do I need to flutter my eyelashes to get things done or make my point. It’s simply a willingness to respect myself and the other person that makes everything work. If I don’t get that in return, you’re not in my space for long and it’s a non-issue.

So I wait. I’m in no hurry. There is too much pain and confusion going on and not enough genuine conversation as a whole. We don’t allow ourselves to see the wonder of the other as we should. We don’t see the differences as the spice missing from the mix of things. We foolishly think somebody’s holding us down, or back, when we are the ones doing so.

We don’t need a label-sporting tee shirt, a support group or a battle to define us.

We just need the courage to be who we are and allow others to do the same.

Clear the battlefield.

 

Absolution


I wonder how forgiveness can be a noun when it’s an action inspired from a heart bigger than the damage it sustains?  It’s a decision to put our bleeding self in the shoes of the one who caused the blood to flow. It’s the choice to show mercy when none was given. It is the giving of our pardon to the one who often doesn’t desire it to begin with.

A noun is the naming of a class of people, a place, a thing. That would make sense if we were “forgivers” or put ourselves “in a state of forgiveness” or began “laying some forgiveness on somebody”.

Forgiveness is a radical act. It’s bad-ass and it’s fucking hard to do at times.

We say we do so easily, and we sound so noble and compassionate when we offer it, but then what? We continue to bleed and process the bubbling mess of harsh words spoken, careless negligence, lack of respect and being pummeled with neurotic behavior. Sometimes we’re the bearer of the wounds and other times we are the inflictor of them. We say the words to others and we ask for them in turn.

Too often we neglect to ask for absolution for ourselves ~ from ourselves.

True forgiveness is rarely a one shot deal. We may have to repeat it daily, or in some circumstances, moment by moment. It can take a damn long time. We may have to counsel ourselves as memories flare of intentional injury or criminal negligence. We find  that we have to relentlessly re-affirm our commitment to that decision when dealing with long term consequences.

Then comes the inner work, the tougher work, of forgiving ourselves for our choices, our allowing, our aiding and enabling of the offense. We learn the hard way to forgive ourselves for trusting and believing, without falling into the trap of coloring all of humanity with the taint of broken faith.

We redefine ourselves, breaking our hearts into a new way of being open.

Forgiveness isn’t a noun to me. It’s an act of courage, an act of love, an expansion of self. It’s an unclenching of the fist of bitterness and a letting go of the desire for retribution. It’s not an act of piety grudgingly practiced to be worthy of eternal life.

It’s the gift to ourselves of Internal Life.