Acts of Valor

Call your heart back

into you

and let it grieve,

rest, recover.

Treat yourself gently

as you would a warrior

of great valor

struck down in battle.

Those never wounded

haven’t lived,

hearts never broken

haven’t loved,

and you have done both.

Hold your heart

with awe and compassion;

accept them both 

for yourself.

Fill the seams, the jagged edges

with the gold of

wisdom through lessons

earned and learned.

Piece together

with loving hands

the part of you that cannot be


and when you are whole

and another is worthy,

courageously give again, love again

and remain




Let not your light dim

although it chases


in the hearts

of others…

Let the music

within you play on,

even when it seems wasted

on deafened ears…

Let your eyes see color,

beauty and miracles

when the world 

seems to be blind…

And then,

in its darkest hour,

let your soul reach out

and set your dreams alight

as the healing

of your inspiration

brings a deadened world

to life.



Steady yourself~

the fury of your


cannot overcome

the truth of you,

and what you hold sacred.

Lift your head high,

it carries a wealth of wisdom

from painful lessons

learned from facing

everything in life

with courage.

Dislodge the misery

from those shoulders

where shame rests

and let it fall,

ever so appropriately

on those who created it.

Unforeseen situations

will always arise

as will unwanted opinions.

Nothing you face today,

not one single thing,

changes who you are.

Your heart remains

ever-loving, and your soul

ever-shining and untarnished.

Smudges you think you wear

show only on the faces

of those throwing the dirt~

never on the warrior

refusing to succumb

to  the opinions and judgments

Of those without the courage

to rise up and meet their own lives~

Fists ready, heart first.


When did you become

Blind to your own value?

Allowing tiny minds

And bitter hearts

To color your truth?

When did you begin

To accept defeat

And project the image

Of fragility,

Handing over your power

To those who only fear it?

When did you lose

Your beautiful voice

That spoke truth and comfort~

Bringing laughter and healing,

Buried by the loud

And painful sounds

Of judgment and ridicule?

When did you give up…

Accepting the gray world

Of those who live in fear?

I recognize you

Beneath these disguises

And it is time to open your eyes

And wake up.


Shelly Aspenson

The Choice

We can choose~

a world of darkness

or one wonderfully awash

with light and color…

A future of promise

and possibilities,

or days given over to hopelessness

and despair…

We decide

if it’s worth it

to remain open-hearted

and forgiving,

or suffocate ourselves

with bitterness…

Each day is a coin,

and either side

can be our truth…

Every moment

we have the power

to decide

what our lives

will bring to others

and feel like to us…

We can choose.


In the silence of your heart

may your dream

rise from the ashes

of what was not good enough,

brush itself off

and adorn itself vibrantly

in the colors of hope.

In that corner 

where grief resides,

may your heart lift itself

away from the shards

and sharpness

of criticisms

given so carelessly

by those grown bitter

from self-inflicted paralysis.

Inside your fears

with all your broken places,

may you find your 


to mend them with gold

so that when you stand up, 

you stand out~

glittering from the beauty

of the suffering

that let you become


The Answer

Question everything.

You can accept what is,

and refuse to settle

for less than is possible.

You can forgive

every injury without condoning

the slightest injustice.

Do not apologize

for the fierceness of your heart

or your terrifying


The bruises that you bear,

the scars you carry,

only emphasize 

the beauty of your face

and your soul.

You are a warrior,

a seeker and a poet

of life.

How can you wonder

that those equal to your light

are not so quickly found?

May I suggest

that they are being forged

even now

in the fire of life and loss.

Just as you were.

The tears you cry are only

to clear your vision,

the injuries you’ll use

to sharpen your focus.

Keep your eyes and heart open.

But question