inside out-the flight of the fallen


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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 had eventually torn the skin from her body and left every nerve exposed. She learned not to touch, or lean, or draw attention to herself. She clung to the shadows in an effort to remain unharmed, and after a while, the shadows consumed her. She became insubstantial, and worse…

She could not remember what joy felt like.

She had stopped flying long ago when it became too painful, thus her way had become slower and more difficult.She watched as those she passed seemed to lead lives of monotonous activity, all ignoring the bloody stubs where their wings used to be. She knew if she let them take her wings, her skin would grow back and she’d quit hurting. She could be like them, and live like them, and never have to be alone.

They weren’t taking her fucking wings.

So here she was, crouching at the very edge of the precipice, watching the Stubs moving like ants far below in the moonlight. Her desperation was so intense that for a moment she considered just letting herself fall to put an end to the torment of living inside out in a world of numbness. Or she could go back down, give up her wings, and become numb herself. Either would be easier than the feeling of not being at all. Never again being alive enough to feel love or joy.

She stood carefully, legs trembling with fatigue, and stared back down the rocky path. She turned, gingerly keeping her wings from touching her and stared down into the darkness and moving lights below. She waited one heartbeat, then two, and stepped to the very edge. Her head bowed for a moment in acceptance of what had to be, and she flung herself out over the edge.

Her wings glinted silver in the moonlight as she plummeted, the wind screaming against her exposed skin, and as she fell-her heart lit with joy at the freedom of this last flight.

No!

In the blink of an eye, she knew what to do. It was worth every risk to experience it all. She was stronger than her fears, stronger than her pain, and she would no longer be kept down. Her wings snapped open, strong and beautiful as she soared above those staring up at her in awe and wonder.

And the pain of flying was glorious.

The Word Sorceress and The Sword of Truth


She watched them prepare to burn her alive. They were in a frenzy to put an end to her softly spoken observations, and the clear-seeing of her gaze as she looked upon them. She had held them spell-bound with her words for so long, it came as a shock when the truth of those words began to cut like the sharpest sword, cutting into ego, and slicing away lies beheld as truth for so long.

Her voice rang out across the clearing, reminding them of how they had searched so hard for the magic of life, only to recoil at its power when they found it within themselves, scrambling frantically to destroy it, or at least cover it up-forever out of sight if not mind. They winced, and hunched into themselves defensively as she asked them what they loved the most about their lives. Was there anything that called to them; gave them joy? Did the heart inside them beat in excitement for anything? What did their eyes behold that left them in awe of the world? What made their souls tremble with ecstasy?

They stacked the wood around her feet as she stood calmly before them, tied roughly to the stake in the center of their world. Nobody would meet her eyes, but she saw their reactions as her words struck home over and over again, and she would not be silent. She would not turn away from them now, even when their every action conspired to send her into the darkness she was safe from, but would be their prison if they refused to listen; if they refused to awaken from their slumber.

“You think to send me into the Abyss, ‘the regions of Hell conceived of as a bottomless pit’. I know that you do this because I am the whisper that screams to your heart, the light of awareness that hurts your eyes, the fire of purpose that causes you discomfort, and the finger that points to the frightening power of your own heart. I know you are afraid of all you are capable of, but to ignore this truth of you is to sentence yourself to the very hell you wish upon me.

I am the Life you look out upon, your fingers pressed enviously upon the glass of the window, seeing freedom, and never touching it with your own hands. I am the Integrity you lost to ‘blend in’ with the crowd, I am the wild, the bold, the fearless, and the joyful part of you that will always remain silent if you do not heed me now. I am the Word Sorceress, the Sword of Truth, the Light of your Soul, the Way to Joy. I am the very best of you, do you really seek to destroy me to blend into the world of today?”

As she spoke, many listened, many held back, some were even brave enough to try to stop the few whose minds were locked into public perceptions, and acceptable behaviors. But the frightened were many, and the torches in hand reached desperately forward to light the lies stacked around her. As the flames fed greedily on the rebuttals, accusations, and denials, she closed her eyes and whispered into the flames that grew in intensity.

“May these words rise on my breath, above the lies that burn.

May every tear that falls from me be just a lesson learned.

And as I dance upon the flames, my spirit turned to smoke,

Let every heart I long to save believe the words I spoke.

At last, when fire lights my heart, as it is wont to do,

May that illumination be the Truth that leads them through.

Remind those who would disregard the Soul they hold inside

That Hell is here on earth disguised as Life they once denied.”

The crowd grew silent as the crackle of the flames grew louder. There was silence and sobbing, sorrow and joy in that clearing as she disintegrated into smoke and flame, the flame of her sparking in the hearts of those hungry, and the smoke choking the perpetually dissatisfied.

As the smoke cleared, all eyes were caught by the figure of a small girl, heart yet untarnished by world or ego. She seemed to shine from within as she walked slowly to the edge of the fire and picked up the Sword of Truth the Sorceress had dropped in her burning. There was total silence, not even a birdsong, as she looked at everyone and smiled sweetly, turning to walk into the forest alone, the heavy sword cutting a path in the dirt as the tip drug behind her.

And those who were not amazed, were envious.

The Last Interview of Prince Charming-Finding Mr. Right


She stood as he did, and they faced each other across the interview table. She offered her hand politely, and as Princes are wont to do, he lifted it to his lips and brushed them across her knuckles, smiling quite charmingly before he took his leave. She huffed a dejected sigh and sat back down on her throne. It suited her perfectly. When she had taken her place as Queen, she had, after all, built it herself with her own blood, bone, heartbreak, and indomitable will. Every time she came here, and took her place, her power replenished itself with the reminders of each victory, every triumph, every goddamn time she stood back up when knocked to the ground in battle.

Although she knew she could withstand any uprising, and the power over her world was in her hands alone, she still searched for the One who would be King. She interviewed endless Princes from various kingdoms, but they all ended with her standing and offering her hand, their charming smile, and a mix of dejection and relief when they left the Throne Room. It was really getting to be too much of a bother, and there was plenty in life she could experience and enjoy if she decided to just let the search die off here.

She knew that many thought her efforts foolish, that she was wasting her time better spent doing normal kingdom things. She heard the whispers as she passed by of those who had not yet found their soul; the ones who said she asked too much, dreamed too big, burned too brightly. She heard them, and she laughed to herself, because absolutely NEVER would she minimize herself to another’s standards again. Never. Again.

She slumped a little on her throne of bones and heartbreak and tapped a finger against her lips as she pondered her Queenly list of Kingly requirements. She wanted a King who was a man first. A warrior, a poet, a lover, a wolf. She wanted him to be her kingdom, her fortress, her laughter, her light. He would be willing to stand in front of her and protect her with his life, with the greater courage of living for her each day. In return, she would give him all of this and more.

She could almost imagine the look of him, the strength, the feel and sound of him. Sometimes she missed this King; this man she’d yet to see. Sometimes she thought she felt him out there, breathing, fighting, waiting, searching for her just as she searched for him. Then again, maybe she’d taken one too many cracks upside the head from the sword of Life, who can say?

She remained lost in her thoughts until the sound of heavy boots striding towards her caught her attention. She turned her head to watch the man who strode across the room to stop directly in front of her, his head lifting slightly to acknowledge her, instead of bowing.

Complete and utter joy rendered her immobile. She saw the armor of a Lion Hearted man, a strong face, his eyes burning with the determination that only comes when you’ve learned to rescue yourself. There was no doubt, she recognized the look that she saw in the mirror every day. Everything in her came to life as never before and she was electrified by the magic arcing between them in the silence.

His lips curled in a half-smile as he extended his hand to her and left it there, letting her decide her future.

She stood to face him, eyes locked, and put her hand in his, along with her heart. Then they smiled at each other in recognition of all the other times they had found each other and loved.

Victorious.

Broken Open


Protect yourself, toughen up, live in the real world, don’t be so sensitive. I’ve told myself this so many times. Be the same, blend in, don’t rock the boat, you expect too much, life isn’t a love story, or an adventure, or full of magic or miracles. I’ve heard this from others and replayed it plenty over the years. So I did that thing you never want to do and I listened to all of it, and I did a great job of making myself what I finally became: numb.

The good thing is, when my heart finally hardened enough, nothing hurt me anymore. “I don’t care” was my mantra to myself in a never-ending loop. When faced with negligence, judgment, hostility, hate-spewing, whining, subtle slams of criticism, or being severely under valued~I felt no pain. Moving right along with my “I don’t care” mantra, I breezed through mediocrity and monotony with expressionless grace. I quit writing, because I had to feel to do so, and I had nothing I wanted to say anymore.

Enter the truth. I noticed that I couldn’t feel the good things either. My joy in anything at all was missing. I saw nothing in full color, and felt nothing that truly touched me. I forgot how to love, and how to let myself be loved, with very few exceptions, and it frightened me.

I sat down one day after finding an old MAPP assessment I received, years ago, when I was unsure of what direction I should take, the results of which I disregarded as I tried to turn myself into Super Woman. After page three, I realized to my dismay that I was crying. Silent tears just falling as I read about the young woman I almost remembered being. I also realized with no doubt at all in my mind that I LIKED that girl. I missed her. I wanted to be her, and I should have been.

So here I am. Trying to open this bear trap of a heart with a crowbar. Reading, writing poetry, listening to music that makes me dance, practicing yoga, and meditation. I am working on softening my heart every moment of every day that I can. It’s not easy when the life that I let shut me down is still happening every day. But I am getting somewhere. I’m thinking for myself, and asking questions of myself too long ignored. I’m re-calibrating my soul in a way. I’m leaving my assessment out for frequent reading as a map to the new world, a way of finding joy, adventure, and miracles again.

I want to keep trying, crying, and loving until I’m broken open~and when it happens, my world may not be the same as I thought it should be, but what I am, and what I have will be real. The love I feel, and have, will be worth it. Both for the giver and receiver.

I want to be the open-hearted girl, the lion-hearted girl, the “too much” girl. I want to be that girl who cares too much, cries too much, gives too much, writes too much, and laughs too long and too loud. Come home girl, I miss you.

From Arrogance to Love


I have never really paid much attention to the story of the mythical Narcissus until today. To me, it sounded like a short corny story about a conceited guy. Boring. Until I read a small chapter of The Exquisite Risk by Mark Nepo today, it didn’t strike me how most of us suffer from his same affliction.

Not that we gaze endlessly at our reflections, enthralled by the love of our own beauty~no, it’s more painful, and damaging than that. Especially, but not exclusively, women gaze endlessly and hopelessly at our reflections~judging ourselves less, or fat, or old, or ugly. We are obsessed with how smart we are not, how untalented, and uninteresting we are in comparison to the entire rest of the world. We are full of our superiority in our inferiority. Our troubles are greater, more challenging, dare I say insurmountable?

We are so certain that the entire world is about us and our inability to shine like others. That the skills and gifts and blessings we downplay and degrade are even ours to own. What a load of crap.

In learning to break down my beliefs about myself, somewhere along the line I quit being ate up with myself. I quit judging myself so harshly, quit down-playing gifts and talents that I flat-out know for sure don’t come from me at all! I quit acting and believing as if I am the cause and effect of every dang thing around me.

It has been quite hilarious being me in recent months. I laugh a lot, mostly inside, but sometimes it just busts out. Somebody told me I was beautiful the other day, and instead of immediately being embarrassed and awkward, I just smiled and said “thanks!”~I mean, seriously, I don’t have a thing to do with that, that’s all on my parents and the Creator being creative I guess. Sometimes, when I’m done writing and send my poetry or songs or whatever off into email land, I’ll come back and re-read them and just slap my hands together, laugh and shout out to the Universe “DAMN, you are GOOD!”. I know it’s not coming from me, just through me. Just like beauty, or love, or forgiveness. Through me.

That’s what I want to come through me. Love instead of ego, forgiveness instead of judgement, creativity instead of excuses, gratitude for the more than enough instead of whining about the lack. I want to be excited about the days I’m given, not feel like each one is some kind of punishment.

When did we learn to make life a tragedy starring us? Why not share the stage with the Universe and give the proper credits when due? Why be obsessed with our “less than” or our “lack” that only exists in this ego we are eaten up with.

It’s arrogant, self-absorbed, and ungrateful to live our lives stuck to the mirror of self-judgement. We must get over ourselves. I am certainly trying. And believe it or not, it is a huge relief when you accept it’s not at all about you. It’s about all of us, together, expressing life, as one~in all our different ways.

Let’s put the mirror down, and go live this life.

 

 

Shadow Heart


This is a shadow day. A day of dark reflection reminding me that nothing remains the same, so  I must evolve into my light, or sink back into my shadow. There is no middle ground. I accept that every day may be a gift, but not all will be easy. I will always wish, in those moments when life is at its brightest and so am I, that I can hold onto the magic. During days like today, I know it really is up to me to either stay in the shadows, or bring myself into the light again, but I have to remind myself. It isn’t so easily rendered on a day like today.

I know that I determine my attitude, yet today I struggle with misery. There is a strong part of me that wants to force things to be, instead of let them unfold. I have to trust that my perfect opportunities are being brought to me, and will arrive at just the right time. I don’t want to carelessly damage the plans for me that are greater than any I can conceive of for myself. I trust  the Creator of all things, just as I trust in my next breath, my next heartbeat,  and my body  working to heal itself. The seasons change without effort, the sun rises, flowers bloom and the earth rotates without any help from me, who am I not to trust in the flawless creation of my life?

So I am telling myself tonight that the shadow I am today is merely a sign of the brilliant light I’m standing in, because without the light I long to flood the world with, I would never see the shadow.

Shadows are proof of Light. Proof of Life, and Hope, and Love.

And so it is.

Heart of Stone


This last year or so has been an epic quest for me to find my heart. My adventure started in a dull and dimly lit place, where no one could hurt my feelings or ego, because I didn’t care enough to be hurt. No one could ever stomp on my dreams, because I packed them away, and rendered them unimportant . It was a safe, colorless, monotonous place of emotional paralysis. For a lot of years, I preferred it that way.

On the flip side of that, when I wasn’t busy not caring about life, I was borderline rage/confrontational. I wasn’t going to take any crap off of anyone.

I’m not sure exactly when I realized that I couldn’t feel anything wonderful either. I couldn’t turn off the painful stuff if I wanted to feel the good, and I couldn’t feel any quality of emotion when I was shut down to protect myself.

What a dilemma, and how exhausting it was. I finally became fed up with being unhappy about my little diatribes, and my attitudes, so I began to give myself instruction toward peaceful living.

Please understand that when I first stepped out of my dimly lit and lifeless room of monotony, I had no clue how to move toward peace. I only knew I had to find it. Somewhere out in the great unknown.

I began by acting peaceful. This first step was awesome for the rest of the world, but for me, not so much. There were many times I was certain that I would implode from the pressure of my self-control holding in my anger, or explode from my failure to do so. I read, studied, read, studied, meditated, yoga, read.

I became my own patchwork guru of survival and thrival (I know, I did just make up a word). I didn’t want to LOOK peaceful, or ACT peaceful. I realized at some point I needed to BE  peace, and it was buried beneath all this ridiculous garbage of life I carry with me every day. I mean, it IS my garbage, so why would I just dump it?

I found a yoga teacher, who became a sister/friend to me. I was able to say to another human being how hard and locked up I felt inside, that I felt I needed to bust my heart open. The constriction of it was no longer acceptable to me. I wanted to be the me I vaguely remembered who was unafraid of joy, or risk, or honesty of emotion. The fearless girl. Mendy was amazing. I really don’t know how she came to be my gift at that time, because I didn’t have anyone I felt safe enough to be honest with about what I dreamed or wanted. I felt and heard her genuine acceptance and belief in me and what I would achieve, and it has given me confidence to continue on.

I have learned to decide, when I become angry, whether to address the cause at the time~or accept it’s not worth my attention and let it go. I’ve learned to expect to be treated differently, that I get to decide who I am and what I do. Absolutely no one else has that power or authority over me. I’ve learned people are the most important thing, and that I am one of them. I’ve learned to be kind to me, to listen to my intuition, to hug my inner brat for wanting to lop off heads and just let it go. Let it go.

I am learning that my excitement doesn’t need to be contained or watered down so people are comfortable with it. Isn’t that what led me to my locked up sad place? Yes it is. I can be brave and try things other people won’t. I can be fearless and give up things that no longer serve me. I can dream as big as I want and know that what the Universe has for me is even bigger than what I can imagine for myself. I don’t have to stay where I am and be who I’ve been. I can keep changing every day until I run out of days, and I’m excited to see what version of me I’ll become next.

I am softening my heart, doing the work to open up to life so I may actually live it. I will open my heart, unafraid, so I have the ability and the desire to love my family and friends, and be involved in a community of like-minded individuals because we’re really all a part of each other anyway.

I will be strong enough within me, to accept you as you, and not the potential clone of  me that I want to turn you into. I won’t change myself, I’ll just uncover me by dumping my garbage where it belongs, and admiring you for doing the same when you’re ready.

Let’s crack it wide open, let the Light in.