Part of the Family

I finally see the mean inner voices for what they are:
part of the family.
I’m never going to eradicate them.
Fear,
self-doubt,
self-criticism,
and depression
will always be in the car
in the road trip of my life–
a month from now,
a year from now,
ten years from now.
And that’s okay.
They can be here–
as long as they know their place.
They sit in the back.
They sit shotgun.
They are not the driver.
I repeat:
They are not the driver.

*Credit where credit is due: this poem is a paraphrase of a part of Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert.*

Windows and Mirrors

You don’t have to
make your art a window
if you don’t want to.
It doesn’t have to be
transparent enough
for others to look through
and see your naked soul.

If you prefer,
you can make your art a mirror:
still honest and clear enough
for folks to look into
and see their own beauty and suffering,
reflected.
But opaque enough
to protect the parts of yourself
that you decide belong to you,
not the world.

You can tell the truth
without revealing everything,
and that is okay.


Bat-Shit Crazy

Looking back on our relationship,
sometimes I wonder
if you really hurt me
or if I was just bat-shit crazy.

My conclusion?
I was bat-shit crazy.

But that doesn’t mean
you didn’t hurt me.

__________________________________________________________

Note from the author: Just wanted to remind anyone who needs to hear it that there is no “perfect victim” of trauma. Even in light of your imperfections, your pain is valid. ❤

Truer

When I prayed,
“Dear God,
help me see myself
as I truly am,”
I hoped to get a clearer picture
of things I often deny:
my mistakes,
my failures,
my cowardice,
my evils.
Instead,
I felt
a deep love.
I wonder
if this was God’s way
of telling me
that while my flaws
are true,
Love
is even
truer.


Fires

I vow
to spend my life
walking through fires
instead of
cowering from them.
I vow
to spread light
even when it means
I must
endure heat.

(written 2017 or 2018)

*Inspired by the Viktor Frankl quote, “what is to give light must endure burning.”