Uncharted Waters

I tried to escape the pain,
and nothing worked.
So now, I will go into the pain.

As I stand at the edge of this ocean,
I cannot see the opposite shore.
But I must trust that someday I will,
if I’m brave enough to start swimming.

(May 2022)

When I Go Deep

When I go deep into my guilt, I find innocence.
When I go deep into my sorrow, I find joy.
When I go deep into my anger, I find forgiveness.
When I go deep into my self-hatred, I find self-love.
When I go deep into my grief, I find rebirth.
When I go deep into my hurt, I find healing.
When I go deep into my loneliness, I find connection.
When I go deep into my weakness, I find strength.
When I go deep into my fear, I find courage.
When I go deep into my bewilderment, I find clarity.

When I say deep, I mean DEEP.
The path to heaven often takes a person straight through hell,
offering no shortcuts.

But every suffering is the raw material for its opposite.

Don’t be afraid of your darkness.
Sit with it quietly.
Listen to it intently.
Someday,
it will lead you to your light.

Misfit

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place—­you belong every place—­no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”-Maya Angelou

__________________________

Dear sister:

When you feel the discomfort
of not fitting in somewhere,
rejoice!

It means you have a shape.

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.*

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.”

The Life of a Socially Anxious Writer

  1. Write something.
  2. Put it out into the world.
  3. Die of embarrassment.
  4. Slowly realize that, in spite of intense feelings of shame (what Brené Brown aptly calls a “vulnerability hangover”), you’re not, like, *actually* dead. At least not in the technical, literal sense. And what a shocking revelation!!!!! You really thought you were!!!! In fact, you were quite convinced!!!!! Start getting the itch to write and share your writing again (where did THAT come from???). Forget how painful and awful it was the last time. Start believing and hoping that MAYBE, despite the disagreement of ALLLLLLLLLL your inner demons, you just might have something important to say. Bravely or stupidly (<— you’re never sure which) decide to soldier on.

5. Write something again.