The Felt Sense

When we set aside the cacophony of racing thoughts

Sitting in the peace of stillness, silencing the chatter

Allowing the pressures of the external to temporarily fade

We can then listen to that quiet inner voice, the felt sense

It is there, dear soul, that a light glows in the dark

A knowing above all knowing, without any evidence

But the warmth and pull of our fervent hearts

Reminding us what matters on this adventure of life

Teaching us to trust in our souls’ calm, steady guidance

As it quietly leads us to that place we call home.

I have struggled to listen at times to this felt sense,

Choosing instead the harshness of cold facts and reality

Closing the door on the only reliable compass that I know

Which is my heart, dear soul, in all of its sentimentality

And when I can sit there in the quiet, listening softly

A light glows from within, awakening my doubtful soul

Pulling me up from my aching onto shaking feet

Whispering words of encouragement to try again.

Maybe it is in the intuitiveness of this sixth sense

That we hear, we finally hear, what we need the most

We see for the first time with a lens of clarity our life

We feel the way forward as if drawn toward light.

Where There Is

Where there is a steady purpose

To lift shoulders and mend hearts

Where there is warmth of healing

Guide me there.

Where there is renewal of faith

In the outcomes we cannot see

Hope generated in heavy footsteps

Lead me there.

Where there is a welcomed return

Of joy after a long stretch of survival

Where our hearts can begin to thaw

Navigate me there.

Where there is stillness and peace

In quiet gardens with flowers and trees

Where we discover the softness of relief

Find me there.

Quiet Fortitude

You were never weak, dear soul.

Not for one moment, not for one breath,

Not even when the relentless dark persisted

Unforgivingly casting shadows of doubt in your mind

About your innate goodness, your brightness of soul,

Even during the nights you fell apart in quiet agony

Feverishly piecing together fragments of a broken heart,

You were never weak, you were never frail.

Tenacity glows in the puddles of your footprints

Left behind after trudging through a resistance of storms

Grace lingers in the ground where you shed your tears

Leaving a trail of vibrant wildflowers behind

And whether by force or willing compliance,

You have walked the bitter path painfully but resolved

A force for betterment in a world of stagnancy

Tired but not hopeless

Refined but not lost

Toughened by experience

A heart wisened but soft.

Transformation

Change begins with recognition

As our inner dysfunctions become clear

Resisting the urge to deflect or escape

We instead turn our focus inward

Breathing through the pain of soul-searching

As we break down our defenses brick by brick

To understand our role in our own discord.

We are always on a trajectory of evolution

Refining like pearls trapped in transformation

Until finally dawn breaks through the night

And we understand, we finally understand,

Where to find our healing light.

There is no bitterness in this process

We feel what we must feel to overcome

We change what we must change to transform

We cry the tears in need of bittersweet release

Falling apart to be put together piece by piece,

Saved only by our slowly dissolving belief

That on the other side of suffering

We may find relief.

We Are Not Exempt

At first, peace feels like an illusion

After numberless days treading water

Our soul muscles desensitized to strain

Stamina built by force of continuous trauma

As we rise and fall and rise again.

Dear soul, do you feel the subtle pull of peace?

The quiet hope waiting just around the next bend?

The safety net ready to catch your fall,

After the relief of survival settles in?

Peace tiptoes through the back door of our suffering

Encircles us unexpectedly, catches us off-guard

Breaking down our defenses with soft reassurances

That we are safe to breathe, we are still alive,

And it takes time to begin to earnestly believe

That in a world of shadows and downpours

There are also strands of lights shining with peace

And we are not exempt from light, dear soul,

We are not exempt,

Turning Inward

There is nothing to fear in turning inward

We are meant to dissect the fibers of our souls

To reassess our motives, our patterns, our worth

Seeing with painful clarity what we must do

To remove the barriers standing in the way

Of awakened perspective

Of movement forward

Of certainty.

Perhaps there will be some discomfort

In sharpening the lenses of our colored glasses

As our surroundings become jaggedly clear,

This is when the flaws of our distorted thoughts surface

When we see the cycle of our own dysfunctions

When we finally begin to prioritize our own healing

By recognizing the ways we inadvertently hurt ourselves

Through self-defeatism

Inner criticism

Sanctioned dissociation

Reckless over-giving

And we choose to take the path of self-reflection instead

To heal the wounds at the root of our behaviors

Helping ourselves so that we may wholesomely help others

Without expectation, without fear, with love unfeigned

The way we do when our souls are renewed.