The Invisible Support

What is the invisible support propping up your feet,

When days grow long and bitter,

In a series of defeats?

What shields you through the fire and the rain,

Mitigating inner turmoil

Softening the sharpest pain?

Is it the voice of someone benevolent and dear

Placing arms around shoulders

Calming down your rising fears?

Is it the motivating gift of life pursuit,

Engaged in what matters most

All self-doubt to refute?

Cling tightly to those strong, reinforcing stays

Hold them in your best esteem

As they uphold you on your way.

Do Not Mind the Tears

Do not mind the tears, dear soul,

They are falling on their own accord

During moments of welcomed grace

And waves of crushing heartache,

All signs and evidence of your safety

For I do not allow my tears to show for any

But the kindest most entrusted souls.

Do not mind my unleashing of words

As they tumble haphazardly from my lips

No grammatical structure, no thoughtful themes,

A geyser of long compartmentalized sentences

That could no longer bear containment,

Proof that you must be of infinite value

For I do not share my words with any

But the most compassionate, warmhearted souls.

Do not mind my neurotic, blubbering presence

For it is only your inherent goodness

That has given me permission to be just as I am

Without fear of repercussion or judgment,

A gift of unconditional positive regard

You have graciously bestowed upon me.

Stepping Stone

No longer waiting for the next step to appear,

She finally stood up, shaking off the dust of stagnancy

And set to work gathering earth and stones

To build her own stepping stone.

No starbursts appeared to show her the way

No neon signs to illuminate a destination

Only the softly persistent pull of her intuition

Guiding her to pave the next step with her own hands.

Perhaps this is what it means to leap into the dark:

Breaking free from the cycle of waiting for rescue

Blazing the trail with courageous endeavor

Without any obvious intervention, only trust in self

Realizing in hindsight that in the forward movement

There was, unfailingly, the presence of divine undertones.

And the Sun Rises, Still

And the sun rises, still

Even after discouraging days

Our hearts find ways to mend

In unexpected ways,

Feet continue walking

Despite our weakened knees

And shoulders once hunched

Rise up with growing ease.

Eyes once sad and downcast

Look upward in meek faith

Hands that used to tremble in fear

Long for meaningful ways to create.

We are products of resilience

Toughened up and battle-worn

Learning to love altruistically

Softened from the loss we mourn.

Rare Souls

Once in a great while, as we unassumingly pave our way through life,

We come across those rare, kindred souls

Who become for us mile markers on an otherwise uncharted road.

Opening up access to our most tender feelings, these gentle ones

Heal us from the inside out simply by accepting us exactly as we are,

Likeminded mirrors reflecting back our truest form,

Familiar beings that instantly make us feel like we are home

Softly extracting our hidden truths, our fervent hopes, our fears,

The only hands entrusted to catch our tears.

We hope they will outlive us, so we may never lose our footing

Within the empty spaces their loss leaves behind,

Savoring those moments when they walk beside us

Powerless to the passage of our limited time.

Oh, we must capture those feelings with kindred souls

Like jars of bottled synchronistic dreams and hopes

That we may open in times of greatest despair

To remind us of the hearts who dearly cared.

In memory of my Grandma, who was and will always be a kindred soul.

Turning Inward

Cautiously tiptoeing out of survival mode,

She saw for the first time since the world fell apart

That her soul was aching,

So cloaked in fear and haunted by imminent threat

She had failed to notice the damage inflicted

On the inside.

There had been no time for processing,

No other option than to keep breathing

Focusing only on the basic physical existence

Of those she loved, of herself too,

Too traumatized to consider that deep within her consciousness

A heaviness had taken its toll.

After her body began a slow recovery into better days

Uncertainty hesitantly giving way to cautious optimism

She turned her attention inward, to the unsettling emptiness

Apologizing to her own neglected heart

For not noticing sooner its diminished state

Failing to hear its quiet but persistent inner pleadings

For support, for healing, for hope.

Perhaps she had instinctively known the impossibility

Of preventing her heart from bleeding out

So she had left it to its own defenses

While fear and illness had taken over her nervous system,

Seeing only now in the miracle of life beyond certain death

That it had survived through its worst battle yet

Silently and bravely, proving again and again its resilience.

Now she cradles her heart carefully in her palms

Listening, finally listening, to its soft-spoken voice

Hearing, finally hearing, its rudimentary needs,

For hope in the unrelenting bleakness

For safety in the throes of uncertainty

For closeness in isolation

For a chance to live out its purpose

Of healing mind, body, and soul.

The Bittersweet of Awakening

Awakening unfolds incrementally, slowly,

One single nerve at a time, slowly regaining sensation

Filling the numb, empty spaces of our souls with signs of rebirth.

No one warns us that the process of thawing out traumatized hearts

Begins with more suffering than relief,

When the sting of reality surging through deserted nerves

Wrenches us loose from the safety of emotional emptiness

Into a visceral awareness of our deepest wounds.

How wonderful it would be to skip over the tedious parts of healing

When we must pluck out hundreds of splinters lodged into our hearts

One-by-one, carefully bandaging each puncture with promises to self

To be kinder, gentler, wiser next time.

As the hollow nerves come to life again,

As our punctured hearts heal,

There will be pain, both cathartic and unbearable

Yet in that pain there will be transformation

As our minds begin to synchronize logical truth with the depth of our feelings

Grieving what must be grieved so that we may finally let go

Of the splinters and thorns keeping us from forward movement.

May we love our wounded hearts and souls

As they strive to mend

And may we invite what is wholesome and nurturing

Into these darkened days, into our melancholy spirits

Until we have reason again to keep breathing.

Take Us Through this Never-Ending Night

Look, dear soul.

The sun is peaking through the clouds, ever so slightly

Streaming down like gold from angry storm clouds

Onto our sun-deprived faces.

Perhaps this glimpse of welcomed relief is only temporary

Fleeting as so many vital resources are in these troubling times,

But what should we care if the sun shines for long?

Let us savor it while it lasts, warm our chilled noses

Breathing in the light like gulps of air.

We cannot predict how long the storms will continue to rage

Yet there is no use in rejecting the sun when it shines

No harm in kindling hope in the midst of almost-hopelessness

If it takes us through this never-ending night.

Sanctuary

Just a few more steps

Carefully, there is weakness in these knees

So great the effort required to remain standing

Against the weight of human frailty.

Searching, ever-searching, for a safe space

To completely and unashamedly fall apart,

We instead expend our efforts hiding fractures

In our carefully steeled-up defenses

Because even in times of tragedy

We must still play the heroic part

To safeguard the hearts of those who need us to be strong.

Can you feel the incessant tug to stop fighting

Against the need to stay so stalwartly brave?

Like a moth to flame, this need to collapse

In a sanctuary of empathy?

Wandering around in our self-imposed fortresses,

Waiting to be gently broken apart?

Stretching Wings

I thought the tree was where I belonged

Sitting beneath a canopy of branches

Nestled up against the trunk of this vast oak

Lulled to sleep by the sound of the breeze through leaves.

Never dreamed of leaving this sacred space

Too afraid of the world outside the shade of my tree

Protected from the vast wide open space

Safely squirreled away, content, and asleep.

Then one day, the sun peeked through my leafy hideaway

Spilling onto my pale, susceptible skin

Bringing awareness of life beyond this sheltered world

Replacing complacency with curious intent.

So I climbed my way up through the branches

Perching onto a strong but shaky limb

Staring out over an endless landscape of opportunities

Uncharted territory I never knew existed until then.

Then something terrifyingly wondrous occurred

As I peered out into this new, unfamiliar land

Stretching my arms in the warmth of the glowing sunlight

I discovered that I had wings.