When I fled my troubled home, passionately immersing myself in college, career, and family, I thought I had escaped the dark shadows, the pain. Mid-life, forced to stop pretending, to stop running so hard, I sought professional help. “You must,” said the therapist, “walk over to that closet where all the shadows are hiding. You must throw open the door and look them all in the face, or they will haunt you forever.” In the dark recesses, I found a grieving child, one I had abandoned to those shadows.
The Inner Child
At the top of the stairs
from the dry, dark concrete
basement of my soul,
I slammed the door
Trying to shut out her pain
Which seeped, like poisonous air
Up those wooden stairs.
I abandoned her there,
This part of my self,
part of my soul.
With busyness, duty, and do-gooding,
I distracted myself from
her leaden sadness,
her crying in the night.
But on and on she wept
in climbing up
the wooden stairs,
For love…from me.
What is your “end game” in life? For many people it is simply to love and be loved in safe, significant relationships. Others want to accomplish their dreams, travel, or create. This powerful poem will help you to find the key you need to access what you most desire in your life.
What the Decades Taught
If I want to find some deep sense of worth…
To feel fully alive, gladly human,
To connect at a heartfelt level, perhaps,
With the Unitive Force,
It will not be enough to work hard,
Even to sweaty exhaustion.
It won’t suffice to love others,
Even those determined to harm me.
The neatest little house on the block,
The best kept flower gardens,
Organic salads every day,
Well-mannered pets…too little.
Sacrifice won’t do.
Not even years of self-deprivation,
Not being nice to everyone, all the time.
Giving will leave me feeling empty still.
Movies and books by the hundreds,
Even somber scholarship,
Won’t fill the void—
The pain-flooded well of longing.
No princes charming could be enough.
Not children or a dozen sweet grandchildren.
Not lifelong friends.
No one can do it for me!
Along the winding, rutted road,
The best of guides can only point the way;
For some baffling spiritual reason…
…I must begin, at last, to love myself.
In our busy lives we can lose touch of what is important as we focus on the immediate. I love this section from a book my sister is reading. It should be read slowly.
“It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the wind blown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates that victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful, is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for, is barely noticed.”
“We say ‘thank you very much’ and ‘I so appreciate what you have done’ to people who fill our grocery bags, to people who offer us a ride across town. What are the words to say to someone who gave you back your life, who believed that you still had a soul, who acknowledged how bad it is possible to feel? Shouldn’t there be another language for this? Different words altogether?”
This quote is from the novel, We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride.