While life goes on
I often feel as if some form apart:
Lost though here,
Invisible though seen,
Alone–yet standing among the masses, who think me one of them.
They do not know
There is an entirely separate life:
Raging at injustice,
Sobbing with grief
Over wounds that will not heal, which ooze anew without warning.
And yet–while life goes on
To align these two worlds so I might be
Here and present,
Free to love,
Able to master the chaos within, sharing with others, valuing moments of peace.
It was several years ago when I first wrote this poem. At a time when I thought I had gone through all the recovery and healing possible, the Monster of Unresolved reared his ugly head again. The attack was unrelenting and I just did not want to go through anymore. I was once more at a fork in the road. Which path? What way out?
Surely, I had earned a reprieve. I was a ‘good’ person. I helped old ladies across the street, loved my family and our dogs, I was a dedicated lifelong learner and had a deep abiding faith. So why then, why did I have to go through yet more soul-searching, more learning, to turn anguish and pain over to God? Why?
I had even been continuing to do some counseling with our Pastor at the time. Mark and I would meet at the local McDonalds, grab a coffee and sometimes even agree I was getting better.
It was our day to meet. I was in a cold sweat. My husband Phil was working at his computer in his office while I was doing some work in our in-house shipping department located in the next room. We had argued…I was too emotional and it always frightened him. He had married a “strong” woman, but I wasn’t that this day.
Mark called and asked if I were coming. I was a heap on the floor and told the truth. “I can’t get out of the house.” He came to me.
Always one to try to find the funny, I could not. Mark joined me on the floor and said, “it’s like having to pull slivers of glass from under your skin, isn’t it?” It was indeed. This time I was not sure I could make it.
I had to decide who I would be as life went on. I had to acknowledge that I believed in a God who would resolve things in his own time, not mine. Didn’t like it much. I felt the epitome of the saying that to some people being born human seemed a bad break.
Mark left. Phil came in and gave me an undeserved hug. I stood up. I took that next best step, which as was so often the case for me, meant going to bed and calling it a day.
The next day, the truth in the form of this poem was just there. A blueprint to move forward. A declaration of sorts. I was going to carry on despite the shame I carried for others. To have been guilty would have been so much easier.
When I was guilty of some wrong doing I loved making amends. The ability to do so was hopeful. There was a way out.
Shame said I was bad. Bad to the bone and I didn’t know why. How do you fix something like that?
I know now. You wait on God. And wait. And one day he says, “It’s time.” That is when you set your jaw and scramble through the best that you can. You repeat the process over and over until one glorious day you look up and there are no more brambles and briars. You look up and see only a bright light shining on a lush green pasture. And God says, “You can lay down now. This is where I was leading you all along. Rest. Then get up and walk with others along this path to peace.”
Big stories, big blessings come with big responsibility. We truly are all in this together.