living proof

if I may be anything
let me be living proof

that one can feel
the unbearable darkness
yet be whole in Spirit;

that intermittently
through the dark
will be moments of blinding light

& to be overcome
by the weight of it all
does not make you wrong

does not make you unholy
unclean
or unworthy

most of all
it cannot take the light from you.

let me be living proof
that you can be
both light & dark

it doesn’t make you crazy

it just makes you
a fervent student of acceptance;

you cannot control the darkness
nor can you banish it forever

but you can decide
to receive the light
to clear a space for it

invite it
with prayer
reflection
or tokens
of your most precious
memories & dreams;

clearing the space
may be messy
maddening
& seem
like more of a mess
than when you started

(clearing
is not the same
as cleaning)

but you’ll know you’ve cleared space
if inside it feels lighter
if you can breathe easier
if you feel you’re not alone
& despite the shadow
that trails behind
you’re ready
to carry on.

intention

good news
for the hopeless:

to set an intention

means to plan
for hope
even if
especially if
you don’t feel it yet;

to set an intention

means to plan
for faith
not because you feel it
but because you dare;

intention
comes from the Latin
for stretch

& set
is an old word
for sit;

so

to set an intention

is to sit with yourself
no matter how hopeless
burned out
weary
even faithless
you feel.

& as you sit with yourself
& all of your pain
in time you may find
your spirit moves
stretches
reaches
through it

in a way that can only
be described as
miraculous.

so sit with yourself
dear one
& reach.

love note to an empath

your ability to feel
that is your super power.

feel so deeply
that it breaks you
yet against all odds
you withstand the pressure
& inexplicably
remain whole.

maybe it’s your job to be broken
so you can teach others
how to be broken
& still shine anyway.

Knowing

“Master,” said the student, “I come to you with a troubled mind.”

“Good,” replied the Master, a calm smile on her face.

The student continued. “I am suffering,” she said. “My mind just doesn’t seem to work. I can’t remember things properly. I can’t think things through.”

“Good,” said the Master, nodding her head.

Confused, the student nevertheless continued. “It’s not just my mental performance,” she said. “I can’t seem to think happy thoughts. Or if I do, it requires a lot of effort. Most of the time, I am terribly sad. Sometimes I think about very frightening things.”

“Good,” said the Master, her smile broadening.

The student gave her Master a wounded look. “Master,” she said, “I am opening my heart to you. These things have been troubling me for some time. I am suffering terribly. Why do you only smile and say ‘Good’?”

The Master regarded her student with clear, steady eyes. “Because,” she replied, “Relying on your mind, you have grown weak. It is my hope that with the dysfunction of your mind, you will grow strong again.”

“How can that be possible?” exclaimed the frustrated student.

The Master tapped the center of her chest. Automatically, the student followed suit.

“Here,” said the Master. “Here is the source of strength you have forgotten. Here is what you need to survive.”

“But I can’t think with that! How will I survive?”

“You don’t need to think. You don’t even need to feel. It is beyond thought and emotion. You simply have to Know.”

“And how will I…know?”

“Take a deep breath.” The student did, and her Master nodded. “Feel it. Be still. This is your Knowing. You can’t describe it. There are no words for it. But in your Knowing lies your power. And you will find that with your Knowing, you will move without needing to think at all.”

The student took a deep, still breath, and smiled.

meet me there

we must experience suffering
to release it in the magic of creation.

that’s what real art
conveys:

this tension
this opposition
between what hurts us
& what moves us.

what touches us
& makes us catch our breath;

when life slows to a halt
& the message becomes clear;

when exhilaration gives way to exhaustion
& breathless reunion gives way to solitude:
meet me there.

it begins with a deep breath
and goes something like this….