Breaking Apart & Coming Undone

ID-100308787“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
― Cynthia Occelli

Lost and scared.
No extra pennies to spare.

Clutching the pain
from the past.
Preferring pain that is familiar
in the face of the unknown.
Holding on,
fearing freedom.

Broken open.
Light cuts through darkness.
Here we can choose:
Continue status quo
or begin anew.

Each cut,
each break
is an opportunity for
something new.

The seedling sprouts forth.
The bud unfolds; blossoming.
The butterfly dries its wings
and takes flight.

The soul emerges
free of self-imposed
The real journey

What looks and feels like death is often the opportunity to herald in the new. Faith in the unseen and unknown can be a challenge. Yet there are many examples of the process of metamorphosis in nature that can be of support during the times when everything seems to be coming apart at the seams.

The seed dies before the mighty Oak can sprout and take root. If the seed remains inside of the protective acorn shell, it cannot become the that which it is meant to be. The acorn just is, without questioning its purpose it breaks up, unfolds, roots and begins to reach for the sky. Without breaking open, the Oak would be nothing but potential.

The caterpillar disintegrates, deconstructing completely in its chrysalis before reconfiguring and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. Their lives are then spent flitting from flower to flower with grace and immense power, despite their delicateness.

Just as the building must be gutted before it can be renovated , we each have things we must release, let go of and “crack open” before we can restructure.

By deconstructing that which no longer serves us,  we are able to choose differently. Sometimes this may involve moving through some emotional pain.  This is just a release of energy as we shift into something greater and better.

Our past wounds are often a good starting point to delve into where we need to release ourselves from suffering.  After all, why would we care to change if everything were just fine?

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi

The places where we were hurt beckon and call us to the feelings and thoughts causing our suffering. It is here in the darkness that we can choose differently, to be free of or to maintain that which reinforces our suffering.

What does someone who loves oneself do?


Image courtesy of adamr at

Learning to Fly

Osprey with Spade Fish

Rising and falling
gracefully, willingly
with the up and downdrafts
Osprey effortlessly float.

Witness the fledgling
you’ll have a different

The large, young
birds hold fast
the mansion,
while flapping furiously
in the updrafts
in their Aeries.

Under parents’
watchful eyes,
they take first flight.
Fear is palpable.
Until they let go,
learning to trust.

The Osprey has called to me for many years. Her amber eyes keen on the horizon, pointing the way to a brighter future. Her presence beckons me to leave the comfort of my own Aeries mansion. “There is so much more for you once you let go and fly,” her eyes say.

I stand on the precipice and I flap my wings. As a fledgling, I test myself in the updrafts, pondering when I will do what I am here to do: fly.

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. – Luke 17:33

It’s hard to let go of my mansion nest, the comfort of thousands of pounds (and years) of having my feet on something (seemingly) solid.

Now just to let go of fear….

When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.
– Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

And fly!


Photo Courtesy of Cindy Shryock Sanderson

You Scare Me (in Reflection)

When we first met,
you couldn’t see what I felt.ID-100241336
You scared me.

Painfully shy
more often than not.
I fear your rejection.

Quietly, I often sit
with first meetings.
I fear your judgment.

Waiting for you
to show yourself.
I fear making myself a fool.

Forcing myself to
speak from a script.
I fear saying something offensive.

These fears keep me
locked inside myself.
I fear your disapproval.

Until you show
me otherwise.
I fear you hate me.

In sitting down
in front of the mirror.
I see you in mine eyes.


Photo by renjith krishnan at

A Path to Forgiveness

My lips still feel bruised.

I quiver in anger, disgust.

Bony finger thrust at you.
Heart mired in distrust.
Hot Coals against you, leaving
my hands blistered, burning.

Grief floods my eyes.
Sadness erupts,
forever behind the molten anger,
running like lava down my face.

smoke fills my vision.

Crashing like waves,
anger and sadness
come in sets.
Chipping away at my shore.

Growing tired,
weary of this graphic novel.
I create something different.
Seeking now a different angle.

Turning my cheek.
I see your fear.
I see your vulnerability.
I see your anger.

Absolved not,
yet better understood.
Rising up now,
out of the ashes.

Forgiveness is the
only grace on this path.
Weight lifts.
Heart returns to growth.

In faith, trust forms anew.
In trust, I begin to see again.
With vision, I begin to love anew.
In my heart, I begin to forgive you.

A new dawn rises.
Sunbeams piercing the darkness.
Light unveils my role in this.
Living again from the heart,
I begin to forgive myself my part.


Photo by lkunl at

Feeling Betrayed


It stings the eyes,
it burns the chest.
There is a disconnect
when one feels betrayed.

The moment comes when we feel that someone else did not honor us. Perhaps a boundary was overstepped, we were pushed too far. Or that the boundary was completely obliterated, as if it had never existed. I don’t know that there is much of a difference in how one feels compared to the other. Either way, there is a strong desire to escape.

It stings the eyes,
it burns the chest.
There is a disconnect
when one feels betrayed.

In allowing the blood stained waves to lap upon my shore, eating away at the sand under my feet, I begin to feel off-balanced. Wave after wave of sadness, anger, guilt, shame and the desire for vengeance keep me off of my center. I choose to sit still now, while the hot tears fall down my face, leaving a trails of pain from burning eyes.

Salt enters the wound
at its weakest point.
Burning moves up from
chest to the throat.

Sounds are no longer heard, felt or uttered. Sitting still in the red tide, allowing wave after wave to pass through my body. The pain peaks. Then I rise above the surface of the water. It is here that I begin to float.

The pain remains there
yet it affects me less.
The tears dry and
I find my footing.

What at one point felt intolerable now feels bearable. It is now that I can stand up as the tide recedes. I plant my right foot and then my left. I begin to place one foot in front of the other, almost as if I were a toddler; I need to focus on each step forward. I brush off the sand.

I leave the beach
alone and now stronger.
I take with me
a brand new perspective.

I turn around to see the sea. How different it looks when it is no longer engulfing me. How different I feel from atop the tall dune compared to being “in it.” Next time, I will be the wiser, less likely to fall prey…maybe.


Photo by ratch0013 at

Self-Hatred is a Vicious Cycle


The more I have, the more I want.
The more I want, the more money I need.
The more money I need, the more I need to work.
The more I work, the more I want to play.
The more I play, the more I spend.
The more I spend, the more I need to work.
The more I work, the more I want to reward myself.
The more I reward myself, the more I eat.
The more I eat, the more I weigh.
The more I weigh, the worse I feel about myself.
The worse I feel about myself, the more I feel devoid.
The more of a void I feel, the more I things I want to have to fill it.
And the cycle starts ’round again!

Turns out it is all just a distraction
from that which I am truly seeking.
Inner peace, happiness from within.
Change my focus from the external to the internal.
It is there that I fill the void.
Involution leads to evolution.


The Elephant in the Room


The elephant in the room must be acknowledged before it can be asked to leave.

Look at it.  See it.  It fills the space with its size.

Open the door,  show it the way out.

Then you can fill the room with all the thoughts you actually desire to be there.


Photo by TAW4 at

Loving the hurt

ID-10017289Like a skinned knee, the parts of us that hurt need love. Maybe the hurts are physical, maybe they are emotional. Maybe the parts that hurt are from our judgments, our thoughts, our misconceptions. While not easy to do, especially at first (or the first 358 times, it may seem), seeing that part of yourself that is in pain and giving it love can be incredibly healing.

There are many reasons that we may hold onto our hurt. Maybe it started when you were hungry as a baby, or not held enough. Maybe it was when people laughed at your mismatched socks in 3rd grade. Maybe it was from being outright abused and neglected. By loving that part of us that is in pain, we can walk around less wounded…and we are less likely to cause the wounding of others because hurt people hurt people.

When we are hurt we hold onto the darkness and the disbelief in compassion. By opening ourselves up to the pain and loving it instead of ignoring it, we can heal the hurt. Just as a surgical wound needs attention, our emotional wounds need it, too.

Give love to the irritated parts (imagine they are a little child or baby, if you need to). The part of you that gets irritated when you think about someone else needs love just as much as the “happy” and sunshine, rainbow pooping parts that can do no wrong. By accepting that it is okay to be irritated with someone else, we free ourselves from guilt, shame and the stacking effect that occurs when we suppress our emotions and sweep them under the rug.

Love you. Love you like no one else can. Love you for no reason at all, except that you are you. It sets us all free…bit by lovely bit.


Photo by renjith krishnan on

Shifting: Out of Focus


Neutral. Coasting. Sleeping. Dreaming.
First alarm. Stop.
Second alarm. Snooze.
Then times two.
Time check: 6:42
Feet hit ground.
Time to start running.

Clutch, 1st gear, gas, go.
Time check: 7:02.
Dress, scurry. Hurry.
Rush the process. Push.

Clutch, 2nd gear, gas, go.
“Kids, get your clothes on.” Times 3 or ten?
Make breakfast.
Time check: 7:22.
Pack lunch.
“Kids, get your shoes on.” Really. Do.
Inhale the food.

Clutch, 3rd gear, gas, go.
To the Jeep.
Pile everyone in. Baggage: check!
Everyone buckled?
Time check: 7:42
Let’s go: heading South.
Oh, no traffic!
Stop. Go. Stop. GO!

Clutch, 4th gear, gas, go.
Cutting it close today.
Downshift to 3rd,
Prius going too slow. Sigh.
Time check: 8:02
To the bus stop.
Eight minutes to spare.
Made it, again today! Hooray!

Clutch, 5th gear, gas, go.
Back in Jeep.
Son, let’s go!
I know you want to stay.
Time check: 8:22
Time to go.
Off to daycare: heading East.
Please, don’t cry little one. I’m sad, too.

Clutch, 6th gear, gas, go.
Back in Jeep: heading North.
More traffic.
Up shift. Down shift. Stop. Go.
Time check: 8:42
Another Prius creates an
open right lane.
Another on time arrival.
Inhale, again.

Shift at will, just keep going.
Now, to start work. Busy, busy.
Squeeze in more patients.
Write more notes.
Time check: 9:22.
Remember what?
Keep up. Yes, breathe.

Now to downshift,
Replay morning’s path in reverse.
Tomorrow, begins anew much the same.
Lord, I don’t like this, again and again.
How can I shift?
How can I change this?
Please show me the way.


Photo by Feelart at

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