I’m not broken, so don’t try to fix me.

monarchRight now it may appear
that I’m broken,
with a heart lined
by frayed edges.

The tears are quickly followed
by the sobs that choke my throat.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to breathe.
My insides feel like the are going to
burst forth as my world is turned inside out.

Right now I see my suffering
makes you feel uncomfortable.
Know I am, too.
Right now I know you want to
tell me what to do.
To tell me what I need to do
to see this all differently.

I know you want to fix the problem.
And to me, right now, that makes me feel
like I’m the problem.
Like I’m broken.

Right now the last thing I need
is for you to try to fix me.
I’m not broken.
Even though it appears and feels like I am.

Right now I need someone to listen.
To really hear me.
Even if the retching sobs prevent me
from forming words that can escape
my throat in any meaningful way.

Right now I need you to hold the space for me.
To hold me and comfort me,
wrapping me in your arms
as the sadness,
and shame
leave my being.
Hold me in your arms;
let me follow the sound
of your heart beat back to my own.

Right now I need you
to be a witness to my transformation.
A witness to my strength;
even as I fold.
You’ve seen it before.
To witness my unbroken-ness.

Right now I need you to be silent
and neutral in your support.
Later when the storms have passed
we can talk about it.

Right now I’m not broken,
so don’t try to fix me.



Osprey with Spade Fish

The Sadness arrives in sets, like waves at the oceanfront.

The first wave startles me, yet I keep my footing strongly in the soft sand.

The second wave arrives just in time to throw me off balance.

I recover again until the third wave knocks me down and pulls me under.

“You know, most people drown in 3 feet of water,” the nurse’s query echoes in my head as I work to get my bearings in the salty water.

I struggle. Rolling, turning, twisting, I try anything to regain my sense of where I am. Of who I think I am. It is only when I stop the struggle that I allow the water to wash over me, through me, to cleanse me. The sand gently picks off the dead skin; removing what had never really been.

It is only in my surrender that I am able to rise up, just as the Osprey – the water phoenix – and shake off all the water that once weighed me down. I am renewed. Reborn. Cleansed.

It is then that I look down and realize I was in a puddle of water. The waves were ripples from the drops of rain as they fell gently from the sky above.

I stand now, seeing more clearly than before. It’s all in the perspective….


Photo Courtesy of Cindy Shryock Sanderson

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