I want grief to grow wings and fly away.
I want to wring the anguish out of my heart. I want the tears to wash it away. I want to remember what it’s like to run into the ocean free of fear, sun beating down, the heaviest care held in whether or not I’d be burned by the sun.
Instead time marches across my chest. Life burns me from the inside out. Meaning sheds skin after skin until what I am has no outsides to protect what I am on the inside.
There is no anger. There is no hate. There is no one to blame. There is no one to pity. Life does not play favorites and we all get more than our share to shoulder.
I know I hurt. I hurt and those I love hurt. When those I love suffer and there’s nothing I can do, tears find my eyes and I cry. We’ve all been here and if we have not, we probably will at some point or another.
This is my life. Gratitude makes a prayer for what fills my heart even in its aching. I can name the blessings and there are many. Mainly, every day I’m touched by love. Love comes in my kitty waking me up at 3 a.m. Love comes in my husband’s arms holding me when I shake. Love comes from a student who thanks me for helping her learn. Love comes from a new friend who tells me my article made a difference. Love comes from the readers I don’t know who take the time to write, thank you.
My dad told me when I was 15 years old, if he could cry he’d cry crocodile tears. I didn’t understand it then but I do now.
I worry more when I don’t cry, when what hurts becomes hidden in concrete and nothing can crack it to see what’s inside.
This is my life. I wouldn’t change a thing but sometimes I wish it were a little easier, less fear-filled, less need to make ends meet and more ways to lift the pain out of the eyes of those I see who love me.
Power is an odd bird.
Strength blossoms in power’s light and shadow. In the world of 12-Steps we say we are powerless over people, places and things. There’s truth in that but the truth is also that we can have a powerful effect on people, places and things by the choices we make.
A long time ago I lived a life that seems like it belonged to someone else. The man in my life would always say: “It’s not my problem.” I learned many lessons from that era but that one line stuck with me all these years because it’s so handy to know when something is and is not my problem. The problem then was him but I did not know it.
The cops took him away.
Another saying this man had was: “No need. No want. No desire.” This was my introduction to detachment. Yet to this day I think it should be: “Know need. Know want. Know desire.”
If I knew those three in their light and darkness, maybe this grief wouldn’t melt my heart like butter on burnt toast. Maybe then fear would not dance behind what I see and grief would be like a breeze in spring. And maybe not.
I am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was nine years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write because I love it. I teach because I love it. I tell my students all the time: do it because you can. That works for me. I believe in creating opportunity. I believe in helping my self and others. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate. Check out my blog and website here.
Ed: Lynn H.
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