Categories
Life

Self Forgiveness

They abused their horses; yelled at them, hit them, spat daggers of anger at them, daily.

I was the thirteen year old victim of school bullying at the time, so I smiled when the abusers smiled and I laughed when they laughed (thankfully they weren’t horrible enough to laugh about the abuse.) I suppose a part of me must have thought: well, if they do this to horses, what might they do to me. I’d best tread carefully.

And so I did.

I was a mess of crumbling empathy, inside. Those poor horses. They must have been so frightened and so, so confused.

The two women, a Mother and her teenage Daughter, seemed otherwise nice. They had genuine love for their horses, I could tell by the way they spoke their names and stroked their strong, wide shoulders at the gate, as we talked.

Still. They really were rather horrible, to my thirteen year old eyes. That would never be me.

The day my horse bucked me off in the paddock was an ordinary day. Nothing unusual had happened to upset me. No dark clouds threatened to ruin the perfect sky, or my day as a little sad girl, joyously bounding around on her beautiful, crystal pony.

I was up on the horse.

And then I was down.

And my beautiful grey girl felt the wrath of a Brooke I had never ever been.

I screamed at her. I used words I didn’t even think I knew. I purposely chose sentences I had heard the ‘horrible ones’ using. And although I would never have hit her, I may as well have, because when the dust had settled…I felt such remorse. How had that venom lived inside of me? Did I really think all those horrible words about my very best friend?

I instantly hit the self preservation button, blamed the ‘horrible ones’ for making me behave in this way. Without them, I would never have done this. I was a beautiful, kind person, and wise beyond my years I had been told. Until now. Kind people absolutely never did ‘bad’ things.

But, you see, they did, apparently.

I did.

Every chemical of panic flooded my nervous system.

Horrible me’ had to go under the carpet and she had to stay there, never to be seen again. Only beauty lives here. Only sweet kindness and love.

Today, 26 years later, as I stood in front of the mirror, a flash of feeling came to me, a sludge of shame. And a memory. Of the little girl who had betrayed her own goodness, and tore another beautiful soul down.

Today, I saw the truth of what I had done, and I cried.

My beautiful girl. She had deserved so much more, and I had been capable of giving her everything she had deserved…until the moment I hadn’t.

That was the day I became fully human, imperfect and perfect, all at the same time. I wouldn’t understand this idea until many, many years into the future. Sometimes, I don’t understand it, now.

Self compassion is a beautiful learned skill, and my own has held me well, today. I can hold that silly little girl who really didn’t know any better and I can promise the me I am now that I will better protect my energy in the future.

Too many times I’ve allowed myself to be influenced by others in a way that has been damaging to me, and sometimes to others. I like to think my beautiful pony gave me one of the greatest lessons I’ll ever learn in life, however late I’ve learned it.

It is up to me to protect my boundaries.

It is up to me to choose love, and not the opposite.

And when I slip up and inevitably fail, it’s up to me to love myself enough to find self forgiveness.

Categories
Poetry

Bright New Day

I send my heart

to those in pain.

Let me sit beside you in the dark.

Let me remind you:

darkness is the ship

to a bright new day.

Categories
Peaches In The Darling Sun

Kindness

Kindness is everywhere if we look hard enough.

Photo by bin Ziegler on Pexels.com

And you’ll know how it feels, because you’ll know how it looks.

And if you know how it looks…

you’ll know your most important identity.

You’ll know how to be beautiful you.

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Kindness is beautiful.

See it, feel it, know it kind of beautiful.

Or…not know it.

Kindness is kindness, either way.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Kindness isn’t something we need to think to life.

It is not a plan, it is not an order.

It’s a heart thing.

Our job is just to listen.

And breathe.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

So, don’t try to be kindness.

Just move over.

To the left of the Sun, to the right of the moon.

And I promise you,

I promise.

Kindness will be there soon.

Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com
Day 8. Just breathe.
Categories
Poetry

Remembered

The words were simple.

A question.

A question of heart and soul.

‘If you could be remembered for one thing,

what would that be?’

What would that be?

And I knew I wouldn’t be remembered for the jobs I’d done or the titles I’d held.

I knew I wouldn’t be remembered for the degrees I’d received or the knowledge I’d gathered.

I would be remembered because I loved.

I would be remembered because I tried

(I always tried)

to be kind.

And to love in spite of it all.

Categories
Life

Is This The Way The World Was Meant To be?

I’ve changed. My goodness I’ve changed. And although the change has been gradual, I am living a version of my internal life I have never lived before.

It all has to do with my heart, and maybe (probably, absolutely) hormones. You see, the thing is, empathy for humans has always come easily to me. But now, empathy is changing the way I see the entire universe.

Once, I would have seen a cut flower and been very pleased to have been given such a lovely thing. Now, I feel for the flower. It has been cut to make me happy, and yet it is dying in my hands. Is this the way the world was meant to be?

Once, I would have read a book, held the pages close to my face and inhaled. Oh, the smell. It would have brought me such pleasure. Now, I think of the trees and all the animals who’ve lost homes because of the glorious romantic story I’ve called books. Is this the way the world was meant to be?

Once, I would have seen a spider on the wall and swatted it, killing it instantly. Now, I deliver it outside and onto a bush (if I can). I think of my children and wonder how I would feel If someone swatted one of them just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Killing for convenience? Is this the way the world was meant to be?

And lastly, I would have gotten a pet and loved it as my own child. Those innocent, melty puppy eyes, how they would capture my heart and soul. Now, I connect to the primal core of its mother, and I hate myself. Taking her baby (or the baby of any living being, without permission) to meet my own needs. Is this the way the world was meant to be?

I am not at all saying that anyone who has a pet, kills spiders or reads books is doing ‘wrong’. I am one of you. I do these things, too. All I’m saying is: I see this world anew.

And because of this, I fear I see too much to go back.

Where am I going, then?

Where am I going if I love, too much?

Photo by sergio souza on Pexels.com
Categories
Life

Thank You

I was in tears this morning, bouncing on my fit ball in front of the TV at my new favourite time of day (4AM).

I was watching the world news.

Small children were being handed over a fence to soldiers at the airport in Kabul, thankfully with no idea there is a better life for them out there somewhere.

And then there was me.

So small in the world, thinking of my own beautiful children tucked neatly, safely, away in their cosy beds.

I felt helpless.

I wanted to take all those beautiful people in Afghanistan under my wing and hold them there for a while.

I couldn’t.

I have no control over the mental state of the terrorists of the world, or the mental state of their fathers before them. Fathers who were taught by their fathers that love looked like fear. Fathers who passed this very fear onto their sons, and so on.

I have no control over the pain of these poor darling humans in Afghanistan, just trying to live.

But I have this blog.

I have my words and I have my heart.

And maybe I can’t make a difference for those poor people, but if you are reading this, and feeling in need of some love…I can make a difference to you.

So here I say this:

Thank you for being alive.

For being unique and wonderful you.

For being human enough to have bad days.

And for the strength I know you’ll find tomorrow.

I hope today is beautiful for you and I hope you remember the sun isn’t far away if it’s not.

Because even when the darkness of the world takes over, there is always something beautiful to find among the rubble.

This is my reminder to myself.

And this is my love letter to you.

So much love and strength to you all, my beautiful bloggy friends.

Thank you for being such a big part of my sun for so many of my days.

And so, life goes on.

xx Brooke

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Categories
Poetry

She Would

If she could hold the world with all her heart.

If she could soften the growls of the wildest of them,

she would.

Oh, she would.

Oh, she would.

Categories
Life

Soft

It’s funny. To think of the damage caused by cultural norms and stereotypes.

Of course, there are the absolutely beautiful cultural narratives out there. Those that cherish and honour human life by holding it, by respecting it so beautifully that even the hardest of hearts must surely be touched by the story of it all.

I heard a story as beautiful, just the other day. My counsellor told it to me: how, in her culture, when a woman becomes pregnant, she becomes the queen. The whole tribe lavish her with love, care, and most importantly, perhaps…food.

This discussion came about after a lovely tender moment where she looked over at me, my bulging belly sweetly growing a perfect little gift, and offered to bake me something lovely to celebrate the occasion (that’s right, surprise, I’m fourteen weeks pregnant. And how lovely it is, to me. How lovely it is. xx)

But, I digress. Because although there are some absolutely beautiful cultural stories passed on by certain cultures in the world, other cultures do not even realise their own toxicity. (And when I say toxicity, what I mean is…truly, their cultural ideas are heartbreaking and damaging to individuals who do not fit into the selected story being told.)

There are some absolutely wonderful things to be said about the culture I was born into. But one arm of the narrative, an arm that destroyed any hope of me developing healthy self-esteem in my early years, was the idea that vulnerability and softness were somehow character flaws. I was mostly soft.

As it turns out, this soft part of me, this sensitivity, is my super power; a power that helps me soothe, and bring safety to those who need it. A power that helps me tap into the world of everything and nothing, and pull down the words and creativity needed for my writing to touch people in the way that it seems to.

But my culture called me ‘soft’. It told me to ‘harden up’, and it assumed that If I didn’t…then surely I must be broken, at worst. Naive at best. Never have I been these labels.

And if you are a deep and tender heart resonating with these words…never have you been these labels, either.

Always we’ve been perfect.

Just the way we are.

Think of the trillions of flowers, plants and trees out there. Some are soft. Some are hard, shrubs built to last in the wind and rain and hail. None of them judge each other for being ‘wrong’ in anyway. They simply exist.

And so do I.

So do we.

Photo by Brianna Martinez on Pexels.com
Categories
Life

Hope and Peace

What do I see when I see two sides at war?

I see the middle of it all. I see the hurt of both parties, and though I tend to take the side of whoever seems to have the most rational argument (according to my perspective) I can’t help but feel just…sadness. Absolute frustration, powerlessness and sadness.

I’m thinking specifically of this war that’s been raging in the U.S of late, both in terms of the political polarities tearing a hole in America, and in terms of the vastly differing socio-economic backgrounds and belief systems shaken up by the divided states of covid.

I’ve just come away from watching a video of the storming of the Capitol building. The video was clearly put together to support an agenda: a ‘Trump is horrible, and we are going to prove it by carefully constructing a highlight reel of the most shocking, heart-breaking scenes from the day.’ It worked. The video was shocking in its portrayal of Trump and his many loyal followers.

And yet, regardless of how well the video was crafted to sway public opinion to one particular side, there is no denying what happened that day was truly real. No denying the violence. No denying that this sort of primal aggression no longer belongs on the human stage: we’re not cavemen, anymore. Still, our primal instincts remain. How to healthily and peacefully honour them is a mystery yet to be solved by humanity, it seems.

As I watched the riot exploding all about the place, I took a side. I knew that I was taking a side, because I was thinking, ‘ How could they do this? This is so horrible. These people must be (insert judgment here.)’

But then it happened again. That thing that happens to me when I see an absolute wrong, and I ask myself more questions. But why are so many people screaming the same story, and how can so many people be wrong about what they believe? And how bad must their oppression have become for them to be behaving in such a dramatically inappropriate way?

It saddens me. All of it.

How on earth does a species overcome such drastically wide gaps in views and belief systems? How does a species become one harmonised species, rather than fifty billion tiny fragments of confusion, hatred and blame?

I don’t know.

So, I’m a little…I’m not sure what I am. I’m not sure frightened is the right word, and yet frightened really does seem to be the only word I can come up with in the face of all of this fight.

I do not condone the horrible horribleness (excuse my delightful eloquence, here) that occurred at the Capitol building that day, nor do I condone the hatred and inequality perpetuated by humanity, still. Oh my goodness, still. But what is there to do?

I don’t know what to do but surrender into the bleakness and just…hope. Hope that we can sort our stuff out before things get ever so much worse. Hope that humanity can find love and compassion, even in the face of absolute horror and ridiculousness.

Hope.

Hope that one day there will be peace.

Because all I’ve ever wanted was peace.

All I’ve ever wanted was peace.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Categories
Poetry

If I Must

This train.

It is a train that fights abuse

by abusing abusers,

and I do not understand it,

my heart.

It does not understand.

They tell me I must fight,

I must fight,

I must fight.

But I will not fight.

I will know myself,

I will love myself

(imperfectly)

and I will remember

I have the strength to shine

beyond it all.

And I will shine.

Above the train,

whenever I can,

alone,

if I must.