Categories
Life

Fully Human

I’ve seen that image, again.

She sits alone (you could not get any more alone) at her husband’s funeral and we all just sit here and shake our heads, because what else is there to do?

I’m speaking of the image of the Queen at prince Philip’s funeral, but you already knew that. You must have. Who could un see that quiet ache, just another handed to us by the raging depths of humanity.

***

I have hidden from life.

Strike that. I am hiding from life.

Because it wasn’t the Queen sitting there alone that day, it was me. I feel the pain that deeply.

It wasn’t someone else’s little boy sitting in the back of a war zone ambulance, parentless; it was mine. That one slices my heart.

I can’t hide from that darkness, though I want to.

I have to see it.

I have to say it: I am torn to shreds.

***

I cried in my husband’s arms the other night.

I mean I really cried, remembering a time in childhood where I was chosen last of all the children in my class to join the netball team.

I cried, at first, for the poor and beautiful little girl whose heart broke that day. But the depth of my tears came from the realisation that that very moment in time made me the person who will always go in to bat for anyone who needs me. That girl will try her very best to lift others, so that no one else has to feel the pain of being unloved, unworthy, unchosen.

Born is the true beauty of aching life.

And born is the paradox. The knowledge that the other needs to feel that very same empathy-birthing pain, in order to truly see. Even though I’d give anything to protect them from it.

***

You see it, don’t you?

This ache, this wide open ache of humanity, has birthed the very best of us. It has grown our hearts and gifted us the ultimate; the chance to hold and love others from the very core of our being.

But, goodness gracious me.

It hurts to be fully human.

Fully seeing, fully being…

everything.

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Categories
Poetry

Unity

Unity is the magic pill.

But unity

does not look like

shaming the broken.

Hear it.

It is this,

my truth,

I speak.

Categories
Poetry

I Have Loved

I only have to give

this love that I have.

I only have to give it,

and cherish the way it feels

to know I have loved.

Categories
Poetry

Sleep

Oh, weary soul.

I barely see you behind those tired eyes.

Let us rest, deeply,

beautifully,

with compassion

for all life has given, harshly.

It is a darling life.

A life to be cherished

with each breath of our aching day.

I sleep, now,

knowing morning matters

only when it greets me.

I sleep, now.

I sleep, now.

Categories
Life

Shamed

Mistakes are our greatest gifts, and yet, we are buried in shame.

Do not make a mistake. Do not ever be bad.

We are shamed.

We are shamed.

We are human. Not one of us is perfect, not one.

I teach my children that their failures are the best things that could happen for them, their mistakes, beautiful lessons in how to do life beautifully.

Punishment breaks my heart. An eye for an eye, an ancient, barbaric way. And all of it pointless, in my eyes, because shame only drives the ‘bad’ underground, it doesn’t lovingly guide it to a better day.

Accepting our faults and carefully growing with them through life might work.

Shaming will destroy.

I choose the gentle way.

I choose self compassion, and compassion for others.

I choose…actually, I choose sleep.

I’m so terribly tired.

So terribly tired.

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Categories
Poetry

Fathers

It started with the Fathers of the Fathers.

Each ache, each man left broken

by the one who came before him:

not his fault,

that pain, continued.

But an unwanted gift, often unseen,

too often delivered.

It must now be seen.

It must now stop,

to break the rusty chain.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.