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. 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

The Rose

Even the most darling rose

is a work in progress.

Be the rose.

How beautiful

that she will show you the way

to freedom.

Categories
Poetry

Sweet Love Departed

When there is,

in this soft heart,

a tear for sweet love departed,

a tender wave of grief upon the shore;

where do these small hands go?

How do I hold

and kiss

and whisper

each precious ache

into wholeness, once more?

There is an apricot sun in the distance.

There is a mighty perfection

twinkling in the eye.

And so it is,

the ache shall be

here

and I shall know her.

Until I have known her eternal home.

Categories
Poetry

Beautiful Tears

In the shadow of love

is the aching

of fear.

And I hold you,

love.

I hold you

and your beautiful tears.

Categories
Poetry

A Gift

As if

to fall asleep in the arms of another

could be anything less than a gift

to be cherished.

Life and her beautiful pages;

how precious she is,

indeed,

for the sweetness of it.

Categories
Life

Far Too Long

It’s been far too long since I’ve written like this.

I’ve just been reading over old diaries, feeling my voice through them, knowing my heart.

It made me think of how I used to do that, here. How I used to be unafraid, how I understood that sharing my heart was something I needed to do, like breathing.

I write my heart because I want you all to see it is okay to be vulnerable.

More than okay.

Necessary, even, if you are someone like me.

So I wanted to find you again, in this place, as myself.

And I wanted to tell you, whoever you are, whatever your story: it is okay to be yourself.

It is okay to be your beautiful, however you are, self.

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Categories
Poetry

The Angel There

As the ice drips

from this frozen heart,

here grows the beauty

of feelings gone by.

How I remember you,

dear echo of friendship.

How clear it has become that

kindness

was the angel there.

Categories
Poetry

Beautiful

Let me tell you

how the small things you do

are beautiful.

Let me show you this mirror,

let you reach for it in wonder.

This shine belongs to you,

do you see?

Do you see?

Yes,

you see.

Categories
Poetry

Love Is

May they find the hours

of my love for them

strewn upon these coloured pages.

May their names shine with my love,

and may their eyes light

with the truth of all they are.

May these hours,

and these pages dear,

show my children that love is pure

beyond thinking.

Love is…

love

is.

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Categories
Life

1946

He bought it in 1946 for six pounds, which apparently was quite the sum back in the day. He’s 92 and wonderful, my darling neighbour, Joe, I’ll call him. The gigantic relic of a dictionary was his. Now it belongs to me.

Joe and I lounged in his well kept living room and sipped champagne to celebrate my family’s one year anniversary of owning our home. He had remembered, not us. We were flawed with gratitude and awe.

As we sat, he told me stories of his life; the pains, the joys, stories of beautiful friends and loved ones here and gone. I could have sat there all afternoon. Instead I settled for an hour and a champagne, and two home-made yoyo biscuits (made by a dear friend of his, and absolutely delicious, might I add.)

The dictionary came up in conversation and I mentioned how I’d planned to buy a special one myself, some day. Brooke, the writer; of course she’d need to invest in something so truly lovely, full of all that writerly goodness. And just like that, the dictionary, the precious illustrated dictionary, had become apart of our family.

I will cherish it for as long as I live. Not because it’s the dictionary I’ve always wanted, but because it will remind me of a beautiful soul that has touched my life deeply.

As I sat with him I told him, ‘Joe. You have such a pure soul,’ and it’s true. I’ve never felt a person quite like him and I wish there were more people in the world who felt as beautiful, to me.

The purest of hearts. The ones that lift us to be our best. The ones we all hope we might be for others.

I plan to go for tea again with him soon, my darling friend, Joe.

I cannot think of how I might repay his kindness.

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