I AM…

Truth revealed through a tender heart
The hands shaping wounds into works of art
Eyes that see beauty in the deepest of flaws
Who gives hope to every hopeless cause
Foundation when everything trembles around
What lifts your spirit when you’ve lost ground
The Rock of Ages in your sinking sands
A quiet still voice against the world’s demands
Maker of ways when there’s no way out
Reason for believing when filled with doubt
The light of salvation when you’ve given up
The end of thirst when you drink from my cup
Everything good beneath your broken view
Love, the Creator, and I dwell within you

This is more than a declaration of my spiritual beliefs. Each statement above represents each individual’s capacity to receive and give and BE love. There is a way to convey truth that isn’t harmful, threatening or hurtful in its delivery and intent. While some express an ease in living in denial or ignorance; this perspective is disingenuous to one’s true being. Truth isn’t always welcome, and it often travels on airs of subjectivity, causing the hearer to tune out. However, whether the hearer is someone else or you, learning to deliver and receive and BE truth is necessary to realizing a life of integrity.

Everyone is wounded. Everyone has hidden parts. Often, we sacrifice the fullness of life by constantly licking those wounds or hiding behind those secret places of hurt and insecurity. Overcoming isn’t about ignoring or forgetting; it’s about learning, reshaping and offering a testimony. What good is any pain if you do not grow from it? What good are your past experiences, if they are not used to help others going through similar trials? The key word being “good”… what “good” can come of the bad you’ve known?

Love is blind. No, it is not! Love sees all, and accepts all for what it is. Yes, we want the best for and of ourselves and those we care about… some of us even want the best for and of the world at large. But let’s be honest, nothing in this life is perfect (whatever perfect means). Criticism reigns within and without on so many levels, as this world dictates a clone mentality… look like this… think like that… measure your being up against the skew of a few. Beautiful is what makes you – YOU. What makes you special… physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually… is that which defines your unique contribution to the universe. Sameness is like listening to an orchestra and hearing only one note.

Who or what is your “go to” when you feel defeated? They say misery loves company. Well, I know nothing draws out darkness like light; it draws it and drowns it with hope and stability, pouring out a reassurance which lets you know that you will survive the sinking ship. Some are blessed to have others in their lives who serve as a rock; others are blessed to be that rock; and, many can only find the source of comfort they need beyond humanity’s angels. If you don’t have a source of uplifting… reach out, because there is ALWAYS someone willing to share joy with another’s heart.

Be still my aching heart. There is holiness in being still, in bringing peace to all the beating impulses of the mind and body. We often want to run, act, react, force, move, control… and in those desires, we lose our center. Rashness and anxiousness take over and master our wills and senses as we stand in defensiveness against the world. But in the stillness… in the calm… in the meditation… in the prayer… in the soothing whisper of a loved one, we can regain composure, perspective and presence. We must remember to carry a stillness within to balance the chaos among us.

Some believe in karma, while others see no consequence. Some believe everything happens for a reason, while others believe in chance. Some believe in free will, while others believe in destiny. Some believe in judgment. Some believe in nothing at all. Most, I think, believe in some combination of these. My faith rests in the guidance and protection of my God, Yahweh, while others define the Creator in other ways, if they, in fact, believe in a Creator. Even for the non-spiritual, however, there has to be a driving force internally or externally which prods one to persevere. Perhaps it is the human condition for them. I know, for me, too many miracles have occurred… too many paths have been uncovered… too many chances have been bestowed… too many tragedies have been survived… too many endings have been avoided… and too many unimaginable blessings have adorned my life for me to not believe in something greater than myself… greater than humanity… greater than this world.

This world confines, speaks doubt and negativity, and finds ways to extinguish the spirit of innocence and altruism. And yet, here we are. You and I, he and she, us and them… constantly fighting to reveal something beautiful, engaging, inspiring, and evolving… something so much more than what exists on the surface of existence. In as much as God is here for me, I am here for you, and you are here for someone else. We are all capable of leading someone else somewhere better; and, through the process, will find ourselves improved.

Everlasting life in His cup… the salvation of His sacrifice… the goodness He creates from our falls and failures… yes, these are my beliefs… my mantras… my “self-talk.” How similar or dissimilar these are from other faiths, I do not know. I do know that LOVE in and of itself is life giving. I do know that sharing LOVE with others is contagious and has brought many souls out of isolation and suffering. I do know that LOVE has seen through the dark, ugly and hateful, and has transformed hardened hearts and vexatious minds into completely new spirits of joy and abundance. I do know the power of LOVE… in God… in myself… and in you.

Challenge for Growth Prompt #5: I Am Love

Averted

Crushing this rushing of desire; this
thirst of a heart on fire… running renegade,
compromising empires where altruistic gains
fall lame to crippling wants; where
the weight of sacrificial tithes daunt ’til
all feelings become numb.
Suppressing the stressing of the
center of one, when grounded loses to
dumbfounded in the fog of disheveled sun –
no longer shining in the twining of rays
misdirected, beams affected by the
neutralizing force of energy’s first clause;
there’s no applause for lost place.
Course correct to brace oneself for the
race of all time; floating soul against
sprinting mind, with pace car labeled
“I want mine” always perpetrating its cause.
How will eternity define one’s presence;
the cost analysis of one’s essence…
Captured in the rapture of self set high, or
Freed upon the wings of an angel’s uprise?
There’s no surprise in tempered living; only
seeing and forgiving; only
ends and new beginnings inside
this perpetual cocoon, where soon is
relative to temperament and doom is
realized through sentiment and formidable truth is
the echo no one wants to hear.
No more fear masked in its vices, wearing
shades of our own devices, hoping
next time ’round the will won’t be averted.
In and out these breaths are measured,
holding fast to spirit’s treasures; knowing
life by way of desire leaves much deserted.

For Dungeon Prompts: Desire.  I’m a week late on this one (sorry). I’ve been traveling (still am), but had a window of down time at the airport. 🙂

The Other

And then there were four…
maybe more.

An angel dipped in vixen’s smile
A pixie lodged in Heaven’s meanwhile
When I am we and
we are she, and
all these truths are simply me,
fighting pasts so future’s free

A hidden heart upon my sleeve
This wounded soul without reprieve
Baring little and
giving all, and
smiling as the guillotines fall,
turning oft’ from the wretches’ call

A fallen spirit which bounces back,
still laying low neath doubt’s attack
Letting go and
holding tight, and
though I’ve won, I lose this fight;
a day’s victory that weeps at night

Looking out to go which way
I mustn’t pause, and yet I stay
One foot out and
one foot in, and
every end is where I begin,
losing sight of enemy and friend

I cannot measure; I am no judge,
but at this core is always a nudge
I know right and
I know wrong, and
still I question this depth of song;
an ego so weak, a passion so strong

Quietly pacing sophistication’s floor
Clinging to beats ‘til sound plays no more
Shish this mind and
scream this soul, and
bite this tongue to shield my core,
while spirit runs wild forevermore

For Dungeon Prompts: Introducing the Alter Ego

I have a rather diverse personality, and am not one to necessarily “hide” who I am, other than for the relevance of context. I won’t be the dancing wild child at work or the rigid supervisor during service or the reclusive loner in a close relationship or the sensual partner without a betrothed… and, still, I am all of these and many more dichotomies. Perhaps the thing I always am is a nurturer… a fixer… the one who wants to make all things right; but I even tire of that innate calling, at times. Sometimes, my “kum ba ya” becomes “go over there… please!” Ha-ha. Well, I don’t know if I’m necessarily revealing much. As an all or nothing person, my “all” isn’t necessarily everything and my “nothing” is far from empty… so, make of it what you will. 🙂

Teeter

teeter_n2pub_credit

This silly world of ups and downs,
grasping for earth and clouds
in disproportionate measure;
fiening for frivolous work and
intensified pleasures.
Where is the weight of existence
when hearts are heavier than
the feathery disposition of mind-kind?
Man is but thought and flesh,
losing soul in the center,
casting out his Inventor for the
adulteration of both.
Full scope narrows as the
cascading of false joys smother;
tethering one lie to another, and so
we suffocate in the smokescreen
that holds our baited breath.
Drawing in deeply upon the
staleness of – this is all –
and there life falls into the void.
Who is left annoyed by this
emptiness of being, this
looking without seeing, this
thinking without knowing, this
taking without needing, this
acting without feeling?
Treachery is breeding, while
balance flees its cause, leaving
today’s teeter in the shadow
of tomorrow’s cost.

Image credit: n2pub.com

This Labor

Heart to the grindstone…
There’s no void to fill,
only the struggle of human will.
Levitation is heavy in this
soul-dropping plane of existence.
Beyond any repentance –
the unforgiving gavel of
the daily unravel.
Sizing up situations with the
skins I tailor:
dressing down victories and
dressing up failures, but these
shoes never change.
The tread is long and light.
I wear this fight
in the ease of my stride, while the
bleed of my tears tell me
I’m still alive.
From the gritty beginnings, to the
forums of scholars; from
praying for ends, to the
giving of dollars; from the
shelter of nana and her teachings
of Zion, to the
innocence of love lost in the
dens of the lions…
This rounding out of “here”
drives my spirit to “there” and
I feel, but don’t flinch anymore.
What’s more, my falls don’t sink,
even when death seems like
more than a blink –
I linger in the quiet place,
‘til rise reintroduces itself by grace.
I work hard at this balance;
this artful toil of being present
where my body belongs, but
the rest of me doesn’t.
Lowly peasant teetering
beneath this diadem of glory;
like Hephzibah’s story –
Desolate form lost in this world;
evoking a light only God can unfurl.
Wielding His beacon, as darkness I roam;
this labor of life paves the way to my home.

In response to Dungeon Prompts: Hard Work, What Does It Mean To You?

To me… physical labor, service to others, motherhood, spiritual growth, career development, and living with integrity… are all necessary, valuable, “doable” elements of life. And by “doable” I mean… very manageable for me, without too much difficulty, given my natural inclinations toward each area. The “hard work” comes in when one must balance everything meaningful to one’s life without cracking under the pressure and breaking into pieces of uselessness that no one else can be held accountable for because… well… all the pressure came from myself; my own desire to excel at everything and let no one down. We measure ourselves constantly… in our minds, in our circles, in our societies. We size up our intellect, cleverness, humor, brawn, adeptness, victories, failures, likability, uniqueness, sameness, and so on. Even the lazy have a slothful scale of comparison. No matter how much or how little you do; how much or how little you have; and how much or how little you care, I believe life is contextually challenging. Life itself is the hard work; the adding and subtracting of the relevance and impact of experiences and circumstances through the tunnel vision of human eyes. And for those of us who relish in spiritual elevation; life is all the more intense, but in a peacefully centered way. I have been fortunate enough to walk down many trails in this lifetime. The culmination of societal extremes rests squarely in my mind’s eye and my heart’s understanding; and I would be a lesser person if I didn’t embrace this blessing. So, while I do complain often about the injustice within my bubble… it is only dust babbling. My soul can’t count high enough to tally all the good I have known. I am ever grateful for this labor of life.