I have been absent for a while. Absent from writing. Absent from photography. Absent from the outdoors. From compassion. From being still. From myself. The only thing I do not feel absence from is punishing myself. How do I grant myself grace?

Cave Wall

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
Love what it loves.”
– Mary Oliver

I wish I could sit here right now and share with you a little bit of my journey away from self-hatred. However, I think I’m in the thick of it and I’m not sure whether I’m going forward or backward or spiraling out of control. I am tormented by the quest of giving myself grace. To love and to care for myself wherever I might be is a hard fought lesson I still haven’t mastered. I know I cannot be anywhere other than where I am. I cannot do anything I can’t do. I can only move and do my best in this moment. I am trying so hard to accept the process….but I’ve never been good at surrendering. Never been great at forgiving myself. I’ve often pondered out loud – wishing for a “cease to exist” button. I get so lost in the punishment of my failures.

I received a gentle reminder from a friend: “You might think that you don’t matter in this world, but because of you someone has a favorite mug to drink their tea out of that you bought them. Someone hears a song on the radio and it reminds them of you. Someone has read a book you recommended to them and gotten lost in its pages. Someone’s remembered a joke you told them and smiled to themselves on the bus. Never think you don’t have an impact. Your fingerprints can’t be wiped away form the little marks of kindness that you’ve left behind.”

© /skin/ /ˈpōətrē/


3 responses to “Relapse

  1. Wise words from your friend. You’ve definitely left fingerprints in my life, for which I’m grateful.

  2. I love this girl! You’re definitely on your way! Yay! It does take “air time” to make changes. Appreciate all you can when you can. It takes effort and focus to shift your energy from old, well worn thought (which is energy exclusively) habits but it can be done if you want it enough. You do have to get your mind off the old and onto the new amap. When you do, it expands from there even if it doesn’t always feel like it. In the physical, you are shifting neuronal activity from well worn neuropathways (the ruts you created). Energetically, you are tuning in. Many (most still) leave life without even believing they have the power (within) to change anything. You can. You are. You’ll never get it done because we are eternal and always working on it. You’ll never get it wrong for the same reason. You’re in life for the contrasting experience. Non-physical does not have this opportunity because the tactile, visual and emotional feeling experience is not so big as it is here on the planet. You’re here to experience messy emotions as well as beauty as Spirit cannot. You are your Source’s eyes. You are your Source’s skin. Etc. The question is. What are you going to do with yours? We all get to choose in every moment of every day and most don’t know this. It changes a little or a lot from moment to moment or day to day doesn’t it? You have, absolutely, BEEEautiful Energy already. Be as well as you can be in the moment!

  3. I know you from the perimeters—consider you a distant friend in the handful of times we’ve interacted and met. I’ve thought highly of your work and I’ve thought well of your seemingly humble spirit in the midst of a prideful culture. I don’t know you so well, but what part I do know is so likeable. I’m choosing to remain anonymous in this note because I resonate with you. My downward and sometime spiraling thoughts are not something I’m comfortable with publicly. Sometimes I’m ever present and forging ahead. Sometimes even in these moments I feel my forging is still obscured by the cover of clouds. I’ve somehow done well in my work and people do seem to like me—I think. I recognize this. And I completely separately, even still, carry a weight I’m not sure I understand. Sometimes I want to cease to exist. But really I just want to live and really live. I know it’s not so easy sometimes… but as you can, choose to live. I’m trying my best too. Every day, even covered by clouds, I’m glad I’m still here. I know others are too.

    Thanks for your honest and thoughtful pen. I’m glad you’re here.

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