Tag Archives: hope

Untitled Lullaby

There are still good people out there,
my Love,
Don’t let yourself forget it
As you read of the tragedies and travesties many participate in
Willingly.
There are still good people, my Love.
Don’t let the fear paint you into a corner.
When you think you are alone in a dark place,
You can see the spark of kindness in the eyes of a stranger working behind the counter at the gas station,
Selling cigarettes, smiling at you like humans do.
Not the seeing-through-you glare that industrialization has nurtured in many.
When you hold the door open for someone else,
Look into their eyes for real and
Let them know too.

He Loved Me But He Didn’t Love Me

In a certain darkness, the illumination of love in the eyes of someone looks like a prayer candle lit in the solemnity of the church – a dim area, quiet hush of prayer, of hoping or begging for something, anything; for some, a last resort. More lumens to maybe call upon the notice of a less-than-attentive god, or to at least illuminate a spell of darkness, and all those hopes flicker and bounce shadows about the fCandles-and-lights-for-Day-of-the-Deadaces of the praying, simultaneously revealing and distorting, depending on the slant of the flame at that moment. When we signal to the fates, some kind of SOS from the spirit, sometimes we must settle for reading answers from the shadows created, like Plato and his cave.

I was not sent to answer his call, but he decided I must have been. He never asked me before I was appointed. It was not my choice, nor my function. I am as lost here as anyone. But, he saw my face, and the flicker in the dark was a beacon, and so he decided I was the answer. But I hadn’t been asked any question. My candle was my own prayer, my desperate reaching for some kind of path to tread, but he took it as some sign meant for him, and began to follow me. Soon we were both lost and I had to send him away.

I have logged in countless hours as an object of affection in the lives of others. A serial monogamist for the better part of my teen years and my adulthood, I was also a searcher. I knew the love I wanted was out there for me and I had to find it. This was often at the cost of my family, my funds, my family, my self. Not to mention my dignity. There were several mistaken attempts… well, ok, let’s be straight about it – they were all missed attempts, failed connections, complete raging disasters at times. My poor parents, who were stuck with me as I returned home over and over, after each failure would come to its conclusion, they would pack up the truck with my remaining possessions and bring me back home.

I thought I was doing the right thing – I was following my ultimate vision of love! For the love of God, isn’t that the meaning of it all?! In the eyes of that other person I would see the reflected flicker of my prayer and I would reach for it. “Reach” is really an inaccurately moderate word; it was more of a lunge mixed with a stumble, or maybe a blind leap. I would fall into the relationship, willy-nilly, and despite repeated failures, I always found myself shocked when I wound up on my ass, tears in my eyes, hair a mess, fat lip, possessions lost at apartments I had to abandon after being shoved down the steps of what was previously “our” dwelling. My inner eye still has a rip inside of it from that one time. I lost my white and purple quilt, my favorite lamp he smashed, and finally, thankfully, my innocence. The loss of this set of false beliefs was the gift. It was then that I began to understand that my vision deceived me. I wasn’t seeing love in these places. I was seeing the reflection of my hope, and it was an illusion, and quite dangerous.

When he began to pursue me, I knew immediately not to take it personally. Usually that expression has a negative connotation – don’t take it personally. But it applies in love, too. Sometimes someone falls in love with you and it has very little to do with you. That was what he was doing, and I knew it. Yes, it’s hard to not get caught up in the heady feeling of, OMG! Somebody Loves Me! but my previous experience had left me better equipped to understand it. He thought he loved me but he never did. He never could have. He barely knew me but the candle of his hope caught in the darkness of eyes and he focused on that spark, and followed. I told him to stop.

Pushing away these pursuits will make people think you are cold and unfeeling, locked up, broken, unavailable. Don’t listen to it. I know I’m not broken – I’m far from it. I have been smashed and rebuilt so many times, the glue and sharp edges has made a new conglomerate of stuff and now I am stronger than ever before. And I may have a torn inner eye but my vision is finally perfect in this regard. He thinks he loves me but he does not. The whole thing has very little to do with me. I am a placeholder, the variable x in his equation, to be filled by any value that makes sense within a particular solution set.

I hope someday he understands this and appreciates what I did by stepping away and saying sorry, not sorry. It wasn’t a rejection, but an act of reverence and respect. Our souls deserve more than being a mere reflection of someone’s hope and sorrow. The life of being the mortal mirror is one of the deepest sorrows one can face. It’s so very lonely to live as a reflection of everyone else. Walking through life seeing others as a means to an end of loneliness only pushes away real relationships and plunges the self into further isolation and despair. Only when we make genuine connections beyond our need are we able to really begin to know, and eventually love, anybody.

To God or Whom It May Concern

Dear God,

I don’t speak with you often, if at all. I have been living under the assumption that if you are really out there (and I don’t exactly subscribe to that view, to be honest), you don’t want me spending my time here being fixated on you and our relationship. That seems to be the hallmark of most unhealthy relationships, doesn’t it? If I was always supposed to be under your metaphorical wing, then why would I have been born here, so far from “home”? I am a mother and having created a couple of my own humans, my dream for them is that they grow to be self-sufficient and independent people. I want them to always feel my love and support, but I want them to believe in themselves, and to learn to solve their own problems. This has been my struggle to accept the dogmatic nature of the relationship many of your believers seem to have with you.

I remember when I was very young and in Catholic school, I used to catch myself in a panic, thinking, “Oh, no! I just was forgetting about God and Jesus!” I had heard that our relationship, in order to be as you would wish, required my near-constant exaltation and glorification of you and your son. But this sounded bogus to me then and it does now. I know those priests and nuns are supposed to be in closer touch with you, but it has never rang true to me. Sorry. Or, if it is the way it is supposed to be, maybe you have some issues and it is better that I do my own thing. Just because you may be in some position of authority, it doesn’t mean I must participate is some sort of weird and unhealthy attachment situation. If you are mad about that, maybe you should work on it. Because real love allows freedom.

So I decided if there was or was not a God out there, observing and existing, that my best bet either way was to try to just do my best. I spent a lot of time and effort to get right with myself and the people in my life – and believe me, that required a lot of effort and I think I have done ok at it. I have definitely made mistakes and errors and have not always been proud of myself. But I have worked hard and I am proud of it. I have felt more at peace with my existence here since then. I have put effort into trying to spread happiness and peace when I could. I help people if I can, and if I can’t, I still try to love them. I thought maybe getting to that point was my struggle in life, and once I was able to get a handle on my mental status and state of soul somewhat, I felt like I did well. Like you would approve somehow.

Then my body started to give me problems. I began to hurt and feel sick all the time. Despite pursuing medical help for three years now, going through several diet changes, supplements, medications, meditations and yoga classes, self-help books, doctors, mistaken diagnoses, procedures, and surgeries, I am still at this point in the same exact situation. This is what brings me to write you this letter today.

I have made great effort to have a positive mindset about what I have been going through. I can actually see many wonderful things that have come from this all. I have met some amazing people and I have noticed my patience, gratitude, and compassion deepening as I have struggled to come to grips with the pain and uncertainty. Yes, I have had dark times and anger and fear and grappled with those feelings. Sometimes I have been more successful at it and other times, less, but I have persisted in living through it all, and I am proud of it. I like to think it has even been good for my kids, because I have tried to use it as an opportunity to teach them about perseverance through difficulty, as it has taught me. Despite being apparently unwell, I managed to move myself into a better life situation in some great ways. I have accomplished some things I never thought I could.

I feel myself turning a dark corner recently, though, God. Three years of dead ends as I get worse and worse are starting to take the fight out of me. I miss eating without feeling sick and pained. I miss laughing hard without having to stop because the stabbing pain it causes me. Despite repeating to myself daily – it could be worse, others have it so much worse – I am starting to tire of this. I am losing hope. This is why I am writing to you, the quite probably non-existent deity who civilizations have perished in the name of, the supposed benevolent father of all that exists, yet lets kids starve and live torturous lives, the one who is said to have created this human race that insistently inflicts cruelty and pain upon one another. Let’s call it what it is. This letter is a wish on a star, focused at a light so far away, it may no longer exist as I stand and stare at it. It’s most likely a waste of time besides a self-indulgent practice in releasing some of my sorrow and grief. But it is all I can do, so it is what I will have to settle for.

I am so grateful for my life. Immensely, ridiculously. Life is glaringly, breathtakingly beautiful. Despite the sorrows that exist alongside the love, I love being here. It’s a gift. I hear stories and meet people all the time who show me this is truth. I have a family and I love them more than words could ever articulate. Every day, there is something interesting, amusing, intriguing, and I truly look forward to what’s to come. But my pain and fear are getting larger than that and I need help. I know you never have owed me a damn thing. I don’t even believe in you, yet I write this letter. I am in pain. I have made efforts to help myself, because, as I stated above, I believe in being independent and self-sufficient. But it hasn’t helped, and my heart aches, literally and metaphorically.

We are coming to that point – shit, or get off the pot. I can’t keep up with this suffering in uncertainty. I have found myself thinking that a bad prognosis would at this point be better than none. I suppose that is not true, but it shows where I am at. I have tried so hard. My hope is gone and it’s making me want to give up fighting. In a last ditch attempt, here I find myself, asking God or the universe or whatever for one wish – hope. Please give me a reason to hope that this is not going to be the rest of my life. Or that if it is, that I may at least have some kind of understanding as to why. I think that as someone who has tried hard to bring good to the world when I can that I am worth this, and this is why I ask. Really, I think most people (who do not hurt others horribly on purpose) deserve what I am asking.  Sometimes I make fun wishes for things and they actually come true – bags of fake flowers, apple sparkling water, hell, I even got a newer car only a week after I wished for it to happen last year. So I figured what can it hurt to ask. Here I am, God, tossing pennies into the well, wishing on stars that are already several moments in the past. Screaming into the abyss. Please hear me out. I will be worth it. I think I can do good in the world. Let me be here and be ok and I will. I swear.

Yours, Elizabeth