Wednesday, June 3, 2015

All I could do was love you hard and let you go

I will bear witness to your life
With it's trauma and tragedy
Courage and miracles
Betrayal and terror
Incredible strength

I will mourn for you
I will hold hope for you
I will fear for you
I will pray for you
I will love you

Because everyone's life deserves to be witnessed

Because why not me

Because you are worthy

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Does someone hug you when you cry?

Perhaps the pain is emotional, she suggests
examining the stiffness in my neck
lean into it
ask it what it is telling you

I tell her about a frustration
I am having with a coworker
but I know that is only a small sliver
of what I am carrying

These days my hope is tenuous
the pain is telling me of the burden of grief
grief for things yet to be, that might never be
but they are heavy all the same

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

The setting sun reflects on the tree's buds
Making it look like the branches are tipped with gold
But all the while people are dying
Losing their battle with whatever it is that haunts them

At the funeral they say that he is looking down on them from heaven
The people looking on lament that we can't be sure
But I can't conceive of a good God who would let someone suffer so much in life
And then not welcome them home when the suffering finally ends

Still I can see little children chasing ducks
And hear birds singing their spring songs
Every day brave people show up to their lives and keep fighting
We all hold on to the hope that in the end love wins

Love has to win

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Are we out of the woods?

i carry this grief
with groans too deep
for words

who else is mourning
this half a life?

in this darkness
there is weeping
and gnashing of teeth

when will the scales of justice
tip towards light?

Friday, February 6, 2015

I keep going to the river to pray...

I wish
you didn't think I love you more than your mom does

I wish
you didn't believe you are alive because of me

I wish
you didn't look at yourself with hatred and shame

I wish
every day wasn't a battle against the darkness

I wish
for a different past, a different world

Where you were loved
and made to feel worthy

Where your vulnerability was honoured
and you were kept safe

Where I didn't have to radically accept
that this is how things are

I wish
I wish
I wish

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in numbers...

113 movies
41 books
6 blog posts
5 concerts
4 countries
3 shift partners
2 homes
1 year

Friday, April 18, 2014

We are Easter people living in a Good Friday world [Barbara Johnson]

Darkness came over all the land and Jesus cried out in a loud voice "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”...  And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.  [Matthew 27:45, 46, 50, 51]


the darkness endures
we too feel forsaken
as we are waiting
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

every step towards the kingdom
is hard fought and won
we are begging for mercy
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

mourning hearts crushed spirits
the cost of sin
leaves humanity broken
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

trying to bring light
grasping for hope
growing weary of waiting
waiting waiting waiting
for Love to win

Saturday, April 12, 2014

my heart is with your heart -- my messy beautiful

In my work as a youth addiction counsellor I talk to my young people about that voice in their head, the voice of their addiction, that speaks in lies. It tells them they are not worthy, not loved, not capable and leads them down the path to numbness and destruction. This voice blocks out the light and love in the world and makes them think there is only darkness and loneliness.

I encourage them to engage in acts of resistance -- truth telling, showing up, feeling feelings, and doing hard things. And they do. They show up with their broken hearts and speak courageously about their painful lives. They let themselves be seen and known. They fight for their lives, until they can't, then they don't, and then they bravely get up and start fighting again.

There is a voice in my head too and it also deals in lies and blocks out the light. It's the voice of fear. It keeps me afraid that one day there will be too many drugs, too much sadness, too much pain and one of those precious souls won't be able to get up and continue the fight. This fear convinces me to keep my emotions under wrap, to not speak up, and not to push too hard. Because what if I do and they stop confiding, stop showing up, stop trying? The fear wears me down and then one day I catch myself thinking that if the unthinkable did happen, at least it would end this painful cycle.

I also need to engage in acts of resistance -- truth telling, letting my real emotions show, and doing it scared. So I do. I keep loving them fiercely, I let them see me cry, I tell the truth, and ask the hard questions. And even when the darkness threatens, I hold on to the light of hope.

There's not much of a difference between me and these kids.... we are all doing hard things and doing it scared, trying to bring light to the darkness with our honesty and authenticity.... we are all messy and beautiful...

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!