“If I needed you. Would you come to me? Would you come to me for to ease my pain?
If you needed me, I would come to you. I would swim the sea for to ease your pain.”
~If I needed You – Emmylou Harris
Dear sweet strong one,
We see you.
You can hold up entire worlds with the force of your love. You nurture and you hold and you knit together and you dry tears and you heal the wounds of this world. And it’s true – you can do it all by yourself, without even a bit of help.
Don’t think we don’t see your strength. Don’t for a second don’t think we don’t honor your ferocity and tenacity and all that blessed grit.
After all, that grit is what has kept you here.
We’ve seen you do battle and we know exactly how strong you had to be to surrender and walk away.
It’s the hardest and most beautiful thing – the courage it takes to choose yourself.
“All the girls in the Paris light. All the girls in the pale moonlight. All the girls with the shopping bags. All the girls with the washing rags. All the girls on the telephone. All the girls standing all alone. All the girls sitting on the wire. One by one fly into the fire. Be careful how you bend me. Be careful where you send me. Be careful how you end me. Be careful, with me.”
Be Careful – Patty Griffin
Yes, you are so strong. So strong that sometimes they forget to be careful.
So strong that sometimes they do not see just how thin the wind has worn your skin. So strong that nobody sees when your shoulders start to curve forward and your head drops and the weariness and grief hits hard as a freight train. So strong they don’t notice when you sneak away and hide in the back of the closet so that your body can finally shake with the force of the silent tears that can no longer be held.
And so strong that you wipe those tears and stand up and take enough shaky breaths to steady yourself and go back out there to do it again.
Strong enough to keep working the magic that you do to keep making things good and tidy and safe. To keep them loved and fed and sheltered and whole. To keep holding up the whole wide world – just the way you’ve always done.
So strong, in fact, that they forget just how deep you feel and just how impossibly hard it is to hold it all.
As if that was all you were here for – to carry it all alone.
As if you weren’t brought to this earth for so much more.
As if you weren’t here for poetry and the kind of joy that cracks worlds wide open and the heat of sex and the fullness of desire and the baptism of the cold and crashing sea and a love so big it changes everything. As if you weren’t here for all of that and so much more.
Do you know that, love? Do you a remember a time before that was all buried beneath the weight of all that has been and must be?
“If you can't remember a better time you can have mine, little one. In days to come when your heart feels undone may you always find an open hand and take comfort wherever you can.”
~Comfort – Deb Talan
This life, you know – it’s all bittersweet paradox and hot blood and skinned-knee redemption.
Sometimes it slip-slide-tumbles from bliss to the hard edge of loss so fast you’d swear the ground disappeared beneath your feet, and nothing seems sturdy enough to hold your weight.
This life, sometimes it’s just too much – even for you.
Even for me.
And if this is true of you today, or it was true last night or last year or you think it might be true soon – then listen to me now.
You’re not in this alone.
“But if you break down, I'll drive out and find you. If you forget my love, I'll try to remind you. And stay by you when it don't come easy.”
~If It Don’t Come Easy – Patty Griffin
You’re not in this alone. Even if it feels like it.
Even if you could swear that there is nobody to hear you cry.
Even if you carry it all on your own.
Even if you’ve howled your grief at the dark side of too many full moons to count.
Even if you are bone weary.
Even if you are in the deep ache of alone and convinced of your unworthiness.
Even if the night is dark and deep and the air is heavy and you sure that you’ve cried enough rivers to fill all the oceans by now.
Even if you’ve given up searching for the savior that you’re pretty sure isn’t ever going to come.
Even if the sliver of hope that remains hurts more than everything else combined.
Even if these few words are slim comfort in the midst of your reality and you’re reading with more skepticism than faith.
Be still now. Close your eyes. Breathe. No matter what – it is your breath that will guide you home.
You are not alone.
“But you are not alone in this. And you are not alone in this. As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand.”
~Timshel, Mumford and Sons
Do you hear me? You’re not alone.
We’re all around you. Even when you can’t feel us or hear us or sense the presence of a single soul.
We are here. We are always here.
We’re here. Your tribe. Your pack. Your people. Your angels. A family chosen and claimed, faceless and nameless though we may be to you right now.
We are here.
We are the burn down stubborn risers. The bruised but not broken. The weary travelers through the land of spirit and soul. The too much lovers. The tender dreamers. The wild hearts that won’t stop beating. We are the pack of wolves that circle around you and keep you safe while you heal.
We know you. We’ve been there. And when you can’t find the strength to take one more step – we’ll be there to carry you through.
All you need to do is call us in.
“Walk me through this one, don't leave me alone. Calling all angels, calling all angels. We’re trying, we're hoping, we're hurting, we're loving. We’re crying, we're calling 'cause we're not sure how this goes.”
~Calling All Angels, KD Lang and Jane Sibbery
Lay it all down with us. Right here. We’ve got arms outstretched and room enough to hold it all.
I know. You can do it by yourself. Of course you can. You always do and you always have. But you don’t have to. Not now. Not anymore.
There is a source of comfort. A place of rest. An energetic connection of souls that will step forward.
All you need to do is call us in and open your hands to receive.
“Don't push so hard against the world. you can't do it all alone & if you could, would you really want to? Even though you're a big strong girl, come on, come on, lay it down. The best made plans are your open hands.”
~Big Strong Girl – Deb Talan
Because we see you.
We see your tender grace, your indestructible spirit, your wide-open heart. We see your fire and your fury and fierce resolve. We see your fractured desire and your unspoken want.
We see your doubt and your trauma and your shame. We see the landmine of triggers and the threats from all corners and the way you still refuse to carry the gun. We see the horrible words absorbed like fists into that holy body. And we've seen those blows land, the literal ones that broke skin and broke bones and broke your heart and figurative blows that fractured sprit and soul and faith in your own divinity.
Yes, We have seen the way those blows have knocked you down, over and over and over again.
And you know what else?
We’ve seen you get back up.
We’ve seen you rise and we’ve seen you pull yourself up to your full power and take up all the space meant for you. And we’ve seen you dance.
Oh holy you, have we seen you dance.
And we were mesmerized. Every single time.
And we know right now you don’t feel like dancing.
We know that right now – you’re just working on breathing. And that’s okay too.
“But all that I know is I'm breathing. All I can do is keep breathing. All we can do is keep breathing. Now.”
~Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michelson.
If breath is all you can manage right now, that is so much more than okay.
Because it is that air in your lungs that is keeping you here. That is keeping you alive.
So stop now and breathe.
Once. Twice. Three times.
Deeper and deeper still.
All the way down to your belly. All the way down to your toes. All the way down to the earth beneath you.
Till your chest expands and you expand and there is even just a tiny spark of something that feels a little more alive.
Now let it go. Release. Exhale. Surrender. Lay down your weapons. There is time for rest for even warriors like you. Release until you are empty. Until you can feel the space inside you that has been so long filled by things that do not serve.
Now breathe in again.
With intention this time. Breathe in a breath that feels like the beginning of something more than tears and running.
“No more running, no more hiding, no more hurting, no more crying. No more trouble, no more sighing. No more falling, no more striving. No more heartache, no more fighting. No more fears, only flying.”
~Lifehouse – Flight.
Because you don’t have to run anymore. Now you can stay. There is a space past flight and fight and freeze and we’ve cleared it for you. Wide open and protected on all sides.
Picture yourself here, in the clearing. We’ve linked arms around the permitter and filled it with all that comforts and fills and sustains you. The sun is warm and the air holds the promise of grace and healing. The light is golden and you are free.
From here you can rise. And dance. And you can fly.
And when you are ready, you can lay down. And you can be still. And you can rest.
Fully. Deeply. Here you can sleep the sleep that heals.
“When darkness comes upon you. And covers you with fear and shame. Be still and know that I'm with you. And I will say your name If terror falls upon your bed. And sleep no longer comes. Remember all the words I said. Be still, be still, and know.”
~Be Still – The Fray
When you wake the darkness will blanket you and the moon will shine down into the clearing. You will be by yourself but never alone.
Do you see the millions of tiny lights we are holding for you, to remind you of our presence. We are here. We have always been here. We always will be here.
Now call in the ghosts and call in the wolves and call in the lover you’ve always dreamed of. Call in your peace and your fire and your wisdom.
And light your own candle. Hold it high – and howl and love and carry yourself home.
“Look around you, into the darkness. Searching, longing deeply to be known. May you find a light. May you find a light. May you find a light to guide you home. May you find a light.”
~May You Find A Light – The Brilliance