“Universal compassion starts at home, by extending an olive branch of mercy between you and yourself.”Elizabeth Gilbert
We all get weary. Every one of us breaks down.
Stiff upper lip drops you off by the side of the road.
With nowhere to go – no one to turn to.
“Oh, I wish I had a river to skate away on.”Joni Mitchell
Seeking a safe place to hide, abide. To bleed, to weep, to toss pots and pans.
Cultivating kindness begins with me.
And ends there, too.
But the opposite was taught and we learned it well.
We scolded ourselves for our mistakes – berating our tender hearts for failing to fill expectations that tore at our sensibilities.
We pretended our wounds were of no consequence – that we had no right to take up your time with our complaints.
To be seen and not heard was the first tool in our survival kit.
We adorned ourselves with invisibility.
To find another way, we had to unlearn everything.
About who we were. And what we had come here to do.
Untwisting the crippled strands, extricating ourselves from a dense, brutish web. Closing forever, the pages of a faltering rulebook.
Simply to make it out of there, alive.
We separated dross from the true.
Embraced the unthinkable.
Stretching our arms to meet a freedom that we did not recognize was within us.
Remembering our dreams, of the ancient, healing ways, innate to our bones.
We sowed Light seeds into the damaged furrows of our own wake.
Dabbled salve on our battered senses, healing the bruises of lifetimes without compassion. Tending our wounds, decorating our hair with flowers.
A safe place to fall, soft cushion for the old hurts to drop away.
We gorged on ripe berries with clotted cream – wore wide-brimmed hats and let our ponytails grow long.
We were blessed — we knew ourselves to be.
Spiral-danced in the moonlight and tended the soil at sunrise.
Rode ponies through the fields and sang our beloved Gaia back to health.
‘Til she awakened from an interminable sleep, an eons-long dark winter.
A soft place to rise up again. And reclaim life.
This is the tale our children will tell, and their children, and their children’s children, for generations to come.