shared freedoms

When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible. ~ Brené Brown

All my life I’ve thought I needed someone to complete me, now I know I need to belong to myself. ~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair

We listen for guidance everywhere except from within. ~ Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

We started our new semester last week. We asked the question: What could happen if you believed in your own worthiness? A fair question to start the year. It’s a difficult question for many of us. So many things happen to contradict our sense of self-worth. In our group last Thursday, we entertained the idea in writing that we possess worth and that, perhaps, we could claim it.

It is always extraordinary how themes emerge across everyone’s work despite the fact that we write independently and in silence. As each writer read her work, the rest of us were emboldened, feeling stronger with each reading. As one of us claimed our worth, claimed what drives us and defines us, the others had implicit permission to do the same. Also, the belief emerged that our self-worth was tied to our passions and how thoroughly we are able to work towards them, to pursue them.

In the following pieces, you will read writers claiming and discussing their worth and, also, what happens when it is claimed, when each of us claims ourselves.

What if I’m Worthy?

If I find my worth and could shake the cold from my skin, end the endless shivering. If I find my worth and could let my hair down to flow freely with the wind. My pale face would blossom with soft color. Perhaps even my eyes would never again lose their sparkle and could break these weighted chains from my ankles and the cuffs from my wrists would finally break free, their grasp of oppression against my bones. A light would once again shine from deep within my spirit and my soul would warm itself with love and self want. Oh what a moment this would be, healing myself from the inside out gaining back the faith I’d lost so many years ago. A joyous rebirth and would consider this to be escaping from a life of darkness – the light of a thousand suns would burst through the darkness and breathe life back into my once barren existence for love (even self-love) grows in the barren fields of a broken heart and self-kindness can heal it all. A sweet dream to believe in; if this dream where a flower I would breathe in its scented beauty until I was made dizzy with pleasure, this dream turning slowly into sweet reality, something all my own. Daring me to ask myself…what if I’m worthy?

PP

***

I am, I would, I belong

I would rather be alone.
I belong to myself, that is my birthright.
No one has the right to control me.
No one has the right to abuse me.
Verbally, mentally or physically,
keep my distance from evil people
who think everything is about them.
Are they angry? Are they guilty?
Don’t include me in your weakness.
I am not the enemy.
I have faith. I have feelings.
I feel love. I feel hate.
Words have power.
Truth has power and people are afraid.
Let there be peace on Earth.
God will prevail.
Let the war be won.

CMP

***

Let it Be

Let there be love like blossoming flowers
in the grassy green fields.
Love like it’s the last thing you do in this world.
Love hard, love deep, love with all your heart.
Love is strong. Love is great. Love is pure.
Let love free you from all the stresses
in life and let you escape from this
horrifying world.
Don’t ever hold yourself back from giving
or receiving love for you will be
missing out on such a beautiful thing.
Love hard, love deep, love with all your heart.

AD

i’d rather you not know . . .

Eve covers herself and lowers her head in sham...

Eve covers herself and lowers her head in shame in Rodin’s sculpture “Eve after the Fall”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night we wrote with 14 women, each of whom had breathtakingly raw and honest things to say about who they were, have become. And, in keeping with the prompt, shared what they wish someone might see about them; as well as what they would prefer remain hidden. What follows is TD’s quickly-penned response to the full prompt: “what would you not want someone you respected but didn’t know well to perceive about you?”

There are things I’d rather you not know. It’s how it happened that’s shameful; and having these feelings crop up at just the thought of you finding out makes me want to run and hide. While you jump and shout about, stamping, your hand flailing, and I envision your voice getting louder as I start to shut down and your lips are no longer moving.

I feel selfish, too knowing you are my father and you were the one who watched me grow; and how would you of known, it was hidden so well.

Standing before you, I feel so awful and my own pain is just too much to try to even begin to feel; but watching your whole world crumble as the tears flow just makes this even more confusing.

I don’t want you to remember this, but we have really no choice. The things I didn’t want you to know came out. My only thoughts are: can you still love me the same; and are you still going to be here to support me? I’m scared to death to be alone a minute longer to all the hurt and shamefulness that’s been going on inside of me. There is a void within me that has shattered my perception of who I am and what it is I should be.

Sometimes I wonder if it was meant to happen, these things I keep within me. I’ve realized over time how to push the pain and fear deeper down, just for the sake of my own well-being. On the outside, I’m looking like the woman who’s reached her beauty; but inside is the killer. I’m all these mixed emotions, bottled up tightly, trying to figure out if I let out the true thing I feel within me, will you love me, accept me and fill me with your pride? Somewhere along the way, I got lost in others’ plans; but today, with your help, I can better begin to plan how to feel like a woman of self worth and confidence.