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 This life doesn't make sense and it doesn't come with a manual...

I learn through falling hard. Lessons that I thought I learned still swim to the surface of an endless pool.  In this poem, insecurity ripples her familiar state of fear and doubt. There's a convergence of feelings and a disconnect with reality.

I learn the most when I'm at my lowest. When I let go of what-will-everyone-think? I find that it doesn't matter, what they think.  Redefining the self in terms of accepting who am, what I stand for and believe in, are all within. 

Spiritually, I find I'm intertwined with a greater force and an intricate part of a endless universe. The ripples I see are my own illusions of how I should be or what I've been told to be.  The tapes in my memory are being rewritten and my DNA is being rewired.

I am love, compassion, sadness, rage and joy. These are all aspects of me and it's okay to feel and express them. 

Insecurity tugs at my heart like a child who's hand wasn't held long enough.  Now I can reach in and hold that child's insecurity, let her know it's okay, that's she's loved as I reach the other hand to the universe. 
Fine Art Photography by Smirnova N.

Oh, Insecure Self Why Do You Visit?

Why do you surface at such ridiculous times?
Letting doubt sneak in.
Another window has opened.
I can feel the wind through my heart.
Fine Art Photography by Heather Evans Smith
Where did you come from? 
Why are you here?
It’s me, the real you, from inside.
You hold on, afraid to let go
of what you protected for so long.
I am impatient with this moment....I try to flee
From the lurking, churning, gnawing:
It resides in my core.
It lodges in my heart.
I can’t breathe.
Everything seems wrong. 
My decision and thoughts are muddled.
Challenging what I believe.
Doubt creeps in...The floor slips away.
What’s there to hold onto, when everything seems unreal?
A child’s voice capitulates, a woman’s heart,
            Protect me. It’s all that you’ve known.

Oh insecure self why are you here again? 
What lessons do you bring?
Why do you seem mightier when I get closer to me?

A woman’s voice whispers, her wisdom dips inward.
Sit with the rise and fall and let insecurity and fear visit.
It's something to notice rather than run or push aside.
It’ll keep persisting until you don’t hide.
Stillness won’t come when you continue to fight.
Therefore, embrace it and acknowledge:
Change is different.
The unknown is unclear. 
The future is blurry. 
Stay here in this moment.
The past is gone, the future is not.
It’s only now.

Stay still and breathe with whatever
Each feeling that washes over,
Know you will not drown.
The water is an illusion yet swims in your eyes.
Rain falls up. Rules fall away.
Release the fist that bruised and scarred the core.
Embrace the self that was never allowed to be.
Let the woman enter in, with love
Let insecurity go, with no regret
Let it all swirl out to sea...
For in this moment,
 just breathe.

Carolyn Riker is an elementary teacher, mental health counselor, writer and a poet who finds comfort and balance in her kids, nature, music and her sweet cat Copper.  She can be seen sipping soy lattes, nibbling on dark chocolate or savoring a full-bodied red wine. Introspective, forthright, kind and compassionate, she intertwines life with yoga, meditating and learning about Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda.  She also writes for Elephant Journal and Rebelle Society. Carolyn can be reached via her e-mail address or on facebook here.  

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


  1. It is so true: we often react to the uncomfortable in our lives by pushing it away. Here you ask us to invite it out to tea! To get cozy with insecurity and fear, and explore what lessons they bring with them: lessons about us, and the new woman we are becoming. This process of "becoming" can be scary at times and then we resist it. I think so many of us do so. Thank you, dear Carolyn, for reminding us not to. Reminding us to breathe through our insecurities and open the door when they knock. If they don't, you say, they'll just keep in knocking! That's good enough impetus right there. ;) Thank you for your honesty and sharing this very valuable lesson on perspective.

    1. It may seem easier to push away but in reality it comes back in my face even louder and harder. Owning my insecurity for what it is and not blaming, labeling, dismissing, or judging it -- is rather freeing....obviously i have a ton more to learn. i'm rather strong-willed and utterly, ridiculously thick...therefore the lessons are repeated until i get it! sending love. thank you for posting.

  2. Actually I saw the "life doesn't come with a manual," and remembered a favorite quote of Bhaktivedanta Swami's, that the Bhagavad-gita is the manual for the human body: just like any new car has a manual, so does the human birth.

    1. I never saw, "life doesn't come with a manual," but perhaps I should! I like what the Swami said about the Bhagavad-gita....i need to get my own copy. i would say to my clients, we take better care of our car with regular maintenance then we take care of ourself. treat yourself like a car....and things will run better. now 15 years later, i'm understanding my own words...isn't life like multiple doors all opening and closing when we are ready to enter and leave?

  3. I've also been of the strong conviction that fear/insecurities/doubt lose their power when you turn around, confront them, and say, "Exactly what is it you WANT from me???" They don't like to be challenged :)

    1. Yes! i started doing that recently and wow, scared the shadows to pieces...they scamper off and faded into the's challenging though when there's an army and i forget to breathe. then darkness caves in around me and it's not cozy or's cold and dark...rather frightening.I have to pull out my light....a small flickering flame and surrender my ego...not fall back into old ways...breathe again and the light grows.


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