As a child, I was afraid I'd break my right arm and wouldn't be able to write.
At the age of seven, I started practicing with my left. My fear has been revisited. For the last two weeks, my right shoulder and neck have been locked into a fiery grip. The pain radiates down my arm and into my fingertips. My arm aches like a branding iron into my heart. It speaks volumes of unwritten words and conveys a serendipitous explosion of prose.
I find I’m holding myself carefully together like a piece of fine hand-blown glass. There’s a blockage in my shoulder and arm. I asked and it spoke to me.
What are you trying to say?
Listen to your heart it beats to a different drum.
The old messages are worn out and the new ones fill you with trepidation.
Scared, huh? It’s okay.
Keep blazing through the crap that holds onto you like a trap.
I’m at a pivotal point in my life and walking a new, challenging direction. It’s a path riddled with obstructions and yet I know it will ultimately lead to freedom.
Right now, it feels dark and lonely and often it’s hard to believe–it’ll be okay. To navigate this personal eclipse, some spaces need to be dark and lonely to traverse into a deeper understanding of myself.
I don’t see as clearly as I would like to, probably because it would be too overwhelming. I currently feel like a caricature being drawn by some warped cosmic joke.
My carburetor is being unplugged from a build-up of ageless gunk. The air flow is barely there but a new filter is growing. Eventually my pistons will fire in a proper sequence as my ribs expand and I breathe into the spaces of darkness. The blind spots will diminish too and my vision will clear. I will hug the road in an effortless plight to assimilate this new me. It will take time though, because I didn’t plunge into this abyss overnight.
I’m learning to lean on my inner wisdom where intuition is readily available. I rely more on trusting myself and less of what others think or do. It is time to find my own stability, and to rely less on the instability of others.
This challenges my old innate desire to camouflage. I prefer to hide in the shadows, afraid I’ll see a glimpse of me. I have married various shades of the sun to paint a picture of what I think others want to see.
The chameleons I had as a child are being set free in the chartreuse blades of grass. They mirror the stained glass windows of my mind. The ground shakes in waves as I surf this galactic energetic pulse of new personal growth.
In the poem The Guest House by Rumi, I find reassurance in this absurd, cacophony proposition called life. It is from such eloquent written sources of inspiration, I write the following words:
Shades of Camouflage
I will nurture this body and what it offers me. It is a vessel where my soul resides. This body will die and my soul will survive.
This pilgrimage is dark and deep as it is pure and light. In the pit of my core, I acknowledge the salt being poured on my open heart.
It’s an outrage and a balance.
I will listen to the silence and rage, dance with the shame and let it all visit.
I will learn to entertain the pain and the joy; the harsh and rude awakenings.
This is humbling.
All is gone and yet so much remains.
Tumultuous tears are shed as illusions dissipate.
My walls collapse as I’m ready to see.
Shattered dreams of what should and shouldn’t be.
My furniture has been an illusion.
I’m ridding me of me.
My heart is expansive and the strings of the universe tether me to invisible wings.
I will stand firm through the upheaval and learn to be.
It is here, I meet with the ugly shadow sides.
I bow down in a crumpled pile of wet tissues, because I acknowledge this is love and not revenge. It’s sacred and genuine, multidimensional, and compassionate.
How could it be anything but?
I surrender and open to this tender, exposed space.
In the shadows, light shines through me.
I am grateful for the burning death of illusions.
It liberates the hidden me.
Carolyn Riker is a mom, teacher, gardener. She enjoys quiet time with nature, books and music. Carolyn continually loves learning about yoga, meditation, Auryveda and Vedic astrology. She has recently begun publishing articles with Elephant Journal. Click here to sample her piece called “Let Your Heart Be Your Guide”. You may get in touch with Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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