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1,000 CUPS by BethAnne Kapansky

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time walking around in a chronic state of apology…

Apologizing for who I was. Apologizing for how I felt. Apologizing for things I didn't even know I was apologizing for. I had collected so much shame, guilt and sense of lack from my own personal experiences and my experiences of being a woman in this world, that my heart was frequently heavy from carrying all the weight, and I lived in an almost constant state of feeling like I needed to prove my worth and show just how "enough" I am.

So many women I work with in my practice tell stories that echo my own. Stories with a common theme of struggling with wounds of insignificance, that would tell us our worth is up for evaluation by others, that we are always falling short. Stories that suggest many women minimize their true self, give away the best parts of themselves to others and defer their personal authority in an effort to placate and peace make and help other's feel whole. Stories about inadequacy, and the desire to feel differently.  

One of the most revolutionary concepts in my personal journey of self-love is the idea of how magnificently, ridiculously, beautifully worthy, women truly are. Worthy of this life. Worthy of taking up space and being here. Worthy of experiencing what it means to be human in all of it's imperfect, chaotic, creative, gorgeousness. Worthy of knowing what it is to feel loved, even when parts of ourselves feel unlovable.

I wrote this poem as a love letter to women everywhere who grapple with these issues, and as a manifesto to my younger self, who would often settle for crumbs, not realizing she deserved the whole loaf of bread. It is my hope these words will encourage and inspire women to continue to find the courage to listen to their hearts, nourish their spirits with soul resonating sustenance, be their most authentic selves, and realize the exquisite beauty of their absolute worth.    

1,000 Cups
by BethAnne Kapansky

My Darling, 
how long are you going 
to accept scraps of bread
and time and attention,
when you deserve to feast
at the banquet table
and inhabit the space
rightfully yours.

My Sweet One,
do you realize your life
will pass you by,
if you don't take time
to claim it for yourself.
Chart your own course.
Let X mark the spot
that says,

My Lovely,
you have paid enough 
penance to the gods of shame.
Offering 1,000 cups
of Mea Culpas,
that spill themselves
all over your hallowed ground.
Eroding the foundation
of personal authority,
on which you stand. 

My Dear Heart, 
how many times
are you going to 
apologize for your Self.
Splay yourself bare
on the alter of sacrifice,
before you realize 
supplicant self-sacrifice
is more closely steeped
in self-denigration,
than self-love.

My Beautiful,
you stay safe, 
because you do not think 
you can bear to feel the loss.
But what if the pain of loss
is exactly what you need
to rip open your soul,
so your spirit knows
the exquisite grace 
of knitting itself back together.
Each stitch a witness
to a woman who 
knows the strength,
of her own deliverance.  

My Precious Love,
what if you were meant
to take every single step
that has brought you 
to this place.

What if you accepted
that none of it
was a mistake.

What if you sat naked,
with nothing to shield
or hide behind,
and let the gorgeous weight 
of your soul
be your grounds 
for belonging,
in this time and place.

What if you finally 
dared believe,
in your deepest lack-
you have always
been enough. 

BethAnne Kapansky: I am a Clinical Psychologist enjoying life from my tiny corner of Anchorage, Alaska. I love writing personal essays, composing quirky poetry, and creating whimsical art. I can often be found on top of the nearest mountain or running through the trails of my beloved woods with my little white dog who has the legs of a gazelle and mighty heart of a lion. My work has been published in The Elephant Journal and When Women Waken and used in collaboration with a local dance company to create performance art. I am inspired by nature, rainbows, cake, hearts, the power of women, the thousand faces of love, and the beautiful journey of becoming more fully human. I can be found on Facebook or on my blog: Sunshine in Winter, 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!~ 


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