Being self-confident is hard. I grew up in a culture that treated Women’s bodies as objects. Objects of men’s desires; Objects in need of change: Change in size, Change to be fashionable and contort my body to fit into current trends. Women’s bodies were objects That had to be managed In how we moved, How we behaved, How we led our lives And presented ourselves To the outside world, And how we treated our bodies In private when no one was looking. It is hard to be self-confident When society bombards you With messages that you are not enough, You are falling short and failing To an unrealistic standard. (And who set up this system to begin with?) I find my self-confidence gets easier the older I get. Life experience and the inherent lessons that come with age have taught me that acceptance is present and available Only I hold the key to what is possible. My reflection in the mirror is unique. It is mine alone. And I choose to love who I see in the mirror. I choose to remind myself that these negative messages do not reflect who I truly am. I choose love. Today and this day forward, I choose to treat my mind, body and spirit With gentle, loving acceptance.
I accept the ever changing season. The pendulum swings From extreme heat to bitter cold. I accept that among the cosmos The entire planet is smaller than The dot in the letter i I matter. I belong here. I walk the earth gently. I smile upon those I greet On this shared path. I accept that this moment is fleeting. It always is. And then the next. I allow myself to fully accept that which is out of my control. I cannot make the icy wind chill go away Nor stop the tide from crashing onto the shore. And since the earth is but a dot, My comings and goings hardly go noticed And I accept that too. My very existence means the world To my family and friends And that I do not take for granted. When I feel surrounded by love For myself and others I open the window of my heart And let love in. Inspired by: “Close your eyes and open the window of your heart. Only when you have no more need for acceptance will everything you do be accepted.” RUMI
I come from there With the spark of Light, life and love. The light that emanates From my windows And the voices that echo Through the walls With play and song. The seasons come And shape the landscape. The house is warm, aglow Or cool and dark. The space we occupy And call home On this double lot Of land with Double driveways And a large lawn for Running feet And space for the swing. The hearth and place For childhood memories, Of love and stories Made believe and real, For connection And friendship, A gathering space For family and friends. The house may Be small and Feel confined At times Within these walls. But love Rules the day As we read Our bedtime stories And share our Nighttime rituals. We kiss and hug A love that lasts More than space or time Could ever endeavor. And I, too, am aglow Because I belong And I proudly Come from there.
This house of ours It is with love that we share the memories, the appliances and the furniture. We invite our hearts arms open wide. I am yours and you are mine. The furniture may change through the years, Along with the appliances and technology. The love is constant like the walls that shield us from the storms. When I am with you, I know true acceptance. There is no place for shame or blame of past circumstance. All are welcome to embody this place. The walls may hold all the memories: the proposal, the wedding, and contain our growing family as our hearts swell in this shared space. It may feel small at times. When we feel there’s an overabundance of toys and gadgets. There just doesn’t seem to be any free space to just be. It is a manifestation of our abundant love and ability to provide our children with cherished memories, A foundation of that security, A love they can carry with them into their own future houses.
When I open the window to love, I let in more than just fresh air or a better view. There is love in the air. A love of autumn Bright, true colors shine through Surrounded by the abundance of harvest. Juicy apples and round pumpkins to delight with flavor and possibility. The aromas, the sights, the sounds of squirrels skittering and kicking up brush, a treasure in its mouth. It is survival instinct to save for a cold winter's day. I take a mental note and decide to write what I'm grateful for to reread for myself on a hard, cold day. The harvest full moon rose last night and I watched it take its usual path across the night's sky. In my mind's eye, I am looking at its face as it kisses me across the cheek. Such wisdom and stories it holds.
Remember the scent of the lilacs. How the air just embodied their aroma and drifted it into the windows into my lungs. Remember when they were teeny tiny buds. How 5-year old Lilly marveled at their small size. Little purple bumps bursting from the green. Remember the Easter lilies and this was the first year I got so low to the ground I could actually smell them for the first time. Remember the towering orange iris. Remember the hearty rosebush. Remember the mimosa tree that once stood proud, colorful and fragrant. Now an empty shell. Bare branches. The weakened trunk sways with a gentle push. Remember the dogwood’s white blossoms and Lilly called the neighbor’s pink blossoms “flower snow” as they fell and covered the ground in small piles of soft pink. Remember the woodpecker, the cardinal, the new birds that decided to stop by for a visit. Remember the bunny rabbit, like Old Faithful, arrives around dinner time looking for her evening meal as well. Remember the hawk perched on top of the playset as a squirrel huddled and hid under the child’s chair unmoving and the hawk ever patient. Remember the blue jays that harassed and chased that hawk away and the squirrel that timidly crawled commando style and lived another day. Remember the sweet breeze from the ocean even reaching here not so close to the shore and how I marveled at the salty refreshing air. Remember the first kiss. The special rock overlooking the bay and our life began together. Remember that tender beginning love is still here under the surface. A beloved memory but always here in my heart.
Why are we here at this moment in time on this small blue green planet?
They say we too are made up of the stars down to the smallest molecule. It can feel so small when the universe is so vast. How can I affect change as such?
What I know is my life has meaning. The answer is always connection. The root is love. So how did I live the answer? I must have lived the question first.
What I didn’t know is I was being led by invisible forces, situations, people and opportunities which became my challenges, my lessons, my guides.
How to live a life well lived and loved is the question. It took me 40+ years to come to the realization and to accept even if the universe is so vast and my actions seem so small and individual, there is a ripple.
If I too am made up of the stars, I have a light inside. A unique heart like an emerald when the light hits it a certain way. I do not know who put it there or where does the light originate from. I can accept that it’s a part of me and we each have our own illuminated hearts beating in our chest. Not so narrow and individually separate. Our hearts can be in rhythm like the collective breath that illuminates the soul.