Every Day is a Poem Writing Challenge Day #6 - Use Your Pain

Poems don't just create a shared understanding of awe or lead us into sensual wonderment, they also help us to uncover our pain and heal as we face the depth of our individual and collective ache...Through poetry we touch the places that are too panful to linger in, we sift through of feelings of trauma, and we expose ourselves to the fact that we are no alone in this hurt." - Jacqueline Suskin, Every Day is a Poem.

Day #6 - OH MY. After an easier challenge in day #5 to connect with my senses, I am facing another soul baring exposure.  This is easier for me to do in books for some reason. I have been baring my thoughts, feelings of insecurity, and my many failings for over a decade. Not once have I wanted to be put on a pedestal. It's a very long, depressing fall off when you can't live up to everyone's expectations.

I have tried my hardest to be transparent with my writing and share from my heart. However, there is something about these poetry exercises that seem to mine deeper and give me the feeling of standing naked on a stage in front of a large audience. There is nowhere to hide.  And what I share somehow feels personal in a deeper way. 

Photo by Erik Eastman on Unsplash
Today is about pain - meditating on pain, mining the depths of what you find, letting your sadness out in poetic verse, and using that pain as a guide to create healing.  I found myself afraid to even start. I have worked on facing my pains for the last 4-5 years and it hasn't been easy. Now I am asked to take another deep dive and share what I find with you. 

The author gives us permission by first confirming what we all know, it's hard to be alive. And she shares why she chooses do do this herself, "Writing about my pain enables me to claim it as my own, and this ownership is empowering.

And GO!

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Breaking the Mirror

The mirror is held high above me,
Too high for me to see my reflection.
I have to trust those older and wiser
To share how they see of m in the mirror.
Their words are so confident,
But the image they share of who I am feels alien.

How can I change to match that vision?

I don't feel like sugar and spice
And everything nice.
The box they see me in is too small.
I can't seem to fit myself in it.
But the picture they share, they assure me,
Is who I am meant to become.

Why do I feel like a stranger in a strange land? 

Finally I am a little taller 
And can peek in the mirror.
What I see is a different picture
That doesn't go with the image of me they shared.
Others around me seem to accept who they were told to be,
And work hard to change into that person.

Am I broken? Am I missing a part that others have?

Even taller now I can hold the mirror
In my own hands. 
With good friends embracing me,
And self love growing daily,
I have come to KNOW in my heart
The person I see in the mirror is exactly who I am meant to be.

How can I break their hearts?

Standing in my truth I wonder
Why self love often means hurting others.
My mother cries with sadness at my choices.
It is hard to hold tight the the knowledge
Her hurt is not caused by my actions.
They come from deep inside her own heart.

What to do with this mirror?

Letting go of the guilt
That I am a disappointment to others,
I raise the mirror high above me
Then smash it onto the floor.
The shattered mirror can no longer be
Used against me. It is no more.

Can I heal the rift?

The mirror is gone. 
The jagged shards thrown away long ago.
Through self love and letting go of expectations,
Through offering the same to those I love.
Slowly slowly slowly over time
The rift heals and we find joy together.