Healing abandonment issues with self awareness:
"Abandoning what we love no more" is the last line in this gorgeous poem, and that line resounds through my inner world. I have never thought about it that way and yet...there it has been all this time and I recognize its truth.
An example from my own life is how I react when people don't live up to my standards of being caring. I know I have work to do on healing my abandonment issues when I'm reactive and strongly swayed by the uncaring choices someone else is making.
When I give away my own center, my own love, my own inner environment, I am giving my power away to what other people do (according to MY perceptions and judgments!)
The poem below captures an essential element of struggling with abandonment issues. And it suggests a beautiful way to fill myself with something sweeter.
First I'll tell you the story of how this healing poem found its way here:
Several years ago (when this site was but a twinkle in my eye) I was frozen in fear at the prospect of putting myself out there on the web and I couldn't write.
I talked, thought and fervently wished about writing it, but literally trembled at the thought of putting fingers to keyboard. I was gripped in this miserable loop for over a year.
I don't know how many times (four? five? six?) someone recommended a local writer's group led by a woman named Peggy Milan. "She'll get you writing!" they'd declare.
Finally, I found my way to the group. We wrote to prompts spontaneously and then read aloud to the group. I discovered that what I considered my worst writing was often what the group liked best. I learned how unreliable my self evaluations were. Others had similar experiences.
I took the writing class four times in a row and finally this site was born. And I have been utterly shocked by how many times people express appreciation for its message.
Fast forward a few years and you find me at a party for the 10th anniversary of Peggy's writing groups. I am on the front porch looking down at an exquisitely landscaped yard. A strong looking woman is in a chair on the porch. We each tell our story about how we came to be at the party. I published a site about healing abandonment issues, she published a book of poetry (including this poem).
She recited this healing abandonment issues poem for me in her clear, expressive voice.
Sometimes our bodies say,
“I am a hollow reed – music is playing through me.”
Sometimes our bodies say,
“I am a gnarled rag – in need of an amorous cleansing.”
Sometimes: strong, connected, grounded, river rock.
But when the body says
I have become separated from the temple
And we are left with the great divide
It is then,
That our parched and torn eyes
Seek out the hidden Ocean
“Let the water fill the chasm –
And become a pool once more.
Let the rag unfurl its blackened and desperate tangle
And receive a thousand stars.
Let the music have its way again
And soak up the fragrance of love.”
Ear to sky
Knees to ground
Head to stone
Hand to heart
We bow to that Eternal One
Who stands like a guardian of what
We abandon daily.
And when the body says,
I know nothing but longing at the gate –
The stone becomes ground
The cloth a banner
The chasm a bridge strewn
With those fragrant flowers
We return to ourselves.
Music a choir
Freedom an epitaph
The pool an ocean
Abandoning what we love no more.
Tracey Schmidt is a poet and photographer living in Asheville. More of her work can be seen at http://www.traceyschmidt.com
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