And This Is How I Love

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This is how I love
I am like a wildfire in February
Propelled by the north winds
That rage with the same fury
As my breath upon your neck

I burn with chaos
I am madness that consumes
I hurl my passion at your skin
You are like sun-baked grass
My fingers catch you ablaze

My lips are ruthless
There is nowhere untouched
Every edge of your landscape
Ravaged in violent destruction
Til your bones are only embers

But you remain cool
You are frost under August sky
Damp wood upon a forest floor
You wince as my urgent flames
Burn against your faltered heart

You pull away
And I remember I am too much
That I am supposed to be meek
And in your distance I am wiser
But in your apathy I am left cold.

Find Me In The Space Between

Boho 2.jpgBetween who we pretend to be and who we think we should be there is a space where the truest version of ourselves exists.

We don’t often dwell in that space, but choose to exist on either side of it.

There is one side where we pretend to be someone we are not, where we project a false image of ourselves to others, believing that is what they want to see.

On the other side is where we spend our days striving to be better than, greater than, more than, because we believe the person in the space isn’t enough. 

Both sides exist because we are ashamed of the space between. The space where our mistakes live; our regrets, our sins, all the choices we have made that have hurt others or ourselves. The space where there is nowhere to hide our failures and all the ways we fall short, our flaws, our scars, our broken, our ugly, our messy. In this space we cannot fool ourselves with the false image we project to others. We cannot pretend to be anything more than what we are right now. We can only be real, raw, honest and authentic with ourselves.

Except, most of the time we would rather not be those things. We would rather cover the space with a bridge of lies that will carry us between who we want others to think we are and who we think we should be.

We don’t mean to lie, to deceive others, to pretend to be something we aren’t. But we’re ashamed of the space between, ashamed of our own inadequacy. We turn away from our truest selves because we are afraid to be seen – really seen. We are afraid of being exposed for what we are. We are afraid of rejection when acceptance is what our heart craves. But mostly we are afraid to discover that we were right all along, and our truest selves are unworthy of being loved.

The bravest thing we can do is choose to exist in the space between. To no longer pretend to be someone we are not. To no longer live as someone we think we should be. But to surrender to our authentic selves and to know we are worthy of love even in our darkest places, even in our unseen. To know we are enough as we are. To live inside all we fear that we may overcome. To embrace our broken, flawed, messy hearts and be reconciled back to our truest selves.

Because only when we choose to live from the space between can we ever truly live at all.

Image courtesy zarias.com

Then You’ll Remember How To Fly

Heather

And he will offer you words
Handpicked from his fields
Where manipulation grows
Upon soils rich with deceit
They’ll look like wildflowers
That smell like new promise
And for a moment your heart
Will be fooled by their beauty
And your mind will then dwell
In places where luscious earth
Feels warm beneath your feet
And the purple heather sways
In time to the summer breeze
The places where wildflowers
Are born and freedom can be
Found under boundless skies
And for a moment you’ll think
He actually means it this time
Then you will look down upon
The marks around your ankles
And wrists that still weep tears
From shackles and chains that
He made you believe were love
And then you’ll remind yourself
That freedom doesn’t look like
A cage and love doesn’t look
Like abuse and once more
You will remember
How to fly.

Image courtesy www.guu.vn

How Our Hearts Are Changed By Betrayal

 

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You haven’t always been this way.

You haven’t always been a body lined with thorns, a heart wrapped in razor wire; hard lines and jaded eyes.

Distant, aloof, guarded.

There was a time you were shades of pastel; when your heart knew love, and trust rested freely upon your fingertips.

There was a time your days were painted with innocence. Where eager eyes gazed at the world with hope and wonder, your heart still shiny and new.

But all of this changed the moment you were betrayed by someone you loved. Someone you trusted. Someone who should have protected you. Someone who hurt you instead. Someone who allowed you to be hurt by others.

There is little else that shatters a heart as much as the pain of betrayal. It tears you open, rips your heart out of your chest. You don’t want to put it back, you want to leave it on the floor to bleed until there is nothing left, until the blood runs dry and you no longer have to feel a damn thing anymore. But you can’t. You have to go on. So you pick your heart off the floor and place it back inside your hollow chest.

Except, the heart that you put back is never the same heart. It is wounded, war-torn. It no longer seeks love, but only to protect itself from the pain of ever being betrayed again.

A heart that is betrayed is changed forever.

No longer will it trust anyone again, but greets every person with reservation and fear; wary of a world that has proven to only take advantage for its own benefit. It remains hyper-vigilant in its desperate need to prove itself right; forever searching for the cracks inside another person that prove they too are unworthy of trust. It needs to know its enemy. It needs to remain one step in front at all times. Kindness is met with suspicion, for your heart has learned nothing comes without a cost – there are always strings, always an agenda. Your heart rejects kindness, remains cynical of it, refuses to accept it. It would rather suffer on its own than accept kindness that allows it to become vulnerable to another.

Your heart no longer knows how to trust itself either, and it makes vows to stay hard, to stay tough. Never will I want again. Never will I need again. Never will I trust again. Never will I love again. These vows are the cornerstones of the fortress it builds around itself, the strongholds that keep the walls in place. It gives up hope of ever being protected and instead learns to protect itself. It becomes a slave to its independence, its autonomy. Here, in its fortress, it is safe. Here, behind its walls, it can remain distant, removed.

Here, your heart can trust itself not to feel. 

For betrayal has taught your heart how dangerous it is to feel. To want, to need. To desire love, relationship, connection. No, your heart must deaden itself to its desires. It must wake each morning with one goal of attack – to kill your hungry soul. To destroy your desires before they destroy you. Your heart cannot afford to want, it is too dangerous, too much of a risk that will lead to being hurt again. This is how your heart stays safe – it refuses to be tempted by love ever again.

Except, your heart was created for relationship. Your heart was created for intimacy. But intimacy is the enemy, the biggest threat. Intimacy requires your heart to be vulnerable, to let someone close. To betray its own desires in the hope it will not be betrayed because of them. Intimacy is the most dangerous of all, and your heart turns itself away and chooses to live without hope of relationship, of closeness, of oneness with another.

Betrayal has changed your heart.

It has damaged your heart.

It has left it powerless, helpless, vulnerable, wounded, damaged, guarded, broken. Your heart can no longer trust, does not trust. It no longer believes in the goodness of anyone else’s heart. It no longer believes it is worthy of being loved, of being protected. It is tired from living in a constant state of anticipation and expectation that it will be hurt and betrayed once more. It no longer wants to love, no longer knows how to love. It has become numb, deadened to its desires, and you tell yourself you are content with this.

That here, you are safe. You are in control. You are untouchable.

Except, you are lonely. So goddamn lonely.

And this is the paradox of betrayal.

You are scared of relationship, yet relationship is the very thing that will heal your heart.

Dear heart, there is a need for you to be safe.

But there is a greater need for you to be loved.

The only way to heal is through love. You must find the courage to pull down your fortress. It has kept you safe. But you have dwelled long enough in your solitude. In your loneliness. It is time to lay down your weapons. Surrender is not defeat, but the end of the fight.

To love is to risk hurt. To trust is to risk betrayal. But you must risk so that you may heal.

Your heart has learned how to stay safe, how to survive.

Now, it must learn how to once again love.

Image courtesy onlinewallpapers.blogspot.com.au

I Wish I Could Be Better For You

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I wish I could be better for you
That I could be like the poems
You read when you can’t sleep
Like the first taste of red wine
That kisses your eager mouth
Or the drops of saltwater that
Cling to your skin on a hot day
I wish your fingers didn’t bleed
From holding on so tight to me
That your ribs were not broken
From the way you fit my heart
Inside the safety of your chest
I wish I was more than sadness
That I could be louder than my
Silence and softer than my rage
I wish I had been taught of love
The love you are well taught in
Not the kind of love that forces
Your legs open in the nighttime
And fills your mouth with shame
I wish I was not made of mistrust
And sewn together with betrayal
Maybe then I would know how to
Be like the woman in your poems
Maybe then I would know how to
Be better for you.

I’m Sorry That I’m Not Easier To Love

Easier to love

I’m sorry that I’m not easier to love
That I am made of barbwire fences
And walls crowned with razor wire
There is blood all over your fingers
You are a true warrior, determined
I admire your courage to continue
Even though you are ripped apart
By the piercing of my cold silence
I long to let down my sharp edges
But my skin has already been torn
And I’m scared to cut myself open
To allow you to step closer to me
For I have sewn the bloody hands
Of everyone who has come before
Who thank me that I mended them
Then watch me bleed until I die.

~ © Kathy Parker ~

I Forgive You, And In Doing So, Forgive Myself

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Today I woke with your name upon my tongue, bitter, like the dregs of whisky that burned my throat last night as I drank to the sound of sad movies and faded dreams.

Bitter, like the taste of poison in my veins.

Once, you were the tender kiss of morning coffee upon my lips, the gentle warmth of the sun as it streamed through worn blinds and washed over our bones; our limbs tangled in the bed we used to share.

Now there is only the imprint of your memory, laid to rest in the cold grave next to me where you belong no more.

Yet still you remain, trapped inside my heart where the acidity of all we became seeps into my bloodstream and contaminates my flesh, my organs, my soul.

Yet still you remain, trapped inside the walls of my unforgiveness where I have refused to set you free. Where I have imprisoned you to my hatred, to make you suffer the wrath of my anger the way I had to suffer yours.

Except, the only person who suffers, is me.

I step outside, barefoot, and feel the cool of grass between my toes. The air is fresh, pure, and I breathe it into my lungs, ache for it to cleanse the remnants of you that reside within my core.

No longer do I wish to keep you here, inside my heart, where you corrode my veins. No longer do I wish to keep you here, where I am shackled to pain, where I am captive to misery with every breath I take.

I gaze at the horizon where city meets sky and in this moment I know.

There is nothing to do but forgive you.

There is no weakness in forgiving you, it is not an ill-fought surrender.

It is bravery, it is strength. It is release, liberation; freedom.

It is an act of love.

Not only in setting you free.

But in setting myself free.

Because in forgiving you, I forgive me.

I forgive the girl who needed to be loved, whatever the cost, no matter how much it hurt. Who didn’t understand back then how much she was worth and all that she deserved. Who settled for less, settled for abuse, turned the other cheek, all in the name of love.

I forgive the girl who made mistakes, who made wrong choices, who hurt other people because of how much she was hurting. I forgive her that she stayed, when she should have walked away. I forgive her vulnerability, her weakness, her desperate need for acceptance. I forgive her that she didn’t know how to fight for her heart back then.

But now she does.

Three simple words.

I forgive you.

No longer will I continue to hurt you for the way you hurt me.

But more importantly, no longer will I continue to hurt myself.

I step back inside, get dressed, and make myself some coffee. The day stretches out before me like any other.

Nothing has changed, except, everything has.

Finally, I am free.

Image courtesy fashionshowing.wordpress.com

And Maybe I Will Go To Therapy

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One day I will not be so young
And foolish in the ways I hurt
I will arrive at therapy sessions
And learn how grown-ups heal
I will take notes in a notebook
With its pages still untouched

I will no longer soak my pores
With bottles of cheap red wine
Until I cannot tell the difference
Between alcohol and the blood
That seeps between the pages
Of the books I will never write

I will no longer be the angry glow
Of cigarettes along empty streets
As I watch garbage trucks at 4am
And hold nicotine against my lips
And pretend it is you I hold there
While a streetlight flickers above

I will no longer throw my outrage
Against the wall above your head
And watch as your fingers bleed
From sweeping shattered pieces
Into bins already full of confusion
That I cannot find a way to empty

I will no longer fill your suitcase
With the heaviness of my fears
Then show you to the front door
Instead I will tell you not to leave
“I need you,” I’ll speak out loud
And my eyes will not look away

One day I will not be so young
And foolish in the ways I hurt
And maybe I will go to therapy
And learn how grown-ups heal
Or maybe there is no right way
To put ourselves back together
After all.

Image courtesy pinkithy.blogspot.com

Someone You Used To Know

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You speak the broken pain of regret
Into the place you laid my memory
The sound echoes then fades away
Remorse lost inside an empty grave
Yours were the words that killed me
Each one a fatal wound to the heart
And now you want to keep me here
In this place of sorrow and sadness
You imagine me to be crushed bones
And withered flesh upon decayed soul
As if without you I have only perished
As if you could ever hold in your hands
The power of my life and resurrection
No darling, you will not find me there
In the place you buried my torn body
With your own blood-stained hands
I will not hear your hollow repentance
As you grieve the woman that is gone
For I no longer dwell inside your grave
Nor do I lie in the walls of your coffin
Instead I mended my shattered bones
And stitched together my gaping heart
I rebuilt the woman you sought to kill
Because you left me without a choice
I am no longer dead in the wake of you
My heart beats wild and true and fast
The world will know my scarred beauty
They will see the way I rise from ashes
And walk in the strength of my worth
But to you, I will be a faded memory
Of someone you once used to know
But never again will.