There Is Nothing Easy About Breaking Generational Cycles

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There is nothing easy about breaking generational cycles. The responsibility of change carried in your often-weary arms. The battle to not only heal your own wounds, but also to not inflict those same wounds upon others. The overcoming of all that has come before you, the defeating of all that still tries to find its way back in.

It is heavy work. Back-breaking work. Thankless work. Exhausting work. It is scraped knees and blistered hands. Faces marred with sweat and tears. It is lost sleep and unheard prayers and always wondering if it is enough. If WE are enough. To do this. To be this catalyst for change.

But, dear woman, see? See the work you have already done. See the dirt under your fingernails; the way your hands have worked callous earth that fresh seeds could be planted; these fields now swollen with new birth, the promise of abundant harvest whispered to you beneath the warmth of this early summer sun.

See all you have already accomplished with the empty hands you were given. See how much stronger you are for the hard work; the straightness of your spine, the way your chin does not yield. How sure and tall you stand upon this land once covered in weeds.

You have been given the work because it is you who has what it takes to complete it. It is you who has the fire of determination in your stomach, the strength in your bones, the persistence and will to keep going pulsing inside every fibre of your being.

It is you who forged your way through unholy ground where others have feared to tread. It is you who remains unflinching and courageous; the heart of a lion and the spirit of a warrior burning inside you. It is you; headstrong and uncompromising, who will not rest until the work is finished.

I know these days of planting have been long, and hard. But see the way the light has shifted; the way the shadows have become less, days stretching out beneath beams of warmth and hope.

Dear woman, I know there is nothing easy about breaking generational cycles.

But see?

The harvest is near. The harvest is near.

First, The Breaking. Then The Becoming.

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“Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unravelling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming.” ~ Victoria Erickson

Here’s the thing about breaking.

You never heal the same.

You can never go back to the person you used to be, nor fit in the spaces you once thought you belonged. There will always be resistance. A defiance in your spirit. A sense of being out of place. A pulling back to your true north.

The breaking can be a lonely time; the healing, even more so. Islands of isolation and seclusion during times you feel too vulnerable to face the world. Feeling lost and homesick; no longer the person you once were, yet not knowing which road will lead you to the person you’re still becoming.

But this I have come to know:

I would rather the loneliness than living a life I no longer align with. I would rather move forward on my own than force myself to fit into places that have become too small for me. I would rather exist as an island living true to my authentic self than compromise who I am becoming just so another can hold me in the spaces they desire me to stay inside of.

The path back to ourselves is not an easy one. It is an unlearning of the people we have been taught to be. A falling away of the lives we have sought to live. It is a letting go. A surrender. A grieving. It is the breaking apart of all we once thought to be true, and real.

But with the breaking comes the healing; eventually the transformation.

And then, the becoming.

Dear Mother Who is Struggling

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Dear Mother Who is Struggling,

I know you haven’t been yourself lately.

I see it in the way your eyes no longer carry the light the way they used to, their colour faded. Your frown lines have deepened, outnumbering the lines of laughter that once etched the sides of your face, back when your joyful smile would reach that far, back when your shoulders were straight and the weight of your tiredness didn’t pull you down.

You love your babies, I know you do.

But this is hard. And you are tired. So damn tired.

And maybe this is what adds to the tiredness; the guilt that you shouldn’t feel this way. You wonder if you’re the only mother out there who feels so isolated, so alone, so exhausted. Or do they all have these villages you hear of – support networks of family and friends who share the burden of raising a family, while you wake up each morning and wonder how you will get through another day on your own?

There was a world you used to belong to, and you grieve it. It’s there in front of you, every day, on social media – there, in the radiant faces of other women as they go about their lives, their holidays, gym classes, dates, promotions. You wonder how, in a world so connected, you are left feeling so goddamn disconnected from it all.

Surrounded by little people, noise, clutter, you find yourself lonelier than ever. But it’s not a loneliness from being alone. It’s a loneliness that comes from being so far from yourself, so far from who you once were. You don’t even know who that is anymore. You feel as though you’ve traded your whole identity to be a mother. Sacrificed your entire life to care for those around you. This is all you know now. This is all your life has become.

You miss the woman you once were, and the life you once had.

You long for independence, spontaneity, to be carefree. For road trips and dinner dates and live music and nights out in the city. For beach days and lazy Sundays in bed and to read a book, uninterrupted. Drained, you yearn for the things that bring nurture to your tired body and soul as you force yourself through another day on the remnants of what you have left to give.

I know this is hard. But take heart, dear one.

It won’t always be this way. It won’t always be so hard. Days will get easier. There will be more moments to be still, to breathe, more moments to laugh again. There will be more moments where you can reach inside and find the misplaced pieces of the woman you used to be, and the days will begin to feel less lonely as you journey back to your own heart.

I know you think the way you struggle makes you a failure. That because of this, you fall short and aren’t enough. Don’t believe these lies. Be gentle on your heart, for every day you face the hardest job, alone, and you make it through. No matter how impossible it seems, you don’t give up. You show up, and continue to do the best with what you have.

And some days that may not seem like enough. But every day, you continue to love. And that will always be more than enough. I know this is hard. But for now, this is all you need to know.

This too shall pass.

And when you close your eyes tonight, write those words on the back of your eyelids, and let them fall away toward your heart and kiss it with the hope that will get you through your tomorrows.

You may not feel it today, but I promise you, my love – you’ve got this.

Let Them Throw Stones

Nobody has the right to judge you.

Nobody has the right to hold you prisoner to your mistakes when they don’t know a damn thing about the choices you had to choose from and how hard you fought just to survive.

Nobody has the right to shame you for your humanity. To deny you the right to be human. To deny you the grace of the human condition that sees us all fuck up at times and learn from that and do better.

Nobody has the right to take away your redemption. To take every damn drop of blood poured for your healing, your growth, your change, your becoming, and make it worth nothing.

We are not held captive to our yesterdays, to the person we once were when we knew no better. We are not bound by our mistakes, to the ways we hurt others when our hearts were hurting so damn much inside our fragile chests. We are not defined by our rock bottom, when nobody knows what it has taken us to claw our way out to become the person we are today.

We are not our past.

We are not our shame.

Nobody has the right to judge the heart they do not know.

Your heart is beautiful; made new with each day you have woken and determined to do better. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are everything they will never be.

Forgiveness, grace, second chances: these are the things we offer other humans when we understand the frailty of our own humanity. When we understand that mercy always triumphs over judgement. This is how we offer love.

There will always be those who throw stones.

Let them.

For their feet will forever be bound by the shore, destined to watch as you, my darling, become the ocean.

The Fear of Abundance

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You’re so scared of abundance, aren’t you?

You’re so scared to be everything you long to be.

You know it’s there. It burns within you; your purpose, your calling. It burns and you feel it when you’re alone and your soul is connected to the universe and in those moments you are an unstoppable force. In those moments your heart cracks open with the beauty of all you are and it cannot be contained within you and you know this is who you were meant to be.

You long to step into your destiny and make that your home. But when you emerge from the quiet shadow of your solitude, the fire is smothered by a fear you can’t let go of; scared of what they might think of you, what they might say about you, of being misunderstood, ridiculed. And so you shrink yourself, bend yourself, shape yourself, mould yourself into something you think is more palatable to the world.

And then wonder why you feel as though you never fit, why you never find your place, why nowhere feels like home.

You were made for so much more than you allow yourself to be.

You must be brave, beloved. Be fearless in the pursuit of your destiny. Find your place. You will never be too much for this world. Do not fear abundance, but allow the overflow of your life to spill into the world. Allow beauty and creativity and kindness and love to flow mightily.

Let go of the fear you are too much.

Instead, go set the souls of the world alight with the radiance of your all-consuming fire.

Day Five, Six and Seven Featured Artist @ Animal Heart Press

Soooo, I got entirely behind on publishing the second half of my week over at Animal Heart Press, so I’m going to do the last few days here together in a catch up blog.

Day Five saw me have a Fast Five Interview with Managing Editor, the wonderful Amanda McLeod, where we spoke about poetry as catharsis, literacy magic, and the art of the spoken word performance – check out the interview here.

Day Six over there saw two of my recent poems published, On Still Nights and Heat – you can read them here.

Day Seven, my final day there, was finished with a bang with the release of my newest spoken word poem, Ode To The F*ck Boys Who Taught Me How To Love Myself – have a watch of it here, and if you haven’t already subscribed to my YouTube channel, do so while you’re over there!
HUGE thank you to the beautiful people at Animal Heart Press, take some time to look at their website and the stunning array of writing on there, and follow them on social media too, their heart and passion for what they do is extraordinary <3

Day One Featured Artist @ Animal Heart Press

Guys! I am absolutely honoured to be this month’s featured artist over at the incredible Animal Heart Press. I’ll be over there for the next 7 days with various stuff, but to start with, they’ve shared my newest poem, This Dead Bird Belongs To Me – about the legacy of addiction – head over to the link below and take a read, it’s brutally raw and one of the hardest I’ve written x

Animal Heart Press – Featured Artist Kathy Parker – Day One