I’m excited to plant this poetic wisdom in our community garden from member Simone Rollins about a pathway from stuckness to freedom. As she writes in the introduction to her poem, which can serve as a mantra when we forget the simple yet most powerful tool of turning inward with curiosity and compassion, “Allowing is a word that I remind myself of often. Sometimes when I get caught in resistance I go back and read this poem I wrote years ago and remember the path to freedom and peace is through opening to it all.”
Here is her introduction to the poem, where she shares a bit about the dark night of the soul she endured in her twenties, and the poem itself:
“I have loved writing poetry for as long as I can remember. I even remember loving to write when I was a child. This form of expression feels rich and satisfying for me and it allows me to contact the voice of my soul.
“I went through a “dark night of the soul” in my early twenties when the anxiety I had experienced my whole life started to become unmanageable and I started turning to numbing to avoid what I was feeling. It was during that period that I eventually started to do my inner work and thus started a more authentic relationship with myself.
“This poem was born out of my experiences with fear, anxiety, and panic. As I write in the poem I used to think that fear/anxiety was a sign that there was something wrong with me, which lead to a lot of self-criticism and shame for a very long time.
“Anxiety started to resurface intensely in my life a few years later around the time of a major life transition.
It was then that I found Sheryl’s work and it was like a balm to my soul. Something I learned then and still carry with me now, is that as a highly sensitive person and an empath and someone who has struggled with anxiety their whole life, fear is a part of my experience, but instead of thinking it is a mistake, I know in my bones now that it is part of living this uncertain life with a heart that is open, feels deeply, and loves deeply, and there is never, and was never anything wrong with that or with me.
“Learning to allow my full emotional experience to be there, while turning toward myself with curiosity and compassion, has changed my life. Actually turning toward the hurting parts inside of me truly does feel like a “coming home” as I write in the poem, and it is there that internal repair happens and deep insights slowly rise up from my psyche because I took the time to listen without judgment.
“With those insights about myself and about life I can open more fully to all that is in me and around me. Allowing is a word that I remind myself of often. Sometimes when I get caught in resistance I go back and read this poem I wrote years ago and remember the path to freedom and peace is through opening to it all.“
The Journey of Tender Hearts
The voice inside used to tell me fear doesn’t belong here
Fear doesn’t belong in this place of the heart.
I used to think my fears were a mistake, a sign I was doing life wrong.
But time has passed now
And with that
Has taught me
That there is such a sweetness in the allowing.
There is a coming home when one listens to the songs of the heart.
Like a dammed-up stream, becoming unstuck, and flowing freely.
It feels like an exhalation, the kind made of roses, thick honey, and patience, groundlessness, and churning ocean.
Make space for it all.
That is the only way forward,
And this is the stuff of life.
The holding, the releasing, the damming-up, and the unsticking.
The hardness and the sweetness.
Feel it all and then take your next step forward.
This is the stuff of life with a heart that is tender.