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Just like a mighty Oak Tree receives the light of heaven freely through its branches,

As I reach toward heaven the love of God flows freely through me by grace.

Just as the tree is nourished all the way to its roots by the sun,

So am I nourished through and through with the light of God.

As the tree sways in harmony with the breeze while remaining firmly rooted to the dark womb of earth,

I remain solidly grounded as I am moved in a dance like flow by the breath of the Holy Creator.

Everywhere I look nature teaches me about the love of the one who created it.

And in looking at the tree I am reminded that I too am a conduit between heaven and earth.
As I gently walk the earth in this dense physical body totally open-hearted and surrendered in spirit,

The love of Christ flows to me and through me, and I humbly become a bringer of heaven to earth.

I caught a glimpse of the Holy One out of the corner of my eye.

I tried to grab Him and wrestle Him down. I wanted answers from Him.

I struggled to keep Him in my grasp, but like liquid He just slipped through my fingers.

I chased His river as it flowed before me until I was close enough to dive in.

But right at the moment that I began to jump He evaporated and rose to the sky.

I crashed to the ground all bloody and bruised, and I watched Him float by like a cloud.

With nothing left for me to do I just lay there exhausted and drained.

He was out of my reach, and my eyelids grew heavy as I  watched him drifting away.

My teary eyes finally gave in and closed as I began to rest.

The moment that I finally let go He rained down on me sweetly in my sleep.

What’s the part of your heart that you manifested in me?

What were your thoughts and words that created my flesh?

Which shiny facet of you am I to reflect?

What’s the dream of yours that I am to be?

What part of yourself were you hoping to display when you knit me together in the womb?

Merge my heart with the part of your heart that is me.

Let me be the part of you I was created to be.

As I travel in time revisiting the past and glimpsing into the future in order to live better in the present there is certain music that bubbles up just like the memories do. There is some melodic poetry that speaks truth about the souls of some people. The people who connect with this music all share some kind of bond because of the lives that we have lived and the ways that our souls were created. It is like you just get it or you don’t, and if you do then you know that you have an instant connection with one another. I suddenly remembered these two songs at about midnight after spending a wonderful evening with some of my siblings and my mom, daughter and niece.

I used to listen to the Indigo Girls with my friends at summer camp of all places. It is funny because it was church camp, and the Indigo Girls are lesbians! Ha! That was not what it was about for us though. Camp was some of the best times in my life as a child. I went every summer all the way through high school and even met one of the great loves of my life there.

Camp was a safe place for me. I remember feeling safe even at night in the dorm on my bunk bed as I shared a room with about 14 other girls. There were no locks on the doors. We just had screened doors actually, but when the horror movie thoughts would run through my mind I would just think, “No! I am safe here. This is Honey Creek, and God is here. Nothing bad can happen here.”

We were surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Honey Creek….. big trees with spanish moss hanging from them….. porch swings, hammocks, and decks in various natural hideaways dispersed around the grounds….. a little chapel with one wall totally made of glass that faced the water……sounds of laughter, singing, and music…..a piece of heaven….My dream was to get married there. If God could be felt anywhere it was there, and one of my friends came with my mom to pick me up one year and said, ” I see why you love this place. I could feel it as soon as we drove in.”

We sang a lot to acoustic guitars. We went to chapel every morning and right before bed, and we were incredibly free at high school camp. We were even allowed to smoke cigarettes there because back then the law allowed smoking for 17 year olds! I know that’s kind of crazy! The place was a beautiful oxymoron…freedom at church camp….imagine that! But feeling safe, free, and surrounded by loving peers was truly like a vacation from life for me. It was a refuge like no other. I always grieved heavily when it was over. It never lasted long enough.

Well we used to listen to a lot of music there, and as I said the Indigo Girls were a favorite. I guess it is because of the raw acoustic beauty of the truth that they sing about. There were two songs that especially stood out to me and resonated with me in my teen years. I suddenly remembered those songs tonight around midnight after not hearing them or thinking of them for years. As I listen to them again they still resonate with me and actually bring tears to my eyes. Yes….there is a little bit of hippy in the music, but I would be lying if I said that there was not a little bit of hippy in me. Tee hee….There is something about my life in the words of these songs. There is something about me in them.

So I will share them with you for another musical interlude of melodic poetry. I believe that the music speaks for itself. It carries me back in time to my childhood, and it speaks to me again in the present. So here are the two songs….a brief look into my soul.

Prince of Darkness  ~ Don’t let the title scare you 😉

Kid Fears ~

Why do we feel this intense pressure to act as if everything is great and that we are always okay. Why do we as a society put such limiting and unrealistic expectations on one another? There is so much loneliness in the world. There are so many lonely people in the midst of a crowed. There are people who you think are so happy and content that are hiding great pain and sorrow. There are people who are surrounded by people but feel completely disconnected. There are people smiling when they really want to cry, and maybe they should be crying actually. Why do we feel like we have to be “little miss ray of sunshine” in order to be accepted? Or maybe in a different crowed we feel the pressure to be constantly cynical and unhappy in order to be accepted. Why can’t we just be real?

The truth is that we are not always happy. Sometimes we have good reasons to be heavy-hearted, and acting like little miss sunshine in those times is actually a little insane. We also are not always miserable, and acting as if the world is coming to an end all the time is equally crazy.

I spent many years of my life covering up and pushing down a great deal of pain and sorrow. I felt that I had to hide the truth about my life when I was growing up. I had to be happy all the time even though I was often quite depressed.  Showing weakness was a big no-no for me. It was not something that I consciously did, but it was a behavior that I had learned so well that it seemed natural.

Now that I am older I realize that all of that truth, all of those negative feelings, all of the sorrow that I pushed down and ignored  did not go anywhere. It remained inside me and festered. When you fake it and push real feelings and truth away without releasing it….it actually gets worse. And it comes out in other ways like depression, addictions, loneliness, sickness, moodiness, dysfunction and the list goes on and on.

I was so well-trained in my childhood to hide things and to show the world a “happy front” that I still find it extremely difficult to cry. Now I know logically that crying is good and okay. It is natural and helpful, but it does not come naturally for me so I continue to hold back, and the reward is a very heavy heart at times. I honestly wish that I could just be the girl who cries at the drop of a hat sometimes. It would feel so much better, but I am having to relearn everything that I learned growing up. And I learned to be strong and to hold it together very well apparently. But that is not healthy all the time.

I do not put on the “happy front” all the time anymore. Sometimes I feel happy, but if  I don’t then I am not going to fake it at all times anymore. I don’t want to constantly live behind a mask anymore, and I am bothered by the fact that most people seem to live behind masks most of their lives. It seems to be the norm in our society, and it is not healthy. It takes away our human connection. It hides our hearts. It is not real.

Real is not always pretty. Sometimes it is dark and raw, but it is beautiful. It is art. It is romance. It is a masterpiece in the making. It is a dance that is life. It is human, and it is spirit. It is real. It is truth. And truth cannot be wrong in my book.

I still have not mastered the art of living totally mask free at all times. Sometimes my mask is on, and I do not even notice it because it feels so natural. Sometimes it just feels easier to have it on, but I am getting there. I am working on it. I am taking risks, and little by little I am becoming free. One day I will live my life completely free of the mask.

I wrote a poem one day when I was struggling with this issue in myself and in our society called, “About Us.”

Here it is:

If you took off your mask who would you be?
If you remove all those things that you want us to see?
All of the things that you wish you could be

Take off the suit that you put on to make us believe you are doing so well.
What weakness is really hiding under your veil?
What is the reality that is hidden from us?
What truth are you afraid that we will see?
Who are you really behind all the happy faces, wise words and good deeds?

I think I’d rather know the you that’s inside.
Even the pain that you try so hard to hide.
You are more interesting with all of your flaws.
All of this fake wholeness is a bore and a lie.
Show your true self. You might be surprised if you try.

It’s your pain, your imperfections, your real humanity,
That makes you the most uniquely beautiful person to me.
So when you have the courage to reveal your true self to me,
My mask falls off, our true lights connect, and we are both set free.

I am trying to get to the heart of my authentic self. It is scary at times, and people will reject it. There are people who want to cling to their own mask and so they do not want anyone else to remove theirs. This is a chance that I have to take though. I have come to the point in life when I cannot live outside of myself anymore. I encourage people to join me in this. It is freeing in spite of the risks. Thanks to everyone who is willing to take off their own mask and is also willing to allow others to do the same.

Digging through the dirt of life to find the freedom to fly seems to be my life’s theme so far, and so it is also the theme for this blog. This blog is my way of navigating through my past and present experiences and thoughts in order to get to a better future.

The name “Grounded Angel” represents two ideas. One is the idea of a being who is meant to fly and soar freely but who has actually been lassoed to the ground and kept there by the pain and heaviness of life. This “grounded Angel” is broken and longs to regain the use of her wings.

The second idea is of a being who is flying and soaring freely as an angel would but who is also grounded in a healthy way to the reality of life. This “grounded angel” is not flittering around in a spacey disconnected way, but is flying freely while still held securely to the earth. This “grounded angel” is whole and connected both to heaven and to earth.

My long journey is taking me from the first to the latter. I do not know if and when this journey will end, but there is a wide range of joy, sorrow, tension, release, triumph, and failure as I travel across the finite portion of the vast terrain of time and space that is my life.

I wrote a poem entitled “Grounded Angel” a while back as I struggled with the tension of this journey. The poem came from a place of struggle. It came from a darker place because it came from the place where things that I have kept pushed down all of my life were beginning to give in to an inner pressure. They were needing to be released, and I didn’t know how to do that so the poem bubbled out.  Here it is:

What’s the pain that lurks beneath the surface trying to get out?
Building up continuously until it starts to bleed and seep
Overflowing from the heart into the body, Now it’s an ache.
Tears welling up then pulling back, rarely allowed to weep

Grounded angel, broken wings, needing to be free
Release me from this cage so that I can be me.

What are all these hidden secrets? What have I blocked out?
Why did I allow the fear to bury it so deep?
How can I dig up this pain and get it out of me?
How did I go from flying high to falling fast asleep?

Grounded angel, broken wings, needing to be free
Release me from this cage so that I can be me.

My hope is that by sharing my stories and becoming a little vulnerable I will be able to connect with those people that can relate, and  we will all find comfort in the reality that we are not alone in this. At the core of the human heart we are all connected. We are all in this life together. Deep inside we all share the same longing to let go of the heavy burdens that have been placed upon us and to fly freely. Thanks for joining me on this terrifying yet marvelous journey called life. 🙂


Thank you Thursday Poets Rally for the The Puuuurfact Poets Award!

Haiku by me (Grounded Angel/Jessica)

Poems bubble out

They come from deep within me

Not thoughts but heart songs

 

(I nominate jake.ox)