Are you still suffering?

I was on my 24th consecutive hour of work; sweaty, hungry, dehydrated, and raggedly exhausted when a patient walked into the urgent consult office where I was posted on call, sat down and said:

‘A long time ago, you fell in love with someone who was not as in love with you, and for that, you suffered a lot.’

I was the clinician, yet without asking a single question he arrived at an accurate diagnosis of my neurosis: perpetual heartbreak.

I felt somewhat violated when he proceeded to tell me that I had one birthmark on my upper thigh and another under my breast, and that I should take off my clothing and show him. He wasn’t spot-on about the birthmarks, but he was correct about the heartbreak. Maybe we all have heartbreak in our pasts, but he really got me when he asked, ‘Are you still suffering?’.

If the imprints on my energetic field from that loss of love are obvious enough for some rando creep to read them like a news headline, I want to change the vibe I’m giving off.

I was still suffering, and in trying to escape my suffering I became a physician, hoping that the overwhelming process of medical training would take my attention away my broken heart- a treatment that provided a temporary distraction at best, but not a cure.

Now with spiritual healing on a level even deeper than heart break and reciprocated love in my life, I am still suffering, but less so.

To She Who Holds My He

You are holding the hands that hold my heart

You are listening to the heart beat that made my heart stop and start anew

You are breathing in his scent, my only oxygen

You are gazing into the eyes that with one look made me see love again

You are being held by the arms that were my cherished home

You have arrived at the destination which inspires everywhere I roam

You are kissing the lips I miss every day and every night

Dear lady, you are living my dream

I hope my king treats you like a queen

I hope he gives you love that is unbreakable

The way my love for him is unshakable

I hope you savor every moment

He and I had a short time together

Now such a long time for me to treasure

My heart is heavy

My mind is ready to let go, yet I keep right on adoring him

I hope you do, too

I’d give anything- my whole life, for just one more night wrapped in his embrace, to wake up next to his face

I know it was my own dopamine and serotonin that I got hooked on, but it my love for him was too strong a drug for me to handle

I say a prayer and light a candle

May you be satisfied with my happiness, dear she who holds my he.

Bouncy Ball

Resilient sphere of color

I throw you down but you only bounce back higher

Dancing down the stream
You get caught on rocks and fallen leaves
I free you and follow you down the babbling brook
Your journey is again halted by forest debris
I dislodge you with a stick and you bound onward
Carried effortlessly by the water
I was told that all rivers flow to the ocean
I am determined to travel there with you, to see this through
Then I learn that water sometimes moves underground
Branch still in hand, we are both stuck on land
I didn’t account for this
Years later, I am an adult in a high-pressure profession
Just now pausing after years of running
As if I’ve been chasing a ball down a stream
Bouncing from one goal to the next
I am bewildered by the restless movement which only distanced me from my heart’s desires
In exchange for passing tests, I received more tests
No one ever asked me if I want to be tested
I value serenity and peace, meditation in nature
I was already where I wanted to be
When I was a girl with a rubber ball
Bring me back to that forest stream
I will stand in it
Let the cool water wash over my feet
Bouncy ball by my side
In stillness and simple satisfaction
We will stay

Labor Pains

Give birth to your best self, America

Painful, messy, terrifying, raw
The most beautiful transformation you’ll ever see
America, you’ve been gestating too long to stop now
Humanity is bursting from your loins, America
Born of the brutal rape of racism
Blood spills on the ground
Fertilizing the soil from which you spring forth
You cannot go back to the way you were, America
You can only keep pushing forward
I am learning to listen to my heart, America
Though the change may not be obvious to you yet
Subtle shifts below the surface move mountains, America
I change my thoughts to change my life
Though the echoes of your trauma are deafening
Though the jaws of your mental imprisonment clamp down hard around me
I no longer strive to be your wounded warrior
I am your healed child, here to show you how to heal yourself
Even though you broke my heart so early and often that you left me without a sense of self
Yet my heart kept on beating
And loving
That is how you heal
Keep on loving
Love yourself, love your life, love your fellow beings and the whole Earth as yourself
Forgive yourself and others
Be kind to all, for we are children on a difficult journey that wouldn’t be so damn difficult if we were kind to each other
Pay it forward and see what happens
Love and kindness and forgiveness is the way
America is having labor pains today
I welcome your birth America, your infinite potential
You suffered so much hate that you became a hater but it is finally time to love, America

Corona

I wear my crown of martyrdom

On the front lines, yet still at the back of the testing line- haven’t been tested

I think of you, virus, though you do not think of me

Coronavirus, on the news
Coronavirus, in my body
Is the aching in my muscles and bones your calling card?
You desire to enter my cells, virus, as much as I long to keep you out
Together, yet separately, we hunger
You want to pick my lock, use my typewriter to transcribe your RNA, then mail your enveloped self-promoting propaganda air mail special to Hadestown.
Don’t bring me down on the way, I pray
Not like this, not today
My heart breaks to think of those who have lost their lives to you, and those who needlessly will still
My head is intoxicated with fear
You always seem too near
Perhaps we Americans deserve the repercussions of our recklessness
Though it is the innocent who pay, as usual
Another day deep
I march on with trembling hands and heavy feet
Tracking invisible mud out of the wards and onto the street
Ashamed to stay in the job I was fixing to quit anyway,
Ashamed to leave now and abandon my post
The war is on, dwarfing the existential crisis of living the life I want versus fulfilling my societal obligation
I am among the minority who have a medical education
Only in following my heart can I grow up at last, no longer a slave to the judgements of others who do not bear my burden
My mind’s liberation opens up like a blue sky
Back to here and now, overcast again
In clinic and in the hospital
I struggle to bring my heart into the mundane and mission-impossible tasks which overflow from one day to the next
Virus, I gaze at your storm clouds accumulating on the horizon, and feel small
I see your silver lining, as I am well practiced in finding positivity amidst disaster
You are rich in potential
Look at the way you are uniting humanity, virus
People are taking care of themselves and each other like never before
Practicing presence in hospital hallways and supermarket aisles, smiling shyly at each other from behind our suffocating masks
We are finally being mindful of our precious resources, thinking globally and acting locally for sustainable solutions
We are cultivating more community and camaraderie than we could ever quantify
Teamwork and solidarity are weaving our spirits more closely together even as the physical distance between our bodies grows
I take a step back to take in the beauty of the tapestry you wove, virus
You bring opportunity for innovation and flexibility, you demand it
Many of us no longer take life for granted
We are cleaning our hands as often as we always should have
People are being prioritized over profits as we focus on what is essential
We settle in, acknowledging at last that we are in the same boat
Living in unspoken gratitude for each day of health
Please don’t rock my boat too much, virus
Though you are armed with cunning skills
And you may bring about more positive change still
I plan to ride out this storm, though land is not in sight
Virus, perhaps you could rest tonight?
Virus, my type II pneumocytes are mine, my lungs are a celebration of life and you are not invited
I wind-down after another day on the front lines,
I give thanks to those who are doing their part in time
To those in the comfort of your own homes,
Please stay where you are, be satisfied
Coronavirus, we will destroy you with patience and ingenuity, with solidarity and community, with soap and water, and with love for one another

Let Every Moment be a Song

Let every moment be a song from your heart

This is a song without an end, without a start
Let every moment be a song from your heart,
Boom badoomboom boom badoomboom boom
With each beat of your heart may you feel loved
With each beat may you shine out that love
With each beat may you share it up above
and below and out and in
and out
Let every moment be a song from your heart
It doesn’t have to loud or smart
Let every moment be an expression of peace
Peace in your heart is where peace always starts
How far your peace will go, nobody knows
I hope your peace comes back to you
I hope you can feel my peace too
With each breath may you feel blessed
Each moment may you feel loved, at peace, and blessed
One day we’ll pass away
Where we’ll go nobody knows
When that time comes, may we rest
Until then, may you feel your heart overflow with love and peace
May you share it with those you know
and those you haven’t met
When we die, we will leave our bodies behind
Perhaps we will be able to bring peace and love with us, though we will have no pockets or hands
I practice love and peace in my life
Though I forget sometimes that I am love, I remember again
My life is more sacred than I know, made more precious by inevitable death
May every moment be a song of love from my heart
May my inner peace be a light in the dark
May your song fill you with joy
If it doesn’t, change your song
We all sing along on the one and only stage of life

You Can Have It

Darling, though we’ve never met

You rolled the dice, you placed a bet
That you could win a lawsuit
Born of the heartbreaking news
That your baby died inside you
A horrific experience, true
But of your baby’s death, I had nothing to do
The coroner’s report reveals the truth
Your baby passed away at least a day before you ever walked my way
Darling, I didn’t even lay eyes upon you
I was being a team player, not a baby slayer
In going above and beyond to help another
I didn’t imagine I’d be sued by a mother
You said we dropped the ball
But we were never playing at all
If it is money you are looking for,
Honey you’re knocking on the wrong door
All those years I could have been earning
I spent in medical school learning
about medicine, not about law
Perhaps I wasn’t well trained after all
You want us to take the blame
for your unspeakable pain
Can you imagine what I have given up
just to help you, is it never enough?
For you, I went hungry, I went without sleep
Hard years away from my family, I didn’t see
I got stuck with needles, splashed with blood
Only for you to smear my name like it was mud
On the journey that led me to you,
I gave up love, I gave my life
I turned away from ease and took on strife
Of my own pregnancies, I sacrificed them all
My weeping uterus bled raw
Just to give you my best, I gave up the rest-
My youth, my babies and childbearing years, too many unnumbered tears
I stayed in an abusive relationship throughout medical school
Because the only way to escape my abuser would have been to drop out and forego my education
I stayed in hell for all the women held back from their full potential because of men
Though it was the hardest thing I ever did, and I still have nightmares about him
I don’t feel safe in my skin, but then again I never did
I wonder if I’d do it all again, just to reach out my hand, only to have you bite it
I fought hard to serve you, and serve you I did
Without a word of thanks from you, kid
Then again, we’ve never met
I’m named in your lawsuit, yet
What I’m trying to tell you
Is that my medical degree,
My heart, my mind
My hard work, and all my precious time-
You can have it
It was always yours anyway
Everything I do, dear patient, is for you
I give you my life- you can have my lawsuit too
In trying to hurt me, you only harm yourself
We are all connected in the One True Self
Limitlessness is bliss
Reach out and return the infinite kiss
Available to you at any time
You can have it if you understand this rhyme

Samurai

Before I knew how to love,

I freely offered up my heart

Blind shot in the dark
I was the one who dropped my heart on the floor
From my open hands
Not knowing that I had smashed through a door
Not knowing what I would gain
Not knowing what I could never lose
No one seemed to notice, no one intervened
As I set out on my own
Lifting the veil, stepping through the screen
It wasn’t easy
I made every possible mistake
Burning my fire to fulfill other people’s desires
I was able to do everything and anything,
Because I already felt dead
From the heartbreak which split and throbbed in my head
I flipped circus tricks in the strangest of beds
Unscripted, I drifted
I met so many people
I worshipped under unconventional steeples
Life is my book, my science, my art
It all started when I sacrificed my heart
Everyday I learn how to love more
Love myself, my life, my family
Love even the dregs of humanity
Those who have yet to wander away from themselves
Those who have yet to realize who they really are
Because they cling so tightly to their identity
I’m privileged to live like a Samurai; at once warrior, servant, and free

Nothing Wrong

Early childhood trauma pulled the carpet out from under me before I learned to stand on my own feet. I couldn’t build a sense of safety, security or self-esteem on quicksand. I was left with a perpetual sense of dread, always under threat, about to fail or not have enough food, shelter, or other basic needs to survive.

As a result, my root chakra clenched up, my sacral chakra blew up as a survival mechanism, becoming my feeler-sense to test the emotional waters, as my solar plexus bent to the slightest of breezes, bowing my power to others to preserve my life.

Heartbreak cracked my heart open, and in the middle of the darkest dark, divine light poured in.

When I saw the silver lining on the storm cloud of my life,
I saw that there was nothing wrong, and my eyes sparkled.

When I heard the melody and harmony in my sad song,
I heard that there was nothing wrong, and I sang along.

When I felt the world hold me after my love left me,
I felt that there was nothing wrong, and I feel embraced still.

When I breathed in the scent of the changing seasons,
I remembered that nothing was wrong, and I breathe it still.

When I feasted on the harvest of the earth,
I was nourished, the knowledge that nothing was wrong filled every cell of my body.

Maybe nothing was ever wrong.
Tonight, I am all right.

May I remind myself one million and one times, should I forget a million times, that I am all right.

I hope that you too may feel that there is nothing wrong with you, and nothing wrong with your life.

My Mistake

I dream of you, my favorite lover
Though it has been many years
Since that sparkling summer
When I was 18 and you were 17
I was unprepared to fall so deep

Your hand on mine
Was enough to stop time
I stayed awake all night
Electrified by your touch

And more terrified than I realized, to mess it up
It was my fear that froze me and left you out in the cold
I thought my feelings for you meant that we would never part,
I thought surely you must feel the same way in your heart
But our relationship didn’t even get off the ground
The engine of my airplane is still churning ’round

I wish I had been more reckless-
Gotten drunk with you, had unprotected sex and let you impregnate me
I’d give up my education and prestige of my career
Just to hold you near once more

Instead, my unrequited feelings for you became misplaced on others,
Those many unwanted lovers
No one holds a candle to you-
My heart is a bonfire burning blue

In my dream, you once again hold my hand
I feel the magnetic touch that I’ve missed so much,
Feel the electric current flow between us.
I feel blissfully happy,
Until I wake up to the real nightmare-
that you are married and have a kid.
I feel so happy for you and so sad for me.

In dreaming of you, that sense of magical love is awoken in me
As if I might turn the corner and find love staring back at me
And this time not drop the ball at my feet

But more likely,
I’ll open my eyes to the love all around me
Or look within and realize that I’ve always had it all

Rather than the wish,
I am the well.

I mistook the feelings you brought out in me as something that you alone could give me, like you were my heroin dealer, my poppy seed
I mistook you for the source, but you were the springboard
Off of which I catapulted into the abyss
Tumbling through the dark, I held onto to my spark
Let it glow and grow
And now I know
We are all source-
We are love manifested into physical form

The feeling of losing your love threw me for a loop
For a minute there, I lost myself
My mistake

Perhaps without you,
I would not have come to realize
That we are all love itself

Without the exquisite pain I felt in your absence
I would not have had to comfort myself
by curling up under the blanket
woven by the in-separateness of all
You, me, and everyone we know
Are golden threads in this tapestry
Leaves on the sole tree of life