Archive for March, 2018

Don’t tell me I am beautiful…

26992161_975703132585133_1089670977860149243_nDon’t tell me I am beautiful, for beauty only ever found me in the back seat of cars driven by boys who never knew my name.

Tell me instead that I am fierce and brave.

Tell me I am stronger than the house I once lived, where my skinny arms tried to stop the walls collapsing around me, and couldn’t.

Tell me my bones are made of steel rods and my body a leather wine skin; that I am toughened from the years yet still soft beneath your touch.

Tell me my teeth are sharp and jagged, and behind my eyes the spirit of my ancestors blaze the fury of their passion into my wildfire soul.

Tell me my heart is a grenade; that I am fragile and dangerous, a contradiction held safe inside the grasp of your fearless hands.

Tell me, as I come adrift in a world where I remain a girl with no name, that you see me.

Tell me I am more than beautiful.

Tell me I am more than I believe myself to be.

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Their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility

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There are times we hurt others. Whether purposefully or inadvertently, it makes little difference. We have still damaged another through our own actions, and so we seek to make that right. It hurts us to know we have hurt another; we ask forgiveness and seek restoration in the hope to receive grace from those we have wronged.

We hope for the best outcome. We hope for what we perceive as fair.

Sometimes though, we don’t receive forgiveness, no matter how sorry we are. No matter how much we try and make it right. And it’s hard to accept, it’s hard to let go of the injustice we feel at not being granted the forgiveness we had so hoped for.

But this is what we need to remember.

Their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility.

Your responsibility is this: To admit your mistakes. To own your actions. To seek forgiveness. To make right the things you can. To let go of the things you can’t. To learn, to grow, to recognise behaviours in you that have hurt others and change them. To mindfully choose to be a better person, and take necessary action required for that to happen.

But their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility.

We don’t get to control the way others think of us or what they choose to believe about us. We can stand before them with our heart in our hands and ask them to see it – to see us ­– for who we are and not for what we’ve done. But we can’t make someone forgive us who is determined to only believe the worst of us. Who is determined to hold tight to their judgement, their bitterness, their animosity.

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This is a hard lesson for people like us to learn.

People like us, who believe in forgiveness. Who give second chances. Who understand the human condition, the way we fail and fall. Who choose to believe people are good, and that until we have walked a mile in their shoes, we will never fully understand the choices they have made. Nor the mistakes they have made, and why they have made them.

We are people who believe mercy triumphs over judgement, and we choose to love others with grace and with second chances, understanding the frailty of our own humanity. And it can be hard to accept there are people who don’t live like this, who don’t love like this.

But what matters is these people aren’t our judges, nor are they our jury. We don’t belong in their courtroom.

What they choose to believe about us is their choice, and who we are isn’t dictated by who they try and make us believe we are.

When we have taken responsibility for our actions, when we have owned our wrongs and sought to make them right, when we have asked forgiveness and reached for reconciliation, then we have done all we need to do. We are no longer bound by their unforgiveness but can walk away knowing we are worthy of our own grace, even when they are unwilling to extend theirs.

What others choose to believe of us is not the truth. It is only their opinion. Only their judgement. Only the evidence of their unenlightened heart.

Their forgiveness isn’t your responsibility.

We don’t always get the outcome we hope for.

But when we have done all we can do, it’s no longer our burden to carry. Just because someone isn’t willing to forgive us, doesn’t make us unforgivable.

Unshackled from the chains of their unforgiveness, we can now run free under skies of grace and redemption.

We can now rise strong.

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It wasn’t your fault

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It wasn’t your fault you weren’t protected from getting hurt when you were younger.

It wasn’t your fault you weren’t told how much you mattered, how much you were worth.

It wasn’t your fault you had no voice, that you were powerless and not taught to say no.

It wasn’t your fault you didn’t know how to draw the line around your heart, mind and body to protect yourself from being hurt by others.

It wasn’t your fault the people who should have shown you where to draw that line instead made you feel you weren’t important enough to keep safe.

You grew up with no lines and no boundaries and you didn’t know the difference between love and abuse, and because of that, you allowed others to hurt you, when all you really wanted was for others to love you.

And that isn’t your fault.

Let yourself be angry. Let yourself be angry that you were never told how much you were worth. That you never protected yourself because nobody ever protected you. That you allowed people to violate the lines that should have been there but never were because you weren’t told how to put those lines in place.

Because you weren’t told how important you were, and how much it mattered.

How much you mattered.

Let the anger rise within you. Allow yourself to cry tears of rage and grief for all you have lost. For all others have taken from you – not what you have given away – but what others have taken from you, that you can no longer get back.

Use that anger to fight for yourself in the way you should have been fought for. Use it to reclaim all that has been taken, to reclaim your heart. Let the anger become a fire that rages in your soul and burns away the tarnish that others have left upon you. Let the flames consume you, let them purify you, let them cleanse you and refine you until all that is left is the beauty of who you really are.

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Your worth is great. You were created by the same hands that created the galaxies and the stars and the oceans and the storms and the wind that rages across the four corners of the earth. You were breathed into existence, not by accident, but with purpose, with promise. The entire universe listens just to hear the beating of your heart and the whisper of your breath. You were meant to be here. You were supposed to be here.

You were wanted here.

And you are worthy of the kind of love that nurtures your soul and heals your heart. A love that sees your value and worth and believes in you. A love that is strong and kind, loyal and true. A love that brushes the hair from your eyes and kisses your forehead and gives you its jacket when you are cold and holds your hand when you are scared and draws you into its arms and doesn’t let go until it stops hurting. You are worthy of someone whose feet are anchored; who loves you when you radiate with the light of the moon and stars, and loves you even harder when you are cast in the shadow of your own cold sorrow.

You are worthy of a love that will never, ever hurt you.

Draw your lines, dear woman, for within these lines lies the truth of all that you are worth.

And the moment you come to know this truth, is the moment nobody can ever take that away from you again.

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Girl with the guarded heart…

There is nothing simple about loving the girl with the guarded heart.

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She is not convinced by flowers and fancy dinners, nor won over by compliments and praise. In the beginning she is a slow dance, one step toward you, another step back, as she learns to trust the ways of your heart and the strength of your arms. The dance may be slow but it cannot be rushed, for she will sense the impatience of your steps and the way they fall out of time with hers. Dance with her. Follow the measure of her steps and in time, she will soon look to follow yours.

She will not show you her heart all at once, instead offer you a little at a time, unhurried and watchful of the way you hold each fragile piece. She longs for you to understand how much it takes her to show you these pieces; for you to trace your fingers over the scars left behind from others, to feel the whisper of your breath against her neck as you promise to hold her heart with more care than those who came before. There are parts of her heart that remain unreachable, parts she has buried under layers she will never reveal. Love these parts of her, the parts unseen, the shadows of her soul. For even the sky knows without darkness, the stars cannot adorn us with their light.

She will watch you closer than you realise, listen to every word you speak and weigh it against every action, searching for inconsistencies, seeking the truth of your word and the intention of your heart. Not because she can’t trust you, but because she is cautious, alert, wary; the stories of her past still etched upon her mind. She isn’t ready to trust her heart with you. Not yet. Not until she knows you are a man of your word, a man of steadfast hands and unchanging ways.

There is a part of her that will always remain a little detached, ready to run if she thinks her heart will get damaged again. She no longer believes in second chances, having used all of them on those undeserving of such grace. To hurt her means to lose her, for she would sooner be alone than risk losing the life she has fought so damn hard to rebuild with her own wearied hands. She isn’t there because she needs you. She doesn’t need anyone. She’s there because she has chosen you, because she wants you, because she believes you are worth the risk. And all she asks is for you not to prove her wrong in the chance she has taken, for it has cost her more than you know.

She will need more reassurance than most, she will need you to stay present, available, mindful of her scars. She will think too much, talk too little, cry too often, ask too many questions, struggle to rest in your love. She is complex. Complicated. Perplexing. Sometimes difficult.

But beyond her guarded heart lies a soul that contains the wonders of the universe. One that longs to live and love with abandon, that desires connection and intimacy and to be in relationship with someone who sees both her beauty and her scars, and knows how to fall in love with both.

She holds within her a fierce spirit; brave, strong, courageous, unrelenting; yet is also the quiet and the calm, a place to take shelter against the fury of the wind on storm-filled days. She is nurture, she is passion. She is a touch of madness against ordinary skies, a vulnerable heart with a fearless soul, a barefoot warrior who follows no trails but sets her own path.

She is grounded in her truth, accepting of her flaws, far from perfect but closer to real than most. She is wildflowers and ocean currents and meadows that dance upon the breath of summer winds, uncontained in earthly beauty and free in spiritual grace.

Broken, she knows what it means to suffer. But out of the depths of her suffering, she has come to understand love. And her guarded heart waits for the one who understands it too.

No, there may be nothing simple about loving the girl with the guarded heart.

But every day you choose to love her, she’ll prove to you why she’s worth it.

Written by Kathy Parker ❤

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