Bigger Than This

Shackled and chained
Throughout my life
Guilt my master
You should do this
You must do that
This is your duty

Fighting at first
But always knocked down
Punished
This is for your own good

Tired of struggling
Succumbing now
To believe I’m wrong
I’m wrong
Something in me is dirty and wrong
I must be wrong
Stop trying to make sense of it

Until like a circus elephant
Internalized the mantra
The chain is there with my permission
I don’t know any different
I believe it is right
To use my power to escape these chains
That would be selfish
That would be wrong
Even if I could
I shouldn’t

Until a gentle lupine figure
Loping into my life
Neatly dodging chains
Unaffected
Brazen
Strong

And sees me

And says

You’re bigger than this

Terrifying words
Soft spoken gentle resonance
Growing within in pitch and volume
Until they rattle and shake through everything that is me
Demanding freedom
Resounding inexorably through heart and soul

This is right!

The chains are wrong
The masters are wrong
I’m no longer too small
Too weak to defend myself
Too scared to try

You’re bigger than this

Ready now to own my self
To stand up
To speak clearly
To stop accepting chain after chain
To break them with the ease I know is possible
With the strength that has always lived in me

I was the only one who could hold me down
I was the only one who could reign me in
This is why they taught me to do so
No more

You’re bigger than this

Yes I am.

This is a poem I wrote in honor of a person that is very special to me.  I was going through a very chaotic and painful time in my life, and as I started telling this person some of what was happening to me, they looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re bigger than this.  This is pretty bad, but you’re bigger than this.”  Those words stuck with me through all the following months, any time I wanted to doubt myself or give up.  These were the words that finally gave me the strength to start believing in myself, and to hold on to that in the face of what seemed like an insurmountable series of losses.  Thank you.

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