Passing through the mirror, light reflects back into me. All kinds of memories plus present moments twist into free form shapes of black, white and all the spectral colors of emotional disturbances in the system I believed at one time would provide a steady stream of peace and joy to me and the family. But truth stepped in and shook the boat from those old moors anchored to misconceptions of heaven and who I was supposed to be.
Wrong words walk strong when bereft of plusses a minus shrinks the cage where I lock my self-esteem and beats the teeth from the beast that tries to rise upon light and shine through darkness. While I witness the bruises rising from within my own mouth, words still penetrate past the thin shell of protection I have attempted to assemble inside myself.
Bees, birds and flowers still abound when showers rain down and dark clouds threaten to grey the way. Though old asphalt sits flat and hard attempting to hold down the buds of purple underground. Royalty can still bloom under these gloomy skies and shine light up into the atmosphere forcing change to appear when dreary life seems to overtake all reason and the season seems bleak and broken. My muddy feet can not consume me as I move into unreleased treasures of time. I can not stare at the bruises and scars while stars soar overhead singing songs of truth.
All these flaws are dark marks but I must see beauty under the outer in order to find a brand new sense of life. Not a rebirth or renewal but a me better than before, no more wallowing in those old destroyed dreams. Hopes may have been broken. Trust may have been trampled under the cloven hooves of a sick old bastard’s legacy. Self esteem may have eroded away through faulty decisions and choosing to listen when I should have turned a deaf ear; but now is where I am and now is where I will be the me I need to be and see light reflected back through this mirror constructing a peace filled edifice of light shining upon a hill for all to see.
I say screw the times that killed the past. I am a learner, a self-educator and I have been through the fire. I have been destroyed but this brand new being rising from the rubble has studied that wood, hay and stubble; has hunted knowledge, gathered wisdom and proven to myself that even though the attack from inside illness or outside forces take me down to the mat and twist me into a suffocating hold awaiting me to tap out and quit; you can break my neck, crush my spine and destroy my mind, but I will rise.
Goodbye to the seeds that take root and choke out life. Goodbye to accepting words of false wisdom intended to extend a damaging hand hidden in silk. Goodbye to walking under the shadow of other’s expectations and insinuations of how I should, could or would be if I just lived the id of another, therefore building upon the roots of something wholly not my own. I have shown myself that bones break and flesh burns away when living through anything other than the eyes I have been given.
Like a weeping willow I may cry and bend but I will not break. I will take the pain each day brings and name it peace, power, joy or grace. Transparency to my all encompassing love will not remain shrouded in clouds. My eyes will look and proudly see me, a man not clean but thankful for the imperfections of my humanity. The mirror reflects a father in love with his daughters and his son; a love no one else can define or tarnish with lies that run the gamut from whispered words or written pages of falsified time. Items outside do not decide me, I define and align my sight with the words I shine into the mirror. I do not rely on the deeds, words or touch of another.
It may be a marathon beyond what I have ever run but I will do it. I will do it as the me I decide to be, amazing father, creative artist, dedicated lover, devoted brother, friend to the friendless, help to the helpless. Never defined by the opinions of men, number of friends or love of a woman. Again and again I will wake with the sun and choose to walk alone if need be in order to take this beautiful me on another adventure to see, achieve and receive life wherever I may find myself.
So, the question is, “What will I call myself?” I will call myself loved, alive and needed. I will call myself [insert any and all words that uplift, encourage and strengthen].
Passing through the mirror, light reflects back into me. I stare hard, smile and choose to see a version I am proud to be today, tomorrow, forever.
Years back when I found out my son was not supposed to survive birth I decided to give him a name that meant something different than what everyone was telling me. All indicators pointed to many complex issues that gave less than a .01% chance the little guy would live. After a great deal of reading and studying I came to two names. One name means “Able Bodied Man of God” and the other name means “Victory for the Family”. Three years and more than ten surgeries down the road my little guy is still defying all of the odds. So, in a recent discussion about the words used when we internally talk to ourselves I told this story about my son. I was then challenged by a question from my friend. “What do you call yourself?” This writing is an attempt to answer that question.
By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons