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Medicine for when you’re falling apart, scrambling, lost, disappointed & hoping against hope

Friday, March 25, 2011 by Marianne Elliott

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Remember when I said that I think we each have our very own kind of medicine for the world? And we make our medicine by learning how to heal ourselves?

Well, my friend Jen Lemen has some powerful medicine for you. This is her poem, her gift to you. Her medicine for anyone who is falling apart, scrambling, lost, disappointed or hoping against hope.

—–

Love Will Find You Out :: Jen Lemen

—-

It’s okay to fall apart.
You don’t have to know the answers.
All those pieces you’ve been holding for so long while you raced around your life looking for the last roll of scotch tape, go ahead, let them fall.
Let them fall.
Every last piece.

It’s okay to scramble.
You don’t have to be calm now.
All those plans you’ve been stringing together like a macaroni necklace in kindergarten–
every last one is beautiful, so beautiful, so go ahead.
Keep grabbing at everything you ever wanted and always feared you’d never have.
Every last beautiful dream.

It’s okay to hope against hope.
This is not a time to be reasonable or rational.
Run, run as fast as you can against the tide that is crashing down now.
When the last wave sweeps over you
and every hope has been dashed
You will still be here, right here
and you will not be sorry you tried to make all your sorrows disappear.

It’s okay to cry.
Even if you are a man. Even if you are a mother. Even if you feel each tear
as an accusation against your strength, your resolve, your natural equilibrium.
Cry in the car. Cry in the shower.
Cry in bed when no one is listening or looking.
Cry when you kiss the kids goodbye for school.
Cry when you do the dishes.
Berate yourself for not being able to get it together
and then cry anyway.
How else will you know you lived, if not for these tears
reminding you were not made of metal, wood or steel
after all?

It’s okay to be lost.
Throw away the map. Leave the keys in the car.
Get out and walk.
Forget about everything you ever knew.
Crumple up those directions and move now from memory
The memory of your heart
The memory of your breath
The memory of that one time you laughed so hard you cried
The memory of that one kiss, the one that left you longing
to be loved for ever and ever.

At the end of your unraveling,
you will look down and see your own feet
that have carried you so, so far
and you will decide for once that it is okay
to sit down
to rest
to hold out your hands
to lift up your head
to open your heart
to the possibility that you were never alone after all
not for one minute

That Love was right there
in her terrible silence
not quite sure how to say it so you would believe her
that you were a thing of rare beauty on the earth
That She still has your macaroni necklace
That She’s been following you around,
making maps of all the places you’ve been lost,
so you’d know how to get back when the time came
to put it all to rest.

Go ahead, be disappointed.
Nothing turned out how you hoped.
Sit under a tree and tell me the whole of it
and I won’t say a word.
I won’t say a single word.

This is the secret nobody knows.
All these days Love carried my heart in her heart.
I was her favorite, even as I cried,
and now I am sitting under her tree
listening to you
the way she listened to me
while I swore she was never ever there.

It’s okay to feel lonely.
At the end of your wanderings
when there is no more scotch tape
and you can’t find your macaroni necklace of dreams anywhere
your heart will trace an unpredictable path
to this place and you will have just enough courage
to let Love tell you the terrible beautiful truth
of how loved you were
and how even now, at the end of everything
it’s not too late.

Jen Lemen

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11 Responses to "Medicine for when you’re falling apart, scrambling, lost, disappointed & hoping against hope"

  1. Svasti says:

    Once upon a time I said I was going to write a post titled “Why it’s okay when everything falls apart”, but look, it’s been written for me.

    I share these sentiments very, very much and I’ll be linking to this post. 🙂

  2. Lindsey says:

    I adore Jen and love seeing her words here – what a marvel you both are. xoxo

  3. Kirsten Michelle* says:

    I have such tremendous love & respect for you & Jen. Thank you both so much for sharing this…it has cracked me wide open.

    …it’s not too late…
    I think I’ll rest inside this last line for the remainder of the day.
    xo

  4. just what I needed this morning thank you both!

  5. idelette says:

    Thank you for sharing Jen’s medicine … and I echo Lindsey’s words. #marvellous

  6. Laura says:

    This poem could not have come at a better time for me. I’ve been struggling, feeling fragile and I’ve lost my words. I used to blog regularly but my words have dried up as of late. I feel like a broken record, never getting past a certain point.

    This time round, the valley is far deeper than the peaks I’ve normally crested. So thank you for posting this. I need this. I need to live this, to feel this. To remember.

  7. […] read about the unexpected, relentless medicine of love and was deeply […]

  8. Amy Lee Czadzeck says:

    heart full of thanks.

  9. Lubna says:

    Just two words, sincerely meant: Thank you.

  10. Marci says:

    perhaps the truest and most poignant thing i have ever read. thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Ellen Fildes says:

    Ive been running for a while now, and I began falling apart days ago, you’ve helped me more than I’ve let anyone else. Thank you.

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