An Invitation to Pause, Encounter & Grow Together.
Author’s Note: The poem was written as a reflection of my experience attending Selah’s LifeFlow retreat in Sedona, led by John and Marissa Kiemele, and my experience reading “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber. The photo was taken by Brian Waple while hiking Little Horse Trail in Sedona, Arizona.
The hardened rock bears
XXthe beating rain and sleet
XXXXthe deep, frozen snow
XXXXXthe harsh heat of sun and fire
XXXXthe trampling of feet walking carelessly upon it.
It appears barely changed, unyielding and enduring.
Like the rugged rock, my body and soul bear places that have
XXbeen hardened and shaped
XXXXby trauma, by rejection, by isolation
XXby an inner voice that always corrects with judgement and self-criticism
XXXXthat reminds me I can do better.
XXXXXXXXJust try harder.
All appears calm, always standing, enduring, living life.
XXAnd yet, deep within, lives an anxious alertness
XXXXA continuous scanning and wondering:
XXXXXXAm I truly safe?
XXXXXXXXDo I truly belong?
XXXXWhom can I trust?
The hardness grows with each effort to rise above, to overcome,
XXto push through, to ignore, to numb, to just give up and accept failure.
And yet, the Creator calls out offering a sacred invitation to honor the pain,
XXTo offer compassionate attention to what is within.
XXXXTo try softer
Living Water gently flows continuously, trickling over the surface.
XXSlowly, wearing away the hardness.
XXXXThere is a gentle reshaping, repairing, restoring.
XXXXXXHumility replaces judgment. Awareness replaces numbing.
XXXXCompassion replaces criticism. Resilience replaces hardness.
The heart comes alive to receive and hold the gift of Living Water;
Flowing through the whole body, soul and mind.
All is held tenderly, lovingly, transformed, yielded
living into the full experience of being human.
Light shimmers, reflections reveal
A life dancing with deeper joy and freedom.
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