A poem of a kind – about an inner landscape.

As I was about to post this poem, if it can be called that, maybe it’s rather a description, or a story, or a sharing, I thought “this wasn’t was I thought I’d share next”, because it wasn’t. And I was asking myself: “Why do I want to share this?” And I guess there are some different reasons. One of which is that I discovered lately, that I tend to think that, being a helper, or a counsellor or a teacher or a guide, I should appear “perfect”, like I have no problems of my own. Or at least, if I did have any problems, I should only share them when they’re “solved” or behind me.

As if I’m not living life too, and finding it hard sometimes. As if I’m not a living, breathing, striving and vulnerable being too. As if the only way of giving someone hope is to share success stories, be happily non-troubled and perfectly serene, or tell people how they can fix themselves.

I am almost a bit taken aback by discovering that thought in myself, because I don’t truly believe that’s how it should be. I don’t even believe it is how it truly is. And I know that when I am in dark places, I’d rather want to meet another, real human being, with real life experiences, than a seemingly perfectly well sorted out one.

The other reason I wanted to share it is that it is vulnerable and isn’t easy, and that I think (or at least I hope) it’s probably recognisable to others. Because it’s true, and real, and a bit scary. So I hope that it might touch someone, resonate with someone, make someone feel less alone, even, maybe.

I can also share that writing this made a difference. Not that it’s now all solved, or anything, but this time, it made some little inner difference, like I took a little step.
And maybe I can take another little step later.

So here goes my (kind of a) poem:

I have this horrible secret

I have this horrible secret.
And I can’t tell anyone about it.
And I know that I have to tell someone about it.
I just don’t trust anyone to be able to hear it,
without either putting me in mental health prison or just to shrug it off as if it were nothing…

As I sense into this secret
and its need to be told,
I notice that it has another,
very particular, need too:
It needs to be heard in a very particular way, it seems.
At least it seems to know how it does NOT want to be heard…

It wants loving and caring eyes,
eyes that know that I am not crazy for having this secret,
eyes that forgive me for having this secret,
eyes who tell me they love me anyway.
It wants…
something like being taken seriously.
Because it is a very serious secret.
It’s not nothing, and it probably isn’t as bad as it fears someone will think it is, either…

I have this horrible secret.
And I can feel its need to be told,
and to be shared.
It’s a really dark one,
and I can tell that if it doesn’t get to be shared,
it will never find its way out of the darkness.
And it wants to find a way out of the darkness,
it’s as if it knows that if it could be shared, it could change…

As I sense it more,
I can tell that it wants someone that can stay with it for as long as it needs,
someone who knows it doesn’t need fixing, or remedies, or ways to be avoided,
someone who isn’t busy trying to understand it, or figure it out, or put it in a box of: “THAT’s the kind of thing this is!”

It wants someone who has no agenda,
who isn’t intrusive,
who doesn’t want to get it solved as soon as possible…
It wants someone who isn’t afraid of it,
even though it is so horrible.
It wants someone who doesn’t feel helpless in the face of it,
even though it is so dark,
and so scary,
even seemingly violent…

It wants someone who isn’t busy with other things and needs to go soon,
but who has time to stay exactly next to it,
holding it,
with me,
for as long as is needed.
It wants someone who is interested in staying with it,
with me,
no words needed,
in that warm,
held kind of silence,
for as long as is needed…

I think it’s a wise one, probably…

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeffrey says:

    I love the way you’ve described listening and all the qualities you want. I want them, too, for my ‘horrible’ secret. For my (…) secret. (How would the secret describe itself?) Love this. It opened me right up. Thank you…

    1. Oh, Jeffrey, that’s so lovely and touching to hear. Thank you very much for sharing ❤

  2. Mary Keeney says:

    This is a brilliant way to describe what a Focusing relationship provides. Poetry reaches people in such a deeper way. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks, Mary, I think you’re right! I didn’t intend for it to be a description of the Focusing relationship, it was just me connecting with this particular place and using writing to stay with it. But there you go, the influence is all-encompassing it seems 😉

  3. Jill McTavish says:

    I just discovered your blog today. I am also a counselor and a new focuser. I JUST had this thought today: «being a helper, or a counsellor or a teacher or a guide, I should appear ‘perfect’, like I have no problems of my own. Or at least, if I did have any problems, I should only share them when they’re ‘solved’ or behind me.» Only I hadn’t moved my way through/beyond this thought, only just noticed it and listened. So I felt so ‘seen’ by your thought. Your spacious response also created such space (presence?) within me. I’m very thankful you wrote it! And I’m further thankful for the ‘real’ quality that many Focusers bring. It reminds me of this quote from Gendlin that I cherish:
    «If I really want to be with you, I keep nothing in front of me. Of course I know I can fall back on the automatic ways. If need be, I can also defend myself. I have many resources. But I don’t want all that between us.
    If I keep nothing between, you can look into my eyes and find me. You might not look, of course. But if you do, I won’t hide. Then you may see a very insufficient person. But for contact, no special kind of human being is required. This fact makes a thick peacefulness.»
    Thanks for your writing!

    1. Wow Jill, that’s so wonderful to hear. I’m glad it resonated for you and that it made you feel ‘seen’. Your sharing is very reassuring and makes me feel ‘seen’ too.
      Oh, and yes, that is such a beautiful quote from Gendlin, that strikes me over again each time I read it, so thank you very much for sharing that, and reminding me of it 🙂 “…for contact, no special kind of human being is required” – this interaction feels like an instance of that ♡

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