June 7, 2012

To Freeing the Caged Bird Within . . .

This poem is written to all of those who live in self-captivity.
Remember: You hold the key to releasing yourself from old patterns, beliefs, and the bondage that keeps you from living your authentic life. The key is always within reach, just as in the picture above . . . sometimes we just don't expect the help to come from ourselves . . . we wait on someone to bring us out of our misery. Look around, pay attention, and take control of your path!

red scarf

Following the trail with obedient feet,
every day I make the same groove
in the dirt
while my eyes scan the abundant life around me
outside of the manmade path.

Frostweed sprouting on a hillside.
Hollowed-out tree trunks.
One red leaf swinging on a branch,
unique in its ability to hold on, though it is now winter.
All of this is just out of my reach . . .

The area off the path holds a secret
I’ve been too narrowly focused to understand,
because this path I walk is dull.
This dirt is dry.
The tree roots threaten my ankles.
New life doesn’t emerge here.

But my eyes see life over there, in the valley.
And over there, where rock and water meet.
And over there, where the red leaf still clings, triumphantly.
But I was told to stay on the path that was created
for those who enter the woods.

It’s safer, I’m told.
It’s easier to walk on, I’m told.
It’s respectful to the woods and animals, I’m told.
And I’m used to being blindly obedient.
But . . .

This path I walk is dull.
This dirt is dry.
The tree roots threaten my ankles.
New life doesn’t emerge here
on this worn-out, manmade path.

My focus is narrow, like the trail.
I’m daily kicking up dust, creating clouds of confusion.
This temporary blindness is causing
                 yet a determination
                                            for something else
                                                                         over there.

As my determination builds,
I gaze upon a divine omen.
It is red.
It is long and winding through a pile of leaves
off the trail.

Its twisting shape beckons me to move toward it
and I find myself swaying and moving,
like I haven’t done in years,
feeling happy and alive.

My feet stop at the threads
of the bright object
rising out of the leaves
like an out-of-place red vine

I look down.
It is a red scarf.
Yet its abandonment has saved me from my own.

Its hopeful red energy
and billowy movement under the leaves
fills my mind with future possibilities
I had never considered.

How can this object have such an effect on me? I wonder.
Is it because it escaped its tight hold on the traveler’s neck
who fervently kept to the path?

Is it because I admire its fluid escape into
the area off the path where life is
interactive and wilder,
holding all the potential I need
to have hope in feeling alive again?

In feeling courageous enough to get off the trail
and walk an unpredictable, curvy terrain
that restores wholeheartedness and wonderment?

I look around and I am eight yards away from
the dull, dry dirt of the trail.
I smile and keep moving farther away from it,
with the scarf loose in my hands,
blowing in the wind.


Guiding me toward my own freedom.

© 2011 by Jenna Love

June 6, 2012

The Grace Prayer

Grace, to me, is receiving the power and blessing of Spirit as I relinquish control and choose to let a higher power move through me so that I am more receptive to the blessings that will enrich my life, mind, and spirit. The above pictures of the rock towers were taken on the high point of a hiking trail. Many people build a tower in this place, and it always gets knocked down by wind and rain (and possibly rambunctious kids!). The towers are always uneven, wobbly, and not necessarily beautiful, yet the fact that people get inspired to build them, and even add a rock or two to those already built, shows me that humanity as a whole has a desire for upward movement, to get their hands on the ground, pick up a rock, and take that first step to build something that represents effort, hope, and balance. I believe those who build these towers experience a moment of grace that gets them "out of themselves" and connected to something that visually affirms God will help with the structure and building of their life. This grace is available, all the time, even on the day the rock tower falls, because it gives another hiker a chance to be graced with the inspiration to "think big" again.

God, give me the grace to clearly know what it is you would have me know today.

God, give me the grace to see clearly what it is you would have me do in this world today.

God, give me the grace to be patient with the uncertainties in my life that cause grief and panic and the illusion of separation and rejection.

God, give me the grace to know when to open my life in a new direction and and seize an opportunity you have put before me.

God, give me the grace to let go of what I no longer need to cling to.

God, give me the grace to embrace the present moment and not wish for the future to arrive before I am ready for it.

God, give me the grace to accept what I cannot control, specifically the actions and choices of others.

God, give me the grace to love myself and treat myself with the utmost respect.

God, give me the grace to believe that I am safe and my life is divinely guided and protected no matter what situations I face.

God, give me the grace to know I am worthy of a peaceful and sound mind.

God, give me the grace to be comfortable with uncertainty.

God, give me the grace to not feel cheated about things that have happened to me.

God, give me the grace to not live in regret or bitterness.

God, give me the grace to surrender what I hold so tightly to. Let me trust that the act of letting go makes a path for what is mine to come to me.

God, give me the grace to keep my spirit in present time.

With Gratitude . . .