Villain

I never wanted to be a villain in anyone else’s story.
Spent a lifetime people-pleasing to avoid it.
Till I couldn’t.
Till I realized that,
the only thing I had any control over
was myself.

We’re taught as children to stand up to bullies,
right?
But apparently,
the rules change when you grow up,
especially if you’re a woman
standing up to a man.

I became the villain
in one hero’s eyes,
and in the tall tales that spread
among his many minions.
Even though I was the storyteller,
he was the one with the audience.
At first, it hurt to feel
so misunderstood.
Hadn’t I spent a lifetime
proving myself?
For a while, I tried
to uphold my nobility,
my moral high ground,
my grace and class,
but orating to the deaf
is exhausting.

So I crawled into my cave,
raw and wounded,
and all I could do
was wait.
To heal,
recover,
redefine,
update my script,
outdated for some time.
That’s when it hit me –
if I’m going to be the villain,
why not be the villain?
Why not dazzle the world
with my darkness,
my secret stories,
my guarded shadows,
reveal who I really am?
Even if that revelation
will surprise me, too.
I’m not some conniving queen,
who can prick you into loveless sleep,
or svelte sea nymph
who can spin your song into silence.
But I can still unleash an uproar
as my voice rings out in defiance.

Everyone knows bad girls have all the fun.
It’s downright freeing to no longer care,
a relief to shed this skin I’m in,
a delight to offload the excess.
Who needs hero worship,
when all the power lies
in the pain.

Goodbye to caring
about what other people think.
Farewell to the fakers,
the parasites,
the critics.
Welcome to the truth-tellers,
the awakened souls,
the writing rebels.
It’s good
to finally
be home.

There will always be those who know:
even villains
have their own side
to a story.
Even villains
were once heroes
who got hurt.

My Perfect Need

What does it mean to perfect my need?

My mind needs peace,
and that, You have granted me,
but Ultimate Peace is only with You.

My body craves pleasure,
and that You have granted me,
but Ultimate Pleasure is only with You.

My soul’s deepest desire
is to return home,
and that You have not granted yet,
but sometimes,
in my most agonizing hours,
my every effervescent moment,
You visit me
like an unexpected guest,
like an illicit lover,
like a powerful king,
like the Master of all that I am
all I ever will be,
and it is for these visits
that I live.

When You created me with Your Perfect Touch,
and sent me far away,
You rooted within me this need,
as a gift to guide me,
as a curse to cure me,
as an anchor to hold me down.

This need has always been perfect.
It is I who is just beginning to embrace it.

The more I voice my need,
the more it gets reflected back to me,
and reflected on to others,
until it grows to gigantic proportions
like a shadow,
like a monster,
glowing from one heart to another,
like love.

Instead of being patient, though,
I’m greedy.
What I really want
is to break through
this prismatic prison,
put an end to
this gleaming dreaming,
open up
this claustrophobic curtain.
I want to leave it all behind
for what lies beyond,
the blinding light,
the timeless,
spaceless,
Oneness,
of You.
Why do You call me closer,
if You don’t mean to let me through?
My need
is eating me
alive.

What can I do?
I must just let go
and fall back
into my skin-wrapped self,
live with limitation,
but also awareness,
that though a reflection does appear
in all the many mirrors I stand before,
it isn’t me I see,
it’s her.

An angel in the making,
rotten to the core,
Your humble servant,
Your sly sinner,
fully flawed,
and human,
bursting
with need.

This need has always been perfect.
It is she who is just beginning to embrace it.

Daydreaming

To daydream

is to choose

to manufacture memories

that may or may not

come true.

Those of us blinded by our dreams,

can no longer taste 

the very ingredients 

that make up a memory –

moment 

after moment

after many moments,

falling away from us

like dominoes.

The cacophony of city life.

The haze of foggy mornings.

Limbs that ache from dancing the dance.

Tensions that rise with our every stance.

The lust for longing

and the longing for lust.

Bliss after bliss, 

in every kiss.

Whether it be food entering our lips,

or words of validation soothing our ears,

we all hunger.

But we’re so focused on filling

that hunger,

we lose out on all

the whimsy and wonder,

hiding so patiently, 

in our periphery.

We’re so focused on what we want,

and what we don’t have,

we forget to embrace 

what we do.

Gratitude 

is a doorway.

Step through and you’ll eventually see

how all that you want can come to be.

Complete surrender 

isn’t just the ultimate level to achieve,

it’s also a sensory journey to perceive.

So stop with your ceaseless struggle.

Sip, 

savor, 

satiate 

your soul 

by sinking 

into 

submission.

And snap out of your daydreams

of winning less worthy goals.

There is no higher aim in life

than to let go of all desire,

or rather,

use that desire to create: 

our own portal back home,

our own staircase leading inwards,

our six senses, fully awakened,

our bodies shaking and quaking,

with the desire 

to let go of desire.

There’s really no escaping it.

So why not aim for the stars?

The higher you aim,

the greater the risk and reward,

the larger our capacity 

for pain and pleasure.

And what could be higher

than seeking and sensing

He Who is

Most High,

He Who is

Most Sly?

I Need This Prayer More Than You Do

I need this prayer more than You do.
It brings me solace.
It stills time.

I need this prayer more than You do,
to distract myself from all other distractions,
hide away from the incessant noise,
tuck myself into child’s pose,
connecting with the earth
and all its myriad wonders.

I need this prayer more than You do.
It gives me discipline,
reminding me where I came from,
and to where I will return.

You say I must pray,
despite infinite angels at Your behest,
despite knowing the exact state of my soul,
the direction of my journey,
the judgement that awaits me.

Sometimes I remember to pray
and sometimes I don’t,
but one thing I know for sure is,
I need this prayer more than You do.

Without it, I wouldn’t know
where to begin,
how to carry on,
or when to finally fall.

This prayer is my refuge.
Each word I recite is a bridge
that I hope will carry me
from here to eternity.

Bliss

Sparking magic and wonder in an innocent child’s eyes,
autumn trees swathed in emeralds, rubies and citrine,
summertime sunsets reflected in still waters,
the sound of steam rising from a kettle,
sharing long-held secrets with a trust-worthy confidante,
stolen kisses with a long-time love,
gentle breezes skirting past during evening walks,
and the tingling sensation of reuniting with your Beloved:
this
is
bliss.
Moments borrowed from heaven.
Moments that make you wish
you weren’t so numb.
Moments that make you yearn
for the courage to feel
these blissful reminders
of Bliss itself.

The Beginning of the End

The beginning of the end for me
was the day I finally saw You for You.
Before that, you were just a name to bandy about,
a pacifier for those who had no clue.

You were to be more feared than loved,
that was simply the order of the day.
At least, that’s what I had been told,
and I wasn’t one to disobey.

Ironically, the moment
I felt You close by,
was when breaking the rules,
this I cannot deny.

Yet still, You revealed to me
a deep truth from within,
hidden under layers
of worldly din.

I believed at the center
of my lonely, lonely heart
that You didn’t love me,
I was somehow apart.

That belief shaped my actions,
my relationships, my core.
How could I flip this thought
so deeply stitched into my lore?

The answer is slowly and gently,
bouyed by the strength of Your love.
Could there be a stronger force
in this earthly world or above?

Now that I know You are on my side,
anything and everything seems possible.
An entire lifetime has been examined,
motivations analyzed and found tossable.

Frameworks have been readjusted,
future plans left open for guidance to come.
Some things are ending, others just beginning.
It feels like I’m mourning, my heartstrings a’strum.

As I bury my former self in the ground,
I wonder how long this grief will last.
I beg You, please, don’t give up on me,
as I overcome my treacherous past.

What will the other side look like,
I ask every day.
You present me with options
to choose from, but nay!

This time,
we’ll chose together,
You and I.

We’ll rebuild this life from love, not fear.
Even when I’m alone, I’ll know You’re near.

And this I can say
one hundred percent,
my heart has grown porous,
there’s no more cement.

I live only for You
and whatever good I can do,

till the end of time,
till the end of mine.

Mixed Messages

You say You gave us ample warning.
You say You made it clear.
You say we’ll find our way back to You,
even if it takes a hundred thousand years.

And so it is.
And so You did.

Yet still, we lie here in confusion,
so many choices weighing us down,
each one leading to countless others
like tree roots burrowed deep into the ground.

For each choice we make,
we beg for guidance,
but often all we get
are mixed messages.

Perhaps every choice is the wrong one
if not made solely to seek Your pleasure.
Or perhaps our choices
are actually chances,
portals to the Divine,
like the waves of the ocean
flowing gently, to and fro,
clinging doggedly to the promise
one day they’ll meet the vast horizon.

Do we choose education for our benefit or Yours?
Do we choose to work for our profit or Yours?
Do we marry, have children, treat others well,
for our legacy or Yours?

Only You know the landscape of our hearts.

Will choosing You mean everything becomes easier,
our choices less difficult,
our decisions less painful?
Maybe or maybe not.
It’s hard reading Your mixed messages
with this damned veil upon my heart.

I beg of you
to lift the veil,
to clarify my path,
and coax me along it,
because this limited mind,
this constricted heart,
this darkened soul
is blind.

I am nothing without Your light.

You say You gave us ample warning.
You say You made it clear.
You say we will find our way back to You,
even if it takes a hundred thousand years.

And so it is.
And so You did.

And I will hold You to that promise.

Come a Little Closer

Sometimes it feels like I’m always sad
and things will never be any other way.
The void within will continue to grow,
as will this angst and constant searching
for something I may never get.
Is it an all-consuming purpose?
The truth about life?
Or just the truth about my life?

Although living this privileged existence on the outside,
my spirit feels as restless as a wandering dervish,
always in search of the truth,
looking for beauty and love
in every speck and every soul,
in every corner of this world.

Sometimes I wonder if I have a beautiful soul.
But what good is it if there’s no one to see it,
to recognize it
and appreciate it?
It’s never meant much to me to have a pretty face,
yet somehow,
that is what matters to most.

You are the only One who truly knows me,
but I hardly know You.
The closer I try to get,
the farther I seem to move away
from the people of this world,
their desires,
their to do lists,
their visions for the future.

I wish I could meet You,
but instead I try to gather You,
like items on a scavenger hunt,
from your most fragile forms,
like the petals of a flower
or the nuanced brushstrokes of a breaking dawn,
to your most resplendent creations,
like the lush and lofty trees of the rainforests
or the majestic star-lit sky.
From the concrete columns of architectural marvels
to the intangible emotions of a couple lost in love,
I collect each piece of you
and add it to the void within,
hoping for a sense of closeness,
a glimpse of paradise,
a soulful balm.
And sometimes,
it works.

I often wonder if You’re watching me from above
or deep within
and laughing at my exertions
trying so hard
to feel so close
to the One who is already
so near.

Why is joy so hard to experience?
Why are guilt and fear so deeply ingrained in our psyches?
Why are these invisible bonds so impossible to break?
These cloaks of despair so hard to shake?

You say You’re closer to us than our jugular vein.
Why, then, is it so hard to feel You?
Are you hidden in my tears?
Are you blended in my breath?
Because then I might understand
why I cry so much,
why I sigh so much.

Sometimes I think
you ask too much
of me.
Or perhaps I am one of your weaker creations,
to serve what purpose, I do not know,
except to feel
this ever-present
pull.

What do I do with all this love,
with all this longing?
How do I spend this life
so far away from You?
Unless perhaps,
You think it’s time
to come a little closer,
so I may finally experience
the infinite,
before this life is over.

Why Giving is Good for You

We’ve all heard that it is good to give in the service of others, whether it be of your time, effort or money. But how often do we think about the benefits giving has on us?

Usually, at the end of a long day or gruelling week, I feel depleted, as if I have nothing left to give anyone, not even a smile or a kind word. I just want to be left alone to stew in my self pity, resentful that there is no one around to give me the love and attention I want.

Recently, while meditating, I opened up to a new idea. I had been focusing my energy on removing this painful block at the top of my spine, trying to will it away through the sheer use of my mind and breathing. Nothing worked. It was only when I stopped focusing solely on the pain, but rather, around it, on my body as a whole, and thought to myself, “Just release,” that the pain finally dissipated. It occured to me that “releasing” is a lot like “giving”. By giving my negative energy away, not to another person, but back into the universal pool where all energy exists, I was able to feel a sense of release, and ultimately, peace.

If we can start to think of giving, in all circumstances, as a release, it will do us so much more good than the people to whom we give. Whether it’s lending our voice to a cause, creating our art for the world, sacrificing our time to be better parents, or just sharing our resources with those in need, the act of giving is a privilege. The giver gets so much more out if it than he/she will ever know.

At the end of the day, when your exhaustion gets the best of you, instead of focusing on all that negative energy, aim to release it. Give it back to the universe. Sorry, world, I don’t want this resentment, this disappointment, this depression. You can have it back. I want to make room within me to receive something better from you – your endless supply of love. 

It may not come from the exact person you want, in the exact way you want. But it will come, so long as you are open to receiving it. Being open means softening your heart, softening your expectations. It means accepting loving energy in whatever form it takes, and allowing it to replenish you.

So next time you think you have nothing left to give, give anyway – a hug, a smile, a kind word, a helping hand. Apart from the postive impact it might have on someone else, and the ripple effect that ensues, it will be a release for your soul, and a way to make room for replenishment.

The Wind

What is wind but the air in transit,

from one part of the world to the other,

constantly on the move,

thoughtlessly sweeping across deserts and meadows alike,

not knowing where exactly it’s going, but going, nonetheless?

How does wind decide where to go?

Does it go where it is needed most?

Where it can provide a respite to people drenched by the heat of the sun,

or a gentle breeze to lovers by the lake?

Does it go where it can blow seeds from one section of the soil to another, to maintain the cyclical nature of life?

Or does it go where it can do the most damage?

Awe-inspiring, beautiful chaos,

an upheaval of everything we hold dear?

Where it spirals maniacally and sucks up everything in its wake,

or thrashes the shores like an abusive parent wanting to teach his children a lesson,

one they’ll never forget?

Where it joins forces with other elements, like rain, electricity, and fire,

creating the perfect storm,

a thing of magnificent power, destruction the world could never anticipate?

But most days, the wind is just the wind,

sometimes pleasing, other times a nuisance.

It moves thoughtlessly through the world, with no understanding of just how much power it yields.

On noiseless nights, if you listen very carefully, you might hear what the wind is saying.

“Look at me. Feel me. Hear me.”

Just because you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I don’t exist.”

So look. Feel. Listen.

Is that the whisper of the wind you hear, or a stirring in your soul?

Do you feel the uneasiness that comes with realizing how much power you yield,

and how little you’re doing to channel it in the right direction?

If you’re reading this post,

then you know it’s no longer good enough

to just get by in life,

like a light breeze picking fallen leaves off the ground and scattering them willy nilly.

It’s time to wield your power,

to gather your invisible forces,

and channel them with intention,

always listening to the silent stirrings of your soul.

Don’t just let the wind whip you around at its will.

Hold strong.

Pay attention.

All around us are signs

for those who can hear.