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by Michelle Kohler
I took a detour to myself,
To my fears and doubts in my mind;
To my feelings of hopelessness and hurt
Of pain and confusion and shame.
I took a detour to the self
That yells and screams for his own way,
That feeds on being right
Sobbing at the unfairness of life.
This detour took me down a path of giving in to me
Of what I want and think I need.
It put ‘me’ in front of ‘you’ and ‘Him.’
In front of Love and Truth and Peace.
And ‘I’ liked it. ‘I’ loved it.
And me? He felt in charge.
Finally free to be in control of ‘self’ and life
And that freedom it’s denied.
The detour had signs that said ‘run’ and ‘hide.’
‘You are alone,’ and ‘no one cares.’
Those signs seemed true in my selfish brain.
And it felt great, and I let my pain reign.
Soon my detour came to a round-about.
And around and around and around I went.
Until confusion and terror
Were ruling my mind.
That choice to stop,
To not try to control,
To acknowledge my freedom
In the midst of my detour.
It would mean losing, not winning.
Not striving, not trying.
Being. Not doing.
Being true to myself, showing up,
Seeing pain not my own.
My mind yelled its protest
As I slowed to a stop.
And I let my pain go and then felt the hurt.
Screaming and sobbing in anguish and tears,
I let myself see there were signs I’d denied.
A sign said to breathe…
To feel that my body and mind
Could relax into rhythm
And release all the tension I had bottled inside.
Another said listen. So I stopped and I heard
My heart beating softly without effort or trying.
My body just knew on its own how to work.
I didn’t need to figure anything out.
The next sign said ‘sink.’
I stared and I blinked.
‘Sink into what??” my brain tried to conceive.
Breathing and hearing I kept slowing down
Until I found myself deep, very deep down inside.
Inside of myself.
Of my being, my soul.
Of that part of me that knows
I don’t have control.
That voice inside
That I try to ignore
But it keeps yelling truth
Past my mind – to my soul.
Then I felt something churning and filling my self.
That self that just moments before had felt terror
Was now feeling ‘self’ dissolving away.
I looked in it’s place and saw things painful and raw.
Things the detour I’d taken
Had brought into the light.
Things like my pride. And my ego.
Ambitions and fears.
I took a step back with tears on my face,
These tears not of anger—
But of remorse and of grief.
I saw how my ‘self’
Had hurt people I love.
People who’ve seen through the ‘self’ to my soul.
Through the tears and the ‘sorry’s
‘Forgive me’s’ and hugs.
I saw with a start that I knew where I was.
It didn’t feel as it had
Before my ‘self’ detour.
It felt truer and safer
And good to be home.
I saw my road leads to mountains,
Through valleys, and hills.
And noticed the detours
That peppered the trails.
This one was harder,
Harder then some.
I guess I could focus
On detours and failures.
On ‘what if’s’ and ‘oh no’s.’
I could keep my eyes fixed
On the sides of the road.
But I choose to be brave,
To embrace the real me.
To find her and love her
And set her soul free.