January 6


The Shadow of My Family Tree

The Shadow of My Family Tree

As I stare here in the mirror
I see a shadow in my eyes
Of a mother who could not feel
The pain in her own child’s cries
Bearing a life of shame
Running in a circle of perfection
Carrying around a heavy shield
More of fear than protection
And what about this voice inside me that says “I’m never good enough”
Will it ever wash away
Will I ever feel truly loved

The roots grow deep within
In the shadow of these leaves
Parents “doing their best”
Is what they all believe
But something deep inside
Just doesn’t agree
Is there any hope for me,
Or am I just a product of my family tree?

Here I see a father who lived his life in fear
Never said a word and learned to hold back every tear
The rage burns deep inside
In a man who lives a lie
Will I dim the light inside me just to satisfy someone
Or will I speak true with all of me and not just bite my tongue

The roots grow deep within
In the shadow of these leaves
I can feel their suffocating grasp
I know I must break free,
I must somehow find a way
I won’t just stand to be
Another product of my family tree.
How do I move beyond what I have become?
Sitting here now with all the horrible things I’ve done.
Clinging to lovers and lusting for their affection
Triggered by the wounded child inside me who longs for care and connection
Using love to fulfill my own desires
Numbing away the pain
Always questioning myself
Am I destined to go insane?

But deep inside I know there is another way
A way that doesn’t shy away or simply pacify
Walking in the midst of this darkness
Not trying to run and hide

The roots grow deep within
In the shadow of these leaves
It’s time to make a stand
And plant a new seed
A seed of my own
One grown wild and free

About the author

I advocate for the mutual nourishment of the personal and collective human spirit and all beings of the Earth by the open sharing of beauty, gratitude, and sorrow and the regular practice of grief in conversations, gatherings, writings, poetry, ceremony, and song.

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