Healing in harsh places……

I’ve been living into some larger parts,
spreading wings in gimpy places
and letting raw things speak until old shame bleeds through.
It’s a shiver to stand in the open like that,
leaning brave into the hope that gentle ears will hear it true
and hold it tender while the knife slices clean.
Healing often happens in such ways.

But sometimes healing comes when winds are bitter,
when words splinter like rocks knocked over ledges,
and the pain shatters trust like a crush fracture
and you betray the one you’ve learned to blame
because it’s  habit to believe that you deserve standing stoic in the cold.

When your heart goes tender for the one you’ve asked
to hide away the pain,
and compassion begins to blossom for the one
you stood in the corner in shame
(that’d be you,   m’dear),
healing happens even in harsh places.

It’s a healing thing to a world of hurt when you begin to show yourself a little love.
Compassion isn’t just for others.
There is enough to cover us all.

Light and love and liniment
to your own listing places,
especially to those parts of yourself
you’re just beginning to learn
to love.

“But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically,
avoiding your anger and damage and grief.
Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth.
We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms
and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not to go in.
When we have gone in and looked around for a long while,
just breathing and finally taking it in –
then we will be able to speak in our own voice
and to stay in the present moment.
And that moment is home.”
– Anne Lamott


  1. Elephant's Child on February 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you and Anne Lamott.
    I needed to read these hard and scary truths. Today I needed it. Yesterday I needed it, and perhaps tomorrow too.
    The inadequacies have me tight in their grasp and my tears and fears are overwhelming.
    Thank you for helping me see their necessity and perhaps a way through.

    • jennifer on February 15, 2016 at 7:16 am

      I think looking at them is the hardest part. Sitting with them. Giving them voice.
      Then truth can flood in and do some housecleaning.
      It’s a joy to lose the shame.
      Big joy to you,

  2. dulcy on February 12, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Perfect!!! So glad I read this right before bed. Thanks lovely Jennifer….

    • jennifer on February 15, 2016 at 7:15 am

      Thanks for dropping in, dulcy; happy wintering to you
      (the long gray is drawing to a close for us)

  3. Kathryn on February 13, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Jennifer, your words struck some chords with me, down deep…and I thank you. Anne Lamott is a favorite, but this I don’t remember ever reading. Wow. Powerful, honest words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • jennifer on February 15, 2016 at 7:14 am

      So glad we get to rumble together through the hard places, Kathy.
      Thanks for taking the time to share.
      Big love,

  4. Julia on February 13, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Your words reads true Jennifer and it took me a long time to be able to speak in my own voice. For some they still can’t speak their voice which are locked up inside and I feel sorry for them.
    Your art is dreamy.
    Have a great weekend Jennifer.

    • jennifer on February 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Thanks for coming by and dreaming with me, Julia.
      Cheers to growing into our voices,

  5. Donna on February 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Oh yes healing many times must take place in those harsh places…your words are a healing balm!

    • jennifer on February 15, 2016 at 7:10 am

      I wonder if learned to think more like a perennial if I’d develop stronger skin:)
      I prefer soft soil and silky days:)
      It’s freeing to find safety inside ourselves.
      Thanks for your balmy words,

  6. Robin aka on February 14, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    And I am so happy to have this as my first read of the morning! And that beautiful sky!! Here’s to healing…at whatever strength we need…

    • jennifer on February 15, 2016 at 7:05 am

      Industrial strength healing all around!
      Thanks for coming by, Robin:)
      I appreciate you,

  7. jeanie on February 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I keep reminding myself that we fall down often before we walk (well, I still fall down a lot!). But it makes us stronger. Healing is a strange, odd thing, but yes, it can happen.

    • jennifer on February 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Me too, Jeanie, me too.
      I’m working through Brene’ Brown’s course with her newest, Rising Strong.
      Face down in the arena. Dirt in my mouth:)
      Learning to rumble and get on the the business of being brave.
      Grief and forgiveness. Facing shame. Good stuff:)
      Thanks for being just exactly who you are,

  8. Susan on February 18, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Nothing wimpy at all about your words or those of dear Miss Lamott, good wisdom from same minded souls. I am learning to love these listing places of my own thanks to so many sweet spots where the help and support flow free.

    • jennifer on February 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      thanks for your kind and genuine way, Susan;
      I’m grateful. Just so much:)

  9. Janet on February 19, 2016 at 4:53 am

    From deep in my heart rumbles a quiet “amen”….to every word!!!

    • jennifer on February 21, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      I love your rumbles:)
      Thanks for being such love and amen in mine.
      Big, big love,

  10. Patty on July 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Today, these words spoke to the work and healing that I am doing.
    Light and love and liniment
    to your own listing places,
    especially to those parts of yourself
    you’re just beginning to learn
    to love.
    Love you my sister!

    • jennifer on July 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      I’m so glad it spoke to you, Pad:)
      I appreciate your tender share.
      Hope you can hear me cheering for you over here:)
      -jen jen

  11. Patty on July 22, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Be gentle with yourself! <3
    Listen to Karen Drucker on YouTube: Gentle with Myself.
    Love you!

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