The first poem I ever wrote was in January of 1990 and was called Ode to Mabel Lou. Mabel Lou was my fiancé’s cat that had just passed away. It was the first time I saw my fiancé cry. I wanted to do something to honor Mabel Lou and to comfort and support my soon to be husband. It was love that inspired me. It was the love my fiancé had for his cat and the love I had for my fiancé. Technically, Ode to Mabel Lou was the very start of my writing. I didn’t write much more until about 6 years later.
On Labor Day, 1995, I was injured on a roller coaster at our local amusement park. At that time in my life, I was teaching dance exercise classes to kids. I had noticed before the roller coaster incident, that after teaching dance exercise classes I was having pain in my neck. I asked God to help me figure out what was going on so I could heal and get out of pain. He answered me soon after on that Labor Day in 1995. Now that I look back, Labor Day was symbolic. I believe God was telling me that it was time to get to work and time to birth a gift. Writing poems was about to take on a much bigger role in my life.
It was going to get worse before it got better but that is what the process would entail to truly heal. To heal my body, I needed to heal my soul. I needed to heal at the root so my body wouldn’t continue to manifest symptoms in other forms in the future to get my attention. I began my journey to healing and the chronic pain would be my guide for the next two years. There is nothing like pain to keep you in the “now.” Pain keeps you present. Distractions, whether conscious or unconscious, just don’t work when you are in pain. The concussion I received along with the neck and back pain were physical manifestations of something deeper I needed to address. It wasn’t a conscious knowingness. It was subconscious.
On my journey to healing I sought out many doctors and healers. I knew I needed help and support on a mental and emotional level. Living with chronic pain was challenging. My therapist wanted me to write a daily journal on my pain levels and thoughts and emotions that came up. I found writing in my journal boring and laborious. As my emotions started to come up my journaling started to morph into rhyme. I guess I still had this 8-count rhythm in my soul from years of aerobics and dance classes. Now it didn’t feel like work. It felt like I was creating. It felt like I was choreographing words instead of dance and exercise routines. It provided a creative and safe way to express myself. I was writing lots of poetry. I shared my poetry with my therapist and she asked if she could have copies of some of my poems to share with others. This gave me the confidence to share my poems with family and friends. The reaction and feedback were positive and eventually I found the courage to share my poetry with strangers.
When I was growing up there was a lot of fighting in our home. I suppressed my pain and my voice. I didn’t want to rock the boat or add to the pain of others. There was an element of fear as well. I was afraid to speak up. I believe this manifested in my body as chronic tonsillitis when I was younger. Not expressing myself caused energy blockages in the flow with God/Source that manifested in my body’s throat/neck chakra. The throat/neck chakra is the chakra of expression, communication, creativity and inspiration. God expresses love, not fear. It was a subconscious defense mechanism to help me cope at the time. I had my tonsils removed when I was 19 years old but that was only a temporary fix. My soul was again manifesting neck pain in my body to clue me in to what still needed to be expressed and healed at its root. My soul was ready to release the emotional pain because my body was tired of carrying it. Expressing my emotions through the art form of poetry helped me heal. Mostly I just cried. It was necessary and finally safe to allow the emotional pain to be voiced and felt. I didn’t have to understand, explain, or know where the pain came from. I just had to feel it to heal it. Now the blockage was clear and the pain was no longer needed.
The gift was healing as well as birthing something that has the potential to help others. Sharing the words God puts in my heart fills me with love and joy.