Q is for Quiet.

quiet, kusaka, relationships

I am not your enemy. But we have been on opposing sides of the battle for so long that this is difficult, if not impossible to believe. In the recent past, I have tried to give my full attention to erasing your memory. Tearing down any reminders or mementos from our ill-begotten history. What we shared is now scattered across the graveyard of suppressed regret. Still, I wander into new situations and try to hope for the best. I know I usually recover quickly–know that all this pain will fade eventually. As long as I can pull myself out of this bubble. This life was meant to be shared. We give our time and energy to others who we chose to be there. Unfortunately, confusion persists in my heart because the love I thought was mine has no concept of commitment or consistency. Now, I question if what I had was ever meant for me. But thinking about what I lost does not help me to carry on. It is better to release the weight. Quit fighting for someone who did not try to stay. In time, clarity will wash over the devastation that I feel. I sit in quiet and listen to the mess of my emotions which demands my full attention. It is in the midst of this silence that we allow ourselves to accept our reality. And it is this dark night that I can finally see – you were the one who never chose me.


L is for Lucid.

lucid, blog, art, kusaka

It costs too much sacrificing my peace just to gain another person’s trust and understanding. At the center of things, the problem is my willingness to choose someone or anyone other than me. I ran this race before and it always seems to end exactly the same. “Love” walking determinedly out the door, while my heart slowly breaks. The difference today is that I am awake. But being lucid does not mean the truth will be any easier to take. I will admit that I am not battered or beaten or in a progressive state of mourning. I am not waiting for this ugly cycle to start over again. I am better than fickle desires or suitors who can fall out of love without warning. I am not tied to anyone who does not want to be with me. I am a fighter. A notion of passion and perseverance that most people cannot even begin to embrace. There may be hints of dysfunction, but once I choose someone–my love for them is nearly impossible to erase. Love being the overused word when lust seems to be the honest answer for every feeling. Sometimes, we are forced to let go of those we truly love because they were not the right one from the beginning. And then there are moments when we throw them away because we are afraid and unable to see that we are making a mistake. Sometimes, we are so broken that love is the first thing we are willing to sacrifice when it feels like our life is going up in flames.

And sometimes, we fail to realize when this means we are being saved.

When Home is Not Home. (350 words)

Parents are the first homes for their children. We exist to welcome and nurture them–as the protectors of their souls. This is not a perfect job, nor one where you can take off when you are exhausted. We were chosen. Given an opportunity to pour purpose and breathe life onto their innocent, blank slates.

Slates that are always, always influenced by their surroundings.

Parents/mentors/extended family have an important responsibility to guide children away from hardship–but to stand firmly by their side when pain is inevitable. We are NOT meant to wound these innocent spirits with self-righteous ideas of who we THINK they should be. Especially, when their idea of who they are conflicts with what we were taught to believe.

If home is not SAFE, children will learn to outsource their needs. They will run–into the arms of others who may give them false information and take advantage of their hearts. They will lie and tell you what you want to hear when they think you cannot handle their truths. They will form guards against any connections to you.

I am reminded of children who “come out” to conservative parents. And parents who then attack the very thing they were meant to protect. There are parents who refuse to listen when their child is screaming for their attention. And parents who later blame themselves for the consequences.

I am reminded of myself. When I was younger I did everything I could to get away from home. I felt invalidated and broken. So much so, I delayed my potential for nearly a decade before I discovered that I was worth so much more.

Now I know that I am my home.

Sometimes, parents fail and we are left to keep our home safe. This is okay. Things like this happen to people everyday. We fall off our paths and run in a million different directions. We chase after things we do not need and leave our homes open without any security. We make mistakes then drag ourselves back in the game.

But with or without them you will find your way.

home, worry, hope, blog

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– Jen Cosby

Flames of Glory.

Flames of glory for the one who lost all control.
I picture this broken body with its propensity to feed
off my soul. Truth bears down on me, forcing me to
overcompensate. For my vanity. For my sadness.
For the bittersweet memory of my never forgotten
mistakes. You dropped your intentions in the middle
of a losing battlefield. Breaking dawn with our
destructive tendencies. I create out of darkness
what you can only obtain in peace. They said
there is no real hope for you or for me.
Tears wet my face as I violently shake the truth
from my mind. We are better together, no matter
what happened the last time. I wish declaring
what you wanted had the power to set you free.
But smoke is in the way and this fire is all-consuming.

This is Not a Test. (300 words)

eyes, brows, prose, reflection, thoughts, emotions

You have always been quite unreasonable. Setting rules of entitlement long before I understood the meaning of war. Elder members in our family naturally sit higher up. They expect every new recruit to listen and believe with child-like passiveness and misguided awe. Something I am not liable to do without just cause. I am evidence you cannot choose your history because I always found my way back into your presence no matter how far I tried to run. It angers me to admit the ease I felt when all was well.

Saddens me to concede that it never lasted for long.

I spent wasteful time reflecting on the trials of the past and what I could have done differently. Children are not the authors of their fate and have no choice but to follow their leaders blindingly. My earliest memories of fights between the people closest to me ultimately led to the division of our home. Depression ran deep while dissension cycled turbulently through our blood. And this was not enough. There were nights I struggled to come to terms with the new structures laid out for me. I may have wanted things outside of your capacity to give, but this does not mean what I asked for was wrong.

You were a dark and unyielding eclipse in the middle of my sunny day. The tears that have fallen offered more comfort than you have ever shown this face. Did you ever think it possible to see me for who I was? Or was your allegiance mine only as long as you did not have to pay the cost?

I survey the wounds I used to keep inside that now the world can see.

Wondering what part of this was all your fault and how much of it was me.

In the Time of Testing.

In the time of testing, I withdrew my bid for sanctification—not understanding that the process could not be abandoned once it had begun. I begged my savior to release me so that I could have what I wanted, in spite of the fact that my desires were wrong.

I knew I needed to wait and this is sometimes the most painful part of being saved.

Believing that He is good all the time—even in the midst of pain is hard to fathom when you are used to the deception of the “necessary ache”. I am familiar with weakness and my egoistic nature to pounce on unsuspecting hearts. How I let fear reign and betray people I love.

But I was not above deceiving myself.

I know better than to leave people in worse condition than how I found them at the start. But it is harder to make amends when you cannot understand where you went wrong. Naturally, we want to get down to the bottom of our struggles and try to analyze our emotional flaws.

If only we could recover the moments we sacrifice for empty thoughts.

Maybe then we can learn from failure and gain from every loss.
Or take something back from each lesson we prematurely wrote off.

I was wrestled to the ground by a faith that would not relent.
The more I resisted, the more it tightened its grip.
Broken down on rocky ground—watching my blessing fly away.
My roots dyed black with cowardice and my heart numbed by mistakes.

A wounded warrior and resilient survivor who refused to submit to growth willingly.

But I predict after an overwhelming defeat—after I ran from my decisions and hid from my grief–after I rejected my purpose and dove in too deep

…that even then my savior will never let go of me.

Purple Hearts.

art, friendship, watercolor, purpleDecades before I failed to be an honorable person I had a best friend who deserved better than me. She was the type of girl who spoke her mind and loved everyone she allowed into her life intentionally. If any person set out to tell her what she could not do, she was determined to prove them wrong. She was the first of a few brave lady warriors I came to appreciate and know. The female warrior does not stand for disrespect or take bad behavior with her tongue in cheek. She calls you out. Her fierce power requires you take ownership of your faults. She will look for a reason to save you even after you have let her down. If you are lucky–if you have been the worst version of yourself and she still loves you, count this as the ultimate blessing. She knows you are not perfect that you can be a jacked up human being. She will attempt to appeal to your humanity. She will pray for your freedom from damaging perspectives and debilitating beliefs. She will never stop fighting for what she believes. She is an unstoppable force capable of impossible feats. Like, extending an olive branch to a friend she does not even need.

I just hope I am worthy.