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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Caught With My Pants Down

A disquieting thought visited me last night while I was in the bathroom with my defenses down — along with my pants. In my mind's eye I saw a quick flash of a bottomless pit producing some pretty scary echoes (Believe me it was much worse than it sounds.).

I bravely closed my eyes as the image melted away and I came face to face with a silent wall of nothingness — that place of pure potentiality, where both terror and love await conception. By thinking good thoughts I chose love, and chased the terrifying darkness away — mixing it with light until it became as blond as a cup of tea with milk.

It really is that simple. Each moment we must choose between love and fear. Love sets us upon a white stallion and transports us to a place of security and light, while fear arrests us with our pants down around our ankles and hauls us off to the dark wastelands of dread and despair.

The biggest epiphany I’ve had of late is the fact that happiness is a choice, and that thoughts are the doorway to both heaven and hell. Oh I knew this before — sort of, but it didn’t stop me from issuing my mind excessive hall passes, permitting it the mischievous liberty to create all sorts of chaos in my life. I underestimated the ability of thoughts to create concrete reality and overestimated my skills of discernment, for negativity often comes dressed in all manner of loveliness.

Be warned: Hall pass = hell pass. Period!

And why am I carrying this subject forward for your consideration? Because the older I get the more I have to say and the shorter the amount of time I have to say it in. If possible, I want to save you some trouble by sharing my lessons. So there it is.

I have to admit that the older I get the better the coffee tastes in the morning and the funnier the irony of life seems. I mean it’s evident that I’m going to die, we all will, only because of my age I’ll probably go a bit sooner than some of you, so what is there to really fear? Actually, I’ve had more belly laughs over the last three months than I’ve had in ten years. Perhaps it’s just me choosing to laugh instead of cry like when I choose happiness instead of fear. After all, I can hardly change what is, and I refuse to allow circumstances to defeat me.

Or maybe I finally get it — that a certain part of life is to be kept at arm’s length, viewed as a stage of progression, rather than a judgment against myself, lest I judge incorrectly, and carry the needless pain of my shortcomings on my back forever.

Our days fly by like the fanning pages of a novel creating a steady blur of events — our own unique stories. Life is indeed fleeting — a few short years measured against eternity’s looming stature, leaving us to figure out life’s great mysteries — the why of it all. And to leave our marks — the love we gave, that fertile seed amidst the junkyard of stuff that we’ve accumulated.

Do yourself a favor and choose happiness. Life is too precious to waste by living in fear.

Temple’s Spire
By: Leah Griffith
I thought I’d live a bigger life
of sweeping landscapes speeding by,
and neon wonders twinkling bright
against a starless urban sky.

An up-close view of all that is
the searching of the sea and more,
each grain of sand,
each polished shell,
whose chambers whisper to the shore.

I thought I climb a castle’s tower,
and punctuate through guarded clouds,
favored with the highest views,
through secret doors concealed from crowds.

All this I’d hoped and much much more,
for words cannot justice give,
the longings of a woman’s heart,
where limits part and hope begins.

Three score and ten—little more,
the gods have counted out our days,
pursued by dragons spewing fire,
and warmed by love’s contented blaze.

The best of years now lag behind,
when muscles answered each demand,
and clear minds snapped with fresh ideas,
ready with a perfect hand.

But now the needle’s eye has closed,
the hand unsteady takes its time,
The castle on the hill afar,
stands flawless in my shrouded mind.

And what remains
is mine to own,
the gold, the dross, the love, the dire;
the journey inward has outrun,
the swiftest feet to temple’s spire.


Cheryl said...

I absolutely love your poem. I am finding this period of time unsettling. Not because there is so much more time behind than in front but the constant insecurity that goes with "where are we heading" as a culture, as a country. I swear I try every day to choose happy then something makes me sad. It's a struggle.

Martha Jane Orlando said...

Leah, my dear, this poem left me breathless in awe and wonder . . . Reading your words, be they poetry or prose, is always inspirational to me. You lift me up in mind, heart and spirit!
And, yes, I choose happiness . . . there is no room for fear.
Blessings, my friend!

Leah Griffith said...

Cheryl, you are not alone in your feelings of uncertainty and dread. I believe the feeling is epidemic. But here's the can change things—your little corner of the world, that being your mind and the way you think.

I was a prisoner to fear and dread, finding it impossible to be happy because of all the calamities that I imagined about to visit the world, our country, my life. This last year was tough, loss was the headliner of my life, and then the pain became paralyzing and I realized that I couldn't live like that any more. I had to say " Screw it!" and let go of my fears, desires to control, and judgements, and truly learn how to live my life in the moment. I was like a cat on fire running through life in a panic, missing all the miracles, the small gifts that make life worth living.

Changing takes an effort but just think of all the energy you'll have to spare when you're not using it to fret. This is my new spiritual practice rather than unconsciously cultivating fear and worry. I didn't know it then but with all my negative thinking I was actually creating a negative life. I deserve better and so you do.

So...find some inspiration, something that you can read or do that lifts you higher. I started with Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love. It's fabulous!
You're such a gifted soul with a unique eye and perspective to share with this world. The best is yet to come my friend!
Big hugs!

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Martha. What have we got if we can't spread joy and love? That's what you spread when you come here...always <3

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Great post, Leah. Somehow, I never think of happiness as a personal choice, which is very well put. I seem to feel it is either thrust upon me like I am some sort of unwilling participant or non-existant. The older I get, the more I agree with you about us making that choice and enacting the days we wish to be a part of.

Your poem is wonderful, really excellent. You are an inspiration, my talented friend!

Lori Draper said...

Wonderful! What a great read!!

Leah Griffith said...

Karen, I have some years on you my dear, so you are already ahead of me. I'm learning to be. Ha! What a miracle;)
Thank you for your beautiful compliment Karen.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Lori!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

It is all about choices, isn't it, Leah? And I love the ones you make and how beautifully you share them. You inspire me so.

Dangerous Linda said...

Hi, Leah! ~

Striking contrast to your last post 'Lean Into The Blade'. I love the way you live out loud! Thank you for sharing yourself so authentically. This post reminds me a lot of my current post -- My favorite: Be warned: Hall pass = hell pass. Period!

Leah Griffith said...

Corinne, it is about choices. Minute by minute choices, each moment stacking up likes bricks creating our lives. It take a lifetime to learn how to live but only a moment at a time.
You inspire me too Corinne with your ability to bring people together and create new ways of looking at things.

Leah Griffith said...

Thanks LInda. Yes, I visited your post and giggled because we both seem to be riding the same spiritual wave at the moment. I like that<3

One never knows what lessons are awaiting them but we do know that all things work on our behalf. Have a beautiful weekend my creative sag-sister!

Marie Loerzel said...

I'm choosing happiness! Unfortunately my brand is accompanied by chaos. Or maybe that's just a happy accident.

Farfalla Dreams ~ Lisa Marie Farfalla said...

BEAUTIFUL poem!!! This is such a great reminder. We often think the worst and our fears cause more stress in our lives. I choose love also, but I always need to catch the thoughts of fear, that creep up and try to override the love in my mind.

Leah Griffith said...

Marie you are the best handler of happy chaos that I know and I admire you so for it.

Leah Griffith said...

Farfalla, so good to see you! Yeah, those fearful thoughts are always lurking, looking for an opportunity to jump in and wrangle our happiness to the ground. I'm glad you choose love and happiness. I'm also glad that you appreciated my little poem.

Unknown said...

I'm a big fan of choosing happiness. Too often people don't recognize it as a choice though.

Leah Griffith said...

Caim, most people don't recognize it as a choice. It took me many years to see the power of choice and that everything that I need for happiness comes from within myself. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Healing Morning said...

There is a Helen Hayes quote that I think of, often:

"We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too."

I remind myself of this statement when I am dwelling on the things I thought I would have accomplished by now. Similar to your poem, I dreamed to conquering the world in a great manner. It turns out that the world conquered and continues to conquer me much more often than I have the upper hand! Yet, I find that occasionally, I exist in someone else's perspective in a grand manner that I would never dream for myself. Perhaps in this way, I have conquered mightily, and perhaps greater for the large part of unknowing of it. I hope that this makes sense!

Much love,


Leah Griffith said...

Dawnie, it does indeed make sense. I think we often overlook our greatness and the greatness that we create, and encounter, because it's so mixed in with other ordinary ingredients. We are often clueless to the positive influences we have on our small worlds. Some of our disasters turn out to be some of our greatest work.
I love you girl!

Aleta said...

Thank you so much. At a time in my life where I really needed reminding of this simple concept, this was perfect timing to read.

Jayne said...

Leah... your poem! Left me breathless.. so beautiful, so courageous and bold. You know, this is claim. You've claimed something bigger than life. And no one can really do that without having lived a big life. So... there you go... And I love that you beat us all to National Poetry Month with this poem.

So true, about happiness. It is a choice. Clearly. A state of mind, and we can will it. We can. We can will it and hold it and live it. Every moment. If we want. If we choose.

Our days are numbered. Arrrggghhh! So claim! And choose! And love. And smile. :)

Melissa Tandoc said...

I'm taking up bits of wisdom from your page everytime you post something Leah. I love how that epiphany on happiness came to's something that grew from your experiences and that makes it all the more authentic and worth living.

Lots of love always!

Leah Griffith said...

Jayne, I love writing poetry, and some day I'm going to actually go to a class and learn something about writing poetry. In the meanwhile I will play with my words by myself.

I intend to claim, choose and love with all my might. Your latest adventure inspires me Jayne!

Leah Griffith said...

Melissa, I think we have epiphanies on the same subjects over and over again. Life lends us lessons and lifts us up to the next level...or not. LOL! So good to see you sweet Melissa. Your presence here inspires me.

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

So true that we are what we think. I love your poem--you have an amazing way of saying things!


Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Debbie. I think I'm beginning to love my poem too;) I have to get back to your site and study study study!!

Adriene said...

Wise lesson indeed, Leah, the sooner the better for it holds for any any. Love the poem, although I think "the best of years" is still to come! <3

Leah Griffith said...

Adriene, I'd like to think that the best is yet to come. Yes. It is! I believe you're a prophetess;)

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