I am Still Here
My gift doesn’t come in any bright colorful package. My gift isn’t purchased in any festive cheery little shop. No, no, my gift was given life 50 or so years ago, and has grown to a tremendous size. Ripped and seeded by others who were supposed to love and nurture. Its seeds sprouted and grew with every harsh word, every dispirited look in the mirror. Its festering blossoms opened and closed with each new inward lie, failure, and perceived shortcoming.
In my most impressionable years, this was my truth. I was rejected, then I became rejected.
Five decades of hiding behind this monster. Years of being entangled in its vines allowing it to dictate my words, my stories. Those should be mine! My dear words, my precious stories! How dare it take those from me! But I let it. I let it take all that is me and hide it behind a large sap-ridden branch, oozing with self-doubt.
I lift others up, spread cheer and joy outward, but that doesn’t come from a warm soft part of my soul. Oh no, it is the hope to my contempt, the comfort to my despair. The festering blooms eject the good so that the sticky bad is all that remains, tucked neatly in pockets of the monster to rot and mutate.
This monster lives in the depths, the dark places of my soul. It has morphed me into a unique soul who is still here. Still living. Still breathing. Still fighting.
This is my gift. I’m still here.