On May 1st, STIGMAMA published my poem, “Upon the Healing Journey,” as part of its poetry slam in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Since the STIGMAMA website is not currently available, I’m republishing my poem in full here….
Upon the Healing Journey
© 2015 Cynthia Good Mojab
You come to me.
Hesitant. Afraid. Courageous.
We test the waters with formalities that invite us deeper,
Past the demographics and the labels,
Past the masks that offer shelter from judgment and assumption,
Past the gates that guard the hidden self.
Where we come to you:
Your shattered dreams and expectations,
Your yearnings and imaginings,
Your loss and grief and trauma,
Your experience of deceit and betrayal by those who should have held your trust sacred.
And you begin the work of speaking the truth
Of naming the unnameable,
Of feeling the unfeelable,
Of grieving the ungrievable.
The crushing weight of unheard pain begins to lift
As you learn to honor your losses and experience your grief,
As room is made for your anger alongside your gratitude,
As the real, whole picture is painted and felt and seen in the space we build together.
And with the justice of reality spoken, felt, and heard
Your vision broadens to include your many strengths, gifts, and triumphs.
From the ashes you grow a meaning of your own making
Watered with your tears,
Nurtured by your hope,
Protected by your determination to choose life in spite of it all.
And you rise like a Phoenix
With wisdom that will always be yours
And that you will share with others
So that they will know
They are not alone
And they, too,
Can survive and learn to thrive
Upon the healing journey.
Written in honor of all those who have allowed me the privilege, for a time, of walking alongside them upon their healing journeys.
(Anyone is welcome to link to this blog post if they want, but reproduction or transmission in any form is prohibited without my written permission.)