Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On pain, On compassion, On authenticity

You don't know the hurt
when a stranger
accuses you 
of not being a compassionate person.
Saying that she was "duped";
a person portrayed as something
different than the person she really is.
This stranger empowered by the mask of anonymity,
who cuts you to the very core.
Paralyzing pain
enough to put you to bed.

Whose judgement doesn't see the broader picture of who you are.
The desires of your heart.
When all you've ever wanted
is to be a kind person.
A loving person. 
The hidden, the countless
unseen acts of what this word
truly means.

How could she know
of services rendered,
seen and unseen.
This love in her heart
made manifest
to those immediate under her own roof,
to broader family circles,
to beloved friends,
to neighbors all around
to strangers who come in her path,
and yes, even to the animals in her care.

Love, pure charity
the motive.
her reward.

This stranger who doesn't know
of the inward
raging battle,
so much more pronounced these last few weeks,
for a sense of her own
self worth.
Her value.
Her place in the world.
If what she does

And the lifelong struggle it's been
for acceptance,
for approval,
the need to be loved.

Her desire to be authentic;
trying to find the balance, 
that fragile place
between the images she captures
of peace,
of beauty,
of inspiration
sometimes all of it coming across mistakenly as
a perfect life.

And then there's that other theme:
Much of it
the unseen and unmentionable
of what it means to be human,
and all that comes with it;
The weaknesses, 
the faults,
and frailties.
The growth,
the change.

There's vulnerability in this thing;
the personal portrait you share
opening your heart up raw to the world
and the all too often
painful feeling
like no one could care less.

But she has a story to tell,
a purpose,
(when it all comes down to it)
and she knows that through it all
she'll continue to stretch, 
and seek,
and learn,
and share,
and discover.

Come what may.


  1. Just want to tell you how much I appreciate your postings. They really brighten my day even when they aren't about easy things, like this posting. Your photos and writings are inspiring, bring a great perspective to my days and are just plain peaceful. Perfection isn't part of what makes any person or their blog unique and special. Although we've never met, I think it's that you're just yourself. That's all any of us needs to be, as long as we're each authentic and kind. Please keep up your inspiring posts. Thank you:)

  2. I read everything you post, and although I rarely comment, I hope you know how much your friendship means to me and how much I value that which you write, that which you do, and who you are. I do love you, my dear and kindred spirit.

  3. Yours is one of the few blogs in my reader I actually read every word of (usually). I appreciate the peacefulness, but also the honesty. I understand about the snakes because I feel that way about the scorpions in our house--except possibly with more violence. And I likewise would say my main aim in life is to be kind. Anyway, I understand the struggle of feelings. I identify quite a bit with you, which is why I think I've received some comfort from your blog. I feel like we are similar, though at opposite ends of parenting. So your blog, though it might sometimes feel pointless to you, has been a strength to me. Thank you.

  4. Beautifully said, Emily, now let it go,.... you are such a wonderful person, with so much to offer. Move on to what you are really about. {{{{{hugs}}}} j

  5. Oh I think anyone that reads your blog daily knows you are not that person ...we all have fears ....you wrote that 3 years ago and you said your fears had changed ....dont judge yourself too harsh and dont ever let others judgement change you ...only you know whats in your heart ....I come here because in my opinion you are a very compassionate person and I love to read your words and see the love in the pictures you post ....dont let a strangers negativity hurt you ....now go and have a wonderful day :)

  6. Emily, you probably think that people are writing these things to make you feel better, but please know that you DO have the gift of conveying peace, warmth, and authenticity. I for one wish you had left the snake post up because it is real as well and was fun to read for those of us with less delicate sensibiilties!

    But I understand -- I very much share your fear of offending and am always trying to please, probably way too much. For this reason I admire everyone who is able to post their own true thoughts in such a public forum. I'm way too guarded to do that -- but what you share has uplifted my days so often and I'm so glad you have been generous enough to take that risk.

  7. All I can say is AMEN to what everyone else is saying! Please don't let your fun sarcastic post about a little old snake make you feel like you are a horrible person. I personally loved it and laughed because I know exactly how you feel! That lady has NO IDEA what an amazing person you are and sadly, she doesn't seem like the type of person that sees good in many people. If you can't have fun with your posts then where is this world coming to? WE LOVE YOU!

  8. I echo what all these lovely women have said. I am thinking of you lately and will send you a note soon. Hugs and much love, Jennifer

  9. Some people are just mean. Her passing a snap judgement on a stranger is no more compassionate than the accusations she made. Only trolls hide behind "anonymous" - I think you should put that post back up and close the comments. But then I'm ornery like that.

    And you have one of the sweetest hearts of anyone I know - Anon has no idea what he/she was talking about.

  10. Oh, painful! Being vulnerable - putting yourself out there - is hard and scary. I regularly feel judgement for not being who others want me to be or doing what they feel I ought to do. Not that they know my story or much about my life at all. I feel like part of my maturity will be learning how to continue on, being real regardless of judgement, not giving up.

  11. First, my gladness for your courage to be open and write your feelings and open your soul. True, we all blinded by our own prejudices and busier at judging more than observing. It's a comfort that authenticity has a way to stay bounded only to its own! Sorry for the pain that has caused thou...it's hard to see beauty trempled. xoxos!