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Responses to Naomi Rose's Challenge to Write Long(er) Sentences
Challenge to Write Long Entries : Response by Mary Martin

Challenge to Write Long: Response by Mary Martin

North Carolina / USA

Naomi Rose comments:
Very deep and touching exploration of self and self-acceptance. The length of the sentences parallels where it takes my heart, my breath in reading it. It's a gift.

A flash of light has appeared before my eyes this day in that I have come to see that all these years I have frantically and despairingly turned to walk every avenue toward the other, the external, rather than to walk upon the path of knowing me; amazingly I find myself aware that I have not pursued that course because of deep, monstrous fear in that what kind of creature would I find? Could she be as horrific as I imagine to have propelled me onto paths so alien to my sense of "fit" that I could not bear the introductions or the relationship which she may call forth? How distasteful or abominable could a small child be? I would imagine not so terrible yet something in my inside-out, just below the surface of my skin, some place within my eyes to perceive, I have falsely accepted such a figure of my or another's imagination ~ yes, that is it! I accepted another's description of myself to be this untouchable, leprous creature….very young was I when this acceptance took root and in the years following, either the fear to shatter the other's description or my own fear to face her, grew to such a point that I simply, without even noticing or even regarding my own actions or decisions, moved away from her, further and further away so that she became more and more buried and the fear grew bigger and more real, although now I see falsely real. I see today the treasure I seek is the knowing this child and taking measures to embrace her, to sit with her fears, and ask her what they are and how they make her feel and how she lives with them and how she moves around them. The exciting part about this painful discovery is that I now have the courage to approach this child within and truly love her into being. For years as an adult I believed I needed another to love me into being and thankfully, I see that indeed is not the way I am to love and learn to love, as I am to have the adventure contained within and to have the mindfulness and intimacy to grow a listening heart with eager ears and open hands and dancing feet to love this child, this child who carries my name and cherishes my dreams and has been forsaken for all my sixty years. This child, this precious child has watched as I doted over others with such a craving for love, as she within me longed to have her hair stroked, her face touched with kindness, her tears patted with tenderness, her whole body held closely next to my heart….yes, her heart. How mysteriously it is that a person can live a life so estranged from one's self. Yet I confess this is true and although the words scratch at one's nerve endings with pain, the awareness and awakening of such a truth offers hope and light and an open door to begin again with love and enthusiasm to love me, that child within, that child who has been mute and restless and holding back and longing for attention and love and warmth and laughter and silliness and craziness and freedom to be! Yes, freedom to be me! With me! As I am and as I grow to be. The meaning of the word BE. This is me! These words are synonymous …now I see! To be I must be ME! How can it be any other way? It cannot. No longer vacuous and floating in space as an alien or a non-entity. No matter how the outer shows itself, the ME, the BE of ME, is embraced, invited to receive all this love and attention, and to know that she is known for the first time in her life.

A declaration of honesty and truth…a result of the last experience wherein I have regarded myself as lost, a failure, a mistake, fumbling through this life…and realizing why? Perhaps because there is no life until I claim myself as a child, a woman, and a human being worthy to be loved. And who is there closest to me to love me? Yes, I am that person closest to me. My path may appear quite foreign to others in the way I adventure upon it. I now see there is no room for judgment toward another or toward myself. That choice limits, holds back, constricts, cuts away the beauty of one's wholeness, and we are all whole. We have always been whole. I, for one, just never knew that… until now… I have found the courage to take time and energy and whatever else it takes to love me. To say to myself, "Mary, now is the time to learn who you are…what makes your heart open to the skies, what makes your eyes turn to delight, what allows for sweet sleep, what causes the corners of your mouth to turn upward…and it does not matter at all whether any one else joins in your choosings. What matters is that you, your child within, your essence rejoice in these moments of precious life! This is life. This is choosing life. This is knowing that the life that breathes within you has meaning, value, and will always be. For me this is divine love. •

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