What it is (Poem)

Dedicated to my sister in recovery, Amelia…

If it is what it is
It can’t be what it was

Cuz if it is what it was
Then what was is all there is

And if what was is all there is
Then there can never be anything else

Yes it’s true
Everyone who wants to get to what it is must start with what it was
But you can’t just live in what it was forever

Life is a journey
And the road is constantly shapeshifting

There are no shortcuts to get to the end
And no way to shapeshift a path back to the beginning

Every turn leads to new paths
And each path is another notch on your belt
another jewel on your crown
another ray on your scepter

When we become so fixated on the void we left behind that we fail to create new paths
We get stuck
And the only lessons taught are the lessons that are never learned

No ruler claims her kingdom without a few lost battles

The just ruler, however, strives not to recycle and intensify her battles
as many of tyrants are accustomed

But rather to hone her struggles and triumphs
and pen them in the playbook of lessons learned

Sometimes a lesson well learned involves starting over
But you can’t start over by returning to what it was
or you will simply rebirth the problem at hand

To truly start over you must cancel yourself out
Dip yourself into oblivion
And blot out your ego

Surrender to something greater than yourself and all your compulsions, resentments, frustrations, ambivalence, self-hatred, confusion and shame will soon fade into the void of what it was as you arrive into your kingdom in the reality of what it is


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