Guest Poet: On Love and Marriage

Marriage is some what surreal to me
Who’d ever thought ?
Hmmm, not me ….
And not just marriage, it’s true love you see
It’s a commitment
It’s the little things that connect us
It’s the special moments we share
She my bestest friend ever
She’s always there
Now that I’ve found her
I take a deep breath falling head first
realizing she’s the most imperfect love


Not knowing what life has in store for us
I’m excited to feel this is what I deserve


Baked in Gratitude

My most recent Daring Way™ group, The Daring Survivors (yes, somedays they could be one of those ole’ timey all girl doo-wop bands) and I were lighting the way into the arena. We were gaining clarity on our values and making decisions about what we are going to take into the arena instead of the swords of emotional armor.

One group member piped in and asked what was Altruism? It was a difficult idea to explain in terms of a value, especially since I obviously could not keep my opinion to myself about how I felt about the concept. I did my best, but did say I worried saying ‘we are coming from a completely selfless place’ because I do not believe that is really possible.

We are humans and therefore we need connection. We cannot do this alone. We need a tribe.

Hell, sometimes I need more than one. So if we give knowing that it will bring us Joy, I would argue that it is not- nor does it need to be- from a selfless place.

And honestly, nothing has been more meaningful then the work I get to do with my fellow trauma survivors. Yes, some just come and go. But when we stick, its kind of like Mod Podge- we are gonna glue some shit down permanently. And no matter how you try to bake, it is NOT an altruistic endeavor.

I have the honor and privilege of holding space for my fellow trauma survivor. And as they plow through, trudge straight up hill- sometimes holding heavy weight for some time; I gently keep pushing on those edges of comfort and ask, ask and Ask Again to Wake Up to this life. Be Courageous. Do the hard thing- because if I can, You Can.

The transparent truth is this, I push for many important reasons, but as I watch the world shift, sometimes a life saved; I hold it dearly on those dark days. When someone does the work and moves from victim to survivor it gives me hope that WE can do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. Their work has a ripple effect that they will never see. Sometimes I won’t even see.

So, from my perspective, there is no such thing as altruism. I am a hard ass about the work once I know your level of commitment. I have been known to straight out call people a fucking liar when their own personal honesty is lacking and I hope ONLY when I have earned it. Giving the gift of a whole hearted life to yourself is the most important and meaningful thing you will ever do for yourself. I will then carry your authentic Self with me ALL the days of my life. And no matter what the challenge, I WILL HOPE. I will keep dreaming of another. And another. And another SURVIVOR.

The only thing we can ever really do to make a difference in this life is to change ourselves. My fellow tribe pushes me to keep growing. I push them to keep moving towards Survivorhood.

Yeah- Survivorhood: its a place where the courageous go to lay down their emotional armor and change the world by changing themselves.

Come. Come and Go with Me.



Asleep At The Wheel

I should be punished for being preachy, I am going to try my best to not allow the snakes in my head to crawl out on the page and bite you, but today, I can’t make any promises.

I was zipping through the bank drive thru (amazing they still exist in the south) and I peered over my dashboard for just a minute. The teller called me by name, smiled, asked me where my daughter was today and, as always, consistently gave me that warm and fuzzy that the little I had last week was going to be looked after.

When I peered over the dash and stared back at my community, I ached. The past several weeks have been stories of others dead asleep at the wheel; one too many Ambien while texting at 70 miles an hour. It feels extremely judgmental to sit in my car and gloat from this place of awake and I am well aware of the small handfuls of people around me who are alive and present in my life- I cling to them for life support sometimes. But somedays as a therapist, I just ache for those sleeping at the wheel.

Courage is not going to Australia, it is in the little small baby steps we take to make changes. Over time, we can slowly wake up from a sometimes dreadful slumber while someone else has been constructing our life. A friend said to me recently that it was so hard to realize he had been subcontracting out the architecture of his own life. I laughed at myself and told him that the day I woke up it was like I found myself in a crack house built by a shoddy architect and a tacky decorator.

I so get that I was there. Yes, Alicia WAS ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL. But the ache that I feel today is knowing the kind of happiness and joy that I experience in life has only come from honoring the pain and shame that is mine. If I have the capacity to wake up to this life and I have every excuse not to: I was sexually abused for five years of my life, I have been through three marriages as a kid, I had parents who kept me silent about my abuse, I have a father that still to this day I can only keep up with by checking the local county jail records because he cannot stay clean, and lets not get started on my siblings struggles….BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Then WHAT IS YOURS? This is hard. Life is SO Fucking HARD.

But pretending just doesn’t work.

Numbing out WILL NOT work.

Wearing that mask and painting pretty- I promise, in the end, Will Not work.

My BFF cried with me yesterday and reminded me that I cannot do this work to save the world. You know, I know that. But I cannot lie to myself and say that somedays, I just ACHE. I hurt seeing those thousand pound shields between you and me. I want to know You. I want to See You. I want sometimes to SHAKE YOU and BEG you to be brave.

Tell her you love her first.

Face that emotional demon.

Be the Architect of your own life. Who wants Martha Stewart decorating when perhaps your style has not a flower in sight?