Lend your arms



My heart aches and feels hollow. Inside, there is such grief. Please lend me your arms to hide in in my hour of need. And after, you shoulders to hold my fears. And then your lap, like a basket, to cradle my tears.

Help me to let go of all that is trapped and broken, to fix it piece by piece. Help me to confront all that I am afraid of and in doing so find peace.

Open my eyes to beauty, my soul to sound. Awaken all my senses to the world that surrounds.

Guide me towards a better outlook and quality of life: one that is still and centred, and free from strife.

Show me how to release the past so that I might move on. Show me how to embrace the future so that I can belong.

Turn my attention inward, away from material things. Give me the strength to allow the feelings introspection brings.

Let me love myself as I love others. Let me myself forgive. Show me how to receive as well as how to live.

Love me like a father, guide me like a sage; stand by me as I walk into a future of knowledge and age.

Teach me to live freely. Permit me to yearn. And when the void beckons, help me to learn.

Give me roots to stand on and branches to stretch. Give me buds to nurture and seeds to collect.

Give me leaves to shed and flowers to release. Give me water to drink and air to breathe.

Give me birdsong to dance to and company to share. Give me shade in darkness and space in air.

Give me peace in body and comfort in mind. Give me strength in soul so that I might find the land that I dream of, the people I miss, the place that I belong to and the purpose of this.


by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Quiet, small and full of grace

My heart feels fragile and my emotions are like glass. I ache everywhere… from head to foot. Strange! I don’t know why.

Maybe I’m just tired? Every time I think I’m out of it: home free, laughing on the other side of what has been a long lonely eviction from all that’s warm and sweet; it comes crashing back, knocking until I fall to my feet. Not that I was ever arrogant about standing upright anyway: it has always been a challenge. 

Born into a mould that was different; teased about this and that; poked and prodded until my paper-thin broke: I have learned to hide rather than shout. Like the church mouse, I creep and sneak. Like her sister Cinderella, I pick up and dust. I often think I was born to serve. I do it so well. 

Perhaps my role is not to stand out, not to change in any overt external way, but, insteadto lend, lever and prop up? Maybe I am just the wingman: fixing what is broken in others; healing what hearts, bellies, minds cannot stomach, see or tolerate? Not a bad task. A task I actually rather like. After all: what comes easily and cleanly; what feels natural, an extension of self; what reaches out and into one’s own heart, bringing one into presence, demanding one turn up… is hard not to like. 

I’ve always had this desire to help others; this calling to protect, shield and heal. It’s something I’ve done ever since I grew up. Something I endeavoured to do even in childhood. I used to think: if I can’t fix me, if I can’t protect my own damaged and broken self: then at least I can apply the knowledge, the learning, the ‘advice too-hard-to-take’, to those around me.

And yet…

there’s this yearning now: to be whole, to be healed, to be Holy.

Tripping over my own misguided self; falling flat on my long-ago disowned face; finding myself alone with my mind and my body – things I hated, things I feared; nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no anything to take me: the all that I had been avoiding, the everything that I had fled, the darkness and dirt disowned… caught up. And somehow – in the eye of that nightmare, in the vortex of that storm, in the deafening noise of that aloneness, that isolation from friends and family, world and self… I found myself a miracle: quiet, small and full of grace. 

Slowly, I learn. Slowly, I see. The road is long; the horizon unclear. It is often dark and it is often wet. But there are stars 🌟 and rainbows 🍭 too. And the sunsets 🌞, when I manage to see them, are incredible. 

I live according to a routine, keeping it simple. I don’t overly tax myself. I keep interaction to a minimum and travel to where I can get to outside of rush hour on foot. I don’t expect. I don’t demand. I listen to my body and do what she wants. We draw a lot. We make things out of paper, silk, clay and wool. We listen to the radio and we read, educating ourself, ourselves, in all things spiritual, metaphysical, holistic, helpful and healthy. We sing 🎤 and we dance 💃🏼. We do yoga. We meditate – with essential oils, with crystals – hands on heart, on abdomen, on head… addressing each injured part, each softly screaming object, each rejected bit of once-upon-a-time integrated ingredient, bit by painful bit.

I begin my day in front of the mirror, greeting myself with love 💋. It is hard work and it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to do it; I want to run away 🏃🏼 and pretend like everything’s ok, like everything’s usual. But I can see how it affects my life and I am encouraged by the results.

I work on releasing anger 💥: forgiving, accepting, letting go🎈of things I have too-long been holding onto. 

I am learning to say “no” and not to beat myself up for having done so. I am not a bad person and I deserve to be loved.

I am starting to listen to myself and act from the silence and in doing so I am learning peace .

I am shining my light and allowing others to shine with me. This is incredible: I had forgotten how much, when in alignment, when balanced and grounded, when in sync with authentic self, I glow.

I am welcoming abundance and paying attention to the guidance 🔮 that I receive. I am practicing accepting 🎂 along with giving 🎁, allowing an even exchange. This really has been difficult. 

Slowly, I am letting go and learning how to surrender.

I see the shadow that stands behind me, the pain on her face and the suitcase 👜 she holds in her hand. I sit with her on quiet mornings and together we go through the contents: sifting through old clothes 👗👘👚👕, forgotten garments 👙, things I have not seen or thought about for many years. 

My wardrobe grows, accommodating things I now wear instead of hiding deep inside me. I wear my shame with pride and slowly she glows 🏮. Life is richer, brighter, more intense. I don’t dance around the permimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely. 

It’s a long journey, but daily we are getting there. Happiness 😊 is a choice I make and I am making that choice upon rising ⛅️ every day

by Rebecca L. Atherton
imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
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Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
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