Breathe

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Breathe
Breathe in me
Your stillness, your quiet
Breathe in me
Your peace
Your hope
Your love so unbelievably deep

Breathe
Spill your laughter
Into my soul
So that it spills
Out of my lungs
Bubbling up in joy
And smiles
And moments of contentment

Breathe in me
The life you meant
For me to live
Whisper away
My fears and insecurities
Still the nervous
Echo of my heart
And the worries writhing in my veins

Breathe
Like the breeze in trees
Air currents on water
Breath that gives life
And words
And dreams
And peace

Breathe.

-KJ Roe

Confession

There is a person that I love, but I am not sure how to tell them.

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There is a person that I love, and I am not sure how to tell them.

They are someone I admire, constantly striving to be a better person. They smile at the cashier and ask in earnest how they’re doing. They work hard to be considerate of other people. They are smart, but are still learning so much. They are creative and hard-working and open.

There is a person that I love, but they are not perfect.

Sometimes they get lost in their own thoughts and miss the obvious. Sometimes they act like people should automatically know what their expectations are. Sometimes they lose their patience. Often, they miss opportunities for kindness and sometimes are even a little selfish.

There is a person that I love, but they don’t always know their worth.

They get down sometimes, although they try not to show it.  They might focus on their faults and need reminders of their strengths. They extend grace and forgiveness, often more than is wise. They occasionally fall into unhealthy relationships. They try to shine God’s love, but forget to reflect it on themselves.

There is a person that I love, but I am afraid it would be awkward to tell them.

Then again, maybe that isn’t important. Maybe what really matters is that they get to know how I feel. Maybe they have days when knowing I care could make all the difference in the world. And it might be awkward, it might come out wrong, people might misconstrue. It may cause issues with those who don’t understand. But they should know. They deserve to know. And so I’ll start with this:

Hello, Me. You matter. You are a glowing creation of God, a being of purpose and wonder. I am happy you’re here. I love you.

-KJ Roe

Frankly, My Dear…

People say they don’t like drama. But they love the Scarlet O’Haras of the world.

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Olivia de Havilland as Melanie & Vivien Leigh as Scarlet in Gone With the Wind; image via charmofthecarolines.com

“You’re a very sweet person, but…”

It’s never a good thing when someone starts out a conversation like this. Like they’re trying to soften the blow of whatever it is they’re going to say next by building me up, by acknowledging one of my better traits. But what they’re really doing is discounting it. Saying, You’re a very sweet person, but it doesn’t matter. You’re a very sweet person, but it’s not good enough. Not exciting enough. What they are saying, in essence, is that the best of me is just not “enough” for them.

Really?

People say they don’t like drama. All the time. But they are attracted to it. They love the Scarlet O’Haras of the world. People like the one who draws attention in a crowd, who draws the eye and the ear. They like the one who argues and slams doors and expresses their opinions – loudly. They think that a person who doesn’t do these things is weak and uninteresting. Those ones – the Melanies – are too sweet, too quiet, too – boring.

But the Melanies of the world are tough.They have been hurt and suffered more losses than many people know. They don’t expect other people to carry these burdens for them. They carry their weight. Melanies hold their own cards in this game of life, and they work with whatever hand is dealt them. They keep their poker face, playing each round without throwing in or throwing down their cards. What good would it do? They’d just have to pick them back up again.

Melanies take care of themselves and their families and their homes. They are the ones who give quiet strength and direction to the Scarlets when the Scarlets can’t find their way. They bring presence, observation, and sometimes wisdom to a situation. They have depth and perspective born of experience and introspection. Where a Scarlet brings excitement, Melanies bring peace. Scarlet may be fire, but Melanie is the mesmerizing glow of the coals.

Given the option daily, I choose to be Melanie.

So I don’t drive the drama train. I don’t command the room’s attention. I have opinions, and I will share them, but I will not shout them or demand that others agree. I will not expect that everyone drop what they are doing and focus on me. Why? Because it’s not all about me. I choose to be considerate, to stay positive, and to take the path of kindness. I will be the coals, lambent with the heat of heart and soul.

People don’t have to like it. Heck, people don’t have to like me. If my being “sweet” doesn’t work for some people, that’s fine.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Little Rebellions

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I won’t do it
Live hate and negativity
Telling the children
This is all your life can be
Acting like goodness
Is false – ain’t no positivity
I won’t shut doors
In the face of possibility
Wear blinders to
Kindness, love, and generosity
Close my eyes
To the joyous world it could be

I won’t drink it
The poison of animosity
Shrink my mind
Like little bottles of hostility
Spread the darkness
Of media hypocrisy
I’ll fight it
With everything I can be
Believing in
Faith, hope, and eternity
Giving freely
What little bit I can of me
I won’t give up
On a hill a light I’ll try to be
Live fully
This blessed life God gave to me

We hold out
Our hands and hearts to one in need
We lift up
Our fellow man from murky deep
Fight despair
Allow a little dignity
With open minds
Practice sensitivity
Bring happiness
And grace and love and charity
So much more
Than in our most amazing dreams
When we know
This human race is family
Then we spark
The flame of peace and harmony

-KJ Roe

Beacon – A Note to Self and Others

There is no reason not to be the sparkling light that you are, no reason to keep holding it in… Don’t do that to yourself. No more holding back your potential or stifling your dreams.

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Get back to yourself.

You are not this lost, nervous, fearfully hopeful wreck of waiting-for-something-to-happen. You are not this amorphous being floating, waiting for THAT THING that will give you meaning.

You are You. An amazingly giving, creative, thinking, working, loving being who is so much more than some outside perception. You have a purpose in life. And yes, part of your purpose is to love. Love is so much a part of the world that it transcends generations, race, religion, geography. It is so much a part of life that the experience of it can actually affect a person’s health and well-being. It is the source of much of the good that happens. And it lives in, and through, you.

You also have purpose in teaching, in learning, in growing and becoming and leading and holding. In putting into words that which is so much more, or in putting into action that which can be accomplished, or in putting into art that which can be felt. You have meaning. You are an embodiment of characteristics that combine to make one very exceptional and unique person. There are instances of kindness and love that others would never have experienced if it were not for you. You make a difference.

We need to get back to that. We all need to quit wallowing and floundering in this narrow view of the negatives, of the problems right in front of us and the overwhelming and seemingly endless tragedies of the world. We need to get back to the people we were meant to be, once again. Quit looking at this narrow corner of life, turn around, and face outward toward the world. There is so much more out there. Immeasurable moments of joy and beauty to find. Stop waiting for the perfect love. Stop waiting for the ideal time to reach out to another. Forget holding off on doing the kind thing just because we can’t predict another’s reaction. We can nurture good by living life in kindness and positivity. Do it now.

There is so much to do and learn and experience in this life, and so many people to get to know and care about, and so very little time. Open your heart to others. Go out and do the things you’ve been wanting to do. Stop waiting on someone to give you the okay. Go and help someone who needs it. Take those lessons. Live that adventure. Enjoy that view.

There is no reason not to be the sparkling light that you are, no reason to keep holding it in, hiding it lest it get extinguished. The only one who can douse it, the only one who can really snuff it out, is you. Don’t do that to yourself. No more holding back your potential or stifling your dreams. Don’t be the one who makes up reasons not to do things that expand your ability to Live. To do so is to succumb to fear or anger or resentment – to let negative burdens be your master.

They are not.

We humans have an extraordinary capacity for love, compassion, and generosity. We are blessed with the ability to see life from another’s point of view. We can think, and dream, and create. We can hold, and laugh, and forgive. You can do all of this. You have infinite possibilities locked inside you. You are a marvelous, fantastic, unequaled aurora of potential, and You are the only one of You in all of time. No one else can do the things you do exactly the way you do them. No one else can have the same impact on the world that you can. You are an irreplaceable beacon shining through the dark.

Let that light shine.