Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
“Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
I remember having to learn the poem “Mother to Son”, by the incomparable Langston Hughes. I remember how horrible I thought it was. I actually hated it! Fifth grade was supposed to be fun! Who wanted to learn and recite poetry that made absolutely NO sense and used all of that broken English?? Who was Langston Hughes anyway?? As I matured into a young woman, I learned who the legendary poet Mr. Hughes was. More importantly I reflected on just how profound the words to this poem were in relation to MY life. I could have been reading this to my son (or daughter). Maybe not in the context he intended, but not diminished in its impact. Those few words described how I saw myself and my life for a lot of years. When I thought of my past – the trauma, the hurt, the abuse, the lost childhood, the tormented adulthood, the anger, the bitterness – I felt the sting of every word of the first few lines. I was a broken down shack with ‘tacks in it, and splinters, and boards torn up, and places with no carpet on the floor – Bare’. Mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally, I was falling apart -- full of holes and all torn up on the inside…BARE! There were a lot of days that I wanted to give up – on trying, on pretending, on living. That inner fire that I had tried so hard to keep burning had diminished to a pilot light. There was barely a flicker visible in my eyes. There certainly wasn’t enough of anything to provide warmth to my heart. But even in my brokenness, all the while ‘I’se been a climbin’ on, and reachin’ landin’s, and turnin’ corners’. I was ready and willing to move from where I was – stuck in a mind, body and life that was not serving me. I knew I had to keep pushing. I wanted and needed to find and connect to my TRUE self. I knew she was there. My entire life I had seen glimpses of her magnificence but she was very elusive. There were traces of her existence everywhere, but I could never fit the pieces together to get the picture. Everything had become so chaotic that nothing made sense.
But something changed. Just as this unseen mother counsels her son, ‘…don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps ’cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now—‘, I heard the warning! I was dying inside but I knew I wanted to live. I couldn’t turn back! What was behind me was not worth going back to! I couldn’t sit down! I had to keep moving forward even though it was REALLY, REALLY hard! I refused to fall! That’s when my journey truly began. Unfortunately, there were times it meant ‘sometimes goin’ in the dark, where there ain’t been no light’. I had to peel back some layers, rip off some Band-Aids, and expose some old wounds; to dig really deep to get to that place of healing best known as FREEDOM. Once I got to the other side, I knew there was no way I would ever LOOK back, so GOING back was never an option.
I once heard someone say that adversity happens FOR us, not TO us. As I travel along this journey, I have learned that nothing that happens to, for or through us is in any minute way ABOUT us. It was in 2012, that I understood that better than I have ever understood almost anything. Sitting in the Phoenix airport. In all of my travels I’d had both layovers and delays, but this was the first time I ever remember having a delayed layover. I had the most interesting conversation with five perfectly-imperfect strangers. This Divine Delay changed me forever. It was on this trip that I first truly understood that all of the things that I experienced in my life were never about me, but for a time such as this. Still unsure, I continued with my life as I had known it. Just striving to be the best wife, mother and overall person I could be. But things were lining up on a trajectory that my younger self never could have imagined. I’ve learned what it means to LET GO – of all of the trauma, the hurt, the abuse, the lost childhood, the tormented adulthood, the anger, the bitterness, the guilt and the shame. I now see life for the wonder that it is -- beauty of the experience. I know what REAL joy feels like! You too can learn what it feels like to wake up and move through your days in sheer gratitude at the miracle that you are. We are here for but a short time. We are meant to have and enjoy all that this journey has to offer. As a Peaceful Soul and “Certified Hope Dealer”, I am here to help you recognize and harness the power of their thoughts and beliefs to manifest a life of love, joy, happiness and true freedom…to become a PEACEFUL SOUL.
I am living my passion. My life’s work is to walk with you to find and live yours. ‘For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, and life for me ain’t been no crystal stair’.
Can you relate?
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." ~Maya Angelou