Reflections of My Heart: Divine Cruelty

Chesed in Hebrew.

Chesed: Hebrew for kindness or benevolence

In my heart, sometime between 1980 and 1983, those hard years for me, I attuned myself to hearing when people became cruel and willfully caused pain, emotional hurt, and trauma. Today, I can pick it up immediately.

Nothing can ever take away those brutal blows, but you can do as I did. You can promise yourself that you won’t let negative comments make you retaliate, close off, or act unkindly.

I always told myself that these people and their comments would never change the kind, sweet feeling I had for everyone; that I would reverse any negativity with love, compassion, and empathy. To this day, I do not fight back (except in court) but I respond with quiet love, light, and divinity, spreading it to all I meet.

As I said in the poem, this has freed me from my past. I see and feel a divine presence guiding me in life, that things happen according to a divine reason and purpose.

It was up to me to choose to make myself a better person who learned from those experiences or continue as hurt, mean, and angry, and to pass that on to others.

I chose to stop that fugue. I chose to be, and to remain, positive and happy. I wish the same for you. If i can do it, you can do it, too.

DIVINE CRUELTY
I’ve known my share of cruelty
Mean people right to the core
They spoke the most callous words
Heartless from their very soul
Oh, how it bothered me
Beyond the breaking point
But with each hurtful word
My heart grew stronger
With every resounding beat

Now, no one can ever take away
My inner bravery!
I now recognize
How different I really was.
I realize how all those
Emotional experiences
Freed me from my past!
I can truly see my guiding light
Has enabled and empowered me!
I am the happiest
I could ever be.
I am a free
And gentle spirit now,
Knowing no boundaries!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by SteveChervitzTrutane, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Chesed means kindness or benevolence. Google it.

Reflections of My Heart: Days

GIF of rotating earth

One day in 1984, as I sat in the stillness of my home, alone and pondering my life, I thought of my past and whether I would ever have the opportunities non-disabled people took for granted.

Here I was in my thirties, struggling to be someone, struggling to get an education, and to have what other people had at this age. Would I ever move forward, or would I remain trapped where I was?

Would I remain a crip like all the professionals wanted me to be? Would I be locked in an institution, stored securely out of sight, because I couldn’t prove myself to these men and women who didn’t care one bit about me?

They tried to steal all my opportunities. I had to sue the State of California so I could attend community college, where I graduated with honors. This, after they labeled me retarded. They tried, but my roar of truth, dignity, and pride broke their chains. This roar continues to be a voice to melt away these shackles, so for disabled people and everyone else, this world is filled with peace and kindness rather than “chaotic endless tomorrows.”

DAYS

Where have the days gone?
Has my destiny of solitude on this rotating planet stolen them?

I think yes. And when we grow old,
We will look back at a world of
Chaotic endless tomorrows
Going nowhere, fast!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Earthmap1000x500.jpg: jimht at shaw dot caderivative work: Joost 99, Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons.

Reflections of My Heart: Dawn Rises No More

Stormy dawn with broken boats washed up on a beach

I wrote this poem in 1982, a time when I felt as if my years on this earth, and everything I did to prove myself, ripened only intermittently, as if my discipline and effort meant nothing.

I got occasional glimpses of what I wanted to achieve, only for my light to be extinguished by the so-called experts and friends, the telomeres of my DNA shortening with each cruelty.

But I stood fast. No matter what the experts said, I refused their labels. I focused on the light that showed me peace and joy.

Looking back on those experiences from today’s perspective, I know what worked for me. Sciatica has forced me into bed for most of the past week, but with the help of my beloved husband and my good friends, I am getting through it. Difficult for a woman whose career was in fitness and dance. We have our good and bad days, but I work on being me. I work on love, compassion, and not reacting, or allowing my well-wishers to take away from me at my core, like the experts tried, decades ago.

Long ago, I vowed to myself not to react and not to allow anyone to usurp my agency like so many wanted to do. Even as a little girl wearing a rigid leg brace and learning to dance, I knew who I was, and I stayed true to myself.

Back in 1982, I had another aha! moment and told myself this. I would let no one do what the experts and the people who were unhealthy for me, who tried to take advantage of my better self, wanted. In that moment, I told myself I am going to take care of myself and do the best I can, one day at a time, to let go, and be me, the best person I can be. I told myself I cannot allow anyone to control me and take away my goodness with their nastiness. I have to be the one to let go, and bless, and pray, and be the example of truth, love, and light. That’s what I practice now in my affairs.

I do the things that fill my soul with happiness. But in ways that hurt no one, especially my beloved husband and my friends.

DAWN RISES NO MORE

Dawn rises every day.
But for me,
It comes intermittently
Giving only glimpses
Of what I desire.

Then, with a fervid wave goodbye,
It extinguishes
The light from my eyes,
But only temporarily,
Until I see again,
With pure delight!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Christopher Harriot from Penang, Malaysia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Reflections of My Heart: Darkened Seas

Once again, I coped with the blows of life, the inability to make my dreams happen.

It was 1984, not the novel but the year, but just as gloomy as the book. The gray sea expressed how I felt inwardly. As I watched the sun set over Santa Monica Bay, a storm’s fury filled me with a terror and petrified me with its roar.

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. When I opened them and looked out over the sea, I knew I had to face my own rage at the subtle discrimination, at the words that patronized and tricked me. I had to rise, conquer, and stand tall through this misery.

I had to face adversity not only in the world around me, but in my heart and soul. I reached deep within myself and remained proud of who I was and what I had accomplished. Cruel condescension would not get the best of me. Holding up my shield of bravery, I became a warrior within myself once again. I refused to react negatively to the so-called experts’ callus indifference. From its sheath, I pulled my voice like a sword. Wrapped in my dignity and pride, I held my head up against their spiteful messages.

At that moment, the sea stilled, and its vicious roar became a meek breath.

Today, this warrior spirit continues to reinforce my strength and open my eyes to new wisdom for how to deal with my life and this world.

My body continues to grow stronger, and I eat foods I was once allergic to and that help my body heal.

Let me mention a book that has helped me, Smart Blood Sugar, by Dr. Marlene Merritt. Just because you have diabetes in your family does not mean you have to get it too!

If I can do it, you can do it, too!

Want some smart advice about how to beat diabetes, even if it runs rampant in your family? Check out the book that brought my diabetes under control!

Smart Blood Sugar Book by Marlene Merritt

And on to our poem:

DARKENED SEAS

The dark, gray sea
Moved with terror,
Slowing its
Vicious arms to
A meek and gentle breath 
Now, it reaches out to sunny shores
To strengthen her disfigured body.  

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Boris Kuznetsov, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Reflections of My Heart: Crying Rain

Photo of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 1964

I wrote this haiku, back in 1984.

It was a weekend, after studying. We were at my home in West Hollywood this time. Since Robert and I both loved walking in the gentle rain, and it was only a five-minute drive from my house, we took a break. We parked near my sister’s house and started walking the two blocks toward Hollywood Boulevard, where the foot and handprints of the old-time movie stars are set in cement in front of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, so iconic, near where so many beautiful homes were built.

As we walked, I felt the gentle, crying rain coming down upon me… upon my body. And before we got to the theater, the soft rain, literally, spiritually and physically, swept away all the hurt and emotional pain I was feeling, leaving a part of me and my invisible footprints there in the wandering hills to lie at peace within myself, and to be at rest if only for a moment.

CRYING RAIN

The rain cried softly
And left only wet footprints
Wandering the hills

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by wilford peloquin, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Reflections of My Heart: Crossing Boundaries

Ghost_sketch_creepy_pencil_sketch

I wrote this poem for a friend of over twenty years. Then his life became consumed with trouble and he disappeared.

He could not allow me to comfort him or give him support.

Then one day, four years ago, when I broke my right wrist and had surgery, I heard from him.

I was willing to help him, just like all my other friends, but he could not accept my help.

Nothing for me to do but accept, like always. I said an affirmation. I forgave him and sent him love and light to comfort him.

I tried to stay in touch with him with weekly messages. We talked, but he faded out, then came back. Finally, just like with all these other so-called friends, I was not going to sell my soul for unhealthiness in my life. So I let go with love.

One last really important thing. There were many moments when I felt I was being used by him… It was when he wanted to talk. When it was convenient for him. Otherwise, no communication.

CROSSING BOUNDARIES
When someone cares
About a friend,
They cross boundaries that 
No one else can see
They will do anything to help.
To reach out,
To lend a helping hand.
Can’t you see that, my dear, dear friend?
Can’t you see that there is someone who really, honestly cares?
Can’t you see my human heart skipping a beat?
It soars into the spectacular skies.
It swims with fervor and fury.
It races to reach the dauntless finish line
With the tick-tock of time 
Rushing by,
Wishing and hoping to just be in time
Yes, I care. I truly care.
With my heart, With my soul
With the purity of transcending oceans,
And rivers, and lakes,
Flowing ever so sweetly
To touch your life
Will you let me?
Will you respond to me?
Will you reach out to me?
Like melting snow on a crisp spring day
Like the daybreak of the day’s sun
Shimmering with its gentle glow
Like the ebb and flow of our tide
I hope so. I really do
I care for you and love you,
Just because you are you,
Because you are my friend,
And, Because you mean so much to me!  

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Exitmanned, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Reflections of My Heart: Coverlet

Wenonah's Blanket book cover illustration

While in college, I read Wenonah’s Blanket by Peggy Elaine Browning, about a coverlet that kept people safe from hurt and harm. The story warmed my heart, and after reading it, every time I went though a life-altering experience, I visualized my own special coverlet protecting me. And it did. My stress level lessened and my fearlessness took over. I became stronger and more secure. Then, one afternoon, while sitting at my desk, I said to myself, ”I should write about my comforter, and this is what I wrote…”

COVERLET

This blanket is a coverlet
That protects us from the cold. It comforts us,
And shields us,
Safeguarding our every stride.

But then the time will come
When only you can define
Your own being
And its rhyme

So take your hand,
And use your guiding voice,
And walk peacefully, once again!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/202165248-wenonah-s-blanket

Reflections of My Heart: Convicted

One day, back in 1983, I drove alone in my car from college back to home. This was months after I began writing my life’s story. At the time, I called it The Broken Hoof, and when I finished, it won a creative writing prize. Now, it’s The Healing Horse. I have published it as a series of posts on my blog and intend to bring it out as a book soon. Stay tuned for updates on that.

But back to 1983. As I drove, a realization came over me—how far I had come. No longer did I hear the rhythm of iambic pentameter, of metered line and cadence in the footsteps my brace and I took through my young girl’s life, a reminder of who I was and always will be. 

CONVICTED
Like a locked-up prisoner
Caged in her own cell, she moves
In a syncopated rhythm
With her barred-up shoes
From a childhood illness
And with these chains, she is sentenced to
A paralyzed left arm and leg
Which drags along her side
Waiting to be freed!  

I am still the same person with the same values and aspirations, but I walk on my own, no brace needed. If you want to read the story of how I got rid of the brace, jump into it here:

The Healing Horse, Ch. 37: Giving Away the Brace

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by my Daddy. All rights reserved.

Reflections of My Heart: Constellations

Drawing of a violet five-pointed star

One night, a violet star illuminated the sky above me.

It shone brilliantly and honestly, a bright light that guided me as I took action and made myself into me, the person no one saw.

It guided me into taking the actions I had to take to make me the person no one saw, and it guided me as I became the person everyone saw and applauded.

CONSTELLATIONS

The tears of emptiness
Dropped down my face
With a violet star
Striking me with its grace!

It glistened brightly
With its
Illuminating light
Calling me
To the constellation’s
Continuous flight.

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Andrikkos, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Reflections of My Heart: Circle of Friends

I wrote this poem to a dear friend. He was the first person, in a long time, to hear my call, to take me under his wing, and to help me shine. 
He was true. He did not spout words and then give me the brush off. Sincere help was what I needed, and he gave it. I could trust his words.  

images of words

He gave me a purpose to continue dreaming and making something more of myself, rather than rotting away.
He continues helping me make my impossible dreams possible. As part of my circle of true blues, who care and help, he earned a place on my list of lifelong friends. He made me smile when I cried my heart out and gave me hope that empowered me. Above all, he helped me keep alive my dream of helping others and giving to the world. 
That and more.
Perhaps you have someone like that in your life. Feel free to share in the comments.

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

Welcome to my circle of friends!
Where your friendship means the world to me
Where friendships are made from the heart
And felt with the heart. Where friendships are created
From the depth of our very being
Where friendships smile from within out
And where a kind and honest word means something

You, my friend,
Are all that, and more
You came to me as an answer to my prayer
You came to me from the angels watching over me
You came to me with a divine presence to give
To all

You, my friend, radiate sunlight
With each sincere word you speak.

You, my friend,
Are a joy to spend time with
You know how to laugh,
Smile, and create happy moments
For others.

You, my friend,
Are a fine example of truth and hope
That is why I welcome you
To my circle of friends!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.