Without Any Pain – a terznelle poem

Without Any Pain – a terznelle poem

Without Any Pain

by Lauren Soffer

Jesus Praying in Gethsemane

Jesus Praying in Gethsemane

Who would I be without any pain?

Trapped potential hidden, unclean

Who would I be without any pain?

 

Crippling imperfections so easily seen

As yet untouched by Refiner’s flame

Trapped potential hidden, unclean

 

Molten transformation won’t leave me the same

Crack under pressure or become something more?

As yet untouched by Refiner’s flame

 

Flame creates bounty, blessings restore

Shimmering radiance, brilliant as the Son

Flame creates bounty, blessings restore

 

Not my will but Thy will be done

On bended knee my heart rises in song

Shimmering radiance, brilliant as the Son

 

Faithful contrite glorified strong

On bended knee my heart rises in song

Who would I be without any pain?

Who would I be without any pain?

Living Up to Teenage Expectations (Ten Years Later)

Living Up to Teenage Expectations (Ten Years Later)

My High School Graduation (2001)

My High School Graduation (2001)

Last night I went to my ten year high school reunion, and it has put me in a reflective mood.  It was fun (though somewhat strange) to see everyone after ten years apart.  I was impressed by how friendly everyone was and how genuinely happy everyone seemed to reconnect with everyone.  It has me thinking though about my seventeen year old self and who I thought I’d become verus who I’ve actually become.

When I was seventeen I had a lot of expectations for myself and everyone.  The other day on Twitter I mentioned that I was “Trying not to compare myself to the me my 17 year old self thought I’d be by now.”  My friend (@nerdgoddess) replied, “Don’t worry. I don’t think any of us live up to our teenage expectations.”  I think this must be true.  But I sure had a lot of them at that age.  At seventeen, I thought that by ten years later I’d have made my first film, have a husband or at least a serious boyfriend, and be living on my own.  None of these predictions were accurate.

At first I was feeling kind of bummed about what my seventeen year old self would have thought of me now, but on further reflection I’m really rather happy with where my life is at as unpredictable as the last ten years have been.  It hasn’t all been great; don’t get me wrong.  No one predicts or wants to think they are going to end up with a chronic illness.  But there have also been so many wonderful things that have come of the last ten years of my life.

When I was seventeen, I was headed to the University of Southern California to study film.  I wanted to be a director.  Or at least I thought I did.  And although I’m sure I could have found happiness pursuing that line of work, my real love is for the written word – specifically the novel.  At seventeen, I never would have considered that I’d have it in me to write a whole rough draft of a novel by the age of twenty-seven or that I would be doing freelance graphic and web design.  Or that I’d be designing Alternate Reality Games.

When I was seventeen, I was in the middle of a serious depression.  My perfectionism consumed my life and made me miserable.  Thanks to meds and therapy and a lot of hard work, I have found so much happiness in the last several years.  And that is something I certainly didn’t expect at the time.  In fact, at the time I didn’t even know what it was to be happy.

When I was seventeen, I was essentially an agnostic Jew searching for some meaning and connection to something larger.  I NEVER would have dreamed in a million years that I would have found it in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  But a little over a year ago I did.  And becoming Mormon has brought me a level of joy, comfort, and perspective on life I never anticipated was possible.

The last ten years have been a roller-coaster ride that my seventeen year old self never would have imagined.  Sometimes the sudden drops and loops make me want to throw up, but all in all I wouldn’t get off the ride for anything.

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Living in Possibility

Living in Possibility

PossibilitiesThe more I experience life the more I get that my life is mine to create.  And I’m learning that what my life gets created as is a very function of who I am being in life.  So if I’m being a person who sees herself as a victim of circumstance, I will end up living a life where I am unempowered and constantly being negatively affected by what life throws at me.  But if I see myself as a person who can powerfully take on whatever circumstances life sends my way, life will open up into one of endless and awesome possibility.  I am no longer willing to let my circumstances determine what my life is really about.  And though I have some tough circumstances to tackle, I am committed to being as creative as I need to be to live the life I want in the face of these circumstances.

For years now, living with a chronic illness made shy away from taking on the really big things in life that I really wanted.  But I’m no longer willing to let that be the determining factor or even a convenient excuse.  In the face of all my health challenges, I am committed to creating endless possibility in my life.  So here are some possibilities I’m creating in my life right now:

  • I am creating the possibility of a serious and meaningful romantic relationship that will lead to a joyful marriage and family.
  • I am creating the possibility of my novel being on bookshelves by this time next year, transforming the lives of my readers.
  • I am creating the possibility of my graphic and web design business taking off in a way that will bring me great financial abundance.
  • I am creating the possibility of my game design business flourishing in a way that will give me complete creative expression and the experience of positively shaping the world.
  • I am creating the possibility of being healthy and at a healthy weight.
  • I am creating the possibility of living life passionately and powerfully in a way that leaves me completely fulfilled in all areas.

This may seem like a tall order, but, as I see it, life is a game, and there’s no point in playing to kinda sorta win a little bit.  No.  I want to win the game of life all stars edition!  And I’m committed to being the person I need to be to create the life I want for myself.
possibility