The Lady of Shalott / John William Waterhouse / 1888

Listening to the rain and observing my brain,
Sometimes I feel like walking poetry and sometimes I feel like shit.
And that’s not poetic,
And that was a judgment.

That was the critic
The part of me that picks,
And shoves,
And persecutes

The one moment of clarity that came today
Hit me as I crumple to the floor:

Stop persecuting yourself

So heavy from the weight I carry endlessly,

Stop persecuting yourself

Collapsed, I can shoulder no more,

Stop persecuting yourself

I leap up and search for a pen to write these words somewhere visible
For the next time I’m freezing up or withering away or sinking down
Because I know the torment comes from within and not from without
From that voice that says:
That’s not enough. No good. You failed.
When I know good and very well
that I am doing my best
I am shining a light
I am helping
I am loving
I am doing what’s right
And I am liberating myself from
The confines of my critical mind.

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