Mixed Messages

“People and things don’t stop our pain or heal us. In recovery, we learned that this is our job, and we can do it by using our resources: ourselves, our higher power, our support systems, and our recovery program.” — From “The Language of Letting Go: daily meditations for codependents” by Melody Beattie

I saw this picture recently.
mixed message

The title of the article is “Her tattoo contains a hidden message, and it started an important conversation.” The tattoo is an ambigram – a message that can be read upside down as well as right-side up. In this case, the message is different when read upside down. The normal way it is viewed by others says “I’m fine”, while the way that she sees it says “Save me”.

The article says that she got it as a way of dealing with her depression. It is her way of asking for help. But there is something very wrong about this. It is passive. Help does not come from other people. If you give away your power to others, you will continually feel powerless.

I find it significant that “Save me” is the view from her perspective. Maybe she will finally read it that way – that she is the only one who can save herself.

She is the one who makes choices.
She can choose
to get enough sleep,
eat healthy food,
avoid negative people,
find a job that is meaningful,
learn to speak her truth.

She can choose,
and must,
for her own survival.

Being healthy is a choice, and something each person must do for themselves.

Depression is a symptom, not a disease. It is the result of feeling powerless, disconnected, alone. It is a sign of not owning your own power, using your own voice. The way out of it is not to ask others to save you, but to save yourself. If others have to rescue you, you aren’t healed. They cannot do your work for you.

The giving away of power to others is part of the disease, the dis-ease. Ease, comfort, health, comes from taking responsibility for your own life.

You can ask for help to learn different ways of healing yourself, but you cannot expect others to do it for you. You must own your own power. You must be your own best friend. You must save yourself. This is the cure.

Stop being passive about your life.
Stop expecting others to rescue you.

Poem Wild

It is the forest.
It is always the forest,
the wilderness.

The wolf didn’t torment little Red,
the forest did.
The wilderness was something to escape
all those 40 years.
This is the story we are told.

The untamed is the
uncivilized is the
We are told –
Leave the forest.
Leave the wilderness.
There isn’t only wild.
When you are there
you are wild too.
Because you can’t control the forest
or the wilderness.
can’t be controlled.

If a tree falls in the forest,
it does make a sound
but nobody is there to hear it
because they are afraid
to be there
afraid of what is lurking
behind the trees,
of finding their true nature
in all that nature.

The forest frightens those
who tell us these stories
because they are afraid we will return
to the forest
inside ourselves.
They are afraid
we will rediscover
our inner wilderness.

They aren’t afraid we’ll be eaten
by the wild animals.
They are afraid
(A bronze sculpture from an exhibition at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, all about how fairy tales are dark. This is about Little Red Riding Hood)