regarding emotions

Her emotions become chaotic,

She’d wish she was catatonic.

‘Cause the concealed pain

Revealed on this emotional train,

Is often far beyond her grasp.

Her control will never last.

Her eyes will bleed of tears,

Familiar through the years.

Her voice will spew of hate.

Words she can’t relate,

‘Cause she doesn’t mean them.

Here in this cycle once again,

Hauntings of her past

Confuse her present task

Of staying steady,

And emotionally ready

To give and to receive

The love she thought

Would always

Leave.

-Jen Kessler

The flame

I had the first few lines of this poem written and tucked away for quite a while now. I picked up on it again this morning and finished it in about fifteen minutes. It’s interesting how quickly certain words come to me when I least expect it, and how those ones turn out to be my favourites.

The Storm

This has, and I believe always will be, one of my favourite poems that I have written. I wrote it in about ten minutes, after feeling a complete writer’s block for quite awhile before. And I’ve learned that the best ones always happen when least expected, and that they just fall out of me, so delicately, yet freely.

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend with your loved ones.

Here is a little bit of my heart, wide open:

Frozen at a red light: How I Lost and Found Myself

How I lost and found myselfWhen I was sixteen, my grandpa died. It was one of those heart-crushing, soul-devouring moments that brought my entire life to a stop; a red light. And I sat at that red light for as long as I could. I watched cars crossing my path, feeling the freedom of the green light before them. I watched their seemingly easy, smooth drive lead them to their goal destinations. I sat there, at that spot, with my hands at ten and two, my body frozen with grief, and watched the red light above me gently swing in the breeze.

Grandpa was once beside me. He was once in the driver’s seat, leading me through life’s struggles, and pointing out at the road signs of wisdom that would pass us by.

He told me to always stay focused on what’s in front of me; that if I looked too long to the left or the right, I would naturally start steering the car slightly in that direction. I think about that often, even now. I think about how it applies to life too. My goals are in front of me. I am driving toward them, but if I get distracted, and start focusing too long on other things, I’ll end up steering toward them instead. What you focus on leads you in that direction. So if you focus on your goal, you are more likely to get there, and not steer off in another direction.

What you focus on leads you in that direction

For years after he passed away, I sat frozen at that red light. I felt lost without his direction, or the stability of his presence. I had abandoned my broken heart. I left it bleeding, laying on the cold hospital room floor, where he took his last breath. I left it there for far longer than I should have. And I made choices that led me far away from where I ultimately wanted to be in life. Uncertainty had become my best friend. And I basked in it, in a self-loathing kind of way.

After some time, people began getting impatient and annoyed with me. I was still not moving after the red light changed to green. The honking and the yelling became overwhelming. And when I was finally ready to drive ahead, my car stalled.

I left the comfort of my own car of life, and began walking through an unknown territory of darkness. I got into the cars of others who led me down roads that weren’t meant for me. I looked to the wrong people, trying to fill the void left within my rib-cage after my grandpa went away. I was losing myself in the process. I was stuffing who I was, deeper and deeper inside me. And on the day that I realized that I was so far from my own car and from the light of day, I didn’t know how to find my way back.

I met God when I was seven. I asked him into my heart in the way that I was taught, and was told that I was born again. I had no idea what that truly meant. But I do know that I genuinely believed—and then as the years passed by– I genuinely drifted away from Him. I tucked God away in the back of my mind, until I felt broken beyond repair.

In the midst of my rock bottom pain, I was drawn back to Him.

To be continued…

Part II coming soon.

Going Solo: Why You Should Go to a Movie Alone

I pulled my debit card out of the ticket machine, and retrieved my ticket as it spit out. I slid it in my jacket pocket, adjusted my purse strap on my right shoulder, and made my way to the concession.

As I stood in line, my first thought was everyone is staring at me; they all know I’m here alone.

I was sandwiched between a cuddly couple waiting in line in front of me, and a father with his two kids behind me.

Giggles filled the atmosphere.

“Can I help who’s next please?” I didn’t hear this.

“Can I help you?” The girl behind the counter called out to me. Her disapproving look on her face told me that she’d been calling to me a few times more than I realized.

Oops, I thought to myself.

I continued looking up at the menu board, and felt such a sense of freedom standing there. I could order anything I wanted. No one was waiting for me, except for the impatient girl taking my order.

I took a deep breath, inhaling a sense of peace. I tucked my hair behind my ear, and gave her my order of popcorn and drink.

When I arrived in the theatre room, I scanned the rows of seats. There were many available, with only about twenty people waiting for the movie to start.

I can sit wherever I want. I exhaled any embarrassment that I mistakenly felt.

Juggling my fountain drink in my right hand and my overflowing popcorn bag in my left, I made my way up the stairs to the middle row, and walked across to the centre.

Though it was in a public theatre, I found it peaceful seated there alone. It was like it would be at home, on the couch, except with a huge screen.

I walked out of that theatre feeling renewed. Though, the movie didn’t turn out to be a favourite of mine, the experience was.

This was about four years ago now. I think I’m due for another, as I miss it…

Going to see a movie alone is so freeing.

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I’ve met countless people who claim that they could never see a movie alone. And even I was one of them. But I am telling you, it is so good for the soul. It is so freeing for the soul. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, give it a try sometime. You just might like it!

Benefits of Going to a Movie Alone:

  • You can pick whichever movie you want, with ease.
  • It’s liberating
  • Sit wherever you like
  • Enjoy some “me time”
  • It’s empowering
  • Learn to be alone (if you’re not used to it)

Sincerely + gratefully,

Jen

5 Ways to Ignite a Fire in Your Soul

5 Ways to ignite a fire in your soul

I feel a big life change brewing. I’ve been feeling it for most of the last year. As if I’ve been walking on a goldmine, and have had no idea what’s beneath me.

I’ve had this excitement simmering in my soul, just waiting to boil over and make its appearance.

Though I don’t really know what’s brewing, it’s comforting to have that feeling, as it’s better than the alternative: having no hope or any desire to achieve and move forward in life. So although I’m feeling impatient, I’m also feeling thankful, and trusting God in the process.

So although I’m feeling impatient, I’m also feeling thankful, and trusting God in the process.

I’ve thought a lot about what could have led me to this feeling, and I came up with a number of factors that I believe contributed to bringing me here.

1. Start a challenge.

I started a 365 project with my photography on my instagram account at the beginning of 2017. This was a crucial aspect of my growth and lighting the fire within me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, and held me accountable for taking personal photographs more often, and expanding my creative mind in experimenting with different styles and light. Being something that I absolutely enjoy, it brought peace and joy to my soul by doing it more often, and sharing my love for it more often.

While I technically “failed” this project/challenge, in my mind I actually won with success. I posted a new photo daily for 67 days, not the 365, but the benefits and growth I experienced from it was so priceless. I did not fail.

I believe this can be done with more than photography. It can be with anything you enjoy, or anything that you’ve been wanting to do better at. It could be a challenge of running, yoga, journaling, walking, drawing, etc. Document your journey, and inspire others. You never know what doors will open!

2. Join a group of like-minded people.

I joined a small group at my church. Once a week I get together with a group of beautiful souls. We lift each other up, support each other, learn together, grow together, pray together, laugh and cry together. Though I am not able to make it to group every week due to a rotating work schedule, I am so grateful for these ladies.

3. Be vulnerable.

In my opinion, this one is important. You can read more about my story of vulnerability here. My 365 project also led to my sharing of my writing, mostly through poetry. It began with posting photos, and wanting a good caption with them, so I started writing poems like I did when I was younger.

4. Books and/or podcasts

Read more books about personal growth (self-help), or if you listen to podcasts, listen to more personal growth topics.

I am a bookaholic.

5. Journal

Everyone in my life knows how I feel about journaling. If you’re not doing it, start.

If you need some tips about keeping the habit of journaling, check out my last blog post here.

So, until I figure out the “big change” I’ve been feeling in my bones, coming my way, I’ll just keep walking along and singing my song 😉 (moms, you know where that line’s from, am I right?) hehe.

Have you ever had this feeling?

Sincerely + gratefully,

Jen

how to ignite a fire in your soul