Poem: Who says you must?

2013-05-01 11.44.42 Gaksan View of Namhae

Brick by brick
Stick by stick
You have built your life
You’ve got a house, a job
A baby, a wife

The original shelter
Is now helter skelter
The cooking and cleaning
Are out of control
The bills and the arguments
Are taking their toll

This life you created
Is sapping the life right back out of you
But continue, you must

But you have no choice
Heaven has become hell
And there’s nothing to be done

There’s no time to be kind
To those near and dear
Too much to lose
Too much to fear

Continue, you must
There’s no other way
Continue and stay
You must, you say

But if you are already homeless
And kindless
And a big ball of stress
What more is there to lose

Continue and stay
You must, you say

Who says
You must


About the poem:
It’s a funny thing. We can’t wait to grow up and get out of the house. Then we become the parents and suddenly feel trapped, in the life we ourselves created. We hunker down and be prepared to live like this for a decade or two.

But, if we created our life, can’t we change it? And if this is the best we’ve been able to create, shouldn’t we get some help? Shouldn’t we change something? How about selling the house? Quitting your job? Doing something totally different with your schedule and your responsibilities? To accept that we are the creators of our life situation is the first step in being able to improve them. It’s not that you must continue or you must change, but if you want things to be better, you can change. You can. “We have to…”, “We must…” make everything seem so desperate and tiny and futile.

I included this photo from the top of Gaksan, in Samcheonpo, South Korea. When I get a view like this, options suddenly appear as I get a new perspective on my life. The world is full of options. The set we are living at any one moment is just one of many, many possibilities.


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