to: the burdened.

I see you.

As you speak of everything you’ve endured, each instance piles upon your shoulders, weighing you down, causing your head to bow. The boulders of your past regrets press down as the tears fall past your cheeks. I place my hand on your neck, and rub the stones…

I feel you.

With every word, your shoulders shake with sadness, but the burden doesn’t budge. I watch it become heavier, and I move my hands, hoping to bear a little of the weight for you, but nothing seems to shift my way. I know that the things you’re sharing with me are things you cannot change, and I know that me sitting here, attempting to comfort you, will not save you from the demons that continue to stack each painful, guilty position you’ve been placed in on top of you, causing you to groan in grief, or silently keep those shoulders shaking…

I hear you.

With the silence stretching you thin, causing your load to grow heavier upon you, and making you unsteady, I tell you to look into my eyes. And once you muster the strength to do so, I say aloud:

There is so much Grace for you. There is so much Grace in this life.

You, my friend, are too hard on yourself. You’ve had so many people be harsh to you because maybe they didn’t believe in your potential. Or maybe they resented you as a whole. Or maybe they loved you and didn’t think that what you were doing was what was best. Even so, they couldn’t see your vision; they didn’t try to understand. From what I’ve heard, they didn’t listen; they simply impressed upon you what they thought was right, and demand that you embrace their truth.

You’re hurting. I see it in your eyes. I feel it in my heart. I hear it in your voice.

But you have to let go. And so do I.

I have to let go of the fact that I am incapable of saving you. Only One can do that. It isn’t my job to take an ax to the load on your back that’s causing all this pressure from all sides. You long for things to go your way, not just so you can have a better life, but so your family can too, and although that’s all sweet and good, there’s more to it than just that. I cannot convince you to let go. I can only love on you with the Steadfast Love that I’ve been brought up in my whole life.

But you must let go too, my friend. You must realize that the burden you’ve been carrying for too long need not rest on you. Your burdens were paid for so long ago, before you were born, before you were even able to create such chaos, and cause yourself and others so much pain. Yes, it was paid for. Yes, you were died for. On a Cross on Calvary about 2,000 years ago. There’s no need to sit and cry about what you did, what you possibly produced, where you currently are now because it’s not what you’re used to.

What I’m NOT saying is that your feelings aren’t valid; they are. From the things you’ve been through, and the scars that you bear, you have every right to feel everything. But this burden you wear on your shoulders, and reveal when life gets difficult, and the Enemy becomes bold enough to face you with your failures to force you into fear…luvvy, you should not bear it. You cannot bear it, and expect to survive this life.

Take a deep breath. Relax, luvvy. Now, let it go so you can take hold, and take heart, and take the Hand of the One Who created you, and loves you, and longs to take that burden away. His Yoke is easy, His burden is light – lighter than the one you wear, and tend to hold onto.

I love you, but most importantly, so does He.

Mishy

Real Thoughts from Yet Another Poet Tryna “Make It”

So yeah, you might’ve noticed by now that I’m a poet.

Not just another poet…but another poet tryna make it.

The phrase “make it” means different things to different people. To some, it means being well-known/famous/popular. To others it means making a ton of money. Or it can mean that they’ve achieved a particular goal that they’ve specifically set for themselves that has nothing to do with money or fame.

If you want to know what “making it” means for me, it’s this: yes, I would love to be well-known for my poetry. I would love to see copies of my poetry books on book shelves in bookstores, or even seeing the cover while scrolling through books on Amazon. I would also love to make poetry my main source of income instead of working for someone else, like I’m doing right now. But ultimately, “making it” in poetry means this to me – that I connect with someone with my words. That any and everything that I’ve gone through and written poetry about touches someone’s heart, and they’re able to read my work and say, “Yes…I felt that. She gets me. She knows.”

And not only that, but I would love for people to talk to me about faith, and how I incorporate that into my poetry. Because it is a HUGE part of who I am. Do I have it all figured out? Definitely not…but I think that’s the beauty of some of my work as well. It’s less concrete, and more real; because I can’t express how many times I’ve questioned God in poem form. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed poetically, and still not come to solid conclusions about things in this life. But I do know that He is good, that He is loving, that He isn’t afraid to come at me head-on with my questions and queries. And I want people to understand that too.

I feel like “God” and “Christianity” are terms in the society I live in that are cause for eye rolling, and immediate shutdown of conversations. And it breaks my heart that people (including myself) are more comfortable avoiding the topic than delving into it, and boldly asking questions. Not everyone is timid to have these conversations, and although I myself have tried to avoid those brave people for asking questions, I am now realizing that I would rather talk about things than for me to hide in shame or fear of judgment. So I long for my poetry to bridge that gap; to help me start the conversations, so that I can continue them, whether in interviews, conversations at meet and greets, etc.

That is what “making it” means to me. Maybe that means I’ll still have to work a part-time job while doing poetry, or maybe it means I won’t be extremely well-known, just locally known, and if that’s the case, then that’s okay. But if I can connect with people poetically…wow. That’s the biggest blessing, honestly.

So with that being said, you’ve probably also noticed that there are LOT of poets releasing their work these days. From Rupi Kaur to Reyna Biddy to Cleo Wade to r.h. sin and everyone in between, which is amazing. The world needs more poets to write and speak the truths that we sometimes find hard to communicate ourselves, and I am inspired by all the poets I named, and then some.

But honestly…it can be hella intimidating and discouraging sometimes. Do I think that poets need to come together to support and encourage each other in the craft? Absolutely! And I’ve witnessed and been a part of a community of poets that does so, and I’m grateful and blessed for that.

There are times though, when I get discouraged because there are SO MANY poets coming out with stuff that I feel like sometimes what I have to say is irrelevant. I know that every writer and poet has different experiences, and expresses them in different styles and words, but I still wonder if what I write can even connect with anyone anymore. This kind of thinking not only discourages me, but it also causes me to be a little unmotivated. Like, why should I even try if there are already so many amazing poets out there? What difference will my words make in the world anyway?

Of course, this kind of thinking isn’t limited to just poets – I mean, you see how many musicians, painters, mixed media artists, DJs, etc. are out there. Being a creative is a competitive field, and unfortunately, not everyone makes it where they want to be. And that’s something that just scares me – being one of those that doesn’t accomplish the goals and dreams I have for myself. And if that happens, I do have faith that God has a better and bigger plan for me, even though I don’t know what it is. Will it still hurt if I don’t “make it” per my definition? Of course it will!

I’m not writing this post for sympathy; meaning, once you read this, I don’t expect you to send me a message assuring me that my words are relevant, that there’s a place for me in the poetry world, etc. Because I’m just revealing a feeling I sometimes get as a creative, specifically as a poet. Even though this is a negative perspective, there can be positives about seeing other poets succeed – it makes me think that if they can make it through all the different outlets they used (tumblr, SoundCloud, Instagram, publishing a book, etc.), then truly, I am capable of doing the same!

All-in-all, I’m not here for the numbers; sure, it would be amazing to see how many people could be impacted by what I write and speak, but my main goals with my writing are that people can see the lacing of Love in the Gospel through my words; that they can connect with the emotions, feelings, and situations that I write about; and that one day, I am able to look in the eyes of every single person who is touched by my poetry, and hug most of them (all of them if possible) so tight because hugs are important to me, and I want to be able to do that to thank them in person for even sticking with me, ya know? These are things I dream about when I write.

So, after thinking on these things, these dreams (and after being encouraged by one of my big sisters to write down my serious goals for myself), and after being confirmed several times in this gift that God has given me, I know for a fact that my words mean something; that they’re valuable, and that they are relevant. And maybe they’ll only be relevant to one person, or for one season, and that’s okay. If that is all the Lord gives to me, I will be grateful for it.

I’ll keep writing. I’ll keep speaking.

Because, yes…I’m another poet tryna make it. And I believe that I will, indeed, make it in some way.

Mishy

Speak Up

You blink your eyes and two months go by without warning.

Someone maybe a month ago told me that they “needed Mishy blog posts,” and I honestly flipped out a little for several reasons:

1) I was flattered. Whatchu mean you need them?! Awwwww 🙈

2) I was reminded how I hadn’t blogged in AGES. It’s been a good minute.

3) I was shocked at how long it’d been since I’d actually sat down to write out a post, or to just sit down and think through everything currently happening in my life – my feelings, my beliefs, my plans, etc.

Blogging is one of the origins of my writing journey. It was the first place I’d decided to allow my thoughts and words to be seen by people other than myself, which was hella scary for me — I always knew I had a voice, had things to say, but was never brave enough to say them. Or to write them, and have other people read them.

Honestly, with this year being almost halfway over (WHAAAAT?!), it’s crazy to think back on how much I’ve had to use my actual voice, not just my writing voice. I’ve had to speak up on so many occasions this year, personally and poetically. And if you know anything about me, that’s difficult for me to do because I’m a people-pleaser.

But what does that have to do with using your voice? you may ask.

Well, it means that I don’t wanna do or SAY anything that’s going to hurt anyone in any way, even when what I have to do or say is healthy for me or whoever is involved. Speaking up, even with good intentions, can offend or hurt others, and there have been multiple times in which I stayed silent to save someone heartache or hurt feelings, even though I knew it was right for me to say something. And sometimes my silence, even though it saved the other person, caused suffering for myself.

So, I’ve had to speak up a lot. Especially for myself. I know that sounds kind of selfish, but honestly, the more I think back on my life, the more I’ve realized how much I’ve kept things bottled up inside. So many emotions and feelings about things that I had opinions on that I just stayed silent about, when I really should have said something.

Now, what I’m not saying is is that we should always just speak whatever is on our minds immediately; it pays to think before we speak. And it also pays to not speak sometimes, but to listen and observe in certain situations; we learn a lot about people, environments, etc. by doing so, and it could save us some unnecessary negative consequences later.

The difference with me is that I would think, and never speak because I was too timid or afraid of what others would think. I was afraid that my communication would come off as too aggressive, or if I disagreed with someone or something, then it would come across like I didn’t care about the person and their opinions. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t communicate my thoughts accurately, thereby creating another way to offend or hurt.

But, as cliche as this is, communication is key, and with everything that I’ve experienced in the past several months, I’m realizing that with speaking up I can’t avoid hurting people’s feelings sometimes; sometimes people’s toes need to be stepped on. Sometimes things need to be said the wrong way for me to be corrected by someone else, or for me to really sort out my thoughts and opinions aloud. And a lot of the time, speaking up brings about a lot of positive outcomes – connections with other people, new relationships, clarity.

And honestly, I think that’s why writing – both blogging and poetry – have been such key parts of my life. Even though I was still sort of timid to have people read my writing, I would rather them read my written thoughts than hear me speak them. But even this year I’m learning to vocalize my writing as well, and that’s been a whole other amazing process. Through specific events and open mics, and people who value other people’s voices and opinions, I have come out of my shell a ton, and said way more than I ever have (shout out to my friends Phenom and Garrell, and the whole Make Noise 423 crew for the major help in that!).

Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is this – speak up. Be it through writing, music, or actually talking, speak. up. Your voice matters where you are, and I know sometimes it may not feel like that. But you really never know until you try to use your voice, or express your thoughts and opinions. Like that old, overplayed song by I-don’t-know-who used to say, “Say what you need to say.”

Sometimes what you have to say may be something someone else is also thinking, but they’re also too scared to say it. Your voice could make a major difference, or it could create some conflict. It could spark change, either positive or negative. It could heal you or others. Whatever comes of you using your voice, it is important!! The world needs it! So speak up.

Mishy 🦋

“My Poetry is Ministry”

Recently within the past couple of weeks, I’ve struggled with comparing myself to other creatives, specifically other poets. This caused me to experience a lack of expression because I was too caught up in what other people were doing. I found myself forcing words onto my paper rather than truly finding inspiration in my day-to-day, and I longed to please others rather than to write what I feel, and connect with others through that.

Most importantly, I forgot where my ultimate source of creativity comes from; I fixed my eyes on myself rather than on my Creator who blessed me with the gift of creativity.

After talking with Honey (my stepmom, for those who haven’t been reading my blog recently), I was inspired to write this poem. She said some wise things that I’ve incorporated here, one of which is the actual title of the poem – “My Poetry is Ministry.” I’m grateful to have such a godly woman of the Lord in my life to help steer me back on the right path when I feel like I’ve been lost.

So Honey, I dedicate this poem to you. Thank you for your prayers, and for always looking to the Lord so that you may speak His Word to others. 💛

“My Poetry is Ministry”

My poetry is ministry,

And I have treated it lately with such

Carelessness — scribbling down verses and words to try to impress rather than to

Try to connect.

My focus shifted towards selfish ways and it became more about filling a page and

I let comparison run rampant through my brain,

When what I truly needed was

My Father’s grace – the grace that bestowed this

Gift of words to me in the first place that

Birthed such beauty from ashes that I sat in —

Grieving a loss, questioning the purpose of my pen, trying to

Comprehend where I was headed, where my value lied.

My Father’s grace is the only thing that keeps my poetry alive it

Makes me feel like I don’t even have to try because it

Freely flows and

The inspiration is divine and

I know this to be true because

When I look back at what I’ve written when my heart is aligned,

There’s absolutely no way that it came from my own mind.

So, first things first —

My words are more than just sowed together scribbles that simply sound deep and that,

As my stepmother once told me,

“Could contain hell underneath,” no,

The bars I spit originate from the Most High and are

Spoken and written through me —

“A broken reed, a smoldering flame.”

Yes, my poetry is ministry so

Take my name out of the equation and see

Nothing

But my Father’s grace.

#MishyWrites 🦋🌿

“My Healing (Growth)” – A Poem

Intro

So…I’ve been doing a lot of growing recently. Like A LOT; more-so than I thought when I first began this GROWTH series. And it’s been interesting to see how I’ve handled it; how I’ve had to have my toes lightly stepped on by the observations of my close friends, but also feel them wrap their arms around me in encouragement. How God’s put words, feelings, and situations in my path to help me realize that I wasn’t as far as I thought I was, but also feel Him smile upon me and say, “But I love you anyway, and I’m still working through you. My grace is sufficient.”

I’ll be honest, I have watered myself through so many tears earlier this week. I’ve had to uproot some prideful thinking that was beneath the surface that was eating away at me being able to grow up and grow out of things I was pretending not to idolize. And I’ve had to stop using being busy as a way for me to avoid processing through things so I can heal, and turn my branches towards the true Light.

The poem below describes my healing during a different time in my life, but I love how it still pertains to my healing now. It was created from a prompt out of Alex Elle’s poetry book Neon Soul. I’m excited to share this poem with you, and to keep these words with me as I continue to live, grow, and thrive.

“My Healing (Growth)”

The branches that I thought I needed that
Had potential fruit to bear
Were either cut off by my Maker or
Naturally separated and
At first, I thought it wasn’t fair since they were the
Only branches that seemed to have fruit.
How could God possibly take away these blessings before they could even bloom? Before they could
Grow into something more and
Ripen for others to eat?
They were the only branches that made me feel like my purpose was complete and
Now they’re gone and
It hurts.
The places they used to reside in now ache and I
Struggle to see how this wasn’t
Some mistake, how
This could be good for me in any way.

As the days went on, however, that aching eased and
I no longer envied the branches and fruits of other plants and trees.
My sore spots healed up after much
Sun, rain and love and care
From my Maker, Who despite my
Feeling lonely mostly through this process was actually
Always there, through every step.
And so, more branches began to grow and
Once they came, more fruit did too.
But this time both branch and fruit were firm and strong
So much so that I realized it had to take this long for
Good limbs and good fruit to produce.

This is the story of my healing.

#MishyWrites 🦋🌿

GROWTH – Part 2: watered

While I was staying with my grandparents, and then transitioning to the house I would dog sit at for the weekend, it rained for a couple of days straight. If you know me, rainy weather isn’t my soul weather at all; I take well to extremely sunny days where I don’t need a jacket, and I can where shorts and crop tops.

Truly, as I walked through the pouring rain into my workplace, this is where the “GROWTH” blog series began. Because it was the beginning of March, and I was thinking about how much I’d grown in the past couple of years, even in the past couple of months in 2018, and as the rain fell hard against my rain coat, and my rain boots squished through puddles of water, I thought of myself as a plant being watered.

It made me ask myself: what was watering my soul, my mind, my heart? Just as any plant needs water to grow, I needed things to replenish myself. So, I just wanna share this question and a few more that came from this thought to help you evaluate yourself and where you are:

– What people were helping me recover from unexpected circumstances?
– What atmospheres created a safe space for me to sink my roots in and thrive?
– What was I thirsty for, and what was quenching that thirst?
– Were these things/people/places that were watering me causing me to grow or causing me to wilt?

Even this question ran through my mind: Was I being over-watered by anything, anyone, any place? How could I disconnect from that negative source?

Whatever season you are in – a comfortable place, uprooted to a new place, in need of watering, or maybe even flourishing – I hope you take the time to ask yourself these questions from time to time to evaluate exactly where you are and where you’re headed, and what is helping or hurting you from healing or getting where you need to be.

#MishyWrites 🦋🌿

Spillin’

I started last week talking about positive talk – how the way you talk to yourself affects your attitude, your actions. And quite honestly, by the end of the week, all of that had gone out the window for me.

All of my energy had been drained. I sought solitude despite the fact that exposing myself brought me joy and new opportunities and friends. Yet, a couple of weeks of this kind of lifestyle brought me to a place where I couldn’t really depend on anything to make me feel good.

I understood that “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” but believing it became harder as each hour passed. Everything began to shut down – physically, my body was exhausted. Mentally, my mind warred with thoughts of compromise and surrender to things I never thought I’d consider. Spiritually, I felt distant from where I’d been in January, but I knew that God was still with me. That His plan for me was just beginning that 2018 was still going to be my year. Emotionally – I’d taken a toll. Unexpected circumstances that ended as quickly as they began left me questioning my worth, wondering if all this hurt I was feeling was worth the things and people I was pursuing. Was it worth it for me to do all I had begun to do in order to make a process a reality; a dream come true?

People have always told me it wouldn’t be easy, and they were right. The warfare is real, and if I’m not focused on what I need to be focused on, I will suffer under the Enemy’s bark and bite.

“Realign my heart and help me keep the first things first.” — “Born Again,” Cory Asbury

#MishyWrites 🦋