Turning the other cheek..



This was always a hard pill to swallow.  Even as a child, upon hearing that phrase for the first time, while I could understand the idea of not reciprocating harm, I certainly was not down with the thought of giving anyone the opportunity to harm me twice.  It was just going to be one of those things that looked pretty on paper.  For me, it was an idea to aspire to in principle form only.  On some deep, DEEP level that I’d never actually have to come in contact with.  Until one day in the shower..

I was thinking about changing my mind on things.  Literally trying to see and envision words, phrases, and ideas in other ways, and this particular phrase came to mind.  Turning the other cheek..

Now for some reason, I’d always figured it meant allowing harm of some nature without retaliation.  Right?

If someone says something rude, “turn the other cheek.”

Someone steals your parking space, “turn the other cheek.”

Things start to get a little more uncomfortable when it hits closer to the skin.  A little more unacceptable.  If someone breaks your heart, what then?  Turn the other cheek?  For how long?  And how many times?

I don’t know where the permission had been hiding, but somewhere inside it clicked that there could be another meaning for this phrase for me.  And while it may not resonate for everyone, it made such clear sense.

For me, turning the other cheek could mean looking in the other direction.  Not in avoidance! I want to make that clear, but rather looking into a new possibility.  As if to say, “that’s enough now, I’m moving on.”

And again, I’ve given myself the permission to think this way.

I’m learning to allow myself the gift of turning the other cheek.  Allowing myself the opportunity to look into a more positive light.

Saying “no more” to a negative space that’s become too comfortable.

Turn the other cheek.


Where i was..

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I tried the other side.

The backdoor escape.

Dishonestly provoking an ease never meant for me.

And we couldn’t meet eye to eye, this ease and I.

Dashing and daring,

step after clumsy step,

knowing our dysfunction.

And then one day ease left me

and gifted me a burden that made me move a little slower.

A little closer to the ground

until I finally felt where I was.

River’s edge

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Her reflection at the river’s edge felt much more like the truth.

The waving picture that danced on top of the water, set against the rocks underneath, appeared to capture the depth of her.

And the water seemed to know about the ripples of change running through her.

Silently showing her that it understood.

Running smoothly over her reflection as if to soothe the sad face that it held.

And she felt a small comfort as she sat on the cool earth looking down.

Calmed by the gentle waters lapping against her ankles.

Gently patting – letting her know that it would be alright.

Through the Cracks

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The moment was so good that he immediately closed his eyes to reminisce.

One hand to his head to keep in the thought.

The other hand to his heart – he didn’t want to lose the grip it had on his chest.

The instant that the light of hope entered in, it began shining through the cracks of him.

Through the weak spots.

Piercing slits of light, insisting to be set free.

And when he opened his eyes, he saw his own glowing.

Turning around, examining his new form.

Marveling at what he had always regarded as vulnerable spots that put him at risk of breaking.

He now saw the cracks for what they really were.

First look

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She remembered seeing him for the first time.

But what made even more of an impact was the feeling of being seen.

Really seen.

Like he’d been waiting for her to show up.

Like he immediately saw past the shell of her and saw into the best of her.

A look that asked all of the most important questions.

And waited through all of the difficult answers.

One that told her she wasn’t just good enough, but every ounce of wonderful.

And it wasn’t just the first look, but somehow every look since.

Held safely in his gaze, but still wanting to fall.


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She tried to take pictures of fireflies at night.

But the yellow-gold flashes moved too quickly and then vanished.

Only to light up again in an entirely different place.

And she guessed at where it would turn up next.

Flitting around like a child playing a game.

Running her hands over the tops of too tall grasses.

Lost for a moment in what felt like chasing magic, caught in hot summer breezes.

A fairy tale world where she imagined enchanted lights, hiding away behind doors that led to secret places.

Standing in a field of sparkle set to the music of invisible crickets.

Scanning the space around her for the chance to pretend again.



Soon be over

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I’ll be over as soon as I can.

Just wait for me.

Because the last time we spoke your silent pauses became a beggar.

Reaching out to me, panhandling for change.

Not much, just whatever I could spare.

Begging for a shift from this barren place.

Begging for enough to make it through another day.

And I wrote off this silent drifter.

Pretending that I wasn’t being called to help.

And I couldn’t shake the feeling that it left me with as I walked away.

The feeling that I had let you down.

So I’m making my way back.

With pennies for the thoughts that you can’t afford to hold.