The trouble of both.
This is a topic I'm seeing right now over, and over, and over again. Let me tell you, when someone's heart isn't being respected in their home, there isn't a thing in this world that they will experience that feels right, or feels true, or where they feel good enough. This goes for children, too. You would not believe the extent of the damage that's created when we stop listening to one another.

Call me progressive, but I believe when we say "I do", it really means, "I choose."

I choose to be a part of your challenges.
I choose to make an effort to see things for you from your perspective.
I choose to be a part of your journey, however that takes form.
I choose to believe the goodness you've shown me will continue.
I choose to give you the opportunity to right your wrongs.
I choose to help you when you fall; to be available and accessible when you need me (and even in all those times when you don't.)
I choose responsible about how I speak to you, and of you.
I choose to be a participant in your life and do my best to respect your growth, even if I don't understand it.
I choose to see this as a partnership, an honorable agreement between two who decide to try to learn all the hard stuff together.
And, I choose to retain the right to retract this agreement should you ever decide to stop choosing us, and stop choosing me.

saying 'I do' /  by Jamie Homeister

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I understand how hard it is.
I understand what it means to wish for things that did not come,
to work for things that did not happen
and pray for something that slips by just beyond your grasp.

I understand how quickly a heart grows weary by surviving on wishes alone
but I also know this:
there has been a gift in it all.

Under every crestfallen moment
and rug swept out from under my feet,
for every disappointment
and shooting star that burned away into the darkness,
there has been a reason why.

Just as I am responsible for pinning the dream to the dream board,
for following through with a phone call;
laying the extra brushstroke,
or accepting the first kiss,
I am equally responsible for taking the risk to dream again.
And again.
And again.

Because actions are born from dreams
and life is born from actions.
I want to know that I dared to take the steps to live a life that is rich with both.

'living richly' / Jamie Homeister

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I had forgotten how strong you are.
I see a girl before me,
broken and entangled;
injected by a will she didn't ask for,
intruded by a power that wasn't meant to be hers.

I had forgotten about the courage it took to rise from this place.
To wake up the next morning.
To learn to breathe again.
How had I forgotten that?

Time has made me question if it was even real
but I remember when I see you,
split in two by a choice that wasn't yours;
a living object,
a stolen prize.

I didn't see you as a huntress,
a woman looking to reclaim the rights back to the true light of her soul.
A light that had been harvested from her very core,
held captive in their memory.

I didn't see you as a tower of strength,
waking up day after day in a bed you can't get out of to make,
wondering what in this world even belonged to you anymore.

I didn't see any of this:
a shape-shifting warrior.
A goddess in trial.
All I could see was my twelve-year-old self.
And my thirteen-year-old self.
And my fourteen-year-old self.
And my fifteen-year-old self.
And my twenty-year-old self.

All I could see was you as my mirror,
and feel an earthquake rumbling
from fault lines still hidden
still skewed
even after all these years.

You are the most powerful woman in the world.
With your back straight
and jaw strong,
you still let the tears fall from your face
and collect in a heart cut wide open to me.

How did I not see you there?
How long have I not seen me?

'you are my mirror' / Jamie Homeister

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You are not crazy.
You are not crazy because you perceive what others do not.
You not crazy for how deeply you feel, or the depth of love that you long for.
You are not crazy because your heart bleeds where others have closed theirs,
and you care about others do not; could not.

You are not crazy because you feel when people dislike you.
When they hold anything other than love acceptance for your presence.
You are not crazy because you can read an intent behind a smile,
or know the truth in a lie.

You are not crazy for thinking the way you do.
To consider the life of a stranger long after they have passed by.

You are not crazy because tears fall from your face in laughter and joy as easily as sorrow and pain.
You are not crazy because they fall for no reason at all.

You are not crazy because you cannot speak the words that you really want to,
that you need to,
when others tell you to,
because you cannot bear to hurt another even if they've hurt you—especially if they've hurt you.

You are not crazy to say you love and hate life all in the same breath.
To feel as though you don't belong to this earth;
that you are from another planet.
You are not crazy because you cannot fit in with social norms—
not because you don't try, but because no matter what you do there is always a difference between you and them.

You are not crazy when you feel the wind hug your body,
or feel the heartbeat of the earth through the soles of your feet.
You are not crazy to be moved by the flight of a bird,
watching ripples in a pond,
or finding a stone that asks to be carried with you.

You are not crazy when you sing songs you've never learned with lyrics you can't remember,
yet they inspire so much hope and love within you that you simply cannot imagine how they haven't existed before you.

You are not crazy for living deeply.
For letting your soul speak for you.
For believing in yourself where others choose not to.

You are not crazy for being an individual,
separate from the way you were raised and all those you call friends.

If you do any of these things,
if any of this sounds familiar,
you are not crazy—
you are just witnessing your true self in a world full of souls asleep to theirs, and we need you.
We need you to be exactly as you are.

You are not crazy.
You are remembering.
And I thank you for being brave enough to be you.

'you are not crazy' / Jamie Homeister

Take yourself back to a safe place,
a sweet space;
a time of innocence and tenderness.

Take yourself back to the days of an easy ride,
some good vibes;
your memories of comfort and freedom.

Take yourself back to the stronghold of
a stiff mold;
when you stood up for differences,
and you won.

Take yourself back to the sunny days,
the sweet haze
of that one summer when everything just fell into place.

Remember these times.
Wrap yourself in their feelings.
Remind yourself that life is nothing more than a series of these moments;
a blanket, woven,
each stitch a marker of time.
Wrap yourself up in this memory of your life and let yourself be comforted by the 'rights' of your past, and know more wait ahead in your future.

You are an expert weaver.
You can't mess this up—trust me.
See what you are creating,
and let it take your breath away.

'take yourself back' / Jamie Homeister

Let your voice be allowed a moment to be heard in the light of day.
Don't hold back,
even if its only for a second or two,
and offer another a genuine moment with you,
to see you for exactly who you are.

How, it doesn't matter—a post, an email, a letter, a card;
a hello, a hug, a request, or an answer.
It doesn't take much effort to be genuine, but it does require courage.
To all those who choose to follow through, you are the bravest.

'reaching out' / Jamie Homeister

Caress the nature of yourself, of your being.
Caress your heart as if it were your child's.
Hold yourself in that same love, that same knowing of where the goodness begins—
hold yourself accountable through gentle direction.

Remember that a child has to be encouraged. They have to be shown the correct way to do something many times.
We do not expect them to ‘get it’ on the first try—No! We allow their goodness to form.
We allow them the space to take shape
and to be crafted by many hands,
by many outputs in the community.

A boy is not formed into a man by one.
It is the knowledge and experiences of many that create his perception of will, strength, and aptitude. 

Nor is a girl shaped into a woman by one. She taught how to become herself by supporting women who help her to rise into her truths.

We do not chisel away at our sons and daughters, hammering our own will into their being, we give them the allowance to stretch and shrink until they discover who they are;
how they are.
Why does this end with youth?
Why don't we let this extend into our adult selves? We are continually becoming more.

Growth does not stop at twenty, not even in our bodies. Even our height continues to fluctuate with the curve of our spines,
the strength of our shoulders;
by the will of our necks and the tip of our chins.

We do not lose our elasticity to learn and grow with age. We remain responsive to our lessons and community. We remain responsive to our experiences. 
So why do we not give ourselves the allowance to grow? To make mistakes?

'creating a tribe' / Jamie Homeister

Liberation and libation often go hand in hand. True freedom always comes at a cost, even if it's not readily visible. Right now, the entire world is shaking free its shackles, putting stress on its chains like never before. Even the Great Mother herself has shifted on her axis, deciding where and how she will seek her liberation from our doing.

The more we work on ourselves, the less we weigh. If you've ever freed yourself from a considerable burden, you'll understand what I mean. It's felt within' the first step after saying 'no' to what feels wrong, and 'yes' to what feels right. We move with a feeling of buoyancy, a weightless suspension, unrestricted by the acknowledgment of the truth within ourselves.

If only you could see yourself as I do! If only you could see the colors of your spirit in these moments! You look like rainbows of light, reviving the world with color everywhere you go.

We are all free souls, bound only by our choosing.
Break a cycle.
Break the chains.
Stop it in its place, if only for a moment, and remember what it is like to feel the power of liberation from yourself. Remember what it is like to refract the light and not just stand in the reflection of others. Wherever you move, choice moves with you.

'refract the light' / Jamie Homeister

We to be with you, just as you seek to be with us. This is not a one-sided love story, but a mutual attraction and friendship built on trust and knowing.

We are here holding you up,
resting our palms in yours,
doing all that we can to lead you into movement—
new actions, thoughts, and vibrations,
one step at a time.

Our voice rises from within you.
Resolute and unwavering we lift you high.
Trust in us.
We see you.
You are not misplaced or forgotten—
you are the star of the show.

'star of the show' / Jamie Homeister

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