Glass Jars, Moonlight, and Intention

It was the night of a final full moon-  the decade had been so long, 

She’d had enough, done calling all bluffs, time to sing her old new song 

So she stepped outside

And lit fire

To all the pages

All the phases

All the stages

All the faces

That didn’t serve her, and didn’t deserve her

Dropping them into to a jar made of glass

She watched as the water  turned from clarity to ash

Shattered.

Something within her broke. 

Held up her arms in the darkness and the smoke—

Yelled, “Moon-do your Work! 

Can’t take another minute of sitting with this hurt.”

Closed her eyes, closed the door, closed the blinds

Turned on reality, turned off the lies

Sometimes the words come, without having to try 

Then there she was, 15 year old me

Little blonde head, fairy wings, and big dreams

She said, “Stacy, you’re still me, and now you’re strong enough to set some boundaries. Only you can set you free.”

Climbed into my own baptismal bath

Soaking in the brokenness of the pain in my past,

Let the salty water, burn my wounds clean

Let the voices from within rectify me

I’m calling on you, You, the someone deep within

The one who holds the echos of my loved ones, my  friends

I’m calling on You, to come and give me the words

The courage

The boldness that screams

You don’t deserve this, and you never did

I’m calling on You, for gentle wisdom in my bones 

The kind that only comes when you refuse to throw stones

Help me be gentle, but HARSH

Leaving no room for longing in the dark

Help me speak every word with extreme accuracy

Leaving not a single gap for crazy-making

I have been silenced, but only we know

Time to break curses and time to let go

A thousand ancestors lifted me up out of the bath. Woundedness dripping off me, time to speak out the past

Leaving puddles of yesterday, down the wooden floor path, each drop holding memories of rage released on me in wrath

Yes, It was time enough, I was coming for me, Nobody else could do this work- if I were to ever be free

Didn’t need another soul, just the girl that I had been

Before I picked up his darkness and made it my friend

Phone rang. I began to speak,  Unveiling Every Action that’d ever hurt me

Like the glass jar soaking in the moonlight illuminating every burnt trait that I’d accepted in my life

The moonbeams read them out to me, so I spoke them loud and clear, And each time I said, “No More,” a wound would disappear 

Something spiritual was happening as I spoke my own worth over me, I was untangling the ethereal cord that had been attached from him to me

Finally, I could hand it back, Said, “I think this belongs to you.” I can try to help you unravel yourself

But I won’t carry it all for you, you’ll have to be the one to see this work through

I will not bear the weight of your wounds, I am not the reason for your pain

And all this  time instead of healing yourself You poured your poison into my veins

I’ve choked on it, drowned in it, trying to get myself back to me, trying to come up for air from the pools of rage you spew at me

And if you’ll admit that you need help, Then we can find who you’re suppose to be

Before you were wounded, before you had bruises, before darkness called your name

I will stand beside you, but YOU have to lean into your pain

And, I am not your pain. 

I. Am. Not. Your. Pain. 

But I can be your full moon clarity, And we’ll call each wound by name.  Call every single broken piece out until you are free from them,

We’ll watch every ash and ember that rises into the night, cause we know healing  comes when we set our intentions in the glow of the full moonlight. 

In Vain

Help me understand this-
I’m calling on you,
Yes, again—I’m calling on you

Speak to me, please

Quiet tears seep
And I just need your anything

Are you listening?
Can’t you see my cries?
Can’t you see that calling out for you has become my demise?

But I will keep on,
Cause its all I know to do

And my tears will seep on because of no response from you

Does it break your heart to watch me plead?
Does it break your heart to withhold from me?

Or are you just not there,
So why should I care?

I’ve been wired to believe
You’re just a bit out of my reach

And I hang on just enough
To know not to call your bluff

When I see someone claim
That you’re holding them

I can’t help but call on you completely in vain
Then I sit and I wait

I sit and I wait
Eager like a child listening for magic to arrive

And I have been a good girl
So why do you hide
Can’t you see that calling out for you has become my demise

These people say you speak to them, its got to be a delusion
Either that or a chosen confusion

Cause even when I was truest of trues
Peace came at the moment that I would choose

I loved having something to call on
Even better was someone to fall on

But reality is, it was in my head
Nothing concrete but a neurotransmitters release

It did what I needed
Filled up the gaps of my synapses and also of my pleading

My brain won’t allow cognitive dissonance anymore
So today I sit here on the floor

Asking again, which way do I go to get closer to you?
Nowhere,
because I am speaking to the air?

With Every tear
Every prayer
It becomes clear
Either you’re withholding from me
or
You’re
Just
Not
There

By Stacy Johnson 8/3/19

Still Small Voice

If you’re real then where are you?

And if you’re real, then how could you?

Why do you abondon us, leave us in the hands of our mental warfare, it’s unjust of you and I don’t think I can trust you

I remember falling face down before you…all I wanted was to adore you, but you said yourself it wasn’t enough and now I don’t think I can trust you

I made myself open the blinds, unlocked the door then stepped outside and all I found was me

Yes, all I found was me

I broke the rocks, called upon the wind, fell to my knees from the earth quaking, I built a fire inside a cave, but you never spoke my name, I sat and listened anyway

Then in the silence I heard someone speak, it was a still small voice and the voice was me

This shit used to mean something  But Elijah it was your voice, baby

Fall to my knees scared to try to breathe. My own voice was foreign to me

If you’re real, where are you?

And if you’re real, how could you?

You leave us in these dark places  it’s chemical warfare behind the  Traces of lines on my many faces

And I don’t think I can trust you

Written by: Stacy Johnson 7-4-19, cycle day 9 Mother/maiden

Arms Tied Above My Head


There’s no diving into deeper waters with you, You are surface level, ankle deep, I cannot continue to feed this thing, Cause I only put out and I never receive

Like the eyes watching from underneath my bed, When I turn out the lights, you take over my head, and  I can’t do this, I’m spent

Tonight my thoughts won’t let me sleep, My voice won’t speak, But the silence screams

I pace the floors. Knowing for sure That there isn’t a cure

You’ve got a hold on me, my codependency, And I can’t break free

Because I like my arms tied above my head, I like when you grab my throat just a bit

Caught somewhere between ecstasy and abuse. You are the rope to my metaphorical noose

Pressure on my neck. Try to catch my breath  Before you kick the chair Out from under me again

I could fight and try to break loose

But instead I walk a little closer to you 

And tell you- you can have me however you choose

This is a cycle, My day to day  I get up ask how’s the weather,  babe

Inside I’m scheming bout the sun, the moon, the stars. Reading bout our ancestors and humanity’s collective scars

I’m channeling the wisdom of those gone before, I’m gathering their courage to fill up my jar  So I can drink it in and maybe move on

I pace the floors. Knowing for sure That there isn’t a cure

You’ve got a hold on me, my codependency, And I can’t break free

Because I like my arms tied above my head. I like when you grab my throat just a bit

Caught somewhere between ecstasy and abuse. You are the rope to my metaphorical noose

Pressure on my neck. Try to catch my breath  Before you kick the chair. Out from under me again

I could fight and try to break loose

But instead I walk a little closer to you 

And Tell you- you can have me however you choose

Written by: Stacy Johnson 7/8/19 (Mother cycle day 12)

The Work of Clouds

I saw a cloud of splendor,
it was floating on a breeze.
I thought of its good fortune,
without a single aim to please.

It was just as it is,
no desire, expectation, or lean,
An elemental compound 
without a recollection of me.

I stood in awe of its color,
the blue, the gray, the green,
and as I looked upon it,
my pain within began to scream.

Oh, to be that cloud,
out of every person‘s reach.
Just suspended in forward motion
without the slightest thought of needs.

Then  I watched that cloud spill over
from fluff to angry beast, 
and in a few short moments 
the cloud shed tears as my reprieve.

Perhaps it was looking down
and saw a girl with a cloud all her own.
Then decided to rinse the gray from her, 
to strip her down to her gloom-soaked bones. 

Maybe the clouds can only 
make room for so much gray,
and after that they must unleash
for we both can’t stay that way.

So the cloud gave way to falling,
did the work of its heaviness.
And upon the on-looker below,
a cleansing downpour of tenderness.

I stood with heart wide open,
receiving what was nature’s drenching gift.
And with every drop that rolled off me,
my gray turned from its bitterness.

Fading from the atmosphere,
the cloud drifted to nothingness.
I whispered, “Someday, not just yet,
I’ll join you,
in the place where we don’t exist.”

By: Stacy Johnson, 4-28-19





Anxiety

One of the struggles I face most after leaving the Christian faith is an inability to quiet my mind’s desire to unhinge the religion. I so wish to pick each and every part out that damaged me, and announce to the world-how we can fix it, I so badly want to SCREAM, “You have google at your fingertips, Christian people—— research the shit out of this——you are DAMAGING your thinking children, and you won’t know it til it’s too late!”

Imagine one of those billboards that stream their message flashing from left to right. That is precisely what my thoughts look like running through my mind. And what’s strange is that I’m up and about, going and doing, but ALWAYS in these two places. My head is invested in whatever my hands are doing, but the flashing billboard is zipping by, sometimes slow, but usually fast. When it’s rapid firing, I notice that I’m tense, my jaw is clenched, and I have to force myself to loosen up. So much of this is based on the fact that my subconscious is hurting and angry. The systems at work inside Christianity are so degrading and I was raised in them from birth. I torment myself at times by mentally listing the ways it warped me, here are a few things I believed and in the parentheses is the reality:

You are worthy of hell,  (but there’s not one)

Your natural state is sinful, (I’m actually innately good)

You must ask forgiveness for Every Sin, (harm no one and there is no sin)

Women caused the fall of man,  (Patriarchal folktale)

Women are weaker minded, (FALSE)

Women need leadership, (FALSE)

Women must submit, (FALSE)

Women can’t teach men- only children, (laughably false)

Your body isn’t yours-it’s your dad or husband’s, it’s a temple, (She is fully mine)

You can’t trust yourself, (Always Always trust yourself)

You can’t trust your questions, (ask and research EVERY question for yourself)

Women have roles in the home that men shouldn’t, (Patriarchal BS)

You must not divorce unless there is an affair or physical abuse—-but really you should stay to work it out… (Get out the moment you realize they aren’t who you thought they were.)

Besides the basic false teachings of the church, the folktales that were told to me as fact, as God’s word, that I’ve had to research and tear down the walls of, I’ve also got these corrupt brain hi-jackers, that were embedded in me, that aren’t as easy to silence as a mythical Bible story. I know they aren’t true—-but I believed with my whole heart every bit of it, and that means for most of my life, I believed I was not good. I was a child, believing that I was innately in my core, bad. That is some tough shit to recover from. So the flashing lights stream on, playing over and over. This is simply me trying to pinpoint where the pain is coming from, me trying to undo the abusive talk of a subconscious that was herself, abused.. Sometimes I just wonder who I could’ve been had these systems not been at play. I mourn and lament for her…

Your child is not a Christian

Recently while listening to Richard Dawkins’, “The God Delusion,” I had to pause and let some of his words wash over me—they were cleansing, if you will.

I won’t quote him directly, but here’s the jist:

**There can be indoctrinated children, and there can be children of Christian parents, but there are zero Christian children.**

Obviously, a few years ago I would have wanted to battle back and proclaim that MY children were believers and students of the Holy book. I would’ve scrambled to find the flaw in his statement—- but deep in my noggin, I would’ve been arguing, not with Dawkins, but with my own indoctrination.

As much as I would’ve wanted to believe my kids WERE Christian kids, the truth was—every belief they possessed came directly from me or the Bible stories I’d allowed them to learn. Sure they knew scripture, but how did they learn it? –Me, a curriculum I’d chosen, a class I’d taken them to… Sure they knew the prayers, but how did they know who to pray to and the format of recitation? Me! These weren’t things they would’ve ever approached on their own. They were simply babies who wanted to PLAY! But my kids were my echo chambers, they were simply regurgitating by beliefs right back out at me. It’s scary to think how deeply I had sculpted their entire world view and reality. Shits terrifying, man. Wheeeew. Breathe. Even scarier is the way some folks never realize what they are doing….

Fortunately for me now, as a deconstructed exvangelical, when I read Dawkins’ words, I was in complete and total agreement. It was actually freeing to hear someone else saying what I knew from my own childhood and in raising my kids.

Every single attempt at raising Godly kids is a form of indoctrination. From reciting scripture, creeds, and prayers at young ages, to attending weekly services, to routines of the home. Every time a parent intentionally places their belief system into the mind of their child, they are indoctrinating that child. Every time a child declares they are saved or that they’ve had a God experience, it is simply a replication of what they’ve witnessed from adults around them or is a fictitious response to hormones released in emotional situations. Again, a fabrication of that child’s reality set up by someone else.

Children are born religion free. Again, when a baby is born, their brain has zero knowledge of any religion. Yet, they are divine. They come to us with an awe-struck curiosity for the mystical experiences of nature. They are bright eyed and eager to explore, they worship in the form of wonder. Wouldn’t it be grand to approach guiding them, with that same joy of learning that they implore. When THEY ask about God, faith, sins, the devil, as parents we show excitement and present them with timelines of all the major world religions, allowing them to see for themselves the bigger picture. There is NO indoctrination in that method. And, there is no right answer, therefore no pressure to conform out of fear.

I remember the fear that being a Christian places within parents. The “their blood is on your hands,” approach to training up children. Hell, I pulled my kids from school so I COULD INDOCTRINATE them to think like me.

I remember feeling afraid when they “sinned.” I remember crying out to God that he would guard their hearts. I spent literal nights awake trying to envision a way to best teach them so they’d know God’s Love….

But now I see, if you look at your child as a fallen being to be saved, you’ve lost the chance at letting the magic of life teach them. Their own Life is their best teacher. You are cutting them off from their own flow when you’ve set the default state of being as a religious one. They have very little chance at growing beyond that default setting, and for many Christians that is their hope.

How sad. But that’s what you get when generation after generation sits in the church pew and never does the work of thinking. You get uneducated worldviews, partnered with indoctrinated beliefs, sculpted into little robotic beings, passing off their ideals as the ONLY right way, all the way into their adulthood, and this then repeats itself with their children. And it’s ALL misinformation, but they live from default because it’s safe and requires no conscious effort to learn new ways and new information.  It’s frankly, an irresponsible way to live.

For me and for my children, I did the work of reprogramming my default settings. They will not have to deconstruct, they will not have to “go astray” or “leave the fold.” Together, we are free to let Wonder, Curiosity, and Life be our teachers. Please join me in ending the brain-washing of our youth-they deserve better. They deserve to be the joyful explorers that they were literally born being. Let us, as adults, give our children the space they need to be here, free from your default settings.

Thanks for reading! XO