I Have A New Goal and There is a Ghost Over My Shoulder

abseilen_jumelleI have a new goal
oh, boy
it’s a good one too
a risky risk
a delicious venture
maybe I’ll take a trip
ride a motorcycle
make a new friend
enroll in a class
jump out of an airplane
go dancing
or zip lining
swing from a vine in the jungle

Yep, I can do that
I can do anything
I set my mind to do
yes I can
just ask me
I’ll tell you
but first
first I have to face the ghost
hovering over my shoulder

A ghost from the past
that snide voice telling me
of dangers far and wide
snakes and spiders
bumps and bruises
torments and intimidations
images of defeat
thoughts of disappointment
people who might laugh at me
people who have laughed at me
all for daring
yes daring to reach more

I want to disappear that ghost
make it evaporate
go away
stop bothering me
once and for all
eradicate every bad memory
every mental script
all the hurts and memories
forget the pain of my past
just decide to let it go
poof, it’s gone.

If only life worked that way
poof, it’s gone
and that was it, YAY!
I’ve thought and thought and thought some more
Looked at this six ways from Sunday
and back again
Set a goal
took it back
and set it all over again

I’ve been smart
and not so clever at all.
Done my homework
researched it all
and played ostrich for a while
talked about my goals
and kept them secret
made excuses
and bucked myself up
exhausting myself in the what if’s

I just have to remember
to include me in this experience
all of me, not just parts I like
me, myself and I
and the ghost that hovers over my shoulder
my personal history
all my wild and woolly feelings
old tapes
destructive mental scripts
shouting, “you cannot do that
memories of jeering bullies
and abusive people
who no longer have the ability
to actually stop me

Feel the feelings
and do it anyway
take the action steps
make them really great baby steps
instead of big flamboyant ginormous leaps
telling myself what a good girl am I
walk out the inevitable flashback
putting one more ugly memory
in a big, big hefty trash bag
making a point of celebrating the success
of letting bad memories go from my being

I can use proper self-care
with compassion and warmth
making a big deal out of
each and every risk I take
celebrating my own efforts
I can remind myself
the risks are spaced out
in each baby step
not in the entire goal
I CAN so do this
all of it
really I can
I can eradicate that ghost of my past
one teeny tiny step at a time.

Photo by Bertrand Semelet [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Feel free to contact me or comment on this poem and the issues involved.

©2016 by Laura Coleman, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

One thought on “I Have A New Goal and There is a Ghost Over My Shoulder

  1. Thank you and yes… we have fears built into us by people and events… to live a full life we sometimes have to push through them, even though we might be quaking inside.

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