I Am So Cruel to Myself.

Resetting the mind when our dreams get the best of us.

Darren T. Atherton
Jun 22 · 2 min read

We are
rearranging the furniture.
It’s not going well.

“I feel flustered,” she says.

It’s not the polished
Instagram-ready haven we thought it’d be
when we first swapped the bed and the couch
an hour ago.

It looks like a dorm room.

“It just takes time,” I tell her,
“We’ll figure it out.”

And I believe what I’m saying.

The next day
I’m arranging an article.
I’m trying to turn the contents
of my head and heart
into words.

I’m not the guru of anything,
not an advice-giver, or a fixer;
Only a parrot.

“I feel anxious,” I say to myself,
and I forget entirely what I had told her
the night before.
If I’d remembered,
I wouldn’t have believed it.

I am so cruel to myself.

I am cruel to myself
when it rains all day,
and instead of thinking, “How
can I make this day better?”
I sink into the belief
that I am not good enough
for a better day.

Before I can even lift a finger
I’ve cut it off.

When I do this,
whenever I notice the strain
of a standard
not even God expects of me,
I have to say,
“I’ve done enough.”

If I do not believe this,
even for a moment,
I remain my own interrogator,
my own captive.

I can be so cruel to myself.

Now and again,
I have to rest
from the ridiculousness
of my need to satisfy someone
who doesn’t exist;
override expectations
that are not God’s;
and ignore the illusory
but still-ticking stopwatch
that I full-well know is powerless to annul
the need for time
in all things.

Poets Unlimited

Six Years of poetry-only publishing, PoetsUnlimited was a diverse, engaging and authentic poetry magazine. For most of that time a daily publication, it was always diverse and original, and free-to-read by all.

Darren T. Atherton

Written by

Writer, Editor and Poet | Inner-life Advocate

Poets Unlimited

Six Years of poetry-only publishing, PoetsUnlimited was a diverse, engaging and authentic poetry magazine. For most of that time a daily publication, it was always diverse and original, and free-to-read by all.

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