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The Dark Night’s Gift

 It’s easy to be grateful for the things I like.

The beauty of the lake and mountains,

Cherished family and the memories we share,

The company of good friends, Read more

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When Gratitude Comes to Dinner

When Gratitude comes to dinner
She wears a purple feather in her hair
Reminding her to be appreciative.
She doesn’t want to take life for granted,
But she knows she does at times.

She watches for the tiny little ways she closes her heart.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of living.
It’s so easy to believe that a stranger intrudes upon her time.

Gratitude remembers when Darkness surrounded her
For a very, very long time.
Month after month,
Encompassed like a gray shroud thick with gauzy tentacles
wrapped her like a mummy,
Bound tight with no light.

And then one cool Spring day
Kindness touched her.
As she walked across a lonely parking lot,
a little item fell from her hand to the ground.
A stranger walking toward her offered,
“Oh, let me get that for you,”
He stooped, picked it up,
smiled and placed it in her hand,
and then walked on.

The gray shroud lifted as her eyes opened wide in surprise.

His kindness warmed her sad heart, grown cold from the loneliness of her Winter.

For when Darkness imprisons us for a long, long time
It is then that we become truly grateful
for the little gestures of love
that we would have otherwise taken for granted.

Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC
Thanksgiving Day
Copyright 2011, All rights reserved. The Esposito Institute, Inc.

 

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When Gratitude is Difficult

I sit perched upon my mountain high, surveying the land below.
How peaceful, how serene.
I love it so.

As I ponder the meaning of Thanksgiving,
I wonder, “What does it really mean to be grateful?”
What is the Heart of gratitude?
When am I most compelled to reach into the deepest part of myself and there, too, find gratitude?

It is easy in times when everything flows smoothly.
And that is wonderful, indeed.

But even more, to be grateful for the hard times,
That is when gratitude is most difficult.

Can I find the gifts in the sorrow?
How can I be thankful for a thousand losses?
All the times I felt unloved.
All the times I tried so hard, and success eluded me.
All the times I thought I was going in the right direction
And one more time, I arrived at the end of a road where the sign read, “Dead End.”

How can I be grateful for that?

I look deeper inside, and deeper yet still
I wind my way through the gauzy maze.

Home.
What is Home?

My Home, my true Home, lies in the heart of The Beloved.
He reminds me that I am beautiful in his eyes.
He holds me when I am scared.
He encourages me when I am shy.
He lavishes me with gifts of the spirit.
He brings me challenges so big that I either sink or soar.
He connects me with people who have hearts of gold
And sorrows all of their own.
He gives me opportunities to be of service.
He reminds me that receiving requires the strength to be vulnerable.
He holds me back when I’m eager to dive in when He knows the water is too rough.

Sometimes I get so frustrated with Him because I have mind of my own.
He cautions me. He disciplines me. I stamp my feet.
He makes me do my homework long past the days when school should have been over.

Sometimes, I am so weary.
Sometimes, I am worn out.
Sometimes, I give up.
And then I look deeper
And deeper yet still,
And I find Him once again, my Beloved, holding out his arms to me
Inviting Intimacy.

Intimacy with my Beloved.
The Beloved.
My one true Beloved when all around me squalls in tempest.

I turn to Him,
And He to me,
And we gaze into each other’s eyes,
one to the other,
And all the world falls away.
All the striving and stress.
All the worries and fears.
All the goals and aspirations that define me
Melt away like butter sliding off a hot knife.

All alone with my Beloved
And He with me.
Inside.
Inside, He awaits for me
All the time
Waiting, waiting, and watching
Patiently,
For me to find my way Home once again.

My Beloved.
My best friend.
Jesus.

Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC
11/22/12

Background
This prose poem sprang forth after listening to the poet Dana Gioia interviewed on National Public Radio, Asheville, NC on Thanksgiving morning 2012.  Paraphrasing, Mr. Gioia said, “If you can accept your sorrows, they can become your gifts.  Find the gifts hidden in the sorrows.”

For the last few days, I had been contemplating sending a special mailing on Thanksgiving Day.  I wanted to write on this very same theme, and I just happened to turn on the radio at the precise time of this interview. That’s how the Holy Spirit works.

I love hearing and reading others poems, and I love writing and reading my own.  I don’t have confidence in my skill as a poet although I’ve written poetry for 30+ years.  Most of the time, when I contemplate writing poetry, the inner critic’s voice scolds me, “You can’t write. It’s won’t turn out well.  You can’t do this, so don’t bother.”  After listening to this litany again today, I almost started a google search to find someone else’s poem to share with my friends on Thanksgiving Day. But another inner voice coaxed me, “Just sit and write. You can do this. See what comes out.” So I sat and wrote, and line after line flowed just like it usually does when I stop my busyness long enough to listen. With a little editing, this beautiful gift came into full living color to bless us today, and for many years to come. This is the kind of writing, the mutual creation of The Holy Spirit and Benita Esposito in intimate partnership, that I love the most.

God bless you and your family on this Thanksgiving Day and all year long.

Special thanks to:

(1) Dana Gioia for his inspiration this morning on National Public Radio.  Visit http://www.danagioia.net/poems/

(2) Father John Rice, my favorite spiritual teacher who encourages me to develop a relationship with Jesus as Intimate Friend. Thank you, John.

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. The Esposito Institute, Inc.

For permission to reprint, please use the contact page at www.Flourishing-Lives.com

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Mountain Sunset

Walking across the dam tonight,Lake Chatuge, Hiawassee, GA
breathing in a full deep breath of
360 degree mountain views.
Misty clouds hover overhead
While the sparkling cloudburst
fires up the magenta sunset.
The full moon glistens
a streak of white light
across the quiet blue lake,
while the locusts sing a chant,
and fire flies
blink gold
on and off,
on and off.

Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC
7/28/07

Copyright 2007, All rights reserved. The Esposito Institute, Inc.

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Woman Emerging

Wouldn’t you love mepretty woman
for just who I am?

Wouldn’t you love me
for just who I am?

Behind this painted face
and every hair in place

Is a wild and crazy
Mean and angry
Clumsy and fragile
Strong and agile
Warm and gentle

Sentimental woman!

 

Authors: Priscilla Sabin and Benita Esposito

Copyright 1991, The Esposito Institute. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, please use the “Contact Form” on this site.

The Esposito Institute / Counseling and Life Coaching
2 Offices: Atlanta and Blairsville, GA
Contact: Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor
Psychotherapy Websites: www.Flourishing-Lives.com
Life Coaching Blog: www.YourAuthenticLife.com

Specialties: Marriage counseling, individual psychotherapy. Divorce, emotional roots of disease, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar and success skills. Combining intuition and evidence-based practices, Benita gets to the bottom line quickly to help clients create flourishing personal and professional lives. Psychotherapy is available in Blairsville and Atlanta. Life coaching for high achievers is available worldwide via telephone and skype.

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”  ~Christina Baldwin

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New Love Risking~Prose

Perhaps we will be together in many places,
in many phases of our lives:
Chatting with friends,
Swirling on the dance floor,
Competing in sports,
Delighting in intellectual conversations, Read more

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Trust Me~Prose

Loving you is like riding a giant roller coaster.
Slowly mounting anticipation
rushes into elevated excitement
that dips into deep sadness.

You draw near.
You stay.
You leave again. (Read more.) Read more

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Trusting Others~Prose

Sometimes in our darkest hours,
we have to rely on the knowledge
and perception of others.

We have to trust. Read more

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Prose

This section features posts from Benita’s prose.

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Feeling Safe~Prose

Feeling safe, secure, calm and quiet.
Even in the midst of trials and confusion,
The memories of your smiling eyes
and your gentle touch
soothe my troubled mind. Read more

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