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Kelly Mistry Aug 2023
Belonging

The feeling that you will always be
accepted
                                        Integral
one of us

Faults forgiven
Triumphs celebrated
Your past and future
                                        Integrated
into our story

Such an important feeling
                                        Vital
To our sense of community
our sense of self

The ground feels shaky
Prone to destabilizing quakes at the first crack
If that feeling is lacking
                                         Withheld

The floor disappears from beneath you
If that feeling vanishes
                                         Or is withdrawn

Usually it takes more than one
Of the us
To expel or invite

But perhaps
The most influential
One of us

Is you

At the end of the day
You decide
                                         Unconsciously
                                         Consciously
If you are worthy
Of belonging
Of being

                                         One of the us

Sometimes though
The better question may be
Are we worthy
                            of belonging to you?
Kelly Mistry Aug 2023
Who will you be?
What will you like
                          dislike
                          ­loathe
                          love?

Will you love me?
As I will love you?

Dependence is no guarantee
Of love
Of trust

Children make up their own minds
Parents can influence
              but can’t control

I can’t wait to meet you
Discover your likes
                          dislikes
                        ­  needs
                          desires
                       ­   thoughts
                          dreams
          
I can’t wait to meet you
To see the world
                               and myself
through your eyes
Kelly Mistry Apr 2023
Rationality
Consistency
Integrity through time

We hold these up as ideals
Self-evident
As good
Right
Correct

While the messy inconsistency
Irrationality
Splintering of integrity
Of our common humanity
Is bad
Wrong
Meant to be overcome and
                                                 overturned

Seems straightforward

Some may acknowledge the
Unattainability
But not question
                                the correctness
Of the goal

And yet...

If I were to achieve perfect consistency
Through past, present and future
Wouldn’t that also mean
I stop learning
Stop evolving
Stop changing

Perhaps the
inconsistency
irrationality
We all feel in ourselves
from others
Is just a snapshot
Of our continual state of change
The evolutionary process
                                               unfolding
                                                       ­           in real time

I sometimes wonder
if humanity’s greatest strength is the ability
To hold
To embody
Conflicting ideas
With equal conviction

Of course
Lack of awareness of the inconsistency
of our ideas and actions can be frustrating
Infuriating
In ourselves
In others
Potentially dangerous
Especially in our leaders

But perhaps cognitive dissonance
Is not a malady to cure
Or a failing of our nature
that we must fight a losing battle to overcome

But an opportunity
To decide:
                    How will I change next?
Kelly Mistry Feb 2023
Victim
Survivor

Two words
Could describe two people
Or two different versions
                                               of the same person

Victim
What others made you
What some continue
To make themselves

This doesn’t happen in a vacuum
Without reason
Without incentive

Victims garner attention
Sympathy
Kindness

Everyone needs attention
Sympathy
Kindness

But eventually
The spectacle fades
Attention wanes
The world moves on

And the victim
Has no new identity
On which to stand

Survivor
What you make yourself
You may be given this label by others
But only you can define
what it means

Each day
Each moment

Ultimately a choice needs to be made
To live in the past
Be what others made you

Or live in the future
Be the vision you make
Of yourself

Survivor
Victim

Two words
Interlocked
Two very different realities
Inextricably linked

Which do you choose?

Each day
Each moment

Your choice yesterday
Need not determine
Your choice tomorrow

We are not given a choice about the first identity

Don’t relinquish your choice
To embrace the second
To be self-defined
Kelly Mistry Sep 2022
Ripples through time
Perturbations
                           in the world around you
Originating
                      In word
                      In deed

Circles ever widening
Of influence
And impact

Even when we are gone
From the room
Or from the world
                                  In body
                                  In spirit

Our ripples spread

Merge with others
Shape them
As they go on
To shape others

Even when we are gone
Even when we are forgotten

Remember

Your ripples move on
Merge
Intersect
Transform

But always spreading
Through time
Kelly Mistry Aug 2022
Choice
Responsibility
Interlocking concepts
But rarely as simple
                                     as cause and effect

We always have a choice
To act
           To react
                          To endure
                                             To survive

Choice is a source of power
It can’t be taken away by another

Don’t believe them when they say
“You have no choice”
Even if they
are you

But our choices alone
                                       are rarely the only cause
                                                           ­                        of our circumstances

Other peoples’ choices
The systems we must navigate
Our environments and ecosystems, human-built and beyond
All contribute to determine
                                                  the fertility of the soil
                                                                ­                         from which our range of choices grow

In fertile soil
Choices abound

But even in barren soil
You still must choose
To act
To react
To endure
To survive
While holding onto hope
                                              for future change

Through intention
Through community
Through action

To believe that your choices alone
Are responsible for an outcome
Whether fortunate
Or dire

Is the height of arrogance
Born of a need to feel in control
Of the world around you

We all should be held accountable for our choices
But take care
How you parcel out responsibility
                                                              an­d blame

To yourself
To others
With awareness of the state of the soil
                                                                ­     from which those choices grew
Kelly Mistry Aug 2022
I am
the center

The center
Of the world
Of the universe

My universe,
                        at least

For who else could I be
But me?

I see the world
Through my own eyes
                the lens of my own experiences
                the shades of my own perceptions

I feel only
through my own heart

Just like we all do

If we each are the center
Of our own universes
What happens when universes collide?

Will I see through your eyes?
Feel through your heart?
Or will I don blinders?
Deny your world’s existence?

If you believe that seeing the worlds of others
Only expands your own

Then come
Explore the multitudes of universes
Each of us centered in our own
But ever seeking
                               new eyes
                               new hearts
                               new worlds
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