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if you don’t know it’s purpose
does that mean it shouldn’t exist
if you didn’t understand
then shouldn’t words have left your mouth
shouldn’t i have heard what you were confused about
if you aren’t here to support
then why did you come at all
but if you know the meaning of support
is it support to watch me fall
if you don’t want to be here
don’t
point your fingers at me
blame is all in the name
of this one man game
you done played
if you’re asking me to stay
i’m telling you i already left
you just never knew
you never wanted to know
your words want me
but your heart said no

©Kira Shymn

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the last few weeks. they’ve been interesting. it’s been a process. here’s my rough idea of a timeline: semester started off well enough. good ski trip, semblances of friendships. honestly i can’t remember that far back to actually know any details. i think i was excited/determined to do class and do it right. the first big bump i can remember is the controversial stuff with the group i wrote about in these controversial days. and i think from there a wound was opened. deep irreconciliation. the weeks that followed … spring break, wisdom teeth, MR. physical pain, emotional pain, personal irreconcilation.

i’ve been in a funk. the funk grows and shrinks. the funk deceives me. because around people i can be totally having so much fun. and then i get caught in some weird heavy molasses of depression. and i can’t get out of my own head.

i’ve been actively telling God no. i’ve been rebelling mentally. forgive her. no. stop eating, you aren’t hungry. no. get up and do what you know you should. no. i don’t want to. i can’t do it. no no no.

today i was upset by my brother. because he puts me in situations where i have to help him in these last minute stressful situations. when deeply seeded within me is the desire to not help. but i have to. and i hope he understands that it’s because i’m in this funk.

so a bunch of negative emotion was boiling, bubbling out of me. my stomach was twisting itself. i wanted to writhe around on the floor or scream or just explain to someone why this was unfair. everything. life. everything. ridiculous and unfair.

i took my walk. it was my favorite kind. when it’s cold outside and it’s slightly raining and very windy. and i just started ranting. God, it’s unfair. why do i have to deal with all these shitty people and these stupid situations. God, i can’t. i can’t.

and on this one road as the wind was blowing me back and forth and the rain was softly falling on my face mixing with my tears. he said he wanted to speak to me. he said he would. he said (through deut 30):

“When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes[a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

and i realized. that God was asking me something very specific. something i’d been ignoring for weeks now. God was asking me to obey and not just obey myself. my own desires. the callings and beckonings of my own heart and my own stomach and my own mind. he wasn’t asking me to obey what i wanted. he was asking me to obey his commands. and not just the commands that i liked. not just the things he’s told me in the past. he was asking me to obey all of his commands. and incredibly, he’s not just asking me to obey all of his commands. he even cares about how i obey those commands. he wants me to obey all of his commands with all my heart and all my soul. God doesn’t just want me to mindlessly or forcefully obey his commands. he wants my heart and soul to be behind those decisions. to me, that meant that it matters to God that I am not just doing what he wants because “that’s what i should do.” he wants me to obey him because i want to. because that’s what will delight my heart. that’s what’s written in my heart and the whisper of my soul. and and and. if i do this, i will live and be prosperous. because he is in the work of restoring me.

and it gets better:

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

do you see? do you see?? this ask is not difficult. it’s incredible. because every time i’m faced with not wanting to do what God wants me to do, there’s this feeling of deeeeeep tension. something insurmountable. something impossible. overwhelming. useless. why try. that’s why i conclude that i can’t. and i don’t want to. but no. this command is not difficult. in fact it’s very near. in fact, it’s already in my heart.

this idea was powerful for me. because i knew it. i could feel God’s commands in my heart. i knew i had been running from that for a while. and honestly, i just didn’t fear the consequences of running. because in the beginning i was afraid of being a Christian, i was afraid of trusting God because of these controversial days, i’d forgotten why i wanted to stand firm and obey.

but no today, today today. God is giving me a choice. either i can choose life and prosperity. or death and destruction. and he asks that i now choose life. for my sake, for the sake of my children. simply, i need to love him, listen to his voice, and hold fast. for,  the lord is your life. God=life. by choosing life, i am choosing God. I am choosing the source of life. i am choosing the one who already chose me. already loved me. already obeyed his father to die for me. because he is in the work of restoring me. of giving me life and prosperity.

Dear God,
thank you. thank you for speaking to me today. thank you for walking with me in the rain today. i remembered again today that my happiest days here at Harvard have always been the ones when i’ve been with you. and that my most precious moments have been with you. and i don’t know why i keep forgetting that.
thank you for challenging me again with the idea that the way i am living, the rebellion that i’m following is the reason for my funk. i am not choosing life. i am deliberately not obeying you. i’m almost subduing myself into a foggy state so that i forget what your commands are. because i don’t want to face things i don’t want to do.
God, i’m sorry. i want to obey all of your commands with all my heart and my soul. i am afraid though that i don’t know all of your commands. that i will be lacking in heart and soul. and that i will ultimately not obey. please show me again what all of these components mean and what they practically look like in my life.
please help me to forgive M. though i feel i already have or have begun to, please give me wisdom in this relationship. in all my relationships really. i have not been consulting you, obeying you in how i treat people. think about people. support people.
please give me wisdom in how i spend my money and my time. i think this is another area that i haven’t been obeying your commands.
God, i love you. i am everything i am because of you. i know you told me that i need to spend time with you every day, especially as college is ending. i pray that i will follow through on that.

it’s not about the views
it’s not about who likes this
i need an awakening again
i need a weight loss program again
i have so much that needs to melt off my bones
i need a taste of that quenched thirst
because right now i’m a bottomless pit
something’s not right
because i’m not declaring anything wrong
everything’s permissible
yet nothing is satisfying
nor glorifying
i’m trapped in a glass that bends my vision into a round tension
dismiss my hurts
your experience is superior
i’ll just cut these ties
without any regrets
to the feelings you murdered
out back, left for the dirt
roast me up
and i promise you
i burn

©Kira Shymn

oh sadness sadness dear
hello again old friend
come draw the curtains
come lay with me in bed
on my chest heavy ladened
my burdens litter the floor
i can’t talk can’t dream can’t get up anymore
fixate on fixating
this question berating
your last smokes takes hits from that same drug defeat
“where are you going?”
where am I going?
the world’s moving while I’m stuck
staring at these two feet
not the son that rises
not the person carrying me
surely not securely
bend broken bent
my will to progress forward coward lies regressed enfolds depressed in folds repressed in fetal position possessed and fools repeat
i’m lost sadness
leave me please
but you overstay again until I’m crushed again and my motivations remain chained deceased

where are you going
©Kira Shymn

~~posted on 3.7.18
~~written on 3.5.18

these last 2 weeks have been a lot. im not even sure what to write here. i want to write everything on my mind. the way that i promised i would here. but each time i sat down to write, the problem wasn’t that there wasn’t anything to say, but that i had absolutely no idea how to say it.
no idea how to process the sadness and anger and hurt and pain in my body. the genuine desire to love those who wanted to pin me down and feed me their rhetoric. to convince me that the fibers of my being are hateful and the basis of my faith is discriminatory. which i’ve been finally processing. and maybe, honestly, maybe it is.
even though they only see inevitable conflict, stark incompatibility between my desire to care and what i believe. if i believe this, then i am incapable of truly loving. and i am not sure i agree with them on that.

but i realized. that this platform is not meant for me to be ashamed. this platform is for me to express my inner most. though it may be raw and ugly. though the world may hate me for it. i am writing here for me. and for God. He is my audience of one.

the next few days I will be releasing some writings that have come out of this time. im tempted to copy and paste some of the articles that have been written to provide you all with some context. but i am afraid. im afraid that will immediately launch this into a debate again. with sides and with hurts and with a war and with absolutes. where i must absolutely agree that this was wrong, otherwise i am a stupid fool on the wrong side of history who oppresses the marginalized.

i guess i’ll just say. that a group on my campus invited a controversial speaker. leading to a petition and a protest. afterwards more news emerged about a controversial decision. and though it’s unclear what has led to what, this group is now under probation. which has yet to be defined. see i think that’s enough for now. do your research if you’re curious. it’s all out there for you to find.

but please i ask for your respect. i ask for your open mind. i ask that you not immediately pick a side. i ask that you see me as a human. and you see everyone involved as human too. even the institutions we want to tear down are full of humans, some who really don’t have a clue. and i pray for this tension in my heart to stop. my arms can only stretch so far. before they completely detach from my body, like my mind has begun to from my heart. i can’t remain silent. because silence talks. it’s read as indifference while I scream defenseless. hands covering my mouth, my eyes, i must protect myself. a hardness develops. and a cloudy mist surrounds. death to logic. death to individual thought. do i not deserve these shouts for help. do i deserve to rot. stop telling me im exaggerating. i already know i am. but that’s what emerges when im responding to these festering hurts. burnt bridges. and constant messages. God, where are you. in all the times i’ve said i need you. i have never meant it so deeply nor been so sure. that i need you now. i can’t on my own endure.

~~ posted on 2.28.18

Most times I don’t understand
Most times I echo lies
Most times I’m crippled, stuck in my head, completely paralyzed
But then you paint these sights around me
And I am in awe of your light
As something stirs, whispers that I just might be worth it because you graced me with your life
Pierce my heart deeper still
Piece me back together
Wash me in this river, fill me without measure
Daily I choose to leave the past behind
Daily I fight against this pain that numbs and chains me stupefied
Day to day leads to today
But here hopelessness will end
Because today I will fight to feel your love
Not because it doesn’t exist but because without it I won’t know how to live.

river

©Kira Shymn

~~ picture also taken and edited by me (for the first time)

back on campus. I had a rough flight coming back to Boston. but the moment I landed, snow started falling on my face. and all i could do was smile. i felt like a gift was falling down on me. reminding me that i can do this. that this semester is going to be all about hope. hope.

the ski trip was fine. a lot more fun than i thought it was going to be. skiing is one of those things that feels like privilege. because really only people with money can ski. and people who are good at skiing are usually good because they’ve gone more than once. and again that costs money.

for myself. i almost died while skiing in 2014. so whenever i start going too fast a terrifying rush enters my body and i just want to get off the freaking mountain and stop moving so fast. and so i basically sliiiiiiiiiide very carefully down every slope. bunny hill, green circle, blue square. and on black diamonds i lay on my back and sliiiiiiiiiide on down.

but this trip. i was able to get better. it felt like a weird metaphor for my life. yes, i’ve had traumatic experiences. and yes, those experiences still trigger fear and extreme caution and sometimes crazy reactions. and yes, there are moments when i want to just get off this ride and i’m ashamed that people can see what a terrible skier i am. but im doing things at my own pace. im getting down this mountain. and when i get to the bottom, i’m full of hope. hope.

relationships are tough. especially friendships. my least favorite feeling is that hot burn in my cheeks fueled from regret of saying something i want to suck back in. words that are flying away from me and causing a chain of reactions i didn’t anticipate. i want to pause those moments. i want to go back in time in those moments. i want time to move faster faster, fast forward to a time when people have completely forgotten what i said. most of the time this happens when i’m trying to be funny or i get too comfortable or i’m trying to portray something im not, make someone feel a certain way, manipulative.

but i proclaim hope. i cling to hope. i will fight to hope. that this semester won’t end like the last. this semester though my last will be as it should be. and at the end i’ll leave here, shedding the me that couldn’t and rising with the one who can.