I Can't...But I Can

I can't tell you
how to live, 
how to love, 
or where to look
to find your heart. 

I can't tell you
what the sudden pain means, 
or why that strange image
haunts you in the night. 

I can't shield you
from your own
loneliness or loss, 
or stand between you
and the relentless
flow of life. 

I can't remove
the stains from your eyes
or quiet the storms
in your heart.

But I can stand
in the face
of your suffering
and still see your beauty. 

I can witness your weakness
and still feel your strength, 
see your worst
and still be astonished
by your beating heart
and the precious way
you seek your thriving.  

© Nick LeForce
All Rights reserved

Chinese culture endorses respect for teachers and the education system encourages students to look to teacher's for answers and guidance. This shows up in my hypnosis and NLP classes with frequent questions about what an experience (a pain in the body, an image in the mind, a thinking or behavior pattern, etc.) means.  Students seek instructions about how to solve problems or deal with unwanted issues. On the morning I wrote this poem, a student asked what her headache and sadness meant and wanted instructions on how to deal with it or what to do about it. 

Seeing beyond the limitations of oneself and others, looking beyond our differences, may be the most important task of our time now that we are becoming a global community; and even more important during this backlash era of divisiveness and nationalism.  We have to find a way to live together on this planet or we will likely face the zombie apocalypse we fantasize in our movies. 

Please share your thoughts or comments below.