Holding Back

Right now you may be holding back
how you feel
how you want to live life
deciding what to do next

You may be holding back
your dreams
your hopes
your desires

You may be holding back
your fears
your annoyances
your paranoia

You may be holding back
your love
your expression
your boundaries

You may be holding back
and back
and back

Like a little tempest in a teapot

And it makes sense
The world has asked you to hold back
To stay inside
to make being around the same people a lot more than normal work
to make working from home work
to make a pandemic work
to make your life work in a way it may never have worked before

You may be holding back
how well this is working for you
the relief you feel that you don’t have to drive your kids to school
or go into the office
how right you feel about how bad this has all gotten
because you saw first how bad it might be

You may be holding back
what you want to say
what you really need
what is missing

in an effort to keep the peace
inside your household
inside your company
inside your mind

And it’s okay
it’s ok to hold back right now

But it’s so important for you to understand
that holding back
the end all be all fix for everything

It can work
in the same way a pressure cooker works
it can steam and stew
it can process

but if you don’t let it out
a little
with a safety release valve
you may just explode

split pea soup on every wall
chili con carne on the ceiling
shrapnel in the kitchen sink

don’t hold it all in
let it out
even a little bit
hit a pillow
scream at the moon
curse the gods

share what isn’t working
with compassion
with love
own up to where you’re feeling weak
ask for help
pick up the phone
reveal what is hidden

in this time where so many of us feel hidden in our homes
there is a great revealing
of what was workable about our lives before and what was unworkable
of what we loved about our lives before and what was missing

you can allow these revelations to allow your heart and life to blossom
or you can add them to the backlog of things unsaid
life unlived
love unexpressed
desire unspoken
dreams tucked away in sleep

days and days of surviving
the one thing that you can’t survive
being alive

it’s time to stop holding back
take a long hard look
take a big gulp
take a slow deep breath

and let it out
if even
just a little

So I ask you
what is it that you are holding back?

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