What does it mean when the book falls open

On exactly the page you needed to read?

The words that you needed to soothe your soul

Or lift you up when you’re on the floor?

What does it mean when the butterfly lands

Or the rainbow emerges

Or your numbers come up again and again?

Is it just chance?

A little coincidence, just down to luck?

I am not sure that it’s as simple as that.

Perhaps I am searching for order in chaos,

Hope in amongst the darkest of days.

But what if there’s more to all of these signs?

What if they’re pointing to the place I should go?

Maybe they’re gently nudging along

A girl who is lost and desperately searching

For a little more guidance, a little more love,

From the greatest I am, high up above.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I really think that when I’m going a little bit off course there is somebody or something that is watching over me and giving me a gentle push so that I get back on the right path.

For me, it’s a Christian God that does this, but I know that people believe in other beings, some of them not connected with any organised religion. I think my point is that, as humans, we all need something bigger than us to love us and guide us. Kind of like a parent, but not human. Because humans are always going to let you down no matter how hard they try. It’s comforting to lean on something that will love us unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if we fail our exams or don’t do well in our sporting event, they love us anyway.

I hope that you can find something to have faith in because it helps comfort you in times of distress. And next time you feel a bit lost, ask for a bit of help. You never know when a sign might turn up.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the supermarket frozen aisle

The frozen food section at a quarter to twelve,

It’s a lonely place to be.

The only sound, the humming of the freezers

And the distant beep of check out girls

Scanning chips and apples, loaves of bread.

It is the place I’ve always come

Since that day you left in June.

The cold it keeps me from expiring,

Earlier than I ever should.

The sad and lonely men who drift on by,

Holding empty baskets on their arms,

Are a sad reminder of what I have become.

Their vacant eyes and down turned mouths,

Reflect with painful accuracy,

The person who I’m bound to be

A few years down the line from now.

I wish that I’d tried harder,

I wish that I’d clung on some more.

And then I’d come on shopping trips

With other couples while the sun is up.

But now I’m destined to drift around

This ghostly version of the life that I once had,

Where sad and lonely folk all pass

Underneath the buzzing lights

Of the frozen aisle.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a supermarket in the middle of the night, but it can be a little bit depressing. If you compare it to the hustle and bustle of a Saturday morning, when all of the young families and loved up couples are out in force, there is a stark contrast.

I always think that the people who go shopping in the middle of the night go there to avoid these happy people because they are sad. They don’t want to be reminded of the happiness that they are missing out on. And sometimes I wonder if they are deliberately avoiding it because they once were one of those happy people and the pain of what they lost is too great for them to bear? Perhaps they went through a divorce and now they can’t even entertain the idea of going shopping in amongst all of those happy families?

I always wonder how people end up in the places they do and I feel a great deal of empathy towards the people who I think might have a story to tell. People tend not to choose to be alone and drifting around the supermarket at midnight. There is normally a story to tell and this poem scratches at the surface of this.

If you are alone and wandering around the shops at a ridiculous hour then I hope that you can reach out and find some companionship somewhere in this world.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the mental health plague

Do you want to know why we don’t tell a soul?

Do you want to know why it is kept under lock?

Do you want to know why we scuttle through shadows,

Licking our wounds and patching up gashes,

With dirty, torn rags and useless, worn plasters?

It’s because we’re ashamed and it’s all down to you,

Making us feel like we’re meant for the corner

With the rats and the vermin,

The creatures that nobody wishes to see.

Because you are worried that we may infect,

That our weakness will claw at your shell that is cracking.

And once the disease is inside the body,

There’s no fighting the symptoms with rainbows and smiles

And all of the things you suggest all day long.

Better to turn a blind eye to the darkness,

Or maybe just shout at it, bully it out?

Because you are respectable and can’t have our kind

Clouding your doorways and draining your bank.

You are rich and above all this death and disease,

But herbs and spices stuffed in your nose cone

Will do nothing to help when the fear comes a-knocking.

It knows not the difference between master and slave.

So you’d better be kind while you still have the chance.

To take part in this deathly and gruesome last dance.

There is a lot of shame involve in telling your boss that you have a mental illness and many people choose to not divulge that information. Unfortunately a lot of people have had bad experiences and it is really sad that this means that they are then scared to get the support they need in the future.

I’m guessing that the reason some bosses are so unsupportive is because they don’t understand mental illness. They think that because somebody has anxiety or depression, they may be taking time off constantly and costing the business as a result. But many people who suffer are really hard and conscientious workers and it’s just cruel to treat them in a way that’s so disrespectful.

When I see managers treating their staff poorly because they have a mental illness, it makes me think of the illness as being a bit like the black death. I imagine these people being frightened of getting infected themselves and shunning the sufferers. I imagine them tucked away in their ivory towers thinking that they’re safe because they have money and power and status.

But the truth is that we are all vulnerable and it only takes one traumatic experience or a bad run of luck for a few weeks and we can all find ourselves on that slippery slope downwards. So if you are in a management position, show some compassion. Don’t just try and bully out the weakest link, because sometimes that ‘weakest link’ can be the one that is brimming with the best ideas if you just give them a chance and a bit of support when times are hard.

And if you are struggling at the hands of someone who is bullying you at work because they know you are weak, stay strong. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you never deserve to be put in the corner if you are feeling sad or anxious. I’ll say a little prayer for you today and I hope that some of that positivity reaches you in some way, shape or form.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

storm in a teacup

They told me that really it’s nothing,

A storm in a teacup,

It’ll pass in due course, forgotten so soon.

But the storm, it has worsened

And the cup is destroyed.

Pieces of fine china, flying all over,

Ready to cut and to slice and to dice.

I wish that your anger had never been held

Inside that little cup, so dainty and cute.

Because now it is lethal and there is no end in sight.

It’s the shards that will kill me

As your storm grows in size,

Filling the room with all you despise.

I’m having a relationship issue at the moment and all I want is for it to stop. When it all kicked off, over a year ago, I told everyone that it’ll blow over and be OK. But the person at the eye of this storm has just got more and more angry and everything has got so out of control that I hardly know what’s happening anymore.

It reminded me of the idea of a storm in a teacup. I was always a little bit confused by that expression because I was always worried about what would happen if the storm got bigger. And now it has I can see that it’s become bloody dangerous. I imagine bits of shrapnel flying around all over the place and all I want to do is hide under the furniture and hope it goes away.

The situation has also taught me a lot about hatred and how, for some people, it can just grow and grow until it consumes them. It’s very sad because it must be really painful to hold onto such horrible feelings and it shows that they must have had a lot of pain in their lives.

If you are struggling with forgiveness and holding onto hatred, then perhaps you should try to let go of the rope, just a little bit. Forgiveness eases that pain, even though it’s hard to rebuild trust. And if, like me, you are on the receiving end of somebody’s hate, I hope that you can stand strong and realise that you don’t need to retaliate. Again, just drop the rope and pray that one day the storm will blow itself out.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

little blue tent

I wonder how he got there,

So cold, it’s January ffs.

Did he have a problem with the drink?

Slipping down that greasy slope,

Nothing there to grasp, to stop the inevitable crash.

Did he lose the love of his life?

Did she stamp he stiletto heel into his heart,

The puncture wound, a fatal one.

Did he lose the job he loved?

His reason to get up each day,

His passion dissolved when the liquidators came in.

Did he have a house before it all went wrong?

Before this shabby blue tent was his home

There’s a driveway and white picket fence.

It frightens me, chills me to the core,

That this can quite easily happen to me.

And yet what do I do?

I turn a blind eye, as I draw a deep breath, shaking my head.

It’s January ffs.

This could be you.

Just one tiny wobble and you could be falling.

And where will you land when the shit hits the fan?

In a little blue tent at Waterloo Station.

I went to London today and as much as I love London it opens my eyes to so many of the problems that we face as a human race. There is so much inequality in the world but I don’t have a clue how to fix it.

It scares me shitless to think that it only takes one thing to go a bit wrong and I could end up on the street. It’s a slippery slope and once things start going wrong you never know where you might end up.

My trip just got me thinking about how somebody can end up in a little tent outside the station and what their life might have been like before. I hope that the guy I saw at the station can get some help. I hope that he can get a place to stay and get a job that he can hold down. I know people can pull themselves out of these situations but I know that it takes a lot of hard work. I pray that they get the support and help and that they have a future that is bright and that they can look forward to.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Donate and show some support by visiting the Shelter website.

impossible probability

As sure as the Titanic will sink

And as sure as it is that Jack will die.

As sure as the princess will marry her prince,

And as sure as the sun will rise in the sky.

So too, is it certain that I will be hurt.

It is impossible to please you

And so I could try to hang on

Or sink like that ship, or rise into view.

Whatever may happen I wish I could change

The way things unfurled like a roll

Of silver screen film, just slightly less easy

Upon my fragile, weak soul.

I’m hurting, I’m dying.

The impossible probability

Is that I’ll just give up trying.

Christmas was hard this year. I missed my mum. I texted her but I got no answer and it hurt more that I can put into words. However, it has made me aware that until I let go, I’m stuck. I have to accept that she is not coming back. She has made her position very clear and although the next few steps that I take are going to be very painful, they are very necessary if I want to begin to heal.

Sometimes the steps forward are the hardest as you tear away from the old and start something new. I see it a little like two sides of a sheet of corrugated cardboard being pulled apart. It is difficult and you will leave parts of yourself behind, still attached to the other side, but you can do it.

If you’re struggling to make that step forward in a part of your life then I know exactly what you are going through. Just remember that it’s not necessarily over forever. Jack may die in the movie, but you can watch it again from the beginning and there he is again. Just give it a while so that the plot is hazy in your mind, the edges are softened a little.

I believe in you and I hope that 2020 can begin to heal some of the wounds that you may have acquired this year.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

the truth is kinda pointless

Truth be told, I’m battling with the truth.

I mean, what on earth is it? Really?

Holding it up to the light, it’s so pretty.

Light filtering through glass,

Rainbow colours everywhere.

But the patterns on the wall are not the same

For everyone within the room.

Some will see the reds and ultra violet

While others see an orange and a green.

We argue that we want the truth

But how can we fight for a thing

That doesn’t even exist?

A thing that can’t be solid, can’t be tangible,

No matter how hard we do resist.

am i too broken?

am i too broken

to be deserving of love?

are all of my broken bits

a danger to hold?

the sharp little edges

can easily draw blood.

but if you are brave and ever so bold,

you’ll find that the pieces

still fit together.

if you have patience and plenty of time

then you can make me a beautiful whole,

slightly less dangerous

and the friend to your soul.

I’ve been watching lots of afternoon TV recently and there are so many shows about fixing up items that were either broken or about to go on the tip. I absolutely love these shows because of the reaction of the people when they see their items looking new again. For some it’s as though they are falling in love. There are tears and laughter and hugs for the team who have worked on it.

It really warms my heart in a time when there isn’t a lot out there to make you feel all that warm inside. And it got me thinking about whether or not people are like these heirlooms. Can they be fixed so that they can be loved again?

I sometimes feel like nobody will ever love me again and it can be a really depressing thought. It’s been years since I’ve been in a relationship and even when I’ve been on dates, the guy has always found a reason to move on after a couple of dates.

I hope that one day I will find someone to put together all my pieces and love me entirely. But until then, I will continue to work on being the best person that I possibly can be. I am enough on my own and knowing that is far better than settling for a relationship that is not right for me just to make myself feel whole.

Much Love

Rachel xx

how to be uncool

It’s a difficult thing, to be uncool.

At least that’s what I think as I walk through this world

Watching the hot shots and players, moving in packs.

You might think it’s harder to make it to cool,

It’s a status we all wish for, that is for sure.

But isn’t it harder to let that guard slip?

Isn’t it tougher to show your soft centre,

Your flaws and your fears?

Running in packs is easy to do,

But bounding along on your own special course,

There is danger in that and it lurks in wait.

It hides in the grasses waiting to pounce,

The moment your uncoolness opens you up

To all of the ridicule coming your way.

Better to change the stripes that you wear

To something more spotty and fierce.

You don’t want to be the next casualty

On this animal plain.

So get in your box and pretend to be cool,

The alternative choice is far less attractive,

It’s the well worn choice of every known fool.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

It’s like the Serengeti out there if you think about it. There are the cool kids out on the playground and they are the Cheetahs of the world. And then there are the ones like me who bound around in a world of their own. They’re not cool, but they’re having fun just being themselves.

It only takes a chink in your armour and the big cats can attack though. And they will drag you down as hard as they can because that’s how they maintain their place at the top.

You may argue that it’s really hard to become one of those cool kids, but actually it’s harder to be uncool. Because being uncool means showing all of yourself, even the really embarrassing or negative parts of yourself. There is a vulnerability in it and that takes strength.

So, you might think you want to be one of the popular kids in your workplace or church or community, but really you should be aspiring to be one of the uncool ones. That’s where the real you lies and where you will find the deepest connections with others. And that’s a wonderful place to be if you have the strength to allow yourself there.

Much Love

Rachel xx