Unicorns and all such things

Shame will snuff out
the sparkle
and let the magic
of miracle making
replacing the possibility
of love
with fear

So watch out
and wash out
the things
that bring shame
the thoughts and
the judgements
the long held beliefs
that ask you
‘”what is wrong with you?”
and tells you
“well, you’ve only got yourself to blame.”

Just know this
you who still believe
in unicorns
and dreams come true
it wasn’t just you
and your imagination
it was real
you are not crazy
be grateful for what
you can feel

Take a long shower
go for a walk
write a few poems
find a friend and talk

Take a solo journey
into the dark night
cry and scream
till all the fears
and furies are out

This will make you ready 
to be a fool again
trusting and vulnerable
a believer in unicorns
and all such things. 

Make of this poem whatever you want and let me know what you made of it if you feel like it.


So what do unicorns have to do with shame?

I don’t really know, but this is what I wrote, so I’ll explore the idea. I do know a bit about shame as I’ve lived with it’s devastating consequences for much of my life.

This is what shame does not allow… exploration and experimentation and creativity. Shame essentially tells us we are wrong, that there is something wrong with us, that we are fundamentally flawed and if found out we will be rejected or abandoned. So shame makes us hide and freezes us into fixed roles, following rules. It stops us from living from a place of authenticity, learning how to feel our own feelings and develop our own intuition. It shuts us down and makes a myth of connection and real love.

Unicorns have meant many things and have been many things.  They are mythical creatures that do not appear in myths. They are imagined creatures, moulded out of real creatures. What has been believed about them, has had an impact on the real world. Their horns were believed to neutralize poison and purify water. This was bad news for narwhals, as their tooth horn made a popular counterfeit.

To me, they are gentle yet powerful creatures. They are symbols of our imaginative capabilities and power to create ideas and beliefs that shape our worlds. Because they are not real, they become whatever we want them to be. We become the ones to choose whether they will be beautiful or ugly, strong or weak, good or bad. This is a bit like discovering our own power over what is real in our life, because imagination is probably our most powerful human capability. When we stop imagining, we stop creating and we essentially start to exist rather than live. This is the retreated soul, hiding behind the curtains that shame has drawn over it.

It is heart-breakingly sad to give up on the idea of connection and true love. Each one of us get to decide when our unicorns have become extinct, I have decided that mine never will.

In what area of your life have imagination and reality not yet merged. In what area of your life has there been recurrent unicorn massacres? Could there be hidden patterns of behaviour or beliefs that keep a cycle going? Are areas of yourself or your life shut down due to shame? It is worth asking these questions, because the answers can lead to a richer, happier and more fulfilled life.

The pictures were drawn by myself and another home educating mother, who is a very good friend. As we spend so much time with our young boys, it is always helpful to encourage our own inner children to emerge!

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