Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Where were you?

 It's been a while, and that's okay. If you are still here - thanks for sticking around! If you are new I'll try to keep this little patch of poetic weeds watered with some salty tears and dark humor.

This is a long one, and before you get excited about arguing it or defending someone you think you see remember this: We all can be there, but that's a choice. Grief, losing someone isn't easy. It's not comfortable. It's not supposed to be. Neither is the work of being a present friend - don't wait for wise words or powerful actions, just show up. Be quiet, offer a hug and some coffee, a flower or a smile. Being there is the key - nothing else. And you won't be comfortable. You shouldn't be.  


Where were you?

Where were you when the hearts were breaking?

When the tears were falling, and the fears loomed large?

Where were you when the presence of a friend

Would have been a gift more valued than gold?

Where were you when it was uncomfortable and messy?

Whose tears did you brush away, who did you comfort?


Oh WAIT! I know! You were anywhere BUT there.

It was uncomfortable. It was hard. It wasn’t something

You wanted to do. Something YOU didn’t WANT to do.

Huh. Guess what? NO ONE wanted to be THERE!

It wasn’t comfortable for ANYONE! It shouldn’t be!


Where were you when your friends were broken hearted?

Off and away where it wasn’t messy or hard or uncomfortable.

Where were you when we were cleaning wounds with tears?

Where were you when we were speaking love to memories of the dead?

Hiding out in your comfortable away place.

Hiding out from those who needed you.

You were busy. You were doing important things.

So, we sat with our pain, washed in our tears and held our own hands.

We took comfort in the few who were brave enough to be present.


I know you CARE. I think you think you TRIED. But did you?

Was your BUSY so important? Was it something you can even remember?

How was it in our loss that instead of drawing near you too left us?

We stood as tall as we could, tears washing down, and missing comfort.

Comforting others in their pain, being present in the messy.


I’ve been busy with the dying, the dead, the living and the grieving.

I need to know…

How did your faith get represented in the pain of your friends?

But you weren’t there.

Who heard your testimony of presence in grief?

But you didn’t say anything.

Was there a lesson in being present in the lowest places?

But you weren’t there.

Is your silence ‘giving us space to heal’ or is it uncomfortable guilt?

Where were you, my brothers and sisters?

Or do you feel justified in your distance? Righteous to be above it all?

Are you so holy and above us all that you truly can skip grief?


And you, you shepherd to the easy flock, what about you?

You had no comforting words, no prayers to speak over us.

Your religion kept you where the money greased your palms

And the right people sang the right verses to your favorite hymns.

You only asked one who spoke for everyone, and no one at all.

For you there is less than contempt, less than indifference.

For you the dust from my sandals is shaken and the path beckons.


Those who were there in the ugly crying, the angry sobs bless us.

Thank you.

Those who listened to the hurt and offered silent love bless us.

Thank you and you.

Those who showed up, sat quietly and shared tears bless us.

And you, you know how much you helped, don’t you?

Those who stood by, near and far, in silent love bless us.

Thank you.

Those who patiently rode the waves of sadness bless us.

Thank you.

Those who heard the dark humor, the memories bless us.

Thank you. You got it.


Do one thing, if you have come this far, just ONE THING.

Be present. In the hurt. The mess. The pain. Be there.

Dance in the storm, hold hands in the hurt, wipe the tears.

BE THERE. Don’t flinch. Don’t look for easy or comfortable.

Be brave and present. Pray without words, with sighs.

You can’t heal this. I can’t either. But together, maybe…

Just maybe we can come through it like a stormy night.

Messed up, banged up but better for it. Together.

And maybe together we can learn to forgive ourselves.

And forgive them too, for no one earns grace.


Copyright Shanyn Silinski 2020

Monday, January 7, 2013

You don't know me

You don't know me.
You thought you did.
You don't.

These scars I've earned.
Those bridges I burned.
The living and being alive.
You don't know me.
I don't know if you can.
Do I care?
Storms ridden out.
Cloud's lining silver found.
I'm here still. Made it.
You don't care to know.
You didn't then, don't now.
Good by me.
Laughing at a false face.
Saw through you too!
Don't waste my time.
You don't judge me.
Not your right, then or now.
Don't waste my time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Shake it off...

I keep diving in. Conversations. Wishes. Dreams.
Seeking your notice. Your approval. 

Your interest.  

I can't help but wonder why I seek this?

It only hurts me. Even when I keep my
Expectations so low that your being
conscious is a victory.

I'm up to my neck in wanting you to care.

I think it is time to shake it off!

I think I am done actively trying.

Done with the wanting, the wishing.
I'm done hoping too.

It is time to shake it off.  Shake you off.
Like water.
Like dust.
Like dried blood and dreams.

Time to leave you with the echoes of my prayers.
And your own selfish ways.
Your desire to be important
has robbed you of being
included in our lives.

And you don't even notice.
And you don't care.
Maybe someday.
Or maybe not.
You choose
not me.

Copyright 2012, Shanyn Silinski

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's keep talking

Let’s Keep Talking About Bullying

I am honored to be guest posting on Scarred Seeker, after finding the post about getting discussion going about bullying.

Yes! We must get discussion going, I so agree…and we must guide this process so that the discussion is not laden with “would’ve, could’ve and should’ve”, but rather with proactive language and plans. It’s not that hard!

We WILL…find out what bullying prevention plan are school is using, and how they are using it!

We WILL…support our schools by teaching positive social skills, friendship skills and communication skills to our children.

We WILL…enrich our own lives and happiness by taking the things we are teaching our children and use them ourselves!

We WILL…understand that when another child uses a bully action on our loved one, both of the participants are children.

We WILL…set boundaries with people in our life and show our children how to send the message that I must be treated with respect!


"What is the one thing that YOU will do right away to help with the bullying issue?" 
Please feel free to share in comments and we'll get the conversation started right here!

Please, sign up for our No Such Thing as a Bully newsletter at http://nosuchthingasabully.com to receive a link to the The Almost Book: Almost 50 Things That Almost Anyone Can Do About Almost Any Kind Of Bullying" 

It’s not really about finding the “right” thing or the “best” thing to do. It’s just about doing something…and that includes talking.

Kelly Karius is the co-author of “No Such Thing as a Bully”, a program intended to move away from the traditional labeling solutions that have been used in the past, to a full school, community and family solution. More information found at http://nosuchthingasabully.com  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Living with Bullies

It breaks my heart. So many people I know and care about are living with bullies in their lives. In their homes. Their church. Their families. They think they have to accept that.  It makes me so sad.

They don't know they don't have to accept bullies in their lives. They don't want to face that they have allowed bullies to continue to be in their lives. They fear to face the thought that those bullies are teaching a new generation of bullies and are wounding those who can't stand up to them.  They live in fear. 

We talk about bullies in school. We talk about bullies in the work place.  What about those in church?  What about those on TV?  What about those who sit at our table for breakfast?

Who is talking about those bullies?  (hey...notice that resounding silence? Yeah I did too!)

We are going to be! Scarred Seeker is taking on the bullies!  We are going to talk about stopping the bullying. Speaking up and showing our kids that as adults we aren't going to be bullies and we are not going to be bullied!

Won't you join me?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It is a trust thing

It is a trust thing.

I can hear you saying, "No! Really? Wow...so what's new?" and yes I'd normally agree that this isn't quite the earth shaking announcement it could be.  But this really is shattering for me. And after you are done reading perhaps a bit rattling for you as well.

My son is studying jujitsu, it is a class for little guys to learn about being safe and it is about not being bullied or being a bully.  It is about sticking up for not only yourself but others as well. 

The children trust each other and you can see it when they practice and play together.They trust their sensei too. He shows them, he teaches them.  Everyone is included.  They understand the sublime message of truly learning this martial art - when you are in class you can trust your partners, your sensei, your training.  By learning that trust there, where it is safe, you can use your skills with confidence outside of class.

That is not what shattered me though.  That is just an observation to set the scene.  

We arrived early yesterday to class and got to observe Sensei training with another practitioner.  They were working on holds. Choke holds. Neck holds.

I overheard them talking and started to realize there were only two ways out of the holds if both people were equally skilled.  One you pass out and the other person lets you go because they won.  Two you tap them and they let you go.

The trust is in the tap.  They could feel the hold, they dissected it and they talked about it.  I watched, they were putting it all into doing those holds right.  You knew it was right when you saw the tap.  Then the one doing the hold let go. He stopped immediately.

There I am, a Mama and survivor, and I'm shaking. My heart is racing. My hands are sweaty. I'm thinking I could never do this.  I can't trust like that.  There is a real trust there. Something that is fundamental to the art.

I want to take his women's self defense class next month.  I want to try. For my friends who are coming. For the person I trust to teach my son. For myself.  I don't know if I can do it. 

I tried talking to my husband about how I feel. But I didn't really get to the trust part, I was still stuck back in the automatic self preservation mode explanation.  But after seeing J and M working on the holds together I started to understand.  It is the trust I need to work on.  

Trust people inside my zone.  Trust people to put their hands on me to teach me. Not to hurt me. To teach me.   I need to trust them enough so I can let my guard down so I can learn.  Letting the guard down means really being in the moment, being present there and now. Not in the past where I learned to break free and stay free of holds.  Nor in the future when I might need to do so again. I need to be present, there fully, and be able to trust and learn.

I'll keep you posted, see how this part of the journey goes. For the Scarred Seeker is still scarred and she is still seeking...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Olive, the other reindeer

Christmas can be such a season of contrasts.

Blessings and stress. Freedom and feelings of being trapped.

Loved ones around you or you being alone.

Choosing boundaries. Making hard choices.

Seeing doors open you thought would stay closed.

Being free or trapped by holiday bullies of all kinds.

Thinking of the strange connections we can make to holiday songs.

As a kid I always wondered why there was that tenth bully reindeer Olive, and why none of the others ever stuck up for Rudolph.  No one understood why that song and show made me sad. No one got it.

And poor ol' Frosty! He couldn't get anything right! But then his brains really were made of mush. What could you expect from a snowman after all?

At least no one asks why we don't have mall Santa photos of our little boy anymore. I guess they got tired of getting the look whenever they asked. Shudder...cringe...yeah...THAT LOOK!

This Christmas I wish for you the best of the season, for you! What you need, who you need and when you need.  If being alone is your choice, then I pray you won't be lonely.  If risking that open door is your choice, then I pray that your risk pays off wonderfully!  If you are hurt and hiding away, I pray that you are comforted and know you are loved.

Survivors can have a hard time at Christmas but we can make it our own.  This year we are just three for Christmas. We are so excited!  Find space and a place for you this season...it isn't meant to be a time of stress and pain.  Really...and we can take it back!