Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

We Made It

We knew it wouldn’t be easy, didn’t we? Nothing ever is. But we knew the pain was a sharp edge, digging into us deep, and now, looking back doesn’t seem so bad. Because we did the healing, went straight into it with fists clinched, eyes wide open, and some of us were kicking and screaming. But we didn’t give up. So we stand here now, hearts whole, hands filled with peace, scars that tell a story of how we got here. We didn’t back down. We didn’t back down. Now it’s part of our story, but we don’t tell it about the time someone hurt us more than we could  ever imagine, we tell it about the lessons that made us stronger. We fought for ourselves. We may bend from time to time, but we don’t break anymore. We don’t break. And we knew it wouldn’t be easy… nothing ever is… but the pain is no longer a sharp edge reminder. We replaced the pain with the healing, changed the plot of our story.  We re-routed our journey. Now we say, “I learned a lot about myself during that time of my life, but mostly I learned about the person I’ll never be again. I’m stronger now. I made it. I’m still standing. And I wouldn’t go back for anything.”  Inhale your peace. You earned it. It was never easy, but you were always worth it. 
-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

This Is For You

If you’re having one of those days, sitting in that place again, where you feel worthless, insignificant and small, this is for you. I see you. I’ve been in that place many times before. I know it’s not an easy door to walk through and I know there’s rarely any visitors. But I see you, and I wish you could see yourself in the same light, larger than life, shining in your dark, bright enough to light the whole sky. I see you. You are not invisIble, you did not go unnoticed, you are worth so much. I need you. Your dark, your light, your emptiness, all of you. Whether you are here in pieces, or still whole, come here. You matter. All of us are just one, big puzzle, searching for the right pieces to fill our emptiness, soften our edges, speak to the void we hold so tight. Maybe some of my pieces fit perfectly across your cracks, maybe some of your pieces are the exact shape of the scars I bear that will not heal. Come here. With all that you are and all that I’m not, I need you, and there’s someone else, sitting in that same place, who needs you too. Open the door, come out with your pieces. Let’s teach each other how to be whole.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

Comeback

Let’s talk about your comeback. All the times you fell and got back up. Let’s talk about the lessons. All the hurt you turned into healing.  Let’s talk about the version of you that you haven’t met yet, and all the versions of you that helped you get to where you are now.  Let’s talk about your survival, all the things that were sent to break you, and you barely even flinched. Let’s talk about how beautiful it is that the ugliest parts of your story are what taught you grace.  Let’s talk about all of the times you doubted yourself, How you used the pieces of those moments to build yourself back up  into the most certain thing you’ve ever known. You dove straight into the chaos and came out holding nothing but peace. You, unbreakable beauty, strong and fierce and brave, I see you and every version of you that carried you to where you are now, I see all of you. Lets talk about how far you’ve come and how you’re still standing.
-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

Beautiful Girl

Beautiful girl, when you are finished falling, after you hit rock bottom and watch yourself come apart into a million pieces, no one is staying to help you collect yourself, no one is sticking around to pick through your pieces to decide which parts of you are worth keeping. That’s for you to decide. So stay down for as long as you need to. This is the most important part. Take your time. Pay attention. You already broke. So the easy part is over. Go slow…. I know, you thought the breaking was the most painful chapter. It wasn’t. Turn the page. The next part is much longer. It’s the healing. The rise. The comeback. It’s the birth of the new you. And it’s not easy. But you are strong and brave and worth it. You’ll have to leave a lot of yourself behind, you’ll have to let go of all the parts of you that you’ve outgrown. We’re not making ourselves small anymore. We’re not bending to fit where we don’t belong anymore. Do you hear me? We’re going all in. Count your wounds, every scar ripped open, every drop of blood you bled like a promise, every tear you cried like a bet in the name of crossing your whole heart, your whole soul, was all for this moment. Right here. Right now. You had to hurt like that to get here to this version of you who knows exactly who she is, who she’s not, who she will never be again. Drop the apologies, babe. We’re not sorry anymore for who we are, we’re not sorry for what we had to do to get here, and we’re not sorry for the time it took to learn our worth. Step out of the box of all you were supposed to be, according to everyone who wasn’t you, and walk into the you, who’s comfortable in her own skin. It’s time. You earned it. We no longer wear the expectations of anyone else and we no longer let anyone else decide what we’re worth. Because we know now. We finally know. And now it’s time to celebrate it.
Get up, babe. It does not hurt anymore.
Now go show YOU what you’re made of.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

Lesson to Myself

I am not for everyone, maybe not for anyone at all and I am slowly learning to be okay with that.

Taking the lesson that every wrong look isn’t a death sentence plunging a knife into my heart. Learning not to see the color of someone’s eyes as a judgment that translates rejection.

Those shades always did kill me. I try to wrap my mind around the attitude that doesn’t care and that’s an easy thing to say isn’t it? Doing it is a different path and it’s never been level. Trips me with the jagged edges, makes me fall over the cracks, and maybe it’s me pushing myself down the way I mastered so long ago.

I guess, if I’m being honest, this lesson of not being my own worst enemy is the hardest one I’ve taken. I keep failing it like self sabotage is the best grade to earn and I owe myself every retake that’s offered by now. I want to get a perfect score on letting the world fall away without touching me first. I want extra credit for being able to smile and walk away unaffected, bonus points for holding a conversation that doesn’t rip my insides into a grave that buries me alive because I can’t breathe.

I always wonder why I was picked to be this person, the one who cannot pull it together even if my life depends on it and now my life is depending on it. But still there are days when something inside of me says, you can’t do this.. just jump. Another part of me that forces my eyes to stay fixed on the lesson of being undisturbed by eye contact, because why does it even matter? And why does it feel like dying inside anyway? Why am I like this?

I would love to know the answer, but I’m blank. It’s a slow process. Working through the disaster of yourself to find the pieces that fit together to make at least a little sense. I haven’t found any that fit yet, but I’m searching.

Digging soul deep. It’s not easy, but I will give myself an A for effort, and keep trying to solve the mystery, until I can crown myself and call it a victory.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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*Photo Credit: Amy Judd via Pinterest*