The Arc of Courage

Your toddler girl body and best friend’s girl body

soiled at the hands and threats of another

Balled in terror I coaxed you

To barely breath

A begging mantra

“We won’t tell. Let us live.”

Waking up terrified at night

I whispered “You are alive.”

Hidden deep inside, I helped your

Body move, hide, and comply in a

Household where

Eggshell walking

Required calloused feet

You did not have.

Looking into your brown eyes

In that reflection of mirrored glass

I said, “We will get out of here.”

We began digging underground

Passageways inside your imagination

and fluttering heart

To find escape.

You skated, swam, and ran.

Your body grew and so did I.

We began to speak and take the heat.

I found a place inside your vocal chords.

“Use your words.” I said.

No one hears your truth.

I feel absent in the ears of others.

Cowardice makes people deaf

With disbelief.

You and I hold hands with dark truths.

We hold our breath

Curl our toes,

Clench our jaw,

Freeze our eyes,


We know its safe to exhale the pain

Purge the nastiness

Scribble out the rage of hurt

Sword down the back

A beautiful green dress

Fingers and thumb poised to curl into

Balls with a forceful erection

Stone cold eyes

Fists pumping air

Bursting out the most forbidden words

Of All

I now embody you as a profane warrior.

Talk down your pounding fierceness.

Unfurl your voice of wounded rage.

Soften and relinquish this protective stance.

Drop the sword, fall on your knees

Weep an ocean of tears

Coiled underneath that waterfall of hurts

“Find stillness. Find the silence.” I said.

Beneath the surface of water

Holding your breath

Yet breathing deeply

You find me in the quiet of your heart

In the intersection of your grief and joy

You begin to see me in the eyes of beloved ones

Who actually love you, hear you

Who hold your hands

Who look at you, celebrate you

Accept you in all ways.

“Soften in the arms of love.”

I say.

For maybe Love and I are One.

Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura helps people thrive in the physical spaces where they live and work. She educates people about the optimal arrangement of belongings for comfort, safety, and flow; de-cluttering for freedom; and planning transitions to new or updated spaces for optimal joy in life. Laura knows that the conditions of our homes and workplaces shape the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by more than a decade working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to help her clients produce remarkable results in their lives. Her own awakening to the power of feng shui came on the heels of a flood and the realization that she could live with beloved belongings rather than unloved hand-me-down stuff. Her trifecta of serving people includes public speaking, writing, and compassionate coaching. Laura is a published author of the books Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui and Cherish Your World Gift Book: 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Your Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a full-time parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include loving her dog, laughing with great friends, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. You are welcome to connect with Laura below.


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Joe Kwon

Poignant and beautiful.

Larry Tyler

Pure beauty and a story that begs you to enter and walk a while within the story. Tender so it will touch your heart and end the end you bid us to “Soften in the arms of love.”
Strong Ink with amazing imagery……..Thank you so much for sharing.

Darlene Corbett

So elegant Laura!💖

Teresa Young

Very, very moving.

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