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I Pledge Allegiance to Me

There’s a point when generosity

becomes self harm

when kindness cuts inwardly

bleeding us silently.

Where once upon a time

I lived all smiley sweet

and small

to get what I wanted

and fill in what I needed.

But, I don’t want to continue

spending myself away

pleasing and appeasing

allowing the cost of connection

to color my choices and

dictate my direction.

There’s a wanting to live

and lead from within

where pausing and sensing

Does this fit?

Does this feel right?

creates my own pace

and guides my next steps

even though the solution

is still unclear

and the destination

is still unformed.

Where each step


brings me one step


to me.

- Lauren Taub Cohen

* This poem is heavily influenced by Inner Relationship Focusing's process. Thank you Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin for creating IRF! And, thank you Dr. Helene Brenner for creating the phrase "self-orienting," which gives language to something I've recently begun to feel but couldn't quite express.


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