How The Ego Can Make You Sick – Cheryl Brown

I found something on my desktop and thought I’d share it with you. It’s a poem (well, more of a rhyme than a poem really) that I wrote for the iDetox retreat in January this year.

Joe invited us all to get up in front of the group and share a ‘This Is Me’ performance. I read a quote on somebody’s Facebook wall recently that said ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’, and it reminded me of that evening.

It’s not easy to get up and do something you never thought you’d do in front of an audience of people you met for the first time yesterday. But you could see people transformed by the experience. By the end of the performances we were laughing and crying together and had formed unbreakable bonds. It was a magical and powerful evening.

I’ve been used to speaking to rooms full of people, so I’ve learned not to be shy over the years, but this time it was personal. I hadn’t written a poem for many years, and even then they’d never reached an audience. I wasn’t sure if what I’d written was any good and I was a bit concerned about making a fool of myself. Most worryingly of all, my little piece was about me, so I felt exposed when I shared it. I’m actually a very private person and sharing my thoughts and feelings doesn’t come easily. But I realised that my poem was about me, yes, but it was probably about most other people in the room as well, because, much as we seem to be individuals isolated in our own minds, we’re all connected. You’re never alone with a feeling – emotions are universal and when you dare to share, you find acceptance and understanding.

As it was January, the theme was ‘My Magnificent 2011’. My piece is a lighthearted poem about what I learned from my illnesses and how I envisage the future. It’s called ‘The Ego Has Landed’.

Read the poem here