I H A D T O
B R E A K M E
b y N i s ha
I offer my deepest gratitude to all the voices within me that guided me, nurtured me, nourished me, and tormented me during this process. I was a mere vessel for the manifestations of this expression. I am forever grateful to my dear family, friends, and community.
C O N T E N T S
Part 1: Wars 15
Part 2: You 53
Part 3: Mourning 95
Part 4: Earthquake 133
Part 5: Stillness 163
Part 6: Me 211
When life wages war within you, where do you hide?
When you have been wounded, where do you seek refuge?
Who do you trust with your deepest fears and grievances against life?
When you can no longer trust your own mind, where do you go for solace?
When the heart longs to be broken in order to heal, can you trust the pain
To answer these questions, I had to break every known piece of me. I had
to destroy every shelter I’d created and tune in to every voice of fear. I
had to embrace a long-overdue death. I had to shatter every piece of my
ego, which captured my spirit in solitary confinement. Ultimately, I had
to embrace every broken piece of me.
I am not a writer or a poet. Instead, with this collection, I have transformed
my nauseous suffering into a form. I have converted my cry into a mosaic
of words. I have turned my joy into scripts. No, I have never been a writer;
I am an observer of all of this within me.
I HAD TO BREAK ME is a collection born from thousands of hours
of solitude, in which I processed my deepest, darkest truths. The story
unfolds in six parts:
1. WARS: The battles we wage within and without. I contend with
a broken healthcare system and the religious teachings that no longer
soothe me. I confront old ways of being that no longer serve me.
2. YOU: The glories and agonies of love. I experience great
changes within me as a result of my loving and being loved.
3. MOURNING: A journey of returning. I have lost myself in the
vicissitudes of life, but I am determined to find myself again.
4. EARTHQUAKE: A personal account of the April 2015
earthquake in Nepal. I see my home country reduced to rubble, and I
strive to reassemble the pieces—the pieces of our infrastructure and our
5. STILLNESS: The barest possible portrait of my soul. I move
from the ego’s painful trap to a fresh, sweet freedom.
6. ME: A central truth revealed. Every war, every love, every pain,
every revelation Is completely contained within my perception. I explore
“the language of my own book.”
This poetry collection is for seekers of wisdom, lovers of self-exploration,
and those who want to attune to the subtle realities within each of us.
My hope is that these poems offer you expansion past the limits of self as
defined by ego.
I am ready to welcome you into my world. I pray you find solace, joy, and
War within me
No power in this world can make peace with it
No material comfort can resolve this uncivil war within me
No lover can appease this war
Yes, I suffer
I recognize my suffering rather than blaming everyone else
I suffer because I am attached
I suffer because I am afraid of the unknown
I suffer because I lose faith so fast
I suffer looking at the wounds of others
I suffer because I think I can change others
I suffer because I think I can change the world
I suffer because I seek love in others when I am the love I have been
I suffer because I escape the present moment, living between a recurring
past and the unknown, unmanifested future
Which god will you take me to for the sins I have committed?
Which temples of god do I enter?
Which visible portraits of god do I trust?
Of the gods that have been forced upon me, which do I ignore?
Don’t—don’t drag me to the temple
I won’t find anything there
It reminds me of that hell you threaten me with
The blood of sacrificed animals splashed on the floor for your well-being
Please don’t—don’t force me to sit with discipline before the priest
That priest chokes the voice of my god
I have been pushed inside the beautifully decorated homes of so called
I have been touched inappropriately inside the houses of gods
I have been molested by an unknown stranger inside the temple
I have witnessed wounded smiles waiting to be healed by the gods
I can’t perform the rituals you have entrenched in me
I can’t follow rules that have been imposed upon me
I can’t find god in the parroted mantras so constantly recited
I can’t assemble all the goods and take them to your god
I can’t seem to bribe god
God inside me:
What do you see that I seem to ignore?
Veil opens slightly
And closes again.
You are the malady in my immortality
You are the confusion in my clarity
You are the ignorance in my wisdom
You are the sins in my blessings
You are the salt sprinkled on my bleeding ulcer
You are the raging fire within that cremates me each moment
You are the death in my reincarnation, occurring simultaneously
You are the resurrection that sprinkles tepid water on my moribund self
I am that you
You are that me
I need to find me in that you
Does the heart lie
When it feels?
Why does the heart feel?
My ego defeated me today
I have become lifeless again
I question me
I exist as a blaze
I exist as a rising sea level
I have withdrawn again
The valves to my heart are occluded today
Congested with stagnant stale emotions
My failed state needs an effusion
Cut me open
Drain my lucid pain
Silence my dissenting voices
Don’t protect me with those toxic walls
I’d rather be wounded
I’d rather face the pain
I want to disappear in this moment,
Fall and fall down,
Fall like the leaves that have fallen,
Like the leaves now being crushed
By the passersby.
Should I have trusted my heart?
Is my heart to be trusted?
My dreams are manifesting, yet I am frozen
Too frozen to numb my pain
Countless dreams scaffold my pain
Even my tears have frozen
My anger doesn’t dare melt my frozen tears
I have become like concrete
Even nature does not recognize me
I want to yell
Yet I subdue it with material dreams that have materialized
I don’t have the courage to face the truth
I don’t have the stamina to look into my own wounds
They see me and my aspirations
And nothing heard
Yet all the voices heard
Freedom, where you can’t even hear your breath
Freedom, where you can’t taste the essence of your food
Freedom, where you can’t sleep in peace
Freedom, where you constantly worry about tomorrow
Freedom, where your past continues to haunt you
Freedom, where you can’t enjoy your own presence
I invited many guests to my sacred space
I heard their incessant voices in my head
I entertained them with my thoughts and feelings
I am seeking that space, without their voices in my head
I am cremated every day by the toxicity of my thoughts.
I need to add more oil to my fire to burn
My endless desires.
My body disintegrates with each log of thoughts,
But my thoughts never seem to become ashes.
When will they become ashes so I can offer them to the water?
So I don’t cling to my existence?
Even the water that I am waiting to be saved by is contaminated with
the toxic waste of our greed.
What would happen if I buried myself beneath the ground?
Would my thoughts find me under the soil?
I don’t know why I complain when every luxury is presented
to me on a plate
I get fooled
Over and over again
Fooled by the illusion of my thoughts
Stories I create within myself
I design my own entertainment
Reality refuses to attest to my story
Affliction so close
I get fooled by it again
And the cycle repeats and persists
I bang my head against the sky that has no wall
Where do healers go when they are wounded by their own pain?
By carrying the pain and suffering of others?
Who will put that salve on their wounds?
Who can they trust to heal?
I am haunted by this 15-minute visit.
Healing others has become a venom for me.
This untold story
Being labeled with a diagnosis
This untold and undiagnosed story
Being checked off and masked with a pill
This 15-minute office visit
In those 15 minutes, we begin to explore your life
In those 15 minutes, I feel your pain
In those 15 minutes, you cry in that room
I worry I am missing a major medical diagnosis
I worry I may not have addressed all your labs
I worry I will forget to ask important questions
In those 15 minutes, I hope you don’t ask me for a Vicodin refill
In those 15 minutes, I hold my urine so I can hear the details of your story
In those 15 minutes, I worry if I have written enough notes for your next visit
In those 15 minutes, I worry if I can give you the same attention that I
gave to my first patient of the day
In those 15 minutes, I worry you may not have understood what I said
I practice listening to you without interruption
I type as fast as I can, ignoring the aches in my hands
I forget myself in those 15 minutes with you
In those 15 minutes, I see refugees from all over the world
Including our own refugees, who are involved with drugs, gangs,
And there is no rescue committee looking to resettle them
Burnout and a hand injury
This computer takes me away from healing other beings
I have become useless without my ability to click and type
Unable to touch a broken soul without this click
I have become useless to the world of clickers today
There is no place for me in healthcare without being able to click
I have become untouchable in this world of clicking
I feel burning pain in my hand after every click
I patiently wait for others to do the clicking for me
I pray this clicking does not come between you and me
I pray registration and insurance do not come between you and me
I pray pharmaceuticals and diagnostics do not come between you and me
I pray legal bureaucracy and “cover your own ass” do not come between
you and me
I wonder how many hands are still hurting with this click
How many souls are not being healed with this click
I pray to god to take clicking away from healing
Healing so profound that it can break the pain of generations
Healing beyond time and space
Healing beyond race and language
Healing beyond the history of present illness to untold and unmanifested
This click has led me to find my own healing
Physical pain so deep
It hurts to move
I cry to a river
I witness this suffering
This pain confining me
No wine or thistle to mask this pain
No shopping for a brief rampage
I only witness this feeling
As an observer
Paralyzed by my own disability
I was dying every moment
I was dying being told what to do
Most of all, my spirit was dying
I was dying, and I was living in tomorrow
I was pretending to be happy
I was finding peace in healing others
Fancy food could not restore my life
Luxury was wasteful
I was dragging myself to go to work
I was forcing my very existence
Effort was needed for every task
I was dying every second to live for tomorrow
My past had already beaten me alive
Nature is flirting with me
I’m still obsessed with that text I have not received
Flowers just bloomed from dark winter
I’m still upset about the past
The tree has already forgotten about the fallen leaves
I’m still ruminating on my pain
I played by every damn rule you asked me to.
Where were you when I was lying stricken,
Unable to move?
I was suffocating under those rules.
But when I fell down broken,
None of your rules mattered.
I am frozen at a sterile temperature.
My every essence is lost while being frozen perfectly
Into plumed variations, and yet retaining no inch of taste.
Everything is at a standstill and cast in boxes within me to make different
shapes of ice.
This stops the bleeding within me transiently.
How long do I stay frozen in rooms of refrigeration within me?
The emotions I freeze,
Deepest desires I keep frozen.
What happens when there is no more electricity to sustain the freezing
What happens to the flow within me?
What happens if I dance to the fluidity within me?
To the broken pieces of dreams,
To the scarred heart,
To the scared vehemence,
To the untamed and unfrozen self in fluidity.
It may overflow onto the floor.
It may stink with fungi and mold on the surface within me.
I may have to throw myself into the garbage.
I may have to drain the clogged system.
Then, perhaps, I will start tasting the nectar within me that is unfrozen,
Its true essence.
Trees dance for me
I am still caught up in my redundant thoughts
Flowers smile for me
I am still in despair
Sky paints for me
I still ruminate
Flower blooms, knowing it will soon fall to the ground
I am still afraid to bloom
It’s the same pain
Some days, I cry
Some days, I am angry
Some days, I witness it as it is
Some days, I blame others
Some days, I fight with it
Some days, I pray for it to heal
Some days, I want to disappear
Most days, I accept it for the lessons it is here to teach me
Allow me to scream
Allow me to face the depths of my pain
My self-created illusive pain
This battlefield is coarse
I’m not as strong as you think I am
I just need a corner to cry in
There is no war to win here
There is nobody to blame
Let me reside in my absolute suffering
Sweep away the dust created by my longing for love
Don’t soothe me with the temporary charms of this world
I can’t find glamour in that anymore
Don’t calm me with your own vulnerability
I see the pain in your eyes that you’re trying to hide
I don’t recognize this world
I can’t belong here yet
I am struggling to breathe from my own choking fist
I am facing my every existence
I entertain living in a monastery
To hide from all these feelings
To be away from people
Or more so from myself
Turmoil and terrains to pass through
Hurdles and realizations to process
Temptations and fires to extinguish
Feeling the intensity of this cry
Tears flowing through that do not stop
Together yet alone
Alone yet together
Distant yet so close
So close yet so distant
In pain yet free
In comfort yet in so much pain
Rain falls and cleanses the sparkling oil from the black concrete next to
I have been crying and cleansing me of the internal dirt that I have
accumulated, hidden, and ignored over the years
I convert my vigorous cry into an audacious half-smile
I became like the sands of a dried-up river
Angry because my river was taken from me
Ego held my spirit in solitary confinement
It was diligently trying to protect me
I was dying along with the armor of its protection
No mountain would dare to echo my cries
I have bolstered enough courage to live in the land of unknowns without
I will continue to live in my wounded self