Come Home


There has been a struggle in keeping to my meditation as of late. I feel like an empty shell. I feel chained to a land in which I don’t belong or want to live, and yet I have no where else to go. I feel weighed down by the burden of loneliness. I haven’t ever really found my peace about being here. In Austria. I feel frustrated because after 14 years of living in this place I still can’t make lasting connections, and yet am I alluding myself? An old friend, student called me today to see if I would like to join her for a visit to the theater. I had seen her just last week at a poetry reading where I was performing some of my pieces in support for Austrian women’s shelters. A few years had gone by since I had seen her last. I received some powerful feedback from others that night. A gentle reminder from the universe that I am still connected to my inner voice. She was part of that encouragement. So, I accepted her invitation. I accepted because this is the first invitation…personal invitation I’ve received from anyone to do something in a long time.

I am struggling today with self-sabatage. I should be doing something, and yet my pioneering spirit isn’t feeling very adventurous. It is almost like I have to force myself to do anything. I am suppose to be getting organized  and packing to move by the end of the month. I am not feeling motivated.

Maya Angelou died just a few days ago. She was for me a living example of how to be true to oneself. A spiritual mentor whose integrity rested over me like a veil upon the face of light. The brightness of her inner beauty hasn’t been extinguished, but her passing has momentarily caused me to pause.


I feel the old wounds, but it isn’t my reality today. I am looking within to find the strength to take another step forward. All the critical voices swirling in my mind. The ache in my heart intense at the moment. I trust if I stay mindfully with it that the pain will subside.

A voice whispers,”Finish writing and then go to the theater…everything changes…move with what’s being done. Let go of the familiar and the comfort it brings. You are faithful and have always known this about yourself. Stay true to yourself…even if life seems bleak right now…even if the emptiness is overwhelming you.”

“You write words, and don’t feel like a writer. You judge yourself so often. This is self-sabatage. When will you accept yourself? You come home to yourself sometimes, but then make excuses that you can’t stay for long. You only come to visit. Don’t you ever get tired of wandering without protection? If you stayed home in the light of your soul long enough you might find an altogether new adventure.”


“And yes, it is I, your own soul, whispering to you now even as you move this pen across the page. The protection you seek, the safe haven, is here within yourself. It is a home that has always been open to you, but you are a prodigal wandering aimlessly. There is a time coming very soon when you will hear your voice clearly…the voice of a stranger who will call you home.”

“Come home. You are wanted home. You are missed. Come home. Be at home. Home is your protection.”

“Each time you came for a visit you sensed this more and more.”

“Come home to the light of your soul, and be healed. Let healing begin in the safety of home. Let healing begin in the protection of your heart.”

“Open your heart to yourself. Open the door and come inside where you will greet the stranger who was yourself with open arms of love.”

Crow Brothers



Hidden in bare branches 

A crow cawed out his sorrows

He glided down to the water’s edge

In protest to greyish, white seagulls

Bobbing in sunlight sparkle

No one listened, or turned a head

To Mr. Crow’s cackles, lost

In the cold, brisk wind

So off he flew

Back to brothers 

That he knew.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

Artist: Beverly Brown




Anonymously, I stand in the light of my soul

Unknown to myself, unknown to you

For that matter anonymous to the world

But that isn’t what’s bothering me.

It is the forgetfulness in your eyes,

The forgetfulness of generosity

Generosity that gets lost in what

Could be labelled as familiarity

A paradox, true, it’s true

Since I spoke of anonymity,

Label me as a raving lunatic

For that I shall not deny

Charge me with crimes of egotism

And I won’t bat an eye

Because now on this journey

It doesn’t matter if I count or not

I am lost in the unknown,

I can’t complain

That it has been a blessing

A balm, a comfort to rest

In the light of my soul.

Being comfortable has never really

Been an option.

In this anonymous existence

I do not know how to function

…how to exist without identity

Identity, which was so important earlier

Now, as light dances around the shadows,

Even around the darkness

I am not scared, I don’t even mind

Yet to move I must

The light is never still.

I thought that is what my heart

Was longing for…the stillness

This journey goes through light years

And you will never notice that

I’ve been gone because I travel

To the exact second of that exact moment.

So you see a moment isn’t just a moment,

But the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega.

To be anonymous is not a crime

Nor is it a blessing,

But a marriage with the emptiness.

Emptiness that can threaten, but

Let you be….

Anonymously; I dance in the light

Of my soul, yet dancing in yours

By letting you be, I’ll be myself…I’ll

Be anonymous.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2008

* Artist Steven Daluz

The Ability to Receive Love


Patterns tightly bound to my inner demons have recently resurfaced into my awareness. Resurfacing because of the fine line between fear and love. Creating a portrait from the map of my soul. I was again at a place I knew well…this time I had taken a different route…but first I will share a road I had travelled before.

Looking at an old entry journal I made last year around May, it reads:

“Today a person from a virtual community I’m part of called Spiritual Unite, wrote to me, “What a sweet and beautiful heart you have.” That simple message triggers a waterfall of tears. Later I met with a colleague who said something similar, but I feel lost. I feel forgotten and alone. I feel gone. I feel like a no one. An anonymous. The other day I posted something on Facebook that went something like this: “At the end of the day, I only ask myself: Did I love enough? Did I laugh enough? Did I make a difference?”; but these questions only remind me of the weary monotonous. Today I feel like a failure. I feel like I’ve let myself down. What have I done that is enough for myself? I have been longing for the tenderness of love all my life. The love is in my heart and pours out to all of life, but why doesn’t it flow out to myself? Why is it so hard for me to love myself? Why doesn’t it seem that I don’t have enough for myself? Am I so unlovable?”

At this point in writing my journal entry, I had paused to listen to the song, “Burn it Blue,” performed by Caetano Veloso and Lila Downs.–XsU

Continuing I wrote, “I don’t have to do enough for myself because I am enough. I don’t have to seek love because I am love. I AM that I AM. It’s my mind that keeps telling me I need more time….to find, to sort out, do, achieve, acquire, become, or understand something before we can be free or complete. I think I won’t find salvation…that ‘state of freedom’ because I’m not ‘good enough.’

NOW is the only point from where I can get there because I’m already there. I find love the moment I realize I AM love. Now is the only access point, so it isn’t about being loveable because I already am. I am approachable. I am enough. It’s about focusing my attention into the now deeply. Concentrating mindfully. Being mindfulness.”

I was at a familiar place in the landscape of my soul, however this time I had chosen a different way to move forward. I had to pass through the townships of pain, suffering, and even devastation. I checked my compass, and it was the right direction. Wending my way through the shadowy forest of self-doubt and insecurity, I came to a glen touched by the mysterious beauty of love. I was home.

Inner portrait maps show us back to the treasure chest of worth. Guiding us back to our divine beauty. Along the way we learn not only the value of giving love, but of receiving love.

“Through our maps, we willingly become a part of their boundaries. If our home is included, we feel pride, perhaps familiarity, but always a sense that this is ours. If it is not, we accept our roles as outsiders, though we may be of the same mind and culture. In this way, maps can be dangerous and powerful tools.” ~Debbie Lee Wesselmann~

“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.” ~Reif Larson~

*Portrait by Ed Fairburn

More of his artwork can be found at: