Sometimes Hot Chocolate Helps

While I was ill with flu I realised
how bad I was at asking for/accepting help

Sometimes Hot Chocolate Helps

Sitting outside, sipping the realness
of hot chocolate with
hazelnut syrup and sprinkles,
I realise I had become
divorced from reality
stubbornly resisting my own
exigent cries for help.

What does that say about me?
Arrogant, too proud to
graciously receive
simple acts of kindness,
perched on a pedastal
above humanness?

Illness has exuded valuable clues;
I could learn something.
So I continue to kiss the
whispery froth, allow it to
melt slowly into my
contrarious lips
toward a softer, quieter,
much clearer truth.

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48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eve Redwater
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 14:16:47

    Hi Christine!

    I hope your flu has well and truly passed! I can relate a little to finding it difficult to ask someone for help. A lot of the time, I’m far too proud, then feel guilty whenever I have to – I suppose that pride is a part of human nature that we could all do with pushing to one side every once and a while!

    Great poem, it really made me think. πŸ™‚

    Eve x

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:19:04

      Thank you Eve.

      I have been told I can be very determined when I want to be but the other side of that “coin”, I think, is stubbornness.

      And now I have thought about it, I know that people get pleasure from helping others – I do! – so accepting help is a good thing! πŸ™‚

      Christine

      Reply

  2. hollyannegetspoetic
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 15:11:35

    Christine – I really enjoyed this. The questioning of self and the quiet contemplation aided by the hot chocolate (no marshmallows?). The solid image of the comforting drink holds it all together for me. And yes, I can identify with the sentiment too – “I’m FINE!” is my usual response… lol.
    Hope you’re feeling properly better now. x

    Reply

  3. dfb
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 15:14:36

    Yes, it’s only when we’re ill that we realise how blessed we are when we are well and how we should appreciate the simple things, like hot chocolate! This is a very thoughtful, truthful poem Christine, very well expressed.

    Reply

  4. sandy
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 15:27:04

    This is beautiful!
    I think you are on the right path.

    Reply

  5. belfastdavid
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:18:27

    ‘Contarious’ – Now there’s a good word!!!

    I may well find occasion to use it in the future!! *Grin*

    Good to see you are in positive enough mood to post a poem. πŸ™‚

    Lots of love

    David
    xxx

    Reply

  6. Caddo Veil
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:38:18

    Hi Christine–I relate too well to what you said about the coin, “determined–stubborn”! Sometimes I’m a force to be reckoned with–positive power–sometimes I’m just a mountain that won’t move! In any event, I hope you’ve completely recovered–I was missing you, and fretting (you know me, and my “spiritual multi-tasking”!). God bless you abundantly today, and always.

    Reply

  7. Fergiemoto
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:42:33

    Lovely! Hot chocolate – such a simple pleasure but can do so much to comfort us. Sometimes I think when we feel sicker or more pain, we are more hesitant to ask for help.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:47:19

      I think you have hit the nail right on the head with your comment!

      It does seem easy just to ask for simple everyday items of help, but the big ones like when we are sick – much more difficult. With me there is an element of “I should be able to manage”

      Christine

      Reply

  8. leamuse
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 17:11:07

    My cousin who lives north of Seattle puts Baileys Irish Cream in her hot chocolate.
    Chocolate usually works!

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 17:16:50

      That’s an interesting addition to the hot chocolate!!

      I have just bought some with caramel flavour too!! Haven’t tried it yet!:) Somrthing to look forward to. Chocolate is so comforting!

      Christine

      Reply

  9. Ina
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 18:06:47

    Hi Christine
    This poem is a very inspiring thought! Like you I sometimes have problems asking for help, as I was raised by a mother who never would ask for anything! She said I had to be able to see for myself what she needed. An impossible mission.

    If you ask the right people, it should not be a problem πŸ™‚ Most people are glad to help, as it gives them a good feeling about them selves lol, so you would be doing someone a favour! πŸ™‚

    Have lots of nice cups of hot chocolate πŸ™‚ and if you ever need my help, don’t hesitate to ask! πŸ™‚

    Love and hugs xx
    Ina

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 25, 2012 @ 10:10:05

      Thank you Ina.
      And I agree with you, people do like to help,;as I said to Eve above, I like to help so I am aware of the uplifting feeling giving help can produce.

      Accepting that help is something for me to work on! πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs xx

      Reply

  10. Angela
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 18:23:58

    Wow! This is a wonderful dalliance with the soul… over the simple reality of a hot chocolate. You portray those times of stillness that offer us windows to our humanity very beautifully. I have had many years of life lessons teaching me to receive and ask for help after not doing so at all (being far too independent and wanting to ‘give’ too much). The one thing I carry with me now is that if I refuse a gift, or not ask for help when I should, I take away the joy of giving from another person.

    Blessings to you, Christine, and much love.
    x

    Reply

  11. bardessdmdenton
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 19:30:24

    Dear Christine,

    I almost don’t want to interpret your poem or say how much I relate to it…I just want to savor it like you did your chocolate drink…and…
    ‘…continue to kiss the
    whispery froth, allow it to
    melt slowly into my
    contrarious lips
    toward a softer, quieter,
    much clearer truth.’

    Beautiful writing!

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better. Continue to take care of yourself! And know you are loved. Hugs, Diane

    Reply

    • AngelaMarie
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 21:45:47

      Dear Christine, I am with Diane… I wanted to quote back those exact same lines….!

      …and I can almost feel the froth at my own lips. It is such a beautiful poem, striking at the heart of truth and experience with absolute beautiful imagery — and not only that, imagery that is alive with love and warmth and a quieted “yes” to inner healing. It is just so beautiful. I think I may print it and tape it to the inside of my kitchen cupboard where I keep the Nestle Quick! Hugs & much love to you, Angela

      Reply

      • journeyintopoetry
        Mar 25, 2012 @ 10:17:11

        Thank you AngelaMarie, for your beautiful comment on this poem.

        I would be honoured and very humbled if you were to tape it to your kitchen cupboard. What a lovely warm thought.

        My love to you and lots of hugs

        Christine xx

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 25, 2012 @ 10:14:15

      Diane,

      Thank you. This is a beautiful comment and I can feel the love contained in it.

      Much love to you

      Christine xx

      Reply

  12. Linda Willows
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 21:34:20

    such soft and self accepting moments would be good for each of us. Thank you for sharing this beauty of your soul, Love to you, Linda

    Reply

  13. Dennis N. O'Brien
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 10:52:53

    Keep your chin up Christine – except when you are drinking that hot chocolate of course. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  14. granbee
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 19:23:19

    Clearer truths revealed in the froth on the top of a mug of hot chocolate–very genius-like of you to phrase the insight this way. Accept help, Christine–especially from Jack and those humans near you! We love you!

    Reply

  15. Betty Hayes Albright
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 20:51:19

    Christine, I can relate to the stubborness of not wanting to ask for help, not wanting to “burden” anyone! You’ve expressed it beautifully in this poem. Others want to help, and it does both the giver and the receiver good!
    Glad you’re feeling better. (And that hot chocolate sure sounds good…..)

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 27, 2012 @ 14:30:01

      Thank you Betty.

      You are so right – it does both the giver and receiver good. I must try to remember this!

      The hot chocolate is from a favourite shop of mine called Hotel Chocolat. I just bought some with caramel in it! Not tried it yet but am excited!!:)

      Much Love

      Christine xx

      Reply

  16. tikarmavodicka
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 22:09:55

    Hi Christine,

    My apologies I’m a bit slow at getting around to the commenting at the moment. I have though been enjoying this wonderful poem of yours in my in-box. πŸ™‚
    Hazelnut syrup. Very yummy! I now have something new to try next I have a hot chocolate. πŸ™‚
    I really like your last stanza. The tie in back to your opening really brings this scene to life for me.
    I very much relate to your thoughts on stubborness versus determination. I don’t think we can have one without the other. πŸ™‚ I really relate as well to the struggle to allow others to help. It’s something I’ve not yet been able to resolve. I’m terrible at letting people help me. Although I know for myself it comes from a fear of incompetance, I still struggle however irrational it is.
    Sometimes we do need help, as we help others, but sometimes it is good for us to push and remind ourselves we’re strong and able. It’s a delicate balance, not unlike the right quanity of halzenut syrup to chocolate to create that perfect chocolate nutty blend that allows us these moments to enjoy as much as we reflect. πŸ™‚

    Thank you very much for sharing this poem.

    with much love and
    (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
    Tikarma
    xoxoxo

    Reply

  17. journeyintopoetry
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 12:16:24

    Thank you Tikarma,

    This is a lovely thoughtful comment as ever.

    And I love the way you liken the ability to attain balance in life to the right quantity of hazelnut syrup (for me, two teaspoons per cup!:)) I think I will always think of that now when I make my hot chocolate drink! And as I drink so much of it you will inevitably always be in my thoughts!! :):)

    Lots of love and
    (((BIG CHOCOLATEY HUGS)))

    Christine

    xx

    Reply

  18. Becoming herself
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 13:45:32

    Hi, Christine

    I’m so glad you are feeling better. I love these poems of yours in which you see with such a clear eye, and arrive at a realisation and a resolution in the final line or lines, both personal and universal. I agree with everything everyone has said here, plus … just to say … my two favourite lines are:

    β€˜exigent cries for help’ and β€˜Illness has exuded valuable clues’. β€˜Exigent’ works so well there, as does the idea, in the second line, that it is possible to extract something of value and meaning from the negative experience of illness.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 29, 2012 @ 14:28:22

      Thank you so much BH, for this comment.

      As you know, I truly appreciate your feedback and you give me such encouragement to carry on writing. Sometimes my belief in myself just starts to trickle down a drain and I need tjhat drain blocking!!:)

      Thank you again

      Christine x

      Reply

  19. gonecycling
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 21:38:12

    Always knew hot chocolate was good for you – they should prescribe it on the NHS. This is a lovely meditative piece, Christine: that you can switch so effortlessly from the playful to the profound in your writing is the mark of someone right on top of their game. Super stuff, as always. N.xx

    Reply

  20. journeyintopoetry
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 11:51:29

    Thank you Nick

    This is a really lovely comment and gives me the encouragement I so often need to carry on.

    Thank you again :):)

    Christine xx

    Reply

  21. Francina
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 15:41:10

    Beautiful poem, Christine. Very recognizable poem as well , my children tell me often if I need help I should tell them.. they call me stubborn which I call determination. πŸ™‚ It is sometimes that Independence what get us on our feet again. But sometimes indeed we should accept help when really needed..

    Ciao, Francina xx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 01, 2012 @ 16:23:33

      ncina,

      I am with you totally on your comment!

      The stubborn/determination are two sides of the same coin, as they say! And stubbornness can be a useful asset when we can change it into determination.

      And I also agree with you that we need to keep as much independence as we can. It is something which bothers me greatly as I have always been very independent and now I am becoming more dependent on people because if the MS and I can be stubborn to the point of making life extremely difficult for myself., as I did with the flu too.

      There are occasions when we just have to give in and let others help, and as has been said in other comments above people get a good feeling from helping others. I know I do.

      Love

      Christine

      Reply

  22. triciabertram
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 14:16:02

    Oh Christine, this poem has such power for me. Accepting help when it’s offered is one thing, but asking for it…. Something i constantly struggle with. I think I need to read this poem every day.
    This poem gives me a lovely picture of you sipping your hot chocolate, as a poem forms within you.
    Hugs
    Tricia

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 01, 2012 @ 16:27:46

      Oh, thank you Tricia.

      Yes, the poem formed very gently as I was sipping away! It was a lovely feeling as it emerged out of the frothy topping!

      I could write an essay about how difficult I find it to ask for help. But as it has been said above, people get a good feeling when helping others so I should let them help and in that way I am helping them!! πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs xx

      Reply

  23. Thomas Davis
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 17:23:29

    Hmmmm… I’m okay, I’m fine, I’m finer than frogs hair sitting on a split wood fence blowing in the wind! I’m going through cancer treatment, and on the other side is years of good life yet! Sure I’m going to work everyday except Tuesdays when Ethel and I drive to Albuquerque. What do you expect?
    I think I understand this poem, Christine. I think I do. I doubt it will change me, but it, at least, makes me pause and think for a moment.

    Reply

  24. journeyintopoetry
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 17:34:41

    Thank you homas.

    This is a lovely comment, and I wish you well with your treatment. I think about you and Ethel often, especially when I am having a “feel sorry for Christine” day; I think about your great strength and it helps me.

    Christine

    Reply

  25. lscotthoughts
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 13:39:17

    Oh, your words had me “sighing” at the end, Christine…the “truth” written so beautifully and I love “so I continue to kiss the whispery froth.” HBL xx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 27, 2013 @ 14:37:48

      Thank you Lauren, both for your lovely comment and for visiting a few oldies

      This was written a year ago just as I was getting over a severe bout of flu. I have never experienced feeling so ill ever before. And I am so bad at asking for help! Well I am better now since that flu. I made life so much harder for myself trying to be a martyr. And I forget how good it feels when I can help others, not in a self satisfied way, but helping does make us feel good,its lovely to be able to help others, and I denied that feeling to those around me.

      I love hot chocolate with hazelnut!!! πŸ™‚
      HBL XXX❀

      Reply

      • lscotthoughts
        Mar 27, 2013 @ 14:40:23

        You’re welcome and I can relate, too, about not wanting to ask for help, yet, knowing how helping others does make us feel…I didn’t wish you well because I knew by now you were feeling better! πŸ™‚ Oh, and the hot chocolate sounds delicious! πŸ™‚ HBL β™₯

  26. journeyintopoetry
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 14:44:55

    Especially with sprinkles on the top too! πŸ™‚ xxx

    Reply

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