Alzheimer's · Faith

My Inner Porcupine

One of the most precious lessons I have learned (and am still learning) from my mother’s Alzheimer’s is not to take things personally.  I have such a tendency to do that!  When people say or do little things, and sometimes big things, that are mean or hurtful, I dwell on them.  With my mother, when she scolds or is angry, I just tell myself that it’s her illness talking.

The other day, I found myself doing it again — focusing on someone’s hurtful words and actions.  The thing is, other people may not have an Alzheimer’s problem, but they have a human problem.  We are all so painfully human.  Just as I excuse  my mother with her Alzheimer’s, I need to excuse others because they are just people.

Grace, grace, grace — so abundantly given to me, I should be able to share it.

There’s a porcupine within me
That bristles up at certain things
And I cannot quite control it
Or the turmoil that it brings.

When frightened, angry, hurt,
The little spears come into play,
And they prickle and they stab –
They make people move away.

Sometimes life is lonely,
With this porcupine inside.
Sometimes I don’t like me,
And I want to run and hide.

Why can’t I have a bunny
Hiding inside me?
With long soft ears and fluffy tail,
Huggable as can be.

Why can’t I have a puppy
Hiding there instead?
With wiggles, fun and energy –
A thing no one would dread.

But no, I have a porcupine
That I must learn to keep,
And the lessons that he teaches me
Are hard and sometimes deep.

But the lessons that I learn,
Painful though they be,
Help me to grow in grace, grace, grace –
And become a better me.

24 thoughts on “My Inner Porcupine

  1. I love that little poem! Did you write that? Ps I am taking a moment to let you know that I had to go and change my primary blog. It seems everybody was checking out my work blog which is construction. My raising 4 boys and homeschooling blogs should pop up now! I hope! Love reading about you and your teens!

      1. Hmm really nice. Sorry I usually do not go on about mine blogs – just realized after my first 6 months of blogging why people are following my construction blog and trying to straighten that out! Not that I mind but…..

  2. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts..It is exactly how so many of us feel. I would like to reblog it onto my blog if that is ok! To share this would be my honor!!!
    I won’t do it unless you allow it…

  3. Reblogged this on My Aspie World and commented:
    I just had to reblog this because it is inspiring!!! Often I have felt this way. The way Sally explains this very real sentiment is Raw and so emotionally honest!!! Looking from the inside out, living in an Aspie world or any other Special needs worlds forces us to see things as they really are!!! Thank you Sally for writing this!!!!! I am honored to share this with my readers!

  4. What a beautiful poem. I have a porcupine in me, too. I’m very harsh on myself, and I think that stirs up my porcupine. I’m trying to treat myself like Jesus does. He’s so sweet and kind. I’m trying to form a new habit. Every time I disappoint myself, I remind myself that Jesus paid it all for me, so I go free. It makes me smile. Then my porcupine turns into a puppy. Blessings to you, Sally…

    1. A porcupine that turns into a puppy! I suppose if Jesus could turn water into wine, turning a porcupine into a puppy is no big deal. You’re right… we need to turn it all over to Him.

  5. I really needed to hear this today. Due to things that I’m working through at the moment, I’ve noticed myself having times of irritability and aggravation that usually wouldn’t be there. Thanks for posting this.

  6. Even though I know you wrote this six years ago, I send you love. I have been beating this inclination down myself over the years, and I cheer your progress! Thanks for the wonderful verse, too, Sally. Onward and upward!

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