Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

common denominator April 9, 2013

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:15 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I am

the common denominator

in my life.

If trouble comes


after time

after time,


after relationship

after relationship,

What each event

has in common

is me.


In Grace Awakening Power, Bright tells Grace that she is the common denominator to the problems.  It’s not that it’s Grace’s fault that bad things happen to her, but they aren’t happening to other people, they’re happening to her, and it’s something in her that brings the trouble.

I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately and wondering how to change the factors that result in the common denominator of my experience.  How about you?  Can you see how changing one or two things could change your experiences in a profound way?

PS. If find it very interesting that when centred, this poem took the shape of a punching bag.  You punch these bags, and they whip right back at you.  It seems full of profound symbolism. How do you interpret it?


23 Responses to “common denominator”

  1. Absolutely. Im trying to change my tone and listening skills when in a heated discussion with my husband. Common denominator of our arguments is… overreacting. Changing a simple habit (like rolling my eyes) can make a huge difference in the outcome of our argument.

  2. yeoldefoole Says:

    some things are woven in so deeply that it takes a lifetimes length to even see them..,

  3. Yes! Definitely. I saw the negative patterns in terms of my romantic relationships and decided to stop dating last year. I’m focusing on my goals, dreams and desires in life instead of worrying about whether or not guys like me. Sometimes it’s best to walk away from personal relationships until other parts of my life are fixed. Also being a spiritual person I’ve decided to put whether or not I’m meant to receive a mate/companion in God’s hands. Since my choices are awful I’m sure the Lord can do better. In the meantime I’ll work on my writing and photography.

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      Following the “Let go and let God” model offers its own challenges, doesn’t it?

      • True but so does making the same dumb mistakes over and over and over. You cannot get different results doing the same thing repeatedly. Many of my friends want me to find someone special but since I know I make bad choices I’d rather leave the relationship thing up to the Lord. Also at my age, 54, I don’t want to make a fool of myself. It’s not that guys don’t ask or don’t approach me, they do and I’m polite but I let them know I’m off the market. Until I feel more confident and can trust romantic relationships are pointless. I’m wasting my time and the man’s time too.

      • Shawn Bird Says:

        There’s an interesting line, isn’t there? It reminds me of that story about the guy who died on his roof in a flood… (Link to one version here: I think the original is from Eileen Austin from the book in the Belly of the Whale)

      • Yeah. I’ve heard that story before especially in church, where God sent help and the guy rejected it but that does not apply to me. Relationships involve risk and I’m no longer willing or able to take those type of risks. I’d like the rest of my life to be peaceful. I’ve mapped out where I want to be and what I want to do over the next five years but romance is not one of my objectives. It’s not for me. Been there. Done that. Paid the price. There are no Prince Charmings or Knights in Shining Armor. For me it’s time to move on and go forward to the next stage of my life. I accept being Single.

      • Shawn Bird Says:

        Sounds like you’ve made some decisions that will allow for growth.

  4. wbdeejay Says:

    These words struck a chord with me. Have been thinking about how this relates to myself in my relationship. Feel free to give some feedback to my own words at and

  5. pzykr Says:

    i’ve had this thought…often

    and as a psychotherapist, tried to get other people to have this thought for themselves… without just saying it outright.
    the poem resonates beautifully! i wish i’d had it on my office wall all those years!

    “i am” is very powerful. in (the metaphor of) the old testament, the burning bush told moses to tell the people “i am sent you.” though i personally shun any anthropomorphic concept of a deity, the most powerful verse in the christian bible for me is “be still [silent] and know that i am …”

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      I invite you to print it off and post it in your office with my compliments. 🙂 I have had buttons made that say “I am the common denominator in my life” to give out at workshops, etc.

      • pzykr Says:

        thank you very much! i have retired for medical reasons, hence no longer have an office wall upon which to hang it… i will treasure it, though, in my personal collection of poetry 🙂

    • pzykr Says:

      just to clarify — i’m not an atheist… i just cannot conceive omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence being smaller than the universe itself — the all-one. i liked this way of putting it i saw recently: “you are not a single drop in the ocean; you are the entire ocean in a single drop.”

  6. is there an echo? because boy! I have thought that myself. 🙂 Very perceptive, GF. 🙂

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      lol. I wrote this section of Grace Awakening after listening to someone moaning about all these horrible things that had happened to her. I could clearly see the pattern of unwise/hasty decisions that had led her to where she was. It was definitely an epiphany. But you know how it goes, when you point at someone, 3 fingers are pointing back at yourself…

  7. chere Says:

    I LOVE this! Absolutely true! (And thanks for the follow on my little blog! I’m following you back 🙂 )
    I see we both live on the same island-in-the-sun..pretty awesome place to hang your hat, hey?

  8. Andy Says:

    The common denominator is often a wounded child that lives in the basement of our consciousness, starved of food, and becoming ever more angry. We close the door, lock it in, and go about our business as if everything is ok!

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