Be Excessively Gentle with Yourself

Columbine leaf with morning rain

A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted by John O’Donahue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

I saw a familiar quality in Mr. O’Donahue’s poem: moving from darkness to light. A shift that happens somewhere along the way. So often when I feel inspired to write, it’s a journey of growth, moving from a place of challenge to a place of release, a place of confusion to clarity, a place of discontent to contentment, a place of resistance to openness. Can you see where the movement begins? Ah, slow, free, calm, gentle, ease, joy…yes.

it is all there for you

Worthy?

The question circles within me
repeatedly arising:
Am I worthy?
The voice I hear
sounds an emphatic NO,
telling me I do not deserve
a life of abundance.

Yet, the goodness I seek,
like friends to keep me company,
sometimes seem within reach.
These friends…
beauty and blessings,
creativity and connection,
health and happiness,
intuition and inner peace,
light, laughter and love…
How far away are they?

Another voice emanates
from deep within,
the shape of my heart.
She’s whispered all these years.
Now, she finally calls aloud to me:
‘Come, now.’
Her tender and kind words
speak with compassion and love.
‘These friends you seek are always here for you.’
‘There are no special circumstances that need to exist.’
‘There is nothing specific you need to do.’
‘Simply open and welcome and believe
– it is all there for you.’

My attention has been drawn to that part of us who doubts, who questions our value, who believes we are not fully worthy of our dreams. As I’ve seen it in friends who confide in and open up to me, I’ve tuned into how it is alive in me. This poem was inspired by the intimate conversations that help to move away from ego-driven to heart-supported thoughts and beliefs. Feed the loving and kinds thoughts within.

* I recently took this photo of a geranium that I am overwintering in a pot under a dining room window. I love how it has no question about its worthiness to bloom in the midst of the cold winter months. May it remind you as it does me of our worthiness to move toward the light.

melting together

Sunset Sintra Portugal

melting together

I long for

his heart

to open

like a gate

onto an open prairie

covered with wildflowers.

There,

in that space

we can meet

and melt into each other

like the sun and sky

at sunset.

 

Just a simple love poem…

 

* I took this photo at sunset from our hotel room in Sintra, Portugal in 2013.