Wild Geese (Poem by Mary Oliver)
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
How often do you act from a place of trying to be good? …Trying to be good enough to get the love you want? What would it be like to let go of that? And let go of that again?
What would it be like to remind yourself of your place in “the family of things?” Of your inherent birthright of being part of the whole–never separate except through our own adopted illusions?
Maybe today, try to remember what you know in your heart to be true–under the fear–that actually we’re just fine right here–right now.
When we’re dating, we tend to be looking for people to whom we feel drawn. We all know the phrase, “He’s just not my type,” but what does that actually mean? Most often it tends to relate to generalized style and interests:
I’m out of town on a long ago planned trip. My husband is home with a hurt knee taking care of our two kids. Last night I didn’t call him to say goodnight because I lost track of time.
When I called the next morning he was feeling bummed out, was wrapped up in taking care of our kids and said he was upset that I hadn’t asked him more about how his knee was doing.
When my sister was in kindergarten she was asked a trick question: Which is better—giving gifts or receiving gifts?
Now, of course the teacher wanted all the five-year olds to unselfishly choose giving. My sister’s written answer was not what the teacher wanted: For me to give is better for others. For others to give is better for me.
This is a guest post by Celia Grand of the Riverview Foundation. Many thanks to Celia for sharing this information!
compassion fatigue (dictionary.com)
fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities: compassion fatigue experienced by doctors and nurses.
As you moved from adolescence to adulthood you probably realized that you’re not as equipped to handle some real-life challenges as you’d wish. Do you wish they’d taught you how to balance a checkbook in Home-Ec? Or maybe basic auto-maintenance would’ve helped you out of a huge repair bill later in life.
Well this is Fidelity 101: the class I think all folks getting married could use to give themselves the best chance at having a safe, loyal marriage.
Here’s the scene: A new client enters my office and we say “Hi” and get comfy. I explain a couple of ways we can go about our first meeting: she can ask me some questions or she can tell me a little bit about what’s going on and we can talk about how I might help. Usually people pick the latter.
Who hasn’t been told to “Just Get Over It!”? Who hasn’t told themselves this when they’re not moving on as quickly from something as they’d like? A breakup, a disappointment, a rejection…
It’s a phrase that almost always comes from an invalidating place—I have clients who say this type of thing to themselves about experiences as intense as assault and abuse. The thing is, if we’re struggling with something—there’s generally a good reason. Either we’re trying to move on without the skills we need or there’s some learning or processing that still needs to happen before we can move on.