leaf on stonesDraw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself….

These lines were written by John O’Donohue in a poem called For One Who is Exhausted, A Blessing.

I am intrigued by what it might mean to be excessively gentle with ourselves. I imagine it might require a soft lens. A way of looking at ourselves without judgment. Like the gentleness of a loving mother who caresses our foreheads, her eyes filled with love, who tells us that everything will be okay. We can do hard things. We are resilient, even when we don’t feel like we are.

Perhaps the title of the poem speaks to you. Aren’t we all exhausted, in one way or another, from all that is going on in our country right now? Some days, it is just too much to take in. If there ever was a time to be excessively gentle with ourselves, this is it.

Take walks. Smell the flowers. Make yourself a nice cup of tea. Read a book, a poem, something uplifting. Listen to the rain. Sit in the sunshine. Pray for peace. Watch the birds. Practice gratitude.

What would you add to this list?

If you would like to read the entire poem, here is a link.


Photo by RK Young

Read the previous dispatch here.

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