“A Blessing of Solitude” – John O’Donohue
With all that is going on in the world, I thought of this poem by John O’Donohue. Found in his book “Anam Cara” in the section “One of the Greatest Sins is the Unlived Life,” he writes:
“The shape of each soul is different. There is a secret destiny for each person. When you endeavor to repeat what others have done or force yourself into a preset mold, you betray your individuality. We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. When we rediscover our childlike nature, we enter into a world of gentle possibility. Consequently, we will find ourselves more frequently at that place, at the place of ease, delight, and celebration. The false burdens fall away. We come into rhythm with ourselves. Our clay shape gradually learns to walk beautifully on this magnificent earth” (124-125).
To help us find that “world of gentle possibility” and to help our clay shapes “walk beautifully on this magnificent earth,” he gives us this poem:
A Blessing of Solitude
May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for you own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that
you have a special destiny here,
that behind the facade of your life there is something
beautiful, good, and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride,
and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.