“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”
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.
—John O’Donohue, from “Blessings”
“We apply certain kinds of pressure to you, under which you are forced to flee to your highest ground… But hopefully, under that pressure, you leave behind all the false You’s–the imitative You, the too-clever You, the Avoiding You–and settle into that (sometimes, at first, disappointing) beast, Real You…Real You is all you have, and all other paths are false. And in the best case, Real You is so happy to finally be recognized, it rewards you with Originality.”
“One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.”
“The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”