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A few years ago, I went on a weekend retreat with some amazing women! Several things were happening in my life at that time, so the facilitator shared this poem by David Whyte and I fell head over heels in love with his work. I hope that it speaks to you as much as it did to me. Here’s to recognizing all the things in our lives that are just too small for us.
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
– “Sweet Darkness” by David Whyte, The House of Belonging
There are many ways in which we make ourselves small, whether it’s intentional or not. It’s also possible that there are things or people in our lives that are just “too little” for us as well. After that retreat ended, I had to take a hard look at what didn’t bring me alive anymore so that I could cut away those things that were too small for me and the reality of what needed to go was brutal and hardly pretty. Believe me when I tell you that untying myself from unhealthy smallness wasn’t an easy task, but it was completely necessary to teach me about mindfulness and awareness. I made a lot of changes that year and have continued to eliminate the things that no longer promote my personal and emotional growth. I’ve often questioned whether or not the work is truly ever done and have come to accept that it isn’t because bettering ourselves is indeed a life-long journey.
What or who in your life no longer makes you feel alive?
Is it a relationship? A friendship that has become one-sided or toxic? Have you gone as far as you can go in your career, and if so, is there still room for you to better yourself in that arena or would something else fulfill you more? Lou Corleto, my friend and former chiropractor, once said to me, “Life is movement, Kristi. So if you’re not growing, you are not living.”
Wisdom. That’s wisdom right there.
Profound, yes? The world is your oyster and anything that is too small for you is merely a hindrance which no longer serves any valuable purpose in your growth.
Who is your favorite poet and which piece of their work do you resonate the most with?
And what things are just “too small” for you? I’m interested in what you have to say.
Please feel free to comment below!
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