Meditation Monday: Loving What You Love

Meditation Monday: Loving What You Love

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 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.
Mary Oliver

Sometimes in life we can find ourselves feeling inadequate, and unable to meet the needs of the people we love the most.   There are times that a situation in our life is impossible to fix and is heartbreaking.  Other times we are not capable of completing a task we would like to accomplish.

In these times, it’s good to recognize our place in “the family of things” as poet Mary Oliver tells us.

We are creatures of this earth.  Sometimes we forget that we have a soft animal of a body and need the rest of creation — the sun, the mountains, the rivers and the forests to support us. The sustainability of our planet is dependent upon us remembering our place in the scheme of life, and cherishing that place.

Our place in the family of things is also determined by what and who we love in life, and how we show up for love.  Do we care about the needs of others and our community, not just our own needs?  Do we treat ourselves with respect? Are we honest with the people we care about the most?

Sometimes we can find ourselves in despair because we are not always capable of overcoming roadblocks and obstacles.

In the last day or so, I have found myself feeling a sense of despair about  a certain situation beyond my control.  There are ways in which I am simply not capable of being the person someone else needs me to be.  One of the ways I deal with despair is to read a wonderful collection of prayers, poems and blessings called Earth Prayers From Around the World, and that’s when I re-read this Mary Oliver poem.  I felt this poem might help someone else this week too.

Isn’t it good to remember that we don’t always have to be good or to feel happy about every aspect of our life or ourselves? We just have to love who and what we love as well as we can. When we infuse our actions with love it is enough, even when it doesn’t feel like it is enough.

This week’s contemplation:

How are you feeling about your place in the world as you enter this week?


11 thoughts on “Meditation Monday: Loving What You Love

  1. so many conditions of happiness
    it’s raining, a droughts blessing.
    i’m happy to be present
    and not be too busy.
    i notice coffee amplifies minor negative feelings into traumas.
    wishing you success offer deep listening
    to yours, and others needs
    without having to fix the flat 🙂


  2. Thank you Karen.
    I need this too.
    Sometime I still block the vulnerabilities… surrender works; I know.
    Excuses be gone…
    We all do need each other to find ourselves.

    ~ Eric

    “How are you feeling about your place in the world as you enter this week?”

    …. good one 🙂


  3. Ya know I feel like people have asked me for to much and I’ve been making myself miserable trying to live up to it.

    Giving up is hard for me to do, but there are times when I have and it has worked out better, it’s so hard to know what to do sometimes.


    1. Aaron, I agree it is so difficult to know what to do sometimes in our lives. I’ve certainly felt that way in the last week. Like you I find that when I give up doing too much, that things work out better. It also seems that certain poems and prayers help me make sense of the chaos, or at least feel less alone in those times.



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