Sometimes it takes a while for the proverbial penny to drop. Our most potent realisations often come after such foggy, confused times; light breaking through what had seemed dense cloud. Those blind moments that obscure other ways of seeing or approaching a situation can undo us for a time; leaving us to circle tightly in upon ourselves, coming back again and again to the same point, wearing thin the ground of the problem, our own and others’ patience. We can be our own worst enemies until we choose to befriend ourselves.

When we choose to let go of a known way of responding to a difficult problem, we give ourselves the opportunity to discover a fresh angle which in itself could be the trigger to open out from that tight, endlessly repeating circling of an issue.

It can be guilt that keeps us in that place or low self-esteem; it might be that our problems bring us the attention of others and therefore become a way in which we can rather negatively receive the love that we might feel we lack. It’s not a healthy way to be and ultimately serves only to keep us trapped in our problems; immovably placed at the core of the constant circling, sucking friends and loved ones into that vortex. Such an approach can create a horrible stasis, we wallowing in the deminishing hope of forward movement, our energies negatively feeding upon themselves; the constant focus on perceived problems nurturing their growth and the power that they exert over us.

When the revelation comes –  when we see clearly what we have been doing – the relief is immense because suddenly the opportunity to look up and outward, to discern a route through becomes possible. At this point we realise that we had more choice in the matter than we were previously willing to admit.

I have had my own set of realisations over the last few days, clarity dawning. My own revelation has meant that I have had to accept the courage of my own convictions, be a little braver about the choices I have made and why I made them. I have been learning to back myself; learning to forgive myself and others for what each has done, or not done, and in doing so, give myself the opportunity to move on. Suddenly it seems remarkably simple and obvious. I have allowed myself to stand in a different place, gaze out over a different view and it has made all the difference.

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice –

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

‘Mend my life!’

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognised as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver


  1. September 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you Maria for this, it was very helpful to me at this time and relevant to parts of my life. Especially, courage of my convictions and choices I have made, and forgiveness, myself and others. Thanks again. Much love, Chris

  2. trish said,

    September 13, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    This is so lovely Maria, and I am so pleased that you have found clarity for yourself and I notice that you wrote this on our yoga day, having thought about it a lot before hand. Also relevant as you know to me too. Thank you . trish xx

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