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  • Kelly O'Donnell

Stop negative thoughts! You don’t have to be good…

You don't have to be good.

That is the first line in a powerful poem by Mary Oliver called Wild Geese. She reminds us to stop negative thoughts. She reminds is to be kind to ourselves. To accept ourselves for who we are and stop beating ourselves up. To stop obsessing over things, and taking everything so seriously. To remember that we are part of this beautiful world that is much bigger than ourselves.

I hope the poem has a great impact on you, as it did on me. You are part of this grand expansive world – so stop living in your head!

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

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 blue 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.

Let me know what you think of the poem. How did it make you feel? What does it inspire in you?


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