Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One of the Most Beautiful Things I've Ever Read

This amazing poem was written by Kate Swoboda of the blog Your Courageous Life. I loved it; it touched me in a million ways, and wanted to share it here with you. I know you will love it as much as I did. Here it is with her introductory comments, reproduced with permission:

"The trickiest places, I think, are in those tangled and triggered human relationships. In every moment, we have this opportunity when we interact with other people sharing this world with us to act with integrity, to face our choices about the experience we will have with someone else.

Whatever we see in the world, that is us, too. Cultivate a willingness to compassionately drop down into the zero center of someone else’s imperfection, and you’ll see their pain, and piece of your own. We are not so very different. We are far more alike than we often believe. With courageous hearts, we can change the world. So here goes:

In the face of complaints, look that person in the eye and imagine what it might have been like to be raised to see only what is wrong.

In the face of selfishness, wonder what it might be like to walk the world with a feeling of lack, of depletion.

In the face of insults, consider where this person first learned that it’s okay to abuse others.

In the face of disconnection, think about what causes it, and ask if your response will widen the river between the two of you.

In the face of laziness, recognize the fear of living big dreams.

In the face of extremism or fundamentalism, see the clinging, as well as the terror-filled silence that would arise for that person if they risked letting go.

In the face of controlling behavior, understand the chaos that must have bred it.

In the face of “always needing to be right,” see how often this person was once made wrong.

In the face of arrogance or bravado, hold gently that still, small piece that says “I’m not enough.”

In the face of drama or attention-seeking, see the person who wishes so much to be seen.

In the face of accusation, imagine what it might be like to live life with suspicion.

In the face of judgement or comparisons, step into the opportunity the world has just provided you for practicing love and acceptance.

In the face of passive-aggressiveness, recognize the child that wasn’t taught a safe way to express their truth.

In the face of anger, see the pain of isolation from others.

Most importantly: In the face of ferocious hatred, believe in the possibility that there exists the potential for equally as big, intense, lovely and fiery ferocious love.

Okay. That is my love letter to the world, for today.

~ Kate"

Thank you so very, very much, Kate!

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark


patti said...

Firstly, I love your new background O - really lovely!

As for these words - yes, yes and yes they resonate, and teach us to take a step back. If we can all live in each others shoes for just a moment, the world will be a better place

CrystalChick said...

Cool new background!

I'll try to keep all this in mind next time I have to see certain inlaws. ;)
Seriously, it is a beautiful poem. We certainly are all in this together and thinking and acting from a place of compassion is always the better choice.

Thanks for sharing.

kate i said...

Beautiful! It speaks to my heart and is a lovely manifesto to remember as we walk through life with our fellow travellers. Thanks to both you and Kate for sharing this.

Angela said...

Thank you for sharing this, Olivia! It's beautiful and will be printed out to be read a few times a day. It's such a treat to find a piece of writing that speaks like this one does. I will also be looking at Kate's blog. Much love to you, dear lady.

Kate said...


This reminds me of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi. More of a modern version. Beautifully done, thanks for sharing it.

Olivia said...

Thank you, Patti; it was originally the same as yours and then I "remembered" and changed it. So THAT was why I liked it so much. It goes much better with your beautiful artwork. Yes, Kate's poem is just stunning.

Thanks, Mary Catherine. Yes, with all family, right? I agree that it is so moving and true.

Yes, Kate I. It is a lovely manifesto, and you're so welcome.

You know, Kate, that's EXACTLY what I thought. I have the prayer of St. Francis up in my house and have known it for years, and this is what I thought of too. But as you said, more modern and expressed in a language that is so poignant.

Thank you all for commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Peace, Love, Blessings, O

I know, Angela. I could have just linked to Kate's blog but I wanted it on MY blog for reference. I'm glad you liked it.

Anonymous said...

This is so valuable.