When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be…Lao Tsu

As I sat to begin this post, I had in my mind that I would use the following poem as a springboard – an inspiration – for my writing. I’d take a few of the lines – ones that particularly resonated with me – and build my story around them. But that was not going to happen. I hope, as you read the work below, you’ll come to understand why.

Slowly, gently

I lift the clutter out of my life.
I must let go of my ego-self.
I’ve known this part of myself intimately.
It’s like an old friend.
It’s a bit hard to send it on its way.
It has become a kind of cherished sin for me
a dis-ease that I am familiar with.
Still, it has hindered my growth
and kept me from adoring.
It has prevented me from noticing

the holy ground of my life.

And so, I kiss it good-bye.
Yes, I kiss it.
I embrace it.
It is part of myself
I cannot simply cast it aside.
I pray for its conversion.
All the clutter in my life
that I have clung to
with such devotion
will be born again
in some new and better form.

It is the shadow side of myself.
If I befriend it
it will arise
from the ashes of falseness
into the glory of truth.

My uncontrollable anger
becomes a passionate, prophetic zeal.
My possessive clutching
becomes generous giving.
My abundance of unnecessary words
melt into the one great word.
My deafening noise
becomes the sound of silence.
My need for approval from others
becomes a need to affirm others.
My need to control
becomes my need to share.
My fear is changed into love
my anxiety into trust.

Yes, all the clutter of my life
that ego stuff that held me back
when embraced and owned
can change before my very eyes into grace.
What was a hindrance becomes a blessing.
What was an enemy becomes a friend.
What was darkness is now my light.
What was my clutter is now my treasure.

There is no freedom
like seeing myself as I am
and not losing heart.
There is no freedom
like looking at myself as I am
and saying, “Yes, that’s me!”
There is no freedom
like taking myself in my arms.
Only in that embrace
will I understand my wounds.
Only in that embrace
will I understand healing.
Only in that embrace
will I come to know my true self.
—Macrina Wiederkehr, Seasons of Your Heart


You understand, right? That I could not, would not dare to deconstruct the flow, the rhythm, the sequence of thought.  I’ve spent some serious time with this poem – time well spent. That it is written in the first person made it intimate, real and I could easily imagine myself as the writer – facing truths, experiencing release, accepting and appreciating what is uncovered.
As years pass, I am, indeed, de-cluttering…letting go. Not of material things…but rather, of those parts of myself – that “ego-stuff” that keep me from being who I was meant to be. I’m ever comforted by what remains.
Until next time, be safe and enjoy these beautiful summer days.


Note: On Wednesday, I leave for McAllen, Texas. For two weeks, I’ll be working among migrants at the Humanitarian Resource Center with a team of Sisters of St. Joseph. I feel so blessed to be able to make this trip. Know I’ll be taking my MOL family with me and will try to update you on the experience while I am there. If that’s not possible, I’ll fill you in  when I return in July.