Symmetry and wholeness

My entire life has been characterized by a yearning for wholeness. My career in strategy and all my business writings have focused on this idea of moving from fragmentation to coherence within organizations. And now I am seeing how much that external narrative characterized what I needed to do inside myself.

The world “out there” is simply a mirror reflection of the world inside ourselves. We heal the world by first healing within… by finding those parts that we’ve disowned or ignored in order to make other people happy, or to conform to expectations, or out of a simple inability to hear the still, small voice within us.

We start out whole as children, before the weight of the world starts challenging our sense of identity. Nearly everyone makes compromises to their identity during the growing-up process; trauma survivors even more so. The journey moves from wholeness to fragmentation and then, hopefully, back to wholeness again.

This poem by David Whyte captures a sense of what it feels like to be on the journey towards what our souls are yearning for.


So that I 
and looked 
into the waters,
seeing not only
my reflected face
but the great sky
that framed 
my lonely figure

and after 
a moment
I lifted my hands

and then my eyes
and I allowed 
to be astonished

by the great 
calling to me

like an old,
and unspoken
made new
in the sun
and the spring,
and the cloud
and the light,
like something
in one moment
both calling to me

and radiating

from where I stood,

as if I could 

I had been given

and everything ever

taken from me,

as if I could be
I have ever

and everything

I could ever know,

as if 
I knew

both the way 
I had come
and, secretly,
the way
I was still
promised to go,

brought together,
like this,
 with the 
yielding light

and the symmetry
of the moving sky,

caught in still waters.

Someone I have been,
and someone,
I am just 
about to become,
something I am
and will be forever,
the sheer generosity
of being loved
through loving:
the miracle reflection
of a twice blessed life.

Poetry by David Whyte
APRIL 2018 © David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

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