Accepting This

Mark Nepo


Yes, it is true. I confess,

I have thought great thoughts,

and sung great songsā€”all of it

rehearsal for the majesty

of being held.


The dream is awakened

when thinking I love you

and life begins

when saying I love you

and joy moves like blood

when embracing others with love.


My efforts now turn

from trying to outrun suffering

to accepting love wherever

I can find it.


Stripped of causes and plans

and things to strive for,

I have discovered everything

I could need or ask for

is right hereā€”

in flawed abundance.


We cannot eliminate hunger,

but we can feed each other.

We cannot eliminate loneliness,

but we can hold each other.

We cannot eliminate pain,

but we can live a life

of compassion.



we are small living things

awakened in the stream,

not gods who carve out rivers.


Like human fish,

we are asked to experience

meaning in the life that moves

through the gill of our heart.


There is nothing to do

and nowhere to go.

Accepting this,

we can do everything

and go anywhere.


This poem is copyrighted by the poet and is included in the Healing Circles Global poetry wiki because it provides insight, nourishment, and inspiration to the hosts and participants of healing circles. We request that hosts and participants honor the poet’s copyright by not printing or sharing it in any other way. In fact, please support the poet’s work by purchasing the book in which this poem is published:Ā Leading From Within:Ā poetry that sustains the courage to lead, by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner, 2007.