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  • Kathy Marsak

Ones and Being Good

The wonderful poet Mary Oliver was an Enneagram One, and certainly knew from whence she spoke when she said, "You do not have to be good". We all have a bit of Type One in us, trying to be good, trying to be right, trying to make the world a better place. Under stress, however, Ones can become angry, resentful, perfectionistic. What if we were able to lay down the burden of making life perfect, and simply "let the soft animal of your body love what it loves"?

 


 

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 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.



- The Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver

 

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