David Whyte — Sweet Darkness

This is a poem by the Irish poet, David Whyte. It is one that I have liked for a long time. And lately, it has been coming back to me often. There are a few key lines in it that have felt helpful as I’ve worked with colleagues, clients, and my inner stirrings. “…the world was made to be free in….” This is one of those lines that inspires such a beautiful and needed invitation — what if we were to follow our freedom (in the evolution of a project, team, plan)? What if we human beings were to welcome with more compassion for ourselves and others a full range of experience and freedom to be in our brilliance? Want brilliance; invite freedom. Want sustainable commitment; invite freedom. This goes against what many of us were taught in management schools. Yet, it is perhaps a significant part of the evolution of how we transform the way we do leadership.

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

 is too small for you.

Thank you David Whyte.

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