Inwardly, We are far bigger Than We Think

One of my favourite poets and writers is John O’ Donohue. Yesterday I was in a reflective mood and found myself going through some of his poetry in a book of his called “Benedictus.” I came across this line that kind of leapt out at me.

“Awaken to the mystery of being here, and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.”

That little phrase, “…enter the quiet immensity of your own presence,” really got me thinking. I wonder if we ever think of ourselves as being immense? I don’t know how you feel about this, but more than often we tend to limit ourselves, not only through what we think about ourselves, but also how we allow others and society in general to define us.

John O’Donohue sees our inner being as a Landscape of infinite beauty and space. I have found this extremely helpful in my own walk through life.

By allowing all this we make ourselves very small, cramped and ineffective, that’s why there’s something deeply enticing and attractive about pondering on the immensity of our beings, not in an egotistical and arrogant way, but in a sober and realistic way. Who knows what kind of possibilities will open up for us if we do. I think that’s precisely what John O’Donohue was getting at.

And so my challenge to all who may read this post is to just ponder on those words, “enter the quiet immensity of your presence.” Let them speak in to your being and let them nurture a more expansive and effective you. Perhaps you would even want to use them as a kind of a mantra or affirmation throughout the day. Let them address and speak in to those cramped and narrow places and create a wonderful spaciousness from the inside.


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Identity, Poetic Imagination and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Inwardly, We are far bigger Than We Think

  1. Theo Coggin says:

    No doubt about it, Don, that this is a prerequisite in our lives. I love the word cogitate, from the Latin to consider. This is what should happen when we enter that realm of immensity, since considering also implies understanding consequences, as well as meditation. Many thanks for this deep piece.


    • Don says:

      Thanks Theo. The way you link the concept of “cogitate” with the realm of immensity, I think, is absolutely marvellous. Such a good insight. Something to really ponder upon. Thanks again.


  2. ladyfi says:

    What a great inspiration to remind us that we carry a vast and beautiful universe within us.


  3. darrelhoff says:

    this is excellent. but i am tired. its hard to work out the immensity in me. i have no clue who i am yet. still figuring that out. i live with this constant restlessness and unsatsifiable ness in me. i dont feel content. Maybe I am not meant to. Maybe God is tugging still and I am not taking a leap of faith. but where do I leap to?


    • Don says:

      Darrel, maybe the fact that you feel that way points to your own immensity. People who are small inside don’t often feel restless. Perhaps you’re trying too hard. Relax. Just a thought.


  4. A timely reminder. Thanks Don.


  5. That’s a brilliant quotation and serves to remind each one of us that we are beautiful, we are powerful and that we must make the best of ourselves. Thank you so much for this. Your posts are always thought provoking:)


  6. Great post! “Bless the Space Between Us” by John O’Donohue is one of my favorite books.


  7. Don says:

    Thanks Laurie. One of my favourite books as well.


  8. That is a really great quote! Thank you for sharing this! I lot of times we think of ourselves as very complex in the habit of thinking that “nobody really understands us”. It is good advice to think of ourselves as “immense” in order not to feel small and weak towards our goals and obstacles.


  9. Bushlings says:

    Something to think about indeed… I had a conversation yesterday with a life coach about taking on a new project. I fear that I will be beyond my capacity. The response was an explanation of capacity – will you really be beyond your capacity? Wouldn’t your capacity grow with your own growth?

    The theory was shown to me using a pair of glasses. One was a short tumbler and the other a tall water glass. She poured the tumbler full and said how does this capacity feel. I said heavy… hard… full. She then said, ok, pour it into a bigger cup. As the fullness of the smaller cup was poured into the larger cup, there it was. Half full.

    We are immense and we are always growing, tearing down walls within ourselves to create a bigger cup.


    • Don says:

      Thank you for your meaningful comment. Your illustration of the glasses is sooo good. I think it demonstrates the truth of that immensity in such a practical and down to earth way. I’m sure that the space in you will give birth to that new project you speak about. All the best with it. Good to have you following. Again, thank you.


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