incredible-marketing Arrow



Being a survivor of trauma can feel very isolating at times. Renowned American poet, Jane Hirschfield, tells us that “poetry’s

capacity to act as a force of healing is its grounding in connection and interconnection.” Trauma causes us to lose connection. We find ourselves disconnected from our bodies and spirits. The powerful words of a poem can elevate our consciousness, restoring our broken relationship with ourselves.

Hirschfield goes on to remind us that “there is solace in recognizing that whatever happens to a person [us], someone before us has known it as well. Poetry’s evidence tells us that we are not singled out by our suffering; we are brought into the shared life of all who have lived and died before and with us.” Feeling the empathy of a poet’s shared experience can be a soothing balm in times of hopelessness and despair.

The following is the poem “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. Her words remind us that our value is not measured in terms of being “good.” She encourages us to “let the soft animal of [our] body love what it loves” restoring our rightful place in the “family of things.” When referring to shared stories of despair, Oliver’s empathetic tone causes us to feel acknowledged, embraced, and accepted for our authentic selves. It encourages us to be free to “[announce our place] in the family of things.” In other words, despite our seemingly small place in the vast expanse of nature, we are valuable and significant.

“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”

Mary Oliver

At The Guest House Ocala, we are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety and depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting. Call 855-979-8446 today for more information on our treatment programs.