01/21/2015 02:57 pm ET Updated Mar 23, 2015

A New Thought

Sometimes, as we grow, what we build starts to be confining. This poem speaks to my own experience of this.

A New Thought

After so many years, I was surprised
that the self I built in order to survive
was only a tent that had no roof. And
finally looking up, I learned from the
stars how to stay in place and whisper my
light. And loosening my grip, I found the
things I held, that I thought would protect,
had grown so heavy, I had to put them down.
My beliefs had rusted into a sword too dull
to cut anything. And my secrets had blossom-
ed and withered inside my little hand. So I
took the beliefs turned weapons apart, and
washed the dead secrets from my heart.
After so much work to keep things out,
it scared me to realize -- there was no
opening to my tent. And so with love,
this very day, I rip a hole in my
oldest self, so I can get out and
drink of the world.

A Question to Walk With: Describe something you've built -- a dream, a relationship, a career--that in time become too confining. How did you work with this?

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.