By Jeff Baird, Sunrise Reiki Colorado

I just read a column by my friend Holly Jorgensen in this month’s “Colorado Serenity Magazine.” Holly included the powerful words to “Desiderata,” and they really hit home tonight as I carefully read each line. I’ve read these words before. But, timeless wisdom reads differently for me each time I see the words, depending on what’s going on in my life at the time. This beautiful piece of wisdom, which means “things desired,” was written by a man named Max Ehrmann in 1927. If you are already familiar with the piece, I hope you’ll enjoy it one more time. If it’s new to you, I think you’ll really like it.

I’ll always remember the moment someone said to me, “Be gentle with yourself.” Those four words stopped me in my tracks. I had just taken a Reiki II Advanced Class that day and my Master spoke those words as we were saying our goodbyes for the night. The new energy was running at mach speed through my veins when those words literally stopped me in my tracks. I turned around and asked her to repeat what she had just said. I wanted to make sure that I had heard her right. She said it again and those words slowed me way down and allowed me to remember to breathe. Be gentle with yourself. Up until that moment, I don’t think I had ever even thought about being gentle with myself. I’ve always been my biggest critic. The more involved I got with Reiki, the more I realized the importance of being gentle with myself. Please be gentle with yourself and enjoy the words below.

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927
Original text

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