The Most Important Thing by Julia Fehrenbacher

​I am making a home inside myself. A shelter

of kindness where everything
is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch

of sunlight to stretch out without hurry,

where all that has been banished

and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.

A fiercely friendly place I can claim as my very own.

I am throwing arms open
to the whole of myself—especially the fearful,

fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts, knowing

every seed and weed, every drop
of rain, has made the soil richer.

I will light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea, gather

around the warmth of my own blazing fire. I will howl

if I want to, knowing this flame can burn through
any perceived problem, any prescribed perfectionism,

any lying limitation, every heavy thing.

I am making a home inside myself
where grace blooms in grand and glorious

abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows

all the truest things.

I whisper hallelujah to the friendly
sky. Watch now as I burst into blossom.

The Most Important Thing

Just reading the title of this poem, right away, I needed to hear what the poet names as the most important thing. Fehrenbacher writes of making a home inside herself – a shelter of kindness…a quiet patch / of sunlight to stretch out without hurry – can you already feel the invitation of such a home, a fiercely friendly place of your own.

She invites opening to it all, especially the fearful, / the fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts – anything you recognize here? I certainly do. She lights a candle for the flame to burn through any perceived problem, any prescribed perfectionism, / any lying limitation, every heavy thing. That seems to cover most, if not all, of what may hold us back from being fully present to life’s joys.

She ends with returning to the imagery of making a home inside herself, where grace blooms in grand and glorious / abundance. Is this not what we each long to create, that compassion for ourselves that allows mistakes, offers forgiveness, kindness? Could it be that such a home is available to each of us when we open the door?

Those last two lines catch my breath. To whisper hallelujah as I burst into blossom. Such an extraordinary image, but more than that, I can feel it in my body, a fiercely friendly place.

22 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing by Julia Fehrenbacher

  1. Well this is once that surfaced the snivels and a jump out of your chair shouting that hallelujah! Very powerful, very needed – brilliant Jan, thanks :O)

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  2. This poem was exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded that I can do this for myself. Thanks for sharing it. It is beautiful

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  3. Jan,

    I absolutely love this poem. I want to learn it by heart. It could be a mantra….

    “I am making a home inside myself
    where grace blooms in grand and glorious
    abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows
    all the truest things.”

    Thank you!! Lisa 💖

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  4. Can you imagine the Surprise Lilies that are now blooming exuberantly in my garden looking around and saying, oh dear, there aren’t enough kind people out here. I’m not going to bloom this year? The only way I can make the world a kinder place is to make myself a kinder place. And then make that place bigger, and more true and more generous even so. Thanks for this one, Jan. Its a keeper.

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    • oh Wendy, to make ourselves a kinder place, bigger and more true and generous – yes! Imagine the flowers deciding not to bloom this year – let them remind us to kind to ourselves. thank you xoxo

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    • Thank you. Those are some amazing photos she has. Whomever she is…wow she has so many followers there!

      We are lucky to have many hummingbirds in our yard. They like the lavender too~& other things of which I do not know names.

      I will be saving this poem! Such a great one. Thanks again for doing this blog.

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