How the old patterns die

I can always rely on John O’Donohue:

Once you start to awaken, no one can ever claim you again for the old patterns. Now you realise how precious your time here is. You are no longer willing to squander your essence on undertakings that do not nourish your true self; your patience grows thin with tired talk and dead language. You see through the rosters of expectation which promise you safety and the confirmation of your outer identity. Now you are impatient for growth, willing to put yourself in the way of change. You want your work to become an expression of your gift. You want your relationship to voyage beyond the pallid frontiers to where the danger of transformation dwells

via The Question Holds The Lantern | John O’Donohue.


  1. What a gift! Both!

    O’Donohue’s poetic wisdom and you sharing this with your email community

    Thanks Chris!

  2. Beautiful and true. There is however the communal aspect of the awakening which precedes the certainty of the passage above. To abandon a whole system is to in a way reorder relations we have to those in those systems. This is complicated…

    Here another angle of this process is helpful. In some it is an awakening. Thomas Merton speaks of it as a death, a dying to ourselves, in order to live for our deeper self (oh so Christian. The disillusion can be painful.

    A final image helps here- Merton speaks of how we need to “relax the spiritual cramp that knots us” in the past self. And we do this with deep personal contemplative practice.

  3. Lovely Fabio. Thanks for this reflection.