As you leave the blurred wood
You entered while still a boy,
And light clarifies around
Your emerging, manly form,
May you discover gradually
A natural confidence in your body.
May your new strength be graceful
As you learn to carry yourself
With a dignity that is sure,
Bringing your gestures and expression
Into an easy harmony and rhythm.
May you never feel the need
To be coarse, or force yourself;
Rather, may you receive your manhood
With grace and mindful ease;
Then, at one with your own elegance,
Your presence will claim it’s radiance.
May you awaken confidently
To the feminine within you,
And learn to integrate the beauty
Of intuition and feeling
So that your sensitivity kindles
And your heart is trusted.
That you may slowly grow
To trust the silence of the masculine
As the home of your stillness.
Though it will be always difficult
To find the words for what you feel,
May you find ease in that awkwardness,
Until gradually from beneath
The gravel of stuttered sounds,
The pure flow of you emerges.
Be gentle with yourself,
Learn to integrate the negative,
Harnessing its force to cross the boundaries
That would confine you.
Love the life of your mind,
Furnishing it ever with new thought
So that your countenance glows
With the joy of being alive.
And true to an inner honor
That will not allow
Anger or resentment
To make you captive.
Always have the courage to change,
Welcoming those voices
That call you beyond yourself.
Beyond your work and action,
Remain faithful to your heart
For you to deepen and grow
Into a man of dignity and nobility.
– John O’Donohue, from his book To Bless the Space Between Us.