A Poem for Moments of Doubt and Fear

Fear is a universal emotion – and yet when we are in the midst of our fears and doubts it is all too easy to think that we are alone and to somehow question our self-worth.  My sister-in-law, Laurie, shared this lovely poem by John O’Donohue with me and it spoke so eloquently of those dark and painful moments and offers such hope I wanted to share it.  Please feel free to share any meditations or poems that help you to get through the difficult times.

For Courage by John O’Donohue

When the light around you lessens

And your thoughts darken until

Your body feels fear turn

Cold as a stone inside


When you find yourself bereft

Of any belief in yourself

And all you unkowingly

Leaned on has fallen


When one voice commands

Your whole heart

And it is raven dark


Steady yourself and see

That it is your own thinking

That darkens your world


Search and you will find

A diamond-thought of light


Know that you are not alone

And that this darkness has purpose

Gradually it will school your eyes

To find the one gift your life requires

Hidden within this night-corner


Invoke the learning

Of every suffering

You have suffered.


Close your eyes

Gather all the kindling

About your heart

To create one spark

That is all you need

To nourish the flame

That will cleanse the dark

Of its weight of festered fear.


A new confidence will come alive

To urge you towards higher ground

Where your imagination

Will learn to engage difficulty

As its most rewarding threshold!

Posted by Laura

Laura Marshall, LCSW, is the founder and director of the Sagebrush Center for Relationship Therapy. Her experience spans thirty years of supporting couples and individuals to create healthy and meaningful lives and relationships. She is also adjunct faculty for the New Mexico Highlands School of Social Work. She lives with her husband Steve and five sons in Farmington, New Mexico.

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