I made a big mistake.
All of the shame came flooding into me.
I thought it was over.
That I’d be dismissed from my training
and my call.

All of the crud came back:
you aren’t good enough
you’re inadequate.
And flooded into my lungs
and lodged there.

My supervisor, Jess,
called me into her office.
“Let’s take a walk.”
She walked beside me.
She reassured me.
She listened.
“It’s going to be okay.”

I beat myself up, verbally.
She let me go on and on.
And she just walked with me,
close by and constant.
And she nudged my shoulder
with her shoulder,

and she didn’t leave my side
until I felt calmer, more grounded.

That nudge and that walk,
they were everything.
And they will not leave me.
They sustain me even now.

And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world

At least, closer.

And, cordially.

–Mary Oliver

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