Stop Striving; Come Know Me

A poem by Kristen Ostrem

You don’t have to strive, and you don’t have to hide.
Pretending, performing, and masking are facades that all root from pride.

You’re afraid you’re not good enough, disappointed you haven’t done enough—
You get bogged down by “shoulds” and shame, when really, self-reliance is a lie and a chain.

You want to be flawless in your actions, time, and thoughts.
You want to reach your full potential, and you keep track of when you’re not.

Just stop.

What’s your full potential, or how do you know you’ve reached it anyway?
Be faithful, abide, come know me—that’s what I call you to today.

Cease from striving, know that I am God.
The only, I’ll repeat, the only place I want you is for you to know my love.

Cease from being, other than one who is my child.
You are completely loved! At all times, I want you and call you mine.

Cease from doing other than doing through my love.
It’s about knowing me first, so focus on me first; that is enough.

I don’t care if you’re at square one again or whatever square you think you’re on.
Life is all about oneness, openness, us, relationship.

“Do you know me?” not “What do you do?” is the question I’m asking you.
Not yesterday, tomorrow, but today—to know me, do you want to?

If so, repent of pride, forgive yourself as I have forgiven you.
Then return to me. Be with me. Live with me. That is all I want you to do.

Again, I say: Strive not, receive my grace and peace.
In this moment, come as you are to know and be known by me.