Just Face It…

I read a passage in a wonderful book I’m reading (that I also highly recommend) called “Anam Cara, A book of Celtic Wisdom,” by John Donohue. It resonated with me so much that I want to make sure it sticks. SO, I’m putting it here to do that!


The story is about how the author had insomnia when he was in graduate school in Germany. He points out that it is relatively easy to do physical work with very little sleep, but not when you are doing precise and difficult mental work. He tried everything, including “furious attempts to get to sleep,” and just getting frustrated from being so tired during the day.

One night after being really exhausted, he said to himself, “Face it, now you will never sleep properly again. You will never have a night of complete rest. You are going to have this problem for the rest of your life.”

He claims that after he said this and admitted it to himself (accepted it), he fell asleep within five minutes! And over the following days/nights, his normal sleeping pattern came back.

He says,

What prevented me from sleeping was the deliberate commitment to try to get to sleep. As soon as I let go of the desire to sleep, sleep came naturally.”

Amazing. The basic premise here is, when you try to force it, you will never succeed!  –And acceptance is often what helps us let go of the thing that is preventing us from achieving what we want.

5 Comments on “Just Face It…”

  1. I enjoyed this post… thanks! Made me realize I need to approach doing things a bit differently… and maybe something I can apply to my learning Danish.


  2. Hi

    Thanks for putting up this post.

    Just wanted to say i read this book at a time when i couldnt let go of a relationship and it has since become my bible!!! I pick it up intermittingly when i need an extra boost of belief in myself.

    I feel people who have not read it have missed out on so much!!



    • Yes, I know — it simply beautiful. I couldn’t really get into it at first but then when I did I couldn’t put it down. Another book that’s equally giving and uplifting is “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.” It’s priceless.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s