You-Shaped Hole


Sometimes the world feels inhospitable.
You feel all the ways that you and it don’t fit.
You see what’s missing, how it all could be different.

You feel as if you weren’t meant for the world, or the world wasn’t meant for you,
as if the world is “the way it is” and your discomfort with it a problem.

So you get timid. You get quiet about what you see.

But what if this?

What if you are meant
to feel the world is inhospitable, unfriendly, off-track
in just the particular ways that you do?

The world has a you-shaped hole in it.
It is missing what you see.
It lacks what you know
and so you were called into being.
To see the gap, to feel the pain of it, and to fill it.

Filling it is speaking what is missing.
Filling it is stepping into the center of the crowd, into a clearing,
and saying, here, my friends, is the future.

You don’t have to do it all, but you do have to speak it.
You have to tell your slice of the truth.
You do have to walk toward it with your choices, with your own being.

Then allies and energies will come to you like fireflies swirling around a light.

The roughness of the world, the off-track-ness, the folly that you see,
these are the most precious gifts you will receive in this lifetime.

They are not here to distance you from the world,
but to guide you to your contribution to it.

The world was made with a you-shaped hole in it.
In that way you are important.
In that way you are here to make the world.
In that way you are called.

– Tara Mohr


photo credit: Simon Migaj


Join the discussion 32 Comments

  • Brenda says:


  • Mary Dixon says:

    I really love this, especially today thinking about all the crazy politics and world problems. Yes, this helps me appreciate my “you shaped hole” or me shaped hole and where I can offer refuge. Thanks.

  • Meri says:

    Love this!

  • Kalindi Pathare says:

    No words can express how grateful I am to have connected with you even if for now it through newsletters, poems – they inspire me, energize me to do what I was brought in this world to do

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • dewluca says:

    While I appreciate the sentiment of this poem, I have not ever experienced what it captures. I’ve been speaking my truth for my entire life. I’ve never been timid or shy about it. The world’s reaction has ranged from silence to “who cares?” to outright rejection. I’d like to believe the world needs what I have to say, but after 55 years I have absolutely no evidence to support that. Sorry. Glad others find this inspiring. My comment is for those who read it and feel depressed and alone.

  • cecilia says:

    Tara, your words are an expression my own feelings and thoughts. And, I sense, that you have had these feelings and thoughts too. Thank you for filling your own “you shaped hole” and for lighting the path for others to do so! Big hugs, Cecilia

  • Adrienne says:

    Oh this is gorgeous and healing. Thank you!

  • Thank you for this beautiful and uplifting poem. I also appreciate your gift for inspiration!

  • Kris says:

    I’d love to share this on social media. Is that ok to do, as long as I attribute it to you? I looked to see if it was on your FB page to share from there. I think this can speak to so many people. I would think anyone suffering from any kind of depression would relate to this very well. Thank you. This is wonderful.

  • I have been trying to write my story for a few years now. Sometimes it flows, and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time, I avoid writing out of fear of getting out my truth. One time I shared some of my memoir with my writing group and a man in the group said, “no one cares about your story unless you’re famous.” It’s funny because my story was partly about failed attempts at trying to be famous, and what our celebrity-obsessed culture does to us. I have felt a calling for a while now to tell my story. And this poem today was a wonderful reminder to keep at it, no matter what. Thank you, Tara!

  • Donna says:

    Hello Tara:

    Very fine, original, insightful



  • Dear Zoe, I left my writing group after a short time primarily due to destructive feedback from the only male member. I did not admire this particular person’s writing nor his excessively critical comments, and I decided that I will only take on feedback from people I admire. Brene Brown and Tara Mohr have plenty of wisdom on this 🙂
    Listen to your calling, not the cynical ill-informed man in your writing group (and do you really need this group?). Don’t waste your time trying to please the haters. They will only feel threatened by your success. Heck they they will only feel threatened by your courage. Find the people who will applaud your courage and offer genuinely constructive feedback.
    Best wishes,

  • A heartfelt poem that resonates strongly this morning.

    Thank you Tara for the gift of your courage. Because courage is infectious.

  • Suzanne says:

    Thank you – that was beautiful, insightful and true and so perfectly timed.

  • Nola says:

    Beautiful Tara, your words encourage new ways of thinking within me.
    Thank you

  • Suzanne says:

    Thank you for the lovely & powerful poem. Your you-shaped hole in the world is filled. Generously!

  • Pam says:


  • Anke says:

    Thank you for your insight today. This morning I had a misfitting feeling. Now I’m inspired to create what’s missing, to fill the hole with love in stead of complaining, accusing and victimising.

  • Melissa3H says:

    That was awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  • Pamela says:

    I love this! Your words are soothing and encouraging. Thank you for putting them- and yourself- out into the world.

  • Christine Lichatz says:

    Tara, Bravo YOU for this inspire manifesto, dressed as a motivational love letter. Brilliant effort! Gushing thanks from one reader taking action…Christine, Providence, RI

  • Dear Tara,
    This article on the ‘me-shaped hole’ was heaven-sent for me.
    Thank you so much for bringing this insight. This way of looking to all my (hard) feelings about bringing into the world what I think I should, helps me to keep going and keep the faith in my calling.
    This was kust what I apperrantly needed to hear! Jeanette

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for this fresh and beautiful perspective! This helped me to re-frame my thinking on how my creative work fits into the world. Many thanks.

  • How do you know that your message has not made an impact? The thing is most of the time we are not even aware of who we impact. Yes, our critics will be vocal but even that is having an impact. I feel that your you shaped hole has made a lot of impact in 55 years, it just may not be apparent in the way that you are looking for. Thank you for sharing your authentic and truthful voice.

  • I love this Tara. I look at it as a way of expanding what a you-shaped hole is. In my opinion, sometimes it is to challenge the status quo, other times it may be to show up as you, observe, serve and see what happens. Too often we go into something with an expectation of what the outcome will be and then turn away when things do not go exactly as planned. In my experience it is the unexpected twist that has lead to some of my greatest contributions. Many times it is years after the event when I recognize this. I believe that we are already resting in the hole; however, we may not be occupying the shape wholly.

  • […] And if this speaks to you, then go check out more of Tara’s poetry. […]

  • Carin says:

    I believe that this sat unread in my inbox to be opened just today when needed most. Thank you Tara for your insight and courage, beautiful and touching.

  • Frances says:

    I think this poem should go out to every high school. Every place where young people are and think that being out of step makes them wrong some how. Of course it is relevant to older people, but my oh my, how awful it is when you are young to feel so alone because you don’t fit.
    Brilliant poem Tara, thank you.

  • […] the episode, Sarah mentions that we are each a unique piece of a much larger puzzle. Here is a beautiful Poem by Tara Mohr around that […]

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