I have been reading a book by Oprah Winfrey called “What I Know for Sure” and I have throughly enjoyed the “realness” of it. I love how she has faced head-on the insecurities that we deal with as human beings, whether it is the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of being alone and most of all, the feeling that you are not enough as you are.
In exploring this feeling of not being enough, she discusses how she always wanted to lose X number of pounds so she could be happy, how when she could fit into an item, she’ll finally deem herself worthy… And I could so relate, as I am sure you can, there always seems to be another reason to postpone joy, to postpone loving ourselves, for some of us, the struggles may not be with our weight, it may be that happiness is postponed till you have saved up to a certain amount, happiness may come when that boss finally sees your worth and promotes you, or when that person finally loves you, or your mum, who has complained about you from the day you were born, finally approves of you…
I enjoyed the frankness of her conversation and I took wholeheartedly, her admonition that this is not the way to live! You are a whole person, you are not the size on the scale, or even your well toned abs- you are more than the sum of your physical parts or the balance in your bank account and truly, you are powerful enough to change the things that you don’t like or want to improve on. NOTHING CHANGES TILL YOU DECIDE, she says and that reminds me of a saying which I like that goes something like, “if you take an honest look over the course of your life, you will often find that what you wanted, but never had, you did not really want”, the idea being that, if you really do want it, you will do the work it takes to get it- whether that is getting another degree, doing an internship, becoming more sociable or getting a personal trainer!
Anyhow, Oprah referred to a poem by Derek Walcott and I decided to search it out! It is heart warming and tells a beautiful story of self acceptance, self-love and self-appreciation. The poem resonates with me, I remember that as a young child, my dad always used to tell me, “Haj, if you are looking for a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm” and so for me, it is essential that you don’t look outside for what you should get from within. It truly makes you an easier person to love if you love yourself first, if not as someone else tries to love you, you’ll either spend a lot of time telling/showing them reasons not to love you, or you will sabotage the relationship in line with your belief that you are not worthy of love. Because if you were, why won’t you love you? You get? Start today to show yourself love, kindness, approval, don’t speak words to yourself that you won’t speak to others. You deserve everything good, now go give it to yourself!
And enjoy Love After Love by Derek Walcot below:
LOVE AFTER LOVE a poem by DEREK WALCOT
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.