How often do we look in the mirror and not like what we see? Judge ourselves or listen to those judging us?
Only we know our story. Our struggles. Our obstacles. Our dreams.
And the only person who is truly with us from birth until we start the next journey is ourselves.
Poet Derek Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, wrote a poem called Love After Love about the journey to love yourself:
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.
Feast on your life. All those ups and downs that make our journey exclusively our own. No one has our experiences and therefore no one has our perspective.
We also must look for the magic in our story. As writer W.B. Yeats said, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
Can we sharpen them today? If we do, what might we see right in front of us?