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.
This poem by Derek Walcott is one of my favourite poems ever. Sometimes we forget to love ourselves as we are too busy hating this thing or that.
Why is it so easy to see the beauty in others but not ourselves?
I am pretty sure every single one of us has a photo of themselves that they just loathe but everyone else just loves. It’s because the people that know us see the best in us and that is what they see when they look at that photograph. We, however, see the double chin, the wonky hair, the chicken arms, the flabby tummy, etc. etc.
That is why I think it is so important to have beautiful photographs of ourselves taken. So that you can see yourself the way others do. So that, like Derek Walcott is saying, you can love yourself.
After being away for so long. Because, I believe, we are not born with the same innate self-loathing we have now.