Reflections on 5 Poems About Love by Nayyirah Waheed
Every day is a good day to reflect on the relationship we have with ourselves, with others, with love. We tend to unconsciously accumulate all sorts of feelings and beliefs through our experiences, and some of those need clearing out! So I’ve decided to whip out one of my favourite books of poetry, by one of my favourite poets, and share five pieces alongside my little musings on them. Maybe they will inspire you to muse a bit too!
Not loving myself is living in the pain of rejection constantly.
It’s a cage that gets smaller with every experience of someone else not loving me.
I shrink further, find myself even less lovable, even less worthy.
If I can’t want myself, fiercely, indignantly, defiantly, then nothing can make me feel wanted.
So I have to constantly look for that part of myself that says: ‘you’re not enough’, and coax it gently into recognizing its own magnificence.
I have to ask myself: Where did I get that wound? What is it that I need to heal it? How can I fall in love with myself? How can I love myself even better? How can every moment feel like a beginning?
When I don’t believe I deserve something, I run from it, no matter how much I want it.
The fear of not getting what I want makes the act of seeking it terrifying. But the pain of walking away has always ended up being equal or greater than the possible pain of the risk.
I learned that my fear is the fear of vulnerability, of revealing who I am by asking for my tenderly held dreams.
Being afraid to be vulnerable is being afraid to be seen.
I have to ask myself: What am I hiding? What am I hiding from? Why? How can I step into my light?
Today, I recognize that completely, truly, loving myself is a radical act of resistance.
It is a defiant act against all the negative messages I am bombarded with every day about my body, my mind, myself as a woman, myself as a human being.
Loving myself is screaming out loud, I deserve, I survive, I thrive, I create, I open myself to the world without fear because nothing can shatter me and even if I shatter, I’ll rebuild into something even more beautiful.
A lot of ‘loves’ leave us jaded or angry, wanting to wear more armour, protect ourselves better, grow thicker skin.
This simple sentence felt like an awakening, like learning love is an entirely different language.
Being loved well, by my Self, by others, lets me take off all my layers, lays me bare, leaves me open and receptive and more trusting than I was a moment ago, and a moment before that, and on it goes.
Learning that love is taking off all the masks, all the shields, is a powerful thing.
To me, it brings together everything about self-love, about sharing love with another person in a way that reflects all the places of truth and vulnerability and authenticity in yourself.
It’s like coming home, in the best possible way.
What more can be said?
And that’s it for my personal reflections on love for the day! If you hadn’t heard of Nayyirah Waheed before, and have fallen in love with her work, check out her two books of poetry:
salt (2013), and Nejma (2015)
Let us know if you have any thoughts! We love hearing from you.