While culturally we are moving in a direction where the promotion of self-love and care is accepted and praised, often I still find myself feeling foggy on how far that olive branch extends to me. One can still feel the burn and bruising of other judgments thrown at your gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and other clear definitions of you. Expanding on those, we very often ask, “Am I even GOOD ENOUGH as a (fill in the blank)?” or are we even valid in our conception of ourselves?
Self-love urges us to accept and answer positively to these definitions we’ve agreed on, while self-care asks that you massage those seams and release the tension, cultivating an environment where You can grow. But who are you? I may be valid, but as a soon-to-be fresh 20 year old with a love of acting and understanding character, my understanding of “I” often feels fake, crafted, or unreasonable. Does a fake person deserve to practice self-devotion? Can they? Maybe this is my Catholicism speaking, but I sometimes still feel an itch of guilt in those moments when I really am feeling myself.
Here’s a small collection of poems that reminded me of this itch.
Check out my first poetry mixtape here; there I explain how a poetry mixtape works.
Compiled by Ally Matas.