"Love After Love"
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 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.
When I read the poem, I think about self love and what it means to really sit with yourself, be in love with yourself, after the love of another is gone. The poem makes me think about reflections, what we're seeing when we look in the mirror and how much of that is tied to what we expect others to see in us. When you look in the mirror, do you smile at yourself? Are you happy to see yourself? Are you as happy to see yourself as you would be see another? Or as another would be to see you?
I spend time analyzing and thinking and over-thinking situations, instead of really just sitting down with myself and realizing that the love I have for myself should be my focus. I should, as the poem suggests, greet myself with elation, with kindness, with love.While reading this poem leaves me with a sad taste in my mouth, the thought of a love lost, and it also reminds me, loneliness comes when you forget that God is always there for you and it is still a complete life without the love letters, the photographs, the others.
"You can wake up every day and love yourself as much as you possibly can and still love all of the people around you. That's the amazing thing about love! It's not something that comes in limited quantities. There is plenty of love in you to share both with yourself and others"