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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 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.
By Derek Walcott
Why is it so difficult to attend to ourselves, to offer ourselves the gift of permission,
The gift of gentle kindness?
Why is it so difficult to give ourselves a break,
As we would probably
So much more easily
One of the gifts of aging inside the of a potpourri of awkward strangeness
Of living into a changing body,
Ever-shifting levels of energy,
Is caring so much less about the why’s.
It just—doesn’t matter.
The why’s have been, earlier in my life,
Uncovering them as a-power-scented-treasure-hunt of yesterday.
I wrote books
About the why’s.
I don’t care.
To lighten up.
To give myself
Of the doubt.
To let It,
Me and All,
And then, from that place of compassion,
To take action,
Letting go of the outcome
All along the journey.
This come-as-you-are-party of aging,
Of living in a world
In such flux,
What is needed?
Says Roshi Joan Halifax.
Here is the Conspirare Choir from Austin, Texas, offering a heart-grabbing version of a song written by Sinead O’Conner.
This is a song for you, you to you—you for you:
To ease my anxiety, to tether me and bring me back in the direction of balance, to offer myself compassion, I repeat informal mantras; they offer me the doorway to self-compassion. Even if the gift is a nanosecond in length, a touch-in, nevertheless, it is the direction I choose, to lean away from the seductive bitterness I hold toward myself—to return to my true self, again and again.
Please join me for my Meditation on Self-Compassion.
With a tiny droplet
Be safe and well—