“If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.”-W.H. Auden
I’ve come to recognize the little girl I once was is still very much a part of me. She always comes to me with curiosity and hopes to find the answers to the tough questions I once avoided. Perhaps she is the one I often address in my writing and the one I think of when doing so. The advice I want to offer that I feel we will all need at some point in our lives. I think she needed to be cared for, and in thinking so it is her that I do not want to disappoint.
She evokes the most authentic part of me…reminding me of my heart. Asking if this is her weakness, I assure her, it is not, it’s the most significant part of who she is. She wonders why that quote sticks to her skin like a burn she feels will forever be revealed as a scar. I tell her, it’s just who you are. Selfishly I want what is hurting off my (our) chest, and unselfishly I write, knowing we are not the only ones in pain.
Usually, I write to offer or, shall I say, “lend” my advice on the topics I think we will all feel at some moment in our lives. I feel discouraged that I haven’t offered my younger self specifically an answer to my discomfort and advice to why she should keep an open heart when it’s the one thing that makes her ache the most. I’m afraid to tell her that I just haven’t figured this one out yet. That I hate to admit this post will not conclude how I want most of my posts to end. With an answer or encouragement to keep doing what I know in my soul to be right.
Instead, I’m writing my younger self a letter in the poetic way that I think W.H. Auden once wrote to himself. Because it’s all I feel right now to be right (to write). Rather than telling myself the stars I look up to don’t give a damn, I’m admitting that I care too much and perhaps always will…but that it’s alright. That there is hope in words we’ve heard, read, or absorbed, even discouraging ones. And although I don’t have the answers now, I and (WE) still have this story to tell. Words to say that I hope can encourage or melt in my heart the way she (my younger self) needs them.
So to her I write:
For what it is worth ,you, my dear will always be. When all you feel are tears upon your cheek, I promise you there I will be.
To pick you up, I can not wait. But with us, patience is essential, for you know a human is all we are. I beg you to understand humanity is in me.
Creator, as I think I am. Today I don’t feel I can. Better than I was, is still all that I am. You are who I want to be.
Although we’re all damaged in time, we are not stuck in this place to die. I’ve learned to look at you and love me. I can’t defend what isn’t mine, and you are all I am. Forever or even just this moment in time. Interpretations of others don’t mind what we hold inside.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that words have power, and I love them deeply for that. But I’ve also known myself to say something I didn’t mean and held the sentiments of others too intensely. So maybe my advice is cautionary, to think differently yet speak slowly. To know what you need but “indifference is the least we have to dread from man or beast.”
from the older me,
#selflove #movingforward #hope #innerchild