desire, does not, equate to being valued


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what I never
learned
from my mother
was that
just because
someone desires you
does
not mean they value you.
desire is the kind of thing that
eats you
and
leaves you starving.

“Just because someone desires you, does not mean that they value you”.

Read it over.

Again.

“Just because someone desires you, does not mean that they value you”.

Let these words seep deep through you, through your veins, your bones, and settle, albeit uncomfortably, in your mind.

These are the colours of your self-esteem.

I encourage you to do so because these are profound and meaningful words from a wonderful poet/artist, Nayyirah Waheed. And with anything profound, you need to read it more than once for once is never enough.  Read it a hundred times if you can. And if you can, leave some space between each reading, as each time a different word or phrase will embed itself within your soul.

Now when I say soul I don’t mean soul in the overused new-age sort of way.  No.

When I say SOUL, I mean SOUL.

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When I say soul I am talking about who YOU are at the very CORE of your being.

The centre of your SELF. The ESSENCE of you.

That part of you that lies right the centre of your chest or in the depth of your belly that when you press hard, it hurts.  It is the ‘I’ within that you may have just started to explore its existence. The ‘I’ in you that you may probably spend your entire lifetime trying to figure out.  And you never will.  So give up. And just be. I have.

Anyway.

Nayyirah Waheed is phenomenal. She is phenomenal because she has the capacity to talk to me even though we’ve never met in a language that surpasses mere words. She reminds me that I’m alive. And I’m grateful to anyone who can do that. Her words have the capacity to remove all the debris that have formed and gathered itself on your psyche like rust on steel; cutting through the crap, stripping it away, leaving your heart bare and raw. She then leaves you to do the polishing work yourself. She starts the process but you do the work.

I’ve posted some of her pieces on my blog before from her anthology of poems called ‘salt’.  Perhaps her words may resonate with you too?  Let me know, if you want.

Be kind.

salt


salt7I recently stumbled upon salt.  Not the kind you flavour your food with, but “salt”, in terms of poetry.

The artist who writes these beautifully raw and soul-stirring poems is known as Nayyirah Waheed.

If you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to look her up and her writings. They are indeed one of a kind and truly beautiful.  She writes from such an honest place and is unapologetic about what she says and I admire that greatly.  When I first read her work, something in me slowed down, in fact my world slowed down; and if it is possible for the heart’s beat to pause between beats, then mine certainly did.

I think when a piece of writing stays with you; sort of attaches itself on your psyche, your soul or your heart as such; you know it’s a good piece of work!

You can’t seem to shake it off for you were not meant to. And Nayyirah’s poems do just this.

When you look at her book you’ll notice the empty spaces and the sparse sentences.  Most of her poems are short but I think that this is intentional.  The empty spaces, like the spaces in our own lives, are there for a reason.  It is there to help us pause, to reflect.  It allows the reader the time to process what has just transpired and what continues to transpire within.  The words need this space.  And you the reader will need it too once you’ve read it.

Here are a few snippets of what Nayyirah beautifully offers.  I’ve selected the ones that closely relate to love, both of self and of the other.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

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salt. is a journey through warmth and sharpness. this collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love. 

http://www.nayyirahwaheed.com/