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Poetry

Philautia – self-love

Day 14 – The Greeks had 7 different words for ‘Love’: Eros, Philia, Ludus, Storge, Philautia, Pragma, Agape.
Write a love poem describing any of these 7 forms of love, combine some, or even all of them.

Self-love is something everyone struggles with at some point in their life, whether they care to admit it or not. I believe we all have demons in our closets, things we are ashamed of to come to light.

For years, I was ashamed of my body due to being overweight. It hindered me from enjoying my adolescence and made sure I was always in my head.

This made me a moody little shit.

It wasn’t until after high school that I began taking steps to address my self-image and began walking down a path to self-love. And I am still walking it. Some days I still feel like the quiet kid who was always brooding about some terrible thought.

If you feel like you have work to do, it’s okay.
It’s okay to not feel good enough. You are good enough.

The healing begins when you start to dig, even if it’s just a small pile of dirt that you uncover at first.

Keep digging. I promise you it will be worth it.

 

they told me never
to set your free
not knowing
that i was the one
imprisoned

you saw me,
a restless boy
with pain and guilt inside
In that moment,
you smiled and said,
‘Give it Here.’

you placed a candle
over me revealing my
dancing shadow
“Don’t be afraid,” you whispered.

and pushed me
closer, until
i stood face to face
with myself.

i feared the beast that
slept in the crevices of my heart,
so i held it in a cage, its teeth
gnawing at the rotting bars,
desperate to be released.

i feared the day it would
escape, to show the
world my white facade, the
good boy who never
started any trouble, never
spoke too loud, never spoke
out of line.

i was too afraid to pet its mane
and embrace the power
that secreted from its fur
too afraid that i would
like his unabashed roar,
too afraid to lust his
power, too afraid to
let go of my tethered rope
to acceptance

it was only when you showed me,
when i was no longer
afraid to open the cage,
did i learn that my shadow
was never the monster
i had created in my mind.

the foul beast was the boy
who never feared opinion,
who didn’t back away from
tyranny, who stood for
those who could not stand for
themselves, who wore
his scars like a badge of honor.

you taught me
to love this dark
doppelganger,
this creature of
ebony, floating
aimlessly, bound
by my hesitance.

you taught me the first
form of love, Philautia,
was to love yourself,
and every shade inside.

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