How long do you have to wait before you can claim that something has changed your life? It’s been 24 hours since I first read the poem that changed my life, but I imagine it’s like saying I love you on the third date, or choosing your wedding dress after only trying one on – it’s too soon to say it’s ‘the one’.

That’s why I’ve covered my back and entitled this piece “the poem that might just change everything”. It’s a beautiful piece of writing, full of love, loss, heartbreak and wisdom. And just like all the best poems, it’s structure is faltering and broken, revealing the power of the words themselves. (Can you tell I’m a literature student?!)

But I’m not going to show the poem yet. You’ll love it, I know you will. I believe it might have changed my whole life. Which is why I’m going to make you wait. Later I’ll tell you why I love the poem, but first I’m going to tell you how I am.

An update on me

 I haven’t written for a while, and if you’re particularly close to me, you’ll know why that is. I love being honest and open on my blog, and I think it’s crucially important to share when life is far from rosy. However, this time I’m not going to tell you everything.

Grief is confusing and destabilising, and sometimes it all gets a bit much – which is exactly what has happened to me recently. If you’re grieving – whether you’re in your first month of grief or your twentieth year – it’s ok not to be ok sometimes. It’s been nearly two years since I lost mum, and the further it gets, the harder it seems to get! It’s not as simple as “time heals”. Right now, my wound is raw and more painful than it has ever been – and that is surprisingly normal.

If you’re worried about me, please don’t be. I have an incredible support network that I am relying on in this time, and I know that if I need you, you will listen to me, comfort me and maybe even bake me a cake. I promise that if I need help, I won’t stay silent.

Might everything change?

I’m currently starting a new project, called ‘Project Me’. I’m prioritising resting, relaxing, and being kind to myself. I’ve been doing things like reading, writing, sewing and making frequent trips to see the hamsters in Pets at Home – things that make me happy without complication or compromise. It’s a really great idea that I can’t claim is my own – lots of people who love me have been shouting at me for a long time to stop being so busy and rushed and stressed.

I’ve started seeing a fantastic counsellor, and she very quickly understood me, accusing me of being very good at “doing” and not very good at “being”. It made her laugh when I said, “but I don’t know what to do to just be”! Lots of us are all guilty of it I’m sure – finding our identity and self-worth in what we do, not who we are. I need to remember that I’m a human being, not a human doing.

That is why this poem might just change everything for me. I’ve read it over one hundred times already and I only encountered it yesterday. It’s a gorgeous reminder that I am a perfect version of myself, and that my disbelief at that fact is painful for those who love and cherish me. It’s not arrogant to believe that I am the best version of myself I can be, or love myself despite all my flaws and failings.

Sadly, my mum shared my low self-confidence. She wasn’t all that keen on herself, and it frustrated me so much, because to me she was the most beautiful, extraordinary woman I knew. That’s why, in her memory and to make her proud, I’m focusing on falling in love with myself for a while. With the poem printed out and stuck on my wall to remind and motivate me, I’m going to keep working hard on Project Me – ironically the hard work starts with some serious rest!

The poem that might just change your life

So here it is, the poem that you’re going to love. At least, I hope you love it. If you’re a bit broken like me, or you’re having a tough time, or you need reminding that you are brilliant, I dedicate this to you. A female friend shared it on her Instagram, revealing that another female friend had introduced her to the poet, Nayyirah Waheed. Isn’t that awesome? Let’s all do more of that – sharing inspirational, motivational, beautiful things with each other, to build each other up and help make the world a better place. (It’s what I’m trying to do with this website, so thanks for being involved!)

For someone who has always struggled with low self-confidence, this poem really spoke straight to my heart. In a time of personal darkness, this poem is a ray of brilliant, blinding light – Waheed reminds her reader that there is nothing that can stop you happening, stop you being, and stop the beauty of that being.

I hope this inspires you, you wonderful, perfect human BEING.

as you are – Nayyirah Waheed

“as you are.” says the universe.

“after…” you answer.

“as you are.” says the universe.

“before…” you answer.

“as you are.” says the universe.

“when…” you answer.

“as you are.” says the universe.

“how…” you answer.

“as you are.” says the universe.

“why…” you answer.

“because

you are happening now.

right now.

right at this moment

and

your happening

is beautiful.

the thing that both keeps me alive

and

brings me to my knees.

you don’t even know how breathtaking you

are.

as you are.” says the universe through tears.

Like this poem? Pass it on! Have something to share with me? Email letstalkaboutloss@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

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