Read the following poem. And reassure yourself that you deserve kindness just for being you.
Just For Me
What if a poem were just for me?
What if I were audience enough because I am,
Because this person here is alive, is flesh,
Is conscious, has feelings, counts?
What if this one person mattered not just for what
She can do in the world
But because she is part of the world
And has a soft and tender heart?
What if that heart mattered,
if kindness to this one mattered?
What if she were not distinct from all others,
But instead connected to others in her sense of being distinct, of being alone,
Of being uniquely isolated, the one piece removed from the picture—
All the while vulnerable under, deep under, the layers of sedimentary defense.
Oh let me hide
Let me be ultimately great,
Remove me, then I don’t have to… be…
But I am.
Through all the antics of distinctness from others, or not-really-there-ness, I remain
No matter what my disguise—
Genius, idiot, gloriousness, scum—
Underneath, it’s still just me, still here,
Still warm and breathing and human
With another chance simply to say hi, and recognize my tenderness
And be just a little bit kind to this one as well,
Because she counts, too.