Poetry Is Not A Profession, But a Condition

Poetry Is Not A Profession, But a Condition

To all my dear poets who understand the struggle
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Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

A lot of good poetry doesn’t rhyme.

I like haikus.

Poetry is a strange thing. Technically yes it’s just words. Pretty words. Yet so many people have such strong feelings about it? I remember in high school English classes whenever we got to the poetry unit, people would groan and complain like it was torture. I would feel an intense burst of joy. YES. Drown me in free verse, smother me in limericks, bury me in haikus. Please, let me try writing all of them. I am young and I think too much and for some reason my thoughts only make sense when I write them rhythmically with slight musicality in well planned organization using literary techniques. I feel better when I create poetry. It’s healing.

When I first discovered this beautiful release of poems, I also realized it would not go away at the end of the English unit. I couldn’t give this up. So I kept writing, everything from a simple quatrain to a more challenging villanelle style if I felt ambitious. I fell deeply in love with Robert Frost, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. I began submitting my work for publications and became a very happily published poet. However, poetry really isn’t a profession, you can’t turn it off. Not everyone can do it. If you can, it’s not always a blessing. It’s really a condition.

There are symptoms of poetry. You think way too much. People will tell you this as you stare off blankly into the sky planning your next poem or rant about the meaning of existence. You have ideas pop up for poems at terribly inconvenient times that cannot be ignored, so you carry a journal and pen at all times. This means pulling your car over, stopping your hairdresser, sitting on the floor of your local walmart, to write your ideas down. You will speak uncontrollably of your favorite poet as if they were a god or goddess and will not tolerate any criticism. You often utter the phrases “You just don’t understand it.”, “It’s art”, or “You have to read it more than ONCE.” Your laptop is your child/significant other. You want people to read and love and understand your work but would also have a heart attack if any eyes other than your cats saw it. You need poetry. You need to read and write it in the same way you need food and water. And when you can’t write anything good it drives you mad. Maybe you understand a little bit why a lot of poets went crazy. Maybe you feel a little bit crazy yourself. It’s ok. We all do.

If you have the poetic condition, I am sorry to tell you there is no cure. But I am excited to tell you that whether you believe you are talented or not, you are special. You have a voice, a voice that needs to be heard. Especially now. Poetry doesn’t all rhyme. It isn’t all in perfect lines of four, that’s what makes it beautiful. Each poem is a piece of your own uniqueness. I encourage you to put your voice out there. Let your art be absorbed. I can’t wait to read it.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=poetry&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3-9vSs6XTAhUJ0IMKHZQfD4MQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=662#q=poetry&tbs=islt:svga,isz:l&tbm=isch&imgrc=h9M-uubfT-wRWM

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The Selflessness Of Self-Care

It is OK to nurture yourself before nurturing others.

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Do you find yourself prioritizing taking care of others before taking care of yourself? I do.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Saiarchana, and I am a nurturer. Nurturing people is something that has almost become second-nature to me because I am so accustomed to doing it. I love uplifting others and being there to give them support when they are in need. I love giving support to others so much that I am even majoring in Psychology. Nurturing is something that is incredibly important to me. I nurture others because I don't want anyone to feel alone or unsupported.

But, sometimes I forget to nurture myself.

I used to believe that taking care of others involved sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice was my own energy and self-care. I lived under the belief that by pulling away and taking care of myself, I would be labeled as selfish. So, I kept on nurturing others around me.

Until I broke down.

I was giving so much support and care to others, that I had forgotten about me. I am also a very important person in my life. My relationship with myself is incredibly important, and I had forgotten that. I was so focused on pouring love and care to others, that I had forgotten to water myself with those same sustaining forces. I was getting drained and worn out from nurturing and giving love to so many people around me because I was neglecting myself.

When I realized what was happening, I finally understood: Love is not starvation. I do not need to starve myself in order to feed others. I do not need to neglect my self-care in order to care for and give love to the people around me. Nurturing others does not equate to neglecting myself. Because, once I neglect myself, I end up not being able to show up fully for the people in my life.

I read a quote by an influencer named Allie Michelle. Michelle said:

"Taking care of yourself is selfless. An empty well cannot give water to a village."

When I read this, it was as if my eyes developed clearer vision. I recognized that I believed that self-care was selfish when actually it is one of the most selfless things I can ever do for this world. When I am able to take care of myself, I am at a healthier and stable position to give care to others. When I give from a place of lack, I end up lacking more. Giving my energy to others when I am in desperate need of recharging my own energy will end up making me feel emptier. It is like the good analogy from Michelle's quote. I cannot give from an empty source. When I forget to give love and care to myself, I reach a point where there is nothing left to give to others, because I haven't maintained a solid foundation for myself.

Giving care to others should be a fulfilling experience, not a draining one. In order for it to be a fulfilling experience, I need to make sure I am not giving from a place of emptiness. I need to nurture myself because doing so will give me a stable foundation. So, I finally understand the key to nurturing others: making sure I am nurturing myself first.

So, what now?

I am going to continue giving love and care to others. But this time, I am going to make sure I am nurturing myself too.

I hope you nurture yourself too. You are worthy of the love and care you give to others.

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