The time will come
When, with elation
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror
And each will smile at the other’s welcome,
And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you
All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
-Derek Walcott, Love after Love
Last week a friend shared this poem with me, and it came at just the right time—as most things do.
At some point in our lives, we realize that our journey is less one of discovery and more one of re-discovery. Rather than learning, we seem to re-learn and remember. Those “ah-ha” moments seem to happen when we realize something we’ve always known but were somehow unaware of or disconnected from.
These realizations can be joyous. And sometimes they can be painful—especially when they require us to break with previously held beliefs or even with friends or family. But all realizations are freeing, because we know—on some level—that we cannot live disconnected from ourselves. And the feast happens when we can sit back, see ourselves and love what we see.
How do we get to the point of sitting back and feasting? Sometimes it feels as if life reaches out and grabs us—through tragedy, through loss, through love or bliss. These moments seem to come out of nowhere and often encourage us to dig deep within. And a great deal of insight can come from these experiences. But, I don’t think we have to wait for life to surprise us to gain insight.
We can try to find time every day to put ourselves in a “remembering state”. We all have our own ways to find that space—through prayer, meditation, singing, running or doing yoga or taking long walks in nature. By getting out of the thinking-planning-always doing mind, we can find inner calm and peace to see, to hear, and to remember who we truly are.
And then–the only thing left to do is feast on your life.