The greatest love of all
On his birthday, 13 June, media personality Denrele Edun shared a post that tugged at the heart strings, not only celebrating his big day, but in effect, himself.
“I can’t believe you’re 38! THIRTY EIGHT. F***ing eight years older than a 30-year old.
TWENTY years older than your 18-year-old self. You’re freaking out! But, you know what?
You’re also 38-years young. I mean, the moment you hit 30, you stopped counting right? Wake up and smell the frigging Coffee!” Denrele started and shared his words of wisdom as snippets of advice to his 38-year-old self.
“About time you learnt that just because you haven’t been loved in the way you deserve, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. That just because some people found it hard to love you doesn’t mean you’re not easy to love,” he continued.
“Love yourself so much that you don’t feel the wanting from loneliness.
Love yourself so much it doesn’t matter who broke your heart in the past or who breaks your heart next. Love yourself so much you become complete. Love yourself so much you stop accepting anything less than what you need. Love yourself so much you stop accepting any less even from yourself.
Look in the mirror. The person you see standing in front of you is the love of your life. Feed him just as much as you’ve fed the mouths who bit chunks out of you. Find the places from which they did, kiss them and let them heal.
Walk away from situations that make you unhappy. Anything or anyone that steals your lighter energy has no business being in your life.
Stop putting yourself down and selling yourself short. Speak to yourself in a kinder voice. You have the whole world inside of you.Be grateful for your accomplishments and work for those you still yearn for. You got this. This year, tune out the voice that says you can’t.
Take care of yourself. No one else will do it for you. No one else can do it better.
Think about the curly haired, suffering little troublesome kid you once were. What would he say to you today?
What were the things he always wanted to have?
Would you treat him like you treat yourself now?
Do what makes you happy. It’s as simple as that.”
He rounded of his advice with this poignant message: “Your life has purpose. Your story is important. Your dreams count. Your voice matters. Love yourself. Value yourself. Be yourself. The world needs you!”
Messages of self-love, self-belief and validation of self were loud and clear, and probably helped anyone who stumbled upon Denrele’s post that morning. I know for sure they resonated with me, especially the words, “The person you see standing in front of you is the love of your life.”
These words also reminded me of Caribbean poet and playwright Derek Walcott’s poem Love after love – an ode to being at home within one’s self, a celebration of finally coming back home to yourself after a life of love after love.
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.
How blessed is Denrele that not only is he celebrating another year but he’s celebrating it with the sort of wisdom that most men lack on their death bed in old age. How blessed is he that he knows the person he sees in the mirror is the love of his life. The one he needs to feed, the life he needs to feast on.
What about you? Whether you’re 18, 38 or 58 doesn’t matter. If you haven’t yet, it is time to find the way to your own door, your own mirror, greet the stranger you’ve for so long neglected; give wine, give bread, give back your heart to the love of your life.
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