It is said that we understand ourselves through others. To me it is the other way round.

I thought I understood others, but I didn't understand myself at all back then. But then I began to truly look at myself, and little by little understanding seeped into my being. As I discovered myself, I discovered others. As I saw myself, I saw others too. Wherever I turn now I find only familiarity.

A couple staring drunkenly into each others eyes bring a smile to my face, for I know the sunshine that brightens the whole world for a time, making everything brilliant and new again. There is recognition, for I know the feeling they're having. I understand.

Now share your cruel thoughts, for I will not shy away. I cannot judge you for I too have felt the spark that brings violence upon others and asks only for more. I know it as my own, and I know how much you suffered for it to finally bloom - painfully.

Tell me the worst of your darkness and it will sound like me in the most inconsolable hours of the night. And I know how ugly I felt afterwards, the bad conscience, the guilt and the shame.

I know myself so well that my human side is broken open to its constituent parts. I spent so much time looking fearlessly at the inner forces that even those moving about in the darkest corners told their stories eventually. I am as nasty as anything on the news, only chance deciding to keep it absent most of the time.

I am down at ground level now, physically unable to look down on anyone anymore.

And I am beautiful, for I cannot help but notice the kindness and gentleness that make me find you so beautiful; Those qualities burn bright against the background once discovered within.

So when you hate and ravage the world, when you lie broken and look at me with eyes seeing only despair, I know what it is like, for I have played all roles at one time or another, even in dreams. I know you then, I see you, beyond ugliness and preference. I understand that what you feel is no different than what I feel or have felt once. That we are all moved by the same currents, one moment loving, another hating. One moment judging those around us or ourselves, another being carefree and light.

I can only see you because I see myself now - and I cannot but love you when I do.

This is love.


(10 March 2015)

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