Self Love by James Crews

Treat yourself as an honored guest
in your own home. Sweep the floors,
whisking loose hairs and crumbs
into the dustpan, clearing cobwebs
as if you were about to arrive here
for the first time. Stoke the fire
in the wood stove, stacking logs
of birch and maple, whose bark
curls into flames that will warm
the whole house as you step inside
your body, learning to love its shape
like never before. Offer yourself
the wedge of brie you’ve been keeping
at the back of the fridge, pop open
whatever bottle you’ve been saving
for the moment you finally become
your own dream date, your own
special occasion. Now sit at the table
set for one, and feast on a simple
meal of bread and cheese, relishing
each taste of this new life, which has
always been waiting inside you.

Self Love

As we come to the close of this demanding year, words about self love seem appropriate and James Crews has the perfect poem. Treat yourself as an honored guest / in your own home. How often do we do that, cleaning as if you were about to arrive here / for the first time? Do you remember your first time? Whether you have a wood stove or a prosaic furnace, warming the whole house as you step inside / your body, can you learn to love its shape / like never before? What might that feel like?

He suggests becoming your own dream date – offering yourself a tasty wedge of cheese you’ve been saving, opening a bottle of whatever celebratory drink you might toast yourself with. Then he invites us to sit at the table / set for one, again treating yourself as an honored guest. And as you feast on this simple meal, you can relish each taste of this new life, which has / always been waiting inside you.

Given the current conditions, perhaps you will be your own company as the year ends. At the very least you will not likely be celebrating with a great many people, so can you take a moment to be present in your body? Each day offers a taste of a new life, new to you, waiting for you to notice and delight in.

May the new year bring a fresh appreciation for yourself, a chance to discover what awaits you.

6 thoughts on “Self Love by James Crews

  1. Jan, thank you for this one. As I think about the practice of “self love” in the new year, in these times of pandemic, I’m making lots of space around me, and space in my choosing how to spend myself on a day, in the world, where to give my energies and special patience in tending my reluctancies. As I navigate a conflicted, fearful world, I want especially to listen to my own deepest and best wisdom and to say No to all those things that generate fear or doubt or anxiety, to trust there is time for what is most necessary, and its okay if others disagree. That loving myself does not mean pleasing others but learning what is right for me and knowing that, in the bigger frame of things, if I take care of myself I am also taking care of others. Much love and peace in the new year.

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  2. Thank you for your wise words dear Wendy – ‘how to spend myself on a day’! “to say No to all those things that generate fear or doubt or anxiety,” “if I take care of myself I am also taking care of others.” I say yes to all of this. Much love and peace to you my dear.

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