I was watching this interview of Rupi Kaur, whose poetry I am very much obsessed with. It was the interview conducted by Emma Watson. I saw those two names together and instantly clicked to watch the video, despite the fact that it’s a year or two old.
During that interview, Emma brought up this certain poem in Rupi’s book “milk and honey” and whilst they were discussing about it, it was only and only then that it dawned upon me what I had been doing to myself.
Before I go any further, here is the poem:
“i want to apologize to all the women
i have called pretty
before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is the most you have to be proud of when your
spirit has crushed mountains
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient or you are extraordinary
not because i don’t think you’re pretty
but because you are so much more than that”
This truly, truly hit me because listening to Emma and Rupi discuss about this poem, misogyny and everything related, I understood that I have been unfair to myself and I definitely need to apologize to myself.
Not so long ago, I actually wrote a whole blog post calling myself average and that wasn’t something I was happy with, but I posted it anyway. Today I realized that until now I have only looked at myself superficially and cared only about the way I physically look, hence reaching the conclusion that I am average, which in turn is very much responsible for deep-rooted insecurities.
Never have I ever evaluated myself in terms of emotional resilience or intelligence. If I look at myself in such terms, then without a moment’s hesitation I can say that I am nowhere near average. Emotionally I have been through so very much and yes I do have anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation & much more, but the fact is that I am still here, I am still alive, I am still breathing and this alone puts me on a scale way above average. Actually, it puts me on the extraordinary scale. Everyone I have known all my life have told me that I am intelligent, but due to my lack of confidence, I refused to believe that too, just the way I refused to believe that I used to be able to write beautifully.
Most of us, including myself, so far have almost always considered beauty in terms of one’s physical appearance and it just ends there. Nobody digs deeper and looks at the emotional strength, the courage, the fierceness, the willpower, the kindness, because these are way more beautiful than clear skin, wide eyes or sculpted lips. And I truly do apologize to everyone and to myself for grading beauty merely on the basis of what pleased the eyes and not for what lay beneath those superficial layers.