The Path Outwards

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Decades of self-hate,
force-fed through 
an umbilicus from 
one of hell’s own,
left me a thin shell
of easily cracked human

I yearned to feel
loved, held, cradled,
with the desperate intensity
characteristic of
my demon-bound kin,
knowing that my wish
was more futile 
than the sundering
of Prometheus's chains

Hope visited on
the wings of angels
camouflaged as helping humans,
their soft voices of reason,
gently pulled my barring hands
from over my ears and
they reintroduced me
to the subtle harmony
of my beating heart,
my swirling thoughts,
and the miracle of creation

Fuelled by the ambrosia of self,
human fought demon, day after day,
acceptance slipped in
through fractured bones,
building me up,
as slowly I learn
to love myself
for me

Inspired by anna breslin’s prompt to love oneself —

Also by this poem —

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory
As he defeated — dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!
 — Emily Dickinson

The lines “To comprehend a nectar, require sorest need” is one of my favourite lines ever.