True Worth

When I was young
I was taught
Love was a thing
To be won.

When I grew older
I worked tirelessly
To win the love
Of those that would never
Truly love me.

And until I bravely peered
Within the writhing
Of my own wounded heart
And learned to give
love to myself,

Until I saw that love
Was not a prize
To parade myself for,

Until I saw that
I was already made

Until I witnessed
My own hurting
With compassion,
And warmth,

And I sat with all the fragile
And broken parts,
Picked them up
And tirelessly worked
To put them back together,

Until I met my own self
Where I was
And met myself
As friend
And not as enemy,

Until then
I did not know
What love was.
And hope, just like love,
Was hidden from me.

Love is not a prize
To be won, or
A hole to be filled.
Love is not something
With which one manipulates.

Love does not require us
To charm it,
Convince it,
Buy it,
Put on a facade,
Or wear a mask.

Love just waits
To be called home
Into our very own hearts.
Love is patient
It is already inside.

Pick up the pieces,
And realize,
You are worthy
Just by being alive.

-Angel Marie Russell


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