As I am sure has been apparent to those of you who follow me on a regular basis I have been on a new journey lately towards self-love. I have found that though I can always accept quite readily that God loves me and I can sometimes accept that other people love me, I have an incredibly difficult time loving myself. Some of this struggle comes from growing up within religion where self-love was labeled selfishness as the continual reminder to “die to self” repeatedly echoed through the empty places in my soul.
I have lived my life mostly unaware what trouble hating myself has caused me. As I began my self-hate recovery journey a little over a year ago I saw chains break inside me that I had no idea where held captive. Not long ago my cousin Catherine challenged me to something she called “She Speaks Truth to Herself.” The challenge was to write a letter to myself speaking truth to my own heart. It was incredibly difficult and incredibly healing. [Click here to read my blog of that challenge]. So, when she asked me if I wanted to preview her poetry chapbook with the same title and write a review of it I was super excited to say yes!
She Speaks Truth to Herself by Catherine Valentine is a fantastic little chapbook packed full of truth and healing words. I’m kind of a sucker for poetry anyway (probably because I really suck at writing it) so it wasn’t incredibly hard for this collection to win me over. In this book Catherine is fearlessly authentic and beautiful exposed. My favorite piece in the book is called “Broken.” Here is my favorite stanza:
This is God’s church, these are His people--
the wounded, the broken, hypocrite and liar.
In good company in the church of the broken.
I would definitely recommend this chapbook to anyone who is interested in poetry, truth, or authentic people. I hope it will encourage you to start your own self-love journey and in turn free places in you that you didn’t know were captive. It surely has helped do that for me.
For more writing by Catherine check out her website here: www.catherinevalentine.wix.com/cvalentinewriter