Know yourself and love what you know

This life journey is a constant course in self-awareness and self-knowledge. Once we think we have ourselves figured out something new happens and we get totally surprised by what we find out. (When I say we, I mean me. I can’t know for sure that this is true for anyone else but I have a hunch I’m not alone in this.)

There’s this Swedish poem by Tomas Tranströmer that I love, translated here:

Romanesque Arches 

Tourists have crowded into the half-dark of the enormous
Romanesque church.
Vault opening behind vault and no perspective.
A few candle flames flickered.
An angel with no face embraced me
and his whisper went all through my body:
"Don't be ashamed to be a human being, be proud!
Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly.
You'll never be complete, and that's as it should be."
Tears blinded me
as we were herded out into the fiercely sunlit piazza,
together with Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Herr Tanaka and Signora Sabatini;
within each of them vault after vault opened endlessly.

It’s about the fact that we’re never done and that we are ultimately, as all of life is, a mystery to ourselves. “You’ll never be complete, and that’s as it should be.”

To me it also speaks to the importance of never assuming we know anyone else fully either, because how could we if we don’t even know ourselves. Curiosity towards ourselves and others is key, as we discover vault after vault. And compassion for whatever we may find.

Ultimately, maybe that’s what self-love is all about. Being open and curious about the things we not yet know and compassionate and loving towards what we find on our way.

What do you think?

With all my love,

Helena

Helena ÖnnebyComment