For years after I completed my degree in English Literature, I read mostly self-help books. I avoided novels, ostensibly because I was on a mission to improve myself, and novels were for recreation, not personal growth (which is a load of horseshit), but really because, after having read so many of the greatest writers in my native language, I was convinced I had nothing to contribute.
Instead of providing the pleasure they once did, books became rebukes: You could never write this, I said to myself when I read anything good.
Sometimes, though, my love for literature was still enough to bring me back to it, and sometimes I still fell so hard for a book that I forgot to use it as a psychological weapon against myself.
When I did my Master’s in Journalism, I felt so lost in a sea of meaningless facts that I grasped at scraps of poetry like life rafts.
But I didn’t find them often.
Jealousy of other people’s beautiful words soured one of the truest and deepest loves I’d ever known.
I feel it still sometimes trying to work its way in.
But here’s the thing: beauty is not diminished by the existence of other beautiful things.
Roses aren’t ruined by proximity with peonies.
When I visited the country of Georgia recently, I saw some of the most jaw-dropping women in the world, and none of them destroyed their compatriots’ abilities to stun me.
Beauty is not subject to the laws of supply and demand, and neither is love. It only amplifies what matters.
It obeys no laws of scarcity or lack.
There is room for all of us.
That’s why Rumi wrote, “Let the beauty we love be what we do”: because the best way to show our love is to make beauty of our own.
Featured image: Photo by Dmytro Sandratskyi, Adobe Stock.
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