Poetry has held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember.
There is something special about poems—they can express those feelings we can’t find the right words for and they help us heal. Maybe it is because by reading poems we realize that we are not the only ones feeling a certain way.
Over the years, I have been on a continuous quest to find poetry books that touch my soul, deepen my self-understanding, and guide me through life’s challenges. I read poems before I meditate and journal. I also share them with clients during our hypnotherapy or coaching sessions.
One of my recent additions to my poetry collection is Inward, a book by the bestselling poet Yung Pueblo. Let me tell you, it was a revelation. Never before have I felt so seen, understood, and validated. Pueblo’s verses not only spoke directly to my own experiences, but they also described the kind of things I now teach my clients as a therapist and coach.
Having dedicated years to the study of emotions, I was taken aback when I opened Pueblo’s book because his poetry has an extraordinary power to distill hour-long conversations or lengthy books into just a few lines. His poems are simple, easy to understand, yet they hit deep and speak with the weight of thousands of words.
Deeply moved by the potency of Pueblo’s short poems, I felt compelled to select three poems to discuss.
1. “before i could release
the weight of my sadness
and pain, i first had
to honour its existence”
This poem couldn’t be more true. In order to heal our emotional wounds and process all that feels heavy on our heart, we have to start by acknowledging it is there. Too many of us have tried running away from the pain. We often have a tendency to try to “fill in the void,” distract ourselves by scrolling on social media, having a glass of wine to take the edge of the day, watching Netflix for hours on end, taking on too many projects or even dating other people just for the sake of keeping ourselves busy.
Through both my own experience and what I’ve witnessed while supporting my clients, I’ve learned that many of us deeply fear experiencing actual emotions. Many have shared with me that they’re scared that once they allow themselves to feel “it,” they won’t be able to ever stop.
Others told me that they don’t want to allow themselves to experience “negative” emotions due to a fear of “attracting” more of it, as that’s how they’ve learned the Law of Attraction functions. However, the truth is that what you resist, persists. Once you stop fighting your feelings, they will pass much quicker.
The lesson here? Allow yourself to feel your emotions, acknowledge what is real for you, and learn to be okay with not always being okay. This is a sign of immense inner strength. There is wisdom in all of your experience.
2. “it did not
and it was not
given to me by another
i am the maker
of the happiness and love
growing within me”
I could write an entire article just analyzing this poem. Here I’ll start by dispelling a myth that many people believe in: the “overnight success” myth. We watch other people transform, become successful, move on or heal, and we somehow assume that it happened for them overnight. Then we go on to judge ourselves for not succeeding within the span of a few days. It is a journey, it takes time, and it is not linear. What looks like an overnight success from the outside is actually lots of tiny steps that someone has been taking for a long time. Be patient with yourself and don’t compare your journey with that of others, for it is unique.
Furthermore, this poem also speaks of how we often look up to others, expecting them to have the answers to our problems, and we trust their judgment over our own. Or even worse, we put pressure on others to make us happy. Yet, the ultimate truth is that we are the makers of our own happiness. No partner, friend, or job can fill the emptiness we feel. Start taking your power back by acknowledging that you are the creator of your own experience.
3. “i cannot
make you happy,
but i can commit to support you
in the creation
of your own happiness”
Finally, the author reminds us that we simply cannot be responsible for other people’s happiness. We cannot, although we so often try, to fix other people’s lives, make them happy, or want a positive change for them more than they want it for themselves. We can offer a helping hand, we can support and listen, but we cannot make other people happy. That is a power none of us have. Sacrificing for others, people pleasing, and having weak boundaries only lead to feeling resentful, unappreciated, and disappointed in our relationships with others. Support others when invited and trust that people are strong enough to work it out themselves.
Poems by Yung Pueblo are magical, healing, inspiring, and worth reading. It was hard to choose only three poems from such a beautiful collection, but I hope that my choices have given you an insight into both poetry, healing, and the power of one’s emotions. Look after your heart, put your healing first, and be gentle with yourself. There is treasure waiting to be discovered in your human experience.