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Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Meet Yourself in the Mirror

You can watch Ashley Wylde perform "Meet Yourself in the Mirror" on Youtube at this link:
You can watch Ashley Wylde perform “Meet Yourself in the Mirror” on Youtube at this link:

What do you love?  Take a moment and really think about it.  You could probably go on and on about your family, your favorite food or T.V. show, or the vacation you took last spring break. Spoken word poet Ashley Wylde asks this same question in her poem “Meet Yourself in the Mirror”.

This poem talks about love, but not in the way we usually think about it.  After asking the audience what they love, Wylde goes on to ask, “How long do you think you could go on before you said ‘I love myself’.”

These days the word love is thrown around pretty carelessly.  I love pizza, I love swimming, I love Christmas.  We attach our love to so many things, but rarely do we attach it to ourselves.  In our society self-deprecation seems to be a social norm, and often self-love is looked down upon.

“One of the most powerful parts of the poem is when she lists all those things people love and the thought didn’t even occur to me to say ‘myself’, it really makes you think,” said junior Jacqueline Welday about “Meet Yourself in the Mirror”.

What’s so shocking and amazing about this poem is the truth behind it.  Sometimes loving yourself can seem like an impossible task, since it is so much easier to love someone else when you don’t know all of the intimate and sometimes upsetting details about their lives that you do about your own.  One of the best things about Wylde’s poem is that she acknowledges that most of us struggle with self-love, and she offers steps for us to make that task seem a little more doable.  Wylde offers some very wise advice from her grandmother:

“Meet yourself in the mirror, make a date of it, and even if it’s strange keep looking… See even the things you don’t like to see and when you know your face like you know a friend’s meet your eyes again, and when its awkward or forced, do the best that you can and with all the sincerity you can muster say, ‘I love you.’ ”  Wylde admits that the first time she did this she felt kind of stupid.

I try to live by this rule. If you had a friend who treated you the same way you treat yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The unfortunate truth for many of us is that it wouldn’t be very long.  So why is it acceptable for us to take abuse from ourselves if not from others?

Of course it’s not very realistic to always love yourself all the time, but we need to remember that loving ourselves is not only acceptable, but it’s good for us!  There is a difference between being conceited and being happy with yourself, and guess what: it’s okay to be proud of your achievements.  Even if it’s little stuff like you’re having a really good hair day, or you aced your math quiz, or you can recite the whole alphabet backwards; you’re allowed to celebrate yourself.

Wylde makes her point most clear in the poem when she says: “Love is a tree, and if we don’t grow the roots, we’ll spend our lives collecting dry leaves.”

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