Sun | Sep 20, 2020

Loving yourself through Poetry For The Soul

Published:Sunday | February 2, 2020 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill - Outlook Writer
Chrishina Richards, author of Poetry For The Soul
Chrishina Richards, author of Poetry For The Soul

If you cannot love the core of who you are, and appreciate everything about your character, even your flaws, it is impossible for you to have and maintain friendships and healthy relationships. Chrishina Richards, through her collection of poems, in her book, titled Poetry For The Soul implores persons to love themselves first.

Discovering love for self, she says, will help individuals to build their confidence, that will result in them reaching their goals and face any problems that will come their way.

A devout Christian, Richards, who is passionate about pursuing life’s purpose, believes in the power of faith, and that through the demonstration of love, transformation can take place in people with the hardest of hearts, and even under the most difficult circumstances.

“A common struggle people often have in life is love. That is learning to love ourselves, loving others, or dealing with acceptance of love from others. We often struggle with the question of what love is, or even if it really exists,” Richards said.

As you read the poems and reflect on the drawings, Richards takes you on a journey on discovering what love is in different relationships. You will be inspired and come to realise that nobody can love you as much as you can love yourself.

Initially, as a child growing up in the Golden Spring community in St Andrew, Richards said there were signs of her creative side. “During the summer, my sisters and I had our own summer schools. We would paint and draw and execute mini-productions. I also wrote poetry, but not on a regular basis,” she said.

An attorney-at-law, Richards began her poetic journey while studying at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus in Barbados. “I did a journal for one of my classes and started writing poetry every day,” she said.

Also inspired by her niece and nephew, Richards took three years to compile the poems. The Magic Of The Rain on page 40 was inspired by them. We were on the balcony and the rain fell and my niece said to me … ‘at school when it rains, God cries,’” she said.

However, when Richards was ready to publish, she was delayed and felt it was divine intervention. “God would have it that when I thought it was ready, it wasn’t, and after that delay I wrote some of my best pieces, including, I Love Me First on page 94,” she said.

For her, writing poetry has become a personal journey, as she started exploring and understanding herself. She started probing her inner being and as she began a relationship with God, she wanted to be at the point where she truly loved herself.

“As it says in the bible, love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the greatest commandment and everything you do can be demonstrated with love. God is love; love not only yourself, but others as well,” Richards said.

Richards, who is a graduate of the Immaculate Conception High School and the Caribbean School of Media and Communication, is a strong advocate for voluntarism and through her law practice and writing, she works to help persons who are less fortunate.

“For the people we truly love and admire, we challenge our self-respect, giving them the unconditional power to treat us the way they want. Unknowingly, we start depending on their approvals for measuring our worth. But it is time we change and make ourselves independent of anyone else’s approvals. It’s time we depend only on ourselves for love,” Richards said.

Poetry For The Soul is available at Bookophilia in Kingston and on Amazon.