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Withdraw All Notions of Love

The poem “Withdraw all Notions of Love ” by Tionné Polin is about the concept of love and relearning how to love one’s self. The poem highlights the importance of self-love in relationships with others. The poem explains how you must love yourself first before you can love others. Another important focus of this poem is the idea that one should dedicate time to strive to be the best version of themselves, while not becoming fixated on unattainable perfection.

In an interview with Tionné Polin, they stated that “This poem is about reflecting on the teachings of the past and the importance placed on loving and showing kindness to others. It is important that we willingly love and respect each other. However, we are often taught that we must earn love in order to receive it ourselves. This poem seeks to challenge this idea because many love, but feel as though they cannot be loved. They need to start with self-love”. This poem is noticeably full of emotion and power and comes from a place of acceptance.

Tionné Polin expressed that the poem has a deep personal meaning: “This poem is special to me because it allowed me to think critically about how parents teach their kids to love, but often fail to remind their children to love themselves beyond the approval and acceptance of others. To me this poem is a lesson for the future. We need to withdraw our previous notions of what love means, challenge the ways that we understand it and remember to engage in positive self-talk and show ourselves love and compassion.”.

Withdraw all notions of love from the mind
Love yourself first
The hardest love to understand
The hardest love to find

You tell yourself, “keep going. It will be worth it in the end.”
But it’s never reinforced
They’re hollow, empty words
No action takes place
A stagnant state of mind

And kindness
The qualities that we are taught
The qualities that we are encouraged to show others, but never ourselves.
We despise ourselves and maintain an abundance of love for everything and anyone else.

But we were never trained
We were never taught to love ourselves
Love yourself first
Before seeking love
Before giving love
Before trying to understand the concept of love

I never understood the concept of love and how to obtain it
I yearned for love, but could not understand it
I’ve underestimated my worth
The beauty in every curve
My curious wonder
And will to learn
The traits that set me apart from the rest
My dedication to self-improvement
My efforts to be my best

Withdraw all notions of love from your mind
The image of beauty
The perfect partner
The perfect life
The perfect time
Enjoy life; the love will follow shortly
Love yourself first, and the rest will come easy

-Tionné Polin

Image Credits:
Feature Image: Tim Marshall, on Unsplash, Creative Commons