The inner critic’s tongue can be sharp,
stinging like a jellyfish with tentacles hard to unravel.
People say, “you’ve got to love yourself first,”
but those words are much easier to say
than to live once the tentacles wrap around you
in the pond of the mirror.
Is it better to struggle with the tentacles
than to stare, enraptured like Narcissus,
into the tricky myth of our reversed reflection?
Alice had a much better fate than him,
finding a twisted world within the looking-glass.
But, of course, there is much more to us
than is seen in that mirror world.
A beautiful spirit Narcissus never saw,
one much more powerful to love.
The painting, “Echo and Narcissus” by John William Waterhouse (1903), is in the public domain, and is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.