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What Is a Prerequisite for Mental Health Wellness?

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The hardest love one can ever do is to love yourself. It is a prerequisite for mental health wellness. This is what I believe are the testimonies of Princess Diana, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry. Like Martin Luther King before them, they told the world that to respect oneself is to respect others. To love oneself is to learn the art of grieving for oneself which in turn helps you identify with the pain of others.

This situation reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13 from the Bible, which I will share to you in the form of a poem:

Though I am capable of being technologically savvy, or of becoming a sporting legend and though I can pray to Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Mother Earth, and to angels but cannot grieve for myself, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

Though I have all faith so I could remove mountains of doubt, obtain a million dollars, and a mansion with a thousand rooms and though I have the gift of predicting the future like when the world will end and understand all mysteries like how the world began but cannot grieve for myself – I am nothing.

And though I can plant a thousand trees, give my body to be killed, or donate all my money to charity but cannot grieve for myself, it profits me nothing.

Grieving for oneself creates a person who suffers long, is kind, is patient, does not envy, does not parade themselves, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek their own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in violence, but rejoices in peacemaking, who bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Grieving never fails – but where there is technology it won’t satisfy and where there is sporting prowess it will cease and where there is knowledge it will vanish away.

This poem is in my film Have You Seen a Pigeon Fly?, which you can also find on my website.

Vincent Tivoli is a mental health advocate.

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