I Am Poem

All the time I emphasize the importance of insight. If self-care is a journey, insight is the compass. Sometimes the hardest part of embarking on such a trek is simply knowing where to start. This is why I spent several months identifying my own well-being deficits before pursuing specific self-care goals. I engaged in thorough discussions with professionals (i.e. dietician, mental health counselors, doctors, and personal trainers), friends, and family. I wrote down my thoughts and feelings through this blog and poetry. I experimented with old and new hobbies. This is why I am always excited to share a new tool that could help someone identify their areas of improvement.

I was working with a thirteen-year-old male a few nights ago. He struggles with his self-image and esteem. Over the last few weeks, I learned he engages more through nontraditional methods other than old-fashioned talk therapy. Lately, I draw diagrams, use worksheets, and write out ideas for him. It helps him to distance himself from his thoughts and feelings. During this session, I pulled out one of my old tricks. It is an exercise called the “I am” poem.  The poem follows a simple fill in the blank model prompting the writer along the way. It is designed the younger preteen demographic, but I have used it for kids, teens, and adults alike. Nevertheless, I am always shocked by the responses I receive.

Here is an example of it below:

I am (2 special characteristics you have)
I wonder (something of curiosity)
I hear (an imaginary sound)
I see (an imaginary sight)
I want (an actual desire)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)
I pretend (something you actually pretend to do)
I feel (a feeling about something imaginary)
I touch (an imaginary touch)
I worry (something that bothers you)
I cry (something that makes you sad)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)
I understand (something that is true)
I say (something you believe in)
I dream (something you dream about)
I try (something you really make an effort about)
I hope (something you actually hope for)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)
Allow for me to share my own personal example with you:
I am helpful and wise
I wonder about the next steps towards my goals
I hear a fire crackling on a remote island
I see the man on the moon
I want to help as many people as I can
I am helpful and wise
I pretend I am the next great singer
I feel the breeze from an angel beating its wings
I touch the mind’s eye
I worry about society’s next move
I cry for the little ones
I am helpful and wise.
I understand life is not easy
I say it can be overcome
I dream for contentment
I try to care for myself
I hope for a long, successful journey
I am helpful and wise .

It is a simple tool that makes you think. It forces you to reflect on yourself at a basic level. It is a stepping stone towards developing insight and gaining an understanding of you.

– The Caring Counselor


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