Last updated on April 8th, 2019 at 11:08 pm

The following poems and illustrations have been excerpted from Drawn Together by technologist and comic artist Leah Pearlman, in which the author uses both images and words to encourage readers to love and accept themselves. 

Front cover of book - Poems and illustrations by Leah PearlmanLearning How to Love

Can you love your crazy?
Can you love your sane?
Can you trust your foolish heart?
Embrace your scattered brain?

Can you love your tears?
Can you love your worry?
Can you hear your darkest fears?
And listen to your fury?

Can you love your inner child?
Your body as you age?
Can you love your wild side
Release it from its cage?

If you’re thinking “NO!”
To some of the above
Then can you love the part of you
That’s learning how to love?

Illustration on checking with heart - Poems and illustrations by Leah Pearlman

Illustration on protecting heart - Poems and illustrations by Leah Pearlman

Whoever Told You

Whoever told you
Not to be sad?

And whoever said
That you shouldn’t get mad?

Whoever told you
There’s no need to cry?

And who said if you did
That you need to know why?

Whoever said
Not to feel what you feel?

And whoever said
There’s a right way to heal?

Whoever told you
You need to be strong?

And whoever said
That you’re taking too long?

Whoever made you
Doubt what you do?

Whoever knows anything
Better than You?

Illustration about making a choice - Poems and illustrations by Leah Pearlman

Tiny Little Yes

There’s a tiny little YES inside
Hiding where the YESes hide
You’ll find it squeezed in right beside
A MAYBE and a CAN’T-DECIDE.

It’s buried down beneath the WOEs
Somewhere between the NAYs and NOs
You’ll have to look past rows and rows
Of SORT OFs, NOT QUITES and SO-SOs.

Once your YES is in your grasp
Prepare to wonder, gape and gasp,
You may suspect, “This can’t be right!”
But trust your gut and hold on tight.

For more on the celebration of the self, check out SELF-LOVE: Why do we always need to do more when we can accept ourselves for who we truly are»

Leah Pearlman is the creator and founder of Dharma Comics, a popular web comic series and brand. Born in Denver, Colorado, Leah received a degree in Computer Science from Brown University and began her career as a technologist at Microsoft and then Facebook. In 2010, she left her career to dedicate herself more fully to a path of self-awareness and discovery through Dharma Comics. In the last five years, Dharma Comics has attracted more than 50,000 devoted followers who relate to the themes, the messages, and the journey itself. Leah’s supporters include Eckhart Tolle, Alanis Morissette, Jack Kornfield, and Byron Katie, among others. Leah lives in Berkeley, CA.

Excerpted from DRAWN TOGETHER: Uplifting Comics on the Curious Journey Through Life and Love by Leah Pearlman. Reprinted by arrangement with TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. © 2016 by Leah Pearlman
image 1: Cali4beach (Creative Commons BY / Cropped from original)
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