Marisa Donnelly

Poets for A Cause: Marisa Donnelly on The Importance of Self-Love and Empowerment

Every month, I spotlight a poet in the writing community who I feel does a great job shedding light on important topics. So far, we have had incredible writers give amazing insight into the topics that inspire them to write: mental health, chronic illness, and trauma. 


These spotlights are so special because they peel back a few layers and allow us to see deeper into the writers who pen such beautiful works. They open up their hearts which allows us to open up bigger conversations about topics that really matter and change lives. We are never alone, and our stories are always worth telling.


Read more: Poets for a Cause: K.Y. Robinson


This month’s featured writer is Marisa Donnelly, who focuses on being a light in the community. She encourages and empowers others to practice self-love and acceptance on their journeys to healing. 


Marisa Donnelly: “One of the biggest topics I try to share and shed light on in my writing is self-love and empowerment. I feel that each and every one of us has experienced pain, heartbreak, or trauma of some sort. And while we live in a world that’s starting to encourage transparency and vulnerability in sharing these things, the struggle to actually forgive and learn to heal and love ourselves again is very, very hard. Especially if what we’ve gone through is life-changing or unexpected.


One of the poems in my poetry book, Somewhere On A Highway, that I love and am drawn to for this exact reason is “Home.” It speaks to coming back to yourself after loss and relearning your value. It speaks to heartbreak, to trauma, to a loss of identity – so many different and heavy topics that plague us every single day. And yet, we have the power to overcome them. 


“Home” is about recognizing your worth and strength again and finding who you are – has and will always be there – regardless of what you face. It’s also recognizing that while love and validation from the world is important (and helps us grow), we have to give that to ourselves.


“Home” is a reminder – to myself and to others – that we are valued and deserve to be valued by those around us.”


Read more: Poets for a Cause: Angie Waters (A. Shea Writer)


Marisa is such a warm voice in an often cold world. She strives to give her work authenticity and transparency and invites readers to feel comfortable in their own skin. She shows us that through our shared experiences, we can connect and grow. 


We all have unique stories to tell, and they all matter. Marisa reminds readers that self-love will not happen overnight, nor is the path to healing always going to be a straight line. However, we can all encourage one another to continue moving forward. The journey will require forgiving ourselves and letting go of some misconceptions about who we are. It will require being kind to our hearts as we heal them day by day. But it will be such an empowering journey that we can embark on together.


Read more: Poets for a Cause: April Green


Marisa’s message of self-love and finding our way back to ourselves is such an inspirational and refreshing perspective. This world tries to conform us to certain styles, appearances, and personalities. We get caught up comparing ourselves to other people or even comparing ourselves to rigid timelines and expectations. But sometimes things don’t go as planned and our lives turn out messier than we ever imagined. 


When that happens, we need to be gentle with ourselves as we move forward. We can grow, forgive, love, hurt, and heal all at the same time. Marisa encourages people to experience the depth of what they’re going through while not losing their sense of worth in the process

*If you have a poet you would like to nominate for a spotlight for an upcoming edition of “Poets for a Cause,” please message Liz Newman for consideration.*