A Life Cycle, Nicole Asherah's debut book, follows the introspective process of transformation after emotional hardship through poetic language. Asherah serves as a guide through the sections of her book while also allowing the readers to see the words as their own. A Life Cycle is broken into sections after a traumatic event that represents the final tipping point. What follows is The Shattering: a deep dive into the suffering of fully losing one's sense of self and safety, The Healing: a journey through processing layers of trauma to reach the root hurts of childhood, Light Shines Through: an exploration of reigniting hope and learning to find joy, and The Loving: a discovery of what love is and how the act of loving has much more to do with one's self than the person receiving the love.
This book transcends the genre of poetry because of its ability to universally help people process and name feelings that often elude words. This book is for anyone developing, hurting, healing, or becoming new versions of themselves. She knows this because that is exactly what she was doing when she wrote it: healing childhood trauma, processing a sexual assault, and learning how to experience joy.
Excerpt From The Healing Section of A Life Cycle:
Sometimes losing yourself really means letting go
Of who you used to be.
You are not lost.
You are simply stumbling upon a version of you
You could only see in dreams
And more than anything you are mourning-
Mourning the girl you used to know.
For better or worse,
She's never coming back.
Let yourself grieve the innocence lost
And celebrate the wisdom found.
It is time to become the you that is now.
Empathy lies patiently in the quiet.
It will not push through crowds
Nor demand attention.
It needs the form of a soft caress
From a vulnerable soul
To be accepted into the light of day,
But once accepted
It will plant seeds of hope
Produce plentiful harvests of love and trust,
Even when it wilts,
It only falls to the ground to rebuild.
And maybe empathy doesn't reach light often,
But once it feels its first glimmer of sun
It can never go back.