Tag: self love

The Parable Of The Water Glass

It’s just a glass.

 

Melted and shaped rock that was formed and that I can drink out of. This glass was given to me by the Director of FLOW: Where Writing Moves, one amazing Ms. Amanda Wells.

I have not drank from it, and cried when she said I could have one of the many she has on a brown shelf on the wall in her cozy office. I turned it over and over in my hands, tried not to cry. One would ask, “Why cry over a glass? It’s just a glass.” These are the people whom cannot relate to me–they are not acquainted with loss or pain or passions.

It was about two years ago when I decided to forgo nursing school, the goal of becoming a nurse, in favor of pursuing what I loved: writing.

I decided to let go of the safe to do the extraordinary, the unsafe and unheard of. I listened to my heart and the leading of God and have seen my life transform. Since giving up nursing school, the false self, I rediscovered my artistic bent and nature. I began to love me again. I loved creating and words again…I found me.

On this journey, I found myself in rooms I did not unlock, with people I would have never met, and was allowed to have this little Dollar Store water glass.

Which I am allowed to fill…

All my years of trying to please people, of not being accepting of all I was, allowing other people to define me and what I needed–has ended.

I define me now. And only me.

This glass sits in a place where I can see it daily. It reminds me of my potential, my power, my choices and beliefs. It holds only what I allow, and releases only what I say and will. I reminds me that my journey is not over…only just beginning.

And I shall be brave enough to finish it.

 

 

[Image belongs to author]

Pretty Black Girl

As a black woman, it is an act or rebellion and revolution to love yourself.

It took me so long to look in the mirror and like the brown skinned, button nosed, gap-toothed girl I saw there. There were days when I avoided mirrors because I couldn’t handle what I saw there.

The world outside my house, and sometimes in it, told me how I looked, my natural aesthetic was not enough, it was I wasn’t pretty, light or hair straight enough. Compile that with a white girl name? Nall, nothing about me was right.

I began to love myself thanks to the adamant belief my mother fed me that I was enough, I was pretty, I was a formidable girl and should not be treated as anything less.

With my mother being the fashionista she is, she subscribed to Essence Magazine until I was Junior in High School. Seeing women and girls that looked like me? Amazing.

With the European aesthetic dominant, and nappy hair being a sin with relaxers and pressing combs present (oh, Lord! Little black girls and their hair!), in my childhood and well into my adulthood, gradually, I began to love the girl looking back at me.

I believe that every black girl has that search at least once. Where the world you are told you are a part of, whose destiny you are assigned, looks you in your melanin and tells you that you’re ugly, you don’t match what they want and you cannot even be considered “pretty” because nothing dark or black be pretty.

It started with my eyes. I thought my eyes were pretty because they are my mothers. And I thought she was pretty. There were pretty black girls in Essence, Seventeen and Y &M magazine.

I looked at my skin tone and compared it to light chocolate or a mocha mix. My lips? Thick and even better when I smiled. From accepting the black about me would not change, my view of it had to change. The world didn’t like my black, but celebrated tanning.

It wasn’t my color that was the problem, it was the world that had the issue with my color. That problem I made my own–and that problem made me hate something I could not change.

For a little black girl to hear she is beautiful, just as she is, in all her raw natural sugar form, is revolutionary. For a little black girl to see she is beautiful is powerful.

Beyond the fetish for her skin and hair.

Beyond the curiosity of her shape.

For a little black girl to seeshe is is beautiful herself, is life changing. One of the keys to help that is representation and affirmation.

Self-love is a radical act in a world that constantly tells you to change, when even the changes are not sufficient!

For a pretty black girl to love herself? She changes the world.

Radical Forgiveness

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Time is most irrecoupable thing you have. You are granted so much of it, waste it, and then there is no more of it. In being able to love yourself, the hardest part of loving yourself is being able to forgive yourself. There is no one whom can punish and hate you like you can yourself. We are often strong enough to lash out at other people, but are we strong enough to not lash inward?

We lash out, hate ourselves often over lost time. Realizing you have invested into something which is ultimately squandered, is hard. The hardest thing is to admit it was you whom squandered, you who didn’t listen, and it is now you that must fix it. However, in that honesty, you still cannot save or regain the time you have lost.

This is the hardest thing. It is so difficult because we as people want so badly to save things, hoard them, use them as we see fit–time is not one of those things. Time is the thing we hustle for, grab it, and lose for the lack of paying attention.

In forgiving yourself, you allow yourself to see there are two points of time along this journey. There is the time you lost, and the time  you now have. Which direction shall you go?

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In choosing to remain fixed on what is lost, and cannot be changed, you will never be able to see what lies before you in the time you have. Forgiving yourself is the beginning of readjusting our focus. It begins to allow you to see the situation in which you  lost time as an experience you learned from, will learn from and not to do again.

Forgiving yourself allows you to heal from that loss of time and self.

By no means is this easy, I promise you it isn’t. But in order for you to go on and go greater things, you must be willing to admit where you are benefits nothing. Being resentful of lost time only makes you lose more time.

You are entitled to having a history.

However only you are doomed to repeat it.

You Are Worth It!

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As a child, we are taught to be selfless, humble and to put others before ourselves. If you are always thinking and doing for others, who is going to take care of you? Who is thinking about you? When you are consistently putting others before you and you’re not being taken care of the same, you will start to feel used, unloved and underappreciated. Which in turn will lead to other feelings such as: anger, bitterness, frustration and the list goes on and on.

Be advised everything has a balance and in order for you to care for anyone else, you have to take care of you first. As Katt Williams would say: Your Star Player. That is truly that art of self-love. If the team is depending on the star and the star is not up to par, the whole team will eventually suffer.

The definition of self-love simply means: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. We should strive to be the very best version of ourselves. Here are a few tips on how you begin to be in touch with your ‘star player’:

  • Self-Maintenance- Would you drive a car that you knew without a shadow of doubt that would break down on you as soon as drive on the highway going 60 miles an hour in high speed traffic? I would surely hope the answer is NO! The same things go for you. Taking proper care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is a vital part of self-love. Embrace the things you know will get you going and moving in a positive manner.

 

  • Establishing Boundaries and Protect Yourself- Don’t place yourself in situations or circumstances that you know are not safe and nor conducive to a peaceful, healthy lifestyle. It’s is okay to recognize when you need to let go of people or jump ship. Even for close friends and family. Never hold on to a relationship or situation which does not serve you. This is the fastest doom to self-love. If it is friendships, relationships or work interactions don’t serve you or bring you higher to help become your best self, these situations are dead weight and a detriment to your life.

 

Forgiveness– After you’ve gone through self-maintenance, you’ve set boundaries to protect yourself, you are going to upset some people along the way. They are going to notice that you are happier, but they are also going to feel like something is wrong with you. They may feel like you are acting funny, you think you are better than they are or being shady. It may make you feel like you did something wrong and you will mostly start to feel bad about it.

 

DON’T FALL FOR THE TRAP!

 

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It’s okay. The ones that feel like this, are the ones you probably should have let go of a long time ago. We are extremely hard on ourselves at times. You must forgive yourself. If you can’t forgive you, how can you forgive anyone else? Holding on to all the hurt, pain and anguish that you know you caused or someone may have felt that you have caused them is never good for your soul or your spirit. You need to release and relinquish those feelings! Forgiving yourself is not making the bad behavior or mistake okay. Its recognizing that you may have done something that was out of order, making a conscious and consistent effort to not repeat the behavior, apologizing (if necessary) and learning from it to teach others. 

In today’s society we are always at the service of others, but when are we going to realize that we need to serve ourselves so that we can service others? Remember, you are worthy of your own time, space, love and attention just like others are. It’s not being selfish. It’s taking responsibility for yourself first.

Mirrors On The Wall

The most radical thing you can do in the land we now inhabit is to love yourself. I mean really, love yourself. That type of love is beyond selfies, ‘Gram posts, video hits and likes. It’s beyond the reach and opinion of other people. This love cannot be defined by the witness and presence of other people.

Love is defined in three ways. Two are nouns:  (1) an intense feeling of affection of (2)  a person or a thing that one loves. The last is what is called eros, erotic or romantic love. However, self-love is or can be defined as to “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Whereas this would be seen as selfishness or vanity, it is not. It’s not a bad thing to be aware of yourself, your needs and wants. It is not selfish for you to be aware of yourself. It is not selfish to be aware of your hurts, fears and frailties.

None.

It is not vanity to be introspective. It is not vanity to be self-aware and present–present in your own life. It is not vanity to acknowledge your own presence, participation and contribution to the life you lead. In acknowledging your entire self, in all parts, you become a sentient being. A being with autonomy, passions, history and future. You indeed are you.

The act of self-love is radical. It involves what a good friend of mine calls *shadow work. It’s unpleasant, it’s hard, and it’s freeing. It is the gathering of the broken pieces of yourself in order to be whole again–recognizing them as still pieces of yourself, and you are worthy of healing and not weight. In loving yourself, you have to become able to love the things you don’t like about yourself, the dirty secret things you will never reveal to even your Creator. Forgiveness is a part of shadow work. Being able to look at whatever you have done, and own it. It is a portion, not the definition, of whom you are.

When you can love yourself when it is hardest to, this is a portion of what it means to love yourself. When you can begin to see yourself as entire being of and for value, this is the beginning of loving yourself–practicing self-love and care.

Life is a journey dear one, do not fear it.

There will be times where the hardest thing to be is yourself–however, that is the only person you cannot do this life without. The beginning to love yourself is to remember you cannot do life without you.

(Luke 1:37:  For with God, nothing shall be impossible.)

*-There will be a post about Shadow Work later this month.

How I Came To Be

The Aged asked the Ancient of Days,

The Great I Am, why He created man.

He answered by showing man’s

Nature to subdue, dominate-

To be Provider and to protector.

He showed the Aged the deft of

Skill that went to make his body,

The strength of his hands,

And the greatness of his eyesight

And his capacity for vision, and

Artistic prowess.

However, as the Ancient of Days

Looked out over what He had created,

Watching man, this creation He now called

Human, He saw all He had equipped

And endowed man to do.

However, with life shut up in man,

There must be a way, a form,

To be created that would allow

Man to release all that he held inside of

Him as well.

The Aged then asked what more

Could be done to help this creation

They know knew as man.

What could be given to man

That would help him.

Clearly all that the Ancient of Days

Had charged man to do,

Could not be done alone.

The Ancient of Days poised in power,

Explained to the Aged that He would

Make one suitable for him.

Strong enough to withstand the mortal

And the divine happenings around and about

His creation.

Being sensitive enough, with such a

Discernment to what lies different

Between them.

The Ancient of Days said,

“I will make something that will

Display all my creative nature.”

“What I will create, no manifest, will show the

Connection I have to man.

It will show that I am and share a oneness with him

Because the ability to reproduce life and like

Will be held in its center.”

“I will mark my creation with my spark,” and

The Ancient of Days smiled as he continued

Thinking exactly what he would call

This nuanced human.

“She will embody the rainbow.

The Aged asked what would the creation be called.

“What majestic thing of man shall this be?” they asked.

Still, the Ancient of Days smiled as he reached

Towards man, putting him to sleep,

before the Aged,

Needed that which was rooted

In the earth He made to

Reengage man, to not just root, but anchor him.

In taking his rib,

Man yielded to the complete

Control of His Master once more.

“This is my last creation, none shall be like this.” He said.

Through intuition, the Ancient of Days

Evolved man to its unprecedented form.

“I will call this creation—woman.”

“She shall be alive as man is,

Able to carry the power of rebirth

Inside her as man does, as well as stamina and joy.”

As the Ancient of Days fashioned her

From bone, and flesh and dust,

He told the Aged of what she housed.

“I will make her with the eyes of

Fire and hope, being able to see

What is and shall be—she shall have empathy.”

“I will give her the nature of life, in three places.

She will be the only created being

Capable of evolving.”

“Through these same eyes,

She will bring and give light.

The ability to shine-

Fierce and resilient

To what may come.”

“She will need this as she is

Partnered with man, and others like her.”

The Ancient of Days fashioned

Her face, while the aged watched

As He molded her features,

Diligent towards her beauty,

Crafting worthy wonder in the face

Of the Aged.

“In here, her spine, I will place My resilience.

Making her flexible and tender when it is

Called upon her to be so. She will be

Both tenacious and steadfast.”

“There will be times when man is weak,

And her strength may be seen as different

Or weaker, but it is really an intuitivecharisma.”

He smiled again as He continued the steady work

Of woman, saying, “I will not only make her

Able, but brave.”

The Ancient of Days returned to her mouth,

Creating her tongue, throat and teeth.

“With her mouth, I give her the first place to give life.

She will be able to tell of love, be loved, and to master

What we know as language. For you see, I will have her

All over the world, no part of it shall exclude her.

Where there is man, there will be woman.”

“I will give her power and position to rise resilient

In the face of what has come to resist her. Her tongue

Shall be as a warrior.  Being able to convey the knowledge of

A nurturer, to be persistent and interfere when nihilist discourse

Is found.”

“You see she is incapable of not caring, for I have made her

Free of such weight that apathy would bring.”

He closed her mouth,

gave her lips and said,

“Life is within her, all that is her

Is empath, her life would be a testimony to those that follow her

And will learn from her as students.”

The Aged asked, “Ancient of Days, you said

She will have life in three places, and we

Have seen but one. Surely, she is not as you have

Said—she is imperfect. Not as sovereign and

Dauntless as man.”

The Ancient of Days only smiled,

Irrepressible to His task and

Needs of His creation. “She is a changeling,

Her ability to be humble is in her need to adapt.”

“You see her freedom is in her forgiveness.” He

Said while fashioning woman’s hands and feet.

“Her hands shall give peace, facilitate liberation,

And her feet will show

What it is to be valiant.

Her passionate nature

Made genuine as she will be demanded of many

Things of those she will be made guardian over.”

“These hands, as man’s can turn to fists, as anything

That is how to hold or sustain and protect life

Must be able to be a fighter.

That is a requirement.”

“From those same fists, she is able to let go

Of what no longer suits her. With hands open,

She is able to give hope to the oppressed,

Ambition to those that desire growing and space

To the explorer.”

It is at her feet where she will

Be able to learn, become empowered

By all the innocent and seeking in her and of her.

She will possess a saged wisdom.”

As the Ancient Of Days, put more muscle

And bone within her, tethering her together

With arteries, ligaments and tendons, He spoke

Again to the watching Aged.

“I have made the skin thick on her

Hands and feet, to provide and anchor

To stand, to pray, and seek Me.

In times of hardship,

This thickened skin, such as mans, but softer

Will allow her to continue, this grit that will

Not deter her, even if it momentarily stops her.

This toughness will be done compassionately within her.

The Aged spoke again, saying, “Indeed she is remarkable,

And beautiful, but where else shall she have life? We still see only

Two places. “

Again they wondered, “ We see nowhere else You can

Fit any more into her.”

The Ancient of Days then smiled as He included

What He called her womb.

“She will house what those of other humans would

Call genuine magic, Mystic (mystjk) starstuff, “the Ancient

Of Days mused.

But here I will give her the capacity as I do,

To hold and create life, both male and female,

Using the life I have shut up within man.”

“Here, on the very inside of her, she will be able

To create community, perfectly determined

By her own will. This is her second point of created life.”

The Ancient of Days attached the womb into

Woman, creating pathways from it, and below it

To where life would come from. “She is every bit

the total being that man is. Her center of gravity is

housed within her, right here, because life is secured

within me. I must make sure all

she houses will be protected.

Her body will be as a temple,

More sacred than man’s even. ”

“She must be created to be as

I have made her, to bring forth

The revolutionary, evolutionary, and the

Enchanted.”

In closing up what the Ancient of Days called

Woman, He crafted her heart before the Aged.

“Here, look. Just as man’s, but this is the last

Place she shall be able to give life.”

Holding it before them, He squeezed it

And it began to beat.

“She will hold the hearts of Kings, Princes, servants,

Silly-seekers wishing to know better. She shall hold

Her children here, both living and unknown, and

Those whom I bring to her for love and tenderness.”

“I have set it above her womb so that the life

She hold, does not challenge the life that she lives,

And I have charged her to care for. She almost must

Take care of herself.”

In closing the woman, perfecting His creation,

This woman, He spoke to her in the very

Ears He had made for man.

He spoke to the mind He had given her,

With connections specific to the mind

He had given her.

“I have made you excellent.” He began.

“Able to speak blessings of what you will know as

Being candide (candid) and in times of deepest

Sorrow and change, I will give you grace

To share the nature of hope. I will make

You a l’Optimisme (an optimist).”

At His voice, her eyes opened,

Aware, and sharp.

She turned her head to the Ancient

Of Days whom still spoke to her.

Looking His own divinity wrapped

In flesh in the face he crafted.

“I will endow you with what

You will know as child like faith,

A wonder of Me worthy that will

Ease fears and will allow you

To trust Me.”

He smiled at her again

Smoothing her hair,

“I will give you the peace that comes

With Hakuna Matata—no worries.

I have made a harmony in you that will

Sync your essence with moon and tide.

See, there will be nothing that

You cannot overcome when I am present

Or when I give you to man.

You are

A force of nature, with space to heal,

And an agent of change.”

“I have made you tall and strong

As the myths of Amazon women

Are noted to have been.”

“There shall be no others like you,

But all life shall be given and gotten

Through you.”

“You are a gift to man,

Needed by him, at his request.

Man will need your clarity.

He will need your intuition.

The world I send you to

Will need a persistent believer

In its evolution towards all things good.

Trust that all I have given you,

You will in turn give back to the world.”

From that, woman was given to man.

-JBHarris, September 2017

Featured in the compilation book, The Awakenings Project Writings, available on Amazon. To purchase, click here.

For more about The Awakenings Project click here.