“If all black women started a self-love journey we could heal generations” -Denise Francis
“It starts with you” is something that I’ve heard too many times and it can mean so much; but right now we’re talking about healing ourselves. The definition of self love is the regard for one‘s well being and happiness. I don’t know about you, but my well being and happiness means a lot to me. One way to tap into your happiness is by healing what has made you unhappy to begin with.
One way that I do this is by thinking of things that occupy negative space in my head and try and get to the core of it. A lot of negative space is held up in my head by negative self talk and that is simply the “I can’t“ statements. Even when I know that it’s not correct it still holds that space. This is why I carry a negative self-talk journal with me to take those words from my head and transform them on paper. This for me gives those words another place to rest other than my head. Those “why” questions of things that have happened in my past get wrote down in the same book. This journal feels that void for me to be able to release what I need to in order to save space for the love that I need.
Self-Love is not something a lot of us are taught growing up because it was often looked at as your pride being too high or “you feeling yourself too much”. The reality is I need to be filling myself because as Ari Lennox says “Self Love is the best love”. When you value yourself girl has yourself up; treat yourself to the best thing you can give yourself and that’s the love language of self love.
Are you wondering what you can do to practice self-love for yourself? Well let me tell you a few suggestions. First, accept your own apologizes. Apologize to yourself for doubting your mental health, your physical health, and simply your self awareness. One way I do this for myself is simply apologizing on those days when I don’t appreciate my body for all that it has done for me; I mean I seriously gave birth to four beautiful children so my body has served me well.
Another way is by living for today and not waiting. One of my favorite quotes is by Audre Lorde and it says “Life is short; what must be done must be done in the now“. I know that with the world being turned upside down right now we have to sit back and thing about the things we want to do. This was one of the reasons that I wrote out my 60 in 60 list; I wanted to challenge myself to step outside of my norm and go for the things that I want to try. Be responsible and think about something you have always said you wanted to do even if it’s just something as simple as trying a new restaurant.
I will always advocate for journaling because it has gotten me through some of the roughest times of my life and it really works for me. Guided journals are so amazing and very good for those who don’t know what to write when they are journaling. Some of my favorite guided journals are the In Courage journal by Alex Elle and Soul Therapy by Jacqueline Kademian. These journals have made me think hard and truly have a clearer reflection of decisions that I’ve made.
Self-Love isn’t something that can be taught overnight, but don’t rush the process. Enjoy your journey and take all the good and the bad together. Everything in life is a life lesson and you will thank yourself for it later. Always remember that your self-love and self-care is not selfish.