Self-love has always been a term I didn’t feel at ease in my younger years. People plastered the word various notebooks or feel-good sessions when they were selling things or when people wanted to avoid accountability. Over the past few months, I have begun reading All about Love by the late bell hooks. I was skeptical of the book by title alone but found it resonated with me deeply. Self-love, like self-care, isn’t just a feel-good marketing slogan to promote consumerism. Self-love requires effort and facing one’s deepest self. Self-love requires accountability and honesty. One can’t say they love you and abuse you simultaneously. Many people confuse care for love, an ideal hammered home in bell hook’s book. Many people may provide things to themselves, but that doesn’t equate to love.
Over my 30+ years on the planet, I have experienced many painful things and was shunned for not parroting back—the faux positive sound bites. I am someone who doesn’t enjoy being fake, as suppressing my emotions always makes things worse. Being a Black woman, I found that one needed to appear as never troubled and always sunny is exhausting. I firmly believe that the heaviness often associated with being a Black woman directly correlates to having to keep up appearances. In the same vein, often, we judge those who don’t keep up the facade. Self-love, at its core, is loving self and doing the things to ensure your preservation actively. When you aren’t honest with yourself, you can’t help yourself properly. How can you be satisfied if you are thirsty yet won’t admit it?
When I created my consulting firm, my main objective was to help Black women and WOC achieve the goals they wanted. Many times the goals we are pursuing aren’t of us but in an attempt to make ourselves be someone of importance. The need to be someone important allows us to access safety and privileges. I was so focused on wanting to make a name for myself and climb the corporate ladder throughout my life, but eventually, I had to ask myself why? Is this truly what I desire, or is this still an attempt to be respectable and acceptable? It took a lot of deep reflection to answer that question with honesty. First, you must look deeply and remove anything out of alignment. When you release what no longer aligns, you free yourself to receive what is.
Self-love isn’t just materialist things. It’s also the investment of time and energy to get you to where you want to go. Black women and WOC must learn to put themselves at the top of their to-do list, even if they have children. When you refill your cup, you can give more abundantly. When you give more abundantly, everything around you can bloom. As Black women, we are prone to burn-out, depression, and a host of physical ailments as we are giving our best to others and not receiving that in return. In my chats with women of all colors, statuses, and creeds, there is often hesitation to be adamant about one’s self-care and preservation. We often fear we will look snobbish or bitchy to others as if being a martyr is nobler.
My hope for Black women and WOC is they take control of their lives by loving the best thing in their life: you! Invest in your life at your current station. If you don’t have a lot of money, grab what you can for free and make it the best possible. As you invest in your life, more will come, and as you elevate, continue with investing. Many have become very ugly towards women who invest in themselves, from plastic surgery to hiring coaches or hiring help such as a maid. It often is deeply rooted in not feeling good enough or deserving, so they project this upon others, especially those who look like them. I have had former friends tell me I’m full of myself because I desired to hire movers vs. exhaust myself by doing it myself.
I believe self-love makes the world better because we are made from love as I wrap up. When we don’t allow it to be depleted, we operate from such a fluid place. Self-love brings the best out of you and attracts the best in your life. When I got serious about loving myself it was hard and left me with more questions than answers. However, the deeper I went, the more I noticed my light. Some left my life as it no longer centered around them and allowed me more confidence as I was doing things I truly enjoyed.
I want to leave a few affirmations that I hope will invoke self-love in your life. Words hold power, and words are like spells to me.
My hope for 2022 is that you take complete control of your life and if you need help, book a consult so we can partner together to make your as bright and delightful as possible.