“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you will have.”
One half of me wishes someone had said this to me when I was younger. The other half of me understands journeys and divine timing, so I learned it exactly when it was needed. I haven’t always had the best relationship with myself. I knew that self-esteem was a thing, but there is so much more to being one with yourself than loving what you look like. You have to love all of your layers. How do you do this after the world has beaten you into submission? It has said to you that you are not worthy or good enough. It has told you that you are not beautiful inside or outside. It has judged you and stomped on your character.
This is what I have for you. I’m about to tell you some real shit and some cliché shit. The real shit and step one is to stop giving a fuck. I’m serious. Turn the world off. Family, friends, and lovers. Turn them off! Their thoughts about you and their feelings stop mattering right now.
Now the cliché shit. Call out your flaws and the things you don’t like or love about yourself. Get comfortable with them. If they are physical, stare at them everyday until you can find what you love about them. I’ll tell you the physical things I hated about myself since I was a kid. I hated my nose, my teeth, my hair color, my short nail beds, and my toes. I actually could pick myself apart from head to toe and I measured my beauty by how many boys had a crush on me. Zero. Now, you can’t tell me I’m not the finest thing walking. You also can’t keep all the same people that passed me by-men and women--out of my inbox. I found beauty in myself by realizing that I was the reflection of the things my parents loved about one another. One day they will have to leave me and all I’ll have to do to see them again is look in a mirror. Lion King was on to something showing Simba as his dad through his reflection in the water. Both of my parents are beautiful and I have their features. I’ve watched men and women fall at the feet of my parents and they never changed a single thing about themselves. They fell into temptation a lot--story for another day--but never changed.
It also helps to know that you won’t be beautiful to everyone. I dated a boy in high school that thought Halle Berry was the ugliest woman he’d ever seen in his life. He had to be mentally ill or some shit. Either way, it proved my point.
Aside from that, the people who are meant to truly love you will do it from the inside. I mastered beauty on the outside. You could point out something I used to hate about myself and I will respond with “I know” or “Okay and?”
It’s my insides that were fucked up for the longest. It was my inside that needed to be triggered. I was selfish, mean, insensitive, judgmental, all the things. It’s the way I thought I needed to be after constant betrayal and disappointment. I’d become a sponge for negativity and toxicity. It was an if you can’t beat them, join them type of situation. I stayed on that side of ugly for so long that it became my norm. I hadn’t even realized that because I had these behaviors, I’d attract the worst of the worst types of people to me.
So how do you fix yourself on the inside?
CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR!
“Mastering Ego” is part of the divine lesson. Magic happens when we move from our true divine self and lay Ego aside. Ego can cause blockages and stunt growth. Ego is also the “living room” where all the traumas congregate and discuss how they will mask themselves in Ego when in fact it’s trauma that is showing up in the cracks of interactions. We should always reflect as to why Ego has a need to show up now. Why is my Ego being “protective or defensive”? What does that stem from and what is the root? When we move from a constant state of awareness, we then start unraveling unhealthy habits quicker and reprogramming healthier habits.”
Healing and forgiveness. Healing and forgiveness are such broad terms. We hear them often, but the how is often lost upon us. I’ve had family, friends, therapists, and lovers tell me that what I needed was to heal and to forgive. It would be the only way for me to be thrust forward in love and life. I’ve always been good at healing others and taking in their forgiveness if and when I was wrong. Now I’ve found the guide within myself to give forgiveness and heal my own wounds. I’m a woman that’s full of pride. A pride that can make me not speak to you for the rest of my life or yours. I may have pushed my pride aside in this life a time or two for people whose presence really affected me, but that has been my limit. I think, too, for me I didn’t know real loss until my Great Aunt died. So saying things to me like love people while their still here rolled from my back and shoulders. I’ve never allowed myself to get close to very many people. My lovers can tell you a lot about me, but I can promise you, only one ever really knew me. Pain and anger can keep you thriving and I’ve fed off of it for years. It was my energy source and motivation.
My pain has allowed me to play victim and blame everyone who hurt me, except myself. My anger kept a fortress around me, but it also made me detached and petty.
So again I say, step out of ego. This part is hard, but trust me, it’s not the hardest. If this was the only thing that I needed to do then I would have done it years ago.
The thing about me is, I knew what the blow-back would be. I knew that stepping out of ego would mean I’d open the floodgates to every single emotion I’ve tried not to feel for over a decade. You can run from a lot in your life, but you will never be able to outrun yourself. Trying to hide from yourself will be the reason you can’t make a decision or sleep well at night. Your stress and your struggle will haunt you, because you become a prisoner of your on thoughts and unresolved emotions.
A very deep and passionate relationship that I was in ended. I tried to treat it like I did all of the other ones. I moved on, I stuck to my life’s routine--going to work and the gym--I saw other people, even started to have feelings for them. But, I was still unsettled. I didn’t want her back, but at the same time something between us felt unresolved. Then I realized that I had finally hit a wall. This was the place where it was time to grow, to learn from my past mistakes. My relationship pattern has been to meet someone, date them, grow feelings, in comes the toxic shit, break up, and then meet someone new again to restart the cycle that I couldn't see. I was running instead of resolving. There are better ways to walks away from people and situations that no longer serve you.
I called my sister to tell her I wanted a new start. I seemed to always believe that change is the solution for every life problem. My sister said to me, “You can move, but Tiana no matter where you go, your problems are coming with you. So, you can either deal with your problems there are deal with them in the new place you chose. Either way, you will deal.”
I’m sure I called her a few names, because that’s just the way we talk to one another, but in the same breath, I told her she was right. I hated it. My sister is younger than me, but I swear she is some wise entity from some place in my past life and she is guiding me.
I got off the phone with her and sat in the middle of my bed just staring at the wall. What do I do? How do I deal? Where do I begin to deal?
You begin with honesty after checking your ego. Now you have to stand in front of the mirror and face the ugly truth that is you. Who are you? Truly? My ego problem made me a gift--I mean, I am--but the kind of gift that I presented myself as was not a good one. I wasn’t the gift of peace and grace. Why? Because I was not giving those things to myself. We’ll get into the deeper parts of it in a second, but first I want to tell you what needs to be healed and in what order.
If you’ve been keeping up with my Power of choice blog “series” then you’ll see a pattern and all of those blogs will make more sense. So first, the mind has to make a decision to heal. You can burn all the sage and carry all the crystals in the world, but if your mind isn’t right, none of it will matter. Healing the mind means filling it with positivity consistently.
“Stop speaking negatively about yourself or your life, even as a joke. Your spirit doesn’t know the difference.”
Be intentional about what you read, who you follow on social media, and who you engage in conversations with. My bookshelf has changed, the way I use social media has changed, and well, my circle has always been small and ever changing because I myself am an energy that moves. In real life, it’s just me. I call my Mom and sister when I’m in distress. I’m still working on being comfortable enough to express my deep cuts to a partner. Taurus's, like Scorpios can be secretive. A lot of people don’t know that.
I knew that my mind needed some reprogramming because I’m hard on myself. Sometimes I’m so hard that I forget how amazing I am. Other people shouldn’t always have to pull me from dark places. It was my routine. It was empty and somewhat void of positivity. Now I wake up in the morning and play a motivational speech. Three of my favorite people to listen to are Dr. Miles Monroe, Jim Rohn, and Les Brown. I do wonder why there aren’t more women that do motivational speeches or maybe I just haven’t sought them out. I’ll make that my next task. I do have some dope women that I listen to for a different type of inspiration. The three men that I named feed my spirit to keep me hungry in my career and creativity. They keep me hype about life. If you know anything about me then you know I need that.
After I listen to a motivational speech, I listen to Dr. Joy. She created the Therapy for Black Girls network. It’s the most amazing thing in the world for someone like me living in a city where my heart was broken, I have no family, and I have two people that I can tolerate. Dr. Joy’s podcast changes me each time I listen to it. She makes me be gentle with myself.
After I get my life with Dr. Joy, I move on to the HoodXHolistic podcast. Listening to Cort and Ash keep me gentle as a lover. They are so honest about their lives and their relationship. They keep me human and allow me to see others as human, which brings me to forgiveness.
I’m going to get back to healing because it’s a process, but lets touch on forgiveness and why some of us, I.E. me can’t or won’t seem to do it. I can honestly only speak for myself. I’ve self-proclaimed myself as unforgiving for years. And the sad thing about this is that I was proud of it. I was proud that my feelings and mind about a person could remain unchanged. How is this okay? It’s not, because this meant that people were not redeemable. This also meant that I carried a lot of hurt, bitterness, and anger with me that leaked over into every relationship that I had as I waited for people to do exactly as I predicted they would--disappoint me. I counted people out before they even got a chance to prove me right or wrong.
This is where that honestly came in hard for me, because in realizing this truth, I had to accept that I was that woman, making every new partner pay for the mistakes of whoever came before them. The worse the previous lover was, the harder I was on the new one. God help them.
Being unforgiving makes you hard on the inside. You think you are giving and receiving love properly, but all you’re really doing is transferring dysfunction and trauma. The most recent example I have is my ex-wife and the woman that came after her. My ex-wife would spew venom and say the most hurtful things to me. That was never my style of arguing, but I for damn sure adjusted. I carried this with me and my new girlfriend called me out on it. Her love language was Words of Affirmation so it would make sense why this would not fly in our relationship.
It sucks the way that our relationship ended, but it was necessary. Necessary because a pattern needed to be broken. I needed to end the tumultuous and addictive relationship that I had with toxicity. It was almost like I needed some level of abuse to feel loved. Pain was my love language. UNhealthy attachment was my love language. In knowing this about myself, I had to sit with the darker parts of me that was attracted to it because it was those parts that needed this dangerous nourishment.
“I found healing when I told ego to lower its voice and sit in the corner, while I asked my wounds important questions.”
Who are you? Ask yourself. Are you the envious or jealous lover or friend? Are you a liar? Are you manipulative? Are you sneaky and secretive? Are you controlling? Are you mentally, physically, or emotionally abusive? Are you constantly wearing a mask out in the world? Are you a people pleaser? Are you mean? Are you petty? Are you spiteful? Do you use silent treatment as control? Do you ghost people? Do you always have to be right?
I can list out a million questions that pull out the unhealthiest of things, but ummm, some of this work your going to have to do on your own. These were things that I had to ask myself to start identifying the holes inside of me that needed filling. My foundation was weak.
Unpack. Unpack. Unpack.
Once you identify those negative things about yourself start to learn how they can be changed. Here we are back to books, Podcast, and the company you keep. I started taking care of myself y’all. The mental makeover was real. I was meditating in the morning and even in my sleep with “I am” affirmations playing to my subconscious. A mental makeover is about finding balance and peace. It’s ending the war with yourself, giving yourself grace to exist even when you mess up. It’s owning your mistakes, but not harping on them. Learn and move on.
Forgive yourself because once you do, you can start to forgive others. You can see the fault and intentions of others and know who is worthy and who is not. I’ll be the first to admit that’s it’s scary as fuck, because you have to be the one thing none of us want to be---vulnerable.
This was the hardest part for me. I had to open myself in places that I never had before and I think for a week straight all I did was cry. No. I broke the fuck down. All my trauma came bubbling over and every part of me ached and cried. I felt paralyzed and some days I couldn’t go to work. Shoutout to sick time in the Matrix. I could feel the breakthrough in my bones. This is why people like to remind you that healing and self-care is not just bubble baths and spa days.
“Self-love is more than basking in your light. Self-love is identifying where you’re fucking up, being accountable for it and correcting it.”
I will say that I knew something inside of me was cracked after I left my marriage. I had no business trying to love anybody but myself, but that ego is a motherfucker. It will not let you tell it what it can or can’t do.
I also made the mistake of believing that healing meant I could be my old self before I was someone’s girlfriend or wife. No.
“Maybe you’re not healing because you’re trying to be who you were before the trauma. That person doesn’t exist anymore, because there’s a new you trying to be born. Breathe life into that person.
I’m in a new place in my life. A place that requires me to vibrate at a higher level. The old me did not vibrate this high. Granted there are parts of me that are still here, but that’s because they too, have evolved and kept up with my new emergence.
Being mentally strong has put in a position to grab the other parts of my stubborn bull by the horns. I’m healing and training my body. I’m healing and guiding my spirit. I’m choosing better people for my life and mission. I’m learning that yes, love is a risk worth taking and deserves my presence and healthy attachment at all times, not just when it convenient for me. I’m drawing lines and boundaries. I’m speaking louder and clearer. I’m handling my depression.
We can sit here all day, but the bottom line is that you have to give yourself grace. You have to be gentle with yourself.
Mind. Body. Spirit.
"A lot of people are terrified to heal. When your whole identity is based on fear and pain it can be terrifying to know who you are without it. Don't become so accustom to pain that you forget freedom from it is an option." -Soul Whispering Healer
Love and Light.