Today’s answer is from my oldest goddaughter, Kotrish of Inspirational Words and Quotes:
We’re continuing the self-love train with kelley from black-burgundy: hella black…
Today’s answer is no laughing matter (you’ll get it when you visit his blog). Kevin from KevinHotter is the first man to show us how he offers himself love:
This is how Marquessa over at Simply Marquessa loves herself…
When we try to live life, it strategically sets us on an evolution of the following:
- Being able to self-love
- Learning how to self-love
My dogs died in my early teens. My grandfathers died in my mid-teens. My grandmothers died in my early twenties. My dad died when I was twenty-three years old. My first real love and heartbreak was at seventeen years old.
Those events began to shape my heart. I know that the word adopted is fundamental in my love language. Being an adoptee pushed me or taught me to appreciate who I am and to love who I am becoming. As love began to hit me in my adult life, I learned how to hone in on the pain and the feelings of rejection, albeit most times this reaction taught me to deny the why of everything. I know that when rejection hurts it can nudge, push and pull us in dark and undeniable places. I have learned that someone’s rejection of me is neither a detriment towards me, nor should it be an obstacle for me.
I am learning that God has prepared us and purposed our lives in such a way that there are no coincidences. Our choices place us on different paths other than what we ask for. Divorce happens. Love is hard. Life creates a ménage of events that leaves us breathless, yet we do not know what life will entail. We are incapable of learning and knowing without going through the process. Life leaves us faultless without a covering, healing is necessary.
Each wound teaches us a different way to love ourselves. Lessons teach us that we are not who we were, but we have become on a grander scale. We are evolving, all within understanding our feelings and emotions. As our faith deepens, our spirituality matures. Our way of thinking impedes upon us to do better, to be better and not to remain stuck in a painful way. It is our divine responsibility to take care of self, to love ourselves-to learn how to love ourselves.
God created us to create. God created us to love. His greatest commandment is to love one another as you love yourself. That I believe is one of the hardest mandates He gave. In order to love ourselves, we have to be aware of who we are. We have to know what makes us tick, how we are living this life is ever-growing, ever evolving-there is no mastery to loving oneself.
We do not come into this world knowing how so we allow the hurt, the pain, the wounds and the disappointment to redirect us into a whole other realm of loving, of living, of thinking. In order for us to love ourselves, which God requires. If I love myself, there isn’t any way that I am going to maliciously, purposely and with intent harm you. Learn to practice self-forgiveness on a daily basis. Do no harm.
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(Shared for Forgiving Fridays)
One of the lessons I quickly learned in my formative years was that life can be unfair. As a little girl, I’d been told that I must be gracious, soft, and empathetic to all. To always offer a welcoming smile. To be a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. And I did just that. I became a sort of expert who had perfected the art of loving others. People were drawn to my positivity. Don’t get me wrong, it was as pure and real as they come. I wasn’t faking my concern for people. And it was truly fulfilling being a beacon of light and support for others. But after a while, I began to experience an undesirable side effect. I became drained and discouraged, almost to a depressing degree. I needed love too! Looking back, I realize that feeling was inevitable. I’d learned how to love others but had no idea how to extend the same to myself.
Nowadays, I’ve learned to strike a balance between how much of my energies I dedicate to others and how much I reserve for myself.
I’m happier with myself now and…I don’t feel drained so often.
But, this only happened when I began to learn to take care of, and most important, love myself. In our overly narcissistic and self-centered world, such can appear an unseemly venture. But like everything in life, a healthy balance is all I endorse. I needed that phase. And I’m pleased to share a few cool things that I discovered on my journey to self-love:
- It begins with a deliberate effort. If you’re like I was and prone to caring for others to the detriment of yourself, you’re going to need a deliberate plan to cut that off. Decide that you will love others, but also purposefully love yourself.
- You must respect and value yourself first. Have you ever had nice and expensive plates and cutlery? Or perhaps something else that meant a lot to you? If you did, I’m guessing you took great care of them. Why? Because things of value are worth giving the utmost care and attention. You are valuable, my friend. More than any of your possessions. You should love yourself.
Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself…and LIVE like you love yourself.
- It helps boost your self-confidence. Deliberately loving yourself helps you feel great about yourself. You begin to take on your daily tasks with an air of assuredness and positivity. And very soon, others can notice this new lease of life as well. You tend to laugh more, glow more and feel healthier.
- It helps you become a more mature person. When you embrace self-love, your outlook on life changes, and you become a better and more mature individual. The opinions of others become less significant to you and you become more conscious of the things you spend your time and energy on.
And in the end… guess what?
To love yourself helps you love others better!
This was my most shocking discovery on my journey to self-love. The more I loved others, the bigger my heart grew to care for others. I was happy and fulfilled inside, so it became easier to get others to partake of the same. After all, it’s said that you can’t give what you don’t have…
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(Shared for Forgiving Fridays)
I am Lady G, and just like you, I AM a unique physical expression of God!
My particular story began with my Earthly debut in the city of Augusta, Georgia at the tail end of the 1960’s.
Now, before I proceed to tell you about my journey to self-love, allow me to take you a couple of steps back:
Prior to my birth, my godmother, who was the equivalent of a nurse practitioner, used her vast knowledge of Augusta’s medical landscape to handpick my mother’s OB/GYN, as well as my pediatrician. After all, she knew that my father had “good insurance,” and she was determined to help my parents take full advantage of his benefits.
With that said, she chose the best of the best to entrust with our care!
Now, I didn’t tell you that to brag. I simply wanted to illustrate that my parents and their tribe, which included my godparents, were determined to prepare a safe, warm, and loving place for me to land.
Admittedly, some of you may be wondering why I selected the word tribe. Well, frankly, it is the best word that I could find to describe all of the folks who encircled and upheld my parents who had moved 300 miles away from their hometown in Southern Alabama.
They were only twenty-two and twenty-three years old for God’s sake!
Bearing this fact in mind, the neighboring elders decided that it was imperative to invest in our young family’s success!
But that’s what folks did back then.
At any rate, in spite of having not one local relative, these two young’uns managed to build a beautiful and loyal surrogate family.
Oh, by the way, let me step off track here to tell you that I am clairsentient and sometimes clairaudient so I can clearly hear Dr. Garland somewhere in the ethers hollering, “Lady G, please address the topic at hand!”
Well…Er… I promise Doc, I’m getting to it!
But seriously, this little bit of my personal historical context is a necessary piece to our topic.
Why? Because I believe that my parents and their people, created an environment, prior to and after my birth, that helped me to feel loved, valued and treasured during my formative years, and it was reflected back to me in every one of my early childhood experiences.
Basically, I saw love in my mother’s eyes as we danced to “Just my Imagination,” by The Temptations.
I felt love in my father’s kiss as he greeted me after a long day at work.
I heard love in my godfather’s voice when he asked, “What ‘choo know good Gwin?” and then genuinely listened to my three-year-old answer.
I witnessed love when I watched the brothas and sistas downtown Augusta singing, Say it loud! I’m Black and I’m proud!
In short, it was my wonderful start in life that helped me to develop a strong love for self.
The tribe had succeeded!
Uh…not so fast!
As you might have guessed, in later years, I found myself associating with people who made me question my worth. They attached conditions to our relationships like size, looks, education, financial status, and so on.
As a result, I did my share of worrying about whether I was good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, and ad infinitum.
But, I must admit, in each case, I was eventually able to find my happy “due north” which always led me back to self-love and acceptance.
Of course, there is much more that I could say about the process of returning back to self-love, but the professor is counting words so I have decided NOT to tempt fate!
Just suffice it to say, that I took time to synthesize and integrate my wonderful early childhood experiences with my personal spiritual insights in order to reclaim the love that I always had for myself. Best believe it was not an overnight process, which I am convinced is probably a blessing in itself. I say that because I’ve learned to appreciate every journey that is presented. For me, it is during these times that I receive my deepest insights regarding the importance of practicing self-love and appreciation.
And with that, more will be revealed…
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(Shared for Forgiving Fridays).
February 2018, I relinquished my blog to friends and family who answered one question: What is self-love? Each day revealed a different answer and these inspired others to evaluate, or re-evaluate how they defined the term. Thanks to those who participated!
This year, I’m asking for fourteen guest bloggers to answer another question: How did you learn the importance of self-love?
What is expected? Please send to me a nonfiction essay or piece of narrative nonfiction that describes/explains how you began to love yourself? What happened? Was it a mate who showed you what it should (or shouldn’t) look like? Did your parents instill the importance of self-love in you? Did a specific situation lead you to self-love? Was it something you were just born with? Poetry or fiction is not appropriate.
How long should this be? I follow the blogging rules of no more than 750 words. I also believe anything less than 500 words is too short, so let’s keep it between 500-800 words so people want to actually read what you wrote.
When is the deadline? Please send this to me no later than 11:59 P.M. (EST), Thursday, January 31, 2019. I do not take deadlines lightly. Submissions received on February 1, 2019 will not be considered.
Where should you submit your writing? Please email me at email@example.com or use the contact form at the top of this blog.
Other formalities: Please include your social media contacts as well.
More questions? Simply ask below.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the self-love campaign! I appreciate you answering and sharing something that can be so personal.
Thank you if you subscribe via email. I know that receiving an additional one each day can be a bit much. I appreciate you all.
Thank you to each person who read and stayed with me over this past month. I can tell that several messages resonated with each of you. I appreciate your engagement.
I’m back to my regular blogging schedule next week.
Here’s to lots of self love and inner peace ❤