Issue 13 — First honour yourself
Here is a realisation; wanting and believing that you deserve the best is not the same thing as loving yourself. Read that again.
I used to believe that self-improvement was the highest form of self-love, it can be, but such acts alone are not indicative of such. You can read every self-help book, meditate daily, eat well and exercise regularly all while not truly honouring yourself.
In the absence of self-love, all energies directed at improving one’s self are corrosive, as they are born from a place of not believing yourself to be enough; they empty your cup instead of filling it. You are already perfect, and all efforts to realise your full authentic self must come from this acceptance.
Accepting this understanding aligns your energy with yourself instead of making it easy to have your self-esteem sold back to you. It can be slow to internalise, but once it crystallises it will bear endless fruit.
I know, it's easier said than done. It’s much easier to berate ourselves internally each time we add an extra kilogram to the scale or move up another notch on our belts. It’s so much easier to view ourselves as having fallen behind each time we see a LinkedIn announcement from someone we went to school with. It's much easier to rest in cynicism and decide that some lives are not to be lived by us.
How awful is it that we view ourselves in this light? Imagine thinking or speaking of a loved one in such a manner? Imagine a loved one speaking to you in such a manner! How is it any wonder that we can’t consistently show up for ourselves, given that all we do is whip and berate ourselves?
Understanding where this comes from is unimportant, at least not as important as doing the work to change our view of ourselves. Our sole and most important responsibility is to regard ourselves with the highest esteem. To do anything less is to dishonour.
What we deserve more than any achievement and accolade is to receive love from ourselves. If there is peace and forgiveness to be found, they are located within. So here is my challenge to you, say nothing of yourself that you would not speak of God / Allāh / Source.
I wish you peace and acceptance; see you soon 🙏🏽
If the above essay awoke a pain or curiosity I highly recommend the books below — both books are written by Black women. They are difficult to read at times, as they can be triggering, but I advise you to lean into what comes up during those times. That ache is showing you where the healing can be found. However, if the emotions come up too fast and strongly, I would advise a H'oponopono session.
- Living Consciously: A Guide To Healing Your Past, Finding Your Purpose And Creating The Life That You Want by Yvette Ratshikhopha
"What if you could heal your past? What if you knew your purpose? What if you could create the life and relationships that you want? Living Consciously invites you to live your "what if". The book takes readers through a series of teachings that encourages them to actively work through the beliefs about self and patterns that do not serve them, the book is essentially about questioning things and encourages the reader to use the power that they have to change destructive mindsets so that they can create a new life for themselves."
- Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self by Thema Bryant PhD
A road map for dismantling the fear and shame that keep you from living a free and authentic life.
"In the aftermath of stress, disappointment, and trauma, people often fall into survival mode, even while a part of them longs for more. Juggling multiple demands and responsibilities keeps them busy, but not healed. As a survivor of sexual assault, racism, and evacuation from a civil war in Liberia, Dr. Thema Bryant knows intimately the work involved in healing. Having made the journey herself, in addition to guiding others as a clinical psychologist and ordained minister, Dr. Thema shows you how to reconnect with your authentic self and reclaim your time, your voice, your life."