If you watch Queer Eye, then you may have heard Jonathan Van Ness, hairdresser and life coach extraordinaire, tell the people who come on the show to fake it ’til you make it. Of course, that is a cliche we’ve all heard before, but it is true. I personally embrace this as a task of positive affirmations. You have to be willing to hype yourself up in all things. For one, you can’t count on other people to do it for you and for two, you deserve it.
Previously, I would do a little bit of a character of someone who loved themselves too much. It started off as a joke, which I was more comfortable with at the time, and then eventually I began to believe it. Other paths may include journaling or simply talking to yourself (I certainly do the latter). Every day say or write out something good about yourself. Maybe its that you have excellent dental hygiene or that you were kind enough to hold the door open for someone. Be appreciative of every little thing that makes you that incredible you.
This is definitely the piece that I struggle with the most. I have a lot of secrets and I tend to keep them bottled up. Unfortunately, it’s hard to fully love yourself if you can’t share yourself with others. You have to be willing to let pieces of you go off into the universe. That might mean being willing to talk with a peer or a parent or a friend about your life. You don’t have to spill everything, but you should be able to share some things with other people without having to worry about being shamed or rejected.
The first person that you should be vulnerable with is yourself. There are some things that I keep locked up so deep inside of myself that they rarely face the light of day. But I had to take the initiative and face the reality of who I am, so I would tell myself my secrets. I would whisper it into my pillow at night and say it into the stream of my shower in the morning. I told myself all kinds of wild things. Be vulnerable with yourself and then seek out kindered, trustworthy spirits who you can vulnerable with as well.
Speak It Into Existence
Part of loving yourself is wanting the best for yourself. If you haven’t noticed, a key part of my self-love journey includes learning to trust others. I still firmly believe that very few people can be trusted, but I still have a desire to trust and connect with other people and I have to speak that into existence. I have to let the universe know that I want things so that it can listen and make that change happen. I’ve spoken friends into existence, a car into existence, love into existence, a boyfriend into existence (still waiting on that one, but my life is still pretty sweet without one).
The fact of the matter is that you have to allow yourself to want things. I want my life to go well because I deserve a good life. I deserve positivity and happiness and love and compassion. This is not because I am a wholly good human being, but because I am a human being. I am flawed and I am wonderful and my life has purpose and meaning on this earth.
Speak Truth to Power
I’ve found that many of the obstacles to my journey of self-love are rooted in histories of oppression. Many of my insecurities related to my looks, my finances, my hobbies, and my overall being are actually manifestations of my own life narrative clashing with racist and sexist narratives about black women. As I learned about the beauty and resilience that is my blackness, I had more tools to love myself. I needed to actually understand where the negative feelings about myself were coming from and feel like I had the agency to work and speak out against them.
For myself, this does not mean that I simply wake up in the morning and say, “Black is beautiful,” (though making that claim when the world tries to tell you otherwise is still pretty radical). When I say speak to truth to power, I mean claim the agency to actually dispel the myths of your oppressor. Speak out in conversations with your peers, speak out with your voting power, speak out with the organizations you support, and speak out with the media you consume. Believe in and live for justice for yourself and for others.
It is my firm belief that we learn to love ourselves so that we can learn to love others better. Recognizing ourselves as human beings who are still worth loving and caring for despite our many, many flaws allows us to have that same level of recognition with other people. We can love them better, because we have a greater understanding of what it means to love. We can be more forgiving of wrong-doing, more effective in our apologies, and more targeted in our acts of care and kindness. Love and be loved, my friends!
What do you want to speak into existence?
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, have an awesome rest of your day and an amazing rest of your week!