I keep reckoning, over and over again with myself, that I have not protected myself.
That this time I want to learn the lesson.
Not from hurt, harm or danger in the physical-emotional sense.
But from the unguarded use of myself at and to the will of others. How I have relinquished my own power and shrunk in such duality to prop up other people, to make other people feel comfortable and to meet the needs of somebody else.
What happens to a person whose chasing purpose, community and love at cost to themselves?
What do you compromise, when you compromise yourself?
Notes on self-love, capacity, community building, investment, and decision making
What I have learned too many times to count and repeat back to myself and others as often as it comes to me is: Compromise, but never compromise your mf self.
But now I add a caveat to that, sometimes you don’t know what that self is. Cause one thing wisdom cannot outrun is time and experience.
Last night I was listening to Alicia Keys on The Breakfast Club and she said something that really resonated with me, “I probably would have demanded more for myself if I loved myself.”
Life as my ultimate teacher, I know now there have been numerous times I have tested out my own capacity for self love, by the ways in which I will let myself be loved in return and what I will accept as love. The truth of it is, I’ve been measuring love wrong this whole time. I was always worried about what I was doing or not doing, instead of what I was allowing and accommodating. (And when I say love I hope you know I use the words love and community interchangeably).
I have tested myself beyond my capacity and harmed myself in the process. And for that I tell myself ‘sorry’.
Sorry for the times, I was in spaces I knew I didn’t want to be in. Sorry for the tables I knew I didn’t want to sit at. Not because I didn’t believe I was unworthy. Sorry, because I put myself in position for “purpose” and love of community, knowing I would have to lose a piece of myself.
There are places I should have denied access a long time ago, I gave way to that I know now–as to not be perceived as a threat. Cause you are almost always a threat to others when you choose yourself. When you choose not to belong.
It ungirds people.
Because capitalism says we must always be used to the very last drop, that our existence is for consumption.
And yet you don’t know what it’s like to savor yourself. You have never felt in full regard what it’s like to abide in your own pleasure. What reciprocity means on your own grounds and your own terms. What it means to be in authority over yourself.
Your being in your own power and defining for yourself what it means to be loved is disruptive. It challenges everything to see you enact your own freedom.
Because your self-love is evaluated everyday by how you live.
I have not always treated myself as the sacred self that I am.
I am a spiritual experience. I am to be explored and savored.
This year if you do nothing else move beyond intentionality and into practice.
I don’t wanna hear anymore about intentions. You can have all of the good intentions in the damn world. But what are you doing? What are you doing with those intentions? How are you living it out?
It is the wrong time for your words and actions to be out of alignment.
How many more broken promises are you going to make to yourself?
And also contrary to popular opinion and social media, it’s okay to not speak those promises(goals) out loud.
You don’t have to share so much of yourself, you ain’t got nothing left for yourself.
Leave some mystery. Leave some curiosity.
Lave some space so that someone can take the time to learn, explore and savor you along the way.
(you see that theme there…)
Give yourself permission to be it, to live it out. Learn what it means to be fully and wholly in divine self. Get it now so you don’t have to get it later. Be free on Earth and not free in death.
Learn how to build a life for yourself. What is it that you really desire? How do you want to feel? What do you want to see? Who’s there or not there? What does it smell, sound, taste like?
Give yourself time and stop investing yourself so quickly.
I think of how much time and heartache I could have saved myself if I would have evaluated instead of being enamored.
Learn how to observe and assess your investments with friendship, with lovers, with work, with community.
Read the whole contract. Check the temperature of the room. Take your pulse. How does it make you feel? Does it make you excited or anxious? Are you passionate about it? Is it reciprocal? Does it add value to your life? Is it the right fit? Take the time to get to know what is being offered. Ask your own questions. And don’t wait through multiple seasons and repeating the same patterns.
You get to decide if you want more than what’s there or you don’t want it at all.
I have tested out my limits and know my capacity better now than I ever have. And I am also open to my capacity shifting and changing. I know what I can and cannot do. What I like and what I don’t like. What I need and what I don’t need. Where I am willing to make accommodations and where I need to ask for accommodations. I ask for help. I retreat and close out when I have been overstimulated and overwhelmed and need to check in with my own voice.
I know when I need to outright refuse and everyday I’m getting more comfortable with what I don’t know. (and when I need to and when I don’t need to unpack that)
I don’t participate in everything anymore. My ego and my savior complex is so low. Now I don’t have to be the loudest in the room. I don’t have to have the answers. I don’t have to have the solutions. I don’t even need to show up anymore to fight the battles. Because there are so many others who are equipped and can rise up on their own behalf.
I have stepped back from just about everything and everybody to evaluate–if that is something or someone that still adds value to my life and if I still add value to it. I want to make sure that wherever I am adds value.
Things I used to believe were permemenance in my life, I:ve learned to sit with and when to shift with. I can move my commitments and I don’t have to be responsible all the time. And there was so much more freedom and space I could have in my life through my loyalty and commitment to myself.
There ain’t no blind loyalty in community with me no more. There is always accountability.
I don’t want community for the sake of proximity or history or emotional bonding. I want a community that I have room and space to invest in.
Everything has to serve my highest good. I want to be around people that make me feel good and challenge me to be better. I want to be around people that help me grow into my best self.
I think I am just starting to realize after all of these years of hearing it what Kaneisha means when she says tread softly, Be gentle with yourself. Take your time. Guard your heart.
You get to say no. You get to choose.
Be particular about where and how you make your investments.
Risk is an investment. Faith is an investment. Fear is an investment.
No more haphazard a— decisions. No more decisions based on your emotionalism.
I want you to make it a priority to not make anymore fear-based decisions. I want you to not sit around not making decisions either, cause you’ll give your power over to something or someone that you will resent everyday. Cause “Nobody can take you places you cannot take yourself”. Don’t give up so much that you don’t remember what it is you asked for, that you don’t remember yourself. Be so clear in your communication of your expectations there is no room for an error you did not make way to.
I hope you make decisions out of love. I hope you make decisions out of joy. I hope you made decisions that feel good to your heart. I hope you make decisions that don’t make sense to anybody, but yourself and you do it anyway. I hope you won’t make their fears your own. I hope that you learn to quiet out those voices, so you can remember your own.
To trust yourself. To tend over yourself and render your own words, your own judgment as good.
As good enough. As worthy. As meaningful. As faithful.
And that promise you heard from God was a reminder to trust the God inside yourself.
Keep it always–to and from and for yourself.
I love you.