Self Love & Devotion
I wish that somebody woulda told me don’t take my damn self too seriously. Have fun. Enjoy life. Run, jump, skip, dance, holler, scream, laugh real loud, be obnoxious, read everything, and enjoy. And just enjoy life. I know there is stuff that we need to take serious but we don’t have to be on edge every moment of our life. ‘Cause what it does it build up the fight or flight hormone in our body, and you see those women that have these bellies. My mama used to say, your gut bigger than your butt, baby! It was her way of saying, don’t be stressing out so much. Your seat of creation is off balance. Enjoy life. The stuff you gotta take serious, take serious. You do that job and then, once that job is done and it’s the end of the day, make sure you take some self care. Take a long hot bath and take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. I wish somebody would have told me to take care of myself real good. Love myself real good.
And I know ya’ll worried about money but money problems is gon’ always be there if we can’t manifest anything beyond thinking about money. If we’re concerned about money and struggling about money and everything is about money, we ain’t never gon’ have no money. If we always seeing lack and we not seeing abundance and beauty and being grateful for what we got and trying to be intimate with our partners and loving to ourselves and patient with ourselves, we gon’ always struggle for money. We cannot let money continue to be the sole basis of why we fucking exist. We can’t. Girl I know it’s hard, I know. But don’t the ancestors always keep us? Seriously. Things always work out in the end. We always uptight and worried about how we gon’ pay this and stressed out and blocking our own blessings… Shit always works out. A check always arrives from somewhere, somehow, we don’t know. But it always works out. You got a roof over your head, the babies are taken care of, you’re loved abundantly – that’s all that really really really matters. It really is. Because this white man will have you thinking, all I gotta do is work, all I gotta do is work, all I gotta do is work.
Because spirit has got your back. You make decisions but you don’t always have to be right. In our minds, we start thinking that we have to be perfect, and we don’t get to make mistakes. And that’s just a falsehood. We do get to make mistakes. I’m not a perfect parent, I’m not a perfect spouse, and I don’t profess to be. I’m on this journey. It’s a learning experience every time I walk out my door, every time I’m blessed to be able to wake up and breathe that life energy into me. I am not going to work to be perfect. I’m going to work to be a person that contributes to the society in the only way that I can. And that’s all that I can do. I know people are like, oh you have to perfect, but I’m not buying into that. That is one of the ways that they oppress us. There was a time when I felt like, oh I gotta be perfect, and I don’t deserve to be in certain spaces unless I show up perfect … and then we buy into this belief that we don’t belong in these well off spaces and these nice places, like we don’t deserve to be there.
Even if you ashy, walk through the door. You got crust in your eye. Walk through the door. Ancestors opened up a way for you. They smiling down on you in this very moment. This is a sacred moment. And don’t devalue it by thinking you don’t deserve it, or you’re not worthy. Or that you gotta be perfect to be worthy of it.
For me, I’m becoming more disciplined in my life. There are things I have to do – like take care of the kids – but now I’ve been taking care of myself. I was exercising last week in my living room on this little elliptical machine because I know I can’t get to the gym. And my kids were all over the place and I felt like, I don’t care! I’m going to be on this thing for twenty more minutes! It didn’t matter because I’m like, I need to do it for me.
I think that’s where resentment comes in, for women especially, because I think in society we are taught that everything comes first but us. But it’s like, yeah, I’m a mother, I’m a wife but I have dreams. What about me? And if we suppress that, it’s going to come up.
So I would get up and get the kids ready, and take care of work business and my clients, and then it’s like, I did all this other stuff for everybody else – what about me? And I became a bitch. Just real cranky. So now, I make myself get up an hour earlier to write, and I have an extra pep in myself because I’ve done something for me. And I used to try to do it at night, like, okay, I got the kids down, now I’m going to write. But I would fall asleep. I had to change it to where my day starts off with – I’m not going to say the most important thing because it’s a given that our families are important – but in order to take care of them, I have to make a space to take care of me.
Even when I don’t feel like doing it, I force myself to do it. Because if I let that hour get by and I get into mama mode without having done something for myself, I’m pissed. I’m a real bitch. (turns to recorder) I’M A REAL BITCH. (laughs) So I have to do it.
I thought I loved myself in a certain way that I wouldn’t allow people to treat me less than how I loved myself. But what happened was in this relationship, I got so caught up in him and this whole idea of marriage and all of these things that were not me. I sort of got caught up in all of these external things. And so those external things caused me to not see my value. And before I knew it I was in something where I was disappearing.
And I remember – it’s funny – before I got married I had this ceremony where sisters came in and they bathed parts of my body and spoke words of wisdom to me, and I remember one sister in particular – she said, in all that you do – or in being married – don’t forget yourself. Take care of yourself because nobody else is going to take care of you. Look out for yourself. And those words stuck with me because, for one, it was kind of strange. It was like, I’m getting married, what do you mean nobody’s going to look out for me? My husband’s going to look out for me. It was like she knew something else. And then as I got into it, I began to realize that I was the person who was giving in so many different directions but there was not really a lot being poured back into me. And I think that – plus the sort of overall breaking down of his character – brought me to a really low place. I felt I wasn’t beautiful, and I had never really had those types of issues before. I thought I wasn’t worthy. I thought I had to sort of always prove something to him. And I think I was proving it to myself too. And these were things I thought I was already supposed to know so it was like, wait a minute! It is a little scary to me that I thought I was in this place of security and self-love, but then I wasn’t actually there, and then I had to really get there and do the work. But the scariest part is just that I didn’t know. I didn’t realize I wasn’t where I thought I was.
And it makes me realize that you can’t get to these places any other way except through dealing with self. There’s no other, no in-between. There’s no showing it and going through the world and making it seem like you’re confident and you have everything together. There’s only one way to get there and you have to actually… get there. You have to do the work and deal with self and face the things you‘re scared of facing. And really love yourself. All of you. Good and bad, if there is such a thing.
I think before I valued myself for reasons like, oh I look good or I’m smart. But now I value myself because I am. I just am. I’m in this world, I have work to do here, and all those things – beauty, intellect, a good heart – all those things are important too but I value myself in other ways that are beyond what other people can validate for me. So now, when I walk and I look confident or assured, it’s because it’s something that’s coming from so deep inside of me that no one can shake it up anymore.