right now, YouTube is such a hit for me. i’ve been enjoying watching a variety of channels but Shameless Maya is my current favourite. her shameless journey has inspired me in so many different ways. if you’ve spent some time watching YouTube videos you’ll notice a majority of them discuss routines. There’s beauty routines, hair routines, routines to get your life together, etc. that all focus on what to do during your mornings or before your bed time. What I picked up was each of these routines focus on self. Whether its using make up to make you feel better, there was a positive outcome from said routine. That’s what I’d like to address in this post. Self care. Purely for the reason that this has become so important to me in the last few months. Not because of YouTube, lol, but because I decided to journey in self discovery and growth is always the goal.
YouTube was fun in helping me create routines of my own but with time I realised that when you’re in the process of self discovery, you start to teach your mind to overcome external expectations and zone in to what you expect from yourself first. Ideally, you should be your first love (excluding mothers) because you’re your first home. This discovery has been a gradual process and in the last week alone I’ve spent quality time with poetry from Nayyirah Waheed and new music from Solange. Both have made me feel lighter. For anyone in need of reassurance, read Salt and if you just spend a day listening to A Seat At The Table, depending on what you’ve experienced, you heal. From hurt, from depression, from suffering. There’s no end to it but at some point you’ll crave the intimate words and melodies. Poetry and music remind you that you’re full of magic but this also begins with self care. Don’t be mistaken, self care is not self indulgence. Nor is taking care of your self selfish.
Self care is important because you are a priority. Your mental health is a priority and your happiness is a priority. You’re allowed to pour in to yourself completely. I’ve been focused on putting my self first and I’ve been enjoying it. I don’t want to reiterate, but affirmations, affirmations, affirmations. These stay important. I’ve spoken about that before here, so I won’t go back in too much detail. To begin, I want to say its not only important to love yourself and be good to yourself but to also commit to yourself and show up. Every. Single. Time. It’s in the little things and if you have the choice, there’s really no reason to live a life that’s less than you deserve. Respect yourself enough to create a life that you want to live. I’ve been learning and this is what I’ve learnt so far.
∴ Unlearn. Start with unlearning societies codes. These are just options. Reject what you’ve been taught and be open to starting over. Start again and adapt. This isn’t me saying everything you’ve been taught is wrong, but if you find yourself lost, go back and relearn. My past is filled with caution. I was taught to live cautiously, trying not to step on anyone’s toes and this brought out many insecurities. I wouldn’t say it was because I wanted to please anyone, but I became comfortable being cautious with my choices out of fear of judgement. I’ve had to unlearn
uncertainty self hate and relearn self love. In my past romantic relationships, I battled with being cheated on and spent a lot of my time being insecure that I simply have not allowed insecurity to seep in to who I am this year. I’m learning to be more free with who I am. Its surprising how when you change your mind, you can change everything.
∴ Set boundaries. I’ve realised that I have problems with boundaries. I don’t think I know how to set them. This failure has allowed people to treat me however they’ve chosen to because to them it was okay. So now I know that I have to set boundaries with everyone. Strangers, friends and even family. I’m not allowing myself to be trapped in open territory anymore. As part of my self care practice I’m learning that it’s okay to say no. To limit how much I over extend myself and what my soul can bare to please anyone around me. Boundaries correlate with self and the things you’re aspiring to do for you. When you set a boundary you bring focus back to yourself. You’re able to address how what you’re doing in your life is affecting your moves, who you really are and what you’re afraid of. You find where you belong, what moves you, what you’re passionate about and what you believe.
I clocked that enjoying your SELF, and taking care of your self makes you whole. For a long time I clung to men who I felt would complete me. I’ll admit I romanticised finding a better half. I believed that opposites attract, and what I may have lacked, he would fill. Now I no longer want to come to anyone as a half, waiting to be filled. I’d prefer to be whole. For any men reading this, this applies to you too. Men are flesh and blood. Solo says it in Weary. There’s no reason to shy away from vulnerability. This is completely unrelated to men but I read a tweet from The Slumflower, (another favourite), the other day that said, the only form of resistance you need is self love. She said that self love is the least aggressive, yet most effective form of intimidation. Stand firm in your being. The more you love yourself, the more of a threat you become. Because the more you love yourself the better decisions you make.
I’m no expert and I’m still figuring it out. But I know now that before you unlearn or set boundaries, you need to heal. Allowing yourself patience to heal is comforting. Part of my healing includes sacrifice. “It is in giving that you receive.” I’m sure that’s from the Bible. Anyway, I’ve given up meat. I’ve decided to go vegetarian for 100 days, and from there see where my new diet takes me. I’ve also decided to give up relaxing my hair and started transitioning to my natural hair. I used to frown upon natural hair bloggers -cowers in the corner- but I’ll blog about that journey another day. What’s important here is that I’m enjoying my SELF.