To Thine Own Self Be True — Self Love!


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To Thine Own Self Be True

William Shakespeare

 Test at the end: Are you loving yourself enough?

Self Love for me:  I will not torture myself because I can’t get the spacing to allign correctly in this blogpost. Read On:)

When I first started writing, “To Thine Own Self Be True” blinked like a neon sign in my mind.  After a serious “Come-to-Jesus” season wherein I pleaded with God to give me peace, purpose, and direction for my life, I could not get the six words out of my mind.

I was ready to say YES to his will. I wanted absolute joy in my life, but, instinctively, I knew that saying YES to God was saying YES to all that he created me to be. It was saying Yes regardless of the bumps I’d encountered, detours I’d made, pain I’d suffered, fear I felt, and bad decisions I’d made. 

This could be complicated, I thought.  So I begin to think about my child hood and what was important to me in the formative years to give me clues of who God intended me to be.   I loved playing house and knew early on that having a family was a top priority for me.  I wanted a husband and kids more than I wanted a career.   After getting married and having kids, I made sure my family remained top priority to me, no matter what. 

As a kid, I had shelves of books and loved reading. As I discovered my purpose as an adult, I surrounded myself with books and went to the library often.  This past weekend, I devoured two books and started a third. I also loved using my imagination as a kid and would stay in my room for hours playing make believe.  In that “come to Jesus” moment, I committed to reading and expressing creatively.  Within 30 days, I was sitting at a computer and letting the words flow.

I was in London and an editor at Bantam read the first group of words — I didn’t even know it was a chapter — and encouraged me to send her chapters as they were completed.  Her statement to me: “There is something here.”  Although she didn’t quite know what it was.  I did.  I knew it was God!  Six months later, I had completed my first novel, On Edge.  And it was deep.

It was deep because the main’s character’s husband was gay and in the closet, and this was in the early nineties before being Gay was in style.  Before leaving for London, I had spent lots of time with my gay best friend from high school, who died shortly after I returned to Los Angeles.   Dennis and I had marathon conversations about his life as a gay man in Los Angeles.  Although Dennis was out, he shared the pain and frustration he experienced when dealing with friends who hid their true identities. 
This is where the “Being true to the deep yearnings of one’s soul” theme of On Edge came from. Our discussions, although fictionalized, poured out on to the page.  The editor at Bantam said that it was literary novel, which I found interesting since I’d never written a dog gone creative thing before.  To me this proved that super natural power is bestowed upon one who is being what God created him or her to be.

In my “Come to Jesus” moment, I accepted that loving one’s self is the highest form of loving God!  Self love says to God, I trust that you knew what you were doing when you made me, and I love who you created me to be, God!  I will be who you made to be even if the world doesn’t validate it with a check, even when the world doesn’t see it our way.

From time-to- time, I also gauge if I’m loving myself by wearing my natural hair, regardless of its state:  Nappy, short, long ,or curly.  However I find it after a season of braids, weaves, or whatever, I wear it no matter what!  As I do, I spend sessions in the mirror, loving on me, smiling at myself.  I repeat to myself that I’m beautiful just the way I am.  I smile at every one I meet when I’m in my natural state.  And often times, I’m surprised by the warm responses I receive.

Recently, I started an e-Book, DO U, Lessons of Love for Single and Married women, and the To Thine Own Self  Be True (TTOSBT) neon sign started blinking again.  Its light almost shut me down as I realized that God was saying, “Tell the truth girl.”  It’s my  north star.
I started with a blogpost on love below. I started with the truth!  I would have been doomed the last 35 years without TTOSBT.  My love is tall, dark, handsome, opinionated, stubborn, and strong-willed.  A South Side of Chicago man.  He’s set in his ways, and he wants his clan to follow his lead. I’ve had to be clear about what I needed in the relationship to thrive.  In a strange kinda of way, I have to thank him for the woman I’ve become.  We’re very different in many ways.  But grounded in TTOSBT, I’ve been able to maneuver the relationship and handle our differences, lovingly, most times. Because of his strength, I now have a Ph.D in self love. 

In this union, I’ve known whose I was, what I was, and what I needed to be happy.  I’ve absolutely known what I needed to stay a healthy “Meme” and those things have been non-negotiable even if I’ve had to give them to myself.  I know that my healthy dose of TTOSBT is what made him attracted to me in the first place.  I was never the prettiest girl in the room.  At UCLA, there were plenty of mulatto sisters, long haired sisters, pretty sisters, but I had this thang:  TTOSBT oozing from me.  When I walked in a room, folks took notice.   This is what attracted guys, including my husband, to me.

How about you?  Are you living your truths?  Do you love yourself enough?  If you’re able to quickly answer the 10 questions below, you probably have a healthy dose of TTOSBT and have attracted or will attract true love into your life. 

If not, get to work.  DO U.  Discover U while thanking God for the marvelous work He did when He created you.

  1.  What are your top 3 loves?. Meditate on this.  Pray about it. Get quiet and still and ask God to clarify the three things you love the most?
  2. What job would you do even if they didn’t pay you?
  3.  What three things are, absolutely, non-negotiable with a partner?
  4.  What are three absolute qualities that you need in a good friend?  For me it’s trust, fun, and reliability?
  5.  What behaviors do you need from a partner to make you feel loved?
  6.  What places in your city make you feel joyful and peaceful?
  7.  What environment allows you to make contact with God and/or the higher power in your life?
  8.  What 3 critical views do you have on money?
  9.  How much socializing do you need and what type of social activities do you enjoy?
  10.  What three things do you love about the person you already are?

BONUS!!!  This is key.  What child-hood experiences have caused you the most pain and joy?.  Even though you may not know it, these experiences have shaped you in immeasurable ways.   But no worries here.  We just want to acknowledge it, sit with it, understand how it’s impacted us, and, eventually, release it and all parties concerned if it was bad.  Or enjoy the memories if it was good.

You’re on your way to TTOSBT.  Self Love.  The highest form of loving GOD!  He knew what he was doing when he created you.

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