February is the month of black history and love. Many will be swept off their feet for Valentine’s Day. As a black woman who hasn’t dated anyone in her adult life, I often feel so left out of the love. Me as a black woman I never understood this notion of my power until recent years. As I continue to evolve I am able to see the beauty in me. Self-love is a powerful force that is truly rare and the most liberating feeling in the world because if you set your tempo then you are able to flourish.
For every woman out there but especially my black women who may have battled so much in your life. We battle the appropriation of our essence by others who desire to appear cool but aren’t. We are stripped of our power often in corporate settings because we desire to scale the ladder. The stigma of being Superwoman to a world that doesn’t love us. As I reflect on my life, I know this one thing that if I focus on love it will grow. If I focus on my strength and power it will blossom.
Often left out of the mainstream mix of faux depth and positivity, I wrote this love letter to myself. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and repeating the negative recording I wanted to push out something that was different yet me. I am not one of those peppy types nor am I into the faux images of greatness. My version of beauty is like that of a dark roast coffee. It’s robust and pungent. Once it takes effect it can have you seeing the world from a higher level.
If your single or not you are so perfect and deserving of nothing short of a miracle. Recently I learned about this notion of self-compassion. Now it’s something that makes sense on an intellectual level but on a heart level is so delicately worn. To see yourself in the light of compassion is to truly understand yourself to be unapologetically yourself. To strip down the day before my enticing self-care session with my Elements of Aliel, an amazing Black created and owned brand. I value not just what I adorn myself with but also the depth of my beauty.
I penned this love letter to myself as I embark on this year I want it to be surrounded by the notion of love and self-reflection. I am proud of being a black woman. I see the value in being someone who has overcome so much and learned so many precious lessons. We can’t be connected to anyone until we have done the work of connecting with ourselves. We can’t love another until we fully love ourselves. I would love for you to do try this exercise with me.
Strip off of everything from makeup to your wig if you have one lol. I’m rocking a baldie so I can get real nakey. Dim the lights preferable put on some candles that will uplift your mood. Play something softly or nothing at all. Look into the mirror and really look at yourself. Do you like what you are? Do you love who you see? For a long time, I couldn’t look at myself. I noticed I was only looking at the surface. I didn’t want to acknowledge my own presence. I wanted to have outside folks validate me. But in 2017, I began a new thing by looking at myself. I looked at the woman with her rolls, her hyperpigmentation, her damage. I began from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I wanted to know her, who is the woman in the mirror. I don’t really know her.
We often feel anxious or worried because we don’t really know who the fuck we are. We have an image in our head that we have made a shrine to, and anytime anything comes close to not validating it makes us scared. For the longest time, I wanted to be the pretty black girl. The one with the pretty hair that was full, perfect body and skin. She was sought after by men and women wanted to be near her. She was pleasant and sweet and always seemed to have it together. She excelled in her life and was able to be exalted.
As I began to look at myself more deeply, I began to destroy the image in my head. See I’m powerful, fierce and a force to be reckoned with. The pretty little image was an image that was never obtainable. I had to destroy it in order to actually love me. Valentines may be something I haven’t experienced but I have now experienced self- love which is something that goes year round.
My self-love letter
When I look in the mirror the face I see is that of a multi-faceted diamond. She is hard yet soft, spicy yet sweet. She is deeper than an ocean that can drown anyone who isn’t properly ready. Her skin is not perfectly even and she has a double chin. She currently growing out her hair after having to cut the damage from the world. She has full lips that make lipstick come alive and give loving kisses even though it’s been many years since they have been used. Her eyes are like warm coffee that have seen many things that no words can articulate intelligently.
Her body isn’t as defined as many others and often has been a source of pain. She allowed for the longest time others to define her worth. Her tummy is puggy and her butt isn’t plump. She often felt she wasn’t authentically black because she didn’t look like the girls who were hailed as black. Is her blackness in equated to the size of her ass? Her thighs keep her hands warm and have carried her far.
Her beautiful mind is something to put in a museum. It has encountered so much yet is stronger with every lesson. Depression kidnapped many years of her life after the pain of growing in a home that could be the equivalent of a trap house. She is like so many who are under watered and left to flourish, yet still, she rose. The days came when she wanted no more of this world but she remained as she is a gift to this world.
Your beauty is like no one has ever had the blessing to see. You deserve nothing but complete and utter adoration. Anything below that isn’t acceptable. You sparkle and enchant so many. Walk in your glo my beauty.
I hope you were able to see yourself in this letter. What would you add that wasn’t here? Make sure you check out https://www.elementsofaliel.com for their amazing skincare products.