By India Taina
2019 was HEAVYYY. For some, it was full of revealing experiences (not always pleasant), forced growth, and hurt. For others, it was about healing, caring for one’s self, and pushing boundaries as well as creating them. And of course, there were some of us who went through all the motions in 2019, from trauma to heartbreak to utter and hopeless depression; and then somehow finding love and care in unexpected places, all in one season. Okay, maybe that was just me… but anyhow, the reason I am writing this, is because it’s something that has saved me from everything, including myself. And that’s important. I have a life-saving answer that could even help to heal some of you. Why wouldn’t I share that with you, who I have come to love so much?
So, are you ready for it? Here it is: You have to become your very own best friend. Your own lover. Your own cheerleader, and compassionate witness. You have to be all your own, entirely just for you. And to many people, that sounds terribly fucking lonely and maybe a little lame. And I have to warn you, there are definitely times where it is, it is terribly lonely and lame, and you get scared that the reason you can’t connect with others is because you are somehow defective, or wrong for the world. But it’s not true. I like to think of us as analogous to butterflies. In order for us to become our more heightened selves, we have to isolate and cocoon for a little while. Reflect on what matters to us, who matters to us, what are we proud of, what are we ashamed of? Who do we love? Did you name yourself when you answered that? These are all things that can only be considered when you are nakedly yourself. And some of us are not okay being naked with ourselves, let alone others.
So what are the steps to becoming this heightened self, to loving every inch of yourself and destroying self-doubt and reigning in that self-confidence? If there were a step by step guide, I am sure that it would have been published by someone much wiser than me. But what I can say, is that the first step always seems to be to forgive yourself. You might not realize that all the shame that you have been harboring is actually anger with yourself. So if you’re ashamed that your song is 19387789193 on iTunes charts, or that you didn’t finish school, or that the person you chose to love actually turned out to not love you the way you pretended they did for 2 years, let it go. And not in the corny Instagram meme way where they just say “let it go, sis” with absolutely no context. No, letting go is a daily effort, in which you have to confront situations head on, and ask yourself, why are you ashamed, why are you angry, and why are you hurting? Because that’s really what love deficiency is all about. It’s hurt. Once you find a way to alleviate that hurt, whether it’s forgiving others for you, forgiving yourself for you, and dealing with the trauma and pain in a healthy way, then I promise, the self love comes so much easier. It becomes easier to love what you see in the mirror, to be proud of your own actions. It even becomes easier to love others. I know it because I did it once before. And I am going to do it again. I’m still forgiving me. I’m still forgiving others. But each day it’s getting easier and easier to love, me. To feel, me. To breathe, me. It’s time you do the same baby. You are worth it, young king. You are worthy, young queen. You’ve got this. I know sometimes it feels like the universe is crashing all down on you and ain’t nobody got you, but baby, YOU GOT YOU. You deserve you. Te mereces, amor, te mereces. I just ask that in this 2020 season, you be kinder to yourselves. That you accept who you are. That you accept who others are (not who you want them to be), and decide whether you want them in your life or not. It’s all a process, it’s all growing pain. A lot of this WILL hurt. Which is why you have to be so careful with yourself. Surround yourself with ice cream dates and self care showers. Be with people who make you squinty smile. And most importantly, be there, for yourself.