“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X
This quote is usually used to get folks inspired about social justice, but it also has an important place in our self-love journeys as well. A few weeks ago, I found myself emotionally writhing under the power of a new crush. Quickly, I went from self-assured 32 year old to insecure 15 year old. I wondered over and over again if they liked me, and my people-pleasing self started thinking of ways that I could change myself to be more attractive to them.
The desire to be wanted, to be loved. It’s human.
The belief that you need to be someone other than yourself to be loved? It’s destructive.
In the moments where I fell off the self-love train, I had to recenter myself by reminding myself of who I was and what I wanted. (As I always say, this self-love thing is a practice not a destination.) In the throes of a new crush, it’s easy to get lost in what the other person wants or needs and forget that you get to evaluate them too. You get to decide if this person meets your needs for companionship and intimacy.
My latest crust experience reminded me of how so many of us spend so much time trying to fit others’ desires for us that we don’t have a clear idea of who we are and what we want. Without that knowledge yourself, it’s tough to step into self-love.
You can’t love yourself if you don’t know who you are.
The goal of this month’s self-love challenge is to help you know yourself better. Sign up below, and each Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the month, you’ll receive an email with a journal prompt to help you delve into your own desires. Spend this March dating yourself and getting to know that beautiful thing that is your soul.
As with all the self-love challenges, once you sign up you’ll also gain access to The Trifecta Tribe email list for weekly tips on building your self-love practice & program discounts/updates.
I’m so happy to announce that The Trifecta Tribe has a new intern, LaTierra! She’s such a welcome addition to the team. She took the time to share some of her insights about self-love and boundaries. Let’s give her a warm welcome by liking and sharing this post.
On February 7th, I received my Daily Beloved email in my inbox like I had done each morning since February began. On this particular day, the message was about setting boundaries. Being fairly new to adulthood and independence, setting boundaries had become a lesson that proved itself to be one of those skills which needed to be strengthened over time. While examining the powerful words of this email, I was instantly reminded of an unhealthy relationship I had been attempting to rid myself of for many months by then. Short version: In that relationship we broke up after six months then out of guilt, obligation and lust we spent an additional year and a half in a tumultuously toxic, on & off “situationship”; reflecting nothing short of the infamous Facebook relationship status: “It’s Complicated”. This is where I had been struggling to cut ties.
For many of us who have grown up with “fairly healthy” parental care, boundaries were often times drawn for us when parents/guardians kept us away from certain friends, family members or environments they didn’t trust. However, when you become an adult, those safety and security precautions are no longer your parent’s responsibility, but yours (or so I’ve learned).
So on this bright Friday morning I received the message affirming:
“Sometimes loving yourself means drawing lines to keep people out who can’t see the beauty of your authentic self […] But today, we’re drawing lines of self-love around our tender souls. We’re letting love in and keeping judgement out. Boundaries are beautiful.”
These powerful words reminded me that in order to be happy, healthy & whole, I needed to be more intentional and active about setting boundaries in my life. It is always hard to do especially when it comes to people I care about, but it’s also equally or even more important for the quality of my life and operating in my own self-love.
So, after absorbing this message and meditating on what that should look like for me, I made some changes in my life. In the days following, (1) I vented to my mentor about “how hard it is to be an adult”, but “how happy I am to be experiencing adulthood”, (2) I went to my new Unitarian Universalist church, where I am always embraced and affirmed in my identities as a Queer Woman of Color, to be spiritually regenerated and (3) I changed my cell phone number after almost 5 years, subsequently cutting off ties and access that people who can’t see the beauty of my authentic self had to me.
What I continue to learn and attempt to comprehend from drawing my “lines in the sand” is that no one else is or can be held responsible for me honoring my life, my time, my heart, my love, my self-love, my experiences or my tender soul. Today, I demand that those who wish to claim space in my life must honor my boundaries.
Thank you Daily Beloved and thank you Trifecta Tribe for your support and love!
LaTierra, translated as The Earth in Spanish, is 23 year old Queer Woman of Color born in Chicago, IL and raised in Milwaukee, WI. Currently, she is serving as an AmeriCorp volunteer in the Washington, D.C. area. Her passion areas of social justice include, but are not limited to: Media Literacy Awareness, Women of Color Advocacy & Empowerment, LGBTQQAISA Advocacy, Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence Awareness, Women’s Rights, Black Liberation Movements and Healing Works of LGBTQ People of Color.
Just in case you’ve forgotten, these things are all true about you and about me. Feel free to come right back here whenever you forget.
- You are worthy of love and belonging
- Your smile lights up someone’s day.
- Each day, someone sees what you do and wishes they could do the same.
- Your parents were doing the best they could with the tools they had.
- So are you.
- You can move beyond your trauma and inherited patterns.
- Your soul is aching for your own love and admiration.
- You have the tools you need to create the life you desire.
- Your passions are a map to your purpose
- You are loved.
Half of the fun of life is getting to remember these things over and over again. Each day is a chance to rejoice in your own brilliance.
I used to spend so much of my time waiting for someone else to send me love letters, thinking that once someone loved me I’d be able to love myself. But in reality, all I did was attract people to me who loved me as badly as I loved myself. It wasn’t until I learned to love myself the way that I wanted to be loved, that my reality shifted.
But like all things worth doing, loving yourself is a practice. And by the end of 2013, I found myself needing a self-love boost. Maybe I was exhausted from all the projects I took on last year, but come December my self-love well was running a little dry. All of the sudden I was craving comfort foods more than usual, and spending more time comparing myself to others than rejoicing in my own accomplishments. When comparison fever sets in, that’s when I know for sure that I’m ready for a self-love refill.
So let’s use February to give ourselves a self-love boost.
Your challenge this month is to set aside 5 minutes each day to meditate on the self-love missives from Daily Beloved. Daily Beloved is a free course to bring self-love into your life on a daily basis. Over 50 women signed up for it last Fall and they sent me wonderful messages of warm thanks for the sweetness it brought into their lives.
Daily Beloved is 28 days of morning emails to remind you that you are a treasure with short invitations to help you explore what self-love looks like for you.
I know we’re all busy. I am too. Some mornings I’m grateful if I can manage to remember to eat breakfast, let alone focus on self-love.
But those mornings when I do….mmmm…they lead to yummy experiences with myself and my world.
The edges fall off the busy work day and I can find places of softness. It becomes easier to connect, to be vulnerable, to let others love me.
5 minutes of daily self-love can change your world.
These missives will be short, quick, yet powerful. Won’t take up too much space in your inbox, and they’ll invite you into a world where it’s safe to be your full self.
Ready? Just sign up below and emails will start February 1. (Note: You’ll also be added to The Trifecta Tribe email list where you can get program updates/discounts and a free tips on self-care).
I wish I could say that I always handle homophobic and racist moments with grace and compassion.
I was sitting at dinner with my parents and one of us brought up the news that Michelle Obama was spending part of her 50th birthday with Oprah. Not a big deal, until my father says that he’d never let his wife travel alone with Oprah.
I know him well enough to hear all the things that he left unsaid. The assumptions that Oprah was gay and thus somehow would prey on someone’s unsuspecting wife.
I’ve learned over the years that when I respond to these types of comments with curiosity and compassion, they turn into a teachable moment for us all. We see each other as flawed human beings who all have something to learn.
But that day, I just didn’t have it in me to transform my hurt and anger into something I could work with. Instead I let my anger and frustration leak out in sighs, sucking teeth, and my own ranting obnoxious comments.
Sometimes, the burden of having to teach “the other” that I am a human being is too much and leaves me struggling to get out of bed. Yet, it’s a pressure that I juggle everyday. I was raised believing that I had to work twice as hard to get half as much. That mantra is part of my race story. Then in my journey as a queer woman, I inherited a similar story around my sexuality. That I have to walk a straight moral line (moral as defined by Christian standards) to prove that queer folk aren’t lecherous predators. Neither story leaves room for me to be a full human being. And worse, both stories place the value of my life in other people’s hands.
When I am working so hard to prove my worth, I can’t listen to my own voice about what I need in the present moment.
I become blind to my own power and deaf to my own needs.
Reclaiming my power comes from listening to my own needs from a space of tender compassion.
And what I need is to admit that it hurts. That I’m not immune to the macroaggressions and microaggressions that come from strangers AND those I love.
In the present moment, I need compassion for the times when I don’t have it all together, when I’m not the activist or role model I want to be.
Self-compassion comes from being honest about my edges.
And reminds me to rejoice in my humanity, even when others can’t.
This post is part of the Unencumbered Sharing Circle, a gathering of honest first-hand stories about self-loathing, self-love, and the journey between the two. Read more stories, and share your own, right here.
Each day, we’re inundated with information, some useful and some not. The busyness of our lives can easily disconnect us from our own spirit and leave us feeling exhausted, inadequate and alone. Finding ways to intentionally reconnect with my own Divinity and remember that we are spiritual being having a physical experience, has been crucial for me to stay on track. Here are 5 of the tools that I use to remember that I am truly worthy of love and belonging and to keep my sights on the bigger spiritual picture.
- Do a quick Digital Detox. Spending tons of time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can lead to feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. It also leaves less time to listen to your own internal voice about who you really are (always worthy of love and belonging). Experiment with taking a 30 minute break from the digital world. Silence your phone, turn away from the internet and see how you feel.
- Take some time in nature. Taking time to reconnect to nature can have such a calming effect. Calming enough that you can tune out all those external voices and remember to listen to your own voice. It’s also a soothing way to remember that just like the Universe supports the birds and tress, it will also support you. If you’re in a city, just taking a walk and feeling the air on your skin can be as useful as a hike in a forest.
- Declutter your bedroom. For those of us who can’t afford a separate room as a meditation/prayer sanctuary, the bedroom is typically where we come to unwind, relax and prep for the next day. Make your bedroom into safe, calming place to relax. Put the clothes away and invest in some candles with soothing scents like lavender.
- Trust your gut. Is there someone or something that your instincts are warning you to be careful with? Trust that. Give your instincts the benefit of the doubt. You know, better than anyone, what actions are right for you. Trust that your inner divinity will guide you in the right direction. Being able to truly hear your own voice is something that takes practice, so if you’re new to self-trust, start small. Try choosing meals or leisure activities based on what your instincts say you truly need. Once you get better at that, move onto the larger life decisions.
- Meditate/Pray. Whether you are religious or not, spending time in quiet contemplation of your connection to the rest of creation is a wonderful way to get back in touch with your own divinity. If you’re new to meditation, visit The Trifecta Tribe Shop for quick guided meditations to help get you started.
Welcome to a new project from The Trifecta Tribe! The QWOC Self-Love podcast. Last year, I shared a couple of interviews with queer women of color who offered insight on their take on the concept of self-love and self-care. You loved those interviews so much (and I loved getting to talk to such amazing womyn) that I decided to make this a monthly feature.
Our inaugural podcast is a brilliant interview with L’Erin of Sisterfire.com. She’s a coach, inspiration to women who are ready to shine brightly and a beautiful soul.
In this interview, we talk about:
- How to tap into self-love and stepping out of being constantly in resistance to the world.
- Letting go of perfectionism and
- Healing from brain surgery by receiving the support the world wants to offer us.
To listen, press play below or click HERE to download the mp3 using iTunes.
If so, I’d love to amplify your message and refer your services/products to The Trifecta Tribe community. I’m compiling information on these business for a resource list that will live on this site.
Want to get your business on the list?
Fill out the form below and hit submit. The Resource List will go live on January 17th but will be continually updated.
Just a quick note before we go into today’s post. Self-Love 101 starts on Monday, Jan 6th. It’s an online course that’s filled with the activities I use with my 1-on-1 coaching clients to boost their love for themselves (at a price that’s much lower than private coaching). Let 2014 be the year that you fall in love with yourself and transform your life. Click here to grab your spot.
1. If I love myself, I’ll become an arrogant b*tch
Before I started on my self-love journey, I equated self-love with arrogance. In my mind, folks who loved themselves were selfish, self-centered and always put their needs before others. It wasn’t until I made my way out of an abusive relationship that damaged my spirit, that I realized that being selfless wasn’t all that healthy either. The hurt from giving myself up for another made me reevaluate the benefits of self-love. Maybe, I thought, there’s a way to love yourself that doesn’t make you into a spa-hopping, arrogant douche. Maybe self-love isn’t just for folks with massive amounts of privilege.
That relationship gave me a reason to define self-love for myself. And I found that loving myself is a beautiful relationship that actually helps me to serve others in an authentic and sustainable way. The more love I offer myself, the more I can give to others. Self-love refills your well.
2. Loving myself is self-indulgent.
A side effect of #1. When I started loving myself enough to let myself use my sick days at work or taking time to rejuvenate my introverted spirit, I felt a bit guilty. Guilty for taking time for myself when others couldn’t or wouldn’t. Guilty for refusing to answer emails that came in on my day off. I knew that there were tons of folks in my social circle who couldn’t do the same and still hold their positions. I knew there were also folks whose financial needs meant they felt they had to deal with a lot of crap at work. Who was I to care for myself when those I loved couldn’t do that same. Well, who am I not to? Making myself into a martyr didn’t help anyone. And worst of all, the less role models we have for self-love in our communities, the less our people believe that they can enact the same love in their own lives. Overtime, I understood self-love to be a social justice issue.
Loving myself gave others permission to do the same.
3. If I love who I am, nothing will ever change.
We all have flaws or things about ourselves that we wish were different. And we’re used to using shame to motivate us to change. Back in the day when I was an overeater, I thought that if I loved myself, I’d just get complacent about this self-destructive habit. So I held onto my self-loathing because I thought it was my only hope for change. Every time I overate, I’d play a berating tape in my head about how horrible I was. Eventually I realized that this self-loathing wasn’t the cure to my overeating, it was the cause. Each time I shamed myself, the habit came back with a vengeance and I found myself in a shame spiral. After years of therapy, self-help books and diets, self-love was the only thing that actually helped me to shift this pattern. Once I was able to love myself unconditionally, flaws and all, the shame that fueled the overeating went away. Gradually, I stopped overeating. Self-love also inspired me to listen to body to find out what it really needed. Self-love has honestly been the best “diet” I’ve ever been on. Having extra pounds slip off my body has been a nice side effect.
That’s the achievement I’m most proud of from 2013. As of today, I’ve paid off $12,000 of debt. That means no more automated phone calls from creditors. No more getting overwhelmed at the amount of debt ahead of me and wondering how (or if) I’d ever be able to get that number down to something manageable.
I’d love to be able to tell you that all the hours I spent watching Suze Orman specials, reading her books and taking finance seminars was what did it.
I spent so much time gathering knowledge and tips about how to manage my finances that I was embarrassed to let people know that I still had so much trouble pulling my financial life together.
What I didn’t understand all those years, was that I didn’t need any more advice on HOW to manage my finances.
Because each new lesson I learned was sabotaged by my lack of self-love. I spent like tomorrow would never come because I didn’t trust in my ability to create a future that would be worth saving for. I didn’t love myself enough to want to create a life of comfort and well-being. I honestly didn’t believe I was worth the effort.
Have you ever found yourself stuck in habits that aren’t life-giving for you?
Take a look inside your heart and ask yourself, do I love myself enough to invest in my own success?
Your answer will hold your key for getting unstuck.
When I learned to love all of who I was, and validate my dreams for the future, I realized that I was important enough to save for. That I was valuable enough to become a priority in my own life.
With self-love as my motivation, all the financial tips I learned finally had a purpose behind them and slowly, my financial life fell into place.
Are you ready for your own transformation?
Registration for Self-Love 101 closes on Monday. Grab your spot now. Click here to learn more.