The Art of Knowing Yourself

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” – Zora Neale Hurston

The art of  knowing yourself is to love yourself. Show love to the parts you’ve been avoiding—the bad, the ugly, and the truth. No matter how painful it can be, the feeling of accepting yourself is the best. That’s true love. You see, we as women have to understand the concept of evaluating ourselves in the most uncomfortable way. Everyday is a different battle of trying. Don’t you hate when you keep on trying to make something out of yourself just to prove you are somebody? You try to smile a little, live a little, and give a little, only to feel so little in this big cold world. It’s never enough when it comes to appreciating and loving yourself. It’s never enough.

“You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can’t go wrong. The world is behind you.” – Josephine Baker

I have to tell you all what kind of space I am right now. P E A C E. God, it feels so good to be at peace with yourself and those you surround yourself with in general. It took me nearly 18 years to gather this strength, integrity, boldness and unapologetic movement inside of me. I am free from the gossipers, opinionated haters (and by haters I am referring to people who intentionally hate on you for no particular reason), put-downers and pretenders. In order to truly know yourself, sometimes you have to ask yourself, “(Insert your name), is this what you really want in life? Are you REALLY happy?” And I ask myself these questions ALL the time when I’m in certain situations—whether it’s my job, church, relationship, or social life. Believe it or not, it’s really important to kind of step out and look at yourself—reflect on things that’s causing a deep hole or emptiness inside of you. Some people are used to hiding their feelings or concerns and preferred to just sweep it under the rug instead of cleaning it out. You have to love yourself better than to allow such negativities among yourself. The problem I was having was with social media and friends/associates. I talked about detoxing social media in my previous post, how it was a huge distraction and time consuming–I’m not sure if you tried it (if you haven’t then I highly recommend that you should), but it always worked for me. I took 3 months off and away from social media just to FOCUS ON ME. I’ll be taking a couple more breaks from social media, but it’s only to ENJOY my life in real life.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

Now friends/associates was my MAIN issue. I’ve had people in my life (especially at work), that nearly ruined me. But I learned the hard way how it kills some people to see others happy. My supervisor once said, “A friend to everyone is a friend to no one”. That statement is true in so many ways. I was always the cheerful person to please everybody, only to end up being stabbed on the back and hurt. From that point on, forgive and forget were my best friends. I realized in order to move forward from the pain, you have to forgive those that brought you to it and forget that you ever went through it. If you allow yourself to be involved in situations where people are either taking advantage of you or not valuing your worth, then you don’t know yourself well enough to know that you can do better without them. You have to get into this mindset stating that YOU matter too and ALWAYS put yourself first. That means dropping anybody that makes you feel less beautiful, less confident, less smart and less happy. Get to know yourself by applying this and believing that you’re enough. Quite frankly, I don’t care if you don’t like me— I like me and that’s all the like I need to make my life complete. How about you?

“What good does it bring when you’re bad?” – My Dad

As much as I hate to admit this, I have to be honest and say that I am a “people pleaser”. I must have inherited this act from my dad because he’s always putting others first before him (even at his lowest, he would give others his all), putting his feelings aside and let others talked down on him—I use to dislike him for that. At first, I thought he was so weak but then as I grew older, I began to realize how all this time he’s been the good guy. One day, I sat down with my dad and spoke to him about my problems about standing up for myself.  I’ll never forgot the statement he told me: “What good does it bring when you’re bad? There’s always a reward for being good, it may not come right away but trust in God that it will show in His favor”.  I’m such a nice person (still am to say the least), but there was often times that my kindness was being taken for granted. It was to the point where I wanted to defend myself and get even but I knew it wasn’t the professional way to confront those who were being so disrespectful to me. So I took my dad’s advice and remained the good girl. You can’t let people get the best of you, period. Never let a person step you out of your own character. Like Beyoncé quote, “Always stay gracious, the best revenge is your paper”. God works on His time, whatever the problem may be just know that He has the solution.

“The world needs your love, smile, talent, light and encouragement. Be an inspiration to others.” – Me

I come from a home that didn’t have a lot, but I was grateful for the things I’ve had and worked my butt off for the things I deserved. What I’m trying to say is don’t rain on other people’s parade. You may not know how many times he/she heart broke to finally end up with the right one. You sure as heck don’t know the struggles it took for he/she to fail so many classes or been held back to finally graduate college.  You don’t know the pain he/she felt when she lost his/her previous good paying job to finally be at a position getting paid twice as much with better benefits. You don’t know when he/she last day will be, when you then find out it was too late to apologize for how wrong you treated them in the end. You don’t know anything about being bullied or harassed until it happens to you. What’s worse is that there may be others out there who are borderline suicidal. But you don’t know that, just like they don’t know your story. Knowing yourself can also mean seeing other people’s perspective point of views in life. Take in the consideration to be positive, you never know who may need your presence as a reminder of hope in a world so cold. Be thankful in the place you are now because it could have been worse. Learn to appreciate the mistakes that occurred in your life and take it as a blessing and not a lesson. Live your life the way YOU want to live it.

“You can fall but you can rise also.” – Angelique Kidjo

As I mentioned before, I am now at peace. Nothing and nobody bothers me anymore. During the journey to eliminate the struggles, I became closer with God. I have this on and off relationship with Him— I tend to close Him out when I’m tuned into the world. But it doesn’t matter how far I stray away—His love for me ALWAYS remain the same when I run back into His arms. That just comes to show that God has been so good to me, even when I don’t deserve it. So, if you’re in a space where you feel like you’re not worthy of His love anymore—I’m here to tell you that you still are worthy and He still loves you regardless of your circumstances. Trust me, I’ve been there and I know the feeling of being ungrateful. People nowadays are so judgmental, it’s sad that one can’t be themselves without having to be criticized for no apparent reason. That was my fear, of being judged by others (especially at church). But God. Thank God for wisdom, growth and maturity. NEWSFLASH: Life goes on and so do you. Know yourself well enough to NEVER let others steal your joy away.

“The art of knowing yourself is to be FREE” -Me

That simple: Live a care-FREE life as possible! My twin sister, (whom I miss so much, she’s up in Minnesota living the life) calls me all the time asking me when I’m going to put a new post on the blog. My reply was always, “When I’m ready”. I’ve been writing and could have post something new yesterday. But needless to say, I’m just so glad a good friend of mine reached out to me and gave me this idea of writing this post. (If you’re reading this now Jami, know that I love you). This was the perfect time to give out my real points on truly knowing yourself. I love myself even more now after posting this blog. Until next time…

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