From Sophia, With Love

Hey SuzyKnew! Readers:

It’s your girl, Sophia, and I have a few things to say to my sisters of the Diaspora. First of all, this is a message of uplift and love, and I hope it helps someone today. We, Black women of the Diaspora, have a unique bond that isn’t always celebrated, recognized or cherished the way it should be. One of the many reasons I love SuzyKnew! so much is that it endeavors to bring Black women of the world together to talk about issues that uniquely pertain to us. I love us, and I hope you do, too.

Let me begin by giving a shout out to all the Black women who feel invisible, unheard, and maligned. I see you, I hear you, and I love you. The world may only value your parts (your lips, your ass, your sass, your labor, etc.) and deem the “whole” you unworthy. But please remember that every single piece of you, in part and as a whole, is valuable and worthy. You are whole and holy, Sis, and don’t you ever forget it. You deserve to be loved out loud and unreservedly. You are enough just as you are, and you are worthy.

That said, everyone can improve upon themselves. So, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself and your circumstances. It’s important to dream big and have goals. It’s just as important to make sure you set attainable goals and come up with realistic ways to reach them. However you go about improving yourself, don’t let fear or other people’s opinions stop you from doing what you need to do.
Remember that it’s never too late for you to follow your dreams, no matter how old you are. So, go ahead and pursue your passions, apply for that dream job, and shoot your shot with your crush! Don’t be afraid to fall in love again, even though you’re scared of getting hurt. Go on and get that degree; get another degree; and get an even higher degree! You can do this, Sis.

It’s not too late to fix your credit, buy a home, learn a new language or even learn a brand new skill set. Go ahead and step up your shoe game, clean out your closets, and make room for the newer, smaller close sizes you plan to buy once you drop that extra weight. You got this!
You still have time to make your dreams come true, but you have to start now. What’s stopping you from going for it? Is it simply the fear of failing, or are you still holding onto the mistakes you made in the past?

If it’s the latter, you need to make peace with your past, and then let it go. There are no “do overs” in real life, and you can’t do anything to change what’s already happened. So stop beating yourself up over the mistakes you made. Everyone messes up sometimes. Instead, focus on learning from those mistakes and keep moving forward. You owe it to yourself to forgive yourself. And the best way to make that happen is to just do it.

I know that’s easier said than done, though. Before you can forgive yourself, you have to fully love yourself. After all, self-love is everything! Stop letting the opinions of others determine your self-worth. You’ll always be “too much” for some or “not enough” for others. So, stop twisting yourself in knots trying to please everyone.

Instead, focus on embracing who you are right now, and loving yourself unconditionally. That doesn’t mean you should stop trying to improve yourself and go for your dreams. It only means that you should love yourself As. You. Are. Right. Now.

Embracing and loving those qualities that mark you as “different from the rest” can be hard in a society that pushes us to conform to trends and fads where everyone looks and acts the same. But doing so is a necessary step on your journey to self-love and acceptance.
So you’d better learn to love those little quirks of yours. You’d better come to grips with your uniqueness. In fact, you really need to celebrate those things that make you stand out in a crowd. Without them, you’d be just like everyone else. And that would make this a very boring world.

Another barrier to self-love and acceptance is the memories and lasting effects of childhood trauma. So many of us suffered from unspeakable horrors as children which shape who we are and how we see ourselves today. Sometimes, to get over the horrors of the past, you have to comfort, forgive, and honor the little girl inside you who survived them.

It’s likely that when you went through the trauma, no one was really there to hug away your hurt or dry your tears. That may be one reason you’re so strong today. But the little girl who lives deep inside you still needs to be comforted. She still needs those hugs she never got when you were little. And that’s ok.

Because you, strong woman that you are, can take some time to love and honor that little girl now. You can comfort her in ways she never could have dreamed of. It’s called radical self-care, and you’re more than entitled to it. The little girl inside needs it, and the woman you are today deserves it.

Radically accepting yourself in a world that undervalues Black woman is an act of courage and survival. Once you’ve embraced who you are, even while you strive to improve, you’ll be less likely to accept abuse, misuse and any other bullshit that comes your way. You’ll come to demand and expect respect in all areas of your life, and you’ll get it, too.

And you’ll stop giving away your labor for free, which is something all Black woman need to stop doing. We give too much of ourselves for free, and it’s literally killing us. This includes, but is not limited to: our emotional labor in our romantic relationships; our intellectual and physical labor at home and on the job; and our action-oriented, “get shit done” labor in politics and activism.

We’re out here killing ourselves for others with very little to show for it. This has to stop. The more we love and respect ourselves, the better we’ll get at saying “No”, “Nah”, and “Hell nah”. We must get better at demanding our due in dollars, power, and recognition. And we must give up the role of “mule of the world”, once and for all.

After all, we are Black women! And these are our truths:
• The beauty of the Black woman is unmatched in this world, and probably the universe;
• The strength of the Black woman is undeniable, even when not just measured by her pain;
• The love of the Black woman is as enduring as the sun, and just as bright; and
• The hope of the Black woman is boundless.
Please share this with every Black woman you know and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
And invite your friends and family to subscribe to SuzyKnew! You won’t find any other space online quite like this one.

Love, Blessings, and Peace,

*Photos courtesy of Pixabay