self love

TAKES-NO-BULLSHIT WOMAN

One thing that inspires me is meeting a strong, takes-no-bullshit woman. Those who are not afraid of speaking out. Fearless and powerful, these are women who light up a room with the magnetic energy we all should have.    At the same time, these women have a positive, yet different impact on people. We won’t be liked by everyone, so why even try? Let’s be our pure self.    In my opinion, being a takes-no-bullshit woman is all about confidence and being real. As easy as believing in yourself, moving and dressing exactly the way you envision yourself.     I’m still working on my confidence, and doubting is part of life. It makes me feel something… alive. Therefore acceptance is key. Being aware we‘re a whole package (humans in general are) and that package is super aweso...

“I DON’T WANT TO LIVE ANYMORE”

I DON’T WANT TO LIVE ANYMORE! (Can you even handle your truth?) Sound familiar? It was more than familiar to me. It had crept into my thoughts many times in the seven years prior and popped up on numerous occasions later. I was just a month shy of my 21st birthday. I should have been thirsty and eager to show the world who I was, but I was so far from it I may as well have been in another dimension all together. Some days were so dark that my heart and head both hurt so much; it was suffocating. I just wanted to f***ing run, from life and myself. I felt dispensable and like every corner held some kind of pain. I had no self worth or hope for a future free of hurt. I didn’t think I would ever have the strength to be the mother my two beautiful children truly deserved. I honestly...

PAIN IS MY TEACHER

Pain and I have a sort of love/hate relationship. I am no stranger to pain; it’s been a constant, mostly unwanted, companion since childhood. I can still recall, with almost masochistic clarity, some of the most painful moments from my youth. Some were only small wounds, like insults from bullies, falling out of favor with a group of friends, woefully embarrassing incidents. But there were others that left a gaping wound that reopened periodically throughout my adult life; sabotaging relationships, pushing dear friends away, causing me to self-harm and self-medicate. I’ve often sat and reflected on how I am able to relive my pain with such vividness, why the happy moments are so foggy and more difficult to dredge up. I’ve spent much of the first half of 2018 in introspect...

I AM NOT MY HAIR

“I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectations, I am the soul that lives within.” – India Arie There I was, standing in the shower in disbelief at the clumps of hair in my hands. At first I thought nothing of it, but as the days went on and the clumps of hair continued, I thought something was seriously wrong. This cannot be okay. As someone who does not like white coats (what I refer to doctors as), I decided I had to make an appointment to see what was going on. After numerous blood tests and getting referred to a dermatologist, it was decided that the best course of action was to have a biopsy taken of my scalp to test not only for thyroid cancer, but a few other things, with all signs pointing to the big “C.” Great I thought. Just f—ing great. Two w...

SPIRITUAL AWAKENING: MY JOURNEY TO OVERCOMING DEPRESSION AND ACHIEVE REAL SELF-LOVE

In August of 2005 I asked God to take my life. I was hit with an intense longing for meaning a glimmer of joy and some kind of relief. I wasn’t suicidal, I would not have harmed myself. But I did want out of my personal pain. In total despair, I sobbed and flung myself onto the bed; my body trembled intensely. What happened next was a mystical out of body, near-death-like experience where I thought God was answering my prayer to end my life. My Near-Death-Like Experience was the end of the old me. I felt as though I’d melted into the bed and an immense feeling of inner peace overtook me. Shaking, crying, and desperately praying for relief, I suddenly saw and all-consuming, intense white light. Confused thinking the sun in Cannes couldn’t possibly get any brighter, I squinted, trying to fin...

HOW I LEARNED THAT I LOVE THE DARKNESS

The Revelation: I am the darkest-skinned of my mother’s daughters. I can still recall snippets of memories with my mom and sisters comparing our skin tones and deciding definitively that I was the darkest. I was not the one who decided. What they didn’t know was I didn’t have to compare or test my skin against any others. I know just how dark it is. What intrigued me always and still enthralls me is the night. The sensuous clandestine time of day in which the world turns a blind eye and magic happens. I used to think that when the sun finally set, the first gust of wind you felt was the world exhaling relief, respiring the stress and worry of the day. That was nighttime to me. The sensuous blackness, the two to eight hour cape draped over your sins. A moment for the sun to turn a blind eye...

I’M HOMESICK FOR WHO I USED TO BE

I’m writing this as I sit at my favorite juice spot near my apartment in East Austin. I biked here on a newly acquired Craigslist purchase: a 1970s French racing bike that teeters on the edge of off-white and yellow. One of the brakes along the handlebar is broken — completely unscrewed and useless in case I need to make an unexpected stop, complete with gears that shift a good 30 seconds too late — after I’ve already failed to make it up the hill. I’ve been biking here every day. I don’t spend much time in my apartment. I’m too restless to sit still. I spend my time alone along the river, at my pool, outside coffee shops sitting in the blazing heat, taking my shoes off, burying my feet in the gravel. Even when I’m with others, I find myself wandering off — to a hidden corner along the lan...

WIDE MOUTH, LIPS YELLING

in response to the quote: “the best way to shut a girl up, is to kiss her”   My lips, were not made for kissing & that alone, this body’s gateway to vocal chords & heart murmur & air. my tongue an ever changing home this lipstick – a picket fence & warning sign.   these constellation-carriers of sound were not solely created to decorate your thumb in early morning light or be your crash landing spot, no matter how elegantly they do it.   this wide mouth with a voice, with a body here to sing in off-key vibrato, worthy of stages, & diaphragm heavy laughs into the tangerine sun. this orchestra is river mouth open book curved spine invisible pen. these lungs are to love you when we are willing & we do not pay for our voice & right to fall on ears by...

ADVICE FROM THE SECRET PSYCHIATRIST: LIVE AND LET GO

Letting go of people can be terrifying. Losing someone you are attached to is like letting go of your own finger. It can be difficult to allow yourself to care for someone, especially when you do you open your heart and life to them. We hate to be left behind or let go ourselves. We want the safety net of the individual to be with us, to fall back on them when needed, and to telephone when we need to hear a comforting voice. But we need to remember and re-focus ourselves that sometimes no matter how much we want to keep hold of this special person that its not in our stars for them to remain with us forever. Whether they want to leave, we have pushed them away, or they have been taken away from us, we need to let go with the same care as we held onto them. It is like grieving. It is hard a...

YOUNG GIRL

Her feet Barely touch the ground. Her heart Races quickly to the hard, pounding beats. Her skin Glistens with dewiness as sweat trickles down. Her body Pulsates with excitement and intensity. Her eyes Are filled with passion as she moves rhythmically. Her hands Come together in a strong, harmonious beat. Her legs Move higher and higher in the air. Her hair Swings left and right in a synchronized fashion.   The music The rhythm The excitement The intensity Has this girl Dancing to her own beat.       Author: Anita Smith Email: anita.joye.smith@gmail.com Author Bio: Writer. Editor. Wife. Mother. Lover of Jesus and God. My passion for words began at an early age. I spent hours writing in my diary, thinking of poems and stories to draft. I majored in English in undergrad an...

SEE THE LIGHT

It’s like a dream where you know only the middle and not the beginning. I don’t remember how all of it started. I have spent half of my childhood believing that I can’t have it all or more like I didn’t deserve it. The reason was me being a dark-skinned Indian girl. From the very beginning, this terrible thought was etched into my soul that I was not good enough. My eight-year-old self used to believe that only fair-skinned and vibrant girls were allowed to be happy. On television and in theatre, I saw all these pretty fair-skinned girls and somewhere, somehow I began to believe that they were the only species of girls who were admired by everyone, who got to do pretty amazing stuff, fall in love and have a perfect fairytale ending. All those movies made me believe that nobody would fall i...

HOW TRAVEL TAUGHT ME TO LOVE MY OWN COMPANY

I sit in a café in Japan, a coffee and pretty pastry in front of me, idly people watching. I sit alone. I’m not waiting for anyone or on my way to an appointment. I don’t have my phone turned on, a laptop with me or a book in front of me. I’m just enjoying my alone time. When I went to Japan in my early twenties, I didn’t speak the language when I first arrived. I stood in a crowd of people, unable to understand more than two words- alone in a sea of voices.  The sound of people talking rose and fell all around me like the sound of instruments or breezes. Without the distraction of understanding the chatter around me, I was alone with my thoughts, even when I was out and around people. To communicate, I used hand gestures and little words. Without conversation to distract you, you retreat ...

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