Over the weekend I attended the Eye Choose: Self Love event hosted by the beautiful Ebony Love. All of the performers and speakers touched me deeply and sent me into a trance of self reflection and empowerment, allowing me to revisit lows and highs in my life that changed me and how I love and care for myself.
As I stood in the mirror and gripped my face, tears flowed as I let out a deep muffled growl of disgust of who I saw in the mirror. Looking back at the eight year old me, I wish that I had mentors or someone to tell me that loving myself was the key to my success. Instead I relied on being the nice and understand girl to gain the approval of my peers. I hid my insecurities and pains of disappointment behind a wide smile and nonchalant attitude. I used to be the young woman who needed to be needed.
I spent years in unhealthy relationships trying to be everything my significant other needed or failing to do so and paying for it with constant verbal and mental abuse that left me scarred. I still have to remind myself that it is okay to look people in the eyes as they pass by. I spent time practicing how to be invisible so that my significant other would not feel threatened by strangers passing by. To this day I am disgusted that I even have to unlearn a habit like that.
Coming from a broken home the mental abuse seemed like a cake walk compared to what my mother endured. Until one day in training for Green Dot Sexual Assault Prevention I started to notice that the red flag bullets for unhealthy relationships looked a lot like multiple situations I had been in. In an instant I realized that if I loved myself I would do everything in my power to keep myself out of situations that would tear me down. From that day forward my eyes have been wide open to how I should treat myself as well as how others should treat me.
Self love is a journey that looks different for all of us. Self realization comes at different moments for each individual. It is often the struggles and battles that leave us licking our wounds that reveal where we need to focus love for ourselves the most.
As I listened to the stories of the speakers I could feel that their trials had become more than dirt meant to bury them as they began to pack it under their feet and build a platform to stand and share their testimony. Nicole Conaway shared stories of childhood mistakes that left her literally paralyzed and hardships that she gained valuable lessons from. She has even found the humor in her struggles that left me with my mouth open a bit in awe. Tia Deas took a strong hold of abusive relationships, broke the chains and forged the steel into resources that her students will build their futures on.
I guess what I an trying to say is that Self Love is fully loving the beauty of your own life and rising from your ashes to create something the enemy means to be your demise. God has a perfect plan and the tests and trials should be used as a tool not as a weight. Self love is looking back at all you have endured and being able to love the strength you have. Self love is taking your flaws and realizing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Self love is knowing that only God and you can keep you happy. So if you have not had that life changing moment or come to the realization that no one can love you right until you find out how you need to be loved then check out these two books
The author of The Little Book Full of Nothing, Nicole Conaway, is the passionate motivational speaker I needed in the auditorium of my high school to help revive my lost spirit.
While the author of Figurative Keys, Tia Deas is the teacher I needed in middle school teaching me that what I was seeing at home was not love at all.
I am thankful for the opportunity to hear both of these phenomenal women speak life into the atmosphere. In addition to hearing their stories of triumph and journey to self love I enjoyed the sounds of Ellae X and Roberta Lea as they graced the stage with melodies that were captivating and sultry. I would love to spend time going into their performances but music is something best felt in most cases, the vibe of the music from this event is one of those cases.
If you click on the names of the artists it will take you to their Instagram pages where you can keep up and find out where they will be performing next!
It is safe to say that the Eye Choose: Self Love event was super lit.
To my sister Ebony Love, Keep on allowing God to use you. You are such a powerhouse and I can not wait to attend your next event!