Introspection shouldn’t be measured by how much you think you’ve changed. No physical change or amount of changes truly comprehends the journey.
It’s the cognitive dissonance, the retraction of self-deprecating thoughts and the disgust at just how common they were in your vocabulary. The little moments, emotions and thoughts that make up being in a state of misery and keeping you there. It is finally recognizing that it is not gravity you feel but the omnipresent and at times self-imposed sense of guilt and sadness that keeps you grounded in everything else but your joy.
But isn’t self-love in part recognizing where you failed yourself and making the effort to not do so again?
As influential as the self-love movement has been, I believe that it ignores the simple and universal ways of loving yourself that don’t always feel good. Beyond cutting off friends, negative energy and being that bitch there hasn’t really been many tangible and intentional practices circulating the movement.
We can all say be kind to yourself, love yourself, adore yourself but you can’t do or even feel it if you’re rooted in self-misery or self-sabotage. These campaigns and slogans no longer become applicable to your life and at times leave you feeling like “am I really fucking changing”?
This and the hectic that is my mind made be start thinking about the ways in which I’ve changed mentally and spiritually.
The changes that I couldn’t see.
Initially I told myself not really. I made better friends and talked a lot more than I did in high school. However, internally the same thought mechanisms and overbearing sense of fear ruled much of my day to day interactions. Especially, my romantic relationships and my relationship with myself.
Then I challenged myself to look deep because maybe I no longer wanted to repeat my cycle of self-depreciating behavior or maybe I needed to feel good about my journey. No matter the root I did it anyways.
Here are three changes I identified:
I know everyone needs a reminder to keep going or less dramatically to snap you about out of your current thought process. You are doing great even it you can’t always see it and especially if it doesn’t always feel like it. Although this self-love shit isn’t pretty, I’ve come to realize that that isn’t an excuse to be miserable. I urge you to to look at ways in which you’ve changed that you can’t see. I promise you deserve the credit.
A space for and by Black Femmes