I was not taught to love myself soon enough. Instead, I was taught by my peers that my body was not thin enough, skin not light enough, and later that my socio-economic standpoint was not high enough. But be that as it may, I was still expected to love myself by adolescence, and so when I didn't, I was looked at unfavorably. Loving yourself is not something that can be taught in a day, you don't just read about it and than begin to apply it. Loving yourself is looking in a broken mirror and smiling because though there are cracks in the glass, you can still see your reflection. Loving yourself is picking up a petal picked flower off the ground and still putting it in a vase and water because you know that it is still a flower. Loving yourself is looking at your scars without flinching and remembering that they are just as much you as any other piece of skin is or ever will be. Loving yourself is not a path set out for many to follow, but searching for it is something we should all attempt. And though sometimes I do venture off that self accepting road I try my best to find my way back, because I know it radiates positivity, love and respect. But if loving yourself is a door, open it and at least walk through.
Today I said "no" and it was significantly better than every "yes" I've ever said but didn't mean. Today I said "no" without fear of repercussions inevitably severing the shackles of my moral inhibitions which stopped me from thinking about me. It was so empowering to know that the two letter word could come out of my mouth and that I didn't have to be bound to a life of submission. That being said, today, I find myself thinking about those times in my life that I said "no" but was not heard. For example, I remember being five and telling my parents I didn't like peas, however, because of their desire for me to grow up "big and strong" I practically inhaled the entire can of them to ensure them that I would. I remember being eight and saying "no" when my mom asked me if I wanted to be a doctor, but when I felt a tinge of surprised disappointment, I assured her that I would try to be one, knowing that my heart cried the song of an artist. I also remember being sixteen and saying "no" six times one night to the individual who assaulted me for the second time in my life, it was a cold night and I would wallow in this for years. But today, I SAID NO, and I was HEARD. Ultimately, I needed to know that the two letter word could manifest itself in me without feeling guilty if it disappointed the people it addressed. Today was about liberation from the fear of letting others down and solely thinking about myself. It's okay to say no if that is what you mean.