I have this pretty necklace with my name on it, in Arabic. I got it as a 19th birthday gift from one of my first friends in uni and immediately loved it! At the time though, there was a lot of building tension, with regard to national security. So much so, that I remember once telling my dad and brother that I would wear it everywhere, except the airport. I was once questioned about my beliefs by an officer, and resolved to not attract unnecessary attention. I had no personal prejudice whatsoever, but for as long as the law was not in my hands and I was not the one in control, for so long as I was thinking about my actions as framed by society, it didn’t matter what was right, what I liked and what I believed in. Truth didn’t matter.
I now know this: nothing matters more than truth.
Of course, consideration of those around you and law observation is important but as long as you are not in intentional defiance of these, do you boo.
To really do you, for you, and not for the sake of stunting, you must like who you are. We all know that we’ve got to love ourselves but, liking yourself is just as powerful. The two compliment each other: Whereas loving yourself is soul deep, intense, the anchor, liking yourself means enjoying your company, because you know that you are pretty cool. You are happy being you. I wrote about self love in this letter to myself and how to love yourself, so I won’t get into it today.
I once read that when you truly like who you are, you seize being uncomfortable around people who are different from you. I felt that in my heart. Up until then, I had not made the connection between like and love. That if one is missing, I will feel its void. In that time, I knew, for sure, that I no longer wanted to shrink around people who are different from me, only because I didn’t celebrate my differences. They like oranges, I like tiramisu. That’s all there is to it. Like enables Love; makes it sweeter and and more enjoyable, rather than just dutiful. You can love someone and not particularly enjoy their company. That is not how I want to love myself.
I had to bring myself to the point where I make continuous effort to learn myself, think amazing thoughts, laugh hard, dance harder, sing at the top of my lungs, watch romcoms (and recently, action movies too), write honestly, pray, and be in spiritual agreement in whose I am, and who I am. It’s important that you enjoy being you because while love is grand, and so is life, these are ultimately a sum of the little things. Like is the difference between you tolerating yourself; living day to day, and having a ball while you’re at it!
At the end of the day, at the literal end of the day, as you close your eyes to sleep, all you have is you. No one is around you more than you. Appreciate how much fun you are, and how good sweet solitude is. You are perfect in your imperfections and of all the people who will not see that, you should never be one of them. They don’t have to like you; you have to like you.
While love enables you to accept who you are, like gives you the freedom to enjoy who you are.
Deconstruct your narratives of self worthlessness, and replace them with new narratives: the ones you have always known to be your truth. It’s all in the story you tell yourself. Simple. Simple, but admittedly not easy.
Two compelling practices: talk to the one who loves you most, the one who put you on, God, for ultimate reassurance. And when you do that, gass yourself up boo! You really are all that, and then some!
Get out of your own way, and water your green ♥
Love and Love,