How I Came To Have Black Self Love
Being a person of color is a truly wonderful experience, one that I would not trade for all the world. I honestly love my black skin. Yes, I have black self love! I was not always this dark, but I am a sun lover. I can still hear my mother’s protestation, “Ainsworth you’re getting too dark. Stay out of the sun.” I would simply brush it aside and spend countless hours doing the very thing she sternly cautioned me against. I remember being in the sun so long that, at times, I have gotten sun burns and literally turned blue. Well, so it seemed to me at least.
Even now, my neighbors are absolutely perplexed by my apparent lack of awareness of the ‘dangers’ of the sun. Since I seem to choose the hottest times of the day to do my gardening. You have probably realized by now that I have absolutely no concern about the sun ageing me, or giving me skin cancer. Let’s just say, I know better. What are the secrets of my black self love? I will share them with you as best I could.
#1 Have A Role Model
I always assumed that when I read about: ‘tall, dark and handsome’ they were speaking about me. Having a beautiful, very dark grandmother whom I loved dearly, probably helped me to appreciate my own special hue. She was never troubled by her skin color or mine. I do not remember her one time telling me about how dark I was getting or warning me about the sun. It was unconsciously passed on to me I believe. Of course I also had other role models, people who had black self love. People like Sidney Poitier with his poise, grace and self assurance surely inspired me.
#2 Believe You Are Special
You are what you think. If you think positive, life empowering thoughts you will become powerful. Always remember you are not an accident. You came to fulfill a purpose. A very special purpose. So for that reason, and that reason alone, you are special. Everything about you is designed so that yo can fulfill your mission. So appreciate and give thanks for it. Yes, I mean literally say: Thank you for my……..”
Give thanks for your skin color; your hair; your height; your nose; etc. Keep doing it and you will see what will happen to you over time. Even if you do not feel that it is really an asset at first, eventually you will begin to genuinely appreciate all of you. When you have reached that state the battle has been won.
#3 Learn The Power Of Self Talk
It would be nice if I could say that other’s people’s perception of me does not affect me, but then I would be lying. Unfortunately, I am one of those sensitive kinds. So, yes I am affected. However I refuse to dwell in that place. I fight the negative comment/comments till I can honestly say I’m over it. I have learnt to program myself by using the power of self talk. Yes, you can talk your way to confidence. That what I do so I know you can do it to.
Tell yourself what you want and need to hear. Inspire yourself. Be your own counselor. And with time you will feel the confidence come back again, in spite of what mistakes you may have made, or what others may have said about or to you or even how they have treated you.
#4 Never Back Down
You will always find stupid, racist people. They strive on your submission. If they can intimidate you into silence then they believe that they have won. Now, there is some stupidity that is just too much to get involved in. But where you sense that someone is trying to put you down and make you feel inferior because of the color of your skin – you stand up to them. Now I am not speaking here about physical confrontation. No, No, No! That would be the height of stupidity and would give flesh to their opinion of you. It would simply prove that you are inferior indeed.
What I am speaking about is your refusal to be intimidated by them. Sometimes you can, even without saying a single word, let the fool know that you cannot be broken. You have black self love. Always remember the bully is a coward unable to deal with their own insecurities except by bringing others down. So if, for example, someone makes a racist remark to you in public,you simply lift your head high, look at them and with a smile say:“Really?” Then just walk off and leave them with that smile still on your face. I assure you that it not only gets the message across, it is the bets way to say: Wow! You really have issues, don’t you.
5# Stay Away From People Who Don’t Value You
Choose your company carefully! Stay far away from people who devalue or abuse you. Any relationship that suggests to you that you are not good enough is not one you want to be a part of. They must accept you as you are. Accept your hair, your skin color, your manner of speech.
Set your boundaries high, and refuse to lower them for anyone. Those who come into your life must appreciate the treasure that you are. For as long as they do, let them stay. However, the moment they trample upon your good grace show them the door. Refuse to be anyone’s door mat. Don’t allow others to wipe their feet on you.
If you follow the little tips I have just shared you will see your confidence level rise and you experience what it is to have black self love