Self-love and Poetry Contest

I’ve been watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It’s slow, a little boring and I find the portrayal of submission and authority and the use of scripture to verify abuse offensive, filled with all of the stereotypes and misconceptions the world has taught in regard to a woman and man’s divine role. But, there is one perfect example in the series that illustrates why self-love is so important.

The TV show is based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood and is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, June (Offred), is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.

In the series, the Handmaid’s (whose purpose is to birth the children) are treated worse than the baby they carry. The society and the household only love the Handmaid’s to the extent that they love the child they are pregnant with. They treat the women like crap, like slaves and only extend kindness when they get pregnant. When the women get pregnant they are allowed privileges, mercy, and compassion. But only until after the baby is born, where they are to nurse the baby for a few months before turning the baby over to the wives. The women are then shipped off to another family, where their purpose is the same. Make babies for the barren wives of the wealthy families, to be loved only when they have conceived. But how can you love the baby but hate the mother who births the baby?

 

Self-love is important because you can only love others to the extent that you already love yourself.

When the wives of the wealthy men abuse their Handmaid’s, it’s because they hate themselves. They hate themselves for not being able to bear children. They only show love (if we can call it that) to the Handmaid’s when they love themselves and they only love themselves when they have conceived (through the handmaids) children.

Love Yourself. Know Yourself. Be Yourself.

Self-love is not being arrogant and prideful, it is not about the clothing you wear, not about how many likes and comments you get on a post, not about the amount of money you make or what you do for a living. Rather, self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself that grows from actions that support your physical, mental, professional, and spiritual growth. When Self-love is present, we begin to accept better our weaknesses as well as our strengths without thinking badly about ourselves. We are not easily provoked, popping off and cursing people out every time they say something bad about us. We have less of a need to explain our actions and decisions when we know who we are and what our intentions are. We are not quick to over-intellectualize our shortcomings in an effort to get people to understand us. We have more compassion for ourselves instead of beating ourselves down when we do something wrong and we are more centered in our life purpose and values.

Self-love also gives us the discipline to deny what we want for what we need. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

When we love ourselves, we expect more of ourselves and of the people around us. No longer does it become acceptable to treat us any differently than we would treat ourselves. When we love ourselves, we demand more and we give more. When we love ourselves, we become more productive professionally, spiritually, and physically. Our cup runs over and we are able to give more to others.

Self-love is important because you will otherwise hate others in the same way that you hate yourself…

…which leads to abuse. Abuse of your friendships, abuse of your relationships, abuse of your career, abuse of your children, abuse of your family. People who hate themselves destroy everyone and everything around them. In turn, they cope by deceiving themselves into thinking it is someone else fault. The truth is that relationships are two-sided. It is never 100% the other persons’ fault but each person has come with their own set of issues. But if you don’t love yourself, you’ll lack accountability for your actions. You’ll tend to always make other people the villain and you, always, the victim.

Remember, without love, knowledge is nothing. Without love, prophecy is nothing. Without love, the truth is nothing.

Now, Enter the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest before July 31st!

Win money. Win books. Get published. Get noticed.

The theme for this year is: Self-Love, Self-Care. Write a poem that talks about self-love or self-care in some way and email it to yecheilyah(at)yecheilyahysrayl(dot) com

Don’t forget to read the full rules and guidelines HERE to learn more about this year’s prizes and how to enter.

That’s it! 3poem max per poet. Enter BEFORE 12:00pm EST on July 31, 2018. Winners announced on August 22, 2018.

 

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The Colors of Poetry

Photo by Craven Bing Jr. on Unsplash

dip me in chocolate-covered rhyme
like the color of my skin
a young woman once drowning now lives on the shores of truth
sweating similes from her pores
a fresh coat of passion that shines something like melanin
can I scorch you with radiance?
breathing inspiration like oxygen
singing compassion, smoking lyric
and sipping on rhythm slow like the stride of a black man
the crackling compasses beneath his footsteps
clutching couplets like purses confused
by the uncertainty of his smile
the sugarcoated twinkle in their eyes
or the question mark in her walk
her hips sway
like six children, no man, and give up
but I got this mouth full of simile
this fist full of irony
this metaphor-shaped voice in my throat
a delicate coating of poetry to wash away the broken
so let me cocoa butter your heart into the palms of my hands
be Vaseline to your ashy and together
we’ll bind the broken wings of peanut butter,
and vanilla
and milky way,
and dark-covered freedoms
like the colors of poetry
on my skin.

The PBS Blog Podcast – Ep 6 Be Gentle with Yourself

Today’s episode is about being patient and gentle with yourself. We already spoke about responsibility and discipline. If you set a goal and you didn’t meet that goal, don’t beat yourself over the head. We need time to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally in whatever we are doing. This is a process. It even takes time to heal. Give yourself that time. Don’t verbally abuse yourself and talk down to yourself. There are plenty of people in the world who will do that for you. Spare yourself the added abuse by being gentle with yourself.

Be sure to subscribe to my Soundcloud page for notification of new episodes.

Episode 6 – Be Gentle with Yourself

The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 2- Love without an Agenda

Another Episode of The PBS Blog Podcast has been uploaded. Today we are talking the importance of extending love to people without an agenda. The inspiration came from a quote to which I don’t know the author but it goes: “People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help people to heal, then love them without an agenda.”

Check it out below and be sure to subscribe for episode updates (as I have no set schedule for this. While I’ll update this blog at the notice of new episodes, you may want to subscribe just to be sure you don’t miss any).

Episode 2 – Love without an Agenda

No Whining Wednesday – Write It on Your Heart

Yup, it’s that time of the week again. First, if you’re new to this blog or this segment please check out the first post HERE for more information on what this is all about. In brief, this is the only day of the week where you do not get to Whine, Complain, or Criticize.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mat 6:25 “Because of this I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you shall eat or drink, or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than the food and the body more than the clothing.”

If there is something that you need, write it on your heart and when the sun peaks through the sky to indicate a new day, do something small to help manifest that dream. Challenge yourself not to do too much. It is not necessary. One small, tiny action and one single leap of faith in the right direction every single day is all that you need. A year from now you will look up and see you are a different person and far more ahead than originally anticipated.

If every day is a new day, embrace it as if it is so. Yesterday’s problems do not exist here and tomorrows problems have not come as of yet. Today is fresh and exciting and ready to be appreciated and filled.