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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Jenifer Lewis Talks Self Awareness, Mental Illness, Sex Addiction + More

Really enjoyed this interview with Lewis with the Breakfast Club. She got me pumped to finish my own memoir! I may be quiet and reserved but I love realness and I love people (as an introvert, extroverts keep me balanced lol). I love real people because life is real. The rest of ya’ll can walk around with your noses in the air and your high horses but I ain’t got that kind of time. Be real with me. I am the closest to people who just keep it 100 and this interview is pretty much that. I haven’t read her memoir yet but I am about to go get it. (Note: I try not to use profanity and posting this video should not be taken as consent that I condone it. Lewis is hilarious though.)

My favorite quote:

“Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

Sips of Nourishment

Take the time every now and again to step back and to refresh parts of your soul that no one sees. Stay in your studies and send up prayers and meditation to quench the thirst of questions that no man can answer. Everyone laughs at faith until desperation strolls into our lives wearing a smirk and holding a sickle in his right hand. He is here to reap and leave the malnourished one empty. Everyone believes in something when the catastrophe ensues and no one is laughing any longer. Don’t be like those laughing at creation and yet calling on a god when things go wrong. Keep yourself full of hope and expectation no person can touch. Exercise both your body and your mind and it’ll work wonders for you in the end. Read books and study to nourish that beautiful mind of yours so no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and deceit. Sing, dance, praise and laugh like the crazy person you are. How dare you cloak yourself in positive vibes and radiate a smile brighter than the sun? Only if you keep yourself filled with light can you shine. Take these sips of nourishment to sustain you so that in the daily grind that is your life, while you’re busy surviving, you do not forget to live.

Keep Yourself Full

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Hey, guys! How have you been? I missed you so much and many thanks to those of you who have reached out to me during my time away to make sure I was OK. I appreciate you.

I’ve been wonderful and though I’ve only been gone a few weeks, that time is so much longer in blog days :-).

And I am scheduled for more traveling this weekend.

While I managed to stay away from Facebook, Twitter, this blog and my email until this past Saturday, I broke my Insta-silence when, while walking down the streets of Chicago with my sister, someone recognized me. At first, I was going to just walk away but I noticed the woman was trying to pronounce my name. I finished it for her.

“e-see-lee-yah.”
“I have your book!” said the woman.
“Really? Wow.”
“I follow you on Facebook.”
“Really?”

And so we chatted it up, took a picture, and she missed her bus. It was a wonderful feeling and very inspiring.

Being away from the blog has produced a surprising increase in views and subscribers since I did pretty much nothing.
30+ Views and Visitors a day
50+ new subscribers
4 New Book Reviews
2 New Goodreads Ratings
16 New Twitter Followers

 

If you need to take a break from blogging, writing, or whatever, it’s OK. We will still be here when you get back. You may even grow in the process. It’s all about recharging and Keeping Yourself Full which leads me to my next bit of news…

Introducing…

Keep Yourself Full

“To Heal the Hurting, Lift the Fallen, and Restore the Broken.”

About this Book:

KEEP YOURSELF FULL is a short book of spiritual rejuvenation to keep you charged and YOUR reminder that life is about more than just surviving, but making the greatest impact you can while you are here. It is about caring about something greater than yourself. There’s only one problem:

many of us are so depressed that we don’t have enough of ourselves to give to others.

We’ve heard it all before: “Hurt people, hurt people.” When people are limited and insecure and hurting they pass this energy onto others. When you are low yourself, when you’re not full, you unconsciously send out the same kind of energy and you begin to treat others how you feel about yourself.

Imagine if more people felt good about themselves and projected that energy. Imagine if you could vibrate higher.

Empowering others is great but first, you must be empowered. Sharing is wonderful but you cannot serve from an empty vessel. In every instance, you must come first since you cannot give what you don’t already own. Only after you have loved yourself can you love others.

Keeping Yourself Full is about investing in your own well-being first so that you can be of service to others. It is a building process that reveals little by little our purpose as we overcome ourselves.

You will not always be motivated and anyone who says that is not being real. There is a time for everything, even war. The fact remains that you will not always be peaceful and everyday ain’t beautiful.

What we have to learn to be is disciplined so that we can think logically instead of emotionally and so that we can train our mind not to take everything so personally.

Everything people do and say is not a reflection of you. When we rid ourselves of these kinds of burdens, we break free.

You can be happy today, but without a shift in perspective, this happiness will not last.

You must change the way that you think to change the way that you feel.

Healthy self-care nourishes the quality of our  life and is necessary for stopping the cycle of depression, abuse, and suicide.

You cannot serve from an empty vessel. You must keep yourself full.

Coming Soon

Value Yourself, Value Your Time

Value yourself

I don’t know who wrote this but I had to share it. It’s so true. We only work and spend our time according to how we see ourselves. Meaning that if we don’t think we are worthy then we are not going to value our time and therefore not do anything with it. Taking time to spend alone and reflect is not something that is optional for me. I believe that mental health is just as imperative as physical health but is highly underrated. Rarely do we consider mental clarity or offer exercises to help to maintain that kind of balance in our lives. Mental stability is just as important to me as physical health. Taking care of myself helps me to have the endurance to take care of others. Prayer, meditation, and just overall quite time gives me a chance to listen to my own thoughts, cultivate new writing ideas and examine where I am right now in my life, my goals, and those things that need to be improved. It helps me to be of service to my husband and to my community. The same way that reading and studying helps to exercise my brain, quite time and reflection help to clear my mind and organize my thoughts. For us to truly value our time I believe what the quotes says, we must first value ourselves. We have to know our worth in order to know what we’re worth. Only when we believe that we are truly worth it, will we have what it takes to truly appreciate these moments that too soon become memories.