Sometimes I need to remind myself that taking time for me is not selfish but necessary
Today I feel the need to write about one of the main subjects of this blog.
In one of my old posts I explain why I named the blog MUNTU. You can read it here.
MUNTU.ME is all about my Lifestyle, Self-discovery and Empowerment. Currently I am going through a certain phase in which loving and caring for myself have become my MAIN priority. But what does Selflove and Selfcare actually mean ? Please do not mistake these terms with Selfishness or Narcissism.
Before I answer, let me shortly tell you how and why I started making love and care for myself a Priority
Living in Berlin had been a very challenging and exciting experience for me as a twentie something young Black Woman. I moved there at the age of 17 without the knowledge of what all that excitement and challenges would end up doing to me. Of course, I mean who would know ?
About the time before I turned twentie I was very lost and confused and not aware at all that I am not doing O.K. I couldn’t connect with people at college because I felt misunderstood, not taken seriously due to my age as everyone was 5 to 10 years older than me, my being the only Black student in my department once again made me feel like a misfit. When I’d found my POC community I felt misunderstood by them as-well. Being titled as “blind” and the “defender of the white person” due to the fact that I partly grew up in a White Family and so could not understand the “real struggle” of a Black woman. I started a relationship with a Man who made me believe that I am worthless. A Man whom I let take a away something very Dear to me, which led to the disappearance of the last bits of love and respect I had for myself. I’d been broken, I’d let myself break….. At a certain point I found myself laying in my bed everyday for six weeks. Waking up every morning weeping uncontrollably, too numb to get up to eat, to wash myself, to go to work, to go to school, to interact with others. Feeling completely and utterly sorry for myself. On top of that I felt like I had no-one, my parents lived in Zambia, my closest friends where scattered around Europe and in that moment I didn’t feel comfortable enough to speak with the ones I had in Berlin. So I tried to locate some professional help which ended up to be either too expensive or I had to wait 8 weeks for an appointment. So I started numbing the pain with a blunt at night, in the morning, at lunch… on weekends and then everyday. I lost my appetite, lost weight, and my motivation for anything was gone. I was completely traumatised and didn’t know what to do about it.
I hated Berlin, hated myself, hated him. There was so much hate inside of me that the thought of it now disgusts me – but it wasn’t entirely about him, my friends or the city. Most of it came from me. Slowly I started developing a Depression. I had to find a way to deal with my Trauma, so I decided to leave the place that I associated all of my pain, failures and misery with. That being my first step to Selfcare.
And here is where I begin.
I asked some of my friends to tell me their thoughts on these two terms. Here our thoughts combined.
Although these two terms have a similar purpose to one another, please do not mistake their meanings. Self-care is mostly objective, Self-love is subjective.
To me it is the entire process of self-absorbation
It is Learning to recognize what you really love, what makes you feel good, what you really need and do not need – abstaining from comparisons, negative thoughts and doubt. Learning to look your naked self in the mirror, recognising your true body and accepting it, loving it, protecting it for what it is and develop it, when you feel the need.
The first day I truly and honestly filled myself with love was the day I first masturbated. This may be too informative for some, but it is the truth, my truth. I touched myself and successfully climaxed to the feeling of my body, after that moment – I was filled with an incredible energy and boost of power. And it all came from me
The act of Self-care is different for everyone. It can be sleeping in on a free day during the week, getting a manicure/pedicure, a new hairdo, new shoes – for me its writing, learning new songs,painting or looking at art, photographing for myself or buying plants. All in all it means not letting anything and anyone ever take away what is really important to you and what makes you feel alive and unique. It means knowing how to comfort your spirit, recharge your soul, it is enjoying your solitude. Knowing how to enjoy your solitude is the ideal prerequisite for sharing your life with others, loving them, suffering for them, enjoying them, turning them away or holding them to your soul, without ever depending on them. “It’s the purest space to fill with love for yourself”.
I currently started practicing Yoga intensively, and I am starting to find an incredible peace within myself and I am not spending large amounts of money to do so. Yoga with Adriene on Youtube guides me everyday, and its free !
See the act of Self-love and -care, as a good captain who knows the sea and takes care of their ship. It is understanding that you are the only Captain who can lead the ship, YOUR SHIP.
Currently allowing myself to grief, and shed my tears and accepting the grief and the tears for what they are and where they come from is the most difficult but also a very fulfilling act of loving myself.
Here are some books I can recommend for moments alone.
LISTEN TO YOUR FEELINGS
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE DOING YOUR BEST
until next time,
more of my life on Instagram : @muntume