Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting THE LORD means safety. ~King Solomon (Proverbs 29:25 NLT)

Feel pain and joy as fully as you can in your maturity process. I know it’s hard not to compare yourself with others but if you  truly desire to grow to love yourself, you must learn to trust GOD and NOT think about what others think. There’s only one you. And there’s comparison. God created you out of love.  The flip side of self love is you become alive with love. You’ll love your children and your spouse and your significant others more without even trying. Like a fountain in your heart, love bubbles out of you like cool water and everyone around you gets wet. 

Allow yourself to feel things fully. Lean into pain, revel in your joy, and don’t put limitations on your feelings. Like fear, pain and joy are emotions that will help you understand yourself and ultimately realize that you are not your feelings.  You are so much more.

Exercise boldness in public. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Don’t be afraid to say, “I love you.”  “Thank you.”  & etc.  One sure inhibitions of maturity  is our cultural shaming. So many fear speaking boldly le temol didichau e dobechii a dekelem. They may not say it but culture is etched in their bones.  I also noticed that only the upper crust (recognized positions in both cultural or political) are allowed to speak. The rest adi mengeremrum e melaes e kautulechoid. Our culture breeds bitterness and resentment.

Boldness is like a muscle — it grows the more you exercise it. Start at home. Don’t wait for permission to take a seat at the table. Join the conversation. Contribute your thoughts. Take action, and know that your voice is just as important as anyone else’s. If they disagree and push you out it’s not because of you.  It’s about them. You can’t control how others react or respond to what you say. Like a seed you plant in the soil is no longer yours. Let it go. The soil receives the seed and the rest is up to the soil.

Someone reacted to one of my articles and instantly I had this heavy feeling in my stomach like a rock. I asked God “why do I feel this way?”  I realized later that I felt shame. I had to fight it hard. Shame of not measuring up needed to be addressed. That’s what triggers do. They come to push us deeper into self-awareness and healing.  I remember being told to “bolluk a ngerem e ke ngalk el redil.”  A cultural shame I did not deserve. By naming it, I tamed it.

Another way to grow to love ourself is ~ We choose to see beauty in simple things. I saw a dew drop on a leaf that held my gaze. I noticed the reflections of the surrounding like the trees, a car, and the pink hibiscus on that tiny dew drop. It helped expand my imagination.  Try to notice at least one beautiful, small thing around you every single day. Make note of it, and be grateful for it. Gratitude not only gives you perspective, it’s essential to help you find JOY. 

Be kind to yourself for love is kind. The world is full of harsh words and critique — don’t add yours to the mix. Speak kindly to yourself, and don’t call yourself mean things. Celebrate yourself. You’ve come so far and have grown so much. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, and not only on your birthday!

Don’t believe every thought that comes into your brain. 

Give thanks in all circumstances.

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