Archive for October, 2017

Why Self-Love Matters

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2017 by tivaniam

As a woman, I know how hard it is to revere another woman’s beauty without questioning my own. It’s an inculcated habit stemming from a warped society that gives girls a distorted view about beauty. I am sad to admit that I’ve debased myself repeatedly through the years for not being thin like so and so; or pretty like so and so; or just more of someone else and less like me. 

The problem with that measuring stick is that it’s broken. Comparing our insides to other women’s outsides is like comparing apples to oranges. It just doesn’t translate and we end up feeling deficient because of it.

I never fully understood the concept of self-love, simply because it was lacking for the better part of my life. When I read about people who ‘suffer’ from a self-love deficit, I ticked all the boxes because I never truly understood my worth and assumed it was a normal thing for most women, until I saw this deficit infiltrate so many parts of my life. A healthy self-regard is not simply new-age shit that we need to adopt. There is empirical evidence that shows the correlation between our life choices, our happiness and relationship success based on our belief about ourselves. This basically means that we can only love another, once we have truly learnt how to love ourselves. We cannot honour the divine in someone else without honouring it within ourselves first. And for so many of us, this is incredibly hard to do.

My journey into this idea of self-love and cultivating it stemmed from my failed relationships. I couldn’t understand why I kept attracting a certain type of man into my life – those who were emotionally detached and sometimes abusive. It was only when I made the connection, that I attract who I am, did I take a step back to evaluate. Every one of these failed relationships served as a mirror for me, revealing those parts of me that needed tender loving care. I had to learn how to love, honour, respect and treat myself with kindness in order to receive that back in return.

But, let me say this frankly…self-love and living through awareness is FUCKING HARD. It requires constant introspection and the gentle in-pouring of love into the broken parts within me. This nascent shift for me is bigger than my words can approximate here with metaphors. It’s the ‘knowing’ that I’ve read so much about and which I am now starting to comprehend. The belief that I am the amalgamation of a fierce and formidable spirit housed within a human body that serves me well. It has nothing to do with the size of my waist, colour of my skin or any other superficial trait. 

Today, my invitation to you is this: look at yourself with fresh eyes and marvel at what you’ve done and who you are. Start pouring love into the cracked bits of yourself and watch those pieces merge into something whole. That is an internal job that cannot be executed by another. Love yourself as though your life depended on it, and then watch the effects that self-love has on every single thing you do going forward and watch your relationships transform as you begin to attract only the beautiful things. I know this for a fact as I got to experience the kind of love I have only ever written about and watched in movies, that manifested only when I began to love and honour myself. The mirror effect!

 

 

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#MeToo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2017 by tivaniam

I recently shared a #MeToo post on my Facebook profile, because obviously, #MeToo.

For those who aren’t aware, the recent #MeToo social media campaign invited women from across the world to use the hashtag as a way to increase the scope of visibility of those who’ve experienced sexual harassment; from your everyday woman, to celebrities, to politicians. This only serves to highlight the prominence of what is endured silently. And now, women are choosing to banish the shame and fear, and speak out.

This has absolutely nothing to do with victimisation or creating propaganda or more divisiveness. This is about creating awareness and highlighting the change that needs to happen. This is about treating the cause with the reverence it deserves.

I’ve been sexually harassed more times than I can count over the years from men who chose to contact me, unsolicited and uninvited, commenting on everything from my legs; to my ass; to my hair; to my breasts; bartering first, then more insistently explaining why I need to have sex with them. This has not gotten better as I’ve gotten older – it’s become worse.

Today, I received a few of these messages on my public business Facebook page, of which two stood out. Man #1 commented on my legs saying he simply loved the fact that I “showed them off”. When his comment received no response, he messaged me back to say that “I’ve disrespected him by ignoring him”. Man #2 sent me a message saying “Hi honey, I want to get to know you because I like you and you are sexy and I am lonely”. I didn’t respond so he publicly posted his displeasure on my wall: “fucking moron bitch, you are an asshole”.

So this is the thing. It’s easy to harass and abuse power, exert control and dominance or physically intimidate women into silence about these things. I know that I’ve been very afraid to speak about my incidents over the years because a lot of these men were physically overwhelming and scary. Now with social media, virtual harassment is the common practice but not less scary. The bottom line is, hurt people hurt people and it’s about time we get to the real issues, of what’s behind the abuse – pain and fear – and start addressing these social evils that keep us all as sick as our secrets.

The psychology and sociology of these patterns of behaviour need to be looked at, individually first, because from there it has a ripple effect on the collective humanity. We cannot possibly move forward and make the shifts we need consciously if we see ourselves as separate from each other. To those men who choose to dishonour women: understand that by such behaviour, you prevent yourself from levelling up and you perpetuate these vicious cycles onto the next generation and the next generation. Your actions demonstrate your internal inefficiencies and that holds us back from progressing, if it’s left festering in filth.

Immediately, we can start to do better. This starts with being aware.

‘No’ means no.

‘No’ does not mean ‘try harder’.

Single does not mean available.

How a woman dresses is not an invitation for you to pursue her.

Respect boundaries.

Watch your language. There is a fine line between a compliment and sexual objectification or obscenity. 

Hear us. See us. Pay attention.

#MeToo

 

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