Posted on

You Are Worthy

In light of recent scandal with baseball player Danry Vasquez,  who was caught on video abusing his girlfriend, a thought I often struggled with immediately came to mind: What causes women to stay in tumultuous relationships?

When I was younger, I could not understand it for the life of me. I use to judge women who stayed in these kinds of relationships and viewed them as weak. There ain’t that much love in the world to keep me in that kind of relationship, so I thought. My mind fuck moment came at a random time, but I had to sit and be real with myself. Tezhula, what made you any different from these women? 

In my past relationships, I was used, manipulated, lied to, and cheated on. You see, people like to associate abuse with physical harm, but emotional and mental abuse is just as harmful. It was then that I understood the psyche of a domestic violence victim because the cycle isn’t much different than what I had once experienced. We stay with men who mistreat us because we love them and want them to either change or return to who they were in the beginning. The reality is, 90% of the time, the chances of that happening are not likely, but rather than loving ourselves enough to walk away and knowing we deserve better, we stick around and take the mistreatment due to our lack of self-worth.

Do you really know your worth or do you think you do?  When I was in my early 20’s, no one could not tell me that I did not have my shit together. I was self- assured and confident about what I brought to the table. I was a recent college graduate, had a job, and believed that I was attractive, but beneath all of that, I had some insecurities. I use to question my place in this person’s life. What did the other women who he use to play me for have that I did not? Did I have whatever it was to keep him satisfied with only me? When I realized I was not enough for him, my insecurities increased. I started to feel unattractive and compared myself to some women thinking that it was the standard he judged me by. If I had truly known my worth, however, he would not have been able to make me feel insecure. I would have recognized that the way he treated me (his inability to commit and feeling the need to have multiple women) was a result of his shortcomings. I would have understood that his behavior was a reflection of him and had nothing to do with me.

While many of us like to think that we love ourselves, true love and understanding of worth entails finding the strength to walk away from someone who mistreats us or is simply not good for us. It’s understandable to think you’re incapable of leaving because it takes a lot of pain, tears, and struggles to get to this point, but it’s like you wake up one day and everything clicks. You finally won’t take all the bullshit you once did. You know your worth and won’t accept any less than you deserve.

Have you forgiven yourself for the mistakes you made prior to truly knowing your worth? Often times, we are our own worst enemy. We are not kind to ourselves. We do not forgive ourselves for the poor decisions we made and despite letting go of bad relationships, we hold on to the experiences that played into our low self-esteem. These thoughts can manifest, resulting in actions and behaviors that are out of character. If I had forgiven and thought enough of myself, I would not have allowed my past experience to influence my poor decision-making. I would not have sought out the love and attention I should have given myself from other people. But as the famous saying goes “everything happens for a reason.” The journey to self-love is one paved with mistakes, heartaches, trials and tribulations. With every experience, there is a lesson learned. There are some lessons I regret and wish I did not have to learn the way I did, but it was necessary for my growth. Only at your lowest point can you find the strength to heal and move forward. I had to break myself down and rebuild myself back stronger and wiser. I had to learn to forgive myself and knew as long as I learned from it everything would be OK.

The love you want begins with you. If you want someone to respect you, respect yourself. If they do not respect you, respect yourself enough to walk away. Remember that you teach people how to treat you. Never settle for less than you deserve and if by any chance you do, forgive yourself for what you did not know. Once you know better, make sure you do better. Do not allow anyone to judge you for your situation. People (some who have accepted or will accept something similar) judge what they do not understand and their opinions could have a way of making you feel worse. Sometimes, you have to take the road less traveled to end up where you need to be. At the end of the day, everyone at some point in their lives has struggled with knowing their worth. You are not alone. If you are in a situation where you are being mistreated in any capacity and you feel like you are stuck and cannot move forward, take a leap of faith and make sure you put yourself, your feelings and your interests first. Do not rely on anyone to love you or to make you happy. You are the one who is in control and responsible for your life.

Editor: Sweenie Nicole; Instagram: Sweenie.Nicole; Twitter: @simplysweenie; Blog: Relish N’ Rise

Posted on

LOVING YOU ON VALENTINE’S DAY!

So, today is Valentine’s Day! A highly anticipated holiday for some and an overrated holiday for others. Nonetheless, it is the time of the year when people show their love for one another by doing things that they do not normally do. The romance is stepped up for the couples who are in a relationship, but then there are people, women in particular, who are left feeling bitter on this day. As I scroll through my timeline, I see some women who are acting like the Grinch for Valentine’s Day. Lol. If you are one of the ladies who are feeling down about this holiday, do not feel sad, bitter or resentful because you feel you cannot celebrate this day when you are not in a relationship or do not have a partner to share this day with. Today is about love, plain and simple. Most people put emphasis on the romantic aspect of this holiday, but that is not the only love we experience or the only meaningful relationships we have in day to day life. We have parents, children, friends all who we can share and experience this holiday with. More importantly, we have ourselves.

When I was single, I used to be one of those women who was bitter when this time of year came around. But, when I sit and reflect, I wish that, as a single woman, I would have taken more advantage of this day. How often do people usually set aside a day to treat, pamper, spend time with, and love themselves? We get caught up with the normal activities of life that we may do one or two of these things often, but we usually don’t reserve a whole day for it. Instead of moping about not having a valentine, today could be the day you give back and cater to yourself instead of having to cater to someone or have someone cater to you.

Forget about social media. Forget about all the couples who are posting their cute, lovey dovey pictures and the things they bought/received for Valentine’s Day. Forget about the engagements that will happen today. Forget about not having a romantic relationship. The love you want begins with you. When you are looking and feeling good, you radiate confidence. This confidence can attract someone special. We do not only have to make this a Valentine’s Day thing. It can be an everyday thing. But as they say, everyday is Valentine’s Day when you are in the right relationship and the most important relationship we all have is the one with ourselves. After you read this, I hope you no longer associate negative feelings with today and instead use this day for positivity and while I focused on the single women, women who are in relationships can do this, too. Self-love is the greatest love and once you perfect this, no one can break it up. Besides, if you really don’t want to be by yourself today, get dressed up and hit up one of your single friends for a Galentine’s Day.

Editor: Sweenie Nicole; Instagram: sweenie.nicole; Twitter: @simplysweenie; Blog: Relish N’ Rise