As women, it’s easy for us to fall into traps. You know, the multitasking/focus on the needs of others but our own/ accept subpar behavior from those who can’t rise to the occasion/wear ourselves thin (I'm talking loose leaf paper thin, I mean so thin that the sharpie bleeds through type of thin) / stay in positions that are infested with depleting energies TYPES OF TRAPS. There aren’t enough slashes in my keyboard for me to describe the amount that we endure.

Despite all these traps, we continue to sail forward even when we know that our strength is waning and the winds are against us. But, let’s take a moment to breath and sit still. Let us ask: how is it that when faced with opposition we never crumble?

Simply put: We’re women. Mighty, loving women.

It’s in our nature to love, nurture, and provide. Yes, I blame it on a combination of our ovaries and the universe. I believe love is our purpose! It's embedded in our DNA. Which is a blessing, but leaves us with the internal challenge of finding ourselves loving the "hell" out of everyone else while risking the dimming of the celestial glow that is buried within us. 

Which is a horrific deed, and we are repeat offenders.

Overbooking  yourself is the first way to negate from your clarity, peace of mind, and overall self-awareness. Remaining in relationships that have long passed their expiration date is a fine road to self-destruction. All that does is kill your confidence, and bury that which the heavens have placed in your spirit so far down a hole-- you’ll question if it truly existed.

Your magic requires your protection. Meaning your entity (mind, body, soul) requires your love and participation. It is no one else's responsibility to love you in the same capacity and rate, as you should and would love yourself. So please, do not settle for replacements, but rather allow any external love to serve as an addition. In return,  you cannot love another in full maturation until you learn to authentically love yourself.  Love attracts its own kind (regardless of what our society may or may not suggest, love attracts love). Just let  your roots grow deep and you’ll soon discover the love you seek.

"…Love your neighbor as yourself, no other commandment is greater than these"

–Mark 12:31(NLT).

When we struggle with self-love, we cause those in relation to us to suffer as well.  For example, as you deplete yourself from work related manners, you're depleting your co-workers and management from experiencing your beam. 

When you decide to continuously run circles for the advancement of another person, and neglect your own energy,  you're essentially taking away from them a chance at a rich and authentic relationship that is bound in truth! By this I mean a truth that is willing to beam with or without the acceptance of others.

There are many times that I’ve spoke of how I wished to be loved, considered and ultimately treated, yet never did I demand these desires  by way of action. I’ve literally remained in relationships and job positions that were completely contrary to my morals in terms of how another should be treated ; and by staying in such situations I accepted perpetual and deliberate disrespect, because let’s be honest, it doesn’t take rocket science to know how to respect a person’s wishes.  What I’ve learned is that there’s a lot of relationships that will test boundaries, many people will hear your request but never implement them. Which is why, it is vital that you learn to get well acquainted with your truths and let your no’s be firm! No relationships nor position is worth losing your voice, and a prime depiction of a woman who is actively working on her self-care is one that knows when to endure as well as walk away.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" -1 John 4:18 (NIV).

 Anytime that we do not choose ourselves, (and by this I mean choose what is evidently in the best interest of our spirits and peace of mind), we are allowing fear to become the leading force in our lives. Fearful of what the backlash, aftermath, and ultimate rejection will present. Fearful of the discomfort that might come with growing in self-love (for it is worth mentioning that this journey is not always full of glitz). However, we know the saying “everything that glitters ain’t gold” and the glory that’s anchored inside of you comes with a cost.

So for those nights you’re alone, remember that you’re choosing YOUR shine, honoring YOUR glory, and delving into the love you have for yourself. I’ve struggled with people pleasing my entire life, yet as of late, especially in my first year of adulthood, I’ve decided that some changes regarding this issue are an absolute MUST. As a result, choosing my shine is something that I’m actively working on every day, with the pressure of my daily life (such as wrapping up my college career, sifting through options for post-graduation, and personal endeavors that I absolutely refuse to let fall by the wayside). I’ve had to learn to enjoy some time alone. In the last year I’ve learned that I can’t be everything to everybody, and I also cannot let the fear of loneliness deceive me into thinking that people pleasing is acceptable. A night by myself with great energy and vibrations of relaxation is an honor, not a burden or disappointment.

As cliché as it sounds, “pressure makes diamonds”, but not everything can withstand the process of transformation. So, if and whenever you find yourself underneath the weight of loving yourself when all else suggest conforming, remember the end goal:

To be a woman with a spirit full of life, love, and promise.

One with longevity on her side as she grows in patience and bears peace.  Someone who stands firm in her truth, because she not only knows her identity, but accepts such and as a result she authentically loves not only herself, but all that she comes into contact with. A woman who leaves those better having met her, because she is aware and whole.

My lovely ladies, may you continue to journey through your wholeness and enriching that celestial glow.

Bri'on is a TGM contributor out of Ohio.

follow her @littlewhiteside

image by: jucophoto