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watch me bloom

 

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I want to move in the direction of my fears. I want to fully speak my truth. I want to speak up against injustice regardless of the risks. I used to leave countless words unsaid out of fear, worry, doubt, and to protect myself. Life is too short to say silent though. And as Audre Lorde wrote, “My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.”

That quotation comes from Lorde’s essay, The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action. Here are other note-worthy excerpts from that essay as well:

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.” 

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“What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?” 

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“And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger. But my daughter, when I told her of our topic and my difficulty with it, said, ‘Tell them about how you’re never really a whole person if you remain silent because there’s always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out.”

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“We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language.”

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“It is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”

–Audre Lorde

Affirmation: I deserve to express myself fully in the world.

I am working on aspects of full expression each day in my practice. I approach my interactions with others with the intention of being present, available, and authentic in their company, not hiding or holding back out of fear or habit. I observe the moments where I most want to retreat inside of myself and reflect on what need is not being met in those situations and what I can do to make myself feel more safe and secure in those moments.

I hit the reset button each morning, preferably each moment, and practice loving kindness to myself if a situation arises where I am not as available as I would like. I begin again and again and again knowing that I have nothing that I have to hide or be ashamed of in sharing myself with the world.

Affirmation: I reject any attachment to people’s reaction when I express myself.

I do not have to silence or censor myself in an effort to placate others. I am here to live my truth and to share it freely. I am here to be the most authentic version of myself possible. I am here to inhabit the deepest expression of love available to me in each moment and share that with others.

I plant seeds of self-worth, self-love, and acceptance and I see them bloom into flowers rooted from the foundation of my body at my feet and reaching their most open state in my throat. I visualize these flowers when I speak. There is no room for fear with all this life and growth flowing through my essence.

—lissa

(This post is an updated version of a post that appears on lissabliss.com)

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radical self-love

I am here with you.  I am here with youI say to myself in a gentle lullaby. I will keep you safe.

ada by ijeoma

 

I adore this poem by Ijeoma Umebinyuo. It says so much about radical self-love and its tenderness. “I bathe her, I play her some jazz, I feed her, I weep for her,” she writes about what she does for her lover, herself, on the days when she fears she cannot comprehend her light.

I also appreciate the way she describes that type of love as being in love. It isn’t often that I see self-love framed in that way. Yes to radical-in-love-with-self-love!

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The first of many radical-in-love-with-self letters to myself:

Dear L,

What are you believing about the world, about yourself? What are you taking in and internalizing that’s isn’t yours? What is keeping you from seeing your worth, your shine?
I vow to nourish and care for you every day. To help you remember your wholeness and value. To love you radically.  The parts that don’t know their worth. The parts that don’t believe in love. The parts in full protective gear to protect themselves from the world and also in part from me.

I vow to love you without end, a love that hums a glow into all the places that have lost their ability to shine. I love you. I am here with you.  I am here with you.  And I’m not going anywhereI say to myself in a gentle lullaby. I will always be here with you, my love.

—lissa