Tonight's post is going to be yet another gut check moment. I want you to think about this question before you answer it. How much do you love yourself ? Seriously... HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF ?! If you answered "a lot" then you'd better be prepared for what the rest of this post has to offer because you might just realize that you actually DON'T love yourself as much as you think you do.
I'm going to give you a bit of background to this post, that way you can better understand the point that is being made. Most people THINK that they know me but most people only know the assumptions that they make of me. For example, I am known for always being "too real". Often times the people I get close to that God didn't intend for me to actually be close with have me extremely misunderstood. I know this because the people in my life that love me , love me for ME and they don't try to change anything about me that they know is engraved in me. They have just learned to understand, that's how Imani is.
Before I learned to truly love myself I actually began to hate myself because I got so tired of not being able to change who I am. When something isn't right to me, it just isn't right and it is really hard for me NOT to speak on it. I know people say "some things are better left unsaid" but in my world, that is not true. If you have something to say, SAY IT. If something doesn't make you feel right, STOP DOING IT. I have a way of making people who are not as confident in themselves feel small but it is never intentional and after years of beating myself up I've learned that insecurity is THEIR problem, not mine. For a long time I kept questioning whether or not I was a good person because it seemed as though I was constantly being judged and as much as I said I didn't care, I DID care.
I started an experiment with myself where I tried my best to hold my tongue and to talk to people that I was not really fond of but the universe was not having it. It was almost as if being nice to people I didn't really like and holding my tongue about things I truly wanted to speak on was eating me up from the inside and it made me even more unhappy. When you don't speak on things that bother you because you're trying to be "nice" it actually turns into resentment and this is when things get ugly. For example, my relationship with someone close became hard once they met their toxic boyfriend. I always give people the benefit of the doubt but it seemed like from the very first few times he came around, I was able to sense that this was not a good person.
Fast forward to a few months into their relationship, he decides to leave this person who means a lot to me out of nowhere and find a new girl. I had to watch the person I love cry HARD and I could feel just how hurt she was. I honestly was happy to have him gone and I thought that my loved one would see that this was God trying to save her in due time, but she didn't. I guess Toxic (that's what we will call him) figured out that his new girl was nowhere as pretty as my loved one and maybe that she couldn't cook and he decided to come back to my loved one. I was so disappointed in how easily she let him in after he allowed guns to be pulled on her, humiliated her, and even emailed her telling her to leave him alone. I just couldn't understand how anyone who truly loved themselves could find it in them to still be with someone like that. Because I never spoke to my loved one about how I felt, I became bitter and truly began to resent this guy even though at the end of the day, my opinion didn't really matter, Toxic had already done enough damage on my loved one because she hasn't learned to love herself fully.
Fast forward to this weekend. I wanted to borrow my loved one's phone to make a phone call and selfishly decided to text and FaceTime her after she didn't answer my knock on her door. I understand now after reflecting that I probably should have given them their alone time but I still don't understand Toxic actually GENUINELY getting mad at this. As I was using my loved one's phone I could hear them bickering in her room about the fact that I had bothered them and well, outspoken Imani emerged. Without thinking I immediately opened her door and tossed her phone on her bed and said "don't worry about it, it's not even that serious, I don't need the phone". A few moments later my loved one knocked on my door and began to tell me I was wrong for having an attitude. I tried to explain to her that my attitude was not with her but with her toxic boyfriend who had no right to be mad at the fact that I interrupted them when he had no idea why I needed the phone.
Toxic has complete mind control over my loved one now so I was not too surprised when she didn't understand why I had an attitude and that is when I began to erupt. After my "be nice " experiment I told myself that NOBODY is allowed to tell me how to feel and I expressed that to her. As our yelling match got louder, Toxic made his way to the threshold of my door and I think that at that point I blacked out ! He claimed that I threw the phone at him which was A LIE and just another way to manipulate my loved one into seeing me as the bad guy. This wasn't the first time he made something seem like what it wasn't so I really just had no tolerance for it.
My point in giving you that story is to explain the fact that if I had of just told my loved one how I felt about him from the beginning, she might have actually paid attention to how much control he has over her mind. I also would not have been forced to pretend to like him and the blow up that happened this weekend probably would never have been as bad as it was. Now that I've bought up Toxic, I want you to think about whether or not the guy in your life is toxic because I think that at one point in time all of us have had a toxic person have too much control over our brain, and when sex is involved, IT'S WORSE.
Toxic people don't just have to be guys, they can be female friends as well. If your friend is ALWAYS criticizing the way you handle things or always has something to say about how you view the world, this person is trying to control you and if you allow them to, sorry sis but YOU ARE INSECURE. Insecure people question things about themselves that deep down they really cannot control. This is why I have learned to own my "attitude". The only people that see my attitude as an attitude are insecure people because I truly do make a point to treat others the way I want be treated, but like I said, if something isn't right, it just isn't right. If you are someone questioning certain things about yourself take some time to meditate. When you do this you will realize that this behavior that you constantly get criticized for is engraved in you, you will stop feeling bad about that part of you and start telling people, "take me or leave me".
Once I began to own my attitude I began to ask God to bring people into my life that wouldn't see my "attitude" as an attack and would see it as constructive criticism the same way I am able to. That is when I began to manifest people who truly understand me and I started receiving messages like "your realness is inspiring!" This kind of feedback gave me more of the strength to keep being me and not allow insecure thoughts to enter my head whenever someone tries to tell me I'm mean or too real. My answer now is, "I'm not mean, I'm real, you are insecure". I follow up with apologizing if that message hurts their feelings but at the end of the day, it's something that person needs to hear. I am a genuinely loving and caring person and I know that in my heart. Anyone that tells you I am mean, does not truly know me, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I'm going to end this rant with a few powerful and meaningful words. If you allow other people's false judgement of who you are make you feel bad, you are allowing others to control you and you are insecure. If you don't want to be someone that is controlled by other people, OWN ALL OFF YOUR F**** UP SELF (excuse the french) and tell anyone who doesn't like it to find a new person to replace you, because you're not the person for them and vice versa. Love yourself for who you are and ask God to work out the quirks. As you go deeper into your self love journey you will learn the parts of you that need to change and the parts of you that need to stay, it all takes time but in the mean time you have to love yourself while you become your best version. See you next Tuesday !
I love you Sis,