Things I've learned this week: 4/17-23/17

What began as a Sunday reflection of the week has now become a practice that is as easy and necessary as breathing. I am humbled to share with you some of my ongoing lessons. I hope that in reading them, you find the space to sit and to listen to what your life is telling you.

1. Sometimes you have to step back from the things you love so that your heart can mend.

We all want to be around the things, places and people that we love. We wish to fill our memories with them, so that when we are apart we can close our eyes and savor the glimpses we have taken. This is not a bad thing. But it is when those things cause us pain (that space that triggers us, that thing that is no longer good for us, that person who hurt us) that we must learn to walk away for our own good. This doesn't always mean forever, more often than not it means only for a season. But it is when we lie to ourselves ("I can handle it." "I just love being around them") that we hinder our hearts from mending. Like a cast or bandage; sometimes our hearts need protected space to heal. 

2. We often use the phrase "treat yo'self" as if it is an exception to the rule. This is part of the problem. Self care should never be an exception.

"Girl I am so stressed, I think I'm gonna take the weekend and treat myself!" How many times have we said this? How often do we exclaim "TREAT YO'SELF!" in response to our stress, anxiety, heartbreak, etc.? Too often, we treat self care as pit stops when we are damaged instead of check ins that prevent our breakdowns in the first place. We are commanded to love others as we love ourselves, yet we do not do the latter. There is a proverb that states, "Never trust a naked person who offers you a shirt." We cannot give from what we do not have. Caring for ourselves should be as important as caring for others. If it isn't, then everyone loses. 

3. When you name your friends too quickly, you give too much honor to people who present themselves as friendly but have hidden agendas and stipulations.

Not everyone who smiles at you and hangs with you will be there when shit hits the fan. We are social beings, and we enjoy being with people who make us feel good. But not everyone deserves the title of friend. Beware of giving away friendship too easily, lest you cheapen the real ones you already have.


READ: Rest is Resistance, Too

LISTEN: Get it Together: India Arie; Mirror: Lalah Hathaway 

WATCHThe Importance of Self Care (TED PLAYLIST)