Photos by Candace Sanders
I fear that I have wasted too much time not loving or wholly accepting myself. I have spent too many years dishonoring my pieces, sometimes knowingly, other times with an unconscious mind that was not aware of the damage it would cause my soul. In attempt to please everyone else, I found myself at the kitchen counter subtracting my truths and measuring in the right amount of lies, but there was no substitute recipe for what God had already molded with his own two hands. My dish was malnourished because I was missing the most essential ingredient: myself.
I lost touch with the woman I truly was. I lost her in the words of I am not good enough, I am not beautiful enough, I am not enough. After years of swallowing this bitter recipe, it was hard to disengage myself from the brutal practice of shaming and neglecting my pieces. I lost touch with the woman deep within, but now is an act of reclaiming all of her.
The journey of fully loving myself has been a clashing and calming of waves. Some days I can ride them with strength. Other days, I find myself drowning beneath the tide.
I was in the bad habit of comparing myself to others, a negative practice I am sure many of us engage in. I allowed the differences to define my beauty, values, success – and even my journey. It slowly turned into me shying away from myself, becoming unsure of what purpose or worth I held.
I believe I have just began to find that purpose, which lies within the powerful woman at the core of my soul. I had abandoned her –a careless act – and she was only beckoning to be tended to. I had to travel back to the nest of my spirit.
The journey is one where I became intimate with my pieces. Through reconnecting with myself, I am now able to put reason and passion into everything I do. If there is an exact word for my purpose, I am not sure what it is. I can only describe the feelings: free, beautiful, and intentional.
I am sure many of you have been or are currently in my shoes. Taking steps of soul-searching, digging deeper and trying to find your purpose and a sense of self. My advice to you is to take your time. As human beings, we often search outside of ourselves when everything we need resides in the essence of our beings. So take the journey back to your roots. Dive into the depths of your soul, and find that woman or man who has been pleading for your return home.
And when you find your pieces, broken or whole, offer up a praise for the beauty that inhabits every inch of your being. You deserve to be celebrated. You deserve to celebrate