by Shanay Watson-Whittaker
Crossposted from www.lafemmenegrita.com
Black girl, I’m going to tell you something you need to know… You’re beautiful, you have value, and you are priceless. Don’t let no man define what your worth is and who you are. Never base your value on what’s between your legs and what you can do to him/her. Your value should come from your heart, spirit, and mind.
Since you were a little girl, I know that you’ve been hurt, abused, afraid, and slut-shamed by society, by our lovers, and maybe by our own family members. I’ve been there and I want to say, “Enough is enough!” I want you to start believing in yourself but that starts by forgiving yourself for believing the lies told to you.
First, you have to learn how to forgive. Many of us don’t know how to forgive and that shows in the way we treat our fellow sistahs and ourselves. The path to forgiveness takes us on a journey of self-reflection, honesty, and an admission of being fooled. Our pride gets in the way of admitting that we were fooled and pride is a double-edged sword. It’s a defense mechanism. We use pride to protect ourselves from hurt but it could blind us from an ugly truth that we are determined not to see. Open your eyes, let that pride go, forgive yourself and move on.
Next, I want you to forgive those who have done you wrong. You’ve been marginalized and despised by people who are jealous of your natural beauty, your curves, your mind, and your strength. Don’t let their hate be your burden or become your baggage that weighs you down and stresses you out! Haters do not deserve your energy! They aren’t thinking about you as much as you are thinking about them and how their hateful words and lies affected your self-esteem.
Also, I want you to stop living in fear of rejection and embrace your strengths. You are not everyone’s cup of tea so stop bending over backwards to be something or someone you’re not. When you realize that you can’t be everything to everyone, you can begin embrace your strengths. When that change comes into effect, the people around you will notice. You begin to build your confidence and the people who can’t handle a new you and a better you, will shed off like dead skin.
Baby girl, I want you to be picky with who you surround yourself with on an intimate level, platonic level, and a professional level. Associate yourself with people who dream big but who will do the work to make their dreams come true. Motivate yourself and expect great things in life for yourself and the people surround yourself with.
Finally, if people tell you how beautiful, smart, special, and wonderful you are, never ask them why. Believe them! Embrace and internalize the compliment and then thank them. You are beautiful, smart, special, and wonderful because you have realized your true worth!
Shanay Watson-Whittaker is a Democratic activist and organizer. She was the former Chair of the Young Democrats of America Minority Caucus. Shanay is the owner of an Ebay store called Shay’s Chic Boutique, she is a motivational speaker, a blogger at La Femme Negrita and a genealogy enthusiast. She lives in Detroit, MI with her husband, Ken and their six kids. You can follow Shanay on Twitter as LaFemme_Negrita and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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