Barbara Ribeiro

Remember: You Deserve All The Self-Love You Have To Offer

You, with all your perfect imperfections, deserve all the self-love you have to offer. Be kind to yourself, especially when unkind thoughts and self-deprecating ideas are coursing through your mind. Take a minute to just breathe, inhale confidence, and exhale self-doubt. Make mistakes and learn from them and do not go through life apologizing for your past. Too often, you will blindly fly too close to the sun and cringe at the searing pain of your wings burning up in flames, but like a phoenix, always rise from the ashes. Continue wearing your scars proudly as medals of honor for the battles you have fought and won. And on those days when you are too weak to fight the good, love yourself enough to ask for help. 

Make bold choices and do not hesitate to swing your hips as you walk away from anything that takes away your inner peace. Wave goodbye to toxic relationships. And if, in self-reflection, you catch yourself being the toxic one, gently nudge yourself in the right direction. Say goodbye to parasitic friendships. Forgive anyone who once made you feel worthless and unlovable. Forgive yourself for believing anyone who once made you think you were a snack instead of the three-course meal that you are. Pain is inevitable and letting go is hard, but holding on to unhealthy connections will leave you disappointed and emotionally incapacitated. Love yourself enough to value this truth.

Commit to fully knowing yourself before you attempt to know anybody else. Know your strengths, because through them, you will fight and win your most challenging battles. Tattoo your weaknesses onto the back of your hands. Know them as though they are the lyrics to your life’s theme song, but never give anyone the power to use them against you. Constantly remind yourself that not every action warrants a reaction. Be silent in the middle of chaos and drama, but not too silent to the point where you become everyone’s doormat. Find solace in the knowledge that your silence is more powerful than your middle fingers and your voice can calm even the most ferocious of prey. Do all this with grace and poise and see how far you will fly.

Take care of your body, as it has been your home from the day you were conceived to the day that dust shall return to dust. Nourish it with healthy treats and an occasional indulgence in chocolate and wine; call that your personal definition of a balanced diet. Push your body to its limits through regular exercise, no excuses. When you look in the mirror, resist the urge to judge yourself unfairly. Although society would have you believe otherwise, your body is not a battleground. Remember this: Your weight, your waist size, and your cup size are merely numbers, and your worth astronomically exceeds the value of these numbers both individually and combined. And to my dark-skinned and kinky-haired friends, I see how opportunists have flooded store aisles with overpriced bleaching creams and hair products to force you to contort to their narrow views of beauty. Resist their trap with your wallet and with your self-confidence.

Take care of your spirit. Even though you are human, your experience on this planet is spiritual. Surround yourself with people who lift you up: the goal-getters, the enthusiastic, and the inspired. Connect yourself to something far bigger than yourself. Seek answers and do it all with the understanding that your spiritual life is for you and only you to understand. 

Take care of your mind and jealously guard it from negative thoughts. Let it be an oasis of knowledge in this desert filled with ignorance and mirages of people who pretend to know more than they do. Be open to innovative ideas, but slow to adopt them as your own. Drink from the fountain of knowledge until your thirst is fully quenched. Dine with people whose views differ from your own and do it without passing judgment—that is how you grow.

Dear Woman, when you have done all this—taken care of yourself, loved every inch of being, accepted yourself for who you truly are—go forth and birth more love and light into existence.