Romantic love can become complex and weighted, when diluted with fear, dysfunction and self-serving motives--causing a considerable amount of pain for each party in the relationship. In consideration of the relationship with self and the practice of self-love, it becomes even more crucial to distill the relationship with self in transparency for the release of anger, depression or addictive behaviors that can hamper positive momentum towards the fulfillment of creative goals and career aspirations during the New Year.
In the walking out of self-love, it can prove extremely helpful to reach out to a licensed professional or trusted friend or family member for help, who can provide you with a safe place in confidence where you can be honest about personal challenges and struggles. Christ advised on this aspect of self-love through a manifesto given to His disciples outlining His love covenant, which states that when two or three gather in His name, He would be present—and in doing so, love would be present. When you are able to find someone you can trust with the maturity and emotional tools to provide a gateway of healing through prayer or the simple act of listening with love, it can accelerate your healing and emotional mobility, while facilitating the cleansing work of self-love in the absence of judgment.
Over the course of this week, I came to a place of agreement with myself about the weight of anger that has plagued me in the aftermath of my experience with domestic violence. I had been waiting on God to show me evidence of the justice promised, so that I could get on with my life, and in the process I had been losing out on fully experiencing my life. I came to a place of realization that the anger that I have been carrying has been fulfilling my need for a sense of justice. As a result, I was able to come into my session with my therapist with a clear agenda to do the work to release the cumulative anger from that experience and prior disappointments, versus continuing with a weekly check-in to touch bases on my emotional and mental state. With articulating and firming my goal for the year, I was given several preliminary exercises to practice throughout the week, including the journaling of negative thoughts that have been weighting my perspective.
I also had the fortune of reconnecting with a friend afterwards, later in the week, who had been an emotional anchor for me in the aftermath of filing my police report. A couple of years ago, we crossed paths just in time for him to grab my hand, just as I was losing my grip, through prayer and encouragement and the simple act of listening with intent. In talking with him this week, I was able to be candid about where I was with my walk with God and my questions and anger about the road ahead, while gaining some additional perspective in a safe place where there was no judgment. In beginning my release of the white-knuckling of my beliefs and perspective, I was able to make myself open to receive the empathy and resolution that I had been searching for.
When struggling with depression, it may be difficult to see yourself clearly, as it creates a hallucinogenic effect where you are unable to see yourself or circumstances clearly. Through the practice of self-love and your acknowledgment of your condition, no matter how minor or acute, you can effectively release the weight of depression and move forward successfully in positivity and grace. Actor Letitia Wright, of Black Panther fame, has spoken openly in interviews about her struggle with depression and the work of recovery through her relationship with God—and the subsequent mobility she was able to achieve as a result, per her interview with WWD Magazine:
“Say you want to be with someone and you’re doing something that they don’t really like. They’re gonna ask you to stop it, just for a moment to take a look at them, to see them clearly. That’s what God wanted for me. I gave my life to Christ and I thought that would be it for me and he was, like, ‘No, you’re not finished with acting, acting is not finished with you. This is your talent, go back into it, but you’re going back into it with a heart that’s not obsessive over it. As soon as I was obedient to just taking a chance on God, all of these things that you’re seeing – ‘Black Panther’, or ‘Humans’, or ‘The Commuter’ or Steven Spielberg – it came right after I took that break.”
R&B legend, Ricky Bell of New Edition was recently interviewed by DeVon Franklin for the Truth Talk series in advance of the upcoming book release “The Truth About Men”. It was refreshing to see the candidness displayed during the course of the interview, as well as the restorative effect of being allowed a safe space to be honest about his challenges. That honesty also revealed the strategies that he is undertaking to maintain his work in overcoming those challenges, which are being realized through the practice of self-love.
In stepping out to begin work on creative endeavors and projects, the resolution of self-love through transparency is a critical step in tackling any excess weight that can prove detrimental in the achievement of goals for the New Year. There may be circumstances or challenges that you may not have all the answers or tools to address, but in the right environment and with reliable help, success can be achieved. Ultimately, the love that you show towards yourself shows up in your art, and it is through the work and discipline of self-love that we are able to rock-climb our way towards impactful creativity.