International Self-Love Day: Doria
A Memo on Getting Through Life
A Memo on Getting Through Life:
I hope these words reach you and you find solace in them. I hope you read this aloud and you feel the affirmations in your bones. I hope you smile. I hope you see yourself in these words and forgive yourself. I hope you love. I found myself depleted of love. Drained out my very being by those I trusted most. I found myself hating. I hated the sky, the sun, the birds when they chirped, the sound of other’s laughter, their smiles. I hated my skin because it was dipped in too much sun. I hated my body, because it found pleasure when my mouth said no. I hated my face, because nobody else would love it. I hated my ability, or lack thereof because I had to quit school. I hated that I held so much hate and searched for love in men’s sheets. I hated because I didn’t have enough will to love. However, when you hit rock bottom you realize some things. No one is going to pull you out of the darkness and into the light except yourself. Your family may wish you the best, and your friends may try their hardest to support you, but the person in the trenches fighting through muck and grit and pain is you. Self love isn’t just trips to the spa and “treat yo self” days, its hard, grueling work. It is continuously rearranging your attitude to understand your unique value.
Here’s what I know about Self Love so far:
Self Love is waking up and smiling because you’ve been given a new day.
Self Love is creating boundaries for yourself, not everyone is worthy of your essence.
Self Love is letting go of trauma.
Self Love is forgiving yourself for holding on too long.
Self Love is checking yourself, because you will wreck yourself if you don’t.
Self Love is ordering a ton of stuff on Amazon at 3am because it feels good and you deserve it.
Self Love is letting someone else pick up the slack sometimes.
Self Love is rediscovering the things you enjoy that the world said wasn’t important for you to pursue.
Self Love is forgiveness.
Should I say it again?
Self Love is forgiveness hunty! Forgive yourself, forgive that parent, forgive that friend, just let it go and watch more room for love open up in your heart.
Self Love is eating right.
Self Love is saying “no”. No I don’t want to give you my number, no I don’t want to hang out, no I can’t babysit today, no no no no no no.
NO! (yell it, it feels good.)
Self Love is touching yourself, because dammit if anyone has the right to, you do.
Self Love is going to therapy (talking any and everything out just feels good!)
Self Love is respecting your body. This is your vessel and you only get one. It works hard for you. Take time to appreciate it.
Self Love is taking a break.
Self Love is refusing to be the victim.
Self Love is taking care of your responsibilities.
Self Love is reaching for the stars, because anything less would be a disservice.
Self Love is letting that bad relationship go!
Self Love is taking other’s opinions with a grain of salt, do you boo!
Self Love is dressing nice to feel nice.
Self Love is dressing in sweats from head to toe and still feeling like a million bucks.
Self Love is admitting when you’re wrong.
Self Love is trying again. Yeah it sucks but seriously try over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. We can’t predict the odds, but we can push them in our favor, it just takes a little work.
I never would have thought in all my life I would be raped my sophomore year of college by people I considered friends, have a mental breakdown in the months that followed and eventually be forced to leave school and move back home to a verbally abusive and emotionally bereft family. There were plenty of times I thought it would just be easier not to exist anymore, that my life wasn’t valuable, or that I wasn’t strong enough to handle what was being thrown at me. It’s been two years since my assault, and in these two years I have had to dig down into the pit of my being and decide if I’m really worth it. The answer is yes and will always be yes, for me and for you. I hope you see the greatness in yourself. I hope you nurture it. I hope you give yourself room to grow. I hope you see your future is bright. I hope you choose to love. I hope you choose to live.
Doria Jackson is a native of St. Louis Missouri. She is a published poet, and is currently a student at Webster University continuing her education in creative writing. She, in true millennial form, still lives with her parents and believes Trump may bring an apocalypse before she has time to repay her student loans.
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Peace and a Whole Lotta' Love,