Self-Love Series Day 6: Daniel


Self-Love Series Day 6: Daniel

Self-love is the practice of accepting yourself, flaws and all. The difficult part for me is that I haven’t fully accepted all the imperfections that make up who Daniel is………so what does that mean for me?

From a young age, I have always had a vibrant and bubbly personality, but the smiles, the laughter, and the light that I attempt to shine is only a façade that I feel that I have to put on just to make it through the day.

Don’t get me wrong I love myself and would never bring any harm onto myself, but I mean let’s face it, loving myself is something that I just really started to do.
I want to use this article as therapy, not only for myself, but for anyone who has struggled with loving themselves, because it is definitely a process that takes time, and patience.

My journey for self-love began back in May of 2015, when I was given my diagnoses of being HIV Positive. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was at my regular check up with my doctor, we were discussing trips I was taking that summer, and how school was going because I was supposed to be graduating that next semester. We did my vitals and everything was going normal, she walked out of the room and came back about an hour later. She walked in with my favorite nurse practitioner, they both sat down with this look of distraught in their eyes, and I immediately knew something was wrong.

They both looked me in the eyes, and told me the news. After she told me I was like, “Aw ok, well what meds do I need to get on, what do I need to do?” The looks on their faces were priceless; because I’m sure that was a very out of the box response to something as monstrous as that.

When I was 18, and I graduated high school and got in the “gay life” I knew there were consequences for my actions and I had to be accountable for those actions, and this was just one of the consequences. When I left the doctor’s office that day I felt something in me say, “I wonder how others feel when they get their diagnoses, and what can I do to help someone else that is going through this, that did not have the same outlook?”

This honestly was the first time I actually looked at my life, and start to value my life. When you’re young you think of yourself as invincible, like nothing can happen to you.
Hearing this news really made me look at myself, and ask the question, “Now what Daniel?” This could either break me or this could be something that will make me stronger. So what did I do? I became stronger and didn’t let it defeat me DUH!
Throughout my twenties I have really struggled to love Daniel, and accept the colorful creature that I have become. Since the New Year has started I have started listening to TD Jakes’ motivational speeches every morning for affirmations and to remind myself that I am where I am supposed to be at this point in life. Having that positive message in the morning really allows me to center myself and start my day off right!

On a lighter note, let’s talk about my one constant in life that makes me smile no matter what kind of mood I’m in: MUSIC! From a young age I always remember dreading going to church every Sunday, and my mom basically have to threaten me to come. We would be listening to the church announcements, and then the speaker would introduce the choir, and my face would LIGHT UP from the excitement. Music has always had some type of therapeutic quality for me. Even to this day, music is the one thing that allows me to get lost in another reality. In those four minutes I feel like I can take on the world. Whether I’m shaking these cakes to some Beyoncé or channeling my inner guru listening to Yuna, music always brings me inner peace. Being able to transport myself to another world allows me to really view myself in a different light and put myself on that esteemed pedestal that I always see myself on.

I guess one thing I can say about self-love is that it is definitely SUBJECTIVE. What works for me may not work for the next person, it’s all about finding “Your Thing” and what exactly works for you.
Although this article was very all over the place and I may sound like the biggest ADD patient lol, I want whoever reads this to hopefully take one thing from it. Whether that is starting to take care of your health, listening to a morning motivational speech, or even finding a new musical artist, everyone needs an outlet to just relax and do some self-reflection. Love you for REAL.

Hey yall! I’m Daniel Thompson. Growing up here in Memphis, I have a love hate type of relationship with this wonderful city. I am a graduate from The University of Memphis, with Bachelors in Journalism with a concentration in Advertising. Music, food, and fashion are my three muses in life, and I pretty much have to go out of town at least once a month to stay sane!