BY DEJANAE EVINS. PHOTOGRAPHY BY RIKKI WRIGHT.
Giving power to your truth is liberating. Living in your truth is a revolutionary act.
I don’t commend myself for my growth as often as I should. I’ve made the mistake of measuring my growth and wisdom by how many years I’ve lived through as opposed to the experiences that have made me more self-aware.
Striving for growth, unlearning and relearning, is something that has been high on my list, as it will never be checked off. Yet, and still, I’m a work in progress worth celebrating.
Self-celebration means finding joy and contentment in who you are, knowing that you can produce the best results in any aspect of your life and viewing yourself as valuable because you possess God within.
I celebrate because I know I’m able to mold my own reality, I’ve become a better version of myself than I was yesterday or the day before through patience and practice. I celebrate despite mistakes, bad habits, self-criticism, and other negative emotions. Self-celebration is the way I approach life, the way I express my creativity and the language I use to challenge myself to push past limited ways of thinking. In part, that meant I’ve had to learn to stop accepting someone else’s false narrative about me based on my skin color, hair texture, sexual orientation or the fact that I’m a woman as my truth.
The Power of Perspective
It’s dangerous to live in someone else’s lie about who you are. And it is a lie because it isn’t your truth to live by. Duality is not something we talk about enough. Duality is an intrinsic aspect of reality. It is the nature in which anything and everything holds opposing truths: all of which are true. Understanding duality allows us to see ourselves from the perspective of others and come to understand that there is no one’s perspective that is more important than our own.
I’ve managed to overcome internalizing other people’s perceptions of me by allowing them to have their truth. And instead started reaffirming the things I knew to be true. I stopped giving excessive thought to one side of a contradicting truth that tried to assert its authority over the other.
We Have A Revolution On Our Hands
We are able to decide how to perceive the world around us and choose the reality we want to exist in regardless of if there are people and systems operating against us. We no longer succumb to misrepresentations about who we are and what we stand for. So many of us have found the power in channeling inward, creating communities to encourage us and sharing our stories to empower one another.
Now, when I see or hear negative things in the media or in the news I don’t let it distract me from the work I’m doing. Instead, I’m able to recognize it as an opportunity to shine a light on my own darkness, and express gratitude. I give a little more attention to the things that I feel I should work on; simple things like making sure my values align with my actions and I’m speaking life into, and positive affirmations over, everything.
That meant no longer allowing the things occurring outside of me, and outside of my control, to anger me. I’ve come to understand the proverb that warns the things that anger you control you. To that end, if it isn’t promoting my growth, or serving me for the better, it was only serving as a distraction from what is: it is dimming my light.
Self-evolution has no endpoint; there is no number of obstacles or assignments we have to see through to completion. We, women, are ever evolving.
Out of that, we’ve birthed a revolution.
I celebrate being steadfast in my growth and preserving my peace of mind, understanding contradicting truths, and being grateful for the gift that is my perspective—always choosing positive over negative.
The first step in measuring your growth is in your way of thinking, self-talk and how you define yourself for yourself. Self-celebration is reflected in the relationships you nourish, the work you pour into and your actions. Understanding that your commitment to growth, both intellectually and spiritually, in and of itself is an evolutionary process. The evolution takes time. Don’t wait until someone else notices to celebrate how far you’ve come.
DeJanae is a writer and creative. She contributes to BGIO because she lives and breathes in these spaces; spaces where black women share their stories, inspire one another and encourage higher levels of illumination. Her go-to self-love practice is bathing, whether it be in the sun or a tub surrounded by flowers. DeJanae believes that cleansing your physical and spiritual bodies daily restore purity and peace. She believes to bring forth and manifest anything, you must first water it with thought. Water yourself with thought. DeJanae resides in her hometown, Los Angeles, CA. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DeJanaeTanye.