By Shatara Liora. Photography by Deun Ivory.
Believe in the power that you have; the power that is your voice and your tongue. It was given to you the day you were born. The things we speak can plant seeds of glorious dandelion or they can manifest other not-so-pleasant things and energies. The way we move is much the same; everything we do plants a seed and everything we experience, plants a seed within us. Our hope is for those experiences to become wisdom, not a lingering plight.
Things fall apart. We’ve all seen this happen in our own lives and in the lives of those we love. I’ve seen myself become a different person, over a period, due to a tremendous amount of emotional heartache, turmoil, and trauma. These moments changed the tone of voice in my mind; it no longer believed in joy, natural highs, good intentions from others, or even the peaceful beauty of the world. I wore a mask of a smile, but there was nothing behind it but hopelessness. I could only hear my own thoughts that became more and more desolate. I thought, “wow, so this is how people who mean well fall, crumble, and become someone they don’t recognize.”
While reading some old writings from when I was in a better place, I felt something in that moment. I knew it was time. The sun was rising every morning, and it was either I jumped into it or stayed hidden. Either way, it was time to decide which side I wanted to stand on, and I knew I desperately needed warmth.
Depending on what you consume from this world, it impacts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically. There are wars outside our windows, across the street, and across the world. There are people we love who do not love us back, and people we thought of as family, who abandoned us in the darkest of hours. All these things and more make their way into our split-open hearts and tell us: maybe we don’t deserve love, maybe we are not safe or perhaps it is unlikely that we will ever be happy or feel whole. They make us wonder if any of our relationships will ever be handled sacredly and with the tenderness we’ve always ached or even prayed for — one that lays gently against old wounds.
With some self-work and the loving guidance of someone I adored, I learned that speaking about positivity and living a positive life was much more than just a fleeting thought or something to advise others to do. It’s real and sacred work, because it aligns us with the good things the universe has to offer. When you consistently work to push out the negative voice in your mind, there is a clear shift that frees you up to speak to yourself in a more fulfilling and loving way. It is important to love yourself in order to do this work meaningfully, and to love yourself enough to do it even when you don’t feel up to it. It is important to do this work during moments of happiness that are accompanied by the fear that the feeling won’t last, and to do it even when things do not go your way.
Be specific when speaking positivity onto yourself and your life. Say and believe that you can achieve that dream, that far away goal you let fall from your fingertips and dissipate. Say you deserve love, the kind that is thick as honey and nourishes every bone. When you are full of lingering doubt, tell yourself that although you were unable to achieve a particular goal this month, you can always try again until you do. Know that you are exactly who you were meant to be, with unique imperfections that make you stand out and give this world something different than it’s ever known. The things we say become the things we believe, so we must speak with intention.
We are more like nature than we think. Our beliefs and words plant seeds, and those seeds bloom eventually. Imagine the beauty of taking back the power you were given to gather up words that can feed your spirit, and letting them blow in the wind of fruition, just like the dandelion that comes each year with boundless promise.
Shatara Liora is a creative writer, poet, art curator, world traveler and psychotherapist. She is the author of poetry and prose collections "East of a Cold Red Sun" and "Love's Third Eye.” As the creator and founder of Poetic Magazine, she has created a space to highlight fine artists of various cultures. Shatara Liora can be found on social media as @shataraliora and at www.shataraliora.com.