Yes I know today isn’t Friday. But I want to share with you something that happened to me a few months ago which I am proud of.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Phoenix Rising Collective, for their Love Yourself First Friday.
The aim of this special feature is to shed light on various ways we as women are practicing self-care, making it a priority in our lives.
After a couple of years of being in the doldrums and not being able to look myself in the eyes in the mirror, I feel I’ve come a long way to the point of actively practicing self-love. Maybe going through situations and experiences that others might recognise and gain insight from by sharing this way.
The question that struck home the most was; Is there an obstacle or challenge that you’ve overcome that lead you to a deeper love for who you are? In answer to this question, for the first time, I revealed my dirty secret. And it felt good to finally speak out about it.
Here is my answer and read the rest of the interview here.
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would spin open.” -Muriel Rukeyer
There comes a time in everybody’s life when the unspeakable happens. To say it hasn’t happened or won’t happen to you is a lie. You’re kidding yourself. Believe me.
In May 2015, the unspeakable happened to me. There was a public shaming. My whole world fell apart the day I was accused of being a plagiarist on Facebook by a ‘so-called’ friend and fellow poet. He wrote that he’d found whole scale “borrowings” from other writers’ words, phrases, and structures within my latest collection of poetry. He said that he was just doing his duty for the poetry community by bringing it to everyone’s attention. What followed was what I chose to call a public lynching of me as a writer, poet and person. This was the unspeakable that happened to me. But funny enough, I am speaking about it here, as well as writing a creative non-fiction book about this whole experience. Everything I knew, all I was, how I thought myself to be was taken from me in that public posting. I issued an apology regarding my unintentional mistakes and withdrew from the public realm. At one point, death looked a very promising course of action, but I had my family and some supportive friends who helped me.
Within the Chakra system there is a heart center called Anahata Chakra. In Sanskrit, Anahata means “Unstruck.” For me this speaks to the resilient nature of the human heart. I believe, wholeheartedly, that there is a place within my heart that is absolutely unbreakable. Thank you Chris Maddox for this wisdom.
This experience did break my heart, stopped me from loving, and shut me down and out. However, there was a minute part that kept pulsing, kept the light on for me. Maybe it was my belief in self, my self-love that got me through each day.
Each day has not been wasted. I have taken this experience as a wake-up call, a wake-up to explore and claim my authenticity. Afterwards, I had nothing. I couldn’t even look myself in the face at one point. But writing my book and starting to take photographs of myself have supported me in my climb up. I can’t say climb ‘back’, because who or what I am becoming, I do not know. I have never met this woman. I do know that love and self-love, first and foremost, are at the center of this journey.