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Self Love. Self Care.

“Bottom line, don’t ask those questions unless it’s completely necessary let people ask you for help or share with you voluntarily because you never know the impact it might have on them.”

“hurt people hurt people”………… “love yourself so much”

Let’s be mindful of other people’s feelings and let’s learn to love ourselves.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.
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We live in interesting times these days, a time when our feelings actually matter. When growing up our parents didn’t want to know how you feel about anything. It was all about the laid down law, especially by our African moms, or nothing. We were supposed to be strong because having feelings was somehow viewed as a sign of weakness. Maybe this is why we are struggling to understand that our words (even those we assume are harmless because the intention is pure) actually hurt people’s feelings. I have been seeing such related topics and to be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out but at the same time I understand and I see how people can be hurt. It stems from the most innocent of questions like, “What have you been doing?” , “You look good for a mother of three”, “You look good for a person of your age”. Simple statements that we intend to be compliments, actually aren’t. It got me reflecting on my life and the people around me and I discovered two things, 1) I have been on the recipient side where people have made comments that hurt my feelings that were probably not out of malice and 2) I have asked people questions that may have been hurtful.

1) AS THE RECIPIENT
One fact about me is that I have been fat (wow still trying to accept that word) for most part of my life and every now and then I have people making comments such as, “Naona unakula vizuri (I see you’ve been eating well)”, “Uko na macheeks (You have big cheeks), “Unafaa uanze zoezi ama gym (You should start doing exercises or go to the gym), “Umepunguza kiasi unakaa poa sasa (You have reduced your weight slightly and you look good now) and so many more. These small “harmless” statements here and there over the years contributed to my low self esteem and I ended up not loving myself or believing in myself. However, I have learnt a few things in the past few years that I have to love myself the way I am, I have to be my own biggest fan, No one can dim my light, there is absolutely no one else like me out there and most importantly I can not change anyone else but myself. All those statements up there are other people’s opinions which is okay it’s their right but for me and my body, I’ll be whatever size I want and be proud of it period. So these days I don’t take such comments to heart…..well….at least I try my best not to because let’s be honest this is a lifetime healing process and journey and hey I’m still human!

2) AS THE “OPPOSITE OF NUMBER 1)”
To be honest, I’m struggling with this one because only one recent incidence comes to mind. I am by no means saying I’m perfect but because of my esteem struggles I have always tried to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and sometimes I’m accused of being tooooo sensitive. I have 2 of my close campus female friends who have children and each time one of them told me the news I found myself asking about the dad. In my mind, I was just being concerned about my friends because I know some men can be assholes when it comes to such situations and also to establish if there is any other way I can be supportive in terms of financial assistance. And they gave me answers that to me didn’t sound very true (I could be wrong) and I didn’t understand why they would lie to me. So I’ve been thinking about it and rethinking and I realized I put them in that situation by asking them that question. I tried to figure out how I would have asked in a different way and I came to one conclusion, “I should have never asked in the first place”. I just needed to know they were okay and that’s it, if they needed my help they would have asked and if they wanted to share that information they would have told me in their own accord anyways.

Bottom line, don’t ask those questions unless it’s completely necessary let people ask you for help or share with you voluntarily because you never know the impact it might have on them. And if you’re a recipient know that hurt people hurt people and secondly love yourself so much that such statements don’t get to you because sometimes people do it unintentionally and you’ll be the one left with the burden.

Let’s be mindful of other people’s feelings and let’s learn to love ourselves.

Be You. Be Happy. Spread some love.

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