I’m a true believer that all you need is love. Sometimes I actually have to remind myself that I need a little money and some amenities to survive in this world. Love is what fuels me buts it’s also the reward. I remind myself daily to focus on these aspects of love.
Love for Someone
Love for Something
Love for Yourself
Love for Someone
Whether you’re married or single is not important. Loving someone is the key. Anyone. A friend, a parent, a sibling. Not the kind of love that brings you together a few times a year or gets you a birthday text. The kind of love that you put work into. The love that is above and beyond a text or Facebook post. Love that they can feel no matter where they are or who they’re with. That’s how you love someone. Real commitment and dedication. The kind of love that’s an action, that’s hard to give to a lot of people at once. So choose your people. Who do you love? Who needs your love? My people right now are my daughters and of course my husband. My mother too. I’ve always believed that loving someone was not the difficult part. Making sure they feel loved is the challenge. So, challenge yourself.
Love for something
My thing is the steelpan. My instrument. An instrument I played since I was a child. Recently, a student asked at an assembly “why do I feel a warm breeze like I’m at the beach or somewhere nice when I hear you play?” She had never heard a steelpan at the beach so I told her that feeling was called joy and if you enjoy being at the beach then you’re relating this sound to a happy memory. That’s what the instrument does.
I’ve never witnessed anything else in my lifetime that makes so many people so happy. Well, maybe…s’mores. I’ve also never witnessed anything that brings together so many different types of people. Because of this love, I’ve become extremely dedicated to teaching about the steelpan and preserving the legacy of one of its pioneers, my father.
Love for yourself
I’ve always been a big advocate for loving yourself. Thinking you’re beautiful, knowing your worth and having pride in your story. I believe that I was blessed with self-esteem and pride. Growing up in America in the 80’s as a poor, immigrant, dark-skinned girl is not for the faint of heart, but somehow when I looked in the mirror, I loved what I saw… a pretty, strong, smart, talented and a very hard-working girl with big goals and a giving spirit. I knew these things about myself then and years later I still believe them to be true even if at times it’s wavered.
Growing up, I saw that women who looked like me were not perceived or portrayed as having those qualities. So not only did I have the challenge of continuing to believe that about myself, but I was also faced with the challenge of defending why I believed that about myself, especially from those with opposing views based on what they were taught.
Still today, I encounter people who are offended by my self-esteem and confidence. It’s challenged, as if I don’t deserve it or it somehow makes them lesser than. I recognize that their behavior stems from how they in turn feel about themselves or the biases of that individual. Biases they sometimes don’t even recognize they have. However, I’m raising young girls who are even more confident than I was. Their strength is what pushes me to continue to not only be a great example but to always overcome.
All in All
Give your love, make sure it’s felt.
Find a passion and nourish your soul.
When you love yourself, you are better able to love others.
Happy Valentine’s Day xoxo