Everything we need to experience joy is inside us. When we seek it outside of ourselves, we miss the mark. When we defer the responsibility to someone else, eventually we find that they will repeatedly fail at the task — because it isn’t their job; it’s ours.
So many of us are looking for happiness in books, things, relationships, experiences. While they can, indeed, provide a sense of satisfaction and might even be part of our individual recipe for fulfillment, they’ll never fill the gap that remains when we don’t ourselves tend to the work of satisfying our inner lives.
This was originally posted on January 28, 2011. Lately, it’s been calling out to me. I needed it and wanted to share it again.
We’re all looking for pure bliss and resounding ecstasy. We want to drop our worries and feel alive, feel connected to the magic of this world. All too often, though, this desire results in the abuse of alcohol, drugs and other legal or illegal substances. In using or abusing these substances, the user often does more harm than good.
But alcohol and drugs are completely unnecessary and actually quite costly to both your body and your wallet. There’s another way.
It’s natural. It’s safe. It’s free. It’s legal and always available to you.
Approximately six years ago, I relaxed my hair for the last time. It was the day before my graduation and wearing my hair natural had been on my mind for several months, as I could no longer justify putting a dangerous chemical directly on my head to straighten my hair for aesthetic purposes while actively seeking to eat organic foods; it was a silly contradiction and I immediately understood it as such.
Almost a year later, I cut off the relaxed ends and wound up wearing a teeny weeny afro that I initially hated. Nothing was wrong with it per se, I just thought my curls would be looser, bigger, more flowing. I wanted my hair to be longer than it was. There were times I’d look in the mirror and cry: what had I done? Why did I do this? Yet, there was such a strong knowing that I was at the point of no return; my last relaxer was the last relaxer. “I’m undergoing a paradigm shift,” I’d tell myself when I needed comforting.
When you begin to wear your hair the way it grows out of your head after years of manipulating it to specifically do otherwise, you’re suddenly confronted with your ideas about beauty in general, your individual beauty, and your people’s beauty.
Many women consider it to be a quasi spiritual experience, and, honestly, that’s no exaggeration. It’s a reawakening. To yourself. To your beauty. To your ancestry. To healthy self-esteem.
As a child, I watched my grandfather eat grapefruit regularly. Eager to be like him, I requested to taste it, and hated it. What was wrong with the man?
A decade and some change later, I’d drastically changed the way I ate to manage my migraines. Processed foods had become a decreasing part of my diet, while natural foods became the foundation, so my taste completely changed. While perusing the grocery store for new foods, I found myself staring at a grapefruit.
I was once a half-hearted fatalist.Â Everything happened for a reason, but the undesirable moments were flukes.Â “What did I do to deserve this?Â There must be some kind of mistake.”Â As such, I fully embraced the victim mentality and chose to believeÂ I had little power over outcomes in my life.Â I was wading in a pool of uncertainty and insecurity, and downright miserable because of it.
There was, however, a turning point.Â Read more