MEN. (No Other Words Needed In This Title)

I'll tell you this: I'm a little nervous about this post. Look at that title. I mean, it's grandiose. It's ambitious. I'm a little nervous. I've been putting this post off for a while now. I got home at about 5.45PM. I took a nap, showered. It's 8.42PM now. I've been thinking about writing on this topic for the past two days. I've been listening to my heart - really thinking hard about where I'd like to go with this one.

Men.

You know I love to pour out my heart to you, raw and unedited. I write as my heart leads. 

Let me first invite you to rest. Giiirl, grab a cuppa and let's chill. 

I don't know how your day's been. What you've been upto. I don't know if you're super excited about where you're at with your life or if you're exhausted and living on edge. If you're stressed out or cooling it like a cucumber. If you're anxious, excited, hopeful, dreamy, angry, discontent, hurt, joyful, spirited, motivated. 

Well here, I invite you to rest.

Breathe. Inhale and exhale. Stop and listen to the sounds around you.  Listen to the hum and drum of humanity. Take a moment to wiggle your toes, stretch your back, rub your eyes. How are you? How are you doing? What's really going on? How are you feeling? It's okay, with me you're right at home. No need for pretences, no need to be perfect. Take a moment to rest, to breathe in and out. Slowly, purposefully. Ground yourself in this present moment.

Rest. 

So yeah, men.

This topic is a hard one. 

I feared for a moment that maybe I was wading in waters too deep. You know I love to talk about my favourite hair products and beauty secrets but I also like to be real with you. Behind the wigs, accessories, fashion tips, hair growth is real life. And as I've said many times, it's easy especially with all we see on Instagram and Snapchat, to feel overwhelmed, less than worthy. To feel alone.

That's okay. I understand. 

So yeah, men. 

I've had my fair share of traumas and I can tell you this, being in love is the most convoluted thing. The ups downs the heartbeats his scent his voice his assurance the arguments the texts the laughter. Love is deep. Falling in love is deep. It's nothing like my heart has known before. 

It's taken me while to get here. To accept love. I've been bruised along the way. Just like you, I've been let down. I've heard phrases like "mafisi" (hyenas in Swahili) in reference to men who prey on young women; and each venomous declaration of "team mafisi" has shredded my heart. I know how it feels to be the hunted.

To be a young woman, in your mid-20's is to have experienced some level of hurt when it comes to men and relationships. We've been dumped or done the dumping. We've broken engagements. We've had him put a ring on it. We've had children by men who've battered and left us. We've been married and experienced the joy of companionship. We've waded in deep heated love with men who make our blood rush. We've been hurt. We've felt freedom. We've been liberated. It was exhilarating, it was worth it. We learned. We experienced. A barrage of events, memories, encounters, conversations. With men. Outside of our parents watchful eye we've had to discern his intentions. Is he here for the long run. Is he out to use me.

To be a young woman in your mid-20's has meant you've learnt to guard your heart. We're learning the strength of our commitment and we're learning that our hearts are precious. We're learning to hold back and treasure what we offer. Men. We're learning through our mistakes to listen to our gut. We're learning who we are outside of men and in relationships with them. We're learning that even though we've had some traumatic experiences, we've come out refined. We've come out only more aware of how much we're worth. We're learning. Everyday we're learning. 

So then go on and forgive yourself.

For falling so hard for him. Forgive yourself for the hurt you may have caused yourself in the process of love. Forgive yourself for believing your worth was tied to him and his opinions of you. Forgive yourself for depending on his approval for your wellbeing. Forgive yourself for mistakes you may have made along the way, for regrets and for mishaps. For ill decisions that bruised you. 

Find strength to find value in the beauty of your inner worth. 

Find strength to love yourself, shamelessly. Mistakes and all. Scars and flaws. 

Find stregth to determine within yourself what you will, and will not accept.  

Find strength to know who you are, outside of him, despite of him and in spite of him. 

Find strength to embrace the realities of your journey. You've done many things right. You've grown, you've blossomed, you've learnt. 

So rest. Give yourself a hug. Cry if you need to. Vent to your girlfriends. Keep a journal. Listen to some good music. Read a great book. Take a walk at sunset. Rest your heart. Soothe your inner spirit. Breathe. Trust your journey. Trust that in due time, this whole relationship thing, it will all fall in place. And then re-focus your energies. On your talents and abilities. Serve those around you. Keep yourself occupied with activities you love. Love on yourself. Learn to trust your inner voice and above all, let your inner beauty beam. Because you, you my friend are gem like the world has never seen before. 

Whatever you do be gentle with yourself. The magic of life hides in the dusty corners of chaos and you must sweep away the layers before you reach the calm, euphoric moments. Decide on your own accord to love you. Look in the mirror and see how extraordinary you are. You are something incredible. Wrap yourself in gratitude and humility. Shed off perfectionism. Nurture yourself like a soft and gentle wildflower. Wander in the wind but stay rooted in who you are. Bask in the sunshine of day. Take succulent gulps of fresh crisp air. Fill your inner being with warmth, energy and grace.

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I know this one's been deep, but feel free to leave me a note down below, heck even an emoji! I really love hearing back from you. 

Sending you lots of (extra) love & sunshine, 

Tabitha.