For the next few months, I will be sharing a series of posts centred around an amazing campaign, which I’ve become a part of, as an Influencer. Choma (a South African-ism meaning ‘friend’) is an NGO focused on empowering young women. Their recent campaign, #DoneWithSilence, is an inspiring initiative which aims to break down silence and give women (and men) the courage to be able to liberate themselves. My role in the campaign, as a self-proclaimed truth-teller, is to share my story candidly, in the hope that others follow-suit. I hope to begin the conversations that truly matter.
Women’s month draws to a close and I’ve sat and wondered what difference I have made this month that will stay with me throughout the rest of the year. Advocacy is not meant to be seasonal. It is certainly not a view I subscribe to. Real transformation for me, means visceral change, and this is why I am candid about my own personal story so that I grow from it.
Self-love is a hard concept, especially for me. I’ve been known to be my harshest critic. But I have learnt over the last few years why self-love is so important. I cannot teach what I don’t fully embrace myself. And this means that I must be vocal about my struggle and my success. Self-love is multifaceted but the biggest factor for me, boils down to acceptance. Accepting who I truly am, unapologetically. That is a really difficult thing to do living in a society that prescribes how women should be and prescribes beauty ideals that are completely unattainable. How do you stay committed to transformation and self-growth in a world that forces you to conform?
Well. I have found a way that works for me. When I am living authentically, when I am fulfilling my purpose, I feel a sense of absolute joy, peace and happiness. When I am pretending and lying to myself, I have a heaviness in me that I cannot articulate but which makes me see the world differently. So, I have decided to consciously do what makes me feel good. This means only focusing on the good parts of myself and expanding them. This means writing my truth, speaking candidly about my story, connecting with others and being truly honest and open. I have learnt that this sparks connection on a human level and the feedback I get from others who tell me that I’ve given them permission to own their truth, is liberating and fuels me with love for others and myself.
I am #DoneWithSilence on self-hatred and pretending. I don’t want to live my life in the shadows. I hope you’re willing to join me in this never-ending journey toward self-love and acceptance, and most importantly, doing so authentically.