I want to close Love Yourself Month with a song that is as powerful and reaffirming as it is beautiful and relaxing. Sometimes, you have to hear something in many different ways until you are to fully grasp the meaning.
This song, I Am Light by India.Arie means a lot to me, and it gives me great pleasure to dedicate it to you. India is an excellent writer. She has the ability to weave powerful messages into the most unassuming songs. I meditate to this song. I listen to it when I need to relax after a strenuous morning, I play it for my son when he is having a bad day. In all those instances, I play the song, place my hand on my heart, and breathe.
I am not the things my family didIndia Arie
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside
I am light
I dedicate this song to remind you that you not the sum of your situation. You are part of the situation, but it is unfair for you to internalize it and make it part of your identity. It is a piece of your history, but your history should never define your future. Instead, it should guide it.
The past often feels like a heavy, spiked chain, piercing and restraining, making the future seem bleak. The first step to loosening the chain is to love and forgive yourself. Then and only then can you begin to form new patterns that can bring you peace.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” While this quote is overused on my campus, that does not make it any less poignant. My mother used to admonish, “Watch your mouth because you can speak your own heaven or hell into existence.” I preferred to believe my pen was mightier than my tongue since no one listens to a middle child anyway. To be fair, it does not matter who is correct, it only matters that it is true.
The song and quote illustrate that the perception you hold of yourself is more important than that of the outside world. Accept your past for what it is. Accept that you are both being and becoming. You are who you are, and yet you are continually changing. Love yourself to make room for those changes. My final dedication for February is a gem from a powerhouse. Enjoy.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova