* photography credit: amadiphotography.com
* Written by Tyece Wilkins for YettiSays Self-Love Month | “For Black Girls” post series
Who were you before the lights went dark? What did your life look like when you painted it in burgundy and emerald green instead of cod gray and alabaster? How did you float through the world before the 20-pound weights were strapped to your ankles? Who is the woman lying dormant at your core, the one who reminds your pink bleeding heart that surely, this life is worth living?
The word floats through your mind on a Wednesday morning as you struggle through meditation. The lights are dim and the day is just barely breaking. It is 7:31AM and you have already cried once today. You haven’t even brushed your teeth, and yet you’ve already cried once today. And, all you can think of is the word “restoration.” How you need restoration. How you cry out for restoration. How you long and yearn for restoration.
The first definition of restore is “to bring back into existence, use or the like; reestablish.” The third definition of restore is “to bring back to a state of health, soundness or vigor.”
You need to be brought back home. Perhaps you need to be carried back home, ferried back home, placed on the wings of a Steller’s sea eagle, and flown back home. No matter the mode of transport, home is what you crave. Not the place, but the state of being. Not the roof and the doors and the windows, but the refuge of knowing you are living a life that is true and rich and yours for the taking. A life that hums at your highest wavelength. A life where you are free and fully expressed, safe to be who God intended for you to be.
It feels like you’re 1,000 miles away from that now, somewhere out in the bottom of the ocean.
You need to bring yourself back home.
Remind yourself of the story of life before. Before the wreckage. Before the relationship. Before the eye of the storm swallowed you whole. Before the sky went starless. Before dawn gave way to twilight. Before joy gave way to fear. Before what you wanted to do gave way to what you had to do. Survival is Darwinian, but it is simply not how God designed us to live.
Tell yourself the story of life before as you begin to swim back to the shoreline. Chant the story as you paddle and fight and breast-stroke your way back to the shoreline.
There is nothing in this world he can give you that you cannot give to yourself. There is nothing you can give him if you cannot first give it to yourself. Love comes from somewhere deep in the bottom of the belly, so far down it is almost subterranean. Love is not something anyone promises to give you, but rather something you must first and without fail give to yourself. Loving yourself is how you find your way back home. Loving yourself is how you will be restored.