Here to close our February Self-Love Series is cofounder DevinMarie. We hope you continue to live out your life LOVE-filled; no matter the stage of your journey post sexual assault.
“There were some days earlier on in making the decision to embrace this whole “self-love journey” that I wanted to give up. There were many people I knew who spoke on its importance, and who made it apparent that I would never truly be happy without it. No matter how I tried to embrace this romanized ideal of conquering my insecurities and unraveling the pain of my traumatic past, I couldn’t grasp it.
The biggest obstacle for me was facing fear. For most of my adolescence, I masked this fear with academic and athletic success throughout my schooling, with relationships, seeking acceptance of others, and trying to be the most likable individual by all people.
The problem with my approach to this “love thing” was its passivity and lack of addressing the common denominator in all these outer influences; that being myself.
When things failed or I didn’t gain enough fulfillment, I played victim to the present situation only mirroring the reality of my past.
You know how people say after a break up “you need to hookup with someone else and then you’ll get over him/her” or even “keep yourself busy and you’ll eventually move on...”
In other more simplified terms “ a distracted life is a happy life...right?”
When I removed the distractions; the relationship I thought I couldn’t exist without, the career I drowned myself in , the job that was overly demanding, the toxic habits of alcohol-soothing, anti-depressant taking, co-dependent self, I was left with a stripped, very vulnerable, version of me. Only this vulnerability was different from my past. This vulnerability was a choice, my choice...a type of vulnerability that was once subject to neglect, rape, domestic violence and trauma. This vulnerability was equally terrifying and empowering. I finally saw myself for who I was independent of drugs, outside gratification, relationships, or accolades.
The thing I wanted so desperately was to be seen—because my past taught me my worth was invisible to others, including myself. Had the man that straddled his own insecurities on my helpless body seen past my body as more than object and seen my humanity, perhaps he wouldn’t have taken advantage. Or if the boy who groped my body in the fifth grade had seen that I was uncomfortable with his previous advances, he would have stopped, or had the classmates in P.E class seen the evidence of self harm on my legs when undressing in the locker rooms asked if I was okay...maybe I would have sought help sooner?
This isn’t a matter of fault, but of self-worth. I was living in this temple, yet even I couldn’t see that what happened to me wasn’t my fault; I couldn’t see the survivor under my many layers of victimhood. It wasn’t until I surrendered to the truth about who I am in Christ, that I was able to distinguish between the truth about my present and the perpetuated lies of my past. ♥️
Getting to this point has had its share of ups and downs. I’ve wanted to retreat back to victimhood; by pointing the finger at the people that hurt me, the people that failed to protect & defend me, the broken system that victim blames just as much as I was blaming myself. None of these actions or sentiments of hate actually healed the piece that remained broken; my heart. I prayed for God to restore it, to restore me to the woman I was called to be. As a result, I’ve gained greater insight of these habits and its origins. More importantly, I focused my attention on myself, the person who needed the most attention, and nurturing when the world said I was alone in this—I wasn’t. Neither are you. We are in this together no matter where you are on the journey of self-love; you can access is the truths to your hurt and HEAL just like I have and CONTINUING TO DO. 🙏🏽
There is no more room for self-sabotaje, self-doubt, self-blame, only LOVE. Part of our frustration dwells in our spirit fighting to grow out of the cocoon you wrapped yourself in to self-soothe the wounds this world has given you. Only problem is, you were born to fly, and be free; that was a l w a y s God’s intention. 🐛—>🦋To accept that grace I chose to walk my journey toward self-love with Jesus; someone who knows a lot about feeling alone, being wrongfully blamed and unethically treated. I haven’t looked back since, I’m healed...I can live again; and it’s my prayer you feel that freeness in YOU too.”
Cheering you on Queen and King... you were made for MORE that what you’ve been through.
As we close our self-love series for the month of February...the teaching and walking in these principles will most certainly continue!
Stay tuned for our new series launching tomorrow as we continue to grow, learn and heal together!
Love & Solidarity,
To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness...-Robert Nesta Marley.
So many of us know the word L-O-V-E 💞 It has been said by many that
"To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness."
-Robert Nesta Marley
I sit here on my lunch break thinking back on L-O-V-E 💜 and how L-O-V-E
has been a challenge and still is an everyday challenge for me to unwrap. Some may say, “but love is free...
you can easily utter the words “I love you" and go on about your day. As much as this is true, this is not necessarily a known reality for everyone.
I am someone who grew up in a house-hold that never said "I love you" on a regular basis. So expressing love didn’t always come easy. Becoming a
victim of rape did NOT help with expressing my feelings either, and inviting L-O-V-E 💕 into my life became very difficult.
I often thank God for my Pastor/ Mentor Lady Dez Kadesh for always expressing the urge for love.
It has not been an easy task for me to show love and express my feelings, my husband would be a great witness lol, but
as stated in the quote above, when you fall in love with your self it does not only give you happiness, but
peace and joy knowing that no matter what people may say no matter what people may do or what the world, social media "states" is real love; it can not compare to that of unconditional LOVE ❤️. Which leads me to
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now if God can love you through your sins, through your up’s and downs, love you through it all no matter what, why are you so hard on your self? Why are you holding on to that thing that will not let you see beyond your flaws, beyond your mistakes?
Now I am not saying your going to wake up today and be all lovable, but surely make it your daily goal to love more,
let this be the year that love covers all pain and past hurt, whether it is self-love, school, career, family, friendships, or any other relationships.... don't let the enemy win your joy and take away your love for all things mentioned; let your love win over the joy of your family, friendships, relationships, dreams etc. Yes I know its not easy, but trust me the moment I decided that my past would have no
control and I mean no control over my self-love 💕I overcame hurt, pain and embraced life with L-O-V-E 😍. By the grace of our Heavenly Father; I conquered fear and became a champion.—Cristal Lowe
For more champion arories of love stay tuned for next week’s blog post as cofounder DevinMarie reflects on her unique journey towards embracing self-love post-sexual assault.
Until then, all of you who support, read, learn, grow and heal with us, (we appreciate your journey, and your extended love towards us)
With Love and Solidarity,
As mentioned in last week's post, people don't often speak on dating/ relationships post sexual assault, so I wanted to share a bit of experiences to help continue to conversation.
It was very difficult to even imagine myself in a relationship after the pain I had endured. I carried the weight of so much pain from being raped, not only because I was a victim of sexual assault, but because my rapist took my virginity, something I planned to keep till I got married.
Three months after the worst experience of my life I found myself getting into a relationship that I was absolutely not ready for. I continued to go through the motions of being in relationships like these and rationalized my actions by affirming my power in this situation. I figured if it was all my choice, and my decision to be in the relationship; this time around, it was my choice to say yes to sex. In my mind I thought, “I would feel better and move forward with my life.”
As great as this all sounded, I was running to and from relationships and running away from the truth. I wrong....😐 the "ONLY" relationship I should have chose to be in was with myself.
I know it may sound cliché, but truth is, we can't love someone else when we can't even love ourselves. I might have thought I loved myself, but I couldn't even look myself in the mirror and say "You are BEAUTIFUL " OR "I LOVE YOU QUEEN.” I couldn’t speak life of love into myself...how could I have expected to be able to receive those affirmations or acts of love outside of myself?
SO it all comes down to one thing; learn to love yourself even in the pain of figuring out “how could this happen to me?” Love yourself to a place of wholeness as hard as it is when you see others carrying on in relationships. Love yourself as if there will never be another person who can save you. Love yourself so that you will accept nothing less than what you truly deserve.
With ❤❤ Cristal Lowe
“It’s not something spoken about much, we tend to carry on like most survivors just to get by. The whole, “you survived that trauma, you’re still here, that must mean or count for something....right?”
Like many survivors of sexual assault, I too carried on my day-to-day routine. I was only 2months into my first semester of college and I was already falling behind, on top of work obligations.
The last thing I was really wanting to deal with was a relationship with myself, let alone anyone else for that matter. Shortly after being raped, I slowly started distancing myself from my long-distance boyfriend. Our relationship ended soon after from the emotional and mental toll it had on me—I was hollowed out of any hope or fairy-tale of being in love ever again.
Even so, I yearned for a sense of security and found myself entertaining hopeless situations with people who saw me as I saw myself, just another body to be used and taken advantage of. My self-esteem what shot. I filled up my false-sense of security with empty compliments and attention from those who reflected only my hurt past. I was on a fast-train to hell in every aspect of my being—I had no identity except for the night I married my worth to someone else’s manipulative power.
A few months later, I met someone who I eventually began a relationship with that lasted a little over four years. Still broken, still lacking trust, self-worth, love, and security, that person introduced me to Jesus one Sunday afternoon, the purpose of our entire relationship I now have peace about. Because I was knew in my faith and still understanding Romans 8:20 (old->new) I couldn’t detach myself from a bond I equated my new found peace in; the soul-ties that were created throughout my new found faith in Jesus Christ was still robbing me of the relationship I always prayed for.
Sooo when did I find my happily ever after?
The moment I let go of it all...the moment I decided I wasn’t going to use my relationships with man to determine my worth and value. The moment when I surrendered my very desire to be in love and be loved back. It was the moment I lost absolutely everything I ever wanted and was emptied of myself in order for God to fill His spirit and the likeness of His character in the cracks and grooves of my once broken heart. ♥️
Next week, we will continue this discussion of relationships and self-love post sexual assault with what we learned, and things that will hopefully help in guiding you along your journey of self-acceptance and restoring your true identity in a love untainted or defiled. A love that breathes life in the dead places of your heart and mind. A love that is healing and makes room for your growth!!
Till then, we send our love and continuous support to you, LOVE yourself on today, & be patient with yourself! —DevinMarie
Love & solidarity,
Devin & Cristal
Alright ya’ll...we made it through our first month of 2018! We pray you are growing in love, deepening your relationships with your loved ones, and in Christ!
For some of us, it’s been a rocky start, maybe things haven’t gone as planned or what you hoped for? Perhaps you’re struggling with finances, relationships seem to be falling out of sorts, or you feel unseen and under appreciated?
We don’t know everyone’s journey personally, but we know everyone is in need of truth, nurturing, love and support. We pray you continue to find that here, whether you’re a sexual assault survivor, or just someone who needs a word on tips on how to get-by...
This month, Cristal and myself have put together content we hope will fill in the gaps to some of those struggles (whatever they may be) and we hope you can do that through your journey of self-L O V E.
You may be wondering....how does this apply to the real issues I’m facing, and isn’t this the same thing we read up on last month/year?
The answer simply put, is “Yes”. But how many of us forget to apply such principles, or even know where to begin? Self-love is an extension of self-care, only we are going a bit deeper this series discussing the foundation of truly loving yourself, the ABC’s of l-o-v-e, and the realness of relationships: post sexual-trauma.
We will of course share tips on how we apply these principles in our daily walks, and encourage you to be open & receive another perspective to something many want, yet are without...
Will you join us this month committing to such a love? Or are you still waiting for your anwser/solution outside of yourself? Let’s journey together—in love ♥️
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.