“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianna Williamson

I remember when I would dim my own light. There was a fear that lingered within my soul which kept me from highlighting, me! This illusory form of distress and anxiety made me a victim to self. It kept me from embracing my womanhood. It left me in an uninterrupted state of stuck-ness, fading to grey on the inside.

I remember when I feared being labeled outside of my name. I actually believed that my confidence might feed the wrong impression to my audience. I imagined that others would whisper tales like, “she’s full of herself”, “who she thinks she is?”, “she think she cute”, “she thinks she’s better than me”. These whispers caused me to curl up in an internal shell. I would refrain from bringing too much attention to myself because I didn’t want to deal with the murmurs my mind would render as truth, when they were in fact planted lies.

Why? Why should I be fearful of embracing all that makes me woman?

Why not choose to be proud of all that encompasses the finery that is, A Beautiful Black Woman? Why not flaunt my womanhood with gratitude in each stride, mascara brightening my doe eyes, lipstick painted on a full canvas, breasts comfortably propped up high?

My femininity should not produce shame, or fear. My Womanhood should shed light and inspire life.

Why not admire the curves of my hips and the evidence of life that graces my skin. I should be able to raise my hands, whilst leaning my arms towards my cheek bones with adoration in my smile, as the waves alongside my body naturally follows those S-curves meant to display my sex appeal.

I should not be ashamed of all that makes me woman!

Not of the smoothness of my brown skin nor the versatility of the curls numbered in my crown.

Not of the length of my untoned legs nor the thickness of my thighs.

Not of the slightly elevated strokes of love that pregnancy has gifted alongside my rib cage – I am not ashamed of all that makes me woman!

I am a feeler. I am a lover. I am a nurturer. I am a giver. I am not ashamed of all that makes me woman.

I am delighted by my courage and the strength that keeps my head held high, instead of buried in lies meant to distract me from my true form.

My body creates life. My spirit produces life. My story inspires life.

I am not ashamed of all that makes me woman!

Women, we are not weak. Women, we are not feeble beings.

Women, we were not created to hide in the shadows, concealing the very beauty that was meant to personify the light combined in all the stars of all the galaxies.

We are all walking balls of fire fortified by a strength far deeper than any of that surface level sh*t.

Do not be ashamed of all that makes your Woman!

Embrace your Womanhood. Get to know your I Am. Get to know all the pieces of your soul that contributes to your unique self, and then embrace all of her. Unlearn the lie that whispers a false pretense that you were created to conform to an unrealistic ideology of “perfection”; or imperfection for that matter!

“A women in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself, and only herself.” – Maya Angelou

Be unapologetically you, be unapologetically beautiful!

Release/rid yourself of the person you were pretending to be. Now, embrace the woman you were created to be, and shine bright.

Never mask your true identity in an effort to please the masses; whether it be your family, your friends, your church or complete strangers. Choose to bloom! Choose to blossom as the woman you were created to be, set apart from the rest but still one in the spirit of love.

Don’t apologize for your faith, your beauty, your loving nature, your strength, your talents, your favor. Instead, acknowledge it, and claim it as your own.

I am grateful for the courage to embrace my entire self because I understand all it took for me to be able to exist in this place of genuine self- acceptance. To get to a place where I feel beautiful and encouraged to highlight that beauty for myself, and not for anyone else.

I do not apologize for having the confidence to be who I am, and I do not apologize if my confidence offends you.

I am not ashamed of all that makes me Woman!

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