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Woman looking at her reflection in the mirror

Source: Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty

As girls, we are taught many things about life and how to meet society’s expectations for women. We are groomed at a very early age to invest heavily in relationships with certain individuals because those connections are a vital part of our existence. Girls are taught to be good mothers, to be good wives, to be good daughters, and to be good friends. However, in the midst of all of that teaching and grooming, we are rarely urged to be good to ourselves.

Although no one places emphasis on girls being responsible for themselves, it yields the greatest rewards in life. Yeah, there will be those who say focusing heavily on one’s self is a bad thing, but I beg to differ; being responsible for yourself is a mindful act that promotes self-love, self-care, and wellness. By now we all know that these are three things that are most important in life.

Self-love is a conscious act of appreciating oneself that grows over time and supports our mental, emotional and spiritual growth and development. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness and it promotes peace and joy.  It’s the highest vibration you can offer yourself and it is exhibited by taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your happiness to please others. When devotion to one’s self is present, you refuse to settle for less than you deserve because you know your worth and that knowledge creates a standard in which you live your life by.

Your life changes the moment you love yourself enough to create a standard that induces joy, and peace while dismissing anything and anyone who doesn’t serve you well. Not only does actively being responsible for yourself allow you to create and support a great standard, but it is the best thing you can do for people who you are connected to. Your standard is the foundation that every relationship you have in life is built on. Why? Because people treat you how you treat you. If you constantly place yourself on the backburner and put them first they will leave you on the backburner because they think you like it there.

My life changed in so many ways the moment I realized that I was my greatest responsibility. I removed people from my circle and I made it clear to those who remained that I was no longer the side chick in my life or theirs. Oh, and please note being a side chick is deeper than you think; it isn’t reserved solely for sexual relationships and entanglements. So, I let everyone know, you either make me a priority and treat me good or you can go. Even my children had to be put on notice because they had become too comfortable with me sacrificing my needs and wants for them. As I tell them, “AHT AHT AHT! I want you to be happy but iff mama aint happy, aint nobody happy and mama intends to be happy!”

All that being said, now is the time to do the work needed to be #affirmedAF. Find a mirror, put your cellphone camera on selfie mode, or do whatever you have to do to look at yourself. Repeat to yourself: “I am my greatest responsibility! I will be good to myself above everything and everyone else because I deserve my love.” Period.

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