1.The Superwoman syndrome

As women, we are faced with many responsibilities such as being a wife, sister, friend, daughter, aunt, colleague, coach, mom, organizer, counselor, President of an organization(s), entrepreneur, the go-to girl, the go-get-it girl, the do-er and whatever else. We take on a lot of people’s stuff without blinking and eye. We don’t realize how these things affect us, we internalize and suppress people’s stuff and our stuff and eventually self-destruct. We don’t do a great job with setting limitations and boundaries with others. We also don’t do a great job with putting ourselves first on our “to-do list” Hence, this is why we suffer from burn out — because we don’t take the time to love ourselves first. In order to help, serve and encourage others, we must do these things to take care of ourselves first.

Many women feel guilty when loving and putting themselves first. We are here to tell you that if you don’t take the time to care for yourself, you will be taken advantage of, become resentful and become bitter. Self-care is a must! Celebrate yourself by appreciating all your greatness.

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2. The “love don’t live here” mindset

In an Essence Magazine article, it was reported that 900,000 African-American women EACH YEAR are getting cosmetic surgery, while the number of Caucasian women doing so has slightly declined. Lately, cosmetic surgery is increasing among sistahs. Take, for example, Vivica A. Fox and Lil’ Kim. Lil’ Kim underwent cosmetic surgery because she said that she wanted to be the “Black Barbie.” More and more African-American celebrities are getting things nipped and tucked. The women who idolize these celebrities tend to want to follow suit.

One of the women interviewed in the article, a 40-year-old professional, stated she spends $500 a month to get hydrogel injected into her backside in order to look like the “voluptuous video vixens” as seen in King Magazine. The 40-year-old professional confessed that she is tired of coming home to an empty house and wants to keep a man interested in her because she is tired of the 20-somethings “taking all the men.”

Another young lady in her mid-20s was interviewed and discussed how she enrolled in an oral sex class at a local adult shop due to her “lack of experience and knowledge” about oral sex. She further explained how her current boyfriend “inspired” her to do so. This young lady’s, “oh-so-loving” boyfriend told her that her “head game” was weak and she needed a crash course on oral sex in order for them to continue their relationship. When I read this I thought, he better be an oral sex champion his damn self and if so why wasn’t he sexually empowering her and strengthening their intimacy through exploration and communication. But that’s another article in itself. Imagine the deep emotional bruising that was caused to her self-worth and self-esteem.

When we have not received appropriate behaviors to model ourselves after such as healthy love, a sense of belonging and attachment, we latch onto unhealthy behaviors and people. When you’re lacking confidence and self-esteem, it’s virtually impossible to expect anyone else to treat you with a sense of dignity and respect. Like my girl Lauryn Hill said, “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?”

3. The sistah shade room

Let’s discuss dysfunctional sisterhood, shall we? Sometimes I wonder did our mamas and aunties and them have as much drama as we see on Love and Hip Hop or the Real Housewives? I believe that when we open our subconscious mind to these images we see on “reality TV ” we begin to believe it’s ok to treat our friends and sisters this way too. The gossip, the back biting, etc. is so toxic that it will naturally block anything good from showing up in your life, let alone the love you want and need.

When a sister-friend is constantly negative, stuck in life, doesn’t communicate and doesn’t respect the circle of sisterhood, they no longer serve your purpose. You must build up the courage to release that friendship with love. Releasing these relationships lovingly is so important because you are allowing yourself to let go of any resentment and bitterness that will keep you jammed up internally.

There are divine laws that govern our lives, whether we know it or not. One, in particular, is The Universal Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction states that like energy attracts like energy. So think about it: what type of reality will you attract when you don’t love yourself and are tied up in toxic relationships?

If you want to get unblocked and allow more love into your life check out some free tools here

Satta K. Jallah is a certified yoga instructor and the founder of Holistic Roots Movement, a holistic feminist wellness business. The mission of Holistic Roots is to promote wellness by teaching different holistic health modalities such as yoga, dance, energy therapy, and natural beauty education.

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Andrea C. Imafidon is the brain-child of Brown Girl From Boston, an unapologetic blog for women of color who are looking to uncover their FLYness (Forever Liberate Yourself so you can Fearlessly Loving Yourself). Andrea is a social media maven, The FLY Holistic Life Coach, blogger, author and an inspirational speaker.

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Self-Care for Brown Girls email: selfcareforbrowngirls@gmail.com