27 years of life, love, and healing

black blogger, black girl blogger, black woman writer, black writer, healing, inspiration, inspirational blog, life advice, lifestyle, mental health, self care, self help

Today is my 27th birthday and I must say I did not expect to make it this long. Not to be morbid but depression is a mothafucka’ and that mothafucka’ has tried to take me out a couple of times. However, I am also a short, sometimes stubborn Haitian woman. You have gotta’ really push me to my limit before the thought of actually giving up even actualizes in my brain. Granted I have given up on quite a few jobs in my 20s but they were no longer worth my time and time is something we can never get back. So in this piece I want to give you 7 reasons why I never fully gave up on life and why you shouldn’t either. Ready? You sure? Keep up cause I won’t be repeating myself.

1. The Beauty of Breath

There is something so peaceful and fulfilling when you truly take a step back to focus on your breath. Consider all of the functions within your body that ultimately work together to keep you together. Each inhale matched with its subsequent exhale powered by the inner workings of your lungs going in and out bringing oxygen to your brain. Next time you are stressed out, remember this and take a moment to simply breathe for at least 10 seconds.

2. The Beauty of Beat

Now this can apply to your heartbeat and the beat of music. I am a huge music lover so this is something I can talk about for days. The way a beat can be felt physically but also heard is something I will always appreciate and especially for those who may not be able to hear but they can feel. A beat can be felt by those who cannot hear, it can create stories in the ears of those who cannot see. Its sound-waves paints a picture that vibrates within the souls of us all. There is a certain energy associated with feeling the beat that makes you feel wired, energetic and alive. So next time you are feeling down, take a moment to play a song with an amazing beat or melody and just dance.

3. The Beauty of Being

As someone who has dealt with depression since my childhood, I know what it feels like to struggle with merely existing. I understand the pain associated with that thought and how it can tear you up from the inside out. I also understand that even in the pain, there is beauty on the other side of it. When you have struggled for so long but you continue to hold onto the faith that one-day things will improve, you are exercising a muscle that takes a lot of strength. You are so much stronger than you may even imagine but trust me you are. Please, keep going.

4. For the Love of Creating

Last year I started my first official business, JUSO Media Merch and the first product was a t-shirt line that read, “I Create to Live.” I’ve discussed in length what that phrase means but I’ll explain it for those who don’t understand. I have always seen my creative nature as a gift from God to keep my grounded and my soul fulfilled while here on earth. At the tender age of 8 is when I became a writer but I didn’t fully realize that was my true calling until a bit later in life. Either way I am happy to have arrived at that truth. The way that words pour out of me like a healing balm for those who need a word or two of comfort. While my creativity exists outside of writing as well, all of it comes together to bring me peace when I need it most. Creating helps to relax my mind, it puts me in the zone of building something out of nothing and it helps to ground me. Word to Ari Lennox, “You grow when you are grounded.” The last few years I have certainly been growing, healing and learning to genuinely enjoy living. That is what finding your true passion can do for you. So whatever you are passionate, please take heed and try your best to work in that passion daily if possible. Even just a little bit helps.

5. For the Love of Connection

In just a few short weeks I will be moving back in with family. I moved back to my home sate, New Jersey back in 2017. My goal was to practice on my craft, be closer to New York city for access and resources. Although I often feel behind in life when compared to my peers –which I shouldn’t be doing but I am working on it– I can truly say I have accomplished more than I give myself credit for. I started acting classes, applied for graduate school, got in but didn’t go. (Short but long story). I started therapy again and have seen my mental health improve tremendously in the last year and 4 months. I started an inspirational apparel company, started working on my first book, became more active on YouTube and started my own podcast. All in all, I did what needed to be done and I understood the assignment. However, one thing the pandemic has taught me is that I thrive off of connection. While I am naturally an introvert, I still enjoy the connection I have with close friends, family and even colleagues.

Connection is what keeps us in alignment with God’s promises for us. We weren’t created to simply be left alone forever but rather to fellowship with one another while on earth. Create memories, love one another and keep each other up when we cannot do it on our own. Connection is key. Even if you have to create your own family with friends or people online who share similar interests, find yourself a community that you can connect with. But always remember that your connection with self should be the strongest out of all. When you tap into your needs, wants and desires, only then can you provide others with what they may need or want as well. Always keep in mind we cannot fuel anyone else’s tank if ours is left on empty. Fill yourself first.

6. Healing Through Music

I have often attributed my emotional healing to my love for music. It brings me healing in moments when I may not be able to express how I am feeling in that moment. This can apply to other forms of art including dance, paintings, books, and even through photography. Being able to capture a moment, a feeling or a thought that can now remain in museum life for centuries to come is truly something special. That is why art and more specifically music is so essential to my life as a writer and someone who has battled depression. So to you I say, if you are battling depression or harmful thoughts, try to create a personal playlist of good music that brings you hope when you need it most. Here is the one I created that many of my friends enjoy listening to. Check it out.

7. Healing to Breathe

So we have reached our final thought. After being in therapy for a year now, I have realized that I lived most of my life barely breathing. Most of my true self has been submerged into this water like form of what I think everyone expects me to be. Therefore causing me to suppress my own feelings, thoughts and views just so that I am accepted. by those who love me and society. But how does that benefit me? How does benefit any of us to suppress ourselves so that others can be more comfortable around us. If someone can’t be comfortable around you because you are even slightly different then they don’t deserve your presence. Regardless, I am thankfully healing now so I am slowly but surely coming out of my people pleasing phase. Healing to breathe easier is one of my greatest accomplishments in life thus far. I pray that whoever you are and wherever you are reading this, that you too can begin healing to breathe. You deserve to breathe easy.

If you enjoyed this piece, share it with loved one or close friend. Also, make sure to share your thoughts below. Thank you for reading.

Photographer: Melissa J.C./@guyatiannarrative (Instagram)

Makeup: Sarah O./@glam_byher (Instagram)

Model: Sophonie M./@justsophonie (Instagram/YouTube)

self-care is self love

self care, self help, self love, self love blog, selflationship

self•lationship: self-care vol.1

Self-care, self love, self this, self that. The last five years of social media and TV has been flooded with this not so new phenomenon but it’s become somewhat of a revolution. To put down everything and center yourself in order to find peace within your life. This is something that many of us, especially as Black Women haven’t been allowed room to do. In fact it goes even further when you are a mother, a wife, caregiver of any sort, or all of the above. Hence why I see it as something that is revolutionary. To stand up and say, “Hey world, I f*ckin love myself too much to allow anyone or anything to disrupt that peace.” It’s a beautiful thing to envision but even more beautiful to experience.

I can’t lie and say I’ve fully reached that moment. However, I am pretty damn close. Today’s post originated in a personal journal entry but it felt more proper to be shared with you all. So I hope that you enjoy!

For your listening pleasure:

A Love Supreme is one of my all time favs by John Coltrane. When considering love, why must we always make it about romance? I wish self-mance was a thing too. Matter of fact it should be. We fight our entire lives to sweep others off their feet or to be swept off of our own. We are on a constant pursuit of happiness for others yet doing so for ourselves hasn’t been fully normalized.

I don’t believe God intended for us to live our lives for other people. If so, we would all be born together and be the same person. Sounds weird right? So is living for others. Today I’m calling on my single, separated and divorced ladies to love on yourself supremely. You deserve it.


Now what does loving yourself supremely even look like? The journey of self love is one that I believe must include lots of healing. Consider the ways in which we are conditioned in society and again especially as women.

Most things we are do are supposed to appease the male gaze or the general masses. Meaning, if you do not fit the standard of beauty for society, then more times than not you are set to the side. Does that mean you are no longer useful? Absolutely not. As Black Women, our beauty and value has often been conflated with what it is that we can provide others.

How can we make a man feel good? How can we make white people feel comfortable around us? How can we change our hair or dialect to fit in to Corporate America?

So many layers of us have been stripped away, only to be stolen time and time again. Our layers are then plastered onto the bodies of others in a more a “acceptable,” way. This is why healing is important especially for my fellow single Black Women.

Simply being single doesn’t single you out from the beauty of life. It also doesn’t mean you are incapable of being happy fully and wholly by yourself.


So what can you do to find self love and ultimately self-care? You can start by finding out what really makes you smile. No, I mean really really makes you smile.

Is it reruns of Living Single all day? (That’s me LOL). Is it how you brew your coffee in the morning? Or is it simple walks in the park taking in all of God’s beautiful artwork aka nature?

Whatever that thing is, search for it, define it and begin to apply it more in your life on the daily. If it’s binge watching shows, try to be careful with that. I don’t want you become addicted to TV.

Anyways, it’s important for us to find those activities and moments that motivate us to be happy every single day.

Then as we start to implement those activities in our lives, we begin to feel lighter, freer and hopefully happier. This isn’t a one size fits all situation.

Some of us need a deeper self-care which brings me to the next thought. There are things that have occurred in our lives, whether to us or those around us that have detrimentally impacted us our entire life. However, we may not even notice it.

Sometimes we are suffering from pain that isn’t even ours to hold. Burdens too broad for our own shoulders. This is why going a step further by seeking therapy, community groups and other similar forms of assistance are essential.

I personally say this all the time, I’ve tried therapy several times and am currently in it now. This is the first year that I have really seen the difference in my life.

I’ve learned about boundaries, giving myself grace and room to grow. Being more patient with life in itself. Understanding how much of a process true healing is. As my therapist always says, “Healing is not linear.”

In other words, it is not a one size fits all process. There layers to it, there are layers to us and layers to finally reaching that place of peace.

So what is self-care?

Self-Care is:

  1. Learning your boundaries

  2. Knowing your boundaries

  3. Accepting your boundaries

  4. Applying your boundaries

  5. Sticking to your boundaries

When I say boundaries, this can apply to a myriad of things in your life. What you will accept from yourself, your partner, people at work, at school, your children and hell even strangers. Self-care is creating a safe environment for yourself to not only survive in but to thrive in. For some of us that can be the simple moments of drinking tea, doing yoga, mediating and praying. Either way, it is what you set out for yourself to indulge in peacefully.


With that said, while self-care can certainly be spa days, movie nights, wine nights, brunch, Netflix binges, mani/pedi trips, eating a tub of ice cream, working out, eating right, not eating right etc. the list goes on. Hell even masturbation is a form of self-care but y’all not ready for me to get that deep on here LOL. If that’s not your thing, keep scrolling.

All in all, it is all about learning what does and does not work for you. Self-care is doing the work which includes all of the things mentioned above. Self-care is self love because you’ve taken the time out to know yourself. To know yourself is to nurture yourself and to do that is show yourself a love supreme.

Your Good Sis,

Sophonie

for the love of self…

blog, love, new blog post, self care, self help, self love, self love blog, selflationship, true love

For your listening pleasure:

It is a common saying that, “Pressure makes diamonds,” but that to me is such a cliche quote. I hate cliches or at least I have grown to hate them. According to all of my Creative Writing professors in college, cliches were stale and need not be used too much in our writing. So I offer you this quote instead, “Pain can create dynamic individuals.” 


While I don’t subscribe to the belief that one must always suffer in order to grow in life or experience some sort of change, it is important to take from your pain what you can. In my case, the pain I have experienced for the last decade revolves around a missing piece of my heart, figuratively speaking. 

As a child love was an uncommon topic in my household. But I was sure love existed somewhere, perhaps between bites of home cooked meals, hugs, kisses, family time around the TV and fellowship at church or in our backyard to enjoy the southern breeze. Either way, I know love was there. It was just never explained nor explored.

Love. A concept that has been plastered on movie screens, in books, and in every nook possible of life. Romantic love to be exact. The idea that there is someone for everyone and if we behave a certain way, look like this or that we too can find it.


So naturally that is what I sought as a child going into my teenage years. Eventually that love was found but a few years before that, the only example of so called “true love,” crumbled in front of my eyes. While that damaged my views on love at the moment, I allowed myself a taste of it for a moment. Once I received it, I was hooked. Since then I haven’t been the same.

Now as I am maturing and getting even older, I am realizing the most essential love was one that hasn’t been nurtured nearly as much as it should be.

This is the reason behind this blog. I can be complicated at times but with this creation, I want to simply continue on my path of healing old love wounds while inspiring others to do the same so that we can march on towards (cliche) the battlefield that is true self-love.

With that said, I bring you self•lationship, a blog making space for your self-care, solitude, and serenity in mind. But most importantly made for your own love of self.

P.S. This was the very fist piece that I wrote for this blog. It was an idea that kept nagging at me and I literally woke up around like 3am to write about it. Initially this was going to be an Instagram blog but I wanted it to be more special than just another social media page. I hope you all are enjoying my newfound passion project.

Sincerely,

Sophonie