It may be my religious upbringing, or the fact that society in general chooses women for this, but I’ve been taught since birth to give and give and never stop giving. I’ve recently had to re-evaluate certain relationships and friendships in my life, and have had to admit to myself that despite all my feminist efforts, some conditioning has really stuck. I still settle for treatment I don’t deserve, I still catch myself being taken advantage of and I still feel guilt when I want to put myself first.
In these few weeks, I’ve gone through some processes which I think can be likened to my hair care routine. (It’s obviously wash-day for me and it’s on my mind- bear with me here.)
The processes of changing our dry-ass beliefs can be broken down into 3 steps:
1. Accept the dryness
By the time wash day rolls around, we’ve already accepted that change needs to happen. It’s that acceptance that is often the most frustrating, because then you know you have to do something about it. That’s how it is when it comes to our beliefs- it took me a while to accept that I still believed in a lot of destructive ideas. Check the mirror- what’s all up in that afro? (I’m using my hair as an example, adjust for your hair as necessary)
I discovered a belief that it was my job to ‘save’ people, that I should always be willing to give even when I start to suffer for it. I believed that standing up for myself, taking my distance or walking away made me a careless, selfish person. I discovered a belief that it was expected of me to pull the emotional weight in a relationship, take on everything single-handedly and be
the one responsible to help my partner through it. It’s a common narrative, men often claiming that they met that ‘special girl’ who made them change. How much did those women have to do to make that man change? Was I about to do that?
2. De-condition those beliefs
It is time to SHAMPOO IT UP! Now that we’ve accepted the undesirable that has built up on our heads over time, we can now wash it all out. Now, this may take some time. This probably isn’t gonna be a wash-and-go at the carwash (too many metaphors, I’m sorry) but it will definitely be worth it.
This will depend on you. Maybe it will be simply observing, or talking back to that voice in your head that tells you those destructive beliefs. For some, it may involve journalling, writing those beliefs down and realizing how much they’ve affected your life choices. For others, meditation may be involved. I love meditating, and there are definitely some guided meditations on YouTube about changing beliefs. And of course, therapy! Oh Therapy, you’re underrated on Yelp, but you deserve them five stars.
Find what works for you to clean out the unwanted beliefs.
3. Deep condition with that Shea Moisture
I dread deep-conditioning. Why? Because it takes time. And energy. But my hair always thanks me for it. And same thing will happen when you start replacing those old beliefs and taking responsibility for your new ones; when you start implementing your new beliefs and re-conditioning your mind with beliefs that serve you.
I’ve started to believe that if a relationship or friendship is taking more energy than it is giving, I have every right to walk away. I’ve been working on some of these for a while (specifically with friendships) and I’m getting much better at recognizing when I’m being taken advantage of and saying ‘no’. Or leaving their ass. That’s also an option.
The reason I said Shea Moisture, is not solely because I’m in a Shea Moisture phase, but because I think it’s important to soothe our way into believing better things. It’s not about berating ourselves into “being better“, but choosing better beliefs so that
we can be be happier. Be kind to your wonderful selves ✨
What beliefs are you working on changing? Holla at me in the comments 🌺
Happy Wash-Day, y’all! 💆🏽