Evil and sadistic European captors (and subsequent racists to the present) were dedicated to destroying the sound self-love present in Africans brought to the Americas as Slaves. As coping mechanisms many Slaves had to play the role of demeaning their Selfhood. Some of those “lived down” to the demeaning role they played and thereby came to believe they were not lovable and were not to be loved even by oneself. Other roles during slavery necessitated Slave mothers demonstrating anti-love appearances to their children in hopes of not having their children sold away from them.
Unfortunately, these bonding reasons for the apparent anti-love practices were not known to their children and that lack of understanding caused a perpetuation of the anti-self-love practices as an accepted custom. So how can this pattern be broken? The answer embraces the Sankofa approach (return to African Tradition to learn how to prepare in the present in order to go forward into the future).
Preparation starts with the Philosophy of Life (POL) of African Tradition. Out of the POL comes ones Character, Self- Esteem, World-view, and Paradigms (the elements one draws on automatically in making lifeshaping or life-changing decisions). This is intimately tied in with Spiritual Energy and that means all of ones decisions based upon “Feelings” (and not Emotions) will cause one to do what it takes to “win the war, if not the battle.” Then one can appreciate the good and the loving within oneself, even if one does not like the bad things one has done.
An individual ‘s lifestyle built around never having been self-loving is always filled with damaging habits, attraction to the bad, and unhappiness. Since Self-Love does not permit one to punish oneself or to be mean to oneself, a primary act in building Self-Love is to forgive oneself and forgive the Trigger persons involved.
Forgiveness is done to remove mental barriers placed around ones Love Platter so as to thereby move onward with a free and wholesome mind. This is followed by shedding those self-defeating habits that adversely affect oneself and significant others; taking care of ones health; and learning to properly manage money so as to avoid constantly being in a state of desperation.
Self-Love demands selfreliance and not expecting others to supply what one can supply for oneself; demands looking into the future to anticipate and solve problems before they arrive; demands learning how to think so that one knows what is important and can prioritize that; and demands knowing how to select what is relevant to work on first, regardless of what other people say. Self-cultivating ones Higher Self is an ongoing Self-Love pursuit.
Determining the extent of ones Self-Love involvement is done by being tested through trials and tribulations, as when “everything” is bad, going wrong, or “it all seems hopeless.” The weak “give up” and “let go” of life. The strong reach deep down into their “Soul” to gather its Spiritual Energy; then get up so as to take charge and take control of their Selfhood; look for all that is “Right”; and allow Self- Love to direct them out of trouble. Such “tough love” self-discipline stops ones downward slide; turns oneself around; starts the climb back up toward a sound thriving goal; and, in the process, prevents one from doing any harm to oneself or to anyone else. It is an act of self-love to discover ones talents; to fully develop ones talents with the best effort and the best teachers possible; and to find that niche for ones talents which enriches oneself, ones family, and the Black community.
Nevertheless, for those whose lives have been harm-oriented require a transformation in order to rise to a level higher than doing or permitting harm to be done. This transformation is like entering a cocoon where the change over will be slow and uncomfortable to the point of wanting to “give up” and return to old ways. Self-love will supply the Spiritual Energy package to keep going and to deal with the “friends” that will be lost in the process. But Self-love also opens the door to making better friends and a thriving lifestyle.