For the past couple of weeks I have taken 35 hours of courses to develop my skills in retouching photos, writing, and iMovie. I have also taken a couple of courses to help my mentality. One particular course called the 5 Thieves of Happiness, had me rolling my eyes at the title. I don’t like certain types of self-help. The irony right, being insightful and all. I am not fond of somebody telling me how I should live my life. Self-help is subjective so I take the advice very lightly. Anyway, I listened to it because I am opened to learn something new.
In his book The 5 Thieves of Happiness, John Izzo, explores 5 thieves that counters our happiness. They are control, conceit, coveting, consumption, and comfort. After watching the course I realized something important about myself. I constantly have to counter negative thoughts to stay happy.
The Negative Thought Walk
Negative thoughts use to run through my mind all the time and that caused me to be unhappy. I use to follow the road of negativity as if it was the only way to walk. We walked hand in hand seeing what other’s didn’t. In some ways I thought I was smarter, better until I realized that was just insecurity rearing it’s ugly head. I use to live in constant fear that I wasn’t doing the right thing and other people were better off than me. And let me tell you I was miserable.
At my worst I took everything personally even something as simple as a gorgeous woman smiling. I use to think that attractive people are happy because they look good and I’m miserable because I’m not attractive. Those were some of the ugly, nasty, thoughts that crossed my mind. The turning point for me was when I realized that just because I think it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. Coming to that realization changed my whole perspective, which in return changed my mood.
I thought I had to agree with every negative thought that popped in my head but I don’t. Negativity still tries to take me down the road to self-pity. Instead of going down that path, switch my controlling thoughts that say people should act a certain way to what other people do with their lives is not my business. When I feel envious of someone (coveting) and my mind wants to find fault in them I redirect my thoughts and list all of their strengths and mine too. Then, I check in with myself to understand why my thoughts are going in that direction.
It is my human right to be critical of what enters in my space. I feel justified in being critical of music, television shows, movies. But when it comes to people, I do my best to not be negative. My friends think I am positive because I always see the best in people. When in actuality I do it to keep myself humble. Knowing that no one is perfect, not even me, helps me keep my critical attitude in check.
At the same time I do not easily buy into simple positive thinking. Sometimes situations are distressing and you can’t try to look at the bright side. Sometimes people say and do crappy things and there is nothing good you can take from it. It would be disingenuous for me to try to think positively in a messed up situation. Yet, even when the circumstances are not ideal and negative thoughts pop in my head, I understand that I don’t have to agree with them. Instead, I acknowledge that it’s there, think about the things I’m grateful for, and start thinking about solutions to the problem.
Sometimes difficult situations don’t have solutions, even then I can not allow negative thoughts to creep up on me and pull me down. Instead, I acknowledge the thought, feel the feelings, and think about what I can learn from the situation. This is how stay happy. Being happy doesn’t mean that I am never in a bad mood. It just means that I don’t have a dark cloud hovering over me. Honestly, I have been telling this same story for years now, this is just the 2020 version of it.
For the longest time I felt because I am dark skin with tightly coiled hair. I was told you are beautiful don’t worry about what people say. The truth is society does not reflect the idea that dark skin with kinky hair is beautiful. The truth is a woman with dark skin and kinky hair is seen as unattractive, loud, ignorant, masculine, and angry. The truth is it hard to ignore the negative stereotypes of being a black woman. Those negative ideas were placed in my head like mustard seeds and they grew into a beastly tree over the years . I could not fight a beast with positive words like I am beautiful. Instead I had to chop down the tree and uproot all the negative ideas and replace them with the reality.
For this reason I am doing myself a disservice by running away from the topic that I am most passionate about – natural hair. Woman should do whatever works best for their hair -be it natural or relaxed. I choose to wear my hair natural and it is not a trend for me. I haven’t had a relaxer for 20 years. Actually, I only had a relaxer for only about 2 years of my life. My goal is to show my appreciation for natural hair. The natural hair community has shifted to only celebrating loose curls are or long tight coils. I love all curly hair types, but 4c type needs love and recognized too.
The natural hair movement that started for girls to accept their tight coils has been hijacked by those with loose curly hair. The 4c hair community needs a reboot. We need a space where we can celebrate our hair no matter if it is long or short.
The focus of my blog is about the celebration of natural hair. I will still post about living abroad and self-care, however I will focus on natural hair. I am going to start documenting monthly videos of my loc journey on Youtube as well. As time goes on I will be doing more, but this is what I can offer for now. If you have any ideas or questions please leave a comment below. Thank you for following me on my blogging journey and I am looking forward to what is to come. 😀