PT 1 THE BIRTH
”So I’m supposed to love myself but no one explains the why and the how.”
Los Angeles. The city where everyone comes to ‘reinvent’ themselves. Everyone is doing in order to show what they have done. What happened to just living without instant gratification? After living in SoCal my whole life, I’ve noticed this overall theme being shoved down our throats: to ‘love yourself.’ And apparently that’s the key to everything. I can’t even order a salad without the menu reminding me that “I’m worth it.” I drive by a random billboard, “You got this.” Slide through IG,” You’re enough.” I appreciate it, LA, but please STFU. It all sounds like white noise until you actually start to do the work. In other words, until I stopped buying bottles of Liberté wine at Trader Joes…. I started to grasp the idea of divine self-liberation: an infinite journey of self worth.
”Once I fundamentally understood how I deserve to be treated and how I deserve to treat myself is when I began the endless cycle of rebirth.”
So I’m supposed to love myself … okay… but no one explains the why and the how. Why is it important that I give af about myself if there’s no tangible result? Why is the conversation usually associated with taking care of your mental health and well being in order to find a mate? I wake up and go to sleep with the same body. Shouldn’t I learn how to nurture it, understand it,and for the lack of a better word, f*ck it? Then it leads you to ask: how do I accomplish this
vague strange ass illusion? The issue is that it’s not an accomplishment. It’s more of a beginning. There is no end. And the way in which you begin this new chapter is different according to the person. Everyone has their own scars, their own trauma. We all react to situations in our own unique way. As a result, self-liberation is the highest form of self-love. You are carving your own path to be set free. You are at a state of peace. There are endless ways in which you can heal through self-liberation. I am in no way a perfectly healed living breathing human being nor do I want to be. Personally, I feel like there’s always roughly a 10% part of you that is left to the unknown. You haven’t touched nor examined it. We
are always evolving and that one small piece of you will be the quickest to adapt. The beauty starts when you become aware of the parts of you that are easily triggered. To make it easier,these triggers can be categorized into two forces: inner and outer. A lot of time outer forces are out of one’s control and the same can be said about certain inner forces. And other times, outer forces can directly correlate to an inner force, vice versa. At the end of the day, it can all be
connected since you are the common denominator. An outer force can be associated for example to a specific other person either romantic or platonic, multiple people, societal expectations, your environment, institutional systematic inequality and racism, etc. On the other hand, an inner force can be associated with things, emotions, ideas, concepts that you consider define your identity, and can be affected by your perception towards them. This can be one’s sexuality, sensuality (yes, these are two different things), passions, talents, and overall self-perception, etc.
Also, some inner forces, such as mental health disorders, chemical imbalance in the brain, depression, etc., are an ‘out of your control’ inner obstacle and something we have to tackle head on every day. You can add one’s sexual orientation into the ‘out of your control’ category as well. All in all, strip all the categories aside; an overall self-awareness is something the majority of people haven’t fully grasped since mental health is unfortunately not a priority in this country and around the world. Or there are others that have the resources to seek mental clarity yet take
for granted since they are more focused on how they will be judged by others if they do so. That can explain why self-liberation can be perceived as a euphoric temporary state of mind since once we unpack what is inhibiting our growth it becomes immensely terrifying. You are eliminating comfort and replacing it with dignity.
the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect.
Once I fundamentally understood how I deserve to be treated and how I deserve to treat myself is when I began the endless cycle of rebirth.
The following designated verbs ending with –ing encompass the overall mindset and/or
discovery within each period of the cycle. These verbs are open to interpretation and can be used
to track one’s progress. They simply allowed me to jumpstart in any direction. Get the ball rollin,
which honestly can be the hardest part. They say it takes something like 18 to 254 days to form a
new habit. And your relationship with yourself is not something you can just turn off. So let’s
rock n roll shall we –
”Try your hardest to not judge yourself during this stage or any stage really.”
L I V I N G
To remain alive
Everything is very fragile. Uncertain. Chaotic. There are no concrete results and therefore one’s behavior can feel reckless, imbalanced. You begin to notice moments of time. Personally, this was one of the darkest periods of my life. I just wanted to get through each day. You are in survival mode. During this, it’s important to simplify everything. The reminder to ‘just breathe’ can feel significant. Be open to new activities and to any new people along your path. Experience the beauty of spontaneity. It’s okay to act in extremes. Your main focus during this first stage is to just recognize being human. Document it. Take note of the people, professionally and personally, you spend the most time with. Take into account what you are eating and drinking. Recognize your regular habits, triggers, pleasures, likes, dislikes, etc. and how they impact your behavior, and then specifically how your mind and body react to it. For example, do you feel a tightness in your chest, chills, hot flashes, migraines, trouble sleeping etc.? However, most importantly when do you feel the most vulnerable? Make sure to differentiate emotional and physical vulnerability. Try your hardest to not judge yourself during this stage or any stage really. Oh yeah, and DRINK WATER. LOTS OF IT.
”You start to feel glimpses of happiness, which just leave you feening for more.”
T H R I V I N G
To prosper; flourish; grow vigorously
I call this the stage of extravagant, delightful denial. This is where one usually indulges in order to overcompensate. It’s the calm before the storm. It is also where validation and comparison is at an all time high. The issue becomes whether you can determine what is and is not healthy. Being alone is a nightmare for some and the biggest joy for others. Dig into the difference between being alone and being lonely. Oh yes, this is when I hated, I mean HATED being alone. I didn’t know how. I felt like I was “wasting time” if I was alone. I did everything to feel everything except what I was actually feeling. I was always out or working. I had this addictive need to work hard, play hard. And this artificial high is the issue of this stage. You start to feel glimpses of happiness, which just leave you feening for more. Since you’ve started to become slightly aware of yourself during the ‘living’ stage, ‘thriving’ causes a false hope that everything
is already figured out. However, the second you actually sit alone with yourself and your thoughts is when the emptiness lingers back in. That’s okay. Recognize it again and sit with the discomfort.
”Other people’s opinions start to quiet down and you begin to swim by yourself for the first time.’
S W I M M I N G
Appear to reel or whirl before one’s eyes
To experience a dizzily confusing sensation in one’s head
I imagine this stage as a wave. I experienced some of my biggest highs and my lowest lows. But oddly enough the highs outweighed the lows. You start to realize trust. Not only trust in others but also trust in yourself. I took risks that have now accumulated to my own success. This is where you just dive in. Other people’s opinions start to quiet down and you begin to swim by yourself for the first time. The current will take you one way and keep pushing yourself to your own horizon. You slowly start to incorporate small chunks of time to be alone in your schedule. For example, this is where I found my love for long walks and listening to records from the beginning to the end. Take note of your new habits that bring a sense of serenity. Determination is key since you may doubt yourself a lot. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. You may begin to see your circle of friends grow smaller. The more time you have to yourself only leaves a special amount of time for special people whose purest intentions are to empower you. The desire to escape is frequent.
”Taking back the power of your own body. Take it one step at a time’.’
W A T E R I N G
To pour or sprinkle water over a (plant or area) in order to encourage plant
(Of the eyes) become full of moisture or tears
Here is the time for release. This is the time to water your seeds until they grow. It is the time for nourishment. Patience is key. You may see some of your goals start to take place. You are naturally becoming more at ease with the unknown. You may cry more often than usual and that is okay. A big step in this stage is finding a new intimacy with yourself. How would you know how you’d like to be touched by another if you’ve never explored that experience yourself? Keep in mind this will come with overcoming any past traumas in the psyche in relation to sexual abuse, cultural trauma, physical vulnerability etc. Again, this is just the introduction to sensual empowerment. It is taking back the power of your own body. Take it one step at a time.
”Your radiance is like a fresh bouquet of roses.”
B L O O M I N G
To produce flowers; be in flower.
“You’re glowing!” Yes, this where the “glow” happens and other people start to notice it. You walk with purpose and articulate yourself with profound confidence. This is the stage where you finally have put yourself first. You are your own priority. Instead of comparing yourself to others, you feel happy for them. Their journey does not define yours. People naturally gravitate towards your positivity. Your radiance is like a fresh bouquet of roses. It is important to keep in
mind that not every day will be a bundle of joy. Some days will be harder than others but the difference is now you can target how to get back up faster and stronger than before. Also, you are at a stage where you can notice healthy and unhealthy behaviors within relationships. It is never easy but you’ll be able to walk away from whatever or whoever does not serve you.
”This was the stage where I no longer was confined by fear.”
B A S K I N G
Ie exposed to warmth and light
To revel in and make the most of (something pleasing)
Rejoice. Take it all in. Literally bask in the light. You have reached one of the peaks of divine self-liberation. Your work ethic is undeniable. You are beaming from a mile away. You have started to become a force to be reckoned with. Your aspirations and goals are becoming your reality. This was the stage for me where I no longer was confined by fear. Manifestation and abundance is at an all time high. Anything and anyone toxic has been or is in the process of being eliminated. Your aura is untouchable. However, this is an important time to re-evaluate
and check in with yourself to make sure every part of your life is in a state of balance. That means professionally, personally (self), romantically, platonically and family wise. Don’t be surprised if you start falling in love. I know I did haha. But notice this time that you are a whole person and so is your significant other. Codependency is not an option in this stage. Also, this is a great time to start mentally preparing for PT 2 of Self-Liberation: The Voice. This is where you begin to understand the urgency, the legacy and divine power of using your voice to protect, empower and liberate those whose human rights have and are being violated.
”You are seen. I see you’.’
Time to elevate your vibration. Have purpose in your existence, no matter your race, gender,religion or sexual orientation. You matter. You are seen. I see you.
This article was written by Maral Milani. Maral is a first generation American actress. After graduating high school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a B.A. in Acting at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Aside from acting, Maral’s passion lies in supporting global human rights’ organizations and empowering all genders to take charge and heal through their feminine divinity. She started researching about the feminine psyche, specifically in relation to sensuality and cultural trauma, during her time at UCLA. Since then, she has helped a multitude of people, especially women; realize their full potential to seek liberation through self growth in all aspects of their lives. If you would like to get in touch with Maral, feel free to visit her instagram page, at redlikemaral