How My First Psychic Chat Changed My Life

It’s 1:15 a.m. in Florida and my marriage is as shattered as a broken piece of China. I’m not sure whether it’s worth trying to glue the millions of dysfunctional pieces back together. I need the help of an all-seeing and all-knowing higher being and I don’t want to ‘pray about it’ because, well…you know what the bible says about divorce. So, what’s a distressed girl to do? I suddenly have an ‘aha!’ moment and consider seeking answers from the people that use “evil” spirits to see into the future. I consider a psychic chat. 

I was always apprehensive about getting readings or speaking with psychics because I come from an African and Christian home. it’s been hammered into my subconscious that any belief or practice outside of Christianity is damn near an abomination. I would say I prescribed to a similar school of thought—until recently. My views are becoming a lot more agnostic and I have accepted that I will never have ultimate knowledge about God. This makes me more curious to explore other forms of spirituality like African magic and psychic mediums. Is it really the devil’s work or is this another belief that I’ve blindly adopted? 

So, what if people have spiritual gifts and can see into the future? And if they can, why is it seen as a bad thing? If I get a reading from a psychic will I turn into a pumpkin? Or morph into a bunch of grapes? As the courageous butterfly warrior princess I am, I had to find out. 

What is a Psychic?

Can anybody guess the difference between a medium and a psychic? A medium and a palm reader? Yeah, my bet was as good as yours. After wandering around Google, I found there are subtle nuances between each. I’ve outlined them below….you’re welcome. 

Psychic: Uses their intuition and your energy/vibrations to access information about your past, present, or future. 

Palm Readers: Rooted in Indian and Chinese astrology, this practice uses your palm to analyze your future. in the below graph, you can see this seems to be the most popular.

Tarot Reader: Use tarot cards to give you guidance, tell your fortune, and give insight into your highest self. Does anybody remember growing up seeing the iconic Ms. Cleo in between episodes of Moesha? The different color head wraps, tarot cards, pseudo-Jamaican accent and iconic “call me now” line left an indelible mark on my childhood. I guess no matter how much of the future we can predict, death is inevitable, hey. 

Mediums: Use psychic abilities to connect with the spirits of the deceased. They can also do what psychics do in terms of using psychic abilities to see your past, present, and future. 

Graph Taken From Daily Mail

In summary, it seems they all promise to help you accomplish similar things but use different methods to do it. I went with a psychic chat because it was the most accessible I suppose. I didn’t have to travel anywhere, could pay with my credit card and conceal my identity. Kinda

What’s Research Saying?

In typical writer fashion, I dug a little deeper and did research. Before having my psychic chat, I wanted to find out as much as possible about the industry and attitudes and values towards psychics in general. Is it some clandestine industry or does everyone and their mom use psychics? Here are a few interesting statistics I found.

·      62 percent of Americans believe in at least one of four spiritual concepts identified as “New Age” (like reincarnation and astrology) and 41 percent believe in psychics

·      “psychic services” industry reached over $2 billion in revenue in 2018 from activities like readings and public talks

·       Only 22% of US adults have ever used a psychic or medium

·      34% of people believe they’ve had a psychic episode i.e. accurately predicting the future

·      40% of women have psychic occurrences compared to 29% of men (It’s our intuition baby)

I think these statistics affirm just how eager people are to make sense of their lives and bring the puzzle pieces together. The thought of living in the present and leaving tomorrow to take care of itself seems unbearable for many––myself included. 

Here’s the thing; I think we all have psychic abilities or inbuilt intuition. As a psychic medium, Laura Lynee Jackson tells us in an interview with the New York Times,

Intuition is magical, but it’s not reserved for a couple of people.” 

We’re all capable of learning to listen to our inner voice or spirit. The question is, how? Since most of us are too lazy and impatient to figure it out, we’d rather pay a psychic to do all the legwork. Not particularly a bad thing I guess. No different from paying someone to clean your house despite being able to do it yourself. Shit analogy. I know. 

My Psychic Chat Experience 

Now that I’ve given a little context, I can dive into my experience. I was apprehensive about having a psychic chat, but I did it afraid. I popped “online psychic chat” into Google and then tons of results came back. How was a girl to choose which service to use?  I used a combination of reviews and first impressions to narrow down my choice. 

While scrolling through different profiles, I found it interesting the things we as humans use to judge someone’s trustworthiness/credibility online. We all have inherent biases that determine the type of people we engage with and the ones we avoid like plague. I avoided anyone who looked like a native witch and gravitated more towards women who looked en vogue and semi-professional.

I looked at things like their smile, what kind of clothing they wore, and of course, their rating. It also shocked me to see a few black psychics. Goes to show the erroneous stereotypes we all sometimes have. I assume all black people are Christian and think psychics are doing the devil’s work. 

After a few minutes of scrolling, boom! I’ve got a strategy. If they don’t tell me something I don’t already know within the first minute, I’m ending the chat and trying someone different. And none of that general shit about good fortune that I can find on a horoscope site, thanks. This is a perfect strategy as I notice most sites offer first-time users a free reading or free minutes.

I wasn’t able to strike gold until I spoke with the third psychic who I found on Kassamba. She has a nice smile and looks like the neighbor that would borrow you sugar if you asked. After she gave me warm cyber greetings and asked for my date of birth, she asked what she can do for me. I wanted to ask her if she had a time machine or restart button on life but wanted to be realistic. By the end of the psychic chat, I was hoping my ambivalence would disappear and I’d have more clarity regarding what decisions to make next regarding my marriage.

During the psychic chat, she began telling me about the very things I was struggling with. My inability to set boundaries, the core issues in my marriage, and how not putting myself first was creating an internal conflict. And this was based on me telling her nothing at all. To say it shocked me would be an understatement. The accuracy of the reading was too much for it to be a coincidence. Despite her knowing things about my life that a stranger may not have known, she didn’t tell me anything that my subconscious wasn’t already telling me. After all, psychics read your energy, right? 

In retrospect, I realize that speaking to a psychic was such a pressing need at the time because I didn’t trust my mind. My self-esteem was so shattered that I didn’t think I could make informed decisions that were best for me. Or perhaps I knew but just wanted someone else to confirm and tell me what the consequences of my choices would be. The reality is that the inner-conflict was mine to resolve, so a million readings wouldn’t resolve it. 

I had to accept that throughout the course of my life, I will make both good and bad decisions and there is no avoiding it. The best thing I can do for myself is develop my ability to listen to my inner voice and tap into the psychic in me. 

Whenever I’m itching to see into the future and pay for another psychic chat, I remind myself that I am the best predictor of my future. 

The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

Here’s A Love Letter Every Girl Should Write

Sometimes we creatives can be off the rails and undisciplined. At times, I feel like an unruly and impulsive firecracker. This week alone, I have told myself that I want to go and see spring in Japan as well as dance in a field of sunflowers almost the same size as me. But how is a broke creative to fund these excursions?

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on Love on a Canvas all week. This means I’ve had to conjure up sentimental poems for special occasions. While doing some research for one particular poem I came across this AMAZING article On Buzfeed which has changed the focus of my bohemian hustle. So basically, in order to find out the average time it takes great people to do great things, some guy named Hayes mapped out the timeline of 76 composers’ careers and the great Mozart was among them. He found that virtually every single “masterwork” was written after year ten of the composer’s career. I started writing at 17 and I’m now 27 so that means I will write my best work now-ish!?? *Swoons*

Another interesting thing Hayes mentioned was Kobe Bryant’s discipline and how it made him as successful as he is today. He said Bryant’s goal at every practice was to make 800 shots and practice doesn’t end for him until he does. It got me thinking about what my daily and deliberate goals are. What is my daily target to ensure I’m the best at what I do? While looking for inspiration for one of my Valentine’s day orders, a friend sent me the link to a post of a girl who seemed to be writing a love letter to her undiscovered love. By the end of it, I had love hearts in my eyes and was tripping over my feet looking for my scratched up Love and Basketball DVD. It’s safe to say I found all of the inspiration I needed and thought I would also write a letter to my undiscovered love ….

“I almost didn’t write this. I thought it might be ridiculous and even more so cheesy to write to you. I know nothing about you. I haven’t yet memorized your scent. I haven’t yet been completely mezmerized by your ability to capture something as powerful as the sun and put it in my sky just so that it can shine for me. 

I think about you from time to time. About how you’ll stare at me when I’m eating and a trail of crumbs fall from my mouth to my lap. I eat like a child. Or how you’ll look at me in amazement or dismay when I laugh in public and almost put all of the elderly people into cardiac arrest. I think about how long you’ll wait for me to express how I feel when we’re having a heart to heart and I’m frantically trying to pull the words from my heart only to stutter often… I’m not good at verbally expressing how I feel.

I imagine the look on your face when you watch me perform. I think about you reading and critiquing my work while I’m curled up in your lap loudly chewing skittles and trying to throw some into your mouth but instead, watching them fall into your shirt. I have terrible aim. 

I think about listening to all of your dreams and safely placing them in the treasure box in my heart as though they’re mine, because they are indeed mine. I imagine kissing your forehead when you’re lost in thought, licking your eyeballs when you’re tired and bringing you your favorite food when you’re having a bad day. Like me, food makes you happy I think? I’ve licked quite a few eyeballs. 

I imagine us fighting over… I’m not sure what we will fight over but because you’re my best friend and I have something really funny to tell you I imagine playing with you until we both laugh. I then imagine us having makeup sex as hot and intense as a volcanic eruption.  I imagine kissing you in hopes of feeling all that you are with each exchange. Touching, gripping, embracing, holding as often as possible so that we have enough memories to hold onto while we’re apart. Intimacy and love are enchantment and magic experienced in the body and soul. 

Some days you will understand my abstract. And you will understand my intense need to feel the world spinning in my heart. You will understand my need to empower, and my deep need to be lost in art, intellect, and passion. When I am finally lost in a creative trance, you will come and find me and you’ll sit with me and help me paint the hearts of humanity with all of the new colours I’ve created. Some days you won’t understand my impulsive behavior, but you’ll love and advise me anyway. 

I imagine I’ll resist loving you at first because I believe most fairytales have tragic endings. But I believe your love and consistency will make me brave enough to love freely and fearlessly. Because you will love me that way.  I will know it’s you because one day I will be sad when the monsters in my closet come out and I struggle to put them back in and I will cry. I don’t cry in front of anyone. But I will cry, you’ll watch my tears fall, and I won’t feel defeated. Because you’ll take all of the vulnerability and turn it into love. 

I will watch you and understand why I had to kiss so many frogs before I kissed you. I will bask in your oceans of knowledge, listen to you, serve you, challenge you, and follow your lead when i’m unsure of which way to go because you’re a leader. I will place your crown on your head at the breaking of each day, and I’ll do it with an overflow of love and respect. 

I imagine you planting seeds in my desolate lands. I imagine you toiling day and night and pushing me day and night to water the seeds in hopes of turning all of my pain into roaring dandelions and thornless roses. 

I can promise you a lifetime of laughter, impulsive trips to Neverland, to walk with you on lonely paths leading to your dreams, forgiveness in the darkest moments and love that illuminates our world.  Until then my love….I’ll be waiting with flowers in my hair and art brewing at the core of my heart.”

Writing this was liberating and also gave me more clarity about what I want in a partner and it’s something I think every girl should write!

I still am not too sure what this whole love thing is about. Nonethelss, as a poet and sometimes hopeless romantic, I do believe that although rare, it does exist all the same.

Chocolate kisses and bohemian loving! xoxo

How to Heal a Broken Heart When Friends Break It

Before I knew boys existed, friends were my first love. I fantasized about having friendships like the ones I saw on shows like Sex and The City and Girlfriends. I knew they weren’t perfect, but our love would trump all evil and we’d be eternally joined by the hips and tits. Unfortunately, as most of you may have experienced at least once, life rarely works that way. One day you suddenly find yourself trying to figure out how to heal a broken heart when the friendship that you thought would continue in the retirement home falls apart. You realize that you won’t be drinking soup together because you’re toothless, writing friendship poems, or using a measuring tape to see how far one another’s tits have sagged because it’s over. 

So, what do you do when a friendship you thought would last for eternity ends? Do you salvage the broken pieces and put them back together or end the chapter without looking back? To help you answer that question, I will explore the significance of friendships and tell you how to heal a broken heart.

The Importance of Friendships 

Friendship poems

Now you know I love me some research and statistics so I had to see what the people who have dedicated their lives to being nosey and inquisitive AF (sorry, I like to abbreviate my profanity because science says smart people use vile words but the Jesus in me says it’s unladylike) have to say about the importance of friendship. Look at highlights of what I found below. 

Friendship Becomes More Important as You Age 

A journal titled Personal Relationships recently researched the importance of friendship using over 270,000 people in nearly 100 countries. They found that the older people get, the more important friends are to them. This probably explains why my mom is hard down trying to be my bestie right now. I guess old age is making her forget all those times she told me she wasn’t my friend. So, why are you trying to be my friend now Suzy?? I hope she’s not reading this. If so — just kidding, I love you girl!

Strong Friendships Are Good for Your Wellbeing 

The same research also found that strong friendships had a stronger connection to wellbeing as you age than family connections do. This was often because people preferred spending time with friends as they could do leisurely things with them whereas sometimes family was a little too serious. In other words, you can go to the trap house or strip club with ya friends but your momma ain’t having none of it. 

Absence of Social Connections Could Negatively Affect Health

Scientific literature on the value of friendship tells us there’s a strong connection between social relations and how long you’ll live. Before you send your loved one’s special messages, this doesn’t mean that if you don’t have friends you’re going to die. It just means their studies found that loneliness led to worse outcomes than obesity. And that wasn’t a joke by the way.

Now that we’ve gotten a little research in, we’ll go into all the soppy and painful stuff regarding how to heal when friends break your heart.

1.) See If It Can be Salvaged 

friendship poems_sorry image

When looking at how to heal when friends break your heart, one of the first things you should think about is whether you can salvage it. We all know that pride and forgiveness often keep people from repairing friendships. However, I challenge you to take a pen and paper write all the good things that your friend has done for you. You can then turn the page and note the ways you’ve intentionally and unintentionally hurt them.

If after this, you feel like the friendship is worth salvaging, see how you can reach out and calmly talk about what went wrong. I have a few friendships that have broken that I haven’t been able to salvage because of my fear of rejection.

There was one that I attempted to mend through gifts, a couple of “I’m sorry” messages and a surprise visit. Sadly, it was to no avail. On a brighter note, I closed the chapter feeling proud of myself because I had enough courage to put my pride aside and fight for someone I loved.

2.)Accept That Not All Friendships Last Forever 

dead end friendship poems

The first friendship heartbreak I experienced was by my best friend back in high school. We cried together, talked trash together, enjoyed ratchet living together and wore gold teeth together. Then one day I had to move to London because I ran away from home and that was the last straw for my parents.

I thought we would continue being overseas besties and nothing would change. I emailed tirelessly only to find that she had moved on and she couldn’t understand why I was so hurt by it. That was the first time I realized that not all friendships last forever. Considering this, if truly you’re wondering how to heal, you’ll have to accept not all friendships last forever — and not be bitter about it.

If you’ve tried to salvage it and can’t seem to get on the same page, perhaps the friendship has ended and it just wasn’t meant to last forever. 

3.) Focus on The People That Love You 

Many times, we spend too much of our lives focused on the people that don’t love us. We focus on the people we begged to love us and the pain that rejection caused when they didn’t. However, know that all the love you have right now — at this moment is all the love that you need. 

Never underestimate the power of a single person’s love and how it can help you heal. Try to stop focusing on the friends that broke your heart and focus on the ones capable of helping it heal. When you remember friends that have broken your heart, don’t forget they once loved you. Focus on the good times and make the painful events that happened a distant memory.

When thinking about how to heal from the pain of friends breaking your heart, remember the key to healing is accepting that you’ve loved and also lost. Even if you can only count your remaining friends, on one hand, they are constant reminders that you are loved and quality is far more important than quantity. 

How i Fixed my Daddy Issues

Elizabeth Ayoola and dad

If you’ve ever heard the term “daddy issues” before, it’s either something you can relate with or feel it’s another term emotional millennials throw around so they something to blame their issues on. No matter what side of the fence you stand on, it’s safe to say that daddy issues are a real thing. This is not only because I had them, but also because research says so. Krohn and Bogan did a study in the early 00s and found that girls who grow up in fatherless homes have more promiscuous attitudes and also struggle to form romantic relationships later in life. Unfortunately, these behaviors are likely to follow them into womanhood and affect the quality of the relationships they have with the opposite sex.

I personally have had tumultuous relationships with men which have impacted my ability to have positive relationships. They were the triggers of most of the trauma in my life and they came in every shape and form. These men were father’s, boyfriends, sexual partners, boys in the hallway at school and men I heard about during gossip sessions. They were men that inspired my first daddy poem and they gave me my formal introduction to heartbreak.

The interesting thing about trauma of any kind is it has a delayed response and then a ripple effect. I didn’t realize how damaged I was until one day I couldn’t get out of bed and I couldn’t stop crying. The rejection I felt from men made me believe things about myself that weren’t true and I didn’t know how to fix it. 

It wasn’t until I got into a serious relationship that I accepted that it was time to face and deal with my daddy issues. Here is how I partially fixed mine and how you may be able to do so as well. 

I got Naked 

I think this is the second hardest part of addressing your daddy issues and that’s because you have to be vulnerable. You don’t have any ‘men aintshit’ memes or ‘men are trash’ group chats to hide behind. You’ve got to unpack and figure out why you hate men and where the bitterness stems from. It means revisiting memories that you hoped would decompose in the bottom of your broken heart. It also means accepting that you’re hurt and allowing the pain of that hurt disrupt your body, mind, and spirit.  

I remember writing a daddy poem about daddy issues and being terrified of sharing it anywhere. I felt stupid for caring that my dad didn’t check for me and disappointed that my dad didn’t care enough. 

I Talked to him 

After I finally accepted that I had daddy issues, I knew one of the only ways to fix it was to talk to my dad and have an honest conversation. Since I hated verbal conversations, I decided I would send him an email. I asked why he didn’t call to check up on me and why he didn’t care how I was. 

Being the cultured African man that he is, his response that was it was my job to call him. As angry as I was at that response, I had to accept that cultural beliefsdon’t die easily and it was unlikely that he would change. I could either let that eat me alive or accept it and move on. I chose the latter. 

Today, my dad and I have a better relationship although he still barely ever calls and it isn’t perfect. I embrace the good times and accept him for who he is. I remember him buying us McDonaldsafter church on Sundays, teaching me how to cook Nigerian food, and teaching me how to drive when he got back from work at 1:00am.

I remember him making my sister and Idinner and trying to force teach us the keyboard. I remember the joy in his voice when I ran away at 15 and called him after a month to tell him I was coming home. Those memories and remembering that family is sometimes all that you have is enough to help me get over the wrong that I so much despised. 

With that being said, be better than me and try having a conversation with your dad face to face or over the phone. Get naked and vulnerable and tell him things that make your palms sweaty. Also, don’t expect too much as the response may not be as romantic as you plan it out in your head. 

If for any reason you can’t talk to you dad, try writing him a letter although he may never read it. Some people burn the letter after writing it while some keep it somewhere and revisit it later on in life.

I Lowered my Expectations 

In order to find peace and let go of the disappointment I felt with my dad, I had to lower my expectations. I had to accept that he couldn’t love me in the way I wanted and my anger or resentment wasn’t going to change that. I thought about how I would feel if he passed away and my welling eyes was enough to make me reconsider my stance. 

Kids hold their parents to unrealistic standards a lot of the time, forgetting that they have their pain, struggles, and trauma as well. With that being said, empathy goes a long way if you want to heal from daddy issues. You may even discover through conversation and digging that your parents have daddy issues of their own. 

I Surrounded Myself With GOOD Men 

At times, I wonder if all of these ‘men are trash’ girl bands have any good men around them. Sometimes it’s all that’s needed to remind you that just because you have bad experiences with men, that doesn’t have to define your relationship with and perception of men. 

Look for good men and make friends and acquaintances with them. This should serve as a gentle reminder that there are still supermen with invisible capes roaming the earth. 

Also, consider showing them appreciation by getting them gifts. If you want to go for something sentimental that they’re likely to cherish, consider getting a custom-written canvas poem. A daddy poem is the perfectway of saying ‘I appreciate you’ which men may not hear as often as women or mothers do. 

On the note, I’m not fully healed and I’m still unpacking, but I have found peace and haven’t died from a broken heart. Writing a daddy poem was therapeutic, confronting my father about my pain was liberating, and accepting his imperfections was the ultimate freedom. 

We aren’t born with perfect dad’s and they likely have their own trauma that they aren’t aware of or are too scared to work through. Nonetheless, you can choose to see the good in your dad or appreciate how the pain he’s caused has helped you evolve. If not, you may never know that all men are not trash and many are superhuman.

The Naked Poet 


Why You Need Vulnerability to Make Relationships Work

Tears weren’t something that fell often in my house. This means that while growing up, I didn’t see vulnerability often. The only time I ever saw my mom cry was when her mom died, and I couldn’t have been older than seven years old. Likewise, I’ve never seen my dad cry in my entire life until date. I often wish I was in a household where we all cried while watching Titanic and talked about our feelings over dinner. In some ways, I feel it would have made me a better communicator and more comfortable with vulnerability. 

As an adult, vulnerability is so hard for me. I was a timid child and was always terrified of saying what was on my mind. I suppose I can recall trying to be vulnerable once or twice by sharing intimate things with my parents. On those occasions, I didn’t quite get the warm embrace and understanding I hoped for, so I stopped doing it altogether. I tried showing vulnerability in relationships and friendships, and I found most times, I was left feeling humiliated, so I stopped. 

The only place I was able to be vulnerable was within the sacred pages of my fluffy Tigger diary. I wrote down every thought I was scared of saying out loud, and I guess that’s where I developed my gift for writing. Unfortunately, over the years I’ve realized that being able to verbally express yourself is an integral part of a healthy relationship. As a result, I’ve had to cringe and stutter my way through verbally discussing sticky and ugly topics.

When I did some research into what constitutes a successful marriage, science had several things to say. A study carried out by researcher John Gottman found that how couples start tough conversations can determine how successful their relationship will be. That said, it takes vulnerability to have tough conversations. Without it, you may not be able to have a truly intimate and fulfilling relationship. Based on my journey so far, here’s why I feel you need vulnerability for a marriage to work.

It’s the Only Way to Establish Honesty 

I have always been a people pleaser, and it’s something that I hated about myself. I couldn’t stand the thought of letting people down or making them unhappy. I feel like that stemmed from my fear of rejection and my need to feel liked, loved, and accepted by everyone. I didn’t realize how big of an issue this was until I got married and struggled to talk about how I HONESTLY felt about serious matters.

A good example is a time when I was becoming overwhelmed because I was shouldering most of the housework and childcare. Instead of me telling him that I was becoming emotionally drained, I kept it inside and pretended like everything was fine. I knew talking about it would make me feel vulnerable because I had to share my feelings and do so honestly. It wasn’t until things got really difficult that I realized that I was hurting more than helping my relationship by not allowing myself to be vulnerable and by not telling MY truth out of fear. 

Sometimes, speaking your truth makes you feel vulnerable. You’re telling people exactly how you feel and what you think without the sprinkles on top. However, in doing so, you liberate yourself and also send a message to your partner that you trust them enough to share your most intimate thoughts and feelings. Doing this gives you the chance to experience a greater level of intimacy in your relationship. 

It’s the Only Way to Establish Trust 

I find it hard to trust people with my vulnerability. The first thing that happens when I think about falling apart in front of anyone is that they won’t help me pick up my pieces. I’m afraid of feeling embarrassed, humiliated and rejected when I allow myself to be vulnerable with people. So I refrain from doing it. Playing it safe has saved me so much pain. But it also means that I haven’t been able to experience the enchanting feeling of deep connections and unconditional love because I’m too guarded. 

Marriage has taught me that the true test of trust is vulnerability. If I can’t show you the most distorted version of myself, then I don’t trust you. And if I don’t trust you, there isn’t much glue holding us together. If you sneeze- BOOM! I’m on my way out and googling how to get through a divorce. 

With that being said, if you want to divorce-proof your relationship, take gradual steps towards being vulnerable and let your partner see you in your most humiliating states. Your marriage could be better because of it. 

It’s the Only Way to Experience Deep Love 

If you ever want to transcend past this surface-level love to that married 50 plus years, still writing cheesy marriage poems and smitten love, you’ve got to learn to be vulnerable. 21stcentury love isn’t vulnerable. It either packs its bags and leaves at the sight of vulnerability or breaks under the pressure of it all. 

And perhaps that is why our love isn’t lasting and why it isn’t immovable. Because nobody wants to be vulnerable and nobody wants to be naked. After undressing halfway, you find that most couples are filing for divorce and posting sad marriage poems on social media.

I understand firsthand that you don’t want to be vulnerable because what if it breaks you? Well, yes it might. But it may also recreate you. The vulnerability that petrifies you could be the key to you experiencing a love that surpasses your human understanding. Without vulnerability in your marriage, you’ll only ever experience surface-level love. Nothing that sets your soul on fire.

Say things that make you cringe, write your lover marriage poems, prioritize your love over being right, and be okay with being uncomfortable some days. 

Because Successful Marriages Require Courage 

Some of the greatest love stories in history are so epic because two people had the courage to let the other person into their forbidden place. They had the courage to throw caution to the wind and lose themselves in love. 

To be courageous is to live, and to feel and to experience and to love. Let’s face it, in order to commit to staying married to someone forever, you’re going to need a shitload of courage. 

SOooo in Conclusion….

In marriage, you get to a point where if you aren’t vulnerable, and you don’t strip yourself bare, you break. You have to speak the things that make your palms sweaty. You’ve got to come face to face with the toxic things your parents taught you that are now damaging your relationship. You’ve got to confront all of your demons and this requires vulnerability.

Marriage then ultimately becomes about you working to change those things, but you don’t get to do that alone. You do it with the person you’ve committed to spending the rest of your life with. They watch you struggle, they watch you fall, and sometimes they watch you fail. But the test of marriage is evolving into a better version of yourself and still being together when you get to the finish line. 

To be vulnerable is to be courageous. And to be courageous is to be fucking super human. Ultimately, when you’re vulnerable you’ll experience a magic in love that you never imagined existed. 

How do you deal with vulnerability in marriage or your relationship? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Can Plastic Surgery Fix Low Self-Esteem?

Recently, I’ve been marveling at the number of enhanced bodies I’m seeing and how normalized it is. I remember when plastic surgery was a taboo and seemed to be exclusive to the rich and famous. Nowadays, it’s far more mainstream and I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing. I know that everyone is living their best life, but are these people going under the knife truly happy, or are they just looking for a quick fix for low self-esteem?  

You may have clicked on this article because you’re struggling with low-self esteem or thinking about going under the knife to fix something society told you is unattractive. Before we get into why you’re getting surgery and whether it will fix low self-esteem, let’s look at some research on both surgery and self-image among women. 

What Does Research Say About Plastic Surgery and Self Image

Being the curious Joanne that I am, I did some digging to see what research says about both plastic surgery and self-image. Over time, I’ve realized that everyone has an opinion, however, to have one that is well-informed, you should explore that of others. That said, I came across some interesting statistics about plastic surgery that I’ll share below. 

Plastic Surgery Statistics

First things first, I wanted to know how many people have had plastic surgery in the past few years. According to research from the American Association of Plastic Surgery, 17.7 million people had plastic surgery in 2018, reflecting a 2% increase from 2017. Another interesting statistic I came across is that 92% of all cosmetic procedures that took place were by women while men only attributed for a mere 8%. For me, this isn’t surprising as women seem to be on the receiving end of body shaming and media pressure.

What was even more interesting is that the total number of cosmetic surgeries increased with age. For women between the ages of 20-29, they had 831,000 total cosmetic procedures, while those in the 30-39 age bracket shot up to 2.9 million. it doesn’t stop there. 40-54-year-olds had a shocking 7.8 million total cosmetic procedures. It is no surprise that the older generation feels like they have to do cosmetic surgery considering society treats aging like it’s an incurable disease.

Last but not least, $16.5 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in 2018 which means I need to have a plastic surgeon as a bestie. Here are the top 5 Procedures for 2018;

  • Breast augmentation (313,000)
  • Liposuction (258,000)
  • Nose Reshaping (213, 000)
  • Eyelid surgery (206,000)
  • Tummy Tuck (130,000)

What’s even crazier is the spike in the number of plastic surgery procedures that have taken place over the last couple of years. It makes you wonder why an influx of people are going under the knife and why the pressure to be picture perfect is becoming record-breaking. 

Research has also found that some reasons people pursue plastic surgery include; 

  • body dissatisfaction 
  • teasing about body parts 
  • media influence
  • not being happy with physical appearance 

Self- Image Research

report commissioned by Dove researched self-esteem, body image, and body confidence among women. They discovered women all over the world hate their bodies and struggle with self-image. I’m sure you likely saw imaged and videos from the campaign floating around with women of all shapes and sizes talking about self-image and what not. Below you’ll see some statistics the report found. 

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful

• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful

• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty

• More than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

In conclusion, the report found that beauty-related pressure increases whilst body confidence decreases as girls and women grow older – stopping young girls from seeing their real beauty. Having said that, it seems the pressure from the media, individuals and those around them triggers low self-esteem for girls and women.

Questions You Should Ask Before Getting Surgery 

Before getting surgery, however, I think you should ask yourself a few of these three questions and answer honestly.

1.) What Is Wrong With My Body and Why

For someone to decide to go out and get plastic surgery, it suggests they feel something is wrong with their body. If you can relate and feel your body isn’t as it should be, ask yourself what you feel is wrong with it and why. For many years, I looked in the mirror and thought my nose was way too big and it made me ugly. To add insult to injury, my skin was too dark and my butt was so flat, I doubted whether I was a black African girl. I even used to stuff clothes inside of my jeans to make my butt look bigger. I cried, I fought with myself; I looked for validation in men; I fed off of the praise of others. But still, at the end of the day, I was broken by the disapproval of the majority. I found it so hard to accept that I wasn’t a mainstream beauty and might never be.

It took ten years for me to realize everyone is created uniquely and my image is never something to be ashamed of. I now accept that nothing is wrong with my nose, my body is perfectly fine, and it’s ok that my kind of beautiful isn’t portrayed in the media. It is my job to define and accept my unique beauty, not my job to meet the standards of the world’s definition of beauty. What I’m saying is, if you think something is wrong with the way you look because it isn’t society’s idea of beauty, then you may need to adopt a positive self -image, not get surgery. The real issue is in how you view and value yourself. Thankfully, it’s nothing a little more kindness, less scrutiny, and self-acceptance can’t fix.   

2.) Is the Problem With My body or my Perception? 

As mentioned above, before getting surgery, figure out if the problem is with your body or your perception. Even if you don’t realize, your ideas about beauty are greatly influenced by the media as well as the opinion of others. For a long time, I thought that I wasn’t attractive because other people told me so. They said I needed to be a few shades lighter, my ass was too flat, and that my nose was too big. Because their approval mattered, I believed them and struggled with low self-esteem. 

Before going under the knife, explore ways you can change the negative perceptions you have about your image. Be sure you aren’t getting surgery just to meet society’s standard of beauty as it’s ever-changing. Also, remember you don’t have to be picture-perfect and it’s not fair to put unrealistic pressure on yourself.

3.) How Will This Positively Impact My Life? 

Another thing to consider before getting surgery is whether it will positively impact your life. Think about what your purpose is in life and how altering your image will help you achieve it. For me, I found the less I focused on how I looked and the more I focused on who I was, the more beautiful and attractive I felt. This quote by Henry Miller resonates with how I feel; 

   “Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music — the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” 

The issue I have with plastic surgery is the message it sends to the coming generations of young women. It says that if you don’t like the way you look physically change it.

When plastic surgery is the first solution we offer to fix low self-esteem, it tells women that society’s standard of beauty is more important than theirs. I also feel that it further objectifies women and reiterates the underlying message that a woman being beautiful is of more value than her being smart and successful; however, you define success. 

For the sake of a balanced discussion, let me put out there that I am not anti-surgery because I would be a hypocrite to say I am. All I’m saying is ask yourself hard questions before changing everything about yourself that you don’t physically like. Think about what you’d tell your daughter, niece, or younger self if they said that they felt they were too skinny, their butt wasn’t big enough or their tits were too small. Would you tell them to get surgery or to focus less on what the world says they should look like and more on who they are? 

I feel like maybe if women focused more on snatching the mind and spirit instead of the waist, they’d be a lot less inclined to get surgery and maybe they’d start setting their own standard of beauty. As Jada Pinkett-Smith rightly said the other day, self-love is a process, and it isn’t something that happens overnight. You can’t escape the ugliness of it, the hard work, the painful realities, and the transformation that has to take place in your mind so you learn to love yourself. Plastic surgery may fix your outer appearance, but it is only a temporary fix if the real issue is your inability to love who you are.