“So many years of education, yet nobody ever taught us how to love ourselves and why it’s so important.”
February is here and there are red heart shaped candy boxes and balloons in nearly every store in celebration of Valentine’s Day. As a kid I enjoyed all the fun declarations of love and I enjoyed the plentiful chocolates even more!
February is also Black History Month.
The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (an organization he founded) announced that the second week of February would be "Negro History Week." This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14 both of which had long been celebrated within black communities since the late 19th century.
Woodson created the week with a primary purpose to encourage the coordinated teaching of the history of African American history in the nation's public schools. At the launch of Negro History Week Woodson was quoted as saying,
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”
~Carter G. Woodson
Negro History Week later spawned into Black History Month on the campus of Kent State University in 1970 and by 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial celebrations President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month where he urged Americans, "to seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
So why am I sharing all of this with you today?
I am taking a look back at the history of Black History Month because it has always been important to me. Growing up as one of the very few African American families in my neighborhood and in my early schools creating a strong, positive sense of my identity was constant and consistent work for my mother and father as my self esteem was under attack everyday at school even in the 1980s. This was when I connected the idea of learning about my heritage and my cultural history with the understanding of myself and eventually loving myself.
One can not love that which they do not understand.
Therefore, as we celebrate loving relationships right alongside with Black History Month, I encourage you regardless of your cultural heritage and background to spend time honoring and loving yourself this month!
The love of self is too often overlooked and tends to be associated with egotistical and selfish pursuits. However, a healthy love of self is crucial to building a strong self esteem and the confidence necessary to truly live the life you desire and being happy in the process.
So how do you show love to yourself these days? Let me know in the discussion on this topic over on Facebook. We will be talking about self love throughout the month of February. Join in!
Make some time for your own loving self care by making an appointment and adding Reiki to your session.
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