hali tsotetsi

Dear Hali, an apology letter to my younger self.

Image by Unsplash

Image by Unsplash

Dear Hali, 

I’m sorry that I didn’t believe in your capability and I believed people who knew nothing of what you are or what you are made of. 


I’m sorry for ever telling you that you are ugly, fat, worthless or not enough. Those words are untrue and only stopped you from reaching your potential. 


I apologize for letting people into your life that came in-and-out with disrespect, unkind words and toxicity. 


I’m sorry for being ignorant about your heritage and not allowing you to be proud of who you are and where you come from. 


I’m sorry that I let what happened to you build walls up against other people, for fear that it wouldn’t happen again. That fear only brought the same kind of people around over-and-over. I have now learnt that peace is power. 


I’m sorry for ever doubting you, fearing your strength and allowing anything to hide your light. 

You deserve to shine bright and I promise to make choices that align with your purpose in life, true love and peace of mind. 


I love you,

5 words that you should remove from your vocabulary

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Image by Getty Images 

 

Words carry power, and I've found called myself names I thought I didn't mean, only to find out later that I did mean them. Because behind every word is intention.

 

If my intention is to be kind to myself and to others, then I have no reason to use the following words:

1. Stupid

We call ourselves, people and things stupid if they don't do what we want them to when we want them to. Releasing this word from your vocabulary allows you to accept things the way they are. Who are we to judge who someone is? What something is? And when something occurs?

2. Fat

If you're calling yourself and others this word, STOP! This word spreads pure hate. Do you want to contribute hate or love to this world? If you want to be a positive influence in this world, using this word will do the opposite of your intention.

3. Should

If things were meant to be a certain way, they would be that way. If you were meant to be with your former partner, you would be. If you were meant to be a millionaire, you would be one. If you were meant to have different parents, you would have different parents. You are exactly where you are meant to be, and you can use what you have to progress. Wishing things were different from how they are now will stop you from progressing successfully.

4. Hate

It isn't only a strong word, but a word that promotes negativity. Why focus on what's going wrong with your day and life, when you can focus on what's going right.

5. Loser

People have their own routes in this journey of life. Most of the time there isn't a winner and a loser because all of us have something to learn from life. If someone has decided to live life the way that they want to, which may seem bizarre to you and others, you aren't the judge of how and what they are meant to achieve. Have enough respect and consideration for people to let them live life the way they want, without them being fearful of labels and restrictions.

6 reason why I forgive myself.

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Image by Getty Images  

 

There’s truly nothing worse than regret. The truth is that when we don’t do our best or feel like we could’ve done better, we feel regret, even guilt or shame.


These negative feelings lead us no where but down a hole of anxiety and depression. We deserve better than that.


For this reason, am a firm-believer in self-forgiveness. Here are 6 other reasons why:


1. I am constantly learning and growing.

Growth is a process which will involve making mistakes. Yes, we all fall but what’s powerful is getting back up. I forgive myself because I am constantly learning and growing.


2. I am not perfect.

We are expected to do and be a lot. Nowadays, you say or do one wrong thing and people come after you via twitter or social media. We are not meant to be perfect and there is a beauty in that. If we all walked around as perfect robotic beings, life would be boring. I forgive myself for not being perfect.

3. I am in control of my happiness.


Yes, I could spend hours, days and months dwelling on my mistakes but where would that get me? Repeating negative thoughts will only bring me down. I forgive myself because I am in control of my happiness.


4. Now that I know better, I can do better.


These words are from Maya Angelou. Sometimes the only way to become a better person is through trial and error. I recently went through a situation with a man where I was beating myself up for allowing him to treat me the way that he did. A reminder of this quote came into my head and I felt calm. It took me not knowing better to find out and understand what better is. I forgive myself because now that I know better, I can do better.


5. I am stronger than what I went through.


I am stronger than my mistakes because I am still here. If I have gotten through them, then it is time to let them go. Sometimes being stronger than a situation speaks more volumes than how you got into it to begin. I forgive myself because I am stronger than what I went through.


6. I don’t always have to be right.

In the words of Joss Stone, ‘I’ve got a right to be wrong, my mistakes will make me strong.’ As a human being, I am allowed my mistakes. I’m not saying that they will happen often, however, I can let go of the notion that I need to be perfect and never do any wrong. I forgive myself because I don’t always have to be right.

4 types of people that you need to distance yourself from.

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If you asked me a few years ago if I knew how to set boundaries for myself, I would  have replied, ‘Boundaries? What boundaries?’

 

Truthfully, I wasn’t the greatest at setting boundaries but now I find them necessary. What is also necessary is distancing yourself from toxic people.

 

This article is inspired by a meme that I saw on Instagram that quotes Dwayne Johnson on the type of people that we should distance ourselves from:

 

1. People who lie to you.

Like we were told when we were young kids, ‘A liar is a thief and a thief is a liar’. This may sound a bit exaggerated, however, you can’t trust people who lie to you. To avoid conflict and issues in your life, distance yourself from people who lie to you because you won’t be able to trust them. And, what good is a relationship that doesn’t have trust?

 

2. People who disrespect you.

Like my mother always used to tell me, ‘Every doormat says welcome’. That saying has stayed with me everyday of my life. When we allow people to disrespect us, we are responsible too. To protect yourself from disrespectful behaviour, distance yourself from disrespectful people because only you can stand up for yourself.

 

3. People who use you.

 

We all have people in our lives who like to push our buttons, harass us for money or feel entitled to our time. Well, it’s time for you to distance yourself from them. It is not always your problem when people find themselves in a bind. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t help but don’t become someone’s crutch, you deserve better than that.

 

4. People who put you down.

 

Unfortunately insecure, mean and unfriendly people exist. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be friends with them. You deserve to be surrounded by people who support, appreciate and acknowledge you; not people who put you down. If you hang around people who call you names, disrespect you or treat you badly, you will soon do the same to yourself.

Facing racism in South Africa post-apartheid taught me forgiveness

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Image by Getty images

 

Attending a predominantly white school in a newly post-Apartheid South Africa meant, for me, that a few parents didn't want their children to have play dates with me, a few kids would wipe their seats before they sat on a seat that I'd used, and boys whom I'd dated would be ashamed to tell anyone that we were an item. I wanted to hide the most obvious thing people saw about me: my dark skin.

My father and mother would continuously remind me that I was beautiful but, for some reason, I didn't believe them. I didn't believe them because so many people were telling and showing me otherwise. How could I believe the only two people who would love me regardless? Although I've always believed that I was meant to be made this way, and I've always believed that everyone was meant to be the way that they are, I was baffled by the fact that I hadn't done anything wrong to anyone but some people had treated me as though I had.

 

I spent a long time hating those who mistreated me because I had always treated them with respect and kindness – I felt taken advantage of.
Until one day, I forgave. I forgave the parents who didn't want their children playing with me, I forgave the kids who wiped their seats after I sat on them, and I forgave the boys who wanted to hide their attraction for me.

I forgave and forgave and forgave. I forgave because they didn't know any better, and ignorance is the easiest thing to forgive. Once I forgave, I realized that their inability to be kind to me had nothing to do with me. If you're truly comfortable in your skin, you accept all shapes and colors because you're able to appreciate difference. And everyone is different.

I forgave because I realized that I'm special. I forgave because I saw that all of us are special. Once I learned to forgive them, I became free of trying to fit into a box, and acknowledged that a life of acceptance allows you to appreciate everything for its own reason.

I forgave because they haven't had the fortune of experiencing the greatness of kindness – they are truly missing out.