Radical Self-Love is Liberation

Photography courtesy of Josh Foo

There is an isolation and darkness that is far more terrifying than from communities, social structures, or even families. It is an isolation so deep, it occurs in a place you can not escape.

It is within you. It is you.

For twenty years, I sank in that vast darkness. My existence was a continual dance around how to handle an exterior world that wreaked havoc on the truths my soul holds. I could not, and refused to, expose the universe within me, for fear of the unknown and how others would treat me. It is an intoxicating poison; the voice that says to be silent. To not be seen.

Now, I refuse that reality. I demand myself seen. I stand fully and unashamed in the authentic reality of who I am. Who I want to be. Who I will be. Upon this journey, a pathway still traveled, I have found these three truths to be self-evident and a trinity rooted in what makes a powerful personhood:

This truth is one which has taken me decades to harness, but the implications reap the most powerful harvests. In my second collection of poetry, I meditated on this notion throughout the work. The work itself is a culmination of two years while I journeyed my first “Void” — the concept of creating identity and personhood it the unrestrictive realm of internal spirit. You have all the power. Those who look to hurt you, only can with your approval.

2. Send it back as Love.

When ignorance and darkness come knocking, as they inevitably will, command them to leave. Exorcise that crap. Return to sender. Goodbye. You don’t have time to waste on those who will tear you down for the sake of their own pleasure. At the times when individuals seek to destroy and dismantle your truths, convert their emptiness, and give it back as Love. It is a radical statement of Love when you stand in your power and banish the potential for harm unto yourself or those around you. Give them the undeserving gift of your decision to love them enough to say no more, you have no power here, I send my love to you regardless. Pray they find goodness and move on.

3. Live in the Love and Rise in the Light.

Perhaps the most important aspect of living aligned with a powerful personhood, one must consistently live among, and as, the Love and Light they seek to perpetuate. A hollow soul is marked by emptiness, while a filling soul is marked by the radiance it overflows. Affirm yourself whenever possible. Filter the energies around you to be amidst only those who fuel your goodness. Demand and command your spirit to be untouchable, remind yourself you are of value and deserve dignity. Believe in your power. Support and validate yourself and those around you. Always. It is a divine, unending circle — the one of valuing lives as powerful in their own personhoods. Remember it is a painstaking journey that spirals toward oblivion. It is ok to stumble, but always stand right back up. Rise.

I challenge you to know thy truth. Know thyself. Know thy radical self-power and silence those who speak otherwise. You are worthy. You are infinite in your capacity to build and be.

You are.

All my Light and Love,

a.j.k. o’donnell is an American author, activist, and artist from Omaha, Nebraska. Her second collection of poetry This Void Beckons is available now at www.ajkodonnell.com, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her @ajkodonnell

wordsmith, activist, and artist. She is the author of the collection "This Void Beckons". www.ajkodonnell.com

wordsmith, activist, and artist. She is the author of the collection "This Void Beckons". www.ajkodonnell.com