It is absolutely true that seeing others being themselves gives us permission to be who we really are, too. Brava to Ms. Caitlyn Jenner for having the courage to own her truth.
As Plato said, "Be kind, for everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle." Caitlyn's life reminds us that we really never know what is going on with anyone else but ourselves. You could be envying someone's wealth, fame, or accomplishments, and they could be living in an emotional winter or personal turmoil.
Caitlyn is teaching us, "Run your own race. Live life according to your own rules." Caitlyn exemplifies why it is important for us to learn to love, honor, and accept ourselves right now.
I received some kickback from a couple of women when I wrote a self-love book about feminine power and in the book welcomed anyone who identified as a women to our self-love movement. It always momentarily catches me off guard when I find people from oppressed groups, be it women, people of color, queer folk, etc., readily stepping up to oppress others.
How could anyone start a movement about self-love and self-acceptance from a point of being exclusionary or intolerant?
As the first member of my family born in America, I have always identified as an outsider. Those who bullied me and my family, telling us regularly to "go back to your country" did me a huge favor. Because we were rejected in our African American neighborhood, and I had no hope of fitting in with the white kids in school, I didn't have the "but what if folks think I'm different" fear. I had plenty of other fears to make up for it, but being already different I pressured myself less to fit in.
Thank you, Caitlyn Jenner for having the guts to be you. In The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love I define a "sacred bombshell" as a woman who loves, honors, and cherishes herself in mind, body, spirit. I honor Caitlyn's sacred bombshell journey. The real American dream includes all of us who are on our evolutionary self-love journeys.
We are all works in progress, and perhaps her journey can help us each to be a little more fearless.
5 Juicy Self-Love Lessons from Caitlyn Jenner
1. Don't feel the need to fit into other people's boxes.
When Caitlyn as Bruce Jenner told Diane Sawyer that she was a Republican, everyone balked. For my crowd of "come as you are" successful neo-hippie friends, this was the most shocking thing in the whole conversation. If being a right winger works for Caitlyn Jenner, who is anyone else to say that this is wrong? People were also intrigued by Cait's declarations of Christianity. Good for her! Be you.
A few years ago, someone I know tried to pull my "black card" because she was dating a Very Famous Rapper and I'd never heard of him. Well, she hadn't heard of Neil Degrasse Tyson. He's also black. Be true to you.
Self-Love Takeaway: You are a person, not a caricature or a demographic. Just because you are a part of a group doesn't mean that you need to check all boxes popular with that group.
2. It is never too late to be who you might have been.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of holding a private spiritual business coaching group with a wonderful circle of successful women. One of them was an attorney who has always had the secret goal of being a jewelry designer. Although she has always been creative, she feels that the ship has sailed for her.
How old was this past her prime mama? Ninety? Ninety-five? No! She was only 40 years old. The thought that a 40 year-old woman who will probably live at least another 40 years should give up on her dreams is ridiculous. Love yourself enough to go for it!
Self Love Takeaway: Whoever you dream you want to be, go for it! It is never too late. Actress Betty White is an energetic 93. At 88 years old, empowerment guru Louise Hay is still giving speeches and running her company. She actually started Hay House when she was in her 60s.
3. Go big or go home.
Although I am a Caitlyn Jenner supporter and fan, I'm not one for sports analogies. However, "go big or go home" is an important self-love lesson.
What this means is that if it behooves you, stand in your truth and shout it from the rafters. Caitlyn Jenner made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine. She was photographed by none other than Annie Leibovitz. She glammed it up for the goddesses, giving us Aphrodite, Artemis, and Athena. Even goddess Isis smiled. Way to make a debut.
Self-Love Takeaway: Self-love means owning your voice. Part of self-acceptance is being unapologetically yourself. Stop worrying about what other people think. This is your moment to step into your greatness in your own way.
4. Pay homage to those who came before.
When you love yourself, you relish in the empowerment of others. Caitlyn Jenner has acknowledged the #TransIsBeautiful movement, giving love to trail-blazers including Janet Mock and Laverne Cox. Last year, I interviewed Laverne Cox and she expressed outrage and urgency about the violence facing trans women, particularly trans women of color. Caitlyn Jenner has acknowledged the dire situation facing her new community This is beautiful, powerful, and necessary.
Self-Love Takeaway: We are all in this together, and much more powerful when we stand together.
5. Know that the concept of "normalcy" is a myth.
Caitlyn caused a stir in a promo for her documentary series, "I Am Cait," Some folks on social media took issue with her declaration that one day "women like her" would be normal. I have written before about the tyranny of the idea of normalcy.
The real "new normal" is the acknowledgement that normal doesn't exist. Even if you believe it does, being normal is not something to aspire to. Aspire to be the best human being that you can be instead. As the brilliant Dr. Maya Angelou once said, "If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
Self-Love Takeaway: The world belongs to us weirdos and outsiders. Don't terrorize yourself with wanting to fit in. Love yourself enough to be who you are, wholly and completely.
There will always be people who love you, hate you, and those who aren't thinking about you. Live yourself for yourself. Confidence is an inside job that starts with self-acceptance.
Yes! Thank you for the inspiration. Go Caitlyn Jenner, go...
Abiola Abrams is a transformational speaker, women's self-worth coach, creator of the Sacred Business Academy's "Become the Guru Bootcamp," and author of the award-winning "Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love." Get her free "Sacred Self-Worth Kit" of empowerment goodies at: OwnYourBombshell.com. Take her free 4-part video workshop, "Spiritpreneur Success Strategies" at BombshellMyBusiness.com.
For more from Abiola Abrams on the power of self-love, watch this video: