Shaina Brown

New Year/new me ... BS | A letter on acceptance & improvement

Shaina Strawberrie -

Tags: Life

New Year/new me ... BS | A letter on acceptance & improvement

Hello! My name is CaribbeanSpyce, at least that’s my nomenclature and the beautiful, the wonderful, the talented, the intelligent force of a Queen that is Ms Shaina Brown asked me to join in on her blog for this year. Of course, I agreed immediately.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a bubbly, sorta woke (and I only say sorta because I have more to learn) student of life. You can follow me on Instagram under the same name. You’ll see my shenanigans where my message is to live life in whatever colours you please. I love to dance and post funny or positive stories.

Caribbean Spyce on Instagram

Enough with introductions. Let’s begin. 1...2..3GO!

Every year there are a bunch of people who say, New Year, New Me OR New Year, Same bitch.

Utter.

Flicking.

Nonsense.

New Year, New Me is just as problematic as the New Year, Same bitch attitude.

New Year, New me often implies you have some changes you want to make. That there are things that aren’t secure in your life such as weight gain, financial instability, newly single- the list goes on. It’s a proclamation to the world, I’m going to change! And it somewhat holds you accountable because you’ve told people and don’t want to look a fool if the year ends and you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do. Often times, you don’t. You get down on yourself as the months pass. Your self esteem drops. You feel like a failure. You’ve essentially done more harm to yourself than good.

New year, same bitch is possibly even worse. You’ve come to this acceptance that I am who I am and I’m not going to change, take it or leave it. Which, I commend you but that’s not self love. I am who I am, take it or leave it suggests that you know you have some toxic qualities and you’re not willing to change it for a variety of reasons: they’re defense mechanisms that protect you from people or you’ve tried, failed and have given up on making healthy behavioural and mindset changes. But being toxic and stewing in self displeasure for those parts of yourself or ignoring these traits doesn’t affect you only but harms the people around you who have to put up with it.

Your mantra shouldn’t, first of all even start with a new year but everyday. “I am enough. I am worthy of unconditional love and a comfortable life that is happy. But I am not perfect.

There are things I dislike about myself. Some things I cannot change. Some things are hard to change because I lack motivation or feel helpless and don’t know where to start but if I love myself I need too. If I do not change certain things it harms myself and my loved ones. And harm perpetuates sadness and bitterness. I will take it one step at a time to become a healthier version of myself, mentally and physically for myself and the relationships I hold dear.”

Long ass mantra, I know. But worth it.

Let’s face it, there are things we cannot change. But behavior and thought processes- we can always work on and change.

I have noticed with myself and others a huge problem is goal setting. Imagine if you wanted to lose 100lbs in 3 months. Yes, there are people who’ve done it but it’s not about them, it’s about you and your journey of self. You’re not in a race competing against others. That’s the second wrong thing people do, comparisons. The first is setting unrealistic goals.

If your journey entails weight loss, healing from an abusive relationship, healing from childhood traumas, learning to become more vulnerable and not so tough all the time, finishing a course or whatever, you should always start with: what is my ultimate goal? And what are shorter goals I can set to reach there? And focus on the short term goals and completing those because they are less stressful.

I’ll give a personal example. I had been traumatized from a previous relationship I’d been in. I was left with self-hatred. But why should I hate myself because someone I loved treated me poorly? So I set healing goals. No time limit. Just practices. Quiet time when I woke up. One day for the week, alone in my bedroom, no WiFi. Journaling anytime I had negative thoughts about myself and whew...did I write. Until I could understand why I hated myself so unjustly. When I discovered why, I started spending time forgiving myself. Mentally repeating to myself affirmations of forgiveness based on the circumstance I’d just come out of. Unfortunately, this isn’t a winning story, I lost track of my healing journey and while I may not be at square 1, if I were at square 50, I’m somewhere around square 15.

AND IT IS OK.

The point is, I’m not at square 1. There was growth. I saw a problem. I worked slowly at it. Whereas in the past, I would jump and try to fix my thought process in one counseling session, one of my personal quiet time sessions and be frustrated that I’d just vented to myself or someone else and I wasn’t healed. Some growth is a win, even if it’s not full growth.

Lay down New Year New Me and New Year Same Bitch. Make a list of things you want to work on. Explore options to get where you want too. Set short term goals. When short term goal one is complete, go to short term goal 2 and tick it off. You’ll see your progress. Physically have a sheet with short term goal 1, short term goal 2, short term goal 3 and tick it off as you complete one. So when you give up/ get tired, you don’t beat up yourself as much, you’ll see what you accomplished.

Different day, new chances for growth. Little by little. Welcome to 2020. See you through to the end warrior Queen.


Caribbean Spyce is a proud alumni of Hillview College and graduated Bsc Psychology, First Class Honours, UWI, St. Augustine. A member of honours society, Psi Chi.

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