One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in this lifetime, this existence, this realm, is that of self love.

Not just saying it and thinking it, but actually living it, breathing it, internalizing it, owning it, exuding it and demanding it of others.


As a child of Oshun, this was her most important lesson for me. She demanded it and would accept nothing less. She turned a deaf ear to my negotiations, and ignored my attempts to do ‘part time’ self love. She turned a deaf ear to my excuses and ridiculous explanations.

She constantly held me to high standards and despite my challenges, tears, complaints, doubts, mishaps, and heartaches..she was relentless.

She held my feet to the fire, teasing me with what could be, but not until SHE felt I was ready. I had to prove to her that I loved myself as much as she loved me.

Finally, one day… I got it. I woke up. I realized that if I did not get her lesson, she was not going to set me free.

Until I truly loved myself, she would not allow others to love me.

Until I understood what her plans were, all my plans would fail.

Until I stopped giving of myself freely, without full compensation, I would always feel empty.

Until I learned the valuable lesson of being alone, in solitude, but not lonely, I would never enjoy the company of another.

Until I recognized the depth of my beauty, all the beauty that lay dormant in all the layers of me, everything would seem superficial.

She fed me bitterness…until I was finally ready to taste the beautiful sweetness of her honey.

Iya Otá Niwé