To Thine Own Self Be True

I don’t recall when I first heard these words, but never have words been so evident in my life as these have been.  My self-love journey has taken me down many pathways; I have experienced some peaks and have wandered aimlessly in the valley, yet through it all, the most prevailing truth has been to embrace and practice self-trust every day that I have breath!

photo of black ceramic male profile statue under grey sky during daytime
Photo by Mike Bird on

I recently spoke at a women’s empowerment seminar and I wanted to share some epiphanies that I’ve had as I learn to trust the woman in the mirror more and more.

To the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.

My name is Traci Sanford and I am alive for the first time in my life! I stand before you as the most whole, complete, fulfilled, loved and honored that I have ever felt in my life.  I have immeasurable and immense love all around me.  I am head over hills, madly in love, crazy in love with an equally powerful man who matches me in word, deed, and swag.  He is a true king to this queen.  I have six beautiful, happy and healthy children- one daughter and five sons-y’all pray for me!  I am also a teacher at an urban middle school in Lexington, but my masterwork, my calling is teaching and mentoring women both young and seasoned how to live a lifestyle of self-love.  I recently launched The CRWND Life LLC, which is the umbrella of my self-love coaching, mentoring and empowerment speaking services.

The woman that I am today is a direct result of embodying self-love as a lifestyle.  To get here though, I had to accept some truths about myself.  I had to accept that where I was in my life then, was a direct result of the fact that I had at some point in time in my life become content with the idea that everything that I had experienced, from girlhood to adulthood, I deserved.  Everything!  From compliments to being choked out my kitchen, I deserved.  This kind of toxic and faulty mindset was rooted in the fact that I put my trust in everyone and everything, but myself.  So I want to share with you three stages of self-trust that I have identified through my experiences.

Stage One-Identity Crisis:  Who am I now and to myself?

When I made the decision to divorce my children’s father,  I suddenly felt like every title that I had-wife and mother-were stripped from me.  I was no longer the ideal two-parent household, happily married wife.  It was all I had come to be and now it was gone.  I was now about to be a divorcee and co-parenting.  I had to first let the devastation that I had a broken marriage run its course.  I had to grieve my former self so that I could make room for a newer version of me to begin to form.

Stage Two-Vision:  Here’s what I am, but here’s who I see.

Throughout my 15 year relationship, I secretly wrote in hundreds of journals.  I had them all over my house; in the bathroom, in kitchen cabinets, in my closet.  I would steal away to write whenever I could.  Within my writing, a pattern started to emerge:  I was always writing as a version of myself that was the complete opposite of who I was in reality.  The woman in my journals was strong and beautiful.  She was one with God and saw herself as a protector, provider and of a sound mind.  She was sexy and fierce, her voice was powerful, clear and concise and she never shook when she spoke her truths.  She was an ass kicker, vixen, CEO, healer, comedian, poet, dancer, wife, girlfriend, mother and friend-all of the things that I only fantasized about, but never really thought I could be.  The more I wrote her story, the more disrupted and unsettled my reality became.  I came to realize that the woman in my journals was already me, I just had to find a way to connect her to who I was.

Stage  Three-Do It Anyway:  Execution of a plan to become who I see.

Stage three is where I am now.  I have fully embraced becoming in all ways the woman from my journals.  She is not a figment of my imagination, she is ME.  She had always existed, I just lacked the ability to trust that I could do the work to manifest her.

Self-trust is knowing and believing that no matter what the outcome of any decision, be it positive or negative, I can handle the outcome.  The moment I embraced that self-trust is what solidifies our decision making and builds our capacity to take risks and move out of our comfort zones was the moment that I became true to who I am as a woman.  Life as I am meant to live it was revealed.  I am alive!  I am healthy and I am happy inside and out.

The moment we become aware of ourselves through the lens of self-trust is the moment that we begin to live the lives that we imagine.  We become who we are destined to be in an instant and the process of manifesting our best selves becomes our reality.  It is then that we start living our best lives.

Choose self-trust today.  Your life awaits you.

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