Suzette's Secret: Self-Love Didn't Come Easy Until I Did This

Suzette's Secret: Self-Love Didn't Come Easy Until I Did This
Suzette Wright. Photo: Ven Sherrod.

By Suzette Wright

For 35 of my 45 years of existence, I desperately searched for the self-love everyone tried to convince me I needed.

Yet those words fell on my deaf ears as they were always unable to tell me HOW to do that!

  • I was a woman who endured ridicule during childhood as the "Nigger" in a once all-white neighborhood.
  • I was a woman who endured several "violations" from childhood into adulthood.
  • I was a woman who felt lost, often with no space to be comfortable, and so I had no idea of what this elusive "self-love" was or HOW to obtain it.

Frustration grew each year that I'd hear someone say, "Suzette, you gotta’ learn to love yourself first."

As Kanye asks, "HOW?"

No answer.

Not only did I not know what this self-love was and how to get it, I gave up hope of finding it.

Worthless was just what I resigned myself to be. Yet, since I was first told to "get that look off your face," I learned how to master the look of my mask!

The facade of strength and courage prevailed. Smiling on the outside yet oftentimes in the throes of depression.

So bad during a period of my life those around me had no idea I was a patient of Saint Margaret's Hospital Outpatient Psychiatric Program; checking in every morning for extensive eight-hour therapy, Monday through Friday for two months.

It was also during this time in my life that I was engulfed in the biggest fight of my life.

I worked for Ford Motor Co., and was smack dab in the middle of a Class Action Sexual Harassment lawsuit. And boy was I taking heat. Ford was looking for any reason they could find to fire me, men AND women at the plant spread ugly and untrue rumors about me, and I had very little support from other female employees (outside of my Co-Plaintiffs). It was A LOT to endure.

This battle waged on for 3 years, and I wanted to quit every step of the way!

Yet, I had a daughter watching, a son that although young, would one day know this story.

How could I let them see me quit? I couldn't.

Fast forward 5 years. The lawsuit settled. Life had some normalcy. My family unit was solid. Two-parent household, (me: a stay-at-home mom; him: still working at Ford), with our three children and a dog.

Although I didn't work outside of the home I stayed busy; doing things that fulfilled me, primarily taking care of my immediate and close family.

But that self-love...was still nonexistent. There was no time for that anyway. The family routine was in full swing and I mostly thought of them.

Until one unsuspecting day, I was sitting in my home office going over bills, organizing things for the kids and the family... and out of NOWHERE--it seems as if God parted the clouds for me--I glanced up at a picture of me I had stuck on my bulletin board that was published in the Chicago Tribune. The caption read:  "Suzette Wright demanded - and got - an apology at the Ford-EEOC Conference."

And I thought "Wow, whoever did that is a pretty awesome chick!"

You see when I started that lawsuit, the only thing I was after was an apology. I felt strongly that it was OWED TO ME for what I had went through. Yet everyone from lawyers, family, friends and co-plaintiffs told me it would never happen because "Ford might as well admit guilt and they're not going to do that."

Yet I never gave up on the idea.

So two years in, I saw an opportunity and I TOOK IT!

I showed up to a conference I wasn't invited to, interrupted it while every major television network camera rolled and asked for what I WAS OWED! Vindicated!!

Back at home in my office, I stared at the picture and its caption and the voice in my head said "THAT'S YOU!" My head immediately fell into the palms of my hand and I wept!

A cathartic cry that released every feeling of self-doubt and unworthiness!

THAT WAS ME!! I AM THAT CHICK!! And it hit me like a ton of bricks! "THAT'S IT!!! THIS is how you love yourself! YOU give YOURSELF reasons to be proud of YOURSELF!"

It was THE day that changed my life FOREVER!

I didn't need someone to tell me to "love yourself" any longer, I had given myself reason to do so!

Suddenly my perception of myself shifted! And suddenly what other people thought of me didn't matter. I liked what I thought of me! I had reason! And while everyone's life might not present such a grandstand, everyone's life has a trial to overcome, and a reason to be proud.

A reason to self-love!

I now understand FULLY that as long as I'm happy with myself it doesn't matter who else is happy with me.

I'm the barometer in my own life.

My self-love is greater than any other love could ever be.

I'm out to make ME proud of me!

This is freedom... beauty and SELF-LOVE!

As host of the popular Urban Dialog unscripted show, Suzette Wright is a media powerhouse and Chicago influencer.  Photos: Ven Sherrod

Learn more about Six Brown Chicks here. follow us on Twitter @SixBrownChicks

Have your blog delivered to you! Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.


Leave a comment