Updated: Mar 2, 2020
Black women are considered the strong one, who takes care of it all. We take pride in being the glue for our families, and humanity - holding it all together. As leaders in our community, we are first to the battle line, saving humanity from falling off the cliff they so eagerly ran to. We, as black women are quick to lend an insightful ear, and soothing words of encouragement to those closest to us.
As a young woman, my surroundings were filled with selfless, strong, black women. Taking in as many children as possible, feeding them all, making sure everyone was well taken care of. I witness strong black women helping out other women, many times at the expense of their own wellbeing. I began to notice the same behaviors exemplified in my own personal relationships. Giving so much of myself, until nothing was left for myself. I became hurt, and resentful that I'd given so much to everyone around me, yet - I was left with nothing in return.
Many years of feeling depleted and unappreciated forced me to evaluate my sense of entitlement and self-sabotaging, co-dependent behaviors. Why was I giving so much of myself to others, even when they didn't deserve nor appreciate my best? The answer was a hard pill to swallow. I didn't want to admit that I was depending on others appreciation of my good deeds to make me feel good about myself. How could this be? I thought I held myself in the highest regard?" I often silently repeated to myself.
The highest rates of depression are among black women. Studies show that the mental health of black women are at an all time high. Why is this, we may ask? As we travel along this journey through this blog, we will uncover the many reasons of why we - black women, often put ourselves last in everything we do. But, most importantly - how can we remedy this epidemic? How do we become healthier mentally, emotionally, and physically, for the betterment and health of ourselves, our families, and our communities?
The "Strong Black Woman" syndrome has become such a mantra in our community, and it's time we put that term to rest. Yes, we are resilient, resourceful, and in essence "strong". But, being strong doesn't have to come at the expense of our health. We are also sensual, soft, spiritual, and feminine beings.
How do you speak to yourself? Nourish yourself? Love yourself? How do you manage the stress in your life? Do you find the time to sit with and nurture your emotional wellbeing? We no longer have to carry the worlds load. We can now give ourselves permission to attend to our own wellbeing, and drop the mask we show the world.
Our strength is found in the ways we embrace our womanhood, practice radical self-love and care, and pour into others once our cup is full first.
Welcome to your sacred healing space.