She needed a hero, so she become one
I keep my blogs as neutral as possible. Never swaying one way or another, just keeping it open to all mindsets. A lot of what I write comes from experience and inner expressions. This past year and a half, I’ve had some experiences of life, like all of you, I’ve experienced the impact of a global pandemic. But the past few months, I’ve experienced the impact cancer can have on, not only its victim but their family as well. Many times it’s the patient that received the care and attention, with the family being left out. Taking stock of my own well-being and emotional health, I’ve come to the realisation that women are always pushing themselves to do more, be more and be all to everyone. More so for Black women or women of colour as we’re expected to go that extra mile. History had shown us that there is a popular misconception that we are stronger, both physically and mentally, that we can handle anything thrown at us. What’s so unfortunate about this is, this has given many of us a false sense of being Superhuman because many have bought into this misconception. I myself included! It would be hypocritical of me to say that I have not bought into the be-all, do more, be everything to everyone mindset.
I’ve seen my grandmother, mother and aunts buy into that same mindset. I’ve seen them standing steadfast through life’s little storms, suppressing their emotions in conflicts and injustice, holding on by a thread trying to keep it all together, while maintaining their sanity because their families were depending on them to be that pillar of strength. Apart from being the Superwoman, comes the label because when black women decide to go against the grain of the social misconception and express themselves, we’re labelled as just another ‘mad black woman.’ While other women’s tears are said to move mountains those of black women salt the earth and soak their pillars at night. We don’t have the same shield as other women do, that shield that guards our mental and emotional wellbeing. The shield protects our fragility against the outside forces who threaten to strip us of our dignity and grace.
Black women should not have to suppress their emotions or vulnerability to fit into the social norm. It gives us no comfort to be praised as resilient, strong creatures who are able to withstand hardship because the weight of those words we are forced to carry like some badge of honour in this segregated world we were born into, do more harm than good. The mental shift begins when we as black women accept that true strength comes through teaching our daughters that it’s not ok to burn themselves to the ground, it’s ok not to feel obligated to do all or be all to family, friends, in their relationships. Teach them that they are just as much mortal as their counterparts and it’s ok to no be ok. It’s ok to stand on your feet and say enough is enough. It’s ok to shield yourself when society refuses to!
Pinned Message: So many black woman pride themselves on how resilient they, how easily they can ‘bounce’ back from a situation. But as more and more boxes are created for us, as a black woman you have to take stock of where you are at all points in your life. Then ask yourself, is it where I want to be or is it where society said I should be?
YOUR TURN…IF THIS POST RESONATES WITH YOU, DROP YOUR COMMENTS BELOW
©Etta D. Richards