Positive Propaganda: Black Women Are Resilient
Good morning, sisters!
It’s been a rough week for many of us. We lost a sister. A beautiful, talented, magnanimous, brilliant star of a sister.
I loved Whitney Houston; always will. I remember dancing around my blue and white bedroom, listening to “How Will I Know” over, and over, and over again. I’d close my eyes and pretend to be the super-slim Whitney in a silver party dress with a Madonna-esque bow in my hair. I’d visualize the little guy I had the giant crush on in school knocking on my door, giving me flowers, and saying “I like you too, Amie!” Whitney’s buoyance and effectious spirit made me believe that I could have everything I wanted; that the world was mine for the taking. *In a later post I’ll recount how during that same visualization to Whitney’s music my young paramour, though we’d never spoken before, DID INDEED show up at my door (on his bike), proclaiming the giant crush he’d had on me; a true testiment to the power of visualization and belief, and a lesson that Whitney accompanied. Powerful stuff.
It appeared Whitney had everything: talent, superstardom, a loving family, riches beyond measure, and wordly power and admiration. Yet, as we witnessed her descent into the dark world of substance abuse, self-destruction, and unhealthy relationships, we began to understand that what we thought was the reality of her life was just an illusion. In reality, like so many of us as black women, our sister was suffering. Our sister was in pain.
This week illuminated much for me, and for all of us, I’m certain. It shed a bright light on what I’ve known deep inside since the advent of my adulthood. Black women are hurting. Our hearts have been broken. Such is why I felt led to create this site. Yes, it’s important to highlight the injustices that the outside world perpetrates on us on a daily basis. Yes, we should remain conscious and aware of the ways in which we’re being mistreated, maligned, disrespected, and abused, so that it can end, and end expeditiously. But more important than anything, it’s important for us to identify the ways in which we’ve hurt ourselves or allowed ourselves to be hurt, own our pain, take responsibility for our spiritual and emotional injuries, reclaim our power, and heal ourselves, both individually and collectively.
We’ve been through so much as black women. Slavery; injustice; witnessing the forced separation of our family core; the desecration of the sanctity of black marriage; the emasculation of our black men – the leaders of our homes and our earthly protectors – and their subsequent betrayal…their abandonment…in the time(s) of our greatest emotional need.
We’ve been stripped of our femininity in the public eye, and left with distorted representations of what it means to be a woman; left with lies and untruths; left to fend for ourselves in a world that daily reinforces our lack of value and power; left alone to combat forces that were created solely to destroy us. And in that struggle, some of us let go. Some of us succumbed to the lies, and anger, the sadness, and the ILLUSION. We lost sight of the truth; lost faith, hope, and spiritual guidance. We turned against each other (“she’s ratchet”) instead of leaning into each other for peace and solace. We let ourselves be devoured, from the inside out.
Whitney was in pain. Psychic pain. Spiritual pain. With all of the treasures of the world at her feet, she could not see the treasure of her own being – the ultimate truth – that she was an angel on earth. God blessed her with the voice of the highest realm, and a gift of both inner and outer beauty to touch and influence the world, yet her pain was too great to overcome the illusion of separation and she floated away on a river of lies and destruction.
Why couldn’t we save her? Why couldn’t she save herself?
Because lies and illusions can be powerful. They present themselves as the truth; as reality; but they are indeed lies. Sisters, we ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. It’s not about the length of our hair, or the form of our physical bodies. It’s not about what we wear, or the hue of our skin, or the money in our bank accounts. It’s not about the man in our bed, or the number of voice mails on our machines. It’s about WHO GOD BROUGHT US HERE TO BE, and how well we can use that gift to serve others. It’s about our ability to support each other, rally around each other, and HEAL EACH OTHER. It’s about seeing the truth behind the veil of separation, and staying the course toward the mark of the high calling. And though the temptations to turn us away may be great, it’s about knowing the purpose behind our presence, and that we have work to do of the highest caliber.
We have to save ourselves, then we have to save each other. But, it all starts with you, where you are, making a vow to change yourself from the inside out.
Begin today by affirming your beauty. Begin by looking yourself squarely in the mirror and telling yourself that you are worthy, you are loved, and you are divine. That though the world may at times show you differently, you are of value, are needed, are loved, and are on purpose!
You may not feel that way today, but start where you are. You don’t have to come to this table of growth, perfect. I am flawed; greatly flawed. There are days when I can be my own worst enemy, and can both talk to myself and treat myself worse than anyone outside of me ever could. But I’m taking pains to end that negative practice. It starts with me. I’m taking responsiblity for saving myself; for healing my broken heart. And I’d love for you to join me.
So today, if you are treating yourself unkindly, if you are allowing yourself to be mistreated, if you are listening to media that dis-empowers you and leaves you depleted and dishonered, if you are in an abusive relationship or abusing yourself with drugs, alcohol, food, substances, or anything that is destructive to who you are as a child of God, STOP, TODAY. Stop, because you are more than your body, more than your broken heart. You deserve the best, because YOU ARE HERE. Stop because you are loved, and if you can’t find the love yet inside to empower yourself, know that GOD LOVES YOU, I LOVE YOU, AND YOUR SISTERS LOVE YOU.
We can get through this, and emerge on the other side more powerful and abundant than ever. Let’s do it for ourselves, let’s do it for every sister who needs to wake up and see the divine light inside of herself, and let’s do it for the little sisters looking up to us, as we did Whitney, and let them know that IT’S OK. We are more than conquerors, and will reclaim who we were brought here to be.
If you need support today, feel free to reach out. I’m praying for you, for your situation, and for the healing of your heart. We’re strong enough to do this. Let’s begin healing today.