Updated: Jul 1, 2022
As Black women, resilience is one of our superpowers. It's one of the things that we do best. But resilience, especially as Black women, is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, we know how to show up and show out. We know how to show up for others. We know how to be resilient in the face of difficulty, because that's what we have had to do generation upon generation upon generation. It is a survival technique. We know we almost don't have a choice BUT to be resilient, especially if you live in this country, and to keep moving forward. Our resilience is something to be proud of!
On the other hand, our expectation of resilience – in ourselves and from others – can hurt us. It's become almost an expectation that we will get back up, that we will always show up to help and be there for our family, our jobs, our communities and everyone else… you can ALWAYS count on us.
However, in "the always showing up," we wind up being what I call ‘surface resilient’ in only dealing with the immediate external circumstances asking for our attention. Constantly getting back up and showing up has forced us to suppress and ignore some of the deeper pains and wounds that exist within. Those areas where we have been hurt, where we have been harmed, where we have had trauma in our lives…and those parts have stuck with us. We have not given ourselves permission to have a deeper level of resilience where we access the pains from those deeper hurts and make the time to heal in those areas. What we tend to do – so often and in so many different ways – is to shut it down and build a wall around the parts that are most soft and tender. We try to forget about those most vulnerable spaces; the ones where we hardly (if ever) let anyone get to see – THOSE are the parts asking for your deeper resilience.
It is time to give ourselves permission to grow from those hurt spaces, to come back from the broken hearts, to come back from disappointment – whether someone else disappointed us and hurt us, or we disappointed and hurt ourselves. This is where we have chosen to show up for everyone else and do not show up for ourselves.
It is time for us to shift our frame of resilience. When we start to learn and tap into our powers, to be resilient from the parts that have hurt and wounded us the most, we will access a whole new depth of power and freedom and joy and love. That power, freedom and love is held in that tiny little corner that you haven’t given yourself permission to access and haven’t allowed the world to see. That’s why you will constantly hear me talk about healing and the growth that we need to do, because that little corner is where we tap into our deepest powers. By doing so, you will give yourself access to a life of more love, more freedom, more joy, and more peace in how we move through the world.
Sending big love!
Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash