We have officially kicking off a new social media campaign raising awareness of the importance for Black Women expressing emotions, gaining emotional stability in the American culture. Black Women have only been put in limited categories of emotions that are labeled as negative. When in reality, emotions are what makes us human. It should not matter what emotions you are feeling but the fact you can express it in a healthy manner unapologetically.
We want to read your story! Message Cicely Johnson your picture via Facebook Messenger or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and your story to create a space for Black Women to know emotions is vital to our being and suppressing them can affect your mental wellness.
Shoutout to our Lead Program Coordinator for The L.O.V.E. Project of Texas, Miriam Hawkins for sharing her story!!!
As a young Black Woman who grew up in a predominantly white setting, I always felt less than. I felt that my butt was too big, my hair was not straight enough, my lips were not small enough, and my skin was not the right color. It was then that I learned to mask my true feelings and throw myself into work and school. I learned to be the "Politically Correct" Black Woman at work, and the "Down Chick" when around other Black Women. I began searching for what it meant to "be a Black Woman" by reading novels and watching TV, not realizing that your true identity comes from your own views and your own self-worth. Who I am was not "authentic" rather a made up version of myself, to please those around me. By masking my depression, shortcomings, and insecurities, I thought that would bring me long-lasting happiness, relationships, and joy, not considering how unhappy I would be as this "made up" individual. I had no clue who Miriam was, not just as a woman, but as an individual in society. I was completely lost. Hiding behind any everything I could find. Making excuses and blaming others for why I felt lost, neglected and completely empty. It was not until a few months ago that I started taking time to examine my authenticity and who I am as a woman. Identifying my feelings throughout the day and allowing myself to feel any way I feel at that particular time. I tell myself it is ok to feel that way, but it is what I do with those feelings that truly define who I am. I now take the time to embrace and reflect on all parts of me. The parts of me I perceive as a negative as well as the parts of me that I love. Those things I did not used to love about me, I accept and have grown to love. I now love my big butt, full lips, and nappy hair. I embrace my melanin skin. I embrace being a woman who can fit in with all walks of life, and I no longer apologize for my misfortunes. I feel being a Black Woman is the greatest gift that God can give anyone, and I proudly embrace who I am on a daily basis.
Shoutout to our Founder and Executive Director of The L.O.V.E Project for sharing her story.
I wrote this to myself last year. Sometimes exposing a vulnerable side of yourself seem so wrong because you fear the judgments, labels, and being discounted. Well vulnerability may feel like you are tight roping between two skyscrapers not knowing when you will fall...Vulnerability can be the door of opportunity to heal completely knowing God will catch you. Black women are known to hide the part of us that we fear for others to see. We hide it so much that we attach to it and make it part of us. If we expose it, we can eventually attach to it and make it part of us. If we expose it, we can eventually detach from it. What happened to us does not define us, it brings us closer to our purpose if we allow it...
This was the letter I wrote myself:
Let them in...It's hard, I know...love, to reveal the parts of you. You find it hard to manage or want to deal with. But remember the cracks are there to let the light in. When that light comes in...bask in its warmth. We don't heal in the dark even though sometimes it feels safe there. Let them in and thank them. You don't have to be broken to be loved, nor does feeling broken mean you can't be loved. You will come across the people who will gladly help you pick up the pieces that grace the floor they lay upon. Allow it.
P.S. I hope you forgive the parts of you that are still doubtful when a good thing find you. They are healing.