“You were birthed from the rich soils of African vintage realities. Your history and legacy were the first of humanity and all that you see around you is made out of you! You own it all so for once, please act like you believe it.”
For the days that you try your best to be invisible, holding your breath, tiptoeing your way around a landmine of scars and heavy demons seeping through the cracks of your memory, I pray that you find enough courage to hold your ground, roar out loud and say I’m still here, I’ve survived this and shall overcome the rest.
For the moments you close your eyes so hard trying to un-see the images of a painful yesterday that almost ripped your heart off and left you bleeding out all the joy and smiles of the previous day, I say hold on, the throbbing pain will soon subside and your smile will return. However pale it may be at the first glance, it’s a good sign. Happiness shall knock at your soul’s gate once again.
And when your soul is too fatigued to comprehend any beauty in your surroundings and all you can think of is that you’ve just had damn enough, despair not of the darkness and the lonely path. Oh! you’re so loved, if you only knew that you have a heritage of resilience and hardcore survivors’ blood is running through your veins. You belong to something bigger than a one-man theatre of pain, you have ancient souls hovering above your head praying for your well-being from centuries away.
You have a thread of sacred love connecting you to all that was and all that will ever be.
It’s not castles in the air you’re clinging to; it’s deeper than that!
You were birthed from the rich soils of African vintage realities.
Your history and legacy were the first of humanity and all that you see around you is made out of you! You own it all so for once, please act like you believe it. I mean really really embrace it and see for yourself tomorrow when you affirm that stance, how the sun will follow the trail of your mighty majestic steps and feel how the earth axis will shift and bend towards your beautiful silhouette.
You matter. You are heard, felt, and admired.
Too often we try to ignore the fact that black women need a loving caring embrace, we were always taught how to toughen up. I’m sure many of us missed the early childhood briefing that says it’s ok for us to be humans who might break down once in a while or very often for that matter, and in a contemporary world that is defiantly not designed for us, we decided to suck it up, dust off our tired souls, and put on the face of bravery and nonchalance.
That mask though can’t last very long, it will eventually wear off in the face of the constant pressure of perfectionism. It won’t last in a vampire-like environment where we keep on being sucked dry of our essence day in and day out. So we fall down one by one, the mighty black women causalities are on the rise so maybe it’s time to pause.
The black feminine mental health struggle is unique due to all the intersectional dimensions of our past, which is perfectly woven into the fabrics of our rapidly changing present, and we ought to shed more light on the stigma and shame we invest in heavily rather than extending our hands asking for help. We need community practices rooted in sympathy and self love rituals. So much more needs to be said and done to bring a sense of humanity to the emotional struggles and packages we carry around instead of alienating all the uncomfortable twisted distorted truths we hold within.
As an empath, I tend to absorb the dense energy of pain and realize the extent of the effort made by my sisters in an attempt to keep a squeaky clean front, and it honestly weighs me the fuck down! We need safe non-judgmental circles of sisterhood that we can fall apart within knowing that my sister is my keeper. A helluva lot of love must be allowed to float freely and abundantly whenever and however possible. Using passion and compassion as a social currency can bring much needed relief to someone who hasn’t mustered enough courage to put their scars in the open yet! So it’s on us to practice mindfulness a little more and expand the sphere of our human experience because each one of us has the power to light up our tiny little corners of the universe, and one day maybe we could stop labeling the stormy emotional battles we face as an outsider mental challenge detached from the very soul we carry within.
Until then hold on to your precious spirit and nurture the hell out of it, loving and embracing every dimension of you while stitching back the holes of your heart, ever patiently, ever gently.
By Ahlam Ali
Model: Adejoke Imani