I’ve never been the type to ask for help. I honestly hate asking for help or needing anyone’s help for that matter. You can call me prideful if you’d like, but I hate giving people the power to throw their support back in my face. Although, I don’t ask for help much, when I do, it’s because I need it. We all need help sometimes right?
Well, I was raised to be a self-sufficient, independent strong black woman. This is exactly why I struggle with asking for help, because I’m not supposed to need it or allow myself to feel like a victim. I’ve also learned that I am not alone in my feelings. Through life’s trials and tribulations, I’ve grasped that self-loathing is the ultimate sin and nobody likes a Debbie downer. I suspect that, often times we confuse strength with bitterness and mask our inherent need for others love and empathy indirectly isolating ourselves or pretending as if we’re okay, when we’re not. I don’t have to be a bitter or angry black woman to be a strong independent one. I am allowed to ask for help when I need it. It doesn’t make me any less strong of a person if I cry for help. It makes me human, vulnerable and worthy to receive blessings. This goes for all of us.
How many times have your parents or your friends tried to sympathize with you at a moment of despair? In efforts to console you, they present similar scenarios. They reassure you that they too have gone through a struggle of some sort, rejection in the forms of a break-up, termination at a job, not closing a deal on their dream house, etc. This further justifies that these extreme examples of hardship and misfortune are why they are the way they are today.
However, bitterness is a vicious cycle that keeps you trapped from living your best life. Being taught to be black, bold, strong, proud, always fight for my rights and stand up for myself are common ideologies passed throughout the black community. We know what it’s like to struggle all too well. Our parents remind us of generations before us, such as our ancestors, or of their own personal struggles whenever trying to justify our daily battles. Subliminally teaching us that as long as you remain bitter, you can be angry and rightfully so. Life has dealt us a bad hand. Your anger can help you cope, you can remain strong that way and protect yourself at all times as a bitter angry black woman, they indirectly teach me.
Unfortunately, bitterness is just self-destructive and it definitely doesn’t set up anybody for success. Instead, vulnerability does. Mastering the art of vulnerability isn’t easy but it’s the best coping mechanism when approaching life’s combative defining moments.
Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, allowing pain or chaos to define you, isn’t the proper way to survive. You don’t have to hold onto hurt to survive. You don’t have to hold onto hurt to thrive. You don’t have to remain bitter, hurt or angry about the unfortunate events that have occurred in your life.
One of my favorite heart healers, Rob Hill Sr. once said, Vulnerability is strength, it takes courage to be seen as you are. The moment I heard these words, my heart mended itself back together again and the burden lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t have to create a hit list of the people who weren’t there for me when I needed them. I learned to let go. I turned my hurt into motivation to expose myself into a raw form by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and not caring about failure, rejection or “bad people.” Despite the moments when I felt lower than low, I picked myself up. More resilient than before.
I learned to truly wear my heart on my sleeve and expose the best parts of me to the world. Trusting that no matter who I encounter or what crazy things happen, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Through the chaos lies success, you just have to keep going.
Instead of being bitter, we must learn to master the art of vulnerability. There is power in vulnerability. What you perceive as pain or unforeseen negative experiences is ultimately purification in the most liberating form. You’re more susceptible to receive blessings when you live more openly and wholeheartedly. Embrace your struggles. Learn from these hardships.
I’ve recently adopted a new mantra: My Current Situation is not my Final Destination. Whenever I start to freak out, I gently remind myself of this, to be more mindful of the circumstances. You can only do this when you’ve accepted your past as well as your present and forgiven to the point of letting go of past traumas. You’ll become stronger because you will not be disturbed by failure or rejection but view these as a necessary means to overcome and evolve, remember that there is something powerful in vulnerability and embracing the struggle, learn from it, grow from it and own your power of being you.