Resilience vs Toxic Strength

"I don't want resilience or strength. I want softness, I want to be able to be vulnerable. I'm tired. I don't want to be the strong (black or brown) woman anymore."

Do you resonate with this? I have; I have felt tired surviving with the expectation of being strong. I have burnt out trying to fulfill a role that was appreciated but no one expected. I thought it was what a woman does; I loved being seen as strong, courageous etc but the reality is, the strength is in seeing, appreciating and accepting our weaknesses.


Toxic Strength

I applaud strength. I am inspired by the strength of women in the world both past and present. I am inspired by my friends and family members, male and female, who have struggles but still find a smile and joy. However, we as the human race have forcibly been met with the reality that strength has its limitations. It is not a quality that defines femininity, worth, or success. Perhaps a word we should use, as my mentor has discussed with me before, is "determined".


Determination

Maybe what we have defined as strength is more determination. Determined to continue on despite adversity, difficulties and trauma. Determined to continue on for our family, friends, and colleagues. However, whether the words are "strong", "resilient" or "determined", the crux of the matter is that no longer should we as women, especially as black and brown women, be expected to be a vessel on which all traumas, emotional anguish, abuse and expectations be deposited.


When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong

2 Corinthians 10:12 - One of my favorite scriptures because it reminds me in times of weakness to seek support from my faith in God and in those who feed me emotionally, mentally and even physically. It reminds me that in my weakness there is strength, that I do have weaknesses and that is ok. I should not expect myself to always be ok, or strong or the one for others to continuously run to no matter how I might be feeling. It helped me to humble myself and realize I need help, I cannot do it all alone and I should not.


Resilience is an Investment in Your Wellness Wealth

A wonderful quality which allows you to work through adversity with resolute joy and calm until the trial is over. It does not ignore your fragility but embraces it with kindness but generates a feeling of wellbeing. Developing your resilience means developing compassion for yourself, in turn, compassion turns into psychological fortitude. It encourages you to advocate for yourself and brings love and understanding to your pain. As Rick Hanson says in his book "Resilient- How to Grow and Unshakeable Core of Calm, Strength and Happiness, "being good to yourself is good for others too." Building Resilience is like making an investment into your emotional wellness bank account. You are compassionately creating a habit of self-care by building up an account of times you felt safe, loved, protected, knowing you are capable and worthy of receiving all these things. Recording or creating moments of personal safety to get you through uncertain times. There is an element of letting go involved in Resilience. Let go of trying to protect others or yourself from things out of your control. Hold on to the things you do control and embrace the difference.


You've got this. You are worthy to be loved, protected, embraced, supported and empowered. It starts with you.


Find Out More

If you haven't seen it already, pick up a copy of my first, self-published eBook, An Introduction to Resilience for only $8.99 in my shop.