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Are You Strong?

Do you consider yourself to be a strong person? I've been thinking a lot about 'strength' lately... As a child surrounded by 'strong' black women, and through our media and literature that often portrays the 'strong' black woman, I learned that to be strong was to hold...not to be held.

The other day, while getting the kids ready for bed, C bumped his ever elongating leg on the side of the bed. It was the kind of bump that makes you instinctively grab your own leg and say 'ouch' aloud. As I turned to get the ice pack, he stomped his foot on the ground and yelled, 'just sit here with me!" as tears streamed down his cheeks.

It was vulnerable It was asking for what he wanted It was clear It was fragile It was strong

We often characterize strength to be the absence of other traits such as vulnerability, fragility, pain... I've often demanded poise and control of myself but don't remember feeling 'strong' at the end of the day. I do however remember feeling lonely, tired, resentful and angry... No not angry, because angry implies the potential for release, maybe then bitter... Yes bitter, as in to rot.

I don't know about you, but asking to be held (like literally, not metaphorically) is terribly awkward to me. Asking you about the health of your poop or menstrual cycle however....but early experiments have yielded a deeper awareness of how much this desire of my heart, mind, and body has yet to be nurtured. And how eager the Universe is to deliver it to me in the form of art, nature, and friends.

And I am finding, perhaps like C, that it is much easier to just ask for what you really want, and that that takes real strength.

I see you,


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