Black men of all hues… You. Are. Valued.
If or when you don’t feel it FRFR…Lean into your feelings, NOW.
Because, that’s where the healing resides…POW!
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “The death rate from suicide for black or African American men was four times greater than for African American women, in 2018.” We are here to help you heal so YOU can be here for YOU.
My black and brown brothas, can you count the number of times you’ve been asked, “How you doing?” and replied with “straight, fine, cool, good, aight or any other adjective that indicates feeling better than low-average? Are you aware that it’s more than okay to specifically identify how you REALLY feel? Did you know that it is also possible to normalize responding with a positive affirmation, reflection of great, awesome, phenomenal, blessed, fantastic, terrific, or an adjective that will speak life into your situation? Well, it is and you DESERVE to hear it and KNOW it.
Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you are feeling…WITHOUT judgment. Lean into it (your feelings) to determine why you’re feeling what you are feeling. Because, knowing is half of the battle. Once you know how you feel, one can determine what you need, and how you can change the way you’re feeling. Even if you’re feeling sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and depression, you still have some power within. Who do you know that could support you, (knowing that seeking support is acceptable)? The Minority Mental Health Project is here to support and empower you! There are different professionals that specialize in different forms and approaches to therapy that can help you reclaim your power ….you just have to be willing to “lean into the journey”.
Knowing what you’ve experienced in life, only you can decide when you’re ready to do the work to live the life you deserve to live with the power you have in this moment. Because your life matters and you are worthy!
I recently visited Louisville, KY’s Speed Art Museum, and their Promise, Witness, Remembrance exhibit. The exhibit challenged visitors to recall promises our country made to its citizens. But, I want you to recall the promises you’ve made to yourself. Visitors were also challenged to define what it means to be a witness and recall what they had witnessed in the past year. I want you to recall how you’ve been a witness to how you’ve shown up for yourself this past year. Lastly, visitors were encouraged to remember and honor the people and events in their lives that they don’t want to forget. I want to encourage you to remember to honor yourself, the life you’ve been given, the legacy you desire to leave and the people waiting on you to lean into your feelings to heal, feel your value and LIVE.
By Stephanie Jackson, M.Ed., M.A.
(AKA Queen Savannah Sonshine)