Please Ladies – Take Notes And Reject The “Superwoman” Label

I’ve had a breakthrough moment. I was feeling frustrated about something the other night and saw my old familiar friend – ice cream at the drug store while I was out. It was a siren’s call about losing myself in it’s creamy sweetness as I tried to calm myself. Only ice cream is not a friend to my hips or health when used as a compensation tool. I looked at it and even though I could “compromise” with a smaller portion size I knew that my motivation was all wrong. I knew that I had to let the moment pass. I knew that if I wanted to move forward with my life I had to make a different choice. So I said goodbye old friend because you’re no friend at all under these circumstances and I walked away.

I didn’t realize that was HUGE until this morning. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this but it just dawned on me that I have changed because I’ve made different decisions. In the past two months I’ve lost weight and there’s an uncertainty about whether it’s a permanent change because I’ve previously reinforced non-beneficial eating habits as a coping mechanism. Identifying where the source of a lot of these burdens have come from has been key (the DBRs, “dead” black community, recognizing BW denigration, non-reciprocal relationships) along with a change in food choices. The emotional triggers are still there and must be recognized and neutralized. I now have to reinforce that change and go through all the steps necessary for my life to reflect a new mentality  – but this is part of that progress and journey.

This breakthrough is one of many that I expect to have as I shed old, wrinkled, tired skin mentalities and put on my amazingly vibrant new “cloak of fabulousness”. It’s not superficial though – it’s a shift in perspective that is being followed through with action. Those actions have lead to change and those changes produce a continued renewal in spirit. Which is reflected externally.

It’s a cycle….but this is one that benefits.

Have you ever just hated certain aspects of your life? If hate is a distracting word then how about substituting it with disappointed or saddened. You felt weighed down by something but there was a whole other pile of burdensome somethings right next to it. One seemed less..burdensome so you tried to tackle that pile first. That other pile though smells and despite trying to ignore it, the stench is overpowering. You may have found yourself excusing the burdens because they’re labeled “expectations” or “family” or “community” or “I must care for/help out/do the ‘Christian’ thing for” but resenting them all the same because the side label to all of these burdens reads: SOLO WORK.

You’re just hoping someone else will see you struggling with those loads and stop to help you. Or sympathize. Instead some decide that their loads are too heavy and break off a piece to leave with you as they go on their merry way. As if! Others don’t have any sympathy either and are in fact looking at you as if you have three heads. It’s being used against you and you don’t even know where to begin to fix anything. You don’t even know how you got there to begin with. Then you think this is “just how it is”. You don’t say anything because there’s a Greek chorus in the background telling you it’s your responsibility, you’re all “they” have or you can do it all because your SUPERWOMAN.

You think you’re being flattered, after all who doesn’t want to be super? Yet you’re not able to leap tall buildings and you shouldn’t have to be thought of as less than or more than any other woman who has a door opened for her, a seat relinquished and other forms of support and love. You’re not sub – or super human.

For you are a LADY.

Not a savior.

Not a mule.

Not a perpetual caregiver to others.

Not a sperm receptacle.

Not a baby momma.

Not a compromiser of self.

Not a rescuer of anybody and everybody…but yourself.

While it may be true that life throws us curveballs and unexpected responsibilities may occur, we must seek out assistance and remedies where we can. Sometimes we have to walk away if only to preserve ourselves. We should not be overburdened. We should be vibrant, laughing and carefree – not shells of our former selves as our innocence has been shattered or we’re loaded with negative and false images to slog through.

We should not be in “overcoming obstacles” mode 24/7 for years on end. We should not limit ourselves in any way and tell ourselves something or someone is not for us. “Oh I tried that and it was just as bad as I’m going back to xyz”. Especially when we’ve never experienced all of the unique somethings out there available. Or given those somethings serious, legit consideration with all the required attitude adjustments necessary for it to be a beneficial experience. Or learned how to chose the right somethings that work best for us.

Sabotage is a terrible waste of a golden opportunity. Insecurities about making changes left unchecked will cause a lot of setbacks and damage. Those opportunities are created and we have to be willing to take them when they come. It’s why we need to hear the unvarnished, non-sugarcoated truth about where we are, how we ended up there and our options for remedies. Even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts because we know the truth is piercing through our walls of denial, disappointment, fear, confusion or laziness. It’s up to us to decide what kind of life we want and we can certainly find a way to make the best of things no matter where we’re at. What we cannot do is repeat the same thing expecting a different outcome or choosing enemies to our progress and expecting them to be allies.

Luke 5:37-39 Message Bible Version

“No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don’t put wine in old, cracked bottles; you get strong, clean bottles for your fresh vintage wine. And no one who has ever tasted fine aged wine prefers unaged wine.”

5 Replies to “Please Ladies – Take Notes And Reject The “Superwoman” Label”

  1. thank you for this. i feel inclined to leave a comment if only to say thank you.

    i have had this one bookmarked for the longest time and i reference it as need be-this night is one of those times. every time i read it something new leaps out, and this time it was no different, these words especially:

    i just started reading Fascinating Womanhood by Helen B. Andelin and i am struck at how i was not raised by my (single) mother and by extension other relatives to be the ideal woman for the marrying man. more often than not, its the woman folk helping to raise grown men, provide and protect the old-folks and single handedly rear fatherless the same book, Helen refers to this ideal woman from a man's view point as Angela Human -if only because she has both angelic and human traits that endear her to her mate (and other loved ones i would imagine). Neither solowork nor superwoman are synonymous with her. Angela Human navigates life in such a way as to invoke worship and intense love: they type of glory and affection that moves a man to do it for her. No solo work. no super woman. this is not necessarily the setting that most of us are familiar with and so we have to define a new way for ourselves.

    i say all that to say this, i have observed the successful women to be angela Human, and others Angela human and still others (and even more successful) to be Angela Human. and let me tell you, I want to be Angela Human.NO S ON MY CHEST, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. like a pendulum, i sometimes swing from one extreme (angela Human) to the other (Angela human) but with blogs like yours and other written media, i atleast have the opportunity to make an informed decision and perhaps choose differently, choose better. its not easy. im conflicted to the point of tears most times but i will not sacrifice myself for anyone, least of all for people who i know with certainity would not do the same for me if the tables where turned.

    Again, thank you.

  2. Thanks Anna & SassyJG -- As per usual I'm just sharing what's on my mind and it's seriously a reflection of what I've learned over the course of time spent reading the other BWE blogs. It's interesting to me to have conversations with people who are either indoctrinated or just not on a level of awareness to see these many life-affirming messages. I'm not going back there no matter what!!

  3. Thanks, Faith. I've been thinking a lot about this myself. Making a move to better myself by going to graduate school has challenged me in a lot of new ways. It brings up feelings of doubt and self-esteem, and being here in the DC area, I think it's even more of a reflecting pool because there's so much "competition".

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