Every one of us was once a little girl and we all have that same little girl deep down inside waiting for us to notice her.
Think back to when you were a little girl. At what point did you learn that something about you was "different" or maybe "not as____ as____"? When did you first realize hurt and pain existed? And now ask yourself when did you ever take time to heal?
“Take a moment to actually think about your life. Think all the way back to the last time you were happy and whole and at peace.”
Take a few moments to actually think about your life. Think back to the last time you actually took the time you needed to be intentional about your healing. There was a point in your life where something broke. A moment where the world stopped spinning and whatever trauma you experienced changed your outlook, attitude, perspective, feeling on everything else moving forward. That moment changed you. From that time on you were a different person and you never looked back. Whether it was because the trauma was too painful or the circumstances didn't allow, you picked up and moved on leaving that little girl right where she stood to hold on to whatever happened and to believe whatever she was told. You abandoned her, grew up and moved on but guess what? she didn't.
"Bag lady you don't hurt your back, carrying all those bags like that"
There was an article published about a year ago titled "Get Your Girl Back". The article focused on ways that black women can work towards go back to find the person they used to be before they became wives and moms and business owners and a myriad of other titles. It was a great piece that caused for some much needed reflection in my life and also reminded
me that before I was a mom, I had a first name and with that name came dreams and goals. What is did not deal with was the need for me to go back and visit that little girl and spend some time with the trauma she had experienced. The need to really separate myself from who I was currently and spend a little time with the little hurt girl who had always been told she was not good enough. Separate myself from the things that had been handed down to me and keep what was truly mine and leave the rest where they stood. The reality is many of the emotional baggage we carry was given to us and because we never took the time to sift through the packages, we carried around a ton of things that weren't even ours.
We take on these characteristics of things that were prescribed to us as children and grow up into broken women who pass down those same ideals to our daughters. At some point we have to go back, talk to that little girl inside of us and sift through the baggage. I think about how I grew up and some of the misguided notions I had about myself as a young lady.
I grew up during a time where talking about sex and sexuality and our bodies was not something that happened in most households. Everything I learned about sex, I learned from my girlfriends who also grew up in similar households. We sat around and figured things out together. The blind leading the blind for sure. As a result, I learned early on that my body was something taboo. That sex and sexuality were things that were off limits and were not to be discussed. As a result, I spent many years being unsatisfied in relationships and uncomfortable with my body because I was never given the language to talk about it in a healthy way. It wasn't until I had my own daughter and was ashamed to take off my clothes in the delivery room that I realized I needed to go back and meet that little girl inside of me and have some real conversations. I didn't want my own daughter to grow up with the same shame and confusion about her body and her sexuality. I wanted her to have the confidence and freedom to talk to me about any and everything but I knew it wasn't possible without some serious healing. I feel like as Black women, because we have some much already on our shoulders and are facing the heavy lift of living Black and female in America, that we are not afforded the privilege of time to heal. We have to get up and get on with it. We have to bare the burden of living life often unprotected and the idea of taking time to heal gets pushed the back burner until we are forced to do it in the face of mental and physical breakdowns. We get married and carry that baggage into our marriages and repeat some of the same patterns we watched our mother's live out and have gone too far down the road to stop them. We wake up one day and don't even recognize ourselves in the mirror because the little girls we have neglected for so long are now staring right back at us.
If I am learning nothing else during the season of my life, it is that that little girl I fought so hard to leave behind is always going to be with me wherever I am so I may as well sit with her and get some things straight so we both can live in peace.