Black activist and writer, Audre Lorde, reminds us, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgent; it is self-preservation….” In addition, pre-flight airline instructions recommend, “Please, put on your oxygen mask first, before assisting others.” Our personal wellness is essential for not only ourselves but the wellness of those in our families and communities. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we did not have to fight to put ourselves first? Jenn M. Jackson, on Facebook reminds us that the human body needs to “survive and thrive but capitalism and hyperproductivity culture have socialized us to feel guilt about the things that lengthen our lives and can’t be monetized.”
So I am giving you permission, Black UU women and girls, to prioritize your well-being, to take care of yourselves. To disconnect from the messages from the larger society that want to frame your self-care as individualism or selfishness. As Black women, we have been socialized to be super women and to put everyone else’s needs before our own. We have been tricked into believing we must take care of everyone for the survival of our race. Our strength has been lauded and promoted at the risk of our physical, mental and spiritual health. Enough! Let us take back our power to define our lives in ways that work for us and promote our well-being.
Blessings! Rev. Q