With everything going on in Black America, there needs to be a space where Black people can let go and come back to themselves.
The Black family is one of the most important social structures in the Black community. Beyond the roles and responsibilities imposed on us by capitalist America, there is magic in the relationships shared between Black parents and their children, elders, and other loved ones. Sometimes our families consist of people that we have chosen to associate ourselves with. A chosen family may not always consist of blood relatives but holds the same significance and support.
When the Black family is healthy and balanced the home is a space where rest and healing can be achieved.
Reflect on the current dynamics in your home. The relationships you share with the people you call your family and what you bring to the table in those relationships. How we show up in the world reflects the relationships that we have in our home life and how healthy those dynamics are. What can you do today to bring balance to your relationships and your home?
Making Home a Safe Space
A safe space is a space where you feel comfortable being yourself – your FULL self. Is your home a safe space?
Is change welcome in your home? Does your family feel safe being themselves? Exploring themselves and sharing that process with you? Can you do these things for yourself?
Healing is a very personal process, but it is not something that we always have to do alone. Isolating ourselves from the people we love makes healing seem like a part of our journey that we want to avoid. Having support systems that understand your boundaries or who you feel safe communicating your needs with changes the way that you embrace healing. When we make space for people to be their full selves it creates trust and strengthens the bonds shared.
Unlearning old ways of supporting the people we love is not an overnight task, it takes dedication and commitment to bettering the relationship. Certain beliefs and practices that we embody contradicts the way that we really feel. To align our behaviors with our true values and principles puts us in a space to see ourselves clearly. Taking space to reflect on who we are allows us to address the parts of ourselves that are working for us and those that are working against us.
Healthy Boundaries & Space
It is not reasonable to expect the people you love to want to be around you all the time, and sometimes you just want to be alone in your own company. Taking healthy space in your relationships creates an opportunity for clear communication about what you need and how the people you love can support you.
The people who have the capacity to support you will understand that you taking space is not an attack on them and they will not take it personal. For those that have a hard time understanding, it will not benefit you to disregard what you need to make them comfortable. Be assertive, stand your ground and show them that its okay for them to do the same.
“We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person’s feelings”
Taking care of yourself makes you better prepared to provide support for others. There is nothing that you can do for anyone else that you have not done for yourself. Self-care, self-love, and self-compassion all bring us closer to giving to ourselves first. Setting boundaries is central to caring for yourself because it allows you to communicate what you need to feel safe, heard and seen. Boundaries can seem scary for people who are unclear on what they need and unsure of how to set boundaries for themselves. Leading by example and communicating what you need creates space for others to feel safe in doing the same.
Bringing Back the Love
The Black family is a space where love can grow into the most beautiful and nourishing force. We must bring the love back.
This means reminding the people we love that we love them for who they are, not for who we expect them to be.
Unconditional love says, “I love you as you are right now. I love you for who you were yesterday. I love you for who you will become tomorrow” With a love this honest and transparent we can feel safe being ourselves, we can communicate what we need and open ourselves to giving and receiving love freely.
Love welcomes the healing that we must do in ourselves and that which needs to be done in the people around us. What you choose to put out is what you will get in return, when you cultivate unconditional love for yourself it radiates from you.
After you heal and rebuild yourself continue to do the work to better the relationships that feed you on your journey. Giving appreciation is reciprocation. It is a reminder to those who are always there for us that their energy is valued.
The most important thing to do is claim this new power that you have restored in yourself. Tell yourself thank you and do not be afraid to make this a habit. Whenever it is time to take a break make sure you have everything you need to come back stronger.
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986