• Amber Epperson

Grow through what you go through

Updated: Apr 27, 2019




I often find that I am held to such high standards of conduct. It hits me hard in both realizing that I failed to meet certain folks’ expectations and that they had such expectations for me.


Naturally, I am a very #resilient woman. A #strongblackwoman, if you will. I think if you began to describe all the attributes one would assign to the Strong Black Woman (SBW as we continue), I meet pretty much all of them.




Along with all my fellow SBWs, we recognize this is both a blessing and a curse.

With my mother, with my spouse, my bosses and coworkers, oh and don’t forget the kids, I guess the “S” in Strong Black Woman is interchangeable with other “s” words such as: stoic, stolid, silent, (long)-suffering, you get the point! Lol. Plus, there are plenty other

non-“s” words that we are expected to be as well: tolerant, non-complaining, forbearing, and just straight up emotionless.


But you know what, it is time to burst some freaking bubbles!

I HAVE #EMOTIONS!!!

I HAVE ALL THE EMOTIONS, DAMMIT!!!!

I feel them all!!!


I feel the good ones, I feel the bad ones, I feel the ones that make me ashamed. Dammit, I feel them all!


And the gag is: IT'S OKAY!


I am allowed to feel as I feel and no one can or will ever take that away from me. I have given myself permission to feel every last feeling or emotion that crashes and washes over me, no matter how long or how fleeting those emotions may be. They are mine and I will feel them ALL! Lol


Forgive my strong indignance, but I am unapologetic about my feeeeeelings (in my Ella Mai voice).


Now with alladat being said and understood, there are certain restrictions. These said restrictions come in the reaction and in the behavior of said emotions.

Now emotions never ever justify egregious behavior. Just because someone said your eyebrows look like distant cousins and hurt your feelings, does not grant you permission to snatch her wig, sis! You just can’t do that!


You can however, politely check her by thanking her for the tip and since you are exchanging beauty tips, kindly let her know that her wig would blend better if her roots matched the ends. And that’s it sis! We go on about our day!


Because never, should we ever, let any one take us out of character or provoke us because we all have something to lose at our tender…very tender…age range. We have children, families and livelihoods at stake. And furthermore, we should never give anyone that much power over ourselves.


I was done handing my #power over to others many moons ago. So nowadays, I do my best to maintain my composure in all situations.


Now sis, as we continue on let’s explore what is acceptable in our emotions:


If I am #happy, dammit, I am going to laugh heartily. My laugh fills the house, the office, the hallways; everyone can recognize my laugh. I smile with all my teeth. Literally, I laugh and smile so big and wide, you could count my molars, girl. Laughing is definitely one of my favorite activities when I am happy.

When I am so #sad and so #hurt, and I feel moved to cry, I cry. Girl, I will give you all the cries. The loud cry, the ugly cry, the “can’t breathe, deep inhale” cry, the “I am not crying, red face, head is about it explode” cry. Girl, I freaking cry! My momma used to tell me “Don’t be one of those weirdos who hold in all your emotions and don’t ever wanna cry. That’s why people grow up to be weirdos.” Smh lol.


If I wrong someone, especially someone I love, I feel contrition. I feel the remorse and shame. I humble myself and give the sincerest apology and try to rectify the situation. I vow to never repeat that hurt again. I empathize.


The point is I try to take the time to honor my emotions. I do my best to give them the appropriate space that they deserve. I honor myself by not allowing others to confine or limit or straight up try to prevent me from feeling whatever it is I need to feel.


I used to fight daily to make others give me permission to feel my emotions. It was a sad time, right?! I had to fight for permission to be happy. That’s wack. Even worse, I needed permission to be sad. I need permission to cry.


These days, I say “f^{% that.” If I need to cry, I cry. If I am happy and joyous, I smile and laugh! That is it. No more, no less.


As long as I am not harming or committing any foul against anyone, let me and my emotions be! I give myself permission! PERIODT!


The problem lies in people MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS FOR YOU! Or you MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS FOR OTHERS.


Both are lies from the devil, you hear me?! You do not ever need to wait for someone to allow you or to be okay with you being happy, angry or crying. And sis, if you feel like partaking in any of the aforementioned emotions, do that! You don’t ever have to wait on anyone to be true to you!


Im telling you girlfriend, that is how you turn into one of those weirdos my momma was talking about!

No seriously though, that is a direct route ticket to therapy. In order to properly cope with our emotions, in order to learn emotional regulation, you have to first learn what emotions you feel.


We are complex humans. We are not monotone robots, we have will, freedom of choice, and emotions. Literally sis, it is what makes you human.


So just like I had to do, give yourself permission to feel sis. Be happy, be mad, sad, afraid and ashamed. Be joyous! Be embarrassed. Feeeeeel the sorrow. Feeeeeel the love! Feeeeeel the heartache. Feel them all. It is okay. Allow yourself to feel and honor your feelings.


This is what I am working on now and trying to teach my children what I did not see or learn at their ages: it is okay to feel whatever it is you feel, but it is more important to focus on how you behave in those emotions.


I am really working on giving myself and my emotions grace and trying to model this philosophy for my children. I try to show them that their mother is a human woman, with emotions and if you cut me, I will bleed. I am not a robot built to cater to them and sometimes, mommy will need help, mommy will be sad, and mommy will cry.

And all these things are okay and acceptable.


I hope that you realize these things for yourself as well.


So next time you feel you need to cry, go do it girl. It is literal self-care. I promise you.

Sometimes the only way to get to the other side of things is to go through it. And make sure you grow through what you go through. Don’t let it regress or stagnate your progress. Go on and laugh out, cry out or scream out in anger. Just be mindful and grow on through.


As always,

Be well, be blessed and BeYOUtiful, sis. And TakeCare!

-Amber

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