The Burden of Strength: Letting Go

Awhile ago, I was talking to a friend and she said, “But you’re the strongest person I know.” I used to get that a lot. Can you relate to that? Being the strong friend? The one everyone wants to be more like? Meanwhile, you’re longing for someone to be there to break your fall every once in awhile.

I'm sis

And while I’ve never liked strong as a descriptive word for me, as of late I’ve been actively working toward dismantling the perception.

Here’s the thing: It takes a lot to be “strong.” And many, many times my strength has been my weakness. It’s a double-edged sword, because when you’re weak, either no one cares or they’re waiting to pounce on you. When you’re strong, they say, “Oh, she’ll be alright. She’s the strongest person I know.

I was strong for so long, not because I had no other choice, but because what I believed to be the alternative was not an acceptable way of living for me. I was living in a reality of extremes and saw no in-between.

I didn’t want to be weak. I didn’t want to be pitied.

I wanted compassion, but didn’t know how to access it. In fact, I think a more accurate statement would be that I didn’t know how to receive it. Looking back, perhaps I mistook compassion for pity. Does this sound familiar to you?

When you confuse the two, you will reject compassion as pity every time. You fear pity, because pity makes you feel like a weakling, and you fear being perceived as weak. You begin to overcompensate by being hostile and verbally abrasive when you feel the need to protect yourself. The thing is that you feel this need often, and it’s exhausting. You have to bark loud. It’s how you let people know that you ain’t the one or the two.

The thing is anyone can bark loud and use strong language. What I want for you as a woman to do is fortify your insides by establishing strong boundaries. Then, practice employing those boundaries to protect you from the stress of the physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse you’ve been allowing. Arguing or trying to convince others of your value actually lowers your value. It lets the other party know that your value or boundaries are up for negotiation. But that’s not the case, right? Right. The last thing you want is to have a loud voice and low resolve. That’s weak.

strong black woman

One last thing I want to address. Really, I want to give you permission. Sometimes, just you and your boundaries aren’t enough. Lean on people who care for you. Allow them to be there. A lot of our need as women to feel strong and misconstrue what it means is due to us not having or utilizing our support systems. This is so important when dealing with all types of relationships, including romantic relationships.

When dealing with predators, let the people who love you protect you.

NEVER face a predator alone. If a member of your tribe is not available to face them with you, simply refuse to engage.

Predators will always try to lure you out into the wild ALONE so they can make you prey.

– They want to prey on your heart.

– They want to prey on your psyche.

– They want to prey on your self-esteem.

Sometimes you don’t realize certain relationships are abusive. Pay attention to the feelings you feel about people. No, really pay attention. If you consistently feel proud of yourself for “standing up to” someone. . . . Sis, issa predator. Do👏 not👏 face👏 them👏 without👏 love👏 and👏 protection👏 present👏. OK?

Don’t fall for it, and don’t try to be “strong” by yourself. Let the love and protection of your tribe be your strength.

Love you. 😘

love black women

Did you have your own process for letting go of strength in favor of support? Tell us about it in the comments. I love when my readers can learn from each other. And of course, you can always hit that contact button and drop me an email! I want to hear from you. What other topics do you think I should cover on this blog?


I Am Not Your Strong Black Woman



In many ways across many platforms and in social media, we hear so much about the strong Black woman.  The conversations range from (men and women) putting the strong Black woman on a pedestal to declaring the strong Black woman trope as a silent killer of Black women.  But the latter conversation is fairly new and not given nearly the attention it deserves.  For years, Black women have prided ourselves on being “strong” and able to endure and come out of the worst of situations still breathing.  Likewise, our men have expected this, even now demanding this of us, as though entitled to our ability to withstand mental and physical duress unnecessarily.  Sort of like an initiation into the pickme squad. 

Recently, a friend posed this question to Facebook: Fellas, what is the allure of the STRONG Black woman?  Continue reading I Am Not Your Strong Black Woman