By DaiJhah Owens
A community can be life-giving. Community can be uplifting. A community can provide safety. However, community can also breed co-dependency, and toxic group thought. If not careful, without proper boundaries in place, we can find ourselves depending on our communities for our self-worth. We can find ourselves making life-changing decisions based on what the people around us think is best. Since forever, our society’s mission has been to break Black Women down to the point that we cannot trust ourselves to know what is best for our lives. We can’t trust ourselves to know if we are “good” or not. One tool used for this mission, unfortunately, has been the Black Community.
Generally speaking, Black Women are conditioned within the Black community from birth to depend on family and church leaders’ group thoughts to determine our worth. How we dress, our roles in society should be, when, and how to speak, what is appropriate, and what is not, what it means to be a “good” woman. There is no autonomy for the Black Woman. There was a time in my life where I wouldn’t spend a dime of my own money before I asked those closest to me what they thought. Sounds crazy, right?! For me, this co-dependency created anxiety. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be the authority figure over my life. I didn’t possess what it took to be calculated, discerning, and thoughtful. I needed others to validate each and every choice I made.
It took me a while to realize that all along, God had already put inside of me everything I needed to trust myself and live abundantly. I stopped asking for people’s opinions on every little thing I chose to do. I chose to trust my choices. Trust that, for the simple fact that I spend the most time with myself, I know what is best for my life. I put boundaries in place and decided what I wanted my support system to look like. I started asking myself first before anyone else.
A Black Woman who is able to trust herself fully, have confidence in herself and her abilities, and knows herself so deep, is lethal! This Black Woman is a force to be reckoned with. She cannot be controlled, confined, or constricted. My hope is that all of my sisters become this Black Woman. My hope is that we break free from what society says we should be and trust ourselves to become who we want to be!
DaiJhah Owens is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. DaiJhah is passionate about shifting political power to oppressed groups through education. She believes there is nothing more powerful than an educated black woman who can smell political BS a mile away! Connect with her on Instagram at @d_nakhole!