“It’s easy to pretend to be “fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them” .~Gabrielle Union
I’ll be the first to admit that I was not a huge fan of actress Gabrielle Union, I think it was the roles she chose to play starting out that deterred me from becoming a fan. Over the years Gabby has stepped her game up and become one of “Black Hollywood’s” favorite actresses. Gabby, along with other actresses of color attended the Black Women in Hollywood Essence Luncheon where she was presented with the “Fierce and Fearless Award.” Her speech sparked much-needed conversation not only in Black Hollywood but among average everyday people. By her own admission Gabrielle spoke on the fact that at one point in her life she relished in the negativity that other actresses of color received from the media and the public. It was her speech that prompted media mogul Oprah Winfrey to do a special on her show “Oprah’s Next Chapter” spotlighting a few of Black Hollywood’s favorite actresses, Gabby being one of them. Throughout the special she discusses how at one point she was not simply acting when she played a role that required her to be “the mean girl” she was truly that girl. The more in-depth she got, the more my mouth dropped and tears began to form. I wasn’t crying because I was sad, I was crying because I was coming to the realization that I too have and at many times am that very same girl.
“Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes out light that it actually makes our light shine brighter”.
I recently had a “truth moment” while talking to a close friend, I expressed to her that I wanted to host an event that was centered around young women in our community who were doing something positive. Her response, ” I think that is a great idea, and it can work but I won’t support that until you stop being so messy.” The blunt yet honest response in no way surprised me, especially considering the source, so I took her criticism in stride and continued to listen. I started to defend my actions and sharp tongue but instead I just owned it. For years I have been a fighter, quick to draw and fast to react. The gossiper, the one to point out the flaws of others and the all around “sh*t disturber” as my Granny says. I try to blame my short fuse and ignorant disposition on growing up and being picked on. You always hear women talk about being teased because of their dark skin , but like them there was nothing easy about growing up with lighter skin than my young counterparts and long curly hair. I had to stop and ask myself, how long was I going to use that excuse to disguise what some will call insecurity? For years I have done the same thing to other women that was done to me so many years ago. I found amusement in the short comings and downfalls of others. She continued, “You have to stop being so quick to react and let things go. You don’t always have to respond. You can’t expect people to take you serious about female empowerment when you constantly in some mess.” Her words were valid and made perfect sense. We continued to talk and for me that was my “ah ha” moment. What have I gained by tearing other people down? (not just women because unfortunately my lack of filter doesn’t discriminate)The only thing I have gained from so many years of having a bad attitude is the reputation as “the girl with the bad attitude”. Who wants to carry that burden? Over the years I have progressively aged myself, not just physically but mentally and emotionally I am worn. I harbor such deep anger and resentment of the past that the only way I have seen fit to release is to unleash it on others. It takes a lot more energy to be negative than it does to be positive.
Believe it or not, I am currently a Pyschology major and working towards completing my certification as a life and wellness coach. (I’m sure after reading this post many will find that to be extremely hard to fathom) While in the process of learning to help others I am helping myself, in order to be better I know that I have to do and want better. I have to be willing to do the same work that I tell my clients to do in order to better themselves, otherwise I am just another hypocrite giving advice. My journey of self-discovery and self-betterment began yesterday with that “truth moment”, I am starting with a 60 day self-cleanse, what all that will en tell I have no clue. But I am excited to find out.
“The most important and significant relationship is the one you will have with yourself” ~Carrie Bradshaw