There’s power in telling your story. People say that all the time but there are so many factors playing into what makes us all comfortable to do so. We usually need a few things: safety, validation, room or space to share, understanding, drive and even courage. I read this saying (and use this saying for myself and with others) that courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s the presence of it but moving forward anyway.
There’s a sense of power, ownership, externalizing and dare I say, even control that happens when you tell your story. In Black Christian churches they call this “testifying”. It’s akin to giving a testimonial about your experience as it relates to a particular topic, experience, service or way the universe has touched your life. Usually, testifying and telling your story helps you get clarity on the order of things as well as your own meaning making around whatever occurred. It’s an important step towards healing, better understanding yourself, and picking out the ways your brain processes things.
After Jora and Aviva passed away, I was obviously in a bad place. I struggled, and still do, with accepting their loss, why it happened to us and how I was going to move forward. I followed up with a friend and colleague who reads the tarot (check out her website HERE and to get your ENTIRE LIFE with Lisa!) in hopes of some guidance or clarity about the new life I was going to have. One of the most profound things that came out of that reading was the message of “TESTIFY!” Apparently that was something that was being shouted or strongly encouraged by my ancestors. I had been thinking about blogging but honestly, I was nervous as hell about “putting my business in the street” as Black folx say.
What was it going to mean? Who would care? Would I be exploiting Jora & Aviva? Would people make fun of me? Would people disrespect them? Me? My family? Was it safe to put out such sensitive information? I was terrified to share their photo in an online support group because I just kept thinking some creep would steal the photo, make fun of them or worse yet, not see their incredible beauty. If I told my story would I fall apart? Would I be re-traumatizing myself? Would I be preventing my healing by dwelling on the worst two days of my entire life..? So many fears, right?! I was TERRIFIED y’all! I started writing and sat on all those entries for weeks before deciding to post the very first entry…Black…Angel…Mom (find it HERE). Clicking “publish” was scary AF and then telling people I knew that it was out there, LAWD I was sweating bullets .
You know what happened though? An incredible sense of freedom. An incredible sense of pride in the beauty of their souls and what they inspired me to do. Whether people liked it or not meant less to me than the drive I felt to honor them by saying their names, telling their story and making it plain just how important they were and are to me.
In addition to “testifying” here on BlackAngelMom.com, I talked about my girls and experience in support groups, to friends, to family. I recently told my story on a podcast called Sisters in Loss (check it out HERE) and talked briefly about my story and this work on a podcast called Therapy for Black Girls (check it out HERE). The blog reached some people. The podcasts reached even more people and guess what? People are finding me and finding the community I’m facilitating to find solidarity, understanding, and healing. That’s the whole point of all of this. I felt alone. I knew I wasn’t but I still FELT that way. I set out to TESTIFY like I was encouraged in that particular reading and I only just now realized just how that’s showing up as part of my purpose.
Tell your story. Share your heart on whatever level you feel comfortable. It’s important for your healing and what a wonderful way to honor your little one(s). You never know who you might touch with your honesty nor who you may inspire to acknowledge their own struggles. As usual, sending <3 & hugs.