Letting the Love of Truth Set You Free
I was diagnosed with depression almost a decade ago. I take medication for it. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2022. I remain in therapy. I deal daily with the insidious effects of racial trauma. I am a type 1 diabetic, 31 years and counting. I have scarring alopecia. I shave almost daily to remove the remains of hair I so loved and lost. I embrace my baldness as a fierce, Black female, cisgender. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I believe in Jesus. I am an ordained minister of the gospel. I am a board-certified coach. Welcome to my coming out party.
For years, I expected a clear calling on my life. I assumed the call was a linear path – one straight line to rest in for the totality of my days. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. So many mistakes come from assumptions. I’ve since learned that assumptions can be dangerous. My assumption of a linear path fueled endless efforts of swiftly switching jobs in order to fit into somebody else’s box. I jumped from job to job almost as often as I changed my clothes. Although I had discernment in those days, I didn’t want to accept what I knew deep down to be the reason why I couldn’t stay on a job.
If that weren’t enough, I made the dangerous assumption that education would guarantee me the position and money I felt I deserved. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Master of Divinity in Pastoral Counseling & Care, and a Doctorate in Black Church Studies, I assumed the options would be endless. Again, I couldn’t have been more mistaken.
My employers’ view of my skin color and gender encouraged their shameful biases, causing them to overlook or minimize my educational background and strengths. Several abused their power, using discrimination as a tool to place me into entry-level roles. Interestingly, it was often made clear that my graduate degrees weren’t relevant to my work responsibilities, undergirding the lie that I was unpromotable and limiting how much I could earn. Sadly, several white women in positions of power were intimidated by my education and my ability to outperform them. As a result, they often ignored my cries for help when an injustice was committed. Additionally, they refused to affirm my hard work and genius on the job. When I’d finally had enough, I would again succumb to the painful process of finding another job, only to be denied my ideal choice because I was seen as overqualified.
This is when depression sets in for me. Although I am a highly educated, intelligent woman with a no-nonsense work ethic, I was hindered by forces outside of myself to pursue the life I wanted in the traditional way it was done. The concept of meritocracy and can-do individualism was not meant for a Black woman – at least that’s what the people in power showed me. Where in the world would I find the strength, the courage and support to create a future I knew I deserved? Was I expected to have to fight for my God-given rights everyday simply because the majority of folks in power didn’t want equity for me? It was a hard pill to swallow. It remains hard to this very day.
BUT today is a new day. I now know that although my life has been an amalgam of eccentric experiences, there is a call. My call is not like anyone else’s. My call wasn’t meant to fit neatly into some pretty, well-wrapped box to open and jump for joy over. My call would require me to shed my assumptions, pack up the comparison game and face some hard-hitting truths in a way I did not see coming. And YES…FINALLY, the truth is setting me free and continuing to do so.
One thing is clear: I was never called to fit in. I have been set apart to stand out. As a board-certified coach, teacher, mentor, and guide, I am here to dismantle dangerous myths about the Black woman. I am here to destigmatize depression and ptsd. I am here to disrupt racial trauma in the bodies of Black women. THIS is my call. I’m ready to teach, coach, mentor, and guide Black women through exercises and practices that care for the soul while becoming more aware of racial trauma and necessary solutions for a healthier well-being. Then and only then, can she (and me) love God most, love herself right and love others healthily.
Sistah Soul Care, LLC was founded in 2023 to move the souls of Black women from post-traumatic stress to post-traumatic peace through life design coaching. Begin to love the truth of your journey so you too can be set free!