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The Road to Black Joy

The new terms that are increasing in popularity like Black Joy, Black Girl Magic, Black Boy Joy are so refreshing. To think, these simple terms could hold so much positivity; It shows how the opposite can be so heavy. The collective trauma of recent years (let alone centuries), on top of individualized trauma experienced in families and passed down through generations is heartbreaking...overwhelming. We commonly carry this pain in the following ways:

  • Avoid

  • Isolate

  • Ignore or Distract

  • Laugh it off/Smile It Away

  • Put up walls

  • Pick a lesser, more irrelevant fight (& Other Mechanisms of Defense or Passive-Aggressiveness)

  • Escape/Move Away/Drugs

  • Self-Sabotage

  • Please/Serve/Befriend the one(s) who inflicted the emotional, physical, financial, mental, or psychological pain

  • Prioritize others above self-care/

  • Overcompensate to "save" others

  • Mislabel the truth of what's going on

  • Take the blame

  • Act Out

To get to Black Joy, to see the essence of Black Girl Magic, to cherish the purity of Black Boy Joy is to learn how to face pain and grow through healing; To navigate hurt in such a healing way that you find the joy that is connected to the other side of the pain. We can unlearn the ways we carry black pain by:

  • Acknowledging the hurt

  • Bringing the pain and its experiences to our awareness intentionally in a safe, emotional space

  • Intentionally addressing the hurt

  • Self-Reflecting

  • Processing, challenging, and releasing limited beliefs

  • Finding and Sharing in Community

  • Being more aware of when we are coping in counterproductive ways (see above list)

  • Intentionally embedding our unique versions of joy, gratitude, laughter, and dance in our day to day

What else helps you heal Black pain in a way that helps you cherish lasting, meaningful Black Joy?

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