I just finished watching the Light Girls Documentary shown on OWN and it brought up feelings that I thought I might share with you.
Now, this isn’t a review of the program or even a critical think piece on the issues of colourism. That’s a subject matter that I feel is at the surface of deeply embedded emotional issues that I can save for another day. What I want to talk to you about is part of the emotional conflicts that breeds self hate such as this. Feelings that I feel are universal and a constant battle in the minds of little boys and girls who grow up to be men and woman searching to be who they are and were always meant to be but constantly coming up short. This feeling of not being good enough.
If using the example of colourism among universal black and brown skin communities, it is that feeling of knowing that there is a standard that you are constantly chasing but knowing that no matter how fast you run you will never catch up. Tricking the mind into thinking that you’ll wake up different only to fall asleep and wake up to realise you’re still the same.
In my own life I have experienced this dissatisfaction with who I am because the voices around me telling me that I need to be like this person, look like that person and behave like my neighbour, were louder than my own peace of mind. These voices are most times heard first by family, then school friends and then work colleagues.
Our parents tell us how to dress, behave, speak, the profession we should study, the people we should hang out with, the person we should marry, the path we should take. While the world also chimes in and tells us what to look for in the people we date, what’s sexy, what’s cool, what it takes for us to be the best and none of it seems to be in line with each other. The lists of things to aspire to just gets longer and longer and we all seem further and further from meeting the requirements.
What happens when you’re darker, or don’t have the great job with a competitive salary, not beautiful, didn’t have the best start in life, haven’t figured out what you want out of life. Does this mean it’s the end of the world?
Being part of the black community, the African community and most specifically the Nigerian community, I know the feeling of wanting to live up to expectations. I know the feeling of the noise being so loud that you can’t hear your own voice. Our inner voices at times even begin to sound like the world and destroys our peace of mind. And the key word in it all is peace. What do you have peace about?
When the world gets too loud I know I can bring it back to peace.
Peace for me is the Holy Spirit. I try my best to test all the noise by the Holy Spirit which speaks to me through my peace of mind. Your peace may be meditation, intuition, seclusion and a host of other things, but peace can always dissect the negativity out of your life.
As I watched the documentary and began to write this post I began to remember the whole point of me making this blog. Overcoming that feeling of not being good enough and creating my own lane. Lowering the noise from the outside by getting stuck into what my peace of mind shows me that I’m passionate about. Creating a new standard for what it means to be black,British and Nigerian. To be creative, artistic, healthy, fruitful and magical by my own standards. The standard of being oneself and doing you.
What’s your process for overcoming the feeling of not being good enough?