Have you ever considered that February comprises a month reflective of Black history, love and heart health, followed by March which recognizes women’s history? I’d never thought about it, but near the end of the month, the Holy Spirit uplifted the connection. Shall we as women, and specifically Black women, honor our history of loving from our heart? Or is it yet another painful reminder that we as women, particularly Black women have a history of not being healthy when it comes to matters of love and our heart?
Over the weekend, I attended a conference sponsored by several offices on the campus to which I work. It was created with women of color in mind. The theme of it was, “Watch Us Work!” It was phenomenal. Yet throughout the day, there was an unspoken and silent narrative that echoed through every space, no matter the age, the race, the ethnicity, regional background, etc. It was simply our commonality for being in spaces at some point of time that did not affirm our history, did not love us, and in particular, did not recognize that we had given “it” our all – even our heart.
There was laughter, there were embraces, there was dialogue, and there was commonality. Pain erupted from expectations, ignorance stemmed from untruth and exhaustion spent from justice (or as close to the pursuit of it as possible). Yet in that space for a small point in time, we were able to provide safety, comfort, encouragement, affirmation and in the words of Dr. AY Bryant, wellness for each other.
I would suggest that the months of February and March are just two of 10 whereby we as women, must pay attention to our history, our heart and how we project love. Are we sharing space, time, resources, and self with people who recognize our genius and are not threatened to see its full blown operation? What have we learned from those that came before us, who worked tirelessly caring for others, while skipping annual physicals, failing to take a “mental health day” all to discover the impact such neglect takes upon our bodies? How many times have we left fragments of our heart in broken relationships to the extent that when wholeness presents itself we have nothing left but an empty chamber? If we were to draw two columns depicting the number of times we were led by our heart vs. our history, which side would be filled? Would there be imbalance?
When I sit in spaces whereby the answers to these questions are so similar, so common, I can’t help but wonder why? I am reminded of Psalm 33:15: “He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.” We were created, fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God. He chose to fashion our hearts the way he determined and he affirms how we love. We are loved by him throughout history and beyond! Most importantly, the Word tells us in Psalm 147:3: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” I believe this to be true, and I still realize the importance of carrying out God’s work in the earth and adhere to some bandaging on my sisters when I’ve been liberated to do so.
As women, our heart health is critical. We must consider our history of love and create a daily regimen to ensure its vitality for sustainability. As opposed to thinking of this in individualistic terms, let us consider our collective response, our collective care and collective concern for each other when it comes to this. That’s the modeling I witnessed growing up. Its what I have brief glimpses of in contemporary times. That’s our history, that’s our love. When you run into a sister during the empowering month of March, simply do a check in. Ask her, “how’s your heart?” Be certain to wait for an answer and be prepared to respond with an embrace.