I had never heard of Adinkra or their symbols and meanings until I got a chance to go to the Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C. This is not anything that we learn within our institutions of education at any level, at least not at any of the schools that I have attended primary or secondary.
"Adinkra are visual symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics and pottery among the Ashantis of Ashanti Kingdom of Ghana and Baoulés of Cote D'Ivoire."
The Adinkra symbol of Sankofa has a direct correlation between my topic of the day, which means "return and get it" or the importance of learning from the past. Going to therapy may seem daunting, a 45-minute session of awkwardness where you hash out your inner secrets to a "professional" stranger. I will tell you my testimony with counseling, and explain why this is one key to unlocking and easing our past harm and stepping into the women that we are.
I am not the most outwardly open person in my world. I tend to be very observant, I know that I am a writer so I choose most often to vent through myself vs. to a mass amount of people. So, when I took the step to go to see a counselor, I made the decision in my mind out of desperation. I needed to free myself from my "secrets" or past truths to put it kinder. I had zero expectations from the therapist that was chosen for me, I just needed a safe open ear.
I think that is what stops us from doing things that scare us is over-analyzing the unknown people, and the "pre-determined" inferences that we make about who they will be, and how they will see us. I could barely look into the eyes of my counselor, and utter my truth's to her when I first met her. I can still feel the heavy weight that I had carried with me for so long. I needed a safe space or my truths were literally going to destroy me, and eat me alive.
I know that there are plenty of women that will read this that have went through life experiencing little jabs of pain here and there, or childhood wounds, or traumatic experiences that we keep to ourselves because we are ashamed, or feel so negative about ourselves for it. But, it is this pain that we hold in that ultimately does no good festering inside. It is our obligation to ourselves to release the past, and own what is true. This will get you closer to peace.
I remember walking out of my first counselor session, in a state of disorientation but with great dignity. I was so proud of myself for finally being honest with myself, and starting my healing journey, even if I didn't know then that it was. When I made the decision to see a counselor, I decided not to hold anything back. This is my life, and if I keep any part of my truth out, then the only person that will be dissatisfied, or blocked from the upward trajectory and goals that I have for a peaceful free future is myself. And, most importantly you don't have to feel like you have to release everything in one session.
Spread it out, take it easy on yourself if you can't open yourself up for your therapist every time its okay. The main advice I would give is to stay consistent because therapy does work. And I feel like we have an obiligation to ourselves as women, to be working out what has happened to us. We live in a world that puts men first, and that is just the truth. So, each of us has felt some sort of slight, or experience that doesn't quite sit right. I am telling you today to take that step of courage.
Our lives change, but at the core, we need someone to help us work on being our best selves. Life is hard, and it is one of the best reassuring, services to see a professional that will greet you as you are, and give you the space to let go, with no judgments. A lot of us don't have such a free, confidential space. This is better than any spa treatment, this is the exfoliation, the cleansing, the toning of your heart and spirit.
I have seen my therapist for 2 years and counting. I do consider her as a friend, she is understanding, caring, and brilliant. And our relationship was unplanned, and our connection was a godsend. The waves of my life through college has been something out of a drama-movie or soap-opera in some cases.
It's actually remarkable the journey that this life will take us, if we live courageously, and with taking chances. It is not a journey without intense highs and lows, but it is really a powerful, and stabilizing force to have such a healthy outlet. Take this chance for yourself women (men too, and all in between).You are worth it! May God Bless you all, and if no one tells you today I love you. Amen (Ashe).