It’s Leo season, which immediately brings to mind words like “fire,” “energy” and “pride.” We’re told we can do anything, be anything - especially during this time. We should use the lion energy of the season to propel us forward, according to whichever spiritual website you frequent.
The tarot card "Strength" is associated with Leo. The image of a forceful, feminine, "genteel" lady slowly prying open the mouth of a lion is the epitome of Leo spirit. It’s the ‘I’m Every Woman’ card.
We’re told during this time to summon our courage, shore up our inner strength and stay in control no matter what.
But with #blackgirlmagic social media pressure (or #neverthelessshepersisted or whatever you-go-girl hashtag is trending at the moment), what if you don’t feel like getting out of bed, much less ‘magical’?
(Note that this is in no way an indictment of these great initiatives. They serve an important purpose as they highlight our spirit and how we make a way out of no way. This post is merely an invitation to consider another view.)
If someone checked out my CV, they’d think I was a force of nature. In some ways, yeah I’ve done a lot career-wise, but you know something?
I get tired.
Not just tired as in “I need a nap.” I mean tired as in, “I’m feeling this sh!t in my bones, I can't make it up three stairs - not three flights - but three *stairs* and I'm close to burning out."
Where those of us who have adopted the #blackgirlmagic mantra go wrong sometimes is when we when we use the hashtag as a crutch to ward off vulnerability.
"Just did a 12-hour shift and I’m now off to work on my masters thesis! Yea me! #blackgirlmagic"
That vulnerability we so desperately want to give in to.
If only we didn’t anticipate the shame we *believe* we’ll feel if we *do* give in.
Let me tell you something: I’m closing in on 50. For the first time in my life, I’m giving in to being vulnerable - without shame.
And I’m using the Strength card to do it.
In the Strength card, I’m not the woman. I’m the lion.
I’m *allowing* the woman to open my mouth, to gently pry my jaws ajar. If I wanted to, I could bite both of her hands off with just one move.
But I don’t. Because she’s fulfilling a need. She's doing the work for me.
I’m the one in power.
The woman, feminine "strength", is actually under my spell. She’s helping me relax. Getting me to yawn.
Preparing me for my massage.
How nice of her.
Yes, I’m on the ground. I’m on all fours. But by controlling when, where, and who helps me get my strength back, I’m completely in charge.
You can still use Leo season to be proud and strong.
Be proud enough to say you need help, because you know your worth and will fight tooth and nail to get your strength back.
Be strong enough to say ‘no’ when you don’t feel like going out because you know it saps your energy.
Be willing to let go of the suspicion and let someone help you, not because they want something, but because they love you.
Remember #blackgirlmagic is a powerful tool, one that we can use while waving our wands - or letting them rest on the table.