I'm so here for what many are calling a "women empowerment movement". We are conquering and taking over the world (as we've been doing for centuries) and achieving monumental success in so many ways. We are mothers, wives, sisters, friends, daughters, and caretakers. We are professionals, teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, leaders, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, activists, coders, CEOs, and everything in between.
As easy as it is to list our titles and accomplishments, I've noticed at times how difficult it is for us, as Black women, to admit when we're tired or worn out from everything that we're doing. We're making a lot of things work so we can do it all and have it all, but are we carving out enough time to slow down and rest when we need to?
If you're like me, and at times, you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed, or feeling as if you're doing the most or putting too much pressure on yourself, here are some affirmations to remind you, as well as myself, to slow down and give yourself some grace.
1."My peace is more important than having a packed schedule."
You never have to chase or force what's meant to be. "Your gifts will make room for you" (Proverbs 18:16). There's a difference between being strategic and desperately seeking opportunities. The most authentic relationships, connections, careers, and opportunities usually happen by choice, not force. Hence, you don't have to beg people for an opportunity and you don't have to always be on the scene at every event trying to force something to happen.
When we stretch ourselves too thin, we end up sharing a piece of ourselves with too many people, and then we wonder why we don't have peace in our lives.
2."It’s OK to ask for help."Giphy
Whatever "help" looks like for you, don't be afraid to ask for it when you need it. I've learned firsthand that being the so-called "strong friend" also means being vulnerable and courageous enough to admit when you're not okay. As LeToya Luckett recently stated: "God placed angels to create support systems."
3."Rest is required."
Clearly my body can't do it like I used to when I was in my early twenties and when I was in college. Some people say "I'll sleep when I'm dead," but clearly someone missed the memo that sleep and rest is essential to our health. Listen to your body. Rest, reset, and refresh when you need to.
4."I can’t be everything to everyone."Giphy
If I'm not good to myself, then I won't be good to anyone else. Sometimes you have to take a step back and ask, "If I'm pouring everything into everyone else, then who is pouring into me?" You can't pour from an empty cup, and like they say, "Self-care is the best care."
5."My husband is my helpmate, so I will let him help me."
I love when the Bride-to-Be (@caranellbell via @yvonneorji) stated in her wedding vows: "My greatest blessing in this life is to finally be able to take off my superwoman cape and let you carry it…" In other words, I like being an independent woman, but I also love being able to depend on my man.
It really hit home for me as well when Erica Campbell recently shared at the Black Love Summit how she felt after having her first child. "I was so nervous and overwhelmed about everything and trying to figure it out. Warryn wanted to help but I didn't always allow him to. My mother had to remind me that if you try to do everything, then your husband won't be able to do anything to help you." Simply put, stop trying to be superwoman all the time and let your man be your superman. Let him help you.
6."I’m only human. I will not put unnecessary pressure on myself."
I remember when I first got married, I put so much pressure on myself to be a "perfect wife". When I told my husband, he was so confused because he never asked or put that pressure on me, nor did he expect me to be perfect. Turns out, I had put all of this pressure on myself because that's what I thought I was supposed to do.
Despite the #RelationshipGoals, #FitGoals, #WifeyGoals, #CareerGoals, #MomGoals…there is no such thing as a perfect wife, perfect body, perfect mother, perfect girlfriend, or a perfect friend. Moreover, there's a difference between inspiration and imitation. So, what may work for someone else, their relationship, or their lifestyle, may not work for you. You have to do what works for you.
Tell yourself: If I want to truly receive what God has for me, then I have to embrace my authenticity.
7."My 'no' can be powerful and polite at the same time."
I used to struggle with saying the word "no", but then I'd wonder why I felt so drained and so overwhelmed with anxiety; why I was doing things that I dreaded or didn't enjoy; why I was supporting so many people who weren't willing to do the same for me; or why I found myself surrounded by people who drained my energy.
Now, I realize how liberating it is to say things like, "No, I don't have time. No, I don't want to do it. No, we can't hang out. No we can't be friends. No, unfortunately I can't make it." Sometimes, a "no" to everyone else is a "yes" to yourself…and that's more than OK. It's necessary.
8."My timeline is not everyone else’s timeline."
People love to constantly quote: "We all have the same 24 hours in a day" to justify why we should be doing more of whatever. However, I loved when Kiah McBride tweeted: "You don't have the same 24 hours as XYZ celebrity. XYZ celebrity has a team, assistants, chefs, trainers, etc. at their fingertips. They're not doing everything alone or by themselves, so they have more time to focus on their primary tasks."
Even the mere fact that I'm a woman who doesn't have kids is another example of how my 24 hours are drastically different from a woman who has children.
Nothing happens overnight. Don't let Instagram trick you into thinking you're going to have insta-success, an insta-bae, or an insta-career or business. Things take time, and we're not always privy to the sacrifices that come before the success, or the growth that comes before the glow-up. Trust the process, and trust the timing and the fact that what is meant to be will happen when it's meant to be.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
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Featured image by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
Originally published on August, 25, 2019
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Shonda Brown White is a bestselling author, blogger, life coach, and brand strategist. When she's not jumping out of a plane or zip lining, she's living the married life with her husband in Atlanta, GA. Connect with her on social @ShondaBWhite and her empowering real talk on her blog.
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Everything Kerry Washington Has Said About Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha
Actress Kerry Washington and her relationship with her husband, actor Nnamdi Asomugha, is the perfect example of a winning team.
The pair became an item following a chance encounter in 2009, and many years later, on June 24, 2013, Washington and Asomugha would secretly tie the knot. Since then, the high-profile couple has expanded their blended family by welcoming two children, a daughter Isabelle Asomugha, 8, and a 6-year-old son Caleb Asomugha. Asomugha also has a daughter from a previous relationship.
Despite Washington and Asomugha choosing to live a relatively private life for the most part by not sharing images of their family on social media and occasionally attending events together. The rare glimpses they provide to the public showcase that Washington and Asomugha have much in common regarding essential topics.
For example, Washington is highly involved in politics and encourages others to participate by spreading information about various issues and how everyone would be affected.
As for Asomugha, the 41-year-old officially founded the Asomugha Foundation in 2010, years after doing other charity work in Nigeria. According to its site, the organization was created to help "disadvantaged youth and women by providing educational opportunities and mentorship."
Washington's public remarks regarding her relationship with Asomugha and their family may be rare, but when she does speak about their family, it's all positive.
Kerry On Why She Keeps Her Relationship Private
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bronx Children's Museum
In March 2016, the UnPrisioned actress revealed during a discussion panel at SXSW Festival that one of the reasons why she is adamant about remaining private about her union with Asomugha is because she doesn't want the public to make any narratives regarding her marriage.
At the time, it was reported that Washington and the former NFL player were experiencing marital troubles and were allegedly planning on getting a divorce. Washington would shut down those allegations by saying she hasn't and will not share any information about her private life.
"Social media has actually been great for [other celebrities'] relationships with the weeklies or the gossip sites because people say things and they say, 'That's not true!' So I'm thinking in some ways, it's been great because people are able to maintain their voice," she explained.
"It's a little different for me because I don't talk about my personal life. That means not only did I not tell you when I was getting married, it also means if somebody has rumors about what's going on in my marriage, I don't refute them, because I don't talk about my personal life."
Kerry On How She Met Nnamdi And What A Normal Day Looks Like for Their Family
Fast forward to October 2018, the Scandal star gave insight into how she met Asomugha and their family life. During an interview with Marie Claire, Washington shared that she and Asomugha met in 2009 while she was working on the Broadway play Race.
The mother of two told the publication that her life has "completely transformed" since their encounter. "The last time I did theater, it completely transformed my life. That's where I met my husband. I love being with my family. My days off look like homework, reading, and watching stuff. Just hanging out, doing things we love to do," she stated.
Kerry On Nnamdi's Accomplishment
Photo by Jeffrey Camarati/Getty Images
But as time progressed, Washington began speaking a little more openly about her man. In October 2022, Washington gushed over Asomugha and his Netflix project, The Good Nurse, which came out around the same time her film, The School for Good and Evil, was released. While talking to Entertainment Tonight, the star expressed how "proud" she was of her husband.
"I'm really proud of him, I think he's doing amazing work. I'm really excited for his film, The Good Nurse," she said. "It's really exciting to both have really important films at Netflix right now, we feel really blessed.”
Kerry On Why Nnamdi Is Her Soulmate
Washington shared how her love with Asomugha goes beyond the surface after spending over a decade together.
In a March 2023 interview with Marie Claire, Washington explained that she and Asomugha are perfectly aligned because she's allowed to be her authentic self with him.
"I'm in my immediate truth with [him]," Washington said. "Those mirrors are important because they help me get back to myself."
Kerry On The Couple's Upcoming 10-Year Wedding Anniversary
Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
That same month, Washington expressed that in addition to the many years the couple has been together, and their personal and professional accomplishments, she still finds Asomugha "incredible."
Washington shared this revelation while promoting her latest project, UnPrisioned, in an Entertainment Tonight interview.
"I do have an incredible husband," the actress told ET host Kevin Frazier as she disclosed little to no details about their upcoming plans for their tenth wedding anniversary. "Do you remember how secret my wedding was? How private and secretive it was? That's how the anniversary is gonna be too!"
Kerry On Why She Thinks Nnamdi And Their Children Are A Gift From God
Washington's love and admiration for Asomugha and their family grow increasingly each day, so much so that she uses it as inspiration to share positive messages with her fans.
The 46-year-old revealed during a panel with Al Sharpton at National Action Network Convention on April 12 that she sees her husband and their children as "proof" that God exists and loves her because of the great joy they bring to her life.
"Well, you've met my husband, my husband's amazing. I got a good one. We have three beautiful children. And I think, you know, when I look at my marriage, and I look at my kids, fundamentally, they are proof of God to me,” she said. "Because I know that God loves me to have put those people in my life. And that sense of like, knowing that God loves me. That, to me, is so much of how I make the decisions about the activism that I do and the content that I make."
Regardless of what the public may think about Washington and Asomugha's private union, they are proving with each moment that love can conquer all.
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Feature image by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue