Give Yourself Permission To Be Weak

Weakness doesn’t come naturally to me.

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I’ve always been strong without trying to be strong.

I learned to care for myself at an early age, and I have to put in a lot of intentional effort to lean on and depend on others.

This isn’t a reality that I’m proud of; it’s the result of forced self-preservation due to childhood traumas, so I don't like to glory in this self-reliance.

Every day is a journey towards feeling comfortable enough to trust those around me with my wellbeing. Some days, I feel like I have total victory in this process, and I have complete confidence in interdependence. Then, I have those days when I find it extremely difficult to extend trust to others to care for my personal needs.

Remember, healing isn’t linear and it often takes winding paths. Don’t lose heart in the journey because there is a victory for you on the other side.
— Iliah, Negra Bohemian

I find so much beauty in weakness.

Truly, I do.

There is something completely empowering about the safety in trusting one’s most vulnerable spaces with those who will not misunderstand them.

There is something about the soul that genuinely comes alive when the burden of indelible strength is lifted from one’s shoulders.

I love tears.

There was a time in my life when I could barely cry. I know, this may be shocking to those of you who know me now because these days I’m a river of flowing tears. The moment I begin talking about anything sentimental, it’s like “cue Tammy Fay Bakker” and mascara-soaked tears are streaming down my face.

It hasn’t always been this way, though, as I once despised the fragility associated with crying.

Now, I long for the renewing that tears bring; I yearn for the release that a good cry provides.

Tears are like an ointment applied to spirit, cleansing and reviving it with each drop.

Tears shed layers of crusted debris that conceal the heart, revealing its stunning beauty.

Many trauma survivors, women of color and/or immigrant women, especially, feel this burden to resist weakness and tears. We have rarely been given the privilege to express vulnerability and to bask in the pulchritude of tenderness.

We had to be strong—our survival depended on it.

We had to work our bodies to the bone—our survival depended on it.

We had to push our wellbeing aside—our survival depended on it.

Our survival depended on iron strength.

We had to protect ourselves from a world where exuding gentleness could cost us our lives.

There was no room to catch one’s breath and relish in serenity.

When I give myself permission to be weak, I heal years of generational trauma caused by rape, being forced from a homeland, slave labor, colonization, poverty, attempts at cultural genocide, struggle and domestic terrorism.

I am my ancestors’ wildest dream not only when I magnify power and occupy a space that they could not; I am also their wildest dream when I can simply be, well, simple and at ease.

Give yourself permission to cry.

Give yourself permission to heal.

Give your self permission to not always have to be strong.

Give yourself permission to be weak.

You are worthy of this privilege.

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give your children permission to be weak

My children are powerful beings.

They have the dynamism to start revolutions and the fervor to slay dragons.

They are all-encompassing and unrestrained majestic glory.

I raise them to recognize their strength and to know that they are capable of all things. They are so aware of their divine natures and exactly who they were created to be—no one could convince them that they are anything less than power personified.

And while I work relentlessly to instill within them a profound sense of their dominion, I must also work just as hard to ensure that they can rest in weakness and depend on safe people in their lives.

Don’t tell your children to “suck up” their pain; let them feel and experience the deep range of their emotions.

Be there for them when they are in need—you have the power to create safe spaces where they can share their weaknesses.

Do not praise them only for illuminating strength, but also praise them for expressing vulnerability.

Pay close attention to your “strongest” child; they may be more naturally independent—without the cause of traumas—and may not express weakness easily. Find ways to connect with them and create opportunities for them to depend on you and others.

give them permission to need.

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you don’t have to do it all

The trend on social media these days is to present a whole and complete woman as one who runs five businesses, is writing three books, has a couple podcasts and is building indestructible empires.

Everyone is “manifesting” their deepest desires and living care-free and picture-perfect lives.

And you can, too, if you buy their course for $1,000.

Just kidding. I may start a course so I’m not here to knock anyone, but I think you get the point.

Are we being sold reality or a false image?

I’m all about setting goals, conquering them and women finding financial power and freedom for themselves. I am so inspired by many of the women out there who are taking control of their own destinies and creating the lives that they’ve always wanted—this should be shared with the masses.

But I also know that there are just as many who feel the pressure to be Amazon Women of unbridled strength to keep up with a brand they’ve constructed—it’s killing them and giving false expectations to those who are watching.

Total superhuman strength just isn’t a reality of the authentic human experience; no one person can “do it all” and remain healthy.

This isn’t a sustainable life.

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It’s okay to not be okay.

You can give yourself permission to not be okay.

A friend of mine recently shared with me a serious trial she’s in the midst of. I could sense an intense pressure in her tone to “hold everything together” and to be unnaturally strong, despite the severity of her situation.

In the middle of our conversation I felt an intuition to tell her that she did not have to be strong and hold it all together. I told her to rest and to relax, and that I would intercede for her and this situation—sometimes we need someone to tell us that they’ll pick our load so that we can rest.

She recently sent me a powerful message:


“I have to tell you that it meant so much to me a few weeks ago when you sort of gave me permission to feel tired and that you would believe for me…it really meant a lot. So many people around me were just saying cliche things like, ‘you don’t have enough faith’ and it was tiring. My sister was on the phone telling me all these things and I just had to hold the phone away from my ear because it made me so tired. I was like ‘let me be weak and walk in it a bit.’”


sometimes, we need permission to not be okay.


One of my favorite parts of scripture is when the army of God was fighting against the Amalekites, and the only way that they could win a victory was if Moses' arms were erect toward heaven. Moses eventually grew tired and weak and was no longer able to stand with his arms in the air; just then his brother, Aaron, and a fellow Israelite, Hur, brought a stone for him to sit on, and they stood beside him and held up his arms. They held his arms steady until the sun went down, and this was how the army was able to defeat their enemy.

You see, there are times when we all grow weary in the midsts of the battles that life brings before us. There are times when we need an Aaron and a Hur who will find us a stone to rest on and who will hold our arms steady—even the strongest amongst us need this relief from time-to-time.

Does embracing fragile times in our lives mean that we should wallow in weakness, incapable of conjuring the tenacity to fight for ourselves? No. It’s just a reminder to recognize the limitations of our human condition and the importance of healthy interdependence.

it’s okay to rest and walk in temporary weakness.

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