Against the backdrop of 2020 — with protests for racial justice and equity — the significance of Black History Month is especially strong. Though the past year inflicted trauma, especially toward Black people, it's important to take this month of awareness to not only celebrate Black heritage but to repair the emotional toll it caused. Since the year of reckoning officially sprung last May following George Floyd's death, mental health counselor Faith Broussard Cade's #fleurdelisspeaks Instagram account has been feeding her followers' souls with inspiring self-care affirmations that promote inner healing.
In honor of Black History Month, Cade exclusively curated affirmations for Bustle that honor Black heritage. All follow her signature style: The wellness and self-care advocate has garnered more than 150,000 followers for her quotes on reflection, gratitude, and finding peace in things people tend to take for granted (like rest days).
For Cade, her hashtag for the affirmations #fleurdelisspeaks — which has over nine thousand mentions on Instagram — all began as something she did for herself.
"It started as a 15-day self-love challenge," she tells Bustle. “I'd honor and nourish myself by writing a self-care note and post it on Instagram for accountability. The more notes I shared, the more comments, DMs, and emails I received from people I'd never met.”
Cade shares her specially-crafted self-care affirmations that commemorate the month-long celebration of Black heritage, below.
My grandparents and parents may not have "believed" in therapy, but I will seek the mental health treatment I need and deserve. How I heal is my choice.
"Traditionally, therapy and mental health services have been stigmatized in communities of color," says Cade. "It's frowned upon and outright discouraged to seek help." This is why she promotes stepping up in order to get the resources you need to heal. "When we find our voices, individually and collectively, and take charge of who we are — that's how we heal from historical and generational trauma," she says.
I will not diminish my value or integrity by forcing myself to fit into spaces where my presence is unwanted and unwelcome. I have everything I need inside of me to create my own space.
Cade stresses the importance of recognizing your value. "Don't be afraid to carry yourself with confidence for fear of intimidating others," she tells Bustle. "You are not required to shrink who you are to fit into a box society has created for people of color."
No matter what, I deserve to be here. My life has value. My feelings matter. My intellect is impeccable. And my contribution is significant.
This affirmation is all about being proud of yourself and how far you've come. "Thinking highly of yourself does not mean you think less of anyone else," says Cade. "You have every right to be proud of who you are. Choose every day to live your truth and to walk in your greatness."
Today I affirm that I will heal. Because I have suffered long enough. Because I am worthy of peace and joy. And because other brown women need to see that they can heal too.
"We are all healing from things that no one else knows about or has experienced," says Cade, who notes that healing must be intentional. "When we heal and share our truths with others, we empower them to pursue their own personal healing journey. "
As of this very moment, I have made it through 100% of the hard things I thought I'd never survive. I am strong. I am capable. I am resilient. I am brave. I am powerful. And I can do this.
Cade says that everyone has hard days, but they can make you stronger. "You may have some bumps, scars, and bruises, but know that those battle scars are proof that even on your toughest days, when life tried to take you out, you fought back hard," she tells Bustle. "Without that war, you would not be the warrior you are today."