Updated: Sep 7
As an empath I used to think that being strong is pretending to have it altogether. Then, through very dark phases of my life, I came to a point where I couldn't pretend anymore. Yet I kept on saying to myself: 'Come on! You're not a sad person! Don't weaken your guard by letting people see how vulnerable you are. Can't you see you're the first person they turn to whenever they feel the need to be heard?'
Well, through my healing journey, I finally understood this : vulnerability has whatsoever nothing to do with strength or weakness. It's all about the affirmation of true self, as a whole. In fact, the most courageous thing one can do is to show up and dare to be seen.
Today I make the intention to genuinely honour my feelings. I make the promise to never give up on myself, to build a safe space where I'm loved not despite of my vulnerability, but because of it and more importantly to always stand tall and keep on sharing my light to the world.
A light of hope for a better acknowledgment of mental health within my community.
Fatou shared their story as part of the #empathyhopeproject, an immersive art exhibition on the impact of our social environments on the health of our minds. Chapter 2 of this traveling exhibition was hosted in Durban, South Africa from 12 March - 03 May 2020, featuring photographic art works by Thabiso Sekgala, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, @witnesschange & a Refugee Centre in Durban.
We would love to share YOUR #voiceofhope too - if you would like to be included, please submit a portrait photograph and a 200-300 word insert that we can include in this series, to email@example.com.