Sacred Pampering Principles: An African-American Woman's Guide to Self-care and Inner Renewal

Sacred Pampering Principles: An African-American Woman's Guide to Self-care and Inner Renewal

by Debrena J Gandy

Paperback(1ST QUILL)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780688163471
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/16/1998
Edition description: 1ST QUILL
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 327,764
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Debrena Jackson Gandy lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters

Read an Excerpt

I think our obsession with "busyness," overdoing it, overworking, overextending ourselves, and overnurturing others — that is, the Strong Black Woman (SBW) Syndrome — is a haunting remnant of the powerful Mammie and Aunt Jemima images that are still anchored deeply in our minds from slavery. The SBW Syndrome has an insidious way of pervading our lives, shaping our beliefs and thus our behaviors, attitudes, and actions. These images are then reinforced by society, the media, and cultural conditioning. Mammie was the nurturer, "the omnipotent caregiver," the always-listening ear, the "everlasting arm." Mammie provided the shoulder for everybody else to lean on. She was the Rock of Gibraltar, the Strong Black Woman who constantly gave out love, attention, and affection but who didn't ask for it, appear to need it, or require it in return. She could give, give, give, and do, do, do without seeming to need a break, a breather, or a vacation. Other ways the SBW Syndrome shows up is when we become control freaks and micromanagers of almost everything and everyone in our lives. In turn, others in our lives respond in ways that perpetuate and reinforce the syndrome. We have a tendency to take over or dominate, and in turn others let us, and even come to expect it. They figure we can handle it.

We have a hard time delegating and trusting that it will be done right or get done at all — then we end up doing it ourselves, once again. We start feeling stressed out and depleted. The Syndrome can creep in and quietly start to show up at work, at home, and in our relationships. We look up and others have become too dependent on us. Over time we start to become resentful because wedon't feel we're getting the support we need. We start to feel others are not pulling their share of the load. But what we often don't realize is that we've been instrumental in creating the very situation that has us so frustrated.

Copyright ) 1997 by Debrena Jackson Gandy.

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