I’ve been thinking about this term Imposter Syndrome for a bit. Not too long. I actually willfully ignored the notion. I didn’t understand the idea so I didn’t think it was a thing. But people have talked and written and spoken out about this so-called syndrome for several years now. I thought it was worth a reflection to consider what it means.
Imposter Syndrome as a phrase is interesting and suggests an intentional habit to deceive. Behaviors that become a pattern of self doubt. I think there has to be a function in society that created the circumstances for one to believe they are experiencing or participating in Imposter Syndrome. Oppression and the suffering of others creates a cycle of knowing you are human and rightfully here in this life and the reduction of the self as a function of society.
This guidance from Daisalu Ikeda of the SGI suggests that we have to understand our purpose here and the mindset requires to persevere. This includes everything you understand to be the obstacles that prevent you from actions that benefit you. Weaknesses, in this framework, are not simply what society has deemed not useful. Weaknesses are the ideas and behaviors that hold us back if not hurt us. The familiarity with suffering causes people to seek out that trigger because they have yet to fully understand they can live without it. This is a broad statement. But apply it to the quality of your everyday life.
This is not to compare your life to that of someone else. It is to examine your own wants and needs and prioritize them over the masking we tend towards for survival and to avoid conflict.
We are not going to win being someone else. We are winning by constructing our lives around a mission that may not end with all the financial riches and void of obstacles. We are winning by being true to our values. I pray these values include “do no harm”. Your happiness is not contingent on another’s, but rather your own life condition and how that can improve without deviation.
Cicely Tyson, featured in the cast photo far left, flatters in every light. She has passed on (1924-2021). The day of the Full Moon. A great power.
I’m sure a film historian or artist biographer could write something much more profound about Miss Tyson. But I’m going to tell you this. She acted in films that made you proud to be Black or a woman or poor or struggling. None of these things are strictly tragic roles. She uplifted what was heavy. She took her light and made you look at what’s dark.
The above photo is from the series The Women of Brewster Place based on the book by Gloria Naylor. It highlights the lives of the women living in a tenement home. They are all Black archetypes, “representation” before I knew what it was or that I needed it. It premiered in 1989. Even as a child I saw myself reflected in the pain of these people on the margins. Trying to survive with their dignity in tact. Demanding dignity no matter the lifestyle.
Thank you Miss Tyson, for all the work you’ve done. In gratitude for the legacy you leave behind. In honor of the life of a Black girl born in 1924.
There are many ways folx can get paid nowadays. PayPal (below), Cashapp, Venmo. I began seeing two versions of a “coffee” website where patrons can donate to the person they want to support. However, these sites also allow you to create content that supporters and clients can purchase.
At Buy Me A Coffee, I offer several services and supports. These are all tailored to the patron. You can purchase a service or simply tip me for some tea ☕️.