Dear reader, I am thrilled to introduce you to an essential book by William H.T. Bailey called, Building a Healthy Sense of Self: Essential Knowledge for African People.
With his book, Bailey hoped to have provided a resource and healing tool for individuals of African descent who live in a country notorious for racial injustice and inequality.
Bailey investigates the root and reality for Black people in the United States and encourages them to invest in their own personhood and development with awareness, desire, and determination.
This book crystallizes crucial concepts of human behavior, and its purpose is to “encourage you to focus on using the concepts to take more control of your life.”
During a pilgrimage to Kemet, the author was in awe of the Egyptian temples, tombs, and pyramids. He also noticed the frequent appearance of black hair, black complexions, and black features on the statues and figurines.
He felt exhilarated by the experience of witnessing “people like him” who made such monumental achievements. He saw Black people depicted as beloved leaders and rulers of ancient Egypt. “Why then,” he asks, “are our scholars vilified for trying to reconstruct Black history in spite of what American society presents as ‘facts’. . .”
When Bailey returned from Egypt to the U.S., he was filled with indignation upon learning that the Kemites are depicted as the “bad guys” in history books.
As a response, Bailey wrote, Building a Healthy Sense of Self and published it in 2000. Back then, he already believed that we were at the forefront of a thought revolution, which would change the way people retell African history. Now, 20 years later, we can wholeheartedly back up his premonition.
White Supremacy Must Be Acknowledged and Dismantled
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement (a great example of a change agent) has made significant momentum in changing the narrative, politics, and policies in this country. Thanks to the folks behind BLM, law enforcement is now under closer scrutiny for acts of brutality and unfair, biased treatment.
Racial injustice and systemic oppression still happen every single day. The work of fully acknowledging and dismantling white supremacy must continue.
For reconciliation, there must be recognition, restitution, and historical reckoning.
Systemic racism has made a huge economic impact on Black people as well, and the reparations politicians and activists are calling forth are an attempt to restore the Black community to a stronger economic position. (A position they would already have if they hadn’t ever been subjected to slavery and discrimination.)
For further reading on the subject, I highly recommand the thoughtful and comprehensive modern-day analysis of reparations in America written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (The article and its response started the major 2020 campaign issue — Reparations for Slavery.)
YES, there is so much more work to do: biased conditioning to unlearn and many more questions to ask ourselves, our communities, and our leaders.
AND, I agree with William H.T. Bailey that the work starts with raising every individual’s sense of self-worth and building a healthy sense of self.
YES, it’s imperative to sustain and maintain your sense of self—even when your rational perceptions differ from those of society’s controlling group.
Bailey’s book explores how the subconscious mind contributes to or takes away from a person’s healthy sense of self. This part of the brain directs 90 percent of our “automatic” behavior while the other 10 percent (the conscious brain) is responsible for our thinking, “rational” mind.
So yeah, we operate on autopilot most of the time—reacting and responding from ingrained conditioning from our childhood and young adulthood!
The subconscious fosters behavior that instinctively promotes, protects, and fulfills the physical and psychological self. It gravitates toward gratification, self-determination, and acknowledgment of worth. It seeks to escape fear, guilt, and anxiety. (Bailey, 8)
It’s Time Your Conscious Questions Your Subconscious Mind!
The re-programming of belief systems—stored deep inside the human subconscious mind—is needed to overcome bias and racial inequality.
Black history’s retelling should be based on the opinions and real experiences of Black people (not by whitewashed textbooks and narratives). The true story of Black history will perpetuate truth, liberty, and justice for all.
Bailey’s book puts the finger on an often overlooked sore spot in most individual’s lives: self-healing. We all need to heal no matter where we come from! Bailey wrote his book for Black people as a guide to restoring psychological health. It’s a call to action to self-heal from the white strategies that (I have to admit, and unfortunately) aim toward systemic racism.
Overcoming self-destructive thinking and behavior requires the great courage to raise one’s unconscious behavior to the conscious mind for examination. It then requires the desire to overcome self-destructive programming, followed by the discipline to withstand the barrage of negative feelings generated by the subconscious [mind] as a consequence of its aversion to change. (Bailey, 14)
Ready to see the truth as you unravel the layers of your negative conditioning?
Developing and maintaining a sense of self forms the overlap with the work of the Sense of Self (SoS) Method, which I created to guide you along the self-healing journey.
The method allows you to freely explore what happened in your past that makes you think and behave the way you do.
The SoS Method asks you to question your biases, negative self-images . . . or limiting beliefs. It helps you to let go of all the insults, trespassing of your boundaries, abuse, cruelties, and being ignored or not accepted as a “real and equal person.” It empowers you to reframe your self-image and restore your self-esteem.
YES, you ou can replace your subconscious mind’s “Hidden Goal” and agenda of being accepted and appreciated with the experience of absolute freedom within and living your life to the fullest.
Learn how to start building a healthy sense of self in the Sense of Self Method and Online Course*
*When we created this course, we had no idea that it could be contributing to overcoming inequality as it comes to light in our day and age. And we know very well, and you should know too, that it isn’t a quick fix, but if you’re willing to do the work, it may make a big difference in your self-experience. Email me directly for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or book a call with me. Reserve your time slot here: https://www.Calendly.com/healthysos
You only have one life to live; make sure it is yours!