Sometimes you need to make a change.
Taraji P Henson is well known for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon on the hit Fox series Empire. I grew up watching Taraji on TV, so it’s safe to safe I’m a big fan of hers. I’ve always admired how she always portrays strong women who overcome great obstacles. It’s so inspiring to see women portrayed as girl bosses and intelligent beings
Even her real-life story of graduating from college as a single mother and moving to LA with her son to be an actress is unbelievable. The amount of bravery and self-confidence it took for her to make such a change, goes to show that just like her any woman can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
Out of all the titles Taraji has earned the most influential is an activist. She saw a need within the black community and instead of standing by she found a way to meet that need. She founded a nonprofit organization called the Boris Laurence Henson Foundation, named after her father who suffered from PTSD. The foundation is an outlet for black people to be able to talk about their mental health issues.
Being a black woman myself, I can truthfully say that mental health is something that is dismissed in black culture. No one takes these issues seriously. Telling your parents or older relatives that you are stressed or enduring emotional hardships, is almost seemed as if you’re being dramatic instead of a cry for help. Often they’ll advise you to pray.
Prayer is great but sometimes you need therapy too.
The thought of therapy within itself can be really scary because no one wants to tell a stranger their business, especially one who does not look like them or have to face their struggles. Overall, black people don’t have positive outlets to express their emotions, so we are forced to bottle them up. Bottling up our emotions leads to our past traumas being unaddressed, so they continue to hinder our lives. In an attempt to destigmatize mental health in the black community, Taraji’s foundation is bringing the issue to light and providing resources to help those in need.
Mental health is important for all people of every race.
We all deserve to live a life free of depression, anxiety, and unforgiveness. I hope these quotes will inspire a change in you.
1. God has given us the greatest gift.
“Love is the greatest gift that God has given us. It’s free.” ― Taraji P. Henson
2. Live on the bright side.
“I don’t harp on the negative because if you do, then there’s no progression. There’s no forward movement. You got to always look on the bright side of things..” ― Taraji P. Henson
3. Know who you are.
“At the end of the day, I stand by who I am. I’m a good person.” ― Taraji P. Henson
4. No matter where you start life at you can change for the better.
“Humans have a light side and a dark side, and it’s up to us to choose which way we’re going to live our lives. Even if you start out on the dark side, it doesn’t mean you have to continue your journey that way. You always have time to turn it around.” ― Taraji P. Henson
5. You are responsible for your happiness.
“It’s up to you to be responsible for how you feel if you’re not happy. Your happiness lies in your hands. You can’t rely on a man to make you happy or complete you. That starts with you.” ― Taraji P. Henson
6. Challenge yourself.
“I’m always interested in challenging myself and pushing, and seeing how far I can go.” ― Taraji P. Henson
7. Don’t allow the fears of others to hold you back.
“If you listen to people and you allow people to project their fears onto you, you won’t live.” ― Taraji P. Henson
8. You’re never too old to follow your dreams.
“I didn’t hear the naysayers when they were like, ‘You’re too old to go to California, if you don’t hit by 25, you’re not going to make it.’ I will be 46 this year. I am just touching the surface. I am just getting started.” ― Taraji P. Henson
9. Don’t let naysayers keep you from achieving your goals.
“What if I believed those people who told me that when I became pregnant in college that I wouldn’t finish? I walked across that stage with my son on my hip and I collected my degree.” ― Taraji P. Henson
10. Passion fuels dreams.
“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had a passion, I had a dream and I [dove] in and I went for my dream.”― Taraji P. Henson
11. Don’t dim your light for others.
“Don’t you ever dim your light to make someone else feel comfortable. God gave you that light to share with the world. If someone can’t take your brightness, politely hand them a pair of fabulous shades, and wish them well on their journey. More importantly, pray that they tap into the light God gave them.”― Taraji P. Henson
12. Be the change.
“I felt compelled to jump into action. You know they say it’s easy to sit around and complain, but you have to be the change you want to see.”― Taraji P. Henson
13. The effect we have on others is valuable.
“What gives me the greatest satisfaction is the number of people I can affect with my gift, with what I do. That’s the most important thing to me, more important than any trophy or award.” ― Taraji P. Henson
14. Heartbreak reveals your inner strength.
“My first big heartbreak proved to me that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” ― Taraji P. Henson
15. Be mindful that everyone is facing something, even if you don’t see it.
“Every human walks around with a certain kind of sadness. They may not wear it on their sleeves, but it’s there if you look deep.” ― Taraji P. Henson
16. Share your blessings with the world.
“My father always told me, ‘If you are blessed, then it’s your job to go out to the world and bless someone else.’ If I have everything, what is everything if I can’t share it? People make the world go ’round. We need each other.” ― Taraji P. Henson
17. God is important in our lives.
“I’m nothing without God.” ― Taraji P. Henson
18. Laugh at yourself.
“I try and look at myself as a comedian. I laugh at myself a lot and I don’t take myself too personally and I will beat you to the punch about myself before you can.” ― Taraji P. Henson
19. Money does not make you happy.
“Money doesn’t make it all go away. Money fixes nothing. I know people who are filthy rich, and who are the most miserable people in the world.” ― Taraji P. Henson
20. In relationships, experiences matter more than age.
“I know what I want. He knows what he wants. Age really doesn’t matter. It’s experiences, in life that will age you.” ― Taraji P. Henson
21. Your body is perfectly imperfect.
“Body diversity, it’s very important, because that’s where shame comes in. That’s where you feel like, ‘Well, I don’t fit because I look a certain way. Well, you look a certain way because God made you and you’re perfect,” ― Taraji P. Henson
22. Fashion is not worth the lives of animals.
“I don’t think a living being should suffer for the sake of fashion, period. End of story. You don’t have to kill an animal just because you want to be hot and fly.” ― Taraji P. Henson
23. Single moms deserve just as much understanding as married moms.
“The grace and understanding for the familial choices of married women is a given. The humanity of single moms comes with asterisks, ridicule, and judgmental questions.” ― Taraji P. Henson
24. Don’t just fall in love with chemistry.
“When I meet a person and that chemistry is there, I cannot hide the electricity. I need to learn more about him, and once I feel safe, I’m gone, I’m in love, and I give it my all!”― Taraji P. Henson
25. Don’t be scared to get back up after you fall.
“No matter how often you fall from grace, what matters most is how many times you get up.”― Taraji P. Henson