That Hotep Over There

So I preface this with… if you don’t do any of these things, this IS NOT about you. But be clear, I speak for more than just myself. Trust and believe I do. And what will not happen on my watch is that Black women’s experiences will be negated or silenced because you read about your raggedy self, you take offense, and in the name of Black solidarity or Black love you dare try to bully us out of our opinion. It won’t work. We are sick of the self righteous and sanctimonious Black dudes who think it’s their place to put us in our place, but simultaneously preach Black love and solidarity. The hoteps are amongst us. But you can’t have it both ways.

If, however, you want to learn, grow, be better, or just understand us with more clarity… carry on.

I’m a believer that often people can better see through example, they can place themselves in the proverbial shoes of the actor to see the error of their ways. Let’s go with that.

So Black women are notoriously and consistently going to bat for Black men… and many times we get the short end of the support stick in return. We aren’t built up in the way we lay down our loyalty, lives, name, and livelihood for Black men, brick by brick. We sing their praises. We keep ten toes down to fight for and with them. We say their names louder and with more fight in our breath than we hear the names of our fallen sisters. Black Lives Matter, founded by three Black women, is often used in exclusion of the Black women who have been soldiers in the front lines. We can’t continue to love Black men unconditionally when we can’t even feel a portion of empathy or compassion back. We can’t continue to break our backs carrying the stronger of us upon it… we aren’t your mule.

So here are our demands.

1. Dead the Patriarchy

So Cardi B and Megan The Stallion were the talk of the Town of Internet, USA when they released WAP. And while White conservatives blamed their absent fathers… tell that to Megan The Stallion’s very present father… there were Black men, some that I know personally, actually questioning a Black woman’s right to be respected and simultaneously discussing or rapping about her own body parts and their fabulousness.

Similarly, Cee Lo Green stayed in an interview with Far Out magazine, “Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all. It comes at what cost?” This the same guy who rapped, “I’d have my way with what’s left of the will of her. Cosmopolitans, and cocaine, and an occasional pill in her.” So it’s okay for him to rap about taking control of a woman and her parts under the influence, old Bill Cosby ass lyrics, but not okay for a woman to talk about her own parts of her own free, and sober, will? GTFOH.

So understand, patriarchy like country clubs was not meant for y’all. You weren’t included in the planning meetings. They don’t want you there… but they want women there even less. White men despise White women. Sexism has always been more universally pervasive than racism. The same way he controlled and commanded slaves, he controlled and commanded his own wife. He doesn’t want her there, just in his bedroom. But your Black ass ain’t wanted either… and when he sees you coming, he wants to channel Deborah Cox…”HOW! DID! YOU! GET HERE!” So stop.

You got to vote, legally and on paper anyway, before women were even imagined worthy… including White women. You! But be clear, both of us were sitting at home a long time, together, on Election Day! You weren’t included, and there are a lot of alt-Rights, skinheads, KKK members who still are determined to put us both back in chains, together. So act like you know.

You say you have reclaimed the word nigga well we are reclaiming our sexuality…. that they told us either didn’t exist or was too pervasive for our own good. But guess who couldn’t stay out of the WAP… BOFAYALL! They took it and it was given to you out of love and affection and desire… but you bought into that weaker sex bullshit and thought you owned us and the coochie. We own it. Understand. And we know ya’ll want it more than air and water. But you got a choice to make. You wanna get in here or the country club!? Your choice. But keep talking all that nonsense and you’ll be locked out of both.

We deserve respect PERIOD, to own and control our own sexuality by our own terms, and to be treated like human beings. You can dead that patriarchal judgement, because we might welcome you back , the patriarchy never let you in to begin with.

2. Do unto Us as we Do unto You

Every single one of my friends has been duped, ensnared, mistreated, or otherwise wronged by a Black man at some point in their lives… daddy, uncle, cousin, husband, boyfriend, whoever. Yet, yet, AND YET… we might bring a few pieces of luggage, but we chose you again…not HIM personally, but YOU as a collective. Very few Black women I know only date exclusively non-Black men… very very few. So if we can choose you as an independent person, often in the face of uncertainty, surely you can do the same.

Case in point, article after article negated Kamala Harris’s record as a district attorney and Attorney General. So when she was named Joe Biden’s running mate she was met with great vitriol about her record against “Black men” by Black men. Y’all got your info from articles written by the uninformed and biased. She couldn’t even get the benefit of the doubt, she was just guilty. But based on WRONG information. So take, for example, the article by Blake Simons of the Hella Black Podcast on AfroPunk, “Kamala Harris has been Tough in Black people, not Crime.” In it he references her failure to legalize marijuana, citing the high incarceration rate of Black people for marijuana related crimes. In reality while she did prosecute many marijuana related cases, which was her JOB, she rarely sought convictions for low level possession or jail time for any marijuana related convictions. These are the facts. His are the claims made by White conservative media that he latched into. Is she as a Black woman not worthy of your responsibility to independent research? He also claims she advocated for the death penalty in the case of Kevin Cooper and rejected his DNA evidence. Again, not true. There is no case where Kamala Harris can be shown to have advocated for the death penalty. The rejection of the DNA evidence was done by her office, as there are many prosecutors who work there, not her personally. And that rejection was not based on supporting his conviction, but because on appeal he had failed to bring up the evidence in a lower court… so the evidence was not admissible. If we are going to talk about it, let’s talk facts and not just regurgitate articles typically written by people that hate Black women… unless you too hate Black women. And if that is true, stop tryna get at us.

As a Black man with a platform, DO BETTER by Black women. Afropunk gets about 170,000 site visits a month, so it’s safe to say this article was likely read by thousands of people. It’s a website specifically geared towards telling the stories of and changing the narrative of Black people. So to use this forum to sabotage and spread falsehoods about a Black woman is heinous and irresponsible. And WE DON’T DO THAT TO YOU. Yes, Black women demand your respect and hold you accountable for your shit. Yep. Yes, Black women call out predatory Black men, famous or not, because they have abused and mistreated us and women. Yep, and we will continue to. Even then, many of us still stand by you. Black women defended Bill Cosby until he couldn’t be defended anymore. That was by his doing not ours. But that level of honesty should not beget blatant lies. We hold y’all up. Hold us up.

3. Be DEDICATED to Seeing Us Win

So example number three is on some straight Judas shit! Don’t bite me and call it a kiss.

So Master P’s brother Corey Miller (C-Murder) was convicted of second degree murder of a teen at a club in 2009. In true Kardashian fashion, Kim K tweeted that she was joining forces with R&B singer and Miller’s ex, Monica, to help free him from prison. She’s been credited with getting Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson freed from life sentences in prison. Sideye number one.

I saw a plethora of brother’s big upping her like she was really doing anything more than self promotion to get her law degree without going to law school, buying her way into the California state bar. The truth is the real WORK being done is by a team of Black women lawyers, Brittany Barnett, MiAngel Cody, and Topeka Sam, who have been dedicated to prison reform for years. While I do give credit to Kim K for helping these Black people pay for these lawyers and other legal fees, let’s not crown her as some prison reform activist. She is not. Credit belongs not to the figurehead but the people responsible for doing the real work, hidden from view, and not getting the credit they deserve. Her big ass, Black husband, and families’ medley of biracial kids by Black wealthy and talented men don’t make her down. She’d swallow the devil whole to be down. She’s a culture vulture… taking advantage and appropriating of the work, style, vernacular, and culture of Black people without paying us due homage and appreciation. Bantu knots and cornrows don’t make her honorary. She doesn’t really want this life… she wants the grillz but not the ills.

So don’t do that. Don’t Stan for her like she’s single handedly gonna get Corey Miller out of jail, like she single handedly did for Cyntoia Brown and Alice Johnson. Sideeye number two. She didn’t spin the gold, we did. Black women. If you must do that, then don’t expect us to be your loyal sidekick. Cuz we ain’t Robin, we are Wonder Women, the Dora Milaje, Catwoman, Storm, the Powderpuff Girls too… we superheroes out here saving lives and souls. We choose you, but we don’t need you if you aren’t gonna ride for and acknowledge us as the magical beings that we are. And we most certainly won’t be pushed aside for you to worship at the alter of lopsided ass and cultural exploitation without giving us our due.

So give us our due. EVERY TIME dammit!!!!!! Cuz we ride for you til the wheels fall off.

4. Fix Yourself

I shouldn’t have to suffer through your uncertainty, inconsistency, infidelity, abuse, or mistreatment, lack of personal responsibility, or misplaced self righteousness because I’m available. Drop that off at the therapists, cuz I don’t want it. Sure, I’m willing to help you across some reasonable crossroads, but I’m not bearing your cross. It’s not mine to carry… I’ve had to carry my own.

I’m not gonna be the Ciara to your Future, cuz I know Russell is out there. I won’t tolerate the immature playboy Jay-Z, I’m gonna call you out and demand the grown up Shaun Carter. I am not interested in inundating your unhealthy Richard Pryor foolishness into my Pam Grier goddess body. I also an not interested in your so woke you asleep Dr. Umar Johnson, Sheharazad Ali ‘How to control Black women for the culture’ bullshit. I shouldn’t have to suffer first to get some promise of the best of you later. Be your best self in that moment, the moment you walk up to me… or keep walking past me. I’m not interested. Your raggedy attempts at love are not welcomed. Bring me what I’m worth… the first time. I’ll ride, but I’m not dying… you should come with automatic seatbelts so I’m safe the minute I sit down. That’s it. That’s all.

I’m not your project or your savior. I can’t be bullied into Kente clothed submission or abused into Stockholm Syndrome. I deserve a good man ready to love me properly and completely, consistently and without limits from the very beginning. The idea that I must be tweaked to your specifications or tested to see how much I can take in the name of love is some psychotic thriller type script that Black women are disinterested in. If she does accept that and seem to like it, be careful, she’s likely not well either. Y’all should both seek counseling. But in general, we have come too far to be willing to put up with your toxic masculinity dressed up as a concerned and loving mate. Come correct or not at all!

Again, if this doesn’t apply to you, it’s just information. But if it does, do better! And when you open your mouth to speak on or to Black women, do so with our due respect. You understand? Otherwise, be ready to get exposed, cuz the cat most definitely got your tongue and she’s exposing all oppression… all of it!

A Stale Mate

Do you throw milk away on the date on the carton. What’s the difference between the sell by date and an expiration date? If you continue to drink the milk, at what point will it make you sick? Do you wait until it stinks? In my experience, we don’t fuck with the milk past the date on the carton, regardless of whether it says sell by or use by. Why wait until it’s spoiled to find out…

So why do we keep people around longer than they are needed and useful? Why do we ignore the expiration dates on our relationships, especially those that are romantic in nature? Why do we wait until people literally stink up our lives, make us emotionally and spiritually sick, before we walk away?

People are complex organisms… our brains, our mental center, and our “heart” or more appropriately our souls, our spiritual center, are both very much guided by our emotions. We may KNOW something is the right choice but not FEEL like it is, and be at a standstill. Our mind and our soul might be delivering the same message, but our bodies start to physically long for what it is used to receiving from a mate, their touch or just presence. We have physical reactions based on our emotional experiences. We cry, we tremble, we feel physical pain and anguish… at the mere thought of letting them go. Like the milk, we don’t want to waste… money or time. But the cost of milk versus the cost of letting don’t compare to the cost of getting physically sick or being emotionally scarred and abused. Expiration dates aren’t written on people like milk, but yet we still know when that time has come. The trick is in letting go.

I once spent years, not consecutively, but years nonetheless, trying to make a relationship work, with this man. We looked good together, we were both successful, we seemed a good match. Yet, no matter how good things would be going, we’d come to a point where he would become what I later realized was emotionally abusive. As good of a match as we seemed to make in paper, he was severely insecure about my friendships, professional success, position, and intelligence. Years would go by and we would run into each other and fall back into old ways, spending time together. Yet the last time, once I was aware fully of what was happening, I no longer needed explanations, closure, or anything but to shelve his ass into someone else’s pantry. He was not healthy for me, he was past his expiration, and was spoiled AF. He probably had mold spores by this point. It was a wrap. Unlike anytime before, I had done the changing. I was so protective of my own peace and my self that I would not allow any stale mate to position himself on my already full plate. I need nourishment, and my food can touch. I didn’t need him ruining or taking any valuable time from the other parts of my life.

We often hold on to people in fear of them leaving an empty space we believe we might never refill. But trust me, other people who are looking for the type of relationship you have to offer are always present. You just have to be as well. Removing the unnecessary will make room for others. The act of being able to remove those who do you no good is not possible until you take inventory of what you allow to sit on your shelves, waiting to be picked up again, and purge everything that is not in service of making you better. It’s much easier to type it than to do it, but it can be done. If you have a new box of Crunch Berries and you both are calling each other’s names, but you still have spoiled milk in the fridge, you’ll never answer the call. That same carton of spoiled milk will flash in ur mind when you are grocery shopping, making you believe you don’t need a new fresh carton. It’ll have you dreaming of cookies and milk… but in reality it’s no cookies and shit for you. Get rid of everything that holds you back… spoiled milk and stale men, moldy bread and broads doing the most. It is easy, you just close that space in your life. Bust a MFin move!

We make excuses for people and our own behavior that keeps us locked in places not meant for us. In love relationships, uncertainty is always there. When we see someone as long term, and the terms don’t meet our expectations, the first time, we tend to make excuses for folks. Yet we carry that little bit of heartbreak through the span of the relationship until it has reached a point of no return💔. Then we reside in that heartbreak for months and years, never standing up and moving out of the muck to fresh ground. That first disrespectful comment will likely be followed by another. That first push or balled up fist will definitely be followed by another. That first other woman may either stay or go away when the newer one appears. Continuing in it is a choice. Letting go is a choice. We can still validate our feelings of disappointment, upset, heartbreak and simultaneously free ourselves from people who mean us no good, who won’t protect us, and who harm us mind, body, and soul. But you can also walk away the first time. They were ripe for the tossing at that point.

I don’t know much. But I’m sure that love is kind and patient. It’s not abusive, inconsistent, disrespectful, hateful, chaotic, or ever ever unsafe. It won’t play a hoax on your soul, trick your mind, or cause your body trauma. It won’t make you sick, and it’s not stale and definitely not spoiled. Love is always fresh and nourishing. Get you sum! And cut that zero…

Just Show Your Love

I be your Knower, you be my Wiz
I’m your Mister, you my Mrs.
With hugs and kisses
Valentine cards and birthday wishes…Please
Be on another level of planning, of understanding
The bond between man and woman, and child
The highest elevation, cuz we above
All that romance crap, just show your love
You’re all I need” -Method Man

Once some guy, with great intentions, bought me one of those 7 Mile and the Southfield Freeway clear heart balloons with a bear inside, surrounded by stale chocolates and Reese’s cups. I remember looking at it like… oh, wow, thanks. As he was grinning ear to ear like he had just hit the gift giving jackpot. I recall the bear’s eye was sitting at the bottom of the balloon rolling from side to side. I was that sad little eye in that moment, just rolling about aimlessly trying to find my way out of captivity that I shared with regret, the promise of really bad gifts, and a lifetime of dusting teddy bears with runaway eyes. I vowed that would not be my life.

Most important, gifts are not my love language, so while I understand that may have been his thing, it wasn’t mine. I also realized, when I expressed my thoughts to my friends, that people are wayyyyyy more romantic than realistic in their standards and expectations about relationships. I personally don’t care about candy and shit on Valentine’s Day, or the day at all. We put this pressure on ourselves and others to show love in ways that don’t register as such to the receiver. Moreover, we give in to these ideas because it is what other people think is acceptable, sweet, romantic, and thoughtful… and we adopt that view. Those folks selling cellophane wrapped love are not there for the true gift giver, the guy or girl whose guy or girl is going to squeal with delight. They are for the guy who knows that shit is ugly but doesn’t yet know if you do or not.

You wanna do something that’s gonna make her smile? You want to show your love… Be her knower.

Since I’m repping Black History Month all 29 days of February 2020 and Black History every 365 days I’m granted, Black Love is the highest form of Understanding that Black people can attain and aspire to. Knowledge according to Supreme Mathematics is to know, listen, and observe. The purpose of Supreme Mathematics is to give us a framework for discovering who we are in the universe. Before we can know and learn anything else we must first know and see the divinity in ourselves.

Only one who knows who he is can fully learn (knowledge), accept (wisdom), and love (understanding) who I am. Once he can explain to me who he is, what pleases him, his desires, his wants, his needs, his passion, and his purpose… he can absorb mine. Receiving gifts may be how he feels love, but other than a birthday gift, flowers from time to time, and maybe that pair of Js I’ve been eyeing, they just don’t equate to love for me. So he will be able to communicate that to me, and then both hear and listen that it’s not for me. He won’t attempt to make his love language mine so it’s easier for him to remember and process, but will want to have full understanding of who I am, what pleases me, my desires, wants, needs, passion , and purpose.

This shit is so simple. It will save you money buying two dozen red roses when she likes sunflowers only in June, that pair of $800 Louboutins when she only wears flats, or tickets for him to see Nas when he wanted to see Kenny Chesney. We shouldn’t be attempting to love our partners in the ways we want, but in the ways they best receive our love. Sure, we can sprinkle in some surprises and buy a gift when he really prefers Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch, but we first must make sure we are giving what is needed, not just what we want to give. That’s wack.

Stick with your girl, I got that M-E-T-H-O-D, man!

I’ll be your wisdom. I will help you make good decisions and process that knowledge, to a level of elevation where a whole lot of real has splashes of well placed romance… keep the card, give me the hugs and kisses! Be my knower and everyday will be like Valentine’s Day.

But hey if your woman likes cellophane wrapped love, do your thing.

Proud does not equal Prejudiced

Only modern marriage has been concerned with the notion of romantic love as its impetus. Historically in America and currently in most countries and cultures, marriage serves a far greater purpose for continuing and maintaining legacy through progeny, wealth, and cultural traditions.

Anti-miscegenation laws in the US were enacted in many colonies in the early 1600s, forbidding marriage between African slaves and White colonists. Even as white men were allowed without punishment to engaged in most often forced sexual relationships with Black women, marriages between Black men and White women were strictly prohibited. Into the early 20th century many states enacted miscegenation laws also banning minority races from marrying each other . The Supreme Court ruling of Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) struck down those laws as unconstitutional. Many legal historians and sociologists have cited the threat of miscegenation as the primary reason for segregation laws from the 17th to early 20th century. These laws were used to set racial boundaries, control immigrants, and set up a racial hierarchy.

That’s racism at its finest!

Yesterday I read an article on Black Detour, You Can’t Be Pro-Black and in an Interracial Relationship, which stated emphatically, pausedwriter’sthatideabecauseisisn’tofmanyit’ssomereasonmentallyword

I’velongershe’sexperienceIlearned

Let’s

hundredslanguageslaveryhierarchymembers ofexistedcycledayJamestown

enactmentmiscegenationofcoloniesconcoctamiseducateofandthathumanthat’sandmuchature, just wild and reckless actions in the name of racial purity and the rejection of difference. Who are we if we take on these pathologies. I’m pro-Black but I will never be a a Black supremacist.

Let me assure you, I’m educated, middle class, I’ve succeeded in terms of the American Dream, but I am not immune to the system of racism and the virulent White supremacy that infects far too many of our White counterparts. I have been targeted because I’m smart, Black, and female by mediocre White men and scared but protected White women. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. My parents were big Afros with fist picks and Black Panther Party Black. I’m my Grandma played the numbers around the corner; dressing not stuffing; hair braided in the summertime; Pink Oil moisturizer; bamboo earrings; asymmetric hairstyle Black. My high school graduating class was 98% Black, and 98% college educated. I’m pro-Black; Black and Proud; Young, Gifted, and Black; Blackity Black. But I’ll never be a Black Supremacist.

Marriage is a civil institution, and in most of Western civilization it has morphed from a contractual agreement between families into a partnership agreement between individuals. In America, the results of immigration and war changed the priorities of marriage as different cultures brought their traditions and women went to work. The changing gender roles and integration put people in different spaces, so women no longer looked to men primarily to take care of them and people if different ethnic, racial, and cultural groups were in closer proximity to one another. As the climate changes, so does the landscape. Interracial marriages grew in number as the climate changed.

Love has always been the foundation of relationships between humans, how that love or genuine care for another began, was expressed, or was manifested has certainly changed over time. But love, at the end of the day, is the expression of understanding and acceptance of another in their truest form. Love is a choice to grow with that person and support them in finding their true self. It is void of all prejudice, celebrates difference, rejects ego, and is never an act of power or control. To declare that to be proud to be Black, and for the forward progress of the Black culture in America is impossible if you partner with someone other than a Black person is a statement of power, control, and supremacy. It seeks to keep us separate to advance some notion that the purer our Black, the better.

Purity is a racist notion. In every iteration of the word where race is concerned, pure equals White. There is no such thing as racial purity. Europeans have colonized almost every country in the world, and they have had jungle fever, rainforest fever, dessert fever, you name it, since the beginning of time. Miscegenation was began by White colonists and continued by White people until it was in their best interests to control it. They did so under the guise of purity… yet that didn’t keep Thomas out of Sally’s bloomers. So clearly, purity was just a decoy. Power and control were the captains of that ship… and the love boat simply doesn’t sail with them at the helm.

People should be free to love who they love. Regardless of how they arrive at that choice, it’s their choice to make. That choice does not alone take away someone’s pro-Black card. Any Black person about the forward progress of Black culture is going to marry someone who is also about the forward progress of Black culture. That is not an idea that is bound by race. Ultimately, anyone pro-Black should first and foremost be pro-humanity, pro-inclusion, pro-equity, and pro-diversity. Our allies, regardless of their heritage, share that with us. That is what we should desire to see in the image of our partners… real acceptance and understanding. Love.

We can uplift, support, and celebrate all of who we are, what we produce, and our talents and still be interested in being members of the larger society that respects all people, who they are, what they produce, and their talents. Period. White supremacists have tried to paint us throughout history as savages, ignorant, unable, uneducated, thugs, miscreants, nothing more. But we are as unique, creative, intelligent, talented, and different as humans are. Yet ancestrally we come from a more communal culture that is unlike the individualistic culture that is America. Our nature is different, and that is okay. It’s neither better or worse, right or wrong, it’s just different. If we start rejecting difference, we are no better than the supremacists our ancestors were tortured by.

If we attempt to police love by injecting it with prejudice, we are attempting to build our own systems of race based exclusion, in the image of White Supremacy. I refuse to believe that is who we are. That is not who I am. I once married, and if I marry again he’ll likely be a Black man. I could also meet and eventually marry a man of any race who was interested in all people being celebrated, respected, included, and considered not in spite of their differences but because of the richness and diversity of difference. But trust…

To simplify pro-Blackness as one thing is to simplify Black culture… it’s too colorful, creative, and beautiful to fit in a box. We can spread love, promote love of all colors, still and root for everybody Black… at the same damn time!

Love & Marriage… and Divorce

I happened upon this online “conversation” of sorts about divorce being people “giving up” while I was catching up on Black Love, the show on OWN. It was an odd coincidence that gave me pause. It’s really interesting to see the inside of people’s marriages and how they got there in a way you typically never do. More inspiring is the way they have dealt with the obstacles in their relationships. I listened as many of them considered divorce at one stage of another of their marriages. If you don’t know that struggle… consider yourself lucky but the consideration and decision are a lot of things, but giving up isn’t one of them.

First comes Love, the comes marriage… and sometimes later comes divorce … hopefully and prayerfully not.

Here’s the thing… if you have not experienced any one of the three, you really cannot with wisdom and full understanding, attest to what the experience is like. And while everyone’s love, marriage, and divorce is different, there are some commonalities that exist that really define the experience.

Love

Let’s first clear this up. Love is not defined by physical desire for another person. Period. Love is not made in words. Period.

Love is an action. It is defined by someone’s consideration of you, consistency with you, their constant intention to understand you and show their affection and connection in ways that you best receive them. We often use words such as respect, loyalty, communication, touch, quality time, sacrifice, etc. to describe the actions people who love you show you. But ultimately all those things are included in consideration, consistency, connection, and understanding.

Life is not sustained without relationships, which are not sustained without love. It is the most essential building block of life… water, food, shelter, clothing, and love. We romanticize love so much that we see it only as an emotional outpouring of devotion and adoration… and while that may be how some people demonstrate love, it’s far deeper than that. True love is a demonstration of acceptance and understanding. Accepting a person as they come and navigating growth and change with them even when it doesn’t reflect the growth or change you expected and seeking to fully understand who they are completely and loving them more because of it.

Marriage

Love alone does not sustain a marriage… let’s start there! A marriage is also not a continuation of a romantic relationship. It is a cleaving of two people into one. Now what that looks like and how it is done is completely up to those two people. Completely. The terms they set upon their marriage spiritually, financially, physically, sexually, and otherwise are based on their values, morals, traditions, and needs. But unless they are one, and operate as a unit, most marriages won’t work. Two people operating from two different spaces and places in time won’t be able to navigate the terrain that is life as a team. Life is a series of hills and valleys, mountains and deep sea dives that tend to happen for two people simultaneously or not at the worst times. Only a tandem working as a unit can pull one person from a lightening bolt onto the other’s rising cloud… or can ride that lightening bolt like surfers until they can jump off and pull their parachutes together.

For Black people especially, many of our ancestral notions and images of marriage and partnership were lost when we were brought to America. We have taken on very “American” individualistic views of not just marriage but success and life, while our ancestors were very much communal in nature. We were kept from the more European notions of intermarriage for wealth building that the wealthy American families practiced, and still practice, to maintain their position in society. African families and the community at large surrounded married couples with foundational support to help them navigate through changes and issues during the marriage. We lack that as a culture. I could see how the couples who had that kind of support flourished, not only on Black Love, but in real life.

But sometimes no matter how much they try, the pairing wasn’t right, they just don’t fit like puzzle pieces, so they never fully come together as one. Read it clear… despite trying their best.

Divorce

Listen… I know a lot of divorced men and women who would be in jail or dead if they were still married to their former spouses. When you label those people as quitters, you disrespect their journey and their choices. Until you walk a mile in my shoes…

Some people can forgive and move on from cheating, that doesn’t make them better it makes them different. Some people can recover from financial, emotional, or even physical abuse, but others cannot. I personally have a very deep rooted sense of loyalty that will not allow me to be unfaithful. I would rather tell you the entire truth, so you know that no matter if my personal decision hurts you, I would never deceive you or make choices for you. In fact, my main goal would be to make choices that bring joy to us both, but if I’m unable to do that, you can’t ever say I betrayed you. Ever. So of course, I cannot accept betrayal. You don’t get to tell me that a walking alway from betrayal makes me a quitter. To me, that’s much more than “for worse”… that’s a dealbreaker, a covenant cleaver, the dismantling of the unit.

The same is true for many people who experience trauma in the marriages: abuse, financial ruin, patriarchy, family and friend interference, infidelity… when the things that we enter the marriage valuing the most are broken and battered we have every right to evaluate whether this is where we belong. Life is too short to stay with someone who does not value and honor you, because even through tough times, those things should remain true. If marriage is the penthouse, the basement is friendship, and upon that foundation everything is built. When you are no longer friends… well, your whole house is bound to cave in. Deciding to take your half of the bricks and build again is not giving up. It’s starting anew.

“Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage.” One pulls, one rides, and we take turns pulling and riding, until the wheels fall off. Sometimes, the wheels fall off and we realize that horse was never the best to pull that carriage, so we make other plans. Other times, those bad boys fall off, we get more, and we keep pulling and riding, riding and pulling into the sunset. And just maybe, hopefully, we’ll inspire those carriage-less horses and horse-less carriages to pull and ride again someday!

Or maybe they’ll just say fuck this and get a car.

Love is a tremendous responsibility

Black love certainly is…

Almost a year ago I was scrolling through Facebook and heard the sweet voice attached to the even sweeter face of Nikki Giovanni talking to the almost melodic and lyrical voice of James Baldwin. They exchanged quips and banter, then went into a painfully deep conversation on the experience of love, relationships, and humanity for Black people living in a state of constant oppression, poverty, and despair. “Love is a tremendous responsibility,” Giovanni says softly at the end of the dialogue. Those words frame the conversation.

It’s not an afterthought but an affirmation. It’s the kind of thing that floats above whatever that is below which could drown it. It persists and moves about the world spreading its truth. Love is indeed a tremendous responsibility… especially for Black men and women. It’s a dance and a battle. A beauty and a beast.

If I love you, I can’t lie to you,” Baldwin says.

Of course, you can lie to me,” Giovanni replies. “Because what the hell do I care about the truth? I care if you’re there.

….

I have loved Black Men. It has been difficult. I’m sure I have been no cake walk. They have been inconsistent and inauthentic. I have been difficult and demanding. They have been selfish and soulless at times. I have been over emotional and overly harsh at others. It’s a dance I constantly turned in my dance card for… but rarely made it to the end without a stepped on toe or otherwise forced to take the lead to get us to the end of the song.

I have yet, until now, had someone who is willing to give of himself in such an emotionally free way that is not dictated by what he can give or not give, buy or not buy, but instead by giving me the one thing I cannot purchase with dollars, credit cards, or extra care bucks.

Himself.

His entire self. His time. His days. His moments. His emotion. His rationalizations. His conversation. His silence. His sleep. His awake. His starving. His full. His all the way up, and his down.

It’s not predicated on what he doesn’t have.

“…especially if I love you… I can’t come with nothing.“-Baldwin

But what he does.

Sometimes you’re not able to clothe your family. Do you then, also, deprive them of your manhood?” -Giovanni

Whether it’s money or power or strength or … whatever it is that he thinks or knows he’s lacking, he does not deprive me of his presence. He uses me as his inspiration and catalyst to dream bigger and better, while being and living beside me as my support. Rarely do I need money or things, but I always, as long as he is willing to be present, need him and his manhood and his presence. And he’s willing… his actions show me and his future talk and preparation assure me.

Love is a tremendous responsibility.

It means giving. Of yourself and to yourself simultaneously. Being aware that what a woman needs most is you, something you first have to value and see the importance of independent from your resources. Sure, we teach men that their job is to provide… but the idea that provision is only financial is steeped in bullshit.

You will work it out. Because you are intelligent enough. You are sensitive enough. You are man enough to work out a new system. … As long as the assumptions are the same, nothing will change. So, we must corner ourselves to make a new assumption.Giovanni

We understand the pressures Black men face. In many ways we are the recipient of that same vitriol with sexism as the root instead of fear. They are afraid of you and convince you that the closer you come to their patriarchal individualistic and capitalistic ideal the more of a man you will be… while simultaneously blocking you from that ideal. They think we lack the ability because we aren’t men first and then because we aren’t white. But they desire us so we don’t have to fight for our womanhood in quite the same way, at least not anymore.

But we will help you change that narrative… because you are men to us. Any woman that predicates Black manhood on financial ability is ignorant of history and our ancestral model. This model of female fragility that many Black women have attempted to adopt is synonymous with the white female ideal. This timid, soft, breakable, weak woman whose only strength is her beauty is a sexist trope that white women in the past and some in the present modeled. But that is not who we are. We aren’t mules, but we aren’t glass. As Sojourner said… “I could work as much and eat as much as a man… but ain’t I a woman?” We are capable of providing and helping to provide. We are a collective, you and me, not just two individuals trying to get over. That’s their way… not ours.

Love is a tremendous responsibility. It is especially true when you have to prove your worth, are told you have to work harder than everyone else to get scraps, and risk your dreams, health, body, time, patience, and goodness to get to these unreachable and unnecessary ideals. But we have to change the narrative together.

If a man comes home, and he’s in a situation he cannot control, it’s got to come out somewhere. They got you by the neck and by the balls, and it has to come out. It comes out with the person you are closest to.” -Baldwin

You grin at him all day long. You come home and I catch hell. Because I love you, I get least of you. I get the very minimum. ” -Giovanni

A man is not void of value because he doesn’t have or because he does have according to the American ideal… he’s valuable because he has and gives of himself. He’s valuable because he gives himself to those that love him, and saves the best parts of himself for them. He can do it, it just takes a change of mindset. That’s the narrative we should push. We have everything we need to excel, and we can do so in this landscape, with these rules, with our own ideals, traditions, and ancestry intact. We first have to love ourselves enough to believe that, then be present and open enough with each other to share ourselves and create a collective partnership. From that, there is nothing we cannot create.

We all we got! Love responsibly!

How to Write a Love Letter

I’ve heard it many times before, but yours sounds different, feels especial-ly different. It dances off of your tongue different. It echoes in a room full of furniture and tchotchkes. It melts in the cold and freezes in the heat. It sends me swingin’… takes me riding in rocket and gives me a star. E-ver-y time.

You Love Me.

….

The point of it all … is that love finds you perfectly when you are ready to accept the heart that dispenses it to you in perfect measure. When you release all those past traumas and painful experiences, heal from them, and open yourself up to the person who, like you, introduces you to your best self. The person who, like you, dedicates themselves to helping you realize all your wildest dreams. The person who, like you, makes everything okay the minute they step into the room, smile, and out stretch their arms to you. There is no more perfect place. No more perfect union of souls.

I’m a movement by myself..

Yes, you love me different… better, the best. You love me whole heartedly, not because of what I can do for you but how I make you feel. How I follow your lead in sync and rhythm, trusting you fully, showing you that I believe in us because I believe in you. You love me because we fit. You love me because … because you just do. Without conditions or doubts. Just completely. From the first day we met to this moment.

“… but I’m a force when we’re together.”

I write about many things…and I never imagined I’d be inspired or bold enough to write about any parts of my personal life in such detail. But I can’t continue to write about things that are important to me and not share how I feel about you.

You make me better.” -Neyo Make Me Better

You have shown me very simply that a partnership doesn’t have to be contentious or complicated, but it can be easy and breezy and beautiful- ly different. You have shown me that anyone who truly loves you does so peacefully and purposefully. I never have to question where we stand, how you feel, or what you want. You know just how to ensure, that I’m assured of where we are and where we’re going. And I am. E-ver-y time. I never have chaos with you. If I need, you want to listen and comply. If you need, you tell me with tenderness and compassion. Give me some things to think about…

I had to learn to trust myself. To release any fears and worries, forget those toxic lessons, and embrace what I know to be true. To turn your back on knowledge that is staring you in the face is not wise and is not love. When I finally released myself from the questionable, certainty was staring me in the face. Ready and unflinching. Certainty was you. How amazing to be chosen without reservation or hesitation. E-ver-y time.

We form a perfect circle of understanding… we’re on another level!

You ignite me. You co-write me. You love me.” -Jill Scott, Lyzel in E Flat

Actuarial Science

I was born underwater, with three dollars, and six dimes…yea you may laugh, cause you did not do your math…” -Erykah Badu

I’m a pretty smart chickadee… but I learn something every day, at least I hope to. Recently, I got some knowledge that brought me full circle. The kind of shit that wows you and blows up everything you thought you knew about some of your fundamentals … mine being love, humanity, spirituality, and culture. It was a combination of thoughts I’d had, beliefs I had acquired, but in one coherent ideaology, wrapped up into one digestible morsel. A Hershey’s kiss of sorts. The God candy.

I’m your mister, you my misses with hugs and kisses -Method Man, You’re All I Need

Knowledge

So what I seek to do is share with y’all the things I learn. I believe in God. I’m a student of spirituality, a deist. I am open minded enough to know that if God created humans, nature, and the universe, we can find God in everyone and everywhere. I believe most in love and in balance. So when I’m upset, angry, disappointed, whatever… I try to get in balance by understanding where I am versus where I need to be to receive all of the gifts God has for me. As the author of my favorite book of all time, The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo writes, “When you want something all of the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”

I won’t get into a whole discussion in religion, but I have never been much into anything that is abstract. I know the first chicken didn’t make itself, nor did the first tree. So clearly some power much greater than me exists. As long as we have that general idea in common I’m gonna rock with you. Cuz people who believe in nothing, they scare me. But religion as a construct just seeks to control our thoughts and actions as does anything that separates us into groups.

Part of my continuing education is studying those things that our most common ideologies tell us are off limits. Astrology, numerology, Africa as the birthplace of civilization, Black people being amazing… that type shit. In numerology, 7 is the number of completion and perfection. It is made up of the number 3 which is the number of harmony (3 states of matter, 3 types of particles, 3 types of charges, 3 dimensions of space and time), and the number 4 which is the number of justice and order (four points, four winds, four phases of the moon, four seasons, and four parts of the soul). Seven is also the number of nature.

  • 7 continents
  • 7 days of the week
  • 7 species of fruit
  • 7 oceans
  • 7 vertebrae in the neck
  • 7 layers of skin
  • 7 colors in a rainbow
  • 7 notes of sound
  • 7 directions
  • 7 holes in your head
  • 7 dimensions of a cube
  • 7 body parts on a man
  • 7 erogenous zones on woman
  • 7 year cycle of economics
  • 7 human needs
  • 7 attributes of physicality
  • 7 visual celestial objects
  • 7 stars make up the Big Dipper
  • 7 days in each part of normal menstrual cycle

The God Number.

Wisdom

Full circle moment…I was talking to my brother about music, Wu Tang and New York rapper’s in particular and how he’s begun listening with the 120 Lessons in mind. He hands me a text. It is the handbook for the Five Percent Nation, Supreme 120 Lessons: For the Nation of Gods and Earths. He says to me, After reading this, I hear it with new ears. The shit sounds different.

Wu-Tang you say? I heard the Shaolin call ringing in my ears… suuuuuu.

Familiar only in passing with the Five Percenters, I read the short book sitting there, and immediately felt like I had just found myself between its pages. The crux of the text being a Black people’s guide to gain full Understanding of the Truth about who we are to become a member of the 5% of the population with freedom of mind. Religion, Education, Politics, Race Theory, Wealth… all of it a means of controlling the narrative to tell you who you are or should be, instead of giving you the freedom to discover yourself.

Deep.

This is done by implementing the fundamentals of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to strengthen yourself, your family, and your community to bring you closer to enlightenment.

1. Knowledge 
Knowledge is the accumulation of facts thru observing, learning, and respecting. Knowledge is the foundation of all in existence, for it must be “known” in order to make it manifest.  1 or Knowledge is also Man.

2.  Wisdom 
Wisdom is Knowledge acted upon. Wisdom is Water, or the vital building block of life. 2 or Wisdom is also Woman.

3.  Understanding 
Understanding is the addition of Knowledge & Wisdom(1+2=3), complete comprehension. 3 or Understandingis also Child. The highest form of Understanding is Love. Understanding is built from Knowledge first-and-foremost.

4. Culture Culture and/or Freedom 
Culture is a way of life practiced. It can also be Freedom in certain contexts, because the greater yourKnowledge-Wisdom-&-Understanding the closer your Culture will be to True-Freedom. Your Understanding stems from your Knowledge (1+3=4)

5. Power is gained through wisdom and understanding (2+3=5)

6. Equality gained through collective understand (3+3=6)

7. God
God is Perfection, the Supreme Being/Energy which is the origin of all the universe. G is also the seventh letter in the alphabet, God sees with the seven colours of the rainbow and hears with the seven notes on the musical scale. Love-Culture (3+4=7). The God Number.

8. Build/Destroy either you elevate or ruin your culture (4+4=8)

9. Born, as 9 gives birth to itself (9+9=18 (1+8=9));

0. Cypher, the Circle, 360 degrees (120 degrees of Knowledge, 120 degrees of Wisdom, 120 degrees of Understanding)

Stop for a second. Think of all the hip hop lyrics you know with these references:

We on another level of planning, of understanding/The bond between man and woman, and child/The highest elevation ’cause we above/ All that romance crap, just show your loveMethod Man

With knowledge of self, there’s nothing I can’t solve, at 360 degrees I revolve…”–Rakim “Move the Crowd”

The 10%ers promoting slander in the airtime. -Gangstarr, Above the Clouds

To manifest the fabric mathematic black be that of asiatic. –Poor Righteous Teachers

Can you imagine from in single idea everything appeared here. Understanding makes my truth crystal clear. -RZA “Impossible”

Understanding

The Five Percent Nation was founded in 1964 in Harlem, NY, right as hip hop was being birthed on the streets of the five Burroughs. The language of the genre had clearly developed, in part, from the 120 Lessons. The merging of the two worlds meant hip hop as a culture being a way of life for youth of the urban streets to gain an understanding of their whole self. Whoa… the “three dollars and six dimes” reference. Oh damn. 3 dollars (300) and six dimes (60)=360. We are born complete… made in Gods perfect image and his perfect love. Gods on Earth.

Shut up… I don’t wanna hear it. Yes, I just got that shit 20 years later.

You can still believe what you believe and find real value in enlightenment. If you live your life with the general premise that knowing who you are allows you to love yourself and others, you are living in God’s image. Enlightenment represents the trifecta of human intelligence, spirituality, and humanity. The God Body.

Anything that goes against love or leaves you feeling or projecting the antithesis of love means you aren’t putting what you know about yourself and your own power into practice. In other words you are failing to demonstrate wisdom. Only through the active giving and receiving of yourself to others can we gain more knowledge, God’s gift to us. Through knowledge we can overcome:

Insecurity … when you know who you are, you don’t doubt your worth or your place.

Jealousy… no one else’s worth or place threatens your own because you are clear about your value and where you belong.

Disappointment… what is for you will be yours, what is not for you, throws you off balance and leads to chaos. Understanding that you give up your own power when you neglect to be wise.

Hate… anyone who understands that the giving of love, and not the hoarding of things or money, is the way towards true wealth and the receipt of all the gifts God has for them, has no reason to not spread that love to everyone. Love always KO’s hate. Always.

Fear… the exact opposite of understanding. There is nothing to be scared of when you have love guiding you, God always leads us properly it is us who venture off course. A key ingredient in hate and insecurity is fear. It is through that fear that knowledge is withheld and manipulated by 10% of the world to control the 85%. The 5% of us who truly understand know false evidence can never truly be real, despite its appearance.

If we were made in his image/ Then call us by our names/ Most intellects do not believe in god/ But they fear us just the same. – Erykah Badu

🖐🏾

🎤

Science Dropped!

Then, Now and Later

Generational curses aren’t always what you think… sometimes they don’t look like curses, they look like choices, decisions, preferences, but really those choices, decisions, and preferences are steeped in toxicity, and it takes a long time and purposeful healing to break free of that shit. But it’s real and it’s heavy, and it’s necessary to pull those out at the roots and start all over again with seeds of awareness and positivity.

This is my story… but I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit so read this with that level of understanding. Sensitive = savage.

….

If you have read anything I write, you kinda know my background, but in case you don’t here is a summary. I’m Black and educated and dope, and my family is a daugeurrotype (read: one of a kind, fragile, phenomenal in many respects) picture of Black American historical excellence. They are a mix of everything Black culture offers, but also carry remnants of the very real difficulty Black people have faced emotionally and relationally being steeped in all that is america. We have been trapped in familial and communal belief that we aren’t good enough or deserve less than abundance.

My name isn’t Nova Bordelon so I’m not about to tell my family secrets, but like every family, some sections of my family quilt are too bound together with threads of love, pain, deceit, lies, and truths, told and untold. But here is the crux of the generational curse I see most prevalently reflected in my own life …

My mother and father divorced when I was young, and I didn’t have a relationship with him. She often said he was a great guy but not a good husband or father. Trust that he didn’t have the best example… but that’s another curse for another time. However from all the stories I heard, they clearly married out of love, there was just a general lack of responsibility on his part. All spices and sugar. And in complete juxtaposition to the marriage of my grandparents, both sets, that appeared to me more for stability than love. I knew more of my mother’s parents, but the narrative seemed to be the same. One party was literally THE PARTY🎉 , the other the calm. All spice and salt, low on the sugar.

Yet I’m like berere, the Ethiopian spice.

I’m heavy on the spice, yet sweet and salty enough, for someone with the proper palate to need nothing else to flavor the dish. A salted candle apple of sorts. I need a similar mixture, less spicy though, to balance me out.

I have struggled with the love v. stability dynamic and how much of each I need. Most of the men I have found myself most attracted to, were not the most stable… they had more creative and artistic minds that were always moving but rarely stopping to put pen to paper, but they adored me. Who doesn’t want to be adored?!? The men that were stable that I dated, in retrospect, were settlements. Nothing against them, but I’ve got a three finger ring next to my pearls. I’m more Now and Later than chocolate truffle arm candy. These guys seemed to want someone more June Cleaver than Lucy Ricardo… and you know I’m all Lucy. Yet, the older I got, the more it seemed that stable men…well, stay…and love, real love, with it’s dips and waves, hills and valleys is unpredictable and inconsistent.

I can recall bringing my younger boyfriends around my family, and the more judgmental and righteous relatives would question them… What do your parents do? What are your plans? How do you plan to take care of her while she goes to school? Don’t you think she’ll outgrow you? Those guys would not hesitate to answer… and my mother, would curse my family to hell and back cuz she didn’t play that holier than thou high brow shit. But for me, I had every plan to be able to take care of myself, and saw myself as a rib and not them as a backbone. Yet somehow, when it came time to chose when it mattered, those questions popped back into my head. How does he plan to take care of you? What is his plan?

You see, the generational curse I was fighting was a lack of emotional intelligence, particularly self-awareness and as a result, empathy.

The five characteristics of emotional intelligence are self-regulation, motivation, social skills, and self-awareness and empathy. Self-awareness is simply the ability to identify and monitor one’s emotions, needs, and wants and perceive how they affect others. Empathy is the ability to understand, be interested in, and anticipate how others feel. They go hand in hand, you can’t have empathy without self-awareness. In my family dynamic, I saw women who knowingly settled for mistreatment in exchange for stability because they were completely unaware of their own needs or women who knowingly settled for stability and then mistreated the men that took care of them, in an act void of empathy. I never was aware of how those scenes and that history played out in my head… until recently.

I married for stability. Bad idea. He wasn’t stable in the ways I needed and we simply weren’t very compatible. I thought more stable would provide me with the consistency I desired, so post marriage that was the formula. I have a successful career, and I’m financially stable on my own, and I’d witnessed the dynamic of the woman making more money and how that affected the relationship. But that didn’t work either. I found myself in relationships where I was being asked or expected to be less of myself to accommodate some man’s inability to lead. That’s not the formula AT ALL.

Then, I recall seeing this image that I saved…

It was a moment in which that last missing piece of self-awareness was placed in the puzzle. When you love yourself, you create the spaces for yourself to be fully who you are, and to realize your ultimate purpose. Similarly, when you love someone, I learned, you create the consistency and stability needed to sustain that relationship if it’s genuine and if you know how. Love is not fleeting, it’s forever changing. It bends instead of dips and has curves instead of valleys. Love is an action and an emotion, it is incapable of consistency or inconsistency. It was the men who were inconsistent, not their love or lack thereof. Perhaps they didn’t care to, I’d like to believe they didn’t know how to… but now I knew! And being self-aware made me much better able to consider how my uncertainty about what I wanted and needed caused some of the inconsistent actions on their parts. Key word: some.

So when I found myself falling for a man who had the dookie chain to my three finger ring and was the Mystery Mix to my Now and Later… I asked myself : How does he plan to take care of you? What is his plan? Now knowing what I needed to hear in return. (I’ll tell you what he said later.) It’s not financial or material, as long as he has the means to take care of himself and any responsibilities he has created or taken on. That’s simply not my personal need. I need the provision of space, time, freedom, and support for my creative mind to flourish and protection of my heart from deceit and irresponsibility. Period. Once I knew what I wanted, it made me equally prepared to consider someone else. It made me prepared to accept someone who wasn’t perhaps who other people thought I should consider, but who I knew would be best for me.

So when I inquired about Mystery Mix’s plans, he smiled and said to me…

“To help make your dreams reality.”

Now that’s the gotcha gotcha! Speak yo speech. Real words spoken by a real man. Words he saw posted on my Instagram about a year prior, but that actually made it more impressive. Way to shoot your shot! 🎯 Be prepared and purpose driven about your shit!

What is most important is that I can now teach and show those that come after me that we don’t have to pick between two incomplete emotional realities. We can have it all!

Curse broken. Blessing bestowed.

“I got that ‘Now’ and that ‘Later’
He gone eat through the paper” -Megan Thee Stallion

To all the boys I loved before…

“Ronnie, Bobby, Rickie, and Mike…”

Okay, so not them, but you surely didn’t think I was gonna give you real names right? Besides #NE4Life… all six or no mas, none of that RBRM foolishness.

Sorry, I got carried away… but back to the lecture at hand…

Nobody told us that little rock head boy we thought we were gonna one day make little rockhead kids with was not the one. Our Mother tolerated our “little friend” knowing full well he was likely the first or third in a long line of little, medium, and eventually big friends that would attempt to woo us into relationships that would end. Relationships that were supposed to end, for most of us who didn’t end up marrying our prom date. The end of those relationships, though devastating at the time, were actually the experiences that would one day lead us to the one. A series of dating couplets that would both get harder and easier, as we matured and hopefully gained needed wisdom. A journey, if you are anything like me, you could have done without were it not necessary to arrive at the grand finalé. In the words of the modern day I Dream of Jeannie, Ariana Grande, “Thank you, Next…”

I’m not talking about the love or lust or intense care for another person; the emotion of a relationship. We talk about that enough. Instead, I wanna talk just a bit about the experience of loving and losing… and still being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are beyond the age by which you THOUGHT you’d be happily forever betrothed.

Ronnie was your high school/college sweetheart. He was family, but he couldn’t handle your growth. You married Bobby. You divorced Bobby. Rickie was wonderful… at first. He treated you like a Queen…but he already had a Queen. Epic fail. Mike was familiar and comfortable, fun and spontaneous. But Mike was noncommittal. Those are not the kind of relationships God would prepare for us, no matter how deeply we feel for an individual. God commands the man who findeth a good thing to love her as God loves him… and that’s with unconditional, continuous, and dedicated commitment. You didn’t love to lose. You lost, to be loved. I’ll repeat it…You didn’t love to lose. You lost, to be loved.

All this time you thought you liked the members of the boy bands and really you needed a solo act. But you see, all of that was the set up YOU needed to get to your come up. That’s the thing with love & relationships at this age in this age, everyone is on social media with rings, white dresses, newborns, honeymoons, and #baegoals. So we tend to compare ourselves with those images… but that is their path, not yours. You couldn’t walk their path and get to your perfect destination. Instead, tis the season for realizing how much better you will be for the man God made for you now that the boys are…

So how do we really move past those encounters and see them as the very important opportunities to learn how to love and be loved, to communicate and comprehend, to partner with another to do life together? What you feel is a result of your experience. As relationships perish, remind yourself of the actual experience -the actions, promises, broken promises truths, untruths, consistency, and growth, or lack thereof. We can’t continue to sit only in the stew of our emotions and not be honest about what was really going on. I mean no matter how great Rickie seemed to treat you, he dishonored you, disrespected you, and lied to you… he had a whole wife for the love of all that is holy. He was an ass. Mourn him if you must, but mourn him in the way you would any donkey. Briefly.

After all, it is your reaction to those experiences that are the true hallmark of your readiness for the mate of your dreams. When we profess after a heart pause, that we don’t need a man… well, chances are you will be single until you reverse that mantra. Be clear, there is NOTHING wrong with being single. However, for humans, life is a series of relationships with other people, and most of us, if we are honest, want to spend part, if not all, of our adult lives living in tandem with another. We want the continuous support, companionship, and peace that having someone you care for deeply, and whose face you want to see, by our sides. So professing that we hate men… that’s not the jump off.

Being fearful or hesitant to open up to others is not the way to the light either. Instead, after we have given ourselves time and space to heal… from both our actions and theirs… we must open ourselves up and be receptive. We have to be available and show up in our availability. As much as we might like this scenario, Mr. Right is probably not going to ring your doorbell while you are binge watching Fuller House. OutKast put it best… you need to get up, get out, and get something. In this case, something might just be that human jungle gym of a chocolate drop you have been waiting for, that God planted in that space, place, and time… just for you boo.

Phone a friend. Eat some Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch. Have a good cry or two. Get a new hairstyle, exercise the pain away, and get extra fine… because God is trying to tell you something. He is the cutter of zeroes, and the force behind the hero that will come along, let you take your cape off, and get this excited when your fine ass walks into a room …

How does that feel?!???