Category: love

Scars & Secrets

Black children have a right to be heard, loved and believed.

In the raising of Black children, we often overlook the need to provide a place of comfort for them. We become concerned, consumed by protecting them from the evils of the world, the flesh and the devil outside the walls of our homes. However, in attempting to endow them with the strength to go and conquer, we forget they are subject to the same psyche assaults of anyone else–if not more. I cannot tell you how often I have been told during the course of this month, in dealing with this topic, this quote, “Black people don’t get depression.” When the countenance of a Black child isn’t perpetually happy, or easily dealt with, those issues are ignored because so much else is going on:  working, paying bills, raising children, adulting and trying to take care of ourselves. In the haze of trying to make it, things are missed–and what is missed? It’s often overheard at dinner tables, or kitchen phone conversation.

While we are or may be taught to ‘what happens in this house, stays in this house,’ in certain instances, family members vent to the willing listening of their family members about the issues facing the child or children–sadly, even in cases where the child may be struggling with an emotional issue- can be or is made fun of! It is not totally unorthodox for Black children to suffer from anxiety or depression or helplessness. Is it not fair to assume they  need care and sensitivity as well? And why are we so quick to not extend it to our children?

Providing a place for a Black child to be safe is paramount. However, there must be an willingness to provide that. In the world we decide to make for ourselves, in trying to make sure we are okay as parents and adults, in masking our own untreated traumas, we assume that as we got over our stuff with no help, these little people being our children should be able to as well!

Not so.

Trauma of any kind has to be dealt with, it doesn’t just get better. It can fester, morph and become something else all together different which may impede your ability to be sensitive trauma in people close to you–including your children. In that callous space, where you could attend to them, you shun them. In that shunning, we make our children less likely to come to us with matters that hurt or break their hearts because they don’t want to be made sport of.

In a world that wishes to devour black children, strip them of confidence, belittle them, hide their history from them so they may never know what heights they may reach, to have a safe space in their own home is phenomenal. The African-American community is the least likely to reach out for counseling services or mental health services. We make fun of people who do therapy or counseling services–we say ‘that’s what white folk do.’ This notion of trying to equip Black children for the reality outside of their homes, while not allowing them total personhood is monstrous on some level. A child that doesn’t feel safe at home, may never feel safe or wanted elsewhere.

Life is hard enough, and we all fight wars no one knows about. Sometimes its nice to be understood, listened to and not have your depression, bad break up, anxiety or ideations sniggled about over the cookout barbeques in the summer.

[images from Google]

Love From Mother Audre Lorde

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I became aware of the power of Audre Lorde in my mid-twenties. My mother was a huge fan of Maya Angelou, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. It was because of these voices, I was able to form a poetic roux. There was, is a power to her work that I envied. There is a rawness which I believe can only be mimicked, never recreated. With impersonation being the more sincere form of flattery, I indeed consider myself an fan of the oracle, Audre Lorde.

When I came across her quotes regarding self love and acceptance, I was unable to breathe. I was unable to breathe not because of the truth presented, but because of how relevant the truth it. This the quote seen at the beginning of this post.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”    

-Audre Lorde

 

There is an element to self-love, self-acceptance, that is radical. In the face of the world which desires to devour you, and all you offer or contain, being able to tell the person in your own mirror, “I love you” is powerful. Being able to honor all that you are, all you contribute is amazing. Being unafraid to continue loving that same person when the world tells you that is not good enough  is revolutionary.

From flaws, likes, eye color and the way you chew your gum, you are worthy of preservation. In the harsh realities that life brings, where it is easier to give up and change, rather than be content to be yourself, loving you, taking time for what you need, saying what you want  can be social defiance.

The act of being bold enough establish boundaries, wants, desires and dreams and be unapologetic about it?  This allows the world to know you are aware of its influence, and will be unchanged by it. Indeed, political warfare.

 

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Caring for yourself is not a catch all phrase for the elite unable to cope with life. It is not a phrase to make you believe your life is unmanageable. Self-care is what you do in order to make sure you are okay. It is what you do to take stock of the things that matter to you, and to maintain presence and acceptance of your own life. Self-love keeps your accountable for your actions, and free to forgive yourself for mistakes or inaction.

Intimate knowledge of self, is independent of Instagram followers, and blog subscriptions. Self-worth is independent of selfies. You determine your worth, and your power. Let no one tell you different.

This life is yours…be in love with you first. From that love, comes all others.

(Happy Valentine’s Day!)

If You Don’t Mind

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There is a power in being able to cherish yourself, in your entirety, and treasure your own company. There is a peace knowing that you, in all yourself, is enough.

That you are enough.

With the onslaught of every pill, cream, and retail outlet found in Amazon, there is not enough which can be said about the ability to love yourself–single or attached.  Knowing that all you are is enough, and in being enough, you need not change for anyone or anything.

In the process of loving yourself, knowing how to love yourself, you must realize that your life, is not perfect, but it matters. And you matter. Your voice, your breath, your being (flaws and all) matter. You have a value to this world, you add to it, and it is okay to tell you that you are okay.

Loving yourself allows space for growth, change and being open to new experiences to discover more about you. You become a garden. This place of promise and harvest. You control what grows, what flourishes, and what must be rooted up and out. Being able to say to yourself you are enough, and give yourself the love you desire from others, and giving yourself unconditional love–watch how your life changes.

Your life changes with radical self-love. That love allows the garden of self to spring open, to yield the hidden beauty of yourself. The things you love about yourself encourage you to discover and accept more about yourself.

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Can you love yourself more than you love anyone else?

If you can, you are able to forgive yourself readily, appreciate what you bring in any situation, and become aware of whom you allow in your circle, diligent of protecting your entire self.

Be mindful, that as much as you do for others, you have to replenish. You must be able to put back what you pour out. It’s not selfish to look in your mirror and tell the person there that you love them, understand they are doing the best they can, and you will support them in all they aspire to do. Why? They need you, as much you need them.

Shoot Your Shot, B.

I have always had a smattering of really good girl friends, and more guy friends than anything. It was odd. Probably because growing up I had more male cousins to play with than anything, and while I knew how to jump rope, I knew how to catch, too.

The thing that I keep noticing among a lot of the guys in my world is…regret.

I mean this palpable regret. This social moping of the ‘loss’ of their loves of their lives, or girls that they really liked but never went for, and this resolve that they are going to be that old dude in the club chasing skirts.

To them, I say this: Shoot your shot, B.

Meaning, go after what you want, or who you want. I’m not saying stalk her or be clingy and inappropriate, but I am saying take initiative. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you this. Confidence is always attractive.

Yes, it is.

 

It’s a beautiful thing when I man tells you that you’re on his radar.

When I was dating the hubs, our very first phone conversation, he said something slick to me, and I checked him–like, knee jerk check!–and he was like, “Baby, baby…” I said, “Hold on, I’m your woman!”

You know what he told me?

“Yet.”

See there.

But there is something to be said for being bold, though! So, let’s use the hubs pursuit of me to help you a little bit:

1.) KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.

The worst thing other wasted money and talent? Wasted time. If you don’t want a girlfriend/woman/wife the don’t entertain the woman who’s looking to be a someone’s girlfriend/woman/wife.

 

2.) STUDY HER.

Find out what she likes and doesn’t like. Hold random conversations. Pick her brain. It let’s her know she’s important. Always a good thing, fellas.

 

3.) PURSUE HER.

This is where you get nervous, right?

Will she? 🙂

Won’t she?😒

Does she?🙃

This is where you gotta commit, love. No way around it. If she’s who you want? It’s easier to get a quick “No,” than deal with a 15 year “I should have.”

If she’s into you, you’ll know. It won’t be forced. Now,  hard to get is an age old thing, and I did that with the hubs. How did he overcome it?

4.) PERSISTENCE.

He legit told me I was who he wanted, and no matter what I did to shake him? Nope.

Stop lamenting and being mad the one you want is living her life. Go get her!

Tell her she’s pretty one morning!

Make her laugh!

Listen to her.

Find her favorite flower and give them to her…just because.

Discover the minutiae about her. I promise you, for every beautiful woman, there’s a portion of her that needs to be spoken to and recognized…beyond the pretty.

Pursue her beyond the pretty.

PURSUE HER BEYOND THE PRETTY.

Once you do that, you can stop lamenting about the “one that got away,” because you’ll have her.

And if she doesn’t see what you offer?

Keep it pushing.

 

She’ll realize what she loss sooner than you think.

Especially, when she realizes you were really the one she wanted…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Phillip, the Last and First

Phillip…I love you.

I cannot express what you have brought to my world.  I thank you for being able to an anchor amidst everything else swirling round about. 

I want to thank you for all that you have done  in the life of our children and our family. I thank you for being able to take the whelps of a Mother Bear, and raise them as your own blood. I thank you for all you have done.

I have watched you grow into fatherhood. I watched you go from timid to tender. I have watched you be able to discern what is an imaginary monsters in closets or bad days at school. I thank you for being the thunder in the room that puts to bed all that is unruly or flight what would cause nightmares.

I have watched you embrace this journey of being a married man with children. I have watched you grow up that much more. I have watched you put hands and thought to what it is you desire to build; fortify what it is you want no one to take. I have watched you realize that strength sometimes means apologizing, listening and allowing space for life to not be perfect. I have watched you become more intent on doing the right thing for the right time for the best outcome. I have watched you walk in whom you’re going to be.

I have been witness to you being a better husband. I have watched you wonder after me, wanting to know why I do what I do for you. I only respond, “…because I love you, and want you to be okay.” I have seen you pour pieces of yourself into me, and into our US…and even when it has not turned out how you wanted.

We decided that we wanted to ‘do life’ together, and there have been storms we have encountered that would have killed average people. Those storms have rocked the boat we were in to the point that it splintered, and all that was left to hang on to…was one another.

All that is still left to hold onto…is one another.

In all that we have, and all that we will maintain…you told me that I could hang on to you…and you to me.

On Father’s Day, I want to thank you for all you have done for us. When it was easier to leave, leave broken and resign to apathy.

Thank you for the fight, babe. Thank you for not succumbing to the fears passed down and on that would keep you planted in malice, suspicion and doubt. Thank you for being what is needed when the right thing isn’t easy…or always comfortable.

Thank you for letting me know how not to be strong all the time.

Thank you for showing our children that Daddies are human, and they need love and support too.

Thank you for showing the girls that the man that says they love them, must SHOW them.

Thank you for being able to see past the pretty, and love the woman beneath all of it.

Thank you for being able to take my hand, and hold it, when all the world gets dark and scary.

I love you.