Ocean City, Maryland
Sometimes I feel like I missed the benefits of being a girl. In this world, being born dark brown - black, intelligent, and not petite is a bold existence by default. To desire to be soft
and cradled, by men especially, is a set up for women with this physiology. Love has always been administered to me roughly. Scraped knees and rough housing kind of loving; the raw kinds where your feelings came fourteenth if ever considered at all. Combative, competitive, unprotected, there was no room for delicate damsel in distress. Oppressive or dismissive kind of love. The lean back and let him kind of love was reserved for white and non-black women, black women are indoctrinated to be strong. In turn, I became the hero for most of my men: heavy-hearted, broken spirited men. Men that needed uplifting. A man on his knees cannot hold up a woman, a family or a nation, it is impossible. So instead I pulled them up or attempted to, some celebrated but most of them resented me. How can I, a woman, be more of a "man" than him? What I wanted desperately was a man fully intact that loved me for me not because of the opportunity.
“...we know that it was through these tribulations that we were constructed, characters were built.”
My husband is a different kind of opportunist. When it landed in my spirit, to leave NY and our accouterments behind he said okay. Together we sold, donated, bagged and boxed all we had, pooled our resources and our son and boarded that plane. Every day I am reminded that was not an easy decision to make, he too had much to step away from: family, friends, church, community, career, healthcare, routines, and a single, childless lifestyle. But he said yes, he loved me and us (and honestly himself) that much. To surrender, despite and in spite of, to come out of his comfort zones, to try a new kind of manhood that requires him to be responsible for others, to be a husband and a father. What a way to demonstrate commitment, loyalty, and love!
We are not flawless people. My husband has had his own set of war wounds, just like most of us. We share some of our scars and self reflect on them in times of solace. Actually we wear them proudly as we know that it was through these tribulations that we were constructed, characters were built. In this love, though, this time around we’ve decided to flourish. Truth is you can never really know. Hearts can be unraveled and revealed over time but love is something you experience it isn't something in your mind. Love, however, is a conscious decision to allow your feelings to guide your judgment and apply your emotions rather than logic. You cannot love someone just because it makes sense. Love is irrational; it's the I "should have", "could have", "would have" walked away but didn't. It's the "in no other circumstance would I "or the "at no other point in my life could I" preface to any sentence. It is the exception.
What love challenges have you discovered? Share some with us.