Miss Lauryn Hill echoed the sentiments of so many feminine hearts when she sang:
“I loved real, real hard once
But the love wasn't returned
Found out the man I'd die for
He wasn't even concerned
I tried, and I tried, and I tried
To keep him in my life
I cried, and I cried, and I cried
But I couldn't make it right
But I, I loved the young man
And if you've ever been in love,
Then you'd understand”
“I chose the road of passion and pain
sacrificed too much and waited in vain
Gave up my power ceased being queen
Addicted to love like the drug of a fiend.”
She echoed the sentiments of my own heart. Like so many women who have shared their stories with me, I also had a “young man” encounter.
He was young beyond his years. Infantile and underdeveloped like my self-love. These were the ingredients for a perfect storm. A storm that wrecked me into loving me, totally, unapologetically.
Here’s how the storm began to brew. Girl meets herself, likes herself enough to fake the Self-esteem tests of life. Her façade was ‘together’ enough to be convincing. Girl meets young man, the test that set her free forever.
It was the perfect smolder. They met and all conditions were promising. But that was as long there were no expectations. Looking back the dance was a perfect wave that never went anywhere. The ebbs and flows were as maddening as they were ubiquitous, never settling into a definite ‘thing.’ Girl was so afraid to make demands or state facts. Young man was content to be oblivious. Unwittingly girl gave him more power than was good for either of them. She waited for him to commit, settle, affirm. Alas, he was the master of inconsistency. He gave enough that girl was hooked on the possibilities. Girl thought that “When this is good it’s really good; should I rock the boat when we could be so close to making this work?”
There were several dynamics that caused the power imbalance. Self-love was just one of them; an important one that seems to be a constant in so many women’s stories.
Who teaches us these things? Why do we believe that we are not worth more than broken promises, inconsistent text messages and booty calls?
I have been convinced for a while now that there must have been a day in Primary/Prep school on which the boys were pulled aside and taught how to jack up a girl's headspace. The fact that many of our men are raised oftentimes singlehandedly by women implicates us in our own affectation. When will the cycle end? Here's my proposal:
How about we start rebelling? Rebelling by affirming our worth without ceasing. Affirming the worth of the 'single you,' the 'overweight you,' the 'older than you wanted to be and still unmarried you?' How about we dare to fall as recklessly in love with ourselves as we are or hope to be with "the one?" How about we stop dropping the bar low and then lower because of fear of being alone? How about we start doing the WORK of sorting through our pains and pasts and reconciling them with our purpose?
It takes deliberate and consistent work to come to a place where you are utterly confident that you are deserving of all good things in life, with love being only one of them. It takes a mental and spiritual shift to shed bad habits and stop attracting demeaning energy into your space. You are worth it! You can do it, one decision at a time.
I am so grateful for my shifts, my lessons and the wealth I am beginning to reap in love. I am ready to help my queen sisters level up in love. The White Lotus Blooms Life Class on March 10 will be a safe space to do just that. Lets get all that's ours!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Instagram @lotus.patrice for more details.
Kamala P. McWhinney is God's Idea. I am academic, I am creative,I am dreamer. My name is Hindu for Lotus. Given the beautiful symbolism of the Lotus Flower I have embraced it as a metaphor for my evolving, my surviving and my thriving.