You need to learn how to be left. Left alone. Left behind. Think about this, how would you feel if you were forced to stay in a situation, with people, in a job, in a space you felt you didn’t want to be in for whatever reason? Oh! You’ve felt that feeling before, huh? You know that suffocating, funny, detached feeling that makes you feel stuck. You feel it your body and it weighs heavy on your mind. I have to tell you this, you’re not going to like it but, sometimes you are creating that for someone else. BREATHE. Sometimes they do not love you like you love them. BREATHE. Sometimes, they don’t like you for valid reasons or simply, they just don’t. BREATHE. Sometimes, they just don’t like your energy. BREATHE.
They have their reasons and it may hurt you. It may disappoint you. It may shock you. Especially, if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong or that bad. It may make you feel bad about yourself. And let me say this, if it does make you feel bad about yourself, then reflect, observe, and analyze. Because I would not have known the things I needed to correct or heal within me if someone had not left me or distanced themselves from me! “HARSH TRUTH will wash you clean. If you allow it.”-Nicole Jackson
People have a right to be free. Even if it’s to be free from you. I have learned to take it as it is. But the greatest thing I have learned is NOT to TAKE IT SO PERSONAL that I am angry, upset, mad or carry a grudge about it. How? I think to myself and put myself in their shoes. If I have a right to change my mind, fall out of like or love, remove myself from something or someone that is not a right fit for me, then SO DO THEY. Do I cry sometimes? Yes. Do I feel bad sometimes? Yes. Has my heart been broken at times? Yes. Have I been disappointed, shocked, bewildered? Absolutely. But when the emotions subside, I have to respect their decision. I don’t have to agree with it or like it. I want them to be free because if I need to leave, I want to be free to do so.
According to Psychology Today, about 80% of people have experienced heartbreaks as it relates to relationships or dating. The main causes of heartbreaks were break ups, infidelity, and rejection. People with a strong attachmentstyle (as opposed to those with a low attachment style i.e. anxious or high avoidance attachment)- tended to view their heartbreak experience as leading to some form of character rather than a deficiency within themselves. In other words, they framed their experience as one that helped them to grow and become stronger or as useful lessons about themselves, relationships, and life. A heartbreak is not indicative of bad luck or personal flaws or failure because heartbreaks are common. In research, 4 of 5 people said they have had heartbreak. -Psychology Today, The Most Common Causes of Heartbreak by Jessica Schrader
Let’s take a look at the “Attachment Styles” so that you can HONESTLY identify your style and understand it.
What it looks like: A lucky 60 percent of us have a secure attachment style. For these people, it’s a walk in the park to show emotion and affection in a relationship while simultaneously maintaining a sense of autonomy and independence, i.e. not letting the relationship become all-consuming.
They’re generally able to work through and move forward from conflict with ease. Secure folks aren’t the type to read through their partner’s phones or freak out when they don’t receive a text.
How it forms in childhood: A secure attachment style forms when caregivers quickly and sensitively give a child the support they need while still giving them space to develop their own autonomy. When parents recognize and attend to their child’s needs on a consistent basis, the child trusts they are there for them.
What it looks like: Those with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style may have doubts about the relationship’s strength, feel unreasonably jealous, or harbor constant fears that their partner is going to leave.
The anxious-preoccupied tend to overanalyze their relationship. They may obsess over their partner’s social media, thinking there’s hidden meaning to a post when in fact nothing is wrong. To keep worry at bay, they may over-communicate, texting all day long or needing to know where their partner is at all times.
How it forms in childhood: You may have an anxious-preoccupied attachment style if your caregivers were inconsistent and unpredictable with their attentiveness. With this style, caregivers tend to be overprotective and/or excessively hold and touch the child.
Often anxious-preoccupied children imitate this overbearing behavior in their own relationships.
What it looks like: A person with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style may see themselves as independent and refrain from asking for help. They might deny themselves emotional intimacy because they don’t want to be perceived as needy, and they may reject such openness from others.
This is the type who has a seemingly endless string of semi-serious partners to whom she refuses to fully commit. Or maybe it’s the ex who wasn’t comfortable expressing vulnerability with you.
How it forms in childhood: When caregivers dismiss the emotional needs of a child, or treat them in a detached, aloof way, the child might eventually stop communicating their emotional needs altogether, as they believe it has no effect. This helps explain why dismissive-avoidant styles often have trouble expressing emotion and affection to their partners.
What it looks like: People with a fearful-avoidant style often crave a close relationship but feel unworthy of love or afraid of losing the intimacy once they have it. Because of their insecurities around love, they tend to avoid intimacy and suppress feelings that do arise.
The fearful avoidant might feel intense feelings of love for a new partner but right when things start to get serious they start to panic and search for reasons the relationship could never work.
How it’s formed in childhood: If your caregivers subjected you to abuse, neglect or rejection, or if they were volatile or unpredictable, causing you fear as a young child, you may have a fearful-avoidant attachment style.
What it looks like: Similar to the fearful avoidant style, people with a disorganized attachment style want and crave love but experience severe stress and fear in relationships. They’re often overcome with low self-esteem and talk themselves into believing that no one will love them.
If they are in a relationship, they may rely heavily on their partner to ease their stress or anxiety. Yet, they may never feel at ease in a relationship because of a lack of trust and a fear of abandonment.
How it forms in childhood: A disorganized attachment style is often rooted in unresolved trauma. This may be trauma you experienced as a child or it could be inherited from a parent who faced severe emotional hardship in their own life.
You may also have a disorganized attachment style if your caregiver had a personality disorder and was therefore unpredictable in their parenting strategies.
I want to hear from you! What is your attachment style? There is no shame here. Mine is Anxious Preoccupied. I therefore desire a Secure Attachment but, I’ve been getting most of the other stuff and no wonder it’s been a train wreck in the past! Mostly fearful-avoidant is what I seem to attract.
Continuing the article written by Koritha Mitchell, I suggest you read yesterday’s article as well. You know sometimes it’s good to just read and understand instead of telling an entire culture/people/race what to think, how to feel, and what they should do. I think this type of approach comes from a feeling of authority and slave master mentality. The invalidation of our thoughts, religion, feelings, emotions, experiences, perspectives and knowledge is alive and well today. I do think at times it’s subconsciously done. Yet, still problematic. Instead, I think some should learn to simply listen, assist and work with other cultures, races, and communities. “Seek ye first to understand and then to be understood”- Steven Covey. Clearly, there is not enough seeking of understanding, let alone any seeking of truth.
Article beings here:
Those who care about Black families and communities sometimes hesitate to celebrate Black marriage. Praising traditional marriage can contribute to the overall devaluation of queer intimacies. It can also align with the routine vilification of all households that do not fit the heteronormative nuclear family mold, with its male breadwinner and financially dependent wife and children. As important, highlighting Black marriage can easily feel like another attack on single Black women in a society with self-help franchises and religious cultures based on scolding Black women for not properly preparing themselves to be “blessed” with a mate.
And yet, the hesitation to celebrate traditional Black marriage, of which there has never been a shortage, also amounts to erasing the degree to which African Americans do, in fact, choose each other.
Ever notice how examples that contradict dominant assumptions fail to gain traction? Many understood that it mattered for Barack Obama’s credibility among African Americans that Michelle Obama was brown-skinned, but the couple’s prominence has done little to change the impression that Black people rarely choose each other. American culture is built on presumptions of Black pathology even though, as Coates puts it, such characterizations should ring false “in a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of Black fathers, on the rape of Black mothers, on the sale of Black children.”
It is no accident that Americans of every background struggle to recognize how thoroughly the Obamas represent, in Coates’s words, “Black people’s everyday, extraordinary Americanness.” That is, African Americans often embody exactly what the nation says it respects. Their doing so is common, but it is also exceptional because they must reach every goal while the nation robs them of every public resource, including safety. Against the odds, African Americans create and nurture life-affirming and community-sustaining bonds of affection—bonds that are distorted, diminished, or ignored.
Keeping African Americans in their “proper” place also involves excluding traditional Black households from the nation’s family portrait. The quintessential American family is always assumed to be white and middle class, no matter how often white people prove to be less than committed to that model. And this is the case even as the United States provides white people with resources like safety—not having to fear that police officers or civilians will kill their loved ones without consequence.
Marriage relies on and bolsters economic standing, and the United States has always deprived African Americans of the financial resources to support their unions. Despite these formidable obstacles, marriage has not been rare among Black people, but it has been ignored. As Hunter shows, in the early 1900s, African American sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois and other elites insisted that traditional home life would dramatically improve Black people’s social, political, and economic prospects, but “somehow they missed the fact that most Black families conformed to the very behaviors they wanted to indoctrinate,” given that “by 1900, marriage was nearly universal for adult African Americans still living in a mostly agricultural society.”
Then and now, American culture ensures that few would ever suspect Black people’s consistent, stable history with marriage.
In this context, it is worth noticing that representations of Black family life have not changed with Michelle Obama’s prominence as not only a mother but also the wife of an affectionate husband. Indeed, her success in these roles has been simultaneously ignored and attacked. Attacks came in the form of asserting that she hurt the feminist movement by calling herself “Mom-in-Chief.” Meanwhile, her becoming first lady—woman of the nation’s house—was ignored in that it did not inspire popular culture representations of African American stay-at-home moms. Instead, The Help became a runaway hit, suggesting that Americans did not want to be reminded that Black women are homemakers, but they would relish seeing Black women pretending to be 1960s maids in 2009 (when the book was published) and in 2011 (when the movie was released).
That was not enough, though. In 2016, 63 million Americans voted to move the United States “From Mom-in-Chief to Predator-in-Chief.” The message was clear: African American marriages and traditional families may exist, but they will be excluded from the nation’s portrait of itself. Black women are acceptable as house slaves and housekeepers, but not as homemakers. That has always been the American way. Meanwhile, and nonetheless, Black people keep loving each other.
Koritha Mitchell is author of the award-winning book Living with Lynching and the new book From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture. She is also an associate professor of English at Ohio State University and a Society of Senior Ford Fellows (SSFF) board member. Follow her on Twitter @ProfKori.
A mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.
Love can also be used to apply to non-human animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.
While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I love you” might mean something quite different than another’s.
Some possible definitions of love include:
A willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own.
Extreme feelings of attachment, affection, and need.
Dramatic, sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for another, such as in marriage or when having a child.
Some combination of the above emotions.
There has been much debate about whether love is a choice, is something that is permanent or fleeting, and whether the love between family members and spouses is biologically programmed or culturally indoctrinated. Love may vary from person to person and culture to culture. Each of the debates about love may be accurate at some time and someplace. For example, in some instances, love may be a choice while in others it may feel uncontrollable.
There will be many things going on this year but, I believe people will begin to work on themselves whether it’s personal development or healing. It may be deepening or returning to their spiritual practice, buying self-help books or taking courses to help improve their life on many levels. Last year I discovered that I had more healing to do and I was ready to get on with it for good. I meant; I was ready to heal completely in this area. I do recall asking God how much more healing and letting go does one need to do?! How long will this take?!!! Ugh! I thought I was done. I’ve been talking about it and dealing with it for a very long time. Well, as I am reading a daily devotional (a book that is pretty deep spiritually so I take it chapter by chapter and sometimes, passage by passage), I think I might have gotten an answer to a question I asked in June 2022.
First, let me talk about the clue I received. Each year I am spiritually led to read certain books. Sometimes it happens all at once and sometimes it happens here and there. Well, I was watching a YouTube episode of Bishop Sarah Jakes Roberts and her mom have a casual conversation over the holidays. She mentioned the book in the video and discovered her mom had read the book also. When I heard the title, I knew I needed the book. This was my first clue that healing was about to take place.
This is what I read this morning:
“Healing is a process of restoration. It is the revealing of the underlying state of perfection and wholeness that always exists, despite injury or disturbance. Beyond all your hurts and pains, be they emotional, physical, or otherwise, is your innate spiritual pattern, which proclaims its independence and simply awaits opportunities to express itself to its fullest. Healing is a journey, not an event. Along the journey there is much to be discovered and discerned about yourself.”
“You ask, “How much healing is there to be done? How long will it take?” These are questions not for me to answer but for you to answer. How long do you want it to take? How much healing are you willing to do? How deep will you go? How much will you reveal? How often will you come to be in surrender? The answers to these questions depend on you. You are creating your own tests. You are creating your won obstacle courses. The mazes through which you wander, the hoops through which you jump, are all configurations of your own thinking. You too often misunderstand, and therefore underestimate the power of your creative abilities. You must become more consciously aware that you are simply manifesting anything and everything you think about, even subliminally.”
This is the time of the year many of us are wrapping up our goals. The holidays are upon us. There is also the putting away of summer clothing, summer items and putting the fall and winter things where they belong. It’s the organization and preparation of your home for winter. There are events, celebrations, festivals, and family gatherings. Finances and traveling factor in as well. What can we do to make sure we don’t become overwhelmed and “wig out”?
Keep your routine of exercise and eating as healthy as possible. Don’t neglect your self-care routine either. Get a massage to help you with all of the stress or do an Epsom salt soak in the tub.
Keep to your routine of prayer, meditation, daily devotions and religious services.
Make a budget and STICK TO IT.
Remember, YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING OR EVERY ACTIVITY. You can’t make it to EVERYONE’S EVENT.
With that being said, decide what you are going to and where you are going to in advance. Also, leave room for adventure. Be flexible to change. We should know by now things don’t always go according to plan and we must be able to adapt. Oh, and adjust our attitudes in the process! Your FUNKY little attitude can affect the group and ruin everything.
Take off your cape and learn to say NO. Take off your control freak cape and delegate things to others. They can handle it and it doesn’t have to be exactly how you want it done.
Take a breather and some time alone. Go for a nature walk or a walk in the neighborhood. Listen to music. Read a book. Stargaze.
Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too. -Mayoclinic.com
Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events or communities. Many may have websites, online support groups, social media sites or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship. If you’re feeling stress during the holidays, it also may help to talk to a friend or family member about your concerns. Try reaching out with a text, a call or a video chat. Volunteering your time or doing something to help others is also a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. For example, consider dropping off a meal and dessert at a friend’s home during the holidays. -Mayoclinic.com
2022 comes with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and Repairing or Strengthening Relationships. Relationships of all kinds will play a vital role this year in your life. Pay attention to the lessons you learn. Some will shape you, push you forward, and change you for the better (no matter what it may seem like at the time). Just don’t let anything distract you from your dreams and goals this year. It may have been all about you the past few years but, this year it’s about you and others. Play well with others. Disconnect from some and love at a distance and “with the love of the Lord” with others.
Make people feel loved and appreciated. Encourage as many people as you can. Show up when you can. Make phone calls. Send a thank you text with some detail (Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to xyz). Let it be known that you value your employees, friends, family, coworkers, strangers. “I appreciate everything that you do for me. I am so glad to have you as my cousin.” Lend a hand and donate to charity. Cook a meal for someone. Send flowers or fresh fruit. (ACTION).
Oh…family dynamics. You must deal with it. Once and for all and get on with it. If they want to hold on to it let them. You let go and remember, love from a distance if need be. Move around it. On the flip, strengthen those family bonds that you do have. Quality time with loved ones and friends are in order.
You may think this one is a no brainer when it comes to your child or children but, put down the phone or tablet and LOOK at your children’s faces when they are talking to you and when you are talking to them. Maybe the pandemic has made being glued to screens worse. I don’t know but, I do know it is important to LOOK into the eyes of the ones you love, especially your children and give them your undivided attention. They need to be seen and heard. Especially, with the instability of navigating our world.
You will meet NEW PEOPLE IF you want to that can have an interest in what you are doing or that may have connections for you. This is why I say once again, pay attention to the people that cross your path. But also pay attention to the classes or opportunities that come your way this year. Maybe there is someone at that event or in that class you can make a meaningful connection with. Yes, these events can be online as well. God works in mysterious ZOOM ways, too. I’d highly recommend being INTENTIONAL about where you go and whom you spend your time with this year.
“Don’t fix it. Fix it. Listen and don’t give advice. Give advice. Don’t tell me what to do. Wait, what should I do?” I am now the parent of a young adult in college. I thought I was doing well as I started the above when my teen was in the 10th grade but, apparently, I need to take a closer look at this very new, ever changing, college student. “You’re always giving advice and sometimes I just want you to listen. You’re always trying to fix it.” I was told.
And it’s true. My nature is to fix. I am the problem solver and the peacemaker. I am the bridge. I am the counselor. I am really good at just listening to others but, as a parent I listen with the intent to SOLVE and ADVISE and I now realize I need to listen with permission to advise or more importantly, ask if it’s not clear afterwards, “Are you just venting and need my listening ear?” And if so, I need to use words like, “I understand. Or wow, what do you think you should do? Or give it some time, you will figure it out.” One must refrain from their stories of what they did in those situations because you have been told, “they just want to vent or just need you to listen” and remember how you, too, need to just vent or just need a listening ear. You, too, don’t always want to hear someone’s story, need advice, or need it to be fixed. You just want to get it out of your head. TRUST your young adult to figure it out or come back to you for advice or, brace yourself, to find the solution from someone else.
Someone else? Yes. Now this is the time to talk to your young adult (or remind them) about making sure the resources they use are credible resources! This is for articles on google, influencers on YouTube need to be questioned and so does their sources, and to seek professional help (a teacher that teaches the subject or campus counselors). Perhaps, a pastor or even an older sibling or relative they trust. Yes. Your young adult may be able to talk to your brother or your sister about an issue and not you, the parent. My sister was my main source during my teen years and young adult years. She was much older than I was and had been through similar things in which my mom had not.
If you haven’t prepared yourself, you should prepare your mind to know that you will not always be the end all be all, the main source to your child. They grow up. In my belief system, they belong to the Creator ultimately and are not to be controlled but, are to be guided and eventually, left to sail their own ship. I don’t get to pick the ship, design the ship, and pick passengers or destination. I am just on call to assist and to check on. And you learn to enjoy that role. Keyword…learn.
Before I saw this quote the other day, I received a phone call from someone and they were telling me about something very important they misplaced. This person misplaces numerous things on a regular basis. As I began to try to have a conversation about them needing to slow down, pay attention, which is something even strangers have said to them, they did what they usually do to me and a few others they don’t “seem” to value much, they got offensive.
I continued to make my case in a non-threatening, caring way and I got off the phone. I almost became irritated. I almost took it personal, but I remembered what I have been drilling in my head for the past year, “It’ not me, it’s them.” “They have the problem. I can honestly say I didn’t do anything wrong. I am going to continue with my pleasant morning.” Sometimes it is personal. Sometimes it’s not. You just have to know when and decide what your response will be. I read this quote over and over until something else stood out, “compulsion to react.” I’ve been compulsively reacting to this person’s madness, with madness, ever since I realized I was old enough to do so. I reacted with madness and anger because that is all I knew. It is what I was taught to do by this person. (I didn’t even know that until therapy). You hurt me with words, I hurt you with words. Especially, since no one can stop me or I can’t be punished for talking back. In that moment when the person became defensive, I could have became offensive, but I didn’t. I didn’t compulsively react. THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PRACTICE and it was effective that day for me. In other attempts, this person would get more and more belligerent and obnoxious. And I would explode!
As I navigate this complex family dynamic, with more knowledge and practice, I hope to gain for myself the peace I have so rightly deserve from childhood until the present moment. I hope to be able to not compulsively respond, not take it all personal, to rightly respond, to insist on my boundaries, to protect my peace, and to not beat myself if I don’t “always” get it right (another burden placed on me by the same authoritative figure).
I was an Auntie before I was a Mom. I remember when my first nephew (that was younger than me was born) like it was yesterday. My dad was cutting the yard and we got the phone call that it was a boy and his name was Jeremiah. It was a sunny day in June with clear skies and I remember the grass being so green. My Dad started to sing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog and he was a friend of mine.” He meddled my nephew with that through childhood and even now! My second nephew I had the pleasure of giving him his middle name and he was my first job at 8 weeks old. He later gave his younger daughter the same middle name! I was a babysitter. Those two gave me a run for my money! And there were more nieces and nephews to come.
I am writing this piece for my friend Jackie and Alicia whom are Aunts, and all of the women who want to have a family someday and to the ones that may not be able to. You are a mother by heart. You are a mother because you nurture someone somewhere. You may even be a mother figure to a friend, a sibling, to a class, the motherly one on the job, a doggie mom. You care. You will jump in and fill that roll as an Auntie Mom. I tell my niece Brea I am your Auntie Mom. She’s the fireball of the bunch and I keep close reigns on her because I love her. I was once known as the General and Sargent but, I have been promoted to Lieutenant by my nephew Brandon. I am the Aunt that will play football, dolls, fix you a good meal and bake cookies but, I also believe in discipline.
All of my nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews are my children. I wanted more children but, I am unable to have any more because I had to have a hysterectomy. That was tough and sad. But nothing beats hearing, “Auntie! Auntie Nikki! Ti-Ti!” and getting those hugs. It’s the same feeling as “Mommy!” and receiving love in the hugs. It’s the same pressure to watch what I say and do and how I live my life. I still have to impart instruction, wisdom, and love.