…life from my perspective
An ex-lover once told me you just can’t go through life cutting folks off completely each time they misuse you – people do have value. I know what you’re thinking. This chick got more ex-lovers, homeboys and “mans and them” than the law allows. AND I DO because I like men. I LOVE THEM. Their aura, intelligence, bravado, sensitivity, swagger (I HATE THIS DAMN WORD!! REPLACEMENT PLEASE!!!) simplicity, ego, arrogance, bad-boy demeanor, leadership capacity, warrior spirit, humility… I WILL say this: though we don’t always see eye to eye cause, men are…well…men, I have TRULY been blessed to share my time and space with some good brothers. I don’t have a “jiggas ain’t shit” spiel cause I’ve always known and shared relationships with “jiggas who ARE shit.” And I’m STILL meeting brothers that guide me, challenge me, listen to me and express their care for me in ways only they can; dropping jewels along the way. I’m so very thankful for and appreciative of them all. But as I was saying earlier, I have a habit of cutting people off. Not proud of it, it’s just a foolproof method of how I manage bullshit – I get rid of it. The few who REALLY KNOW me, know I have a low tolerance for catty foolishness and bullshit. So whenever I spot it, I usually withdraw from it. And if you happen to be an individual THAT DWELLS in catty foolishness and bullshit then eventually I find myself cut off from you.
So as my ex-lover and I were talking, we often re-visited this issue, he mentioned that though people don’t always rise to the occasion, being who you need them to be when it’s called for, they CAN and often DO add value to your life. And if the relationship is working properly you add value to theirs. This may not be consistent and the scales may seem as if they stay tipped in one party’s favor, but all in all you benefit from the interaction. He was right. Further into the talk I shared that maybe cutting folks off was not the best solution but a re-arrangement of how and where they fit into my life was more appropriate. He agreed. To me it’s akin to an NBA team’s starting lineup. You got your franchise player and go to people who you always rely on to get the job done. But as the season wears on, you find that franchise player ain’t holding his own. It becomes apparent that you’ve invested way too much in potential you thought he had and long-standing star power you thought could be developed. Though you’re disappointed and your future as a team looks grim, you don’t react abruptly and trade him, you bench him instead; make him a part of that 2nd string. You do some re-arranging by placing a few background players in the forefront, those with inner star qualities who just haven’t been given the opportunity to shine.
I was chopping it up with a friend not too long ago about a friendship he’s had with someone for quite sometime that he’s considering letting go. As I listened to him he lent the impression that his friend was hurting. Hurting as they try to see themselves through a situation that has and continues to cause them tremendous pain. But as a result, they haven’t been much of a friend to my friend. You follow me? As I listened to my friend explain this situation I immediately thought he was being selfish. I said to him “you’re upset because your friend hasn’t been able to serve you in ways that you’ve been accustomed to throughout the friendship? Is THAT your issue?” He explained that no that wasn’t it and he couldn’t understand how someone could stay in a situation that caused them pain. In essence he felt as though his friend was inflicting pain on herself by not removing herself from the painful situation. He also expressed his frustration with lending people advice and them not taking it. He said at a certain point if one doesn’t realize that doing the same thing over and over again yields the same results, he’d rather not counsel them and doesn’t want to hear about their problems anymore. I understood wholeheartedly what he was saying but as I’ve said before, love is hard and the world is comprised of mostly assholes. And though I’ve been here before, for those who are near and dear to my heart, I have given them a pass. Because at the end of the day you don’t know what internal conflicts others are dealing with and it’s difficult to understand the gravity of someone else’s pain.
We can’t be dishrags. We should resist being used by others to primarily clean up their mess. I do think we have to ask ourselves first what have WE given to the relationship. Consider whether WE have fallen short of being the best WE can be to ourselves and others. You preaching to the choir because I ALREADY KNOW 100xs how people will try you. Over and over and over and over again. But friendships and romantic relationships are teaching moments. Character builders. In the end, the dish you serve ends up feeding you. Until tomorrow youngn’s.
FOR MY MEN…