Relationships and my emotional self are part of me that I like to keep private. But I understand that in relating to me, other #SmartBrownGirls want to know how I deal with certain situations. Most of my pre-25 years old relationships were the inspiration for my book, Send It On, a collection of short stories about the emotional evolution of a young woman coming of age. See the banner above.
In the past two years, I’ve taken on shedding the last of my insecurities which meant dealing with my emotional self, where the deepest of my insecurities laid. The goal was working towards becoming comfortable with being vulnerable. So often we attribute vulnerability to (love/sexual) relationships, and vulnerability comes into play in multiple facets of our lives. So for me this was far more holistic than just readying myself to find a man.
At the point when I recorded this video, I had recently found out that a young man I was dealing with emotionally was not honest. My feelings were very hurt, because I do not take emotions lightly and the situation was very confusing (as some of you know). I also had a birth chart reading with Sam Reynolds, that has been extremely helpful in me getting to a point of being intent and clear with myself. Astrology might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Sam is special. He was a large a reason why I was able to put out this video after crying over f*ckboys and people with no intentions. Namely because he told me that one of the three things I need to meditate on is: “is the heart lighter than the feather?” Essentially are you living the life you want versus the life that others feel you should live? Are you being true to you? Are you staking claim in what you deserve or settling for instant comforts?
I am not a big dater. Largely because I do not have the time for the general BS that most people like to throw. Finding honesty because that is all you can give in return, is a hard road of hope that I am committed to traveling on. In this last situation, I made a concerted effort to be very clear and open about my emotions. This was me finding a comfortable space with my vulnerability. Something as simple as saying “I like you,” would leave me tongue tied and I was set on conquering this. There was no room for saying anything other than exactly what I felt and meant. This definitely saved me in the long run. Give it a try yourself. Work on being clear about your emotion, rather then hiding your vulnerability and finding ways to be respectfully direct about how you feel. You can still consider other people’s feelings, but let go for considering other’s judgements. You are mentally dictating that your emotions always deserve respect so their is no room for their downcasting.
For people who are being told that they are weird or wrong for feeling the way that you feel. There is no rule book to emotions. Most people when they dismiss your emotions are doing so because they don’t have the time and/or emotional space to take on the weight of your emotional concerns. Don’t internalize this as a negative against yourself that builds upon your insecurities. Understand it for what it is and find different avenues to express your emotional self.
Keeping a journal is would of the foundational tools toward good emotional health. Putting the pen to the paper forces you to work on your clarity and be honest with yourself about what your are feeling, why you feel that and work towards digging to the root of your problems. Especially when you feel you don’t have anyone to talk to, get that journal out and right about it. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing “I don’t know…I don’t know…I don’t know.” There’s a good three years of my life where that was the bulk of my journal entries and then one day when reading back over those entries, I hit the “I do know” lightbulb moment. Never beat yourself for being imperfectly human, as long as you are putting in the effort to do better, you should celebrate every moment of your existence.
Friends, if you have ones that you trust, are great sounding boards for evolving in the maturation of your emotional self. I have great friends, well 2-3 friends, who I feel that I can trust with my emotional self. There have been friends who have come and gone. Yes, it definitely sucks when a friend, who you have opened your emotional self to, goes. But that’s an unavoidable part of life, and in the end its a part of the emotional maturation journey. So don’t get too caught up or hung up on the idea that friends might leave you, the right ones will stay. And to get to the base of having the friend you feel comfortable opening up to, be that friend that you want first. My two closest homegirls, took time for us to get to this point of open trust, and it was mutual effort. You might have to take the first risk of opening up or being the listening ear that can be a critical thinker without being judgmental, in order to builds towards the optimal friendship.
You have to remember that everyone does not move on the same emotional wavelength. Sometimes it can be you who is off putting as you seek out close friendships and constantly hold everyone to the same moral high ground that you live by, expecting them to deal with things in the exact fashion that you do. That is not fair and will leave you lonely. My most fruitful relationships have forced me to appreciate a different perspective and compromise in my emotional dealings.
In the name of being a strong Black woman, don’t get caught up with always have to get over things quickly with an immediate answer. I do believe in allowing myself to deal with my emotions aptly, throw a quick pity party and then get over it. No pushing it to the back burner or under the rug. We gonna deal, today. And then tomorrow, or next week, month or year, we’re going to come out on the other end stronger because of real growth and not just presenting a facade. When you do end of in the right relationship, or you go out for that leadership role at work, you want to be a whole person before you give away any of yourself to others.
Dealing with your emotional self and growing in that space, is not an easy task but the benefits will radiate outward from within. You’re beauty is tied to your emotional and mental self, and others will recognize when it is all line.
I can not articulate my emotions. Only i can allow anything other than happy to escape and even that is only through my thumbs. My emotions can only be explained through music, though i allows my pride to become my hubris, never allowing the world to see anything other than cool Solana B. I screams from the inside, scratching, screeching to be released. A deluge of all my passion and emotions of the real me in I, that i is so afraid that no one can handle.
i is not I.
i is at lost.
I needs to be saved. Save me.
– Exceprt from Send It On, A Collection of Short Stories by Jouelzy