We so often overlook our emotional self, because it is so easy to get caught up in the visual. Not just the visual of how cute you can dress, but the visual of others perceive us. Caught up with concerning ourselves more with the emotions of others, versus dealing with our own emotional state, from insecurities to strengths and how we use both to hide our vulnerabilities.
August 2014, I took a very big plunge and on a whim relocated from Washington, DC to Houston, TX without knowing a single person in Houston. I did not move for any job offer, family or friend, I simply moved because I wanted to. Maybe I did feed into the idea that I could be driving around the 713 with my woes, because Drake raps so highly about the Bayou City. But nevermind that. What I was really doing was pushing myself out of my comfort zone, removing myself from the familiar that I was miserably taking in as comforts and forcing me to deal with me. It was also my Saturn return. As I entered into my 30th year of life, I was set on taking the baton that universe handed me and taking flight. But in order to that I also had to unpack and finally deal with my emotional self. Something I had long pushed to the back burner under the guise of being strong, capable of always taking care of myself, and not letting any one walk over me.
We largely avoid dealing with our emotional self because it is such a mental quagmire. Where in one breath you might ask how to begin or what to do, in the next you’re realizing how much work this really requires and the the exact “work” is hard to define. It appears to be metaphysical and easier to just not bother with. But I promise you, in the long run, it is more than worth it because happiness is something that you hold within.
Working on your emotional maturity is a two-step process. One, be aware of your emotional securities. Two, actively work to overcome them. That is seriously it. There’s not guide book on what actions you need to take to overcome your emotional insecurities because this is not about meeting someone else’s standards. This is about setting standards that you are comfortable with that are now set based on the opinions of other. For me, that was recognizing that I do not like talking about emotions or anything remotely related to my feelings. Instead of telling a person that I like them and want to spend time with them, I would pick at them with snarky barbs and say everything but what I actually meant. So I made an honest effort to first, distinguish my feelings from my emotions, and own them both without concern of the possible rejection. That doesn’t mean I was throwing myself at every guy I ever crushed on, but that I would not second guess myself in dealing with someone who I had a mutual connection with. From something as simple as “I want to see you” to being able to define how I prefer quality time over quantity time and articulate that without fear of reproach.
This sounds simple right? But the hard part is not in you doing, the hard part is avoiding the f*ckboys and ain’t sh*t people who seem to be the status quo. It’s hard, because you absolutely can not avoid them, whether we’re taking intimate relationships or friendships. You can be emotionally insular simply out of the fear of being taken advantage of, but you’re doing more damage to yourself then if you embarked on the process of shedding your emotional insecurities, working towards emotional maturity and actually dealing with a f*ckboy. Part of the process is outgrowing things you were once comfortable with, not because they benefited you but because they were familiar to you. What you’re failing to see is that just taking on the act of self-awareness and opening yourself up to being vulnerable, you will have the upper hand in dealing with someone who doesn’t have your best intentions at heart. The essence of a f*ckboy (and this is not just men specific, women are in this boat too) is that they are emotionally immature, unable to understand the that words mean things. You might not see it right away, you might even fall for it for some time, but it cannot carry on for a lifetime if you have made the honest commitment towards emotional maturity, if you own your right to be vulnerable and weld it freely, you’ll realize what you want, deserve and need out of any of your relationships, walking away with the freedom of knowing that there is something better in store. It just takes time and you understanding yourself.
The author Jouelzy
Jouelzy is a #SmartBrownGirl, Author, Vlogger & Writer, addressing lifestyle issues that impact women of color from beauty, culture to technology. With 162k+ subscribers she’s reshaping the image of women of color, who honor their right to revel in their diversity.