Monday, January 18, 2010

Break away from the Pack in 2008!

Decide to be a loner in pursuit of your goals.

A few year ago when I was doing the rounds, taking on speaking engagements, I recall a young lady coming up to me and saying , "I want a man, find me a man, any man!" She then bought one of my books. I remember feeling strangely warmed and positive as I observed her because contrary to the ready label of 'desperate' that would get slapped on her, I could clearly see she was totally without any shame or doubt and really in touch with what she wanted, then a few months later I realised anoher reason for my feelings. This woman executed what I will call, 'pulling away from the crowd'. She realised her need to get into a relationship and she pulled away from the herd, came to me to make clear what she had recognised and took a book as a step towards achieving her goal. In another book reading the women where all ACTING as if there were no issues, everything was hunky dory, not an expression out of place, sitting straight etc etc. I could see some wanted to take the issue further but something was preventing them from pursuing what they really wanted. In truth I can see that in the presence of a crowd, we can often feel a need to put up an impression that nothing is wrong and we are holding it all together!

There is a lot of comforting of each other in our single situation going on with bw. I believe this is one clear reason why singleness is endemic. Firstly as I have said we dont experince any pressures to be earnest about relatiomships given that every other person around is single but then again, we look to each other in our singleness and take heart and take comfort, unfortunately this is a clear 'preventer' of achieving our goals of relationship.

Years ago a teacher said something that spooked me. She said that in hell, there would be no freinds to help you bear the situaion. I cant even remember what that teacher looks like but her words remain almost fresh today as then because there was an underlying truth there that people can look to others going through the same situation and take solace and thus never change nor reach for their goals with flint focus.

Also and apart from solace-taking in our sitaution, many bw are duped into staying put or supressing their real desires because fellow bw make a ridicule of them. Fellow women can make you go against your deep desires by making you feel silly for having them. "You wanna be married? Girl you are just soo needy, I can have fun all by myself!"

At a young age I learnt not to let fellow women dupe me out of my aims and objectives.

We used to have people is school who would say one thing and make you feel you were all in the same boat, but would switch and you would be the one left in the lurch. The first time I came back to tell my mother I had been duped this way, she said something like 'cest te fou', I learnt fast that if need be, I would need to laugh and smile and nod along but go home and think it all through for myself. Sadly I have seen a lot of bw who just dont know or realise that others are engaging in games and fronting. This one reason why i try to be as explicit as possible, because i know some bw just wont get a hint. I dont know what it is but some of us appear to be unable to read between the lines and draw inferences and get the 'bottom line'. I can only say that bw have been so indoctrinated against their self-interest that you just have to take their hand and take them into the centre of their self interst, while others can smell where their interest lies at 20 paces!

I see bw being duped into taking a particular cause of action only to realise that the person who jeered them for expressing a normal desire or an interest in a wm is now with a wm, or has a relationship while professing to not be too bothered by the petty business of wanting a man. Trust me, some of us know whats up and smile and nodd and say yes but there is always that unfortunate one of us who believes the &%*& and ends up in a bad place. I have seen a person sacked because of being decived; "Yep we are with you on this one and lo and behold she was the only in it 'all the while".

Take care and be willing to pull away from the crowd to 'clarify' your own desires and plan your own strategy. Perhaps because of how 'sad' the touted 70% rate of singleness has made us look to the rest of the world, some bw (a growing number), have begun to say that 'we didnt want to be married in the first place'. I can see many bw nodding along to what is essentially 'we are looking pretty bad quick circle the wagoons', and thereby not putting effort into getting away from the negative stats.

In truth bw often resort to 'face saving mode' when they feel that they are being made to look foolish. Sadly this face saving mode is often to celebrate and claim that negative stat or the thing that hurts them most etc.

In 2008 know, listen and march to the beat of your own desires!

IR Dating E-Book

25 comments:

black women first said...

how sad... bw are again defending DBRBM by taking the blame for the 70% singeless rate.

I have met some bw who claim that they "don't want to get married" but she knows, I know, WE ALL know thats a LIE.

grant said...

When rock climbing, there is a point in the process of scaling the rock that will take you beyond half-way and this point is known as being "committed" to the climb. Beyond this spot it will take you longer to retreat than to advance and can, in the face of deteriorating weather for instance, place you at greater risk than continuing to ascend.
What you are suggesting, Halima, is the social equivalent of BW "committing to the climb".

It would be difficult to deny that there is not a burgeoning sense of discontent within the ranks of BW as to how they are portrayed and treated by society in general and the BC in particular. I have seen the level and intensity of this discontent growing over the last year on the various IR blogs such as yours. Increasing at an equal rate has been the opposition to, and sometimes in a very virulent form, this discontent. Truly, some folks are extremely unhappy that they have been unable to use any of their usual tricks to stop the rebellion in its tracks, primarily because blogs like this one have exposed the real motivation behind those "tricks", i.e., to keep BW in the "box". Traditionally it has alway proven easier to control a large group of people if you can keep them all thinking the same way. Introduce a foreign or radical idea into the group and controlling them becomes manifestly more difficult. I think that "breaking away from the pack" is just such a radical departure in "group think" that will prove to have profound effects over the next 12-36 months.

The existence of a group of individual BW who are outside the control of traditional thinking, has to be driving the gatekeepers right up the proverbial wall. Imagine all of these informed, energized and committed women out there seeking to better not only their own lot, but the lots of others as well and in the process spreading the influence of these revolutionary ideas even further.
Instead of comforting one another in their conditions, they will be challenging one another to "step away from the box" and say, "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore"-apologies to Paddy Chayefsky:-) No longer will it be so easy to dupe BW into believing that "this is as good as it's ever gonna get for you". No longer will it be so easy to suggest that looking out for your own best interest and your children's is selfish and unworthy of a true bw. No longer will it be so easy to convince bw that no one outside of the BC thinks that they are attractive or desirable. And, finally, no longer will it be so easy to convince bw that they are powerless to do anything about their circumstances.

The path that these individuals choose will undoubtedly not be an easy one, but I think that they will find it is invigorating and fulfilling beyond anything they might have imagined. And with every success will come more boldness, strength and a growing sense of personal accomplishment. It is a certain fact that everyone is attracted to success, and it equally certain that a large group of successful bw committed to a single goal would prove themselves to be unstoppable.

2008 looks to be an interesting year.

Merry Christmas and Happy (interesting) New Year to everyone.

CW said...

I am far past the point of worrying about looking "foolish" for wanting a suitable mate...the black community dupes bw frequently with babbling about being independent...so on and so forth...

http://blackwomendeservebetter.blogspot.com/

Aphrodite said...

This is such an interesting entry. Unfortunately I have been labeled desperate and needy many many times in the past because I strongly desired a relationship or to date. I used to get so frustrated and upset about why I wasn't really dating or having the results I wanted in my love life until sometimes I would make myself sick.



I have never looked at things the way you mentioned them as "herd thinking" designed to keep you boxed in before.


I do know that the label of desperate coming from both men and women as well as the label of being needy is one that was effective in shutting me up or pushing things down. It made me feel like I was weak, bad, abnormal and I didn't want to be any of those things.




What about when the label of desperation and neediness also comes from prominent people?

Like nationally known speakers or life coaches who speak about relationships etc?

Anonymous said...

"I have some kernels of ideas and I'd be willing to be part of the brainstorming, but not if it's just going to be more black men bashing. It is seriously NOT productive and I wasn't kidding about what I said. If you really think a full 50% of the black population is DBR, then what are we fighting for? There is no hope. It IS time for black folks to shuffle off into extinction in that case."

This is a direct quote from one of the more active participants on C-1's site.

Now let's break this down.

"I have some kernels of ideas and I'd be willing to be part of the brainstorming, but not if it's just going to be more black men bashing."

ALL white women today (especially younger ones who exercise their full options on the relationship front unlike the sprinkling of black women who do) can thank those early white feminist in the 60's who willingly shared some kernels of ideas and were without a doubt willing to be part of the brainstorming. And there was no "but not if it's just going to be more white men bashing" about it.

Those white feminist knew who their collective enemy was. And they didn't pull any punches or waste precious time defending white men who were NOT the problem.

But this is EXACTLY what most black women habitually do.

And that's why BW as a group will never progress. Instead, individual BW should "break way" as you've state Halima.

The enemy is DBRBM YET in defense of those BM who are not DBR, most BW will NEVER be able to come to the table and make progress on a group front. Because of the energy expelled defending BM who are already good. And doing very well thank you on the relationship front. Unlike the majority of BW who come to their defense.

"It is seriously NOT productive and I wasn't kidding about what I said."

It's not productive to expel energy (which IS limited) defending those undamaged BM when BW are being attacked as a group 24/7 by DBRBM.

This is a case of misplaced priorities.

But in the case of most BW, you have a population that has been born and bred to have a HERD mentality. Therefore most can't even conceive of themselves having a different identity from the group. An individual identity that is separate from the BC and black men.

"If you really think a full 50% of the black population is DBR, then what are we fighting for?"

Black women are SUPPOSED to be fighting for THEIR rights and freedom. Not the "black population".

Fighting for THEIR right to safely and openly date, love, and marry who THEY choose without CARING about how their personal decisions (including personal decisions involving white and other non black men) affect the "black population" one way or another.

Evia said...

I was with a gorgeous and talented bw pal of mine yesterday who was bemoaning the fact that ww are so lucky that they have all the men in the world wanting them and bw don't have anyone who wants us.

She's been hoping to meet a QUALITY "Mr. Right" for years now and I think she may be getting to the point where she realizes he may not ever knock on her door. (She meets lots of losers who ONLY want to sex her, but she refuses to go that route, so she's been celibate and alone.)

However, there are quite a few people in the community, including her family who depend on her heavily. I can see clearly how they work on her emotionally to hold her in the box, but she doesn't see it.

Anyway,I pointed out to her that many men do want us and that we've just been brainwashed into thinking that we're undesirable to other groups of men. I pointed out that I'm married to one of those men. She got quiet.

I was shocked at her next statment. She said, "We've got to start telling black girls at a young age that they're wanted as mates by LOTS of men in the world--NOT just bm." I couldn't believe this! This is SO different from what she's said before. I have apparently influenced her thinking. She went on to say that we ought to get a camcorder and start recording some of the women's discussions that we have sometimes so that we can spread a new message to bw. I was thrilled to hear this and will hold her to this because she is from this community and lots of other women will listen to her.

She got sick recently and I think that brought home to her that she's getting older and it also underscored the fact that her life is passing and at the rate she's going, she'll end up old and alone because the family members who depend on her have their own mates and families. When she got sick, they were barely there for her.

Just like her, some bw who were not ready to hear this message last month are ready to hear it today. This is why we shouldn't argue with sistas who aren't ready to hear about their options today. Just tell them about their options.

If they stay around the bc long enough, they'll either learn the lesson OR most of them will not survive OR even if they do, their DNA won't be a part of the next generation because LOTS of upwardly mobile AA women (and/or those who are waiting to get married in order to have children) are NOT reproducing or are barely reproducing (1 child). You won't need to read about this in the Washington Post in 10 years to find this out. I'm telling you that right here.

D said...

Halima said...
In truth bw often resort to 'face saving mode' when they feel that they are being made to look foolish. Sadly this face saving mode is often to celebrate and claim that negative stat or the thing that hurts them most etc.


There's a thought that's been perking in my mind for a few years, and the past few months that I've posted here, and especially the past week or so.

About 8 or 9 years ago, I dubbed this idea "The Focus Rule".

YOU GET WHAT YOU FOCUS ON.

The easiest analogy I can think of to explain this is one of the first instances I used it myself. I coached soccer in a youth league for 9 years. When I'm trying to teach an 8-year-old how to shoot to score a goal, it is very important that the kid focuses on what they want (as opposed to what they don't want).

Specifically, if I'm teaching a kid how to score a goal past the other team's goalie, I teach them to rapidly size up the situation regarding the position of the goalie in the net, to find the biggest hole, and to shoot right for that spot. Usually that is over the head and to the right or left of the goalie.

So... I teach the kid WHAT TO DO. I try NOT to focus on what NOT to do. The focus should be on what you want to do, and how you're going to get there, and not on things to avoid. If you plan your objectives well, you simply don't have to worry about what not to do... you're too busy scoring goals.

This is especially evident in soccer, but I've seen it many, many times in the rest of life... the kid focused on their goal often gets it. But the kid who focuses on "not missing", or "not kicking the ball right to the goalie" usually... MISSES, OR KICKS THE BALL RIGHT TO THE GOALIE.

It's almost like the words "NO" and "NOT" are very ineffective words, and we get (in soccer, and in life) whatever the gist of our thoughts are. For you math geeks, it's like reality only looks at the absolute value, and ignores whether there's a negative sign in front of something.

So how would this play out in life?

If finding a mate is like soccer, you would do best to say something to yourself like "I am looking for a loving, caring, smart, focused, successful, supportive, and attractive man, and I will accept nothing less".

If you found a man with all those qualities, would he be DBR? No, obviously not. You got what you wanted, and did not get what you didn't want. DBR-ness was not even mentioned... it was just AUTOMATICALLY excluded by carefully chosing what you DO want.

So... focusing day to day on NOT being with a DBR man brings more DBR-ness into your life - even if you keep the gate closed to DBR people, they are still waiting at the gate of your life just because you're thinking of them and their ways.

The most financially successful person I know personally... is a BLACK WOMAN. And she climbed the ladder to her goals fairly quickly. About 15 years ago I had a conversation with her about her success... the gist of what she said was "I decided I wanted a red Corvette. And I worked, and worked until I got it." Her focus was NOT on problems in the BC. It was NOT on being under-appreciated. It was NOT on things that could hold her back. Her focus was a red Corvette. And she got it. And she has kept on moving since then.

It's my theory (very well proven on the soccer field and in my own life) that you get what you focus on.

And to leverage that to your advantage, you should talk about what you want WAY MORE than you talk about what you don't want. The same goes for me.

And that may mean that you have to break away from the pack, if the pack is not talking about what you want to talk about. Or to find a new pack. Or to lead a new pack.

D

D said...

Grant...

Great analogy with "Committed to the Climb".

Anonymous said...

"There is no hope. It IS time for black folks to shuffle off into extinction in that case."

Ironically it's the very black women who refuse to accept the growing DBRness in the BC (and therefor fail to protect themselves from being victimized) who are the most likely to be on the road to extinction.

ALL organism's - including humans - either adapt to changed environments for their continued survival OR eventually die off.

That's basic Science 101.

Sistas, yawl DON'T have to die off. You can break away from the Pack.

YOU ARE INDIVIDUALS and NEVER forget it.

Your personal future doesn't have to rest with the fate (good or bad) of the BC. It only does IF you let it.

Stardusky said...

Evia "Anyway,I pointed out to her that many men do want us and that we've just been brainwashed into thinking that we're undesirable to other groups of men. I pointed out that I'm married to one of those men. She got quiet.

I was shocked at her next statment. She said, "We've got to start telling black girls at a young age that they're wanted as mates by LOTS of men in the world--NOT just bm." I couldn't believe this!"

I read this and I felt such sadness. It's very real, so many bw have bought the idea that only bm want them as mates. And if a man of another race wants them, it's because he has a fetish. nlol...

It makes me think, perhaps this is the falshehood that has kept bw loyal to bm in the face of desertion, assault, and sheer denigration on the part of bm. I think that's what at the core of the loyalty, the feeling that bm are all there is.

m (again) said...

You know, if we're going to talk about staying "on message" --

I'd like to request that in the interest of being "committed to the climb", and "outside the control of traditional thinking", that the focus be on the POSITIVE message of a Black woman searching for a quality mate and committing to what's best for Black women, and NOT

"you don't want to be OLD and ALONE".

I think a focus on negativity can be off-putting to Black women in their 50s -- and 40s -- and 30s (what's perceived as "old" these days tends to vary so greatly) who would otherwise be strong allies to the cause.

The latter (the "OLD and ALONE" thing) is a fear-based message, and it excludes women (e.g., "you're too old to have children, so this message isn't even for you"), as opposed to being inclusive. With science and medicine advances being what they are these days, never say never. One of my great-grandmothers had her last child when she was 51. And from the family stories I've been told, "energy to parent" wasn't a problem either; she had 15 children.

Evia said...

It's my theory (very well proven on the soccer field and in my own life) that you get what you focus on.

I agree with this and when I was dating, I ONLY focused on QUALITY men because nothing else was of any interest to me.

I'd like to request that in the interest of being "committed to the climb", and "outside the control of traditional thinking", that the focus be on the POSITIVE message of a Black woman searching for a quality mate and committing to what's best for Black women,

I agree with this too, but here's the question: what is stopping bw from finding a quality mate? IMO, there is nothing "real" or importantly real that is blocking bw from finding a QUALITY mate, and if so, could you explain what is "real" or of importance out there that is preventing a typical bw from finding herself a QUALITY man. I believe that 99% of what prevents bw from finding a QUALITY man is self-limitation, so these blogs tend to get mired down in helping bw to throw off those self-limiting chains.

Actually, focusing on QUALITY men in these blogs means that there isn't a need for the blogs--because IMO, a reasonably attractive and reasonably fit and intelligent bw of ANY age with a pleasant deameanor who conducts herself with decorum can easily find interested men and some of these men will be in the range of quality to high-quality. A woman only needs to select from among the men the most loving, loveable, suitable and compatible one for herself. I've been saying this from the outset, yet other bw CONTINUE to bring the various myths, their insecurities, their fears, other folks' fears, other people's opinions, the bc, politics, race, guilt, etc. into the discussions and that's what pulls them off track. If bw could only check that stuff at the door!!

This type of woman who is going to meet her Mr. Right in 2008 knows that she can't sit at home and wait for his knock on the door. She gets out there and she goes and is able to do a degree of what's passes as flirting with ANY appealing man who has potential and is able to unabashedly respond to a man's interest.

A number of women here have spoken about being unable to do these steps of the 'mating dance' (a term I coined) like look a man in the eyes or maintain eye contact, or initiate small talk with a man, etc. These are other issues altogether.

Also, I think bw of a certain mindset need a forum or a number of forums where we can talk about OUR issues without being intruded upon by anyone who we don't want there. As it stands in these blogs, we have so many "troll problems." We don't seem to be able to set up such forums unless they're labor-intensive or private and in doing so, it usually prevents other potentially like-minded sistas or those who are looking to grow or find an alternative mindset from finding us.

Clarice said...

Evia said "I believe that 99% of what prevents bw from finding a QUALITY man is self-limitation, so these blogs tend to get mired down in helping bw to throw off those self-limiting chains."

True that! That is not saying there are not problems or issues to over come or that BW create their own problems. It is saying how far you can go largely depends on how high you aim and how hard you push.

It all begins in the mind with what a person focuses on. If you think you can't then you won't. As a person thinks so the rest goes. True life intervenes at times but with a laser focus often once the distraction or intervening situation or circumstance resolves itself - you are easily able to get back on track and roll forward. Sometimes you have to do all you can and then let it flow from there and wait for a resolution - because life or your spiritual higher power says wait! and there is no choice but to wait.

However having a focus during that wait turns that waiting period into a chance to sharpen and refine the focus and develop strategies that support the focus or build strength that furthers the journey. Staying focused produces productive waiting.

Focus on what can be based on what you want rather than the chaos that is and the noise eventually subsides - not because it goes away but because it ceases to matter and ceases to resonate in your consciousness.

Fact is the problems of the BC are not the BWs problem to solve alone or even collectively w/out the BW being strong and whole and healthy in and of themselves. Chaos abounds us - been there done that - old news - move on. The trolls are always with us - can't eliminate that - but what can be controlled is the impact they have.

Ignore the intentionally ignorant and post based on your focus. Respond by making your point on what is important to you. Nothing you say or do will change these folks and engaging them only drains energy better used elsewhere and/or drags you down or off track. Harsh as it may sound focus on the goals that matter to the fullest extend possible be single minded and determined.

Focusing on the chaos without strengthening your own wellness serves no purpose but to feed the chaos. Fixing a situation while still stuck only gets you stuck - forget focusing on being stuck focus on how to get unstuck. It's like trying to help a dehydrated person get water when the cup i.e. your vessel is broken - neither of you gets what is needed.

Learn as many ways as possible to move forward. There is no one size fits all strategy so well armed women have options and use the most suitable option for the situation to achieve the desire result.

Marry the end goal - which for the purpose of these blogs is marriage between two whole healthy - kind, caring, responsible considerate, respectable respectful people - not perfect - perfect is an illusion sold by holly weird - not the method of getting there.
Be willing to explore every means of getting to that goals and choose among the options of how to best get there.

These blogs are an ideal place to share tips on what to look for in a quality man, how to cope with the chaos when it intrudes and stay focused and on point, how to build up other areas as part of being a whole individual.

Women in successful relationships got there and stay there by remembering what is important and not letting other less important things interfere.

When a speed bump shows up - it's over around or through it but it has got to go and with a quickness. A whole person realizes they have a reserve of energy and it can be spent on things that replenish and move them forward or that splinter them and drain them and delay their attaining their goals - if they have to take a detour they do but they are frugal with time wasters and strive for retaining regaining balance as soon as possible.

The choice is yours - get what you are seeking or get sidetracked. Getting what you are seeking means things either help you or hurt you and if it hurts you it has got to go - it is winner take all - take no prisoners, carry only your own luggage or fall short. Stay focused or fall short - it is what it is.

V/r

Clarice

Clarice said...

Anonymous said...Most BW will NEVER be able to come to the table and make progress on a group front. Because of the energy expelled defending BM who are already good."

Men and women who are good need no defending.They can and do take care of themselves - that makes them good and sets them apart from the pack. They are taking care of themselves and handling their business and ignoring the intentionally perpetually ignorant and avoiding or strategically mitigating the impact of DBR individuals that cross their paths as inevitably comes w/ life.
Good - i.e whole individuals are that way because the recognize negative self defeating toxic situations, circumstances and people and maneuver around or steer clear of them while actively seeking to be their best self and achieve their goals. Staying whole and being "good" is not a static state, perpetual state it takes time and effort to attain and subsequently maintain that state.

Good people can be brought down or taken out of the game if they do not show up and keep it up. The thing is good people if they are brought low are often resilient enough to recover and move beyond the failings/fall. It means not phoning it in - it means not just showing up but coming to play all day everyday and doing what needs to be done for self care and forward progress and recognizing there are options and it's about creating options.

Good teams and good people can win ugly - in other words no matter where these folks find themselves in terms of situation or circumstance they remain focused and push toward their goals -self directing and self correcting, course correcting and self protecting all the way.

V/r

Clarice

D said...

clarice...

100% dead on, girl... I really liked both your posts.

Way to keep the focus positive. : )

D

arthur said...

.. I do know that the label of desperate coming from both men and women as well as the label of being needy is one that was effective in shutting me up or pushing things down. It made me feel like I was weak, bad, abnormal and I didn't want to be any of those things..

One of the earliest things I learned growing up, in my particular family, was to never let on about what I wanted or what was important to me. Halima referred to that in her post; when you are in a position of dependence and/or vulnerability, you just smile and nod, and don't let on that your thinking is completely different from what you're hearing. Keep your own counsel and go your own way.

As far as well-known relationship advisers ... they don't know you, or your life; how could they hope to be giving advice to you? A lot of what 'well-known' people say is hogwash that no one should listen to.

A woman wanting to have a good man in her life, and to be happy ... this is as normal and authentically human as it gets.

Don't let people who have abandoned their dreams talk you into giving up yours.

Clarice said...

Thank you D! Your comments have inspired another post :)

arthur said..."One of the earliest things I learned growing up, in my particular family, was to never let on about what I wanted or what was important to me."

Strategically this is called hiding in plain sight. Smile and nod - go along and fly under the radar as needed and quietly work the dreams that are nearest and dearest - sometimes concealment is protective cover for dreams. It takes energy to explain or defend a goal near and dear to the soul - so sometimes the best thing to do is say nothing - smile and nod and move on.

As the old folks used to say -' you have to pat the momma crocidile on the head until you get accross the river. Make no mistake! This is war and the stakes are high and the enemey in this case DBR individuals and those w/ the crab in the barrel are out to stop you.

Until and unless you are standing on your own fully ready for battle and even then sometimes you have to choose what battles are worth fighting.

Not all battles are the same and cost more than they are worth in the end. The goal is to win the war and capture the prize in the form of a good man and to be happy, if that means skipping a battle or avoiding a needless, pointless skirmish w/ a troll or a dbr individual who can't see the woods for the trees then save your energy for where it will do most good via concealment.


Strategically - do whatever it takes, use every weapon available to achieve the goal of the heart. Hear the advice given - apply what is true and applicable to advancing your goal and disregard the rest. Hopefully in 2008 folks will learn to dance to their own tune and follow the path that is best for them using the tools available.

V/r

Clarice

Clarice said...

Georgia Dufresne said..."As a woman, I've come to the point of aggravation, because I CAN ONLY EAT SO MUCH BITTERSWEET OF LIFE! As woman, we told always to be kind&sweet&forgiving&gracious& TO RISE ABOVE IT. But how much bitterness can a human being belly? I not professing the these qualities should not be promoted, but that's just half of it: it is THE TRUTH.

Where is the Reality? The emotions graciousness rises above stay there in the very soul of the human being. And now, violence by woman is on the rise, and we know why this is. She's eaten so much of herself, repressed herself, taken it graciously, slapped a smile on her face, said "I'm fine," then lashed out in violence against the innocent around her.

(I hope this is clear,) but all I am say is: Halima, you are right to profess that graciousness is a virtue I should strive for, but reality and experience reminds me everyday that the virtuous lamb is the first sacrificed in the spirit and reality of things. This NOT a call for self protection, but a question about why do not talk more about the ultimate reality of things--as they are?"

The analogy of the game - comes into play here. When a player goes on the field in this case life to pursue a goal the good players leave everything out there on that field.

Graciousness and rising above can only happen if the belly is not full of anger and bitterness. So how does one empty the belly and leave it all out there on the field of play?

Acknowledge what is being felt and assert the right to feel what is being felt. It is what it is - assert yourself and your right to your feelings. Feelings are what they are - neither right nor wrong they just are. Simple facts - right and wrong only comes into play when feelings are acted on - there are wrong ways to act on feelings and right ways.

The right way is to after acknowledging the feeling and the right for them to exist - state what is felt respecting the self and the other person - decide what is needed to have those feelings addressed from standpoint of self and refuse to let others talk over, around or through that reality. Do this calmly, firmly and with a resolve not to back down not to swallow this meekly and go on!

Speaking up may not change the situation - however it will change how the feelings are processed and the feeling in the belly and that is all that matters. Speaking up though your knees may be knocking - lightens the load and empties the belly.

Be glad for that feeling in the belly! It is a sign that your needs are not being met - you are not being respected - you are allowing others to disrespect you and you are not nurturing yourself! It is saying what you know but have not or are not able to articulate - pay attention to that fullness in the belly - recognize it for the helper that it is and use it to push past the fear and say enough.

The fullness in the belly is telling you enough is enough - this is not acceptable - notice how you feel when you acknowledge that feeling and then act to correct the feeling. Ask yourself when you feel that what is happening here? How is it effecting me? Is this in my best interest? How can I change it to work for me? Why am I not putting a stop to this nonsense that is not working for me. Just calmly and quietly assert - no this is not working for me. The other party involved will be shocked and stop short - the message sent will be Do not disrespect me.

So many times especially women of color are denied the right or allow themselves to be talked out of the right to feel what they feel and have it accepted as real, valid and viable. Feelings denied do not subside they grow and fester - blocking the ability to be gracious. Graciousness comes from w/in from a place of peace and wholeness - yes you can fake it till you make it but even then a solid sense of worth has to be the bedrock.

Graciousness is respecting the humanity and wholeness of all parties involved. It's about retaining a sense of self worth and respect in the face of opposition and negative situations or circumstances. Graciousness is not about going along to get along - simply to avoid calling someone to account for disrespect.

Acknowledge the anger, sadness, and fear - it is real, accept that it is not going away without that acknowledgment - then express it! Forgiveness is not pretending it does not matter - forgiveness says yes it was/is wrong and it does matter but it is not important enough to allow it to control the situation.

Forgiveness is not holding onto what is wrong - it does not deny that wrong was done. Forgiveness and graciousness which is the expression of forgiveness - say yes that was wrong and it did hurt/harm - but letting go of the hurt - seeing to it that amends are made for the harm done even if it means only acknowledgment and acceptance of responsibility and moving on with a lesson learned for future use.

Graciousness is about coming from a place of internal strength and knowing and trusting that whatever happens the ability to handle any situation without being undone, sidetracked or disrespected and in the end achieving the goal that matters most is possible.

Graciousness is acting from a position of strength and refusing to surrender dignity, self respect - goals and objectives.

A person can only afford to be gracious and sweet if they are ready, willing and equipped to throw down and stand firm - fight for what they believe in and refuse to be disrespected and not being a sacrificial lamb - led to slaughter by a self serving community.

Refuse to allow yourself to be pushed to the point of aggravation, heed the message of the fullness in the belly and stand up for what is right and true and command respect.

Acknowledge and express the anger, sadness and disappointment and express it in a way the honors your needs and furthers your goals - and let go of them. Then only and only then while feeling, whole, respected and healthy can graciousness flow freely and easily.


V/r

Clarice

Stardusky said...

Anonymous:
"It's not productive to expel energy (which IS limited) defending those undamaged BM when BW are being attacked as a group 24/7 by DBRBM.

This is a case of misplaced priorities."

I see that all the time. Pitiful.

It's one thing to defend BM by stating your piece then moving on (God knows I do that) but these women will CUT. YA. UP. over BM with a ferocity that's quite telling.

And I am not fooled by their occasional paeans to "cute" wm celebrities which they will revert to as damage control in order to show the IR world they're "down" with wm. lol! Who are they fooling?

I say Black women interested in IR need to break away from that pack. For their own good. Considering how for the past 2 decades, bw as a group have been dealing with the worst misogynistic attitudes in the black community, if a bw is going to cut you up over your negative comments about bm, it's a red flag. Break away from that pack, ladies.

Surround yourself with people (IRL and in cyberspace) who support your goals and let you be you and let you express your hurts and fears without unduly trying to silence you.

Anonymous said...

Clarice...

Have you by any chance read Thich Nhat Hanh?

Another couple of great posts.

--------------------

I'm one of those people attracted to this string of blogs by that MSM news article... what was it, MSNBC? I must admit that I've been moderately "put off" by some of the bitterness I've seen repeatedly expressed here... and the closer I've come to saying that "straight up, no chaser", the more likely I am to be called a troll, or ignored.

HOWEVER...

I realize there's some proverbial "junk" that needs to be cleaned out... some burdens that black women bear that they shouldn't have to, or don't need to.

And... for everybody that posts here, whether the initiator of a blog, or a responder in the threads, there is a level of courage in doing what you're doing, and since many of you started before me, I have to give you props for just being here trying to do something. Action is better than inaction, usually.

And... okay, yeah, the bitterness is a turn-off when I see that... but there's a lot of positive and uplifting stuff here, too.

Halima, your book was good from front to back, and I recommend it to anyone "new" to these issues.

And a comment on a trend I've seen for black women to say "we need a place where black women can talk only amongst ourselves, because some of this stuff is our unique issues only"... But think about this for a second... if that is a response when I'm trying to say that 19% of the conversation being about DBRBM and 19% of the conversation being about not being a mammy, or a mule... it sucks the energy and life right out of me... and I can tell it sometimes sucks the energy and life out of you all, too. Then I suggest talking about the qualities you want in a man (not the qualities you don't want), and I suggest talking about who and what you want to be (not who and what you don't want to be)... and sometimes I'm called a troll, and 5 of the next 8 posts keep going back to "mammy" and DBRBM and mule and chains and trolls... negative imagery repeated over and over. I've seen more talk ABOUT trolls and their negative ways than I've seen actual trolls. Aren't you (okay, SOME of you, SOMETIMES) somewhat sucking negative energy to yourselves by where you focus? Do you really want to take that energy "private" where it can fester even more?

I guess I see myself as telling the truth that some of you don't want to hear, but need to hear... and as trying to advocate more exploration of discussion about WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, and less discussion about where you don't want to go. Focus on your goals, not your roadblocks. Your goals aren't getting around your roadblocks, your goals are PAST your roadblocks. WAY PAST. I used to think this "thing" might lead to friendships or even a relationship... but that bridge probably went up in flames a few weeks ago ;-) C'est la vie.

Anyway... back to Clarice's posts... in my opinion, the approach she laid out for dealing with the crap of life (to me, in my opinon) doesn't drain the energy and vitality out of me, and should be productive to help people get where they want to go. Thanks, Clarice.

D

Halima said...

D let me tell you a secret. In life you have to know and be very sure of what your 'primary mission' is. You have to know where you plug in and focus on being effective in this area.

I dont want to be repeating myself and possibly will have to do a standing 'terms of reference' post for everyone, but the aim of my blog is very clear to me and it is simpy to get black women to reflect on their situation to come to an understanding of how things stand for them. I come in at a basic level, i am the first port that bw meets before she proceeds onward on her journey towards self-prioritization.

so i reiterate; my blog is here to do essentially two thing
1) Disabuse bw's minds and get them to reevaluate and rethink all the notions and rules they have been handed
2) To get the scales to fall from their eyes and galvanize them into getting busy on their own behalf having recognised the duping going on particularly in the BC.

Now clearly if you have passed this stage in your 'evolution' as a self-actualising bw, you might not need this blog and maybe this is why articles here are begining to irritate you.

Now i have a network of all other blogs which are discussing all sorts of other issues and pitching it at various angles. they are clearly linked at my sidebar. Why dont you use these rather than try to change the key function of this blog?

I have said this before, i wonder how all of us would have fared if they had shut down infant school when the class of say 60 finished.
Apply the same principle here, other bw are coming up that need to hear the message and to be taught to recognise mammy ideology and mammy behaviour for what it is.

i am not going to upstakes because one batch of bw have got it. I say bless them and wish them well on their onward journey.

Dont take this the wrong way but this blog is not here to serve the good pleasure and personal tatses of an individual

Instead of moaning about this blogs focus and if you think you can plug in with an angle that is not being catered to, why dont you set up your own blog with your particular focus and i will gladly link you!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

It is important to remember that the mindset which you is being described here is the first among many to get black women to become "mammies."

It is as though having pride in the ability to cope with and overcome difficulties has become pride in experiencing the difficulties themselves!

So black women don't need marriage; thus, they are not like other women, they can be "strong," just like "Mammy."

Anonymous said...

Halima...

Thank you for clarifying the primary mission of your blog, because I DID misunderstand it.

I thought your blog was directed at the whole spectrum of BW IR relationships... but your approach does make more sense if it's specifically targeted at that initial decision to be open in the first place. I should have taken the intro at the top more at face value. Deciding to be open to a quality mate of any race, and then going forward in a relationship are two different things, I guess.

Several of the most influential minds ever have said that a crisis (real or perceived) is the only thing which consistently kick-starts big change. Sometimes this idea has been abused, but that's a different matter.

And... somebody being angry is a big part of what turns an average crisis into change. Angry people will often take action in a new direction where others won't.

So... now I see where you're trying to go. And maybe my "optimism" is slowing that down. Oops.

I'd differ that you are disabusing them... they've got to disabuse themselves through their own personal choices to open their options and move to a better place. But I'd agree that by showing them they are being held back in an unfavorable position, you can point a new direction and motivate more of them to get off the dime to do something about it, and give them support while they make those life-changing decisions.

I guess I'm a little worried that your proteges will forget to drop the anger after they've opened their options, and are down the road on their "onward journey". Angry people in other settings sometimes stay angry even after their reason to be so has dwindled. And angry people usually do not have healthy and happy relationships. As the potential "other half" of such a relationship, obviously I don't want that. But... I guess that would be an issue for a separate blog. : )

Re: a more positive themed blog for the "onward journey"... I don't know if I'd be the best person to start such a blog... I'm single at the moment, but don't think I'd be so motivated if/when I become involved in a relationship. Aimee would be good, but I don't want to speak for her... maybe someone can pick up that specific torch?

D

Anonymous said...

Amen, Amen, Amen. Now I just wanted to also say that when I was growing up, the brothers were still dating bw, although the light, bright ones were always the favorite (I am in my late 30's) However, the Naomi Campbell, exotic beauty phase in America was kind of good to the dark skinned sisters like me. Some brothers came around and wanted to date a pretty dark girl. I have to say it is really wild going out right now for "a night on the town" with the girls. The things we encounter are unbelievable! When you go out into my downtown area half of the couples are ww/bm. It is interesting though because just like the statistics, you will see about one bw/wm couple for about every three of the bm/ww couples. I have to say though that I do see more bw/wm couples than I have ever seen before in my life! The rest are single, black women. Seeing all of this had gotten me to the point to where I actually was not as excited about going out with the girls. It was so embarrassing. And on a couple of occassions, I would see ww looking over with a smirk on their face to see if me and my girlfriends were watching. Going out as a single black woman now ...you know that there is something that NEEDS to be done about this situation. Brothers act so arrogant toward you and they dont even look your way. My light skinned girlfriends dont really have it any better because none of them are in a relationship. Well one is actually and it is with a wm. He treats her like a queen. Other than than everyone is smart, very attractive and very single. I mean we are tall, dark skinned women with nice personalities, nice teeth, smooth skin, nice features, slim but with curves. All have degrees, some with advanced degrees and we are alone! When hanging out with the girls, the situation is so deperate that you can even smell the competition among the bw and ww. I have been totally depressed about the whole thing. One day last week, I just happened to google ir between wm/bw. Sara's blog came up. I read her articles and saw all of the ir couples and I started to think about other dating options. I read the articles regarding the 70% of bw and the rationale for us dating out. I know that we need to explore other options. WM definitely flirt with me more since the increase of bm/ww dating but I never paid it any attention. Now I will be paying attention to these men and actually making sure that I have a wider pool to date from. I feel so much better and I am going to spread the word about all of the blogs to all of the women that I know. It is funny because I was just saying to my girlfriends how this is probably the best thing to ever happen to bw. This is probaly a blessing in diguise because it forces us to look elsewhere. Having this many amazing black women who are alone is unnatural. With ir we will get to see what we have been missing. I was of those loyal bw. I now feel that it is crazy to have that kind of loyalty to anyone who does not appreciate me. When I was out last weekend with my girls, we were discussing ir. One of the girls stated that she still can't do it because she needs to see dark skin in her bed. She said that she will be waiting it out. You guys need to have your blogs featured in Essence, Ebony, hair magazines and anything geared to bw. This is definitely going to be a good year for me and the beginning of something new. Thank you so much!

Phantom Mare said...

Evia said:

Also, I think bw of a certain mindset need a forum or a number of forums where we can talk about OUR issues without being intruded upon by anyone who we don't want there. As it stands in these blogs, we have so many "troll problems." We don't seem to be able to set up such forums unless they're labor-intensive or private and in doing so, it usually prevents other potentially like-minded sistas or those who are looking to grow or find an alternative mindset from finding us.
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This is why I am glad there are so many blogs for us. It can ONLY get bigger. Next thing your know, these blogs will end up on the news.