Men, We Need You
I got into a heated argument Saturday night while in Miami. Sat across the table from a few good, educated, American men who looked at me and said that they felt they could not enact change and for lack of a better word felt powerless.
And I get it. I get the system. I get how they feel. I get what they are faced with.
But I don't tolerate the justifications for why they think they cannot enact change and I don't believe that things are impossible.
And when I think about our debate to this day I am still so upset.
But my upset and anger is only there because it's masking hurt.
Hurt for my black men. Hurt for my future partner. Hurt for my future children.
Hurt for the insecure.
Because so many people are growing up insecure, marrying insecure partners, raising insecure children. And continuing the cycle of brokenness.
And in my argument, as passionate as it may have been viewed by those around me, I felt completely stuck as I tried to drill into a few black men's minds that change has to begin with each one of them.
It has to begin by working on their own mindsets and their own self worth.
As much as I talk to women about the importance of loving themselves, it really hit me that we need our men to be focused on doing the same.
We want you. We need you. And we need you to be strong. Not to be offended by our own grace and independence, but to realize that as women we've been feeling lost without you.
As women, we've been working on ourselves, focusing on our growth and deciding maybe we have to do things alone - all the while praying that eventually a strong man of character will join us on our journey.
But what's the sense if you as men don't believe you deserve just as much love, from inside and out, and cannot see the power and potential that you each hold?
Let me repeat: We need you.
We need you to get just as focused on loving yourselves, rebuilding your own self worth, practice healing, become true protectors and providers, amazing fathers, lovers, and men.
You have the strength. You have the power. You are capable. And we do love you.
(And ladies, my sidenote to you is to please let them shine. Let our men shine. Let them live and love the ways they know how. Commend them. Give them respect, space, trust and build them up. If you can't do that, then leave them alone until you yourself are ready, willing and capable to love yourself and in turn pour into your future partner.)
Because for all of us - that's what it's about. Loving ourselves to such a level that we can't help but over pour into someone else. Loving ourselves with such strength that when a relationship or friendship doesn't serve us we can walk away. Loving ourselves to the point of recognizing that forgiveness means a happier you. Loving ourselves and others without expectation. And loving ourselves so that we build stronger people, families and communities.
That is all.