Last week, I asked this question:
How do we love someone (especially a Black man) in a way that shows him how to love himself?
Here’s what I think:
You have to love yourself so much that you can put yourself in his shoes, see his wounds, and not make it about you.
And that’s a challenge, right? That can be HARD.
I mean, it would be easy for me to get caught up in the hurt of not knowing my father. I could get stuck on the questions … what would my life be like if he had been there? What might I have avoided going through if he had just been there to protect me? What would it have been like to have someone bigger than me around? I don’t know what it feels like to have a father. I do not know what it feels like to be protected.
But as much impact as that has on me, I can take myself out of it—I can love myself enough to put myself in his shoes and see his wounds.
If he went through everything he did to keep me alive when Momma wanted to abort me, it must have been 10 times worse for him to live without me in his life. Understand?
I can feel compassion for what it must have been like for him by realizing that he was dealing with some sort of historical wound. It wasn’t about me, personally. When I can separate myself from it, I can see that maybe he HAD to walk away. Maybe he HAD to numb himself, or get high, or f%^k a bunch of women, or whatever it was that he did—just to get through. Maybe it wasn’t arrogance, or ego, or defiance, or lack of love.
Maybe he was so hurt by what he could not be that he couldn’t face me. Maybe he knew that he f*&ked up, and thought it would just be better for me if he left.
Again, Black men don’t have the tools we do as Black women.
But as Black women, we can show them how to love just by loving them.
I love my dad. I have never met him, and I probably never will. But that’s ok. I don’t need to.
I believe he can feel my love, whether he knows me or not.
Walk with me:
If you and I are spiritual beings having a human experience, that means that you and I are connected at the level of spirit. We’re not connected through this body, these bones … we are connected through spirit. That means that you and I are the same, and if you and I are the same, that means we’re still connected to the ancestors, and if we’re still connected to the ancestors, we’re still connected to the wound.
And THAT means I’m still connected to my father.
I don’t need to talk to him for him to know that I love him. I believe he feels my love in the very air he breathes.
That’s what I can DO to love him, in the hopes that he feels it, knows it, and emulates it.
And I can do one more thing: I can take on healing the wounds of Black men.
Because the more I think about this, the more determined I am to make sure they know they’re loved.
They will win in my space. They will win. I’m gonna figure it out. I don’t know how, yet. But I will.
Please comment below so we can bear witness: Is there any place in your life right now that you can take a step back, remove yourself from the situation, see the wounds of others, and offer love?