Ain't No Way: An Open Letter to Our Kings

My love for you is unconditional. Yet, I wonder if an implanted fear of me will ever allow you to reap the benefits of the passion that I carry deep in my soul for you. When I’m in your presence, an enigmatic charge passes through us that is older than our ages combined. This vibrant aura is more ancient than the history that has bound us in spirit, complexion, hardship, honor and pride. What I choose to embrace, waking up every day in search of, you choose to deny. Not only are you denying me, you are doing a fantastic job of denying yourself. Your superior ability to detach from the core of your very existence prevents you from elevating to the heights that you were born to reach. It is stifling, anger-provoking, and overwhelmingly powerful. It takes on a life and voice of its own which whispers to you until it becomes a mighty roar of a self-defeating mantra stuck on repeat: “I don’t deserve, nor desire, any more than I have at this very moment”. I’m here to tell you that you are deserving, you are worthy, and you do desire more than you currently have or you wouldn’t be in so much pain. However, I cannot love you if you don’t love yourself. I cannot help you if you aren’t willing to help yourself. I cannot support you if you are not in the mood to walk, let alone stand. That does not mean that I don’t want to love you. Quite the contrary, it is all that I want to do but I need your help.

There is an old song that says, “Loving you is easy cause you’re beautiful”. In my eyes, you are beyond beautiful, but when you look into the mirror, what do you see? When I catch glimpses of myself in your windows filled with a spiritual pain and despair that barely has room for my reflection, I wonder if you can see your own beauty through your pain. Your world has not changed in over 100 years with the exception of the speed of your rejection and indignity. There is nothing in this world that could give me a sense of how the micro and macro aggressions that you face on a regular basis affect you and how you feel. My experience as a black woman will always be similar but worlds apart from your own. All that I can do is empathize which is a difficult task if I am not invited into your world with a sense of trust and respect. Give me a chance to show you that we are a team.

Often I find myself in Q&A sessions that are more self-serving than beneficial to any potential future between two individuals. I hear you say that this is how we will get to know one another, but communication is a mutual act and I wonder if you are processing my answers or simply checking boxes on a perpetual list. The interview process that you have developed is more of an interrogation. I’m aware that the questions that you barrage me with are not intentionally asked to scare me away, but your version of testing a candidate to determine if I can provide you with the support that you so desperately need. Your apprehension is apparent and at times, terrifying because I am not privy to your reasons for the sometimes unconscious desire to eliminate me before we even get started. Whether you are aware that elimination is your goal, I’m not sure if you are cognizant of the root of your behavior. We have been programmed from eons ago to reject one another based on the selfish and individual reasons of another culture which we have now adopted as our own. I can handle not being chosen for realistic and justifiable reasons, but we owe it to ourselves to throw away the preconceived notions that we wear like nooses around our necks. Every man and woman isn’t meant to be together intimately, but we can’t even build healthy partnerships at the rate we are going. If we are constantly in a phase of checks and balances and never allow ourselves the chance to learn one another without the pressures of the world telling us that we are better off alone, how will we ever make it? With all of the idiocrasy, spirits, and principalities between us, is there any room for love?

Yes, I worry. Incessantly worry at times that I will never be able to give myself to you, the man that was molded for me, because I may find you in a state of destruction. I’ve witnessed the downtrodden nature of a man who should be full of confidence, the ignorant nature of a man who possesses great intelligence, the narrow-minded nature of a man who is broader in every aspect than he will allow his mind to spread and felt overcome with sadness. There are factors beyond your control that work to aid in your destruction as well as my own. Historical failures, generational curses, missing childhood attributes, negative circumstances throughout the life span and a host of other ills that make love appear an illusion. Something discussed, carefully planned, thought over and sung about by the dominant society that are statistically more likely to experience love and the joys of marriage, but not a reality for people that look like you and me. Call me what you will, but I believe in black love. I believe in it because I came from it. I believe in it because I know that love is not reserved for a certain population. The same way a song can enter you and take root, playing through your mind at the best and worst of times, bringing a smile to your face when you want to be upset, and taking you to an orgasmic peak time and time again, I know that we can have that feeling for one another. Will you let me share it with you? Does the idea of trying something new intimidate you or excite you?

The perpetuation of self-hatred knows no limits within our community and I need to know that you have love for yourself. An insult to the face would hurt less than a man who cannot appreciate the love I have for myself and finds childish ways to demean the relationship which I have built. I want you to be in constant transformation and elevation. On a journey that propels you past the demonic thoughts and mindsets that prevent you from seeing the beauty, power and potential within yourself. I ask that when you discover how it feels to truly love who you are that you do not attach certain types of love to me. I don’t want to be loved the same way that you love your mother or other female family members. There is a vein of obligation that comes with that love even if there is genuine emotion intertwined within. Our love for each other should be built as a new home on freshly tilled fertile ground, brick by brick supported by a strong foundation that can only be crafted with materials that are meant to last. Therefore, I need you to know who you are and approach the fears that you have with a fervent and relentless calculated mode of attack. Seeking comfort at the bottom of a bottle, in the inhalation, intravenous or other use of a substance, in the depth of another woman, or through the illegal pursuit of the almighty dollar are unacceptable coping mechanisms in the development of the love that I want with you. Can you handle this? As I transform as a woman, can you start the process of rebuilding so that we can grow as a unit?

Learning to love ourselves is a gift that continues to blossom and grow as we learn to give and receive. We should always treat each other better than we wish to be treated. I want you to be aware, as I am, that giving is not only for the sake of receiving. Our investment in one another will yield lasting and rewarding dividends that we can both benefit from in our story together. I want to give to you because I know that it takes nothing away from me to strengthen, support and satisfy you. I also know that when we find that delicate balance of giving and receiving it will become a personal desire to completely give ourselves wholly without fear of the repercussions. This is something that needs to be built, just like our love for one another. When you ask something of me, I always want you to consider if you would do the same for me. Remember that I would never ask you to do something that I would have a second thought about. This artwork that we will create as a pair will be a masterpiece of alternating strokes taking on a complementary flow representing the gifts we both bring. I’m ready to release the chains that I shackled to my body and when you find me, I pray that you are ready to fly free with me. The heights we were born to reach cannot be achieved alone but there ain’t no way for me to love you if you won’t let me.

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Founder: Eboni N. Faulkner.

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