THE ART OF FEELING DESERVING
THE ART OF FEELING DESERVING
Love & Relationships
Love is a responsibility. To give and receive life’s most sacred emotion is a duty that requires much sacrifice from both parties. It’s no secret that many relationships are bound by a sense of emotional disparity that keeps partners at odds. When this happens, you can find your heart yearning for affection that the mind can’t comprehend on its own.
One would expect that the lines of communication remains clear so the two most powerful organs in the body can stay on the same page – but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes love needs a little more encouragement.
Your eyes are like camcorders that run 24 hours a day. Since you were born, the windows to your soul have captured your every waking moment. Everything you’ve ever seen has been diligently recorded and safely stored somewhere deep inside your subconscious. Depending on what you’ve been depositing into your emotional vault, the act of giving and receiving love can prove to be more challenging for you; no matter how badly you want it.
No matter what problem you’re trying to solve, “why” will ALWAYS be the most profound question you can answer.
It’s easy to utter the infamous four-letter-word, but following through on that commitment is much more difficult. Regardless of what you’re trying to create, life only delivers what you expect. Consequently, expectations can only be determined by what you feel you deserve.
Now do you see where we’re going with this? Many women don’t know how to respond to forms of love that register as foreign to them.
Think about that for a minute.
The “strong black woman” stigma is one that’s carried many households on the broken backs of determined single mothers – but how does that stigma impact the way you value having a partner?
I’ve been in more than one relationship that ended with my man questioning where he fit in my life. After being raised by a league of "strong black women", cultivating an independent existence became my norm. I never saw the happy homemaker welcoming her husband after a long day of work. So, I couldn't offer a love I did not know.
But that was only the tip of the iceberg.
Once I came to terms with the type of love I wished to attract, I needed to acknowledge the need for respectable boundaries.
That “strong black woman” syndrome can affect the next generation in many ways. Aside from the “don’t need a man” “pay my own bills” approach, some women can become overly dependent on their partner. Losing yourself on the quest for love only diminishes the true beauty of the emotion.
Love is supposed to be empowering. At its best, it’s uplifting and reassuring, but there’s a dark side that lies on the opposite end of the spectrum. Before you’re able to love anyone else, you must first come to terms with what it means to fully love yourself.
Being a “strong black woman” taught me to be comfortable in my own skin – and it proved the need to define what is (and isn't) acceptable in a relationship. First, it highlighted the need to establish a solid foundation built on trust and respect but, for me, it also meant being accountable for the way I sabotaged my relationships.
Accountability is the greatest tool to use when repairing any type of relationship. Once you’ve redefined the position you need your partner to fill, and the behaviors that will attract or repel your attention, it’s important to learn how to receive love from whoever you’re with.
If you’re one of those women who never ask for anything and have a tough time accepting gifts – ask yourself if there’s an underlying reason fueling that behavior.
Knowing that you can take care of yourself is only a portion of the truth. If you look closely, there’s probably something else laying beneath the surface. When I was an avid rejecter and neglecter, a little soul searching revealed that most of my behavior was rooted in fear. I was afraid to give anyone the power to throw the things they do for me back in my face. But it got deeper still…
The final (and most important) reason for my detachment was because I didn't feel like I deserved that type of treatment. All I ever saw was women sacrificing themselves to try to make ends meet. I only knew the single woman struggle that required endless suffering…only to fall short anyway. I was cultured to embrace the pride associated with being comfortably uncomfortable.
Subconsciously, I felt that suffering alone was exactly what I deserved. I actually acted as if it was a goal! It took a while, but religious self-love practices helped me raise the bar and set the tone for a renovated view on love.
This isn’t a call for women everywhere to adopt a damsel in distress mentality just to keep the peace in her relationship – it’s a plea to learn to dig beneath the surface. It’s a testimony of learning to stop accepting situations at face value and start taking a proactive stance towards matters of the heart.
Far too many people settle for what they get instead of fight for what they deserve. If you’re going to fight for anything in this world, your happiness certainly seems like a worthy cause.
Get out of your own way and allow yourself to be loved!
Photo: Meghan Holmes via Unsplash
A literary alchemist. Since terms like author, poet, or writer don’t fully describe the sentiment behind the career path she’s chosen, our contributing journalist, Tiara Butler, had to come up with something more fitting. The hailing Washingtonian has spent the last five years perfecting her craft in the professional arena. Her resume includes impressive collaborations with some of the best minds in business as well as a few exciting appointments in the self-help sector. Living the life of her dreams, Tiara’s a believer in all things. She closes each assignment with her soul’s mantra, “Write the vision, make it plain.”