“Good” my tushy.


I was reading one of my favorite, hilarious blogs (www.verysmartbrothas.com) about the myth of the good man shortage when an interesting exchange happened.  After my arguably predictable response, peppered with Katt Williams’ quotes and references to the amazing man, family and friends in my life… Someone responded with the following statement.

“[Figuring out what it is about you that attracts no good men] would require women to ask questions about themselves, and we know when it comes to relationships, Black women are sweetness, light, kittens with flowers, rainbows and singing puppies. There cannot be anything possibly wrong with a Black woman…and if you do find something wrong, it’s because you did something to her to bring it out, like being born. “

Well, well, well.  He’s absolutely right.  (Thanks Todd.)  I am most certainly sweetness and light and all the rest plus champagne and bubbles and sunshine. 😀  And, to be fair, always have been.  The most popular nickname is Sunshine and thankfully my relationship has been and continues to be supernaturally blissful.  Not perfect, but powerfully love-filled and peaceful.  To tick off some of the I’m-Ok Criteria:  Pleasant, supportive, opinionated, responsible and agreeable.  Don’t expect, gossip, blame, nag, yell or curse.  Decisive and usually (not enough) clear.  Of course workin’ on that last one.

Which is why I was shocked to my core to find out not only was there a whole truckload of stuff to fix… It was a never-ending journey of much-needed self-discovery and improvement.  Can’t lie, that initial discovery rocked me.

Because probably one of the most well-known and well-loved (by the ladies anyway) defaults is our gloriously self-righteous indignation soapbox.  Seriously, that box must grow larger in direct proportion to the amount of self-love a woman has, up to the limit of her enlightenment floor.  A “good woman” can’t be told a THING about having the wrong approach.

Period.

Try a million different ways and you’ll fail.

An enlightened woman or man is another story altogether.

You know it.  Men have theirs too.  Their soapboxes seem to be reactionary, based on ours.  So all of a sudden not only did I have to jump off mine, it had to be burned and all the building materials within reach or shipping distance of my little self-righteous mitts had to be hidden.

So I had to question myself.  And had just started stopping.  I’d put in years battling feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt and low self-esteem.  Around 26 or so finally started feeling confident.  And now, at 29 y’all trying to make me question me?  As the product of a dysfunctional family, with a history of strange pets, verbal abuse, cuteness, abandonment, tickle-fighting and neglect it turned out there was a heck of a lot to question.  I mean, I wanna know why (a) In the middle of a tickle-fight, screaming “You’re gonna make me pee!” will end it every time, but (b) The tickle fights kept on coming.  Darn it.

Blessing upon blessing abounds in my family’s life.  But that doesn’t mean some things weren’t very, very wrong.  That leaves an impact.  No tickle fight.

As any true hypochondriac would, I hopped online and started e-searching, prepared for the rare best and frequent worst.  Reached out to my closest friends and explained my (ahem) journey.

Recreated self-pity scenes from cheesy chick-flicks in my living room and journaled and bought a book about codependency and from one perspective, the stuff was wildly hilarious.

And darned if all that did was identify the wing on the fly on the tip of the iceberg.  I stay trying to figure myself out.  From another perspective, the beauty of it is I won’t ever stop learning about or improving myself.

Awesome, well-rounded and full of self-love at 26, at 31 I’m grateful for an inkling of understanding about just how little I know.  A growing understanding of how beautiful transformation can be, and how pain pushes us beyond our limits.

It’s literally gotten to the place where, when something unpleasant or difficult happens it cues learning mode.  What in the flippity-flop is supposed to come out of this?

And that is flippin’ glorious.

That’s how my enlightened side looks at challenges.  And no.

It wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t blessed with a “good” man and friends who have warm, loving spirits.  It certainly wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t able to go deep into self, deep into spirit and figure out some of my crud.

Still, it started with me.

And that’s big.

But what is so wonderfully settling, and peaceful and still about it all is realizing the most important thing, which is ridunculously simple and cheesy.

–GLITTER AND RAINBOW AND BUTTERFLY ALERT–.

It’ll all be ok.

(Singing) Won’t you be my neighbor?

–END GLITTER AND RAINBOW AND BUTTERFLY ALERT… Ok not really. That’s just how I is.–

Anyhoo.

I never understood until recently why that statement, cheesy as it may be, is so powerful? It’s because the notion that everything is oriented towards goodness and hope and butterflies and rainbows is breathtaking.  <–See?  Can’t help it.

So with a kinda scared and excited thrill I keep on skippin’ and dancin’ down my little road picking flowers.

Because it isn’t about anything being wrong with black women, men, anyone, nor about pointing it out.  It’s about being willing, whoever and wherever and however you are, to recognize if you’re breathing you are also growing and dying every moment of every day.

With that recognition, to make your experience in this life that much greater by pushing the growth part into hyper-drive?  That’s how good men and women find each other.  We work on ourselves until we see how very far off the achievement of greatness is and commit to keep on moving toward it.

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