Monday, July 26, 2010

Soul Survivor - The Letter

A Letter to Mr. Right*

* (also known as The One, I Thought You Were The One, My Soulmate, and other known aliases)

I am writing this letter in somewhat of a desperate state. You see, I have tried to approach and communicate with you on several occasions, but you never respond. I am beginning to wonder if I have offended you in any way, or done something to turn you away from me. Perhaps when I explained that all I wanted to do was love you, nurture you, and care for you, you took this as some sort of threat. Of course, I understand that is a natural reaction: to feel afraid or even angry when something that is offered to you so easily is challenging in the same right. Maybe you think that this is an empty promise, but I assure you, I have every intention of showing you in addition to telling you. Because of course...actions speak louder than words.

I feel that some history may be of help here. When I was younger, I was taught by society to believe that a woman had two driving characteristics to chose to live their lives by: to be loving, or to be strong.

To be strong meant that you had the ability to hold everything together, including your family, your friends and your community. You would be admired and respected by everyone around you. People would love you. The downside? People would love who you represent to them. No one would ever fall in love with you. They would be afraid that your greatness would overshadow them, and in their own insecurity, be afraid that they would have nothing to offer such a strong, great woman.

To be loving meant that you would be loved by mostly everyone. Your capacity to love, care for, nourish, and protect makes you a great mother, wife, sister and friend. Your warm tears, be them of joy or sorrow, will move the souls of many. The downfall? That's all you're good for. You will always be loved...and never respected. You are seen as the complete opposite of strong: weak. You will always be a subordinate to your male counterpart, and you will never even attempt to do great and courageous things. If you do, people will start to question your capacity to love.

I learned much later in life that these teachings were a little off; it seemed as if people did not understand the difference between love of power and the power of love.

By the time I realized this confusion, some damage had already been done. I wanted so badly to love you, that I did not love myself. Ridiculous, right? How can I produce love from within, if it isn't there? It wasn't my fault. I fed myself the toxins of society, even after I was old enough to know better. But I now know I can't place blame; that doesn't solve anything. When I offered you love, you may have somehow thought it was easy. But love is the biggest act of courage there is. Maybe you don't know the kind of love I offer because you haven't experienced it. People are often afraid of things outside their bubble of knowledge. Maybe I was too image and personality driven to really understand the power of what I was actually offering you myself. But such is not true anymore.

I am not angry with you for rejecting my love. In my own way, I rejected it at one point. I didn't want to love, I was tired of being loving. My mind was poisoned. We all know that it is a great African-American tradition to be forgiving and compassionate; when we forget that, we suffer inside. When you reject love, do you suffer too? Maybe you think that by my offering to love you, I want to take something away from you. Freedom, perhaps? But if you look deep inside yourself, you will realize that my desires are a direct reflection of yours, just in different packaging.

The last thing I ever wanted you to do is fear me if I stand up to my own greatness. I'm not afraid of your greatness; I celebrate it. I am not afraid of you even though I am taught to believe that your only mission is to use me and hurt me. I have faith in you, even though I am told not to trust you with things of even the smallest value, much less my feelings.

What happened to you? When you were my father, you were the strongest, most courageous man alive to me. When you were a pillar in my community, you were the most respectable man I knew. When you were my friend, you were one of the people I trusted the most. No one is perfect, I know that. But I have heard awful rumors about you as of late. That you would turn on me the minute I trusted you and let you in. That you only want me for superficial things that benefit you. That you are no longer interested in growing with me mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Even with all of the evidence thrown in my face, they are still just ugly untruths to me. Some would even call me a fool for believing that you could ever love me the way I want you to. You don't seem to be afraid to love your mother, your sister or your friend. So why me? Maybe I am asking the impossible. In this letter, I only request one thing. Prove them wrong. Prove society wrong. Prove me right. If I have mistaken you for Mr. Right, and you are actually Mr. Right Now, let's learn from each other. So that when you find the one that is worth it, with my help, you'll want to prove them wrong for her.


P.S. If you're not Mr. Right, don't worry; I will be worth it for someone.

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