What Looks Like Crazy…

I once dated a man who temporarily lost his thoughts: standing over me, pointing his finger in my face and saying a bunch of words I could no longer hear.

I asked him to take a seat and stop pointing: THREE TIMES.

He didn’t.

 

I stood up, gathered my things and walked outside.

He followed.

I got in my car.

He stood BEHIND my car declaring he “wasn’t finished talking yet.”

I turned on the car, and counted to THREE.

Thank God he had quick reflexes.


Isn’t it ironic how men can stab people 1000 times, be serial killers and cannibals, start unnecessary wars, kill women for deciding to keep children they helped co-create, and YET, remain unburdened with the label of “crazy”? There’s always a “reason” for a man’s ill behavior, even if it’s as simple as “boys will be boys.” Hmm.

Men have the phrase, “Work hard, play hard.” For women it should be, “It’s a thin line between love and hate.”

Kehlani says it perfectly in her song, “CRZY”:

Everything I do, I do it with a passion. If I gotta be a b*tch, I’ma be a bad one!”

And such is life.

Look at the Earth. We trash Her. We take from Her … and still she sustains us, mercifully … miraculously almost. But every once in a while, she’ll flip the switch just to remind us.

Women are the same way.


I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a man say, “Women are crazy!”

I admit: YES – every now and then, we behave in ways (unprovoked by males) that leave your heads spinning. With the orchestra of hormones, full moons and societal f*ckery amiss, we have plenty reason.

But let’s re-define just what’s (usually) meant when men call a woman “crazy”…

CRAZY (adj.):

1.) Behaving in such a way that the other party has no choice BUT to realize the truth of the Law of Cause and Effect.

2.) Possessing all the qualities of “a wake-up call.”

Does Newton’s Third Law ring a bell? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?

Fellas: it’s physics.

It’s literally a NATURAL LAW.


 

Lucky for y’all, I’ve listed the TOP THREE THINGS MEN CAN START DOING in order to avoid the sh*tstorm of CRAZY from the women in your lives. And this includes ALL the women in your lives.

1. Never Tell Her What or How She Feels. EVER.  

I don’t care if she’s your friend, sister, wife, co-worker, daughter or mama! I don’t care if you KNOW you’re right. When she is sharing how…and what…she feels, just smile, affirm and nod. TRUST ME.

2. Show Up or Peace Out.

There is nothing that cultivates a lack of trust and respect in a man more than a man who’s in and out. Not only is this a perfect recipe for creating and triggering deep-seated abandonment issues and insecurity, but it’s also a classic f*ckboi tendency.

3. Underpromise and Overperform.

Don’t talk what you won’t walk, and start out how you can hold out. And this isn’t about delivering popcorn performances or sneak previews of what it could be if… You know, where you show up once in a blue moon, do something dazzling and then fall off the face of the Earth? Yeah. Dead that.

As a wise man once told me: 

A woman is like a thermostat; she will always reflect the temperature you set.

If you can commit to these 3 practices, life can be so much sweeter. Go get ’em tiger!

 

 

 

 

 

PillowTalk: How To Beat the Game of Love

“Nobody wins in the game of love.”

This week I’m on a ROLL with some of the hardest lessons I’ve learned while playing the game of love. What is YOUR “win” in a relationship? What do you consider a “loss”? I delve into some of the most essential keys I’ve gathered in my experiences in intimate relationships. Enjoy, comment, share!

Cross-Sex Communication: 5 Words (or Less)

 


Once when I was in premarital counseling with a fool I was most certainly NOT going to marry, the minister shared a valuable tip:

“Seek first to understand before being understood.”

I took the advice, ditched the dude and kept it pushing.

I have taken the scenic route to understanding; after years of ego tripping and fighting to “be [acknowledged as] right,” I now know I have three choices:

I can be RIGHT

OR

I can be in relationship

OR

I can be, exceptionally brilliant, and both.

My idea of “right” now is a little different from having the last word or the last laugh; I feel I am “right” if I am authentic, respectful and clear. To me, that’s a bonafide WIN. So when my mentor gave me a bit of advice about how to facilitate successful workshops — and overall communications — with men, I took her advice and hit the ground running.

She said:

“When communicating with men, keep your responses to five words or less, or else you lose them.”

I played it cool, but behind my placid demeanor my inner cyclic-styled communicator was exclaiming, FIVE WORDS OR LESS?!!!

I took a deep breath in, let the breath out, rolled my shoulder blades down my back and thought to myself, Okay girl. Let’s get it!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am always up for the challenge of experimenting with human-to-human interactions, and this time was no different. Trust: I wouldn’t write this much about it if it didn’t work!


We can spend hours ‘pon hours trying to get a man to understand how we feel about such and such and thus and so (I’ve done it). OR we can try something different. It all boils down to this:

Do you just wanna air all your feelings? Or do you want to truly be heard and understood and honored?

Unfortunately, you can’t have both in all situations. If you chose the latter, then you must understand and accept something FIRST:

“Where words are many, men are absent.”

**Excepting the select few who can follow the train no matter how long the tracks.**

 


This week, I polled my sister circle to find the top three most challenging subjects/sentiments to communicate with men. Then, I customized a few phrases to get the conversation started IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS.

#1: Our Innermost Feelings (Related to His Actions)

Apparently, we find it very difficult to express what we’re feeling in light of some decision he has (or has not) made. Know this: men know more than they admit; you don’t have to be verbose.

SHORT ‘N SIMPLE: 

“That’s not cool.”

SWEETHEART:

“This seems _________ to me.”

STRAIGHT-SHOOTER: 

“________ isn’t working for me.”

Only enter ONE word in the blank. The key is a DIALOGUE not a rampage; an invitation not an invocation. We cannot change anyone, so let him SHOW you who he is.

#2: Commitment/Monogamy.

If I had a penny for every time a woman told me of her struggle to convey the importance of building and sustaining trust, commitment and forward movement in a relationship, I’d be a rich woman. Simply put, for this one, you must be prepared to take action if your words aren’t getting through.

SHORT ‘N SIMPLE:

“I’m ready to grow. You?”

SWEETHEART: 

“Babe, whatchu think about ________ .”

STRAIGHT-SHOOTER:

“Sh*t or get off the pot.”

*That was six words, but hey! It’s succinct enough!

#3: Sex.

And it ain’t all good! If he’s not satisfying you in the bedroom, you MUST let him know … like YESTERDAY! Egos be damned! Closed mouths don’t get fed and dissatisfied yonis find other beds, so get to expressing!

SHORT ‘N SIMPLE:

“Like this.”

… (Then, proceeds to demonstrate with guidance and affirm when he gets it right.)

SWEETHEART:

Let’s play a game.” 

This “game” is one which you call the shots, and he executes them to your satisfaction if he wants to get points.

STRAIGHT SHOOTER:

“I like __________ . Wanna see?”

Who can say no to that?


Before you go running off to drop your five-word-hitter-quitter on some unsuspecting male soul, check out these suggestions for increasing your chances of success.

Vent First.

TO SOMEONE ELSE … OR YOURSELF! Get all your emotions out in the open to a safe, objective sounding board. It’s wise not to speak at the peak of your emotions; but DO honor them through acknowledgment and expression in a space where they will be heard and honored.

Mean What You Say.

Whatever you do, don’t test him to “see what he’s going to say/do.” Seriously. Honor the relationship, your (and his) time and energy, and only express that which you truly mean to say. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Ask Yourself This Question Beforehand.

Is this better said or shown? Some of the most effective communication is unspoken. My mother always says, “Silence says a lot.” And it’s true. Sometimes silent action is just what you need to get your point across.

Define Success.

What is a “win” for you in this situation? My “win” is the ability to concisely and honestly express myself in five words or less without being too affected by his response. To remain detached, I create a back up plan I am prepared to implement should my words fall on deaf ears.


Feel free to share your 5 words or less below.

 

PillowTalk: 5 Unpopular Self-Love Practices

This week, “I’ve got looooooove, on my mind…”

With all the focus on self-love, women’s empowerment and such, we often find that we end up DOING more and BEING (even) less. We can dot all the Is and cross all the Ts and still be unfulfilled. So, what is self-love really made of? Consistent mindful action. It’s a practice.

Join me as I share my FIVE essential, yet rather unpopular, self-love practices that I believe can change every woman’s relational life from the inside out.

How [Our] Men Learn: 4:44, Colored Girls and Other Reflections

“Girls are trained to behave. Boys are praised for rebellion. And thus, the Great Dilemma begins, for neither is the foundation of relationship; rather, it’s a set up for power struggles.”

~Asha Tane

Relationships are everything.

I’ll never be convinced otherwise. And so, much of my growth and development is rooted in my relationship with others. Women are more relational. I believe men would do well to follow suit.

This week has been one of deep feeling and contemplation. I’ve watched more sunsets this week than I have in any one year of my life. And this has been restorative. From moment to moment, I feel a myriad of emotions and sensations ranging from hope to jarring loneliness, rage to release. Feeling what I feel is nothing new; speaking, writing and acting HONESTLY and FULLY on how I feel … is.

This week I’ve

  • cried more tears than I can count
  • released without giving up
  • started forgiving my father
  • been told that I may be infertile
  • stood at the gates of forgiveness, deciding whether I’m really going in…
  • and finally surrendered to what is

There is nothing that soothes me now more than a good hard rain, and thunder. Oh! And being in my own company watching a sunset.


Upon hearing the murmurs and kudos on the release of Jay-Z’s new album, “4:44,” I still cringe, viscerally. Instinctively. He is being praised profusely, not only for his skill (which I don’t deny), but also his vulnerability. Specifically, there is a huge focus on his taking responsibility for mistreating his wife, after all the years of being (I’m assuming) unaccountable for his actions.

And while I want to feel the celebration with the masses, I’m disgusted by what it took for him to learn (the same it took for my father and certain exes to learn). And I knew my theory was true:

Men learn through ACTUAL loss of something or someone valuable. They often times don’t recognize what something is worth until it’s no longer there.

And that saddens me.

Especially in the case of Black men.

Because truth be told: Black men and women don’t have the luxury of being on opposing sides. We just DON’T. And the longer we play these power struggle games, and indulge in the egoic fuckery, the more time we waste in healing the wounds our parents never could.

I feel for Jay, and his recognition that loss is loss. Sometimes, there’s no way to go back to how it used to be. It’s done. That’s why it’s called LOSS. We seldom regain the fullness of what is gone. And when one loses, ALL do.

He admits it:

“I seen the innocence leave your eyes/I still mourn this death/ and I apologize for all the stillborns cause I wasn’t present/your body wouldn’t accept it…”

I just shook my head as I listened, and wondered how Beyonce feels.

“Lemonade” was more than a cultural reverie: it was the skeleton of black women made flesh. It was unapologetically for colored girls — the girls that live in the women who’ve been made to swallow their hurt, and ignored because our screams are so loud and constant. And we tend to devalue what’s always there.

But then again, we’re ignored in our silence too.

Simply put: we’re ignored. Uncelebrated. Largely unloved. And desperately wanting…and deserving of what doesn’t fill the void. Beyonce made beautiful, and painfully evident, all the ugliness put upon us in so many ways…

“So what will you say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me…”

Was no one listening? Or maybe that truly was for us … the women … the colored girls.

Now, men proclaim, as though with new eyes and minds, as if they never imagined their actions could devastate. As if they just now realized that they aren’t an island unto themselves, and maybe they should practice honesty and vulnerability. Jay-Z’s admission has (seemingly) baptized them in a knowing that has been too obvious for so long.

And I’m … speechless.

I can’t help but to wonder what kind of apology admits:

“I’m never gonna treat you like I should…”

It really runs this deep, huh?  So, now what?

But, I’ve heard it’s a story, so I guess I’ll just give an honest listen to the whole thing, to the best of my ability. Perhaps, it’ll baptize me too.

Lover’s Anonymous:F*ck it & LIVE!

WHAT’S “WRONG”

My mother told me something the other day that changed my whole paradigm on everything. I had been feeling a bit down. Then she said:

“You know, I thought about our conversation the other day, and I realized the biggest issue isn’t that you have separation anxiety; it’s that you think something is “wrong” with you for having it.”

Mind…………………………………………………………………………………………………..blown…………………….

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve seen (and heard) me work through my personal dilemmas and mental musings. But when I hit this bottom most recently, I knew I needed something else.

I needed more than eloquent thoughts or bare-naked venting:

I needed to accept the whole of me, and to prioritize the truth that there is nothing “wrong” with ANY of it!

I knew it was right for me because as soon as she said it, I felt as though a weight had lifted off my chest. It was most certainly a HELL YES!

F*CK IT & LIVE!

Look: we all have our stuff. But what’s “wrong” with that? We didn’t come here to be perfect. It ain’t about never getting messy (at least not for me any longer). We came here to BE and EXPERIENCE.

Life is for the LIVING…not just the thinking, pontificating and such. Evolution happens as we choose to move forward.

At some point, some things just need to be seen, owned and accepted.  Perfection is not the goal. Experiencing IS.  And acceptance is the stuff Love is made of.

So…

  • I know you’re selfish as hell. … F*ck it and live!
  • You told a lie to someone else or yourself? … F*ck it and live!
  • Sometimes you’re clingy as sh*t. **thinks** … F*ck it and live!

Ya dig?

No matter what any of us ARE or AREN’T, there are only ever two choices:

keep living or … nah?

And when it’s all said and done, only one question matters:

What you gonna do with what you got?

And with that, this is the last installment of Lover’s Anonymous.

Photo Credits: Dopeass artist Laetitia KY