The thing is, ever since I left religion, I have been trying to balance having healthy relationships with the way I feel and the way I approach things from a more authentic or holistic perspective right?
Like, Old-me believes that we should ALWAYS be kind, always be the better person and always turn the other cheek on things (hence why I speak so much about it!). New-me is wondering whether or not that is actually a healthy approach to life. One which allows me only to approach people from one stance regardless of their action? Like a one tune jukebox.
While I do believe that choosing to constantly be unkind isn´t the path I am seeking either, I also don´t think I want to be so firm, in glorifying kindness as my only response either.
I got into an argument about house cleaning the other day with someone, and I literally felt my blood boiling because of their response, right? I don´t often get mad, but when I am mad, I am all mad. Since it takes me a long to get to that point, when I do, it´s often from a certain build-up reaching it´s third/fourth strike lol. After that heated discussion, I felt myself overwhelmed and shaken, like I had practiced a forbidden action. The weird thing though, compared to before, I did not feel guilt for showing that I was highly displeased and not willing to “let it slide” anymore either. I felt comfortable that I didn´t have to be kind all the time, especially not this time. I also realized that I didn´t need people to see me as anything but ‘kind all the time‘ anymore too. I didn´t mind actually exercising my true feelings to assert what I was angry about (basically cleaning up after him…again again x4). Usually, I don´t mind facing confrontations from a more calm place, based mostly on understanding, but just like in that famous Keri Hilson song, “every woman has a breaking point y’all”.
There are things I am not willing to put up with anymore and it feels darn good that I can firmly stand up to that when I feel like that. Unlike before, when it would be just another thing I put on Jesus´s to do list or Karma lol.
I also started wondering if how we argued also had something to do with our gender and color too. As a black woman, I often get two extreme personas in my head of a person like me in confrontations, either “the all loving and forgiving mammy” or the “emotionally illogical screaming angry black woman”. This of course makes expressing anger and deciding NOT to choose kindness or calmness, a challenging thing. Arguing with someone who was both male and white, I noticed how comfortable the person seemed to express their anger. Using their loud voice and provoking mannerism, not only to intimidate but proclaim space, attention and often times, assert their entitlement to not only argue, but to be in charge of deciding “how I should argue as well”?
What I expressed anger towards were things I could clearly point out and argue for, whilst the things I feel angered the guy I was in disagreement with, had more to do with focusing on how I was arguing. Basically trying to police my anger so he could feel less confronted by what I was saying and perhaps, distract himself from the fact that I had a point. Needless to say, that didn´t add water to the fire, especially since I am sooooooo over all this need to control people. Especially black people, and even more, black women in how they are supposed to act towards the bull crap the world throws at us. I also feel that this particular white male, is often, like a lot of men, threatened by opinionated women. Let alone, an opinionated black woman. Women who will not act like ‘ladies’ in an argument, but will be willing to check them without apology. I have a feeling that had this been a disagreement between another male and him, he would have eventually gotten over it or brushed it over easier. Especially since, in retrospect, it wasn´t that big of deal to just agree to clean after himself (like the rest of us). His reaction seemed to come more from a sort of bruised ego rather than feeling accused of untruths. Especially since he ended up agreeing to what we were arguing about anyway in the end, so it doesn´t even make sense. But then again, when does male entitlement ever make sense, right?
Anyway, I can sense that this post has a totally different tone then most of my posts, but this is ALSO me. Women come in many moods and tones. And I´ll be damned if someone else should decide which tones and moods those should be for me anymore to be honest.
To end it all off with the iconic words of Beyoncé, in the same song that urges ‘lil homie to grow up’, I am also happily ‘not sorry’, supplemented with JLO´s “I ain´t your mama” (not that mamas should be putting up with any of this spoiled behaviours from their sons either!). And thaaattt, feels kinda pretty good to say for once. Feeling like Angela `So Freakn Done ´Bassett.
Well I guess, all I can say is that, all that kinda took an interesting turn.
May we always grow where we are planted (and crushing anything that dares challenge our right to full expression, in joy or anger) Awoman.