Many gems were dropped this weekend at 4:45, a conversation and art exhibition. The theme was the state of relations between Black women and Black men with back burner influence from The Carters'(Bey and Jay) upcoming tour and their past albums: Lemonade and 4:44. Although I’ve yet to listen to either album, I like how the host tied it all together to moderate such a necessary conversation.
I always desire to see more brothers present in these spaces, but we were lucky to have Free on the panel. Like I said, there were gems all over, but when asked what is healing? What is healing? We hear the word so much but what IS it??, Free simply said “honesty is healing”. Y’all, that statement stuck. It’s my biggest takeaway from this experience.
I take it literally: if you are honest with yourself, you will heal. Honest means finding and admitting the roots of your issues. It means knowing why certain things make you angry or why you feel so empty. It means no one will get a smile out of you today because, dammit, you just don’t have the energy to give one. Being honest is saying no when you want to say no and saying yes when you want to say yes. Honesty is sharing these truths with your tribe so they know what tf is up.
Simple enough, right??
Wrong! I understand we wear different masks in different settings, but when it comes to a point where you cannot even remove it in the presence of the ones who (are supposed to) accept you or in your home, that’s a problem. The truth behind the mask is silenced. And too many of us are not honest that there is an actual issue… or we’re dishonest about what the issue is or how it affects us. Then comes the burnout, the exhaustion and resentment from having to be someone you’re not.
The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.-Oprah Winfrey
Whyyyyyy do we do this? I say because it’s familiar, comfortable. Maybe all we know is pain or silence. Maybe we are fearful of being left alone in the darkness if we are more truthful about who we are, what hurts us and what we want. I’ve been that little girl, scared to tell my grandma my shoes were too tight for fear of being given something to cry about. (Her words.) I’ve been that young woman, treading lightly—careful not to mention my big goals, just so I could get a second date. Pretty sad, right. The good thing that I learned early (early 20s) is that yes, people will be intimidated by women who are intelligent, confident, articulate, headstrong and ambitious who (seemingly) don’t need them. BUT it will intrigue others who are secure with themselves—men who know they can be a good friend, a dependable partner and a great lover. The vibe is similar for those platonic friends or business acquaintances you attract.
The result of 4:45 is to recognize what we need and give whatever that is to ourselves which, of course, will allow others to pour into us properly. This work is a continuous evolution, a never-ending commitment to bettering ourselves and growing. Black men and Black women are invaluable to one another, but we have to put in the work to maintain positive bonds, and I think the work starts with being honest. As mentioned in a recent post, you can’t heal what you don’t reveal, right.
What do you think, family? How do you define healing? What could we use most right now? What could you use most?