First, I want to commend you on your excellent choice in men. I don’t know how you arrived at this place of being a connoisseur of the highest order, but I haven’t always been so discerning.
I married young. I thought marriage was the solution to a broken relationship. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but at 23 years old that is what I believed would make my boyfriend, our baby, and me a family. Another kid later, and we indeed were a family, but I was not a lover. I was broken and lost. I left that marriage and floundered around, from celibacy to short courtships, nothing lasting more than three months. One of those men would physically assault me. It’s been an intense ride to finally meeting someone who loves me in a healthy way. A ride full of snot and tears, three years of journal writing, unplanned pregnancy, lots of self-help books and reruns of “Iyanla, Fix My Life” videos. Years of reflection. Years of digging and unraveling into my core. Years of undoing negative self-talk and trauma and painstakingly recreating a life that affirmed my worth.
That’s when he and I met.
I don’t know your journey, but I think you’re adorable. I mean that. Looking at you, I would assume that you could have any man that you want, but seeing the lengths that you are going through to rummage through my life, I know that is not true. And although I am secure in his affections for me, I wouldn’t know about your super cute bangs had I not also been looking at your Instagram. Albeit I do not have any ill will towards you or negative feelings about you, I did want to know who you were. And more so, I wanted to see your face because, well, I battle insecurity as well. Yet another element we have in common.
I often feel that no matter what I do, I will never be enough for any man I love. There will always be a woman who is more accomplished, with a bigger ass, no stretch marks, an Ivy League degree, speaks seven languages, and can twerk on roller skates. However, love doesn’t work like that. Love isn’t about spreadsheets and lists. Love is what we give when we finally decide to step outside of ourselves. Love is what we accept when we finally feel worthy of it. It happens when we connect to some place deep inside of us; and it no longer matters what we have and do not have, but only who and what we are.
I want you to know that you and I are not competition.
We never were. In a competition, there is a victor and a loser, and the victor walks away with something they can own. Neither you nor I will ever own him. He belongs to himself. What you and I can gain from this experience is so much more. You and I, through love, will be pushed to grow beyond our selfishness. To learn to love without grasping. Love in such a way that we free the man we love instead of cage him with our insecurities.
But truly, it is not him that we will free. It is ourselves. Girl, if we could grow to truly love ourselves, despite the feelings of “not-enoughness”, we would both be free to be whole. Because this was never about him anyway. Or about Instagram. This is about finding the freedom to accept ourselves as imperfectly perfect, without need for comparison. Without needing to prove or disprove our worth based upon superficial criteria like who has a better hat on in that picture from April. This is about being worthy of love and knowing that inside of ourselves. Living with the understanding that we can be flawed and worthwhile at the same time. Because we need us. We need our individual wholeness more than anything another person could ever hope to bring to the table.
It doesn’t matter who chooses us. It matters that we choose ourselves.
You never needed his approval to be the lovely Queen that you are. I don’t need to love him to know that there is enough love in me to make space to love you also.
So, Chica. If you ever happen to stalk my Instagram again or through the “Sistafriend Detective Network” come across this article, please know: I love you. I love that you love him. I hope that you love you, too. Should you ever you want, I would love to get ice cream with you. Or go hat shopping together, you dope Queen, you.