Unarming Uncertainty

Photos by  Jupiter Aura

Photos by Jupiter Aura

Cues “Clear EP” by Summer Walker

As a single black mother stemming from a lineage of single black motherhood, there are some things that have naturally been passed on to me by my mother, my aunts, cousins, and even my grandmother. These things have become burdens I’ve had to acknowledge and continue to work to rid myself of.

The greatest one- being TOO strong.

At times I struggle to find the ability to detach femininity and weakness as coexisting partners.

The black women in my life have worn their life experiences on their exterior like armor every day of my life. Their outer-body has always projected, “be strong, protect yourself and the family”. And I know it’s because of the cards they’ve been dealt in their lives.

Thankfully because of my mother, I have never gone without. I always had what I needed for the most part. My mother took me out of the hood at an early age to ensure “quality education”. She did the best she could. She worked her ass off. She finished her college degree raising me and worked full time as a single mother. She showed little emotion and affection but there has never been a doubt in my mind for the overflowing love she had (and still has) for me.

Although I’ve had a great relationship with my father, I haven’t had the opportunity to see a black dad or man for that matter, healthily function within the four walls of my home. I still struggle with the way to properly communicate with a man, to accept compliments from a man, or quite frankly how not to be awkward in the same space with a man. Let it not be confused, sometimes these men are full of shit… but I have question if I’ve ever passed something up because of my ego or being naive.

Where or how do we find the balance between strength and being gentle? As an alpha female, I hadn’t imagined space in my life for a man and not because I didn’t want one, but more so because I’ve always been taught to “keep your heart 3 stacks”. It’s what every black woman in my life did- until my older sister submitted a man that made her feel safe enough to do so.

That was truly a game changer in my life. To watch my big sister, the “hardest” woman in my life go from no-limit-soldier to Sade, “No Ordinary Love“. Suddenly it became clear to me that maybe I could let someone in to love me. The right one, though.

My baby girl is the epitome of agape love and that God is real, but if I’m being honest, Motherhood was passed to me like a baton after a night of D’ussé.

But, the more grounded I’ve gotten in motherhood, the more I feel that I’m ready to open myself to possibilities- aka the L Word (love). When the time comes for mama to submit to a man, can she pull it off? Will she have the tools? Can we unarm ourselves without our mushy insides spilling out? Will there be self-control? Will there be trust? Will the uncertainty of love suddenly disappear?

I do believe as I get more grounded in womanhood and femininity, life start to cross each one of these questions of my skepticism list. Until then, I’ll have to continue to be patient with myself and do more internal work.

Mama, if you’re out there feeling anything like me, do the same. Start with trying to break generational curses that have been passed down to you but have no alignment with your growth. Start to do more things you’re uncomfortable with. Expose yourself to new things and new crowds. Keep track of what’s working and what’s not. I promise to do the same! Let me know what’s working for you.