Part I: Celebrating Black Men – Gratitude & Compassion
Thank You To My Homies
It’s amazing how God puts the right people in your life at the right time. This summer I experienced a painful break-up that knocked the breath out of me. You know, the kind of heartbreak that makes it hard to breathe some days?! The most interesting part of the grieving/healing process was who jumped in to give me oxygen, support, love and encouragement. My female friends and mom were supportive as usual, but it was my male friends/homies this go around that stepped in with the oxygen tank. Now, I know what you are thinking…..they jumped in because I am single and available. Don’t be so quick to judge (smiley face). That was not the case, these are male friends who honestly had/have my back and my best interest at heart. They wanted to ensure I stayed hopeful and loved on. It was as if God was saying to me “don’t give up on Black men, see……. there are some good ones out there.” It seemed intentional and godsend. I needed a little hope to hold onto and they provided just that.
In the practice of gratitude and compassion I needed a way to say thank you. It came to me as I began researching the Danish practice of hygge. Some define hygge as the art of having a relaxed cozy time. Spending time with a small group of friends is very hygge. Sitting at home in your wool onesie sipping on hot cider or a hot toddy is definitely hygge. In my Pinterest research (scientific research of course) I found a 14 day hygge challenge and one of the challenges on the list was to host a small dinner. That was it; a thank you dinner for my homies. I invited four friends, but only two could make it.
The two who attended the dinner were the two who checked on me the most, with the exception of my closest homie Adio in Cali. Adio and I have been friends since the early 90s! The dinner theme was Mexican/Cuban and vegan. I made a lot of food: black bean soup, fried plantains, black bean tacos, mango salsa, guacamole, and charcoal lemonade. Under each placemat was a hand-written thank-you note. Holding back my tears, I gave a short speech, unrehearsed of course, thanking them for their help in getting me through this season. After dinner I asked if we could take a selfie for the blog and they reluctantly agreed! Thanks guys!!
For the past five months I have refrained from dating, my only male interactions have been with my friends, trainer and family. I needed to recharge and to surround myself with good folk. Even those of us who try to stay upbeat and positive have moments of sadness, grief, insecurity and disappointment. That’s life. In my darkest moments, when my mom wasn’t giving me a boost, these guys swooped in to remind me of my greatness. I wanted to share with you two messages I received in my moments of loneliness and disappointment:
Afam, You are a lovely lady. You are beautiful. You brighten my world. I feel your love every day and I cherish your friendship. Sometimes when we lose our romantic relationships we get the opportunity to focus on those who truly love and respect us. Love you. From: Adio
KC, Stay focused on God, you & your heart. It’ll come (the right guy) like everything else in God’s due time for you. Listen, your heart was created to do just that….love so dearly with totality. There’s no other way I’d rather fall, be or die in love. So, please, don’t make what happened a “you” thing…it’s a 100% “him” thing. I know that you are truly hurt right now. However, I know that you are a Black queen who God created to be with a true Black king. Begin to heal and deal one breath at a time. I’m here for you and always will be. I love you! Do not hesitate to call me. If and when you need me. I got cha front, back & side to side. From: Kenny
What I appreciate about my male friends is their advice at times can be abrasive, but it is rooted in reality not emotion. They all let me vent, but quickly reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for. So, in the practice of gratitude and compassion, I just want to say…
- Adio… We reconnected when we needed each other the most! Thanks for being on PST to ensure all shifts were covered for my lifeline calls. Thanks for the brotherly love, I truly feel like we were separated at birth!
- Kenny…thank you for the spiritual perspective, but the big brother “get your shit together talks.” Thanks for letting me cry without judgement.
- Carlton…thank you for keeping me laughing and for helping me see things from the “male perspective.” Your dry sense of humor is like medicine, it has healing affects.
- Yohonis…thank you for not judging me for breaking down in tears during a training session or two. Thank you for reminding me that I have to take care of myself first and then everyone else. Self-compassion first! Our theme: Stay strong, controlled and detached….
- Dr. Tates…thank you for being my life-coach and holistic practitioner for the past nine years. You know me best! If I would just listen and do as you say I’d always have optimal mental, spiritual and physical health. Thanks for always pushing me! Don’t you worry, I am getting there!
In closing, I am doing this series because I feel that there is a lot of negativity out there about Black men and it aint just coming from white folk. When my relationship ended people encouraged me to stop dating Black men (both black and white friends), so this is my way of saying I will never give up on Black men. I have loving, thoughtful, respectful, kind, intelligent Black men in my life who love me dearly and it is because of them that no matter how my relationships end one man’s bad treatment toward me will not discourage me from dating within my race!
Coming Up Soon: Part II – Black Men – Gratitude and Compassion – Thank You Letter to My Exes.