Love Is All We Need
by William Fredrick Cooper
(Let me preface my statement by saying that if this is misinterpreted as anything more than wisdom, then the message and its heartfelt sincerity was misunderstood. I prayed for guidance in the hopes that I could utter words that might lend objectivity to our issues regarding dating. Here’s what God provided. Hope this helps.)
When I read the “25 Things Brothers Should Be Saying To Sisters” and “Top Ten Reasons Why It’s Hard To Date A Black Women” posts yesterday and the follow-up responses, tears streamed down my cheeks, much like they did when reading Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale way back in 1992 . Over a decade and a half later, it still hurts to see the bitterness and pain that exists when speaking of Black Love.
Who’s at fault for all the madness? Brothers, for not being fathers and teaching their sons to respect women and their daughters how to recognize substance? Sisters, for emasculating brothers by broadcasting their deficiencies, while making them feel unappreciated? Brothers, for singing love songs that in words carry passion and depth, but in actions, nothing but misery? Sisters, for using the infamous attitude as a defense mechanism? Brothers, for not recognizing the virtues and strength of Black Women? Sisters, for being so angry they have made emotional nurturing as extinct as the chivalry they so desperately seek from the Kings they covet? Both genders, for not listening to one another and searching for unrealistic images while overlooking what God has provided for you?
As evidenced by the above, the back and forth in-fighting could go on endlessly. A painful indifference in regard to God’s most precious gift and its correlation with Black dating rendered moot by the dissension, empty experiences come and go, further exacerbating the jaded genders. Instead of inspiration and hope, Brothers and Sisters wear armor for combat.
When do we realize that Love is truly all we need? The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:13, indicates that we should abide by faith, hope and love when it comes to everything life has to offer, and its relevance to relationships of the heart is a mandate. “The greatest of these is Love,” the apostle continued. Love really is all we need.
Given the state of Black Relationships today -- its weird dating principles, painful outcomes, and negative in-fighting between the sexes -- do we even truly believe in it? And why not?
Maybe the answers and solutions lie deep within ourselves, provided we conquer the traits that fuel pathological conditions unconsciously affecting our hearts. These pathologies threaten our positive mentality with regards to Love and our helpmate, as it constrains the energy that generates optimistic feelings about the opposite gender. Refusing to let go of the negativity birthed by this affliction only inflames the defense mechanisms that keep the hopeful, faithful and loving spirits we so desperately want to share mired in the darkness of our souls, never to see the light of day.
What is pathological conditioning? It’s Black men and women wailing and weeping in emotional misery, anger and frustration because our distorted view of Black Love has us tied up in knots. Our jaded experiences coupled with pessimistic outlooks on interpersonal relationships have us acting like men and women who don’t need each other. In our refusal to see how entrenched we are in a negative eventuality, our issues and jaded experiences concerning Love become one. WE BECOME OUR ISSUES AS OPPOSED TO MERELY POSSESSING ISSUES. The things that pain and plague our souls concerning matters of the heart usurp our body, disrupt our mindsets and embed themselves within our existence, thereby giving us a cynical view of every aspect of Love and our association with a hopeful mate.
Instead of hope and faith being spoken from our mouths, resentment, cynicism, drama and fear poorly disguised as ‘nuggets of information’ escape angry lips. Periodicals, talk shows, internet posts like the aforementioned and drama related novels carrying nary an uplifting word serve as a negative backdrop to a predetermined failure felt by both genders. Belief systems now slanted in subjectivity, Brothers and Sisters stand on opposite ends of the spectrum without ever moving close to one another to solve problems.
In short, we defeat ourselves with BS before we even suit up and run the race.
Brothers refuse to open up completely. Sisters have their guards up all the time, expecting the shoe to drop. Nobody concedes even an apology. Both sexes give no quarter by way of praise. In the alternative, they rather talk at each other through personal issues, arguing about who’s right and wrong as opposed to coming together in an effort to bridge acrimonious chasms.
Do you feel me? This is not good. And try as one might to escape the conditioning, we find ourselves engulfed, engrossed and enveloped in this state of mind, sometimes defending its miserable existence with anger and fear by way of preconceived notions, thereby justifying our inability to conquer the detrimental nature of it. And if we do summon the wherewithal to leave the negative cycle, then we think we’ve lost ourselves. Something’s wrong if we slip and give praise to a good Brother or Sister, and heaven forbid we exhibit a glimpse of emotional vulnerability, we think.
Quite the contrary. Overcoming issues and experiences that haunt us presents limitless possibilities to enjoy love as the Apostle Paul spoke of it. We begin to judge each experience as an individual case and are willing to give from the depths of our souls without expectation. Love of any color is about giving, isn’t it? That strange feeling of conquering issues is non-existent, because we have learned agape love, the unconditional devotion that fosters pure, fruitful Black Love.
But how many of us are willing to overcome these fears, put away the litany of excuses and insecure thoughts of the “other shoe dropping”? How many of us not only believe in ourselves enough to escape those fears and insecurities, but in the ancestors who have produced modern day kings and queens yet to touch our hearts? How many of us are willing to let go of the fears that shape, pollute and deter Black Love? How much anger do Brothers and Sisters have to relinquish before the three little words bring tears of joy as opposed to sobs of pain?
How can we ease the pain that exists between Brothers and Sisters?
True Love is really all we need, family.