More than once, I have said this and didn’t really mean it. I know it’s wrong, but it seemed like it was right thing to say. It was not necessarily how I really felt. It took being hurt a few times and a bad bout of resentment to fully understand the weight of those words. Once I realized how important and vital forgiveness is, I was able to exercise it with honesty. A little while a go someone posed this question to me, “Is forgiveness important?”. The short answer is: yes, absolutely.
Here are somethings that I have learned about forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness is a process.
A few years ago a close friend of mine found out that she had been cheated on. Almost seconds after he confessed, she told him that she forgave him. She didn’t even give herself time to get upset. His confession ended up sinking in a few days later and she wanted to take her forgiveness back. It was too late. It’s important that you don’t expect to be ready to forgive someone right away. Give yourself time to heal. Forgive someone when you are ready and genuinely mean it.
2. Don’t forgive until you’re ready.
This goes with the lesson above. Premature forgiveness creates unnecessary drama and angst. When we forgive too soon we end up creating a bigger problem. I can’t stress enough that forgiveness is a process. Give yourself time to go through all the emotion. Go through the hurt, the pain, the anger, the insecurity; feel it all. Going through all that emotion keeps you in touch with your feelings. It allows you to keep the focus on YOU until YOU are ready.
When my grandma, Dora or Grandma Brown, was around 15 years old, her and her sister were walking along the railroad tracks and encountered a couple of guys. My grandma’s sister started talking to one guy, which meant that my grandma was stuck with the other guy. In her own words, “I didn’t want to talk to that big head boy”. Little did she know, that boy was Ezell Brown, and she would spend the remainder of her life building a family with him and loving him. After some time passed they were married and moved to a housing project in Detroit. At this point, they had 11 children and in 1971 they moved to a three bedroom 1 and a half bath house on the west side of Detroit.
It’s common knowledge that my grandfather Ezell, known as Big Ez, was hard man. As a World World 2 vet, I’ve always wondered if that is where his hardness came from. Based on stories I’ve heard, he had low tolerance for things that weren’t in order, and he didn’t always treat Grandma Brown right. His job at Ford Motor Company kept him busy and sometimes he was not a very nice person. Regardless, she stood by him and her family. Kids moved out of the house, a few of those kids passed away, and eventually Big Ez’s health started to take a turn for the worse. He had glaucoma, and was severely close to completely losing his vision. He was declared legally blind and could no longer drive. It was in this time that he prayed to God.
“If you give me another chance, I will spend more time with my family”.
Last weekend I went to see “Beyond the Lights”, and I was surprisingly satisfied. Originally I wanted to see it because I support black films, and I loved GuGu Mbatha-Raw in Belle. Upon learning about how and why the film was made, I became more interested. “Beyond the Lights” displayed all the complexities of love while taking the audience on a journey through the lives of the main characters, Noni and Kaz. In addition to the interesting story, the soundtrack was amazing. My phone was dead (because I never have a charged phone), so I made my friend Shazam at least 5 songs throughout the movie. They don’t make soundtracks like that anymore, and I was sold by the time the movie ended. When I got home I started to think about all the black love films I grew up watching and still love. Although I love all love stories (I’m a bit of a sap), I especially enjoy when I see characters that look like me fall in love. So, in no particular order, here is a list of my favorite black love films:
Wow, I am so happy that Afros and Love Songs has reached 50 posts! I truly enjoy writing this blog and I am grateful to everyone that takes the time to stop by. Not only is this the 6th month Afros and Love Songs has been up, in a couple of weeks I will be turning 25, which to me is the peak of being a 20-something. These last few years I have learned tons and held on to somethings so much that they have become my truths.
1. God is good.
2. You never stop needing your parents.
3. This is a great age to cultivate friendships.
4. I’ll probably debate getting a second degree for a bit longer, and that’s okay.
5. Coffee (especially straight black coffee) is always good at any time of the day.
6. If I really want to read a book I have to schedule time in my planner.
7. Drinking and driving is dumb, drinking and driving while under 21 is even dumber.
8. Cable is not necessary.
9. All data plans should be unlimited. Seriously.
10. If I don’t start soon I will never learn how to play the acoustic guitar.
A few years ago, I decided I was going to start getting serious about my relationships with guys. I had a couple of long relationships, a “it’s complicated” situation, and a few first dates. It was after I renewed my relationship and faith in God, and had a “man-fast” that I decided I was ready to meet and be with the man who would be my husband. I wasn’t ready to get married, I was just ready to be with my husband (it made sense to me at the time- don’t judge!)
So I prayed. I prayed for this person. I prayed for a boyfriend that would soon be my husband. I prayed that he would take me on dates, look out for me, send good morning texts, go to church with me, pray with me, be educated, have a good job, we would travel together, and he would love me enough to want to marry me one day.