Black Love and Wellness
Black Love. It’s a beautiful yet complicated concept. Black people loving one another out loud. Creating a space for one another to flourish. Wellness is one of the most important aspects of black love. Toxicity seems to be one of biggest problems in black relationships. We hold onto things, have trouble moving forward, find pleasure in bullying one another, lie, create unnecessary drama, play the victim, and act out of fear and insecurity.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt the need to go through your significant other's phone because you suspect that he or she might be entertaining others? Or make a scene in a public place or the internet because your significant other liked another person's photo? Or slid into someone's DM? Checked out another person?
Have you been that person in a relationship that felt the need to slide into someone’s DM? Or go out of your way to make comments about the attractiveness of another individual? Even bring up mistakes made by your significant other? Ever made fun of your significant other for sharing something that made them upset? Or even ignore them? We have found these things to be the new “norm,” it’s how we show each other we love each other, right? Not exactly. Most of these actions can be summed up to one thing; lack of self-love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices within truth. It always protects, always trusts always hopes, always preserves, love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Black love creates space. Fear creates boundaries. It doesn’t create limitations, it is limitless. Black love allows you freedom, space, and safety to love yourself out loud. Black love for me has been the realization that I don’t have to compromise myself, dreams, or interests of another person.
Black love for me has been freedom.
I am, what many people like to refer to, a free spirit. I don’t like to be told I have to act a certain way or do a certain thing. I love, love. I do all things in love. I give the people that I love all of me. Which, can be exhausting if a person does not have the same understanding of love as you. I’ve been drained from relationships. Not because I expect people to give me something in return, but because people expect me to give them something. I always told myself I would never be in a relationship. I would never find love in another person because people just want to have you as their possession. I even started to fall into that idea of love. That maybe love was complicated. That after all is said and done you had to settle down and compromise.
After a series of draining situationships and one toxic breakup, I came across, what seems like, the love I always knew existed. I met a man who made me feel no boundaries. From the moment I met him, I felt freedom. From the first “date,” I felt no pressure. No pressure to act or look a certain way, to keep shying away from certain conversational topics. I felt like my soul was staring in a mirror. I was able to be comfortably honest with myself.
From that first day, I have never felt pressured to do anything I didn't want or give anything I didn’t have. I’ve felt nothing but freedom to do the things I want. My black love doesn’t call me every hour and ask me what I’m doing or where I’m at, It doesn’t feel obligated to ask for “permission” to do things nor does it feel the need to lie. My black love is an unspoken understanding. It is a shoulder to cry on and a friend to laugh with. It’s intimate yet stern. It’s a hard conversation and sometimes a reality check. It’s comfort. It is understanding that I will never fully know who this man is because to claim you know everything about a person is ignorance, but my black love is excitement to continuously learn about him.
Black love for me has inspired me to love and take care of myself.
It has given me the space and support to go after what I want, full force. To know that someone is always in my corner and they are truly inspired by the work you do. It has taught me to share my emotions and that being sensitive is my strength. It has taught me which emotions and reactions come from love and which come from insecurity and fear. My black love has taught me that love is non-possessive. I don’t fear losing him because he’s not property. Anxiety and depression don’t have to live here. That they are not who I am. It’s taught me the importance of being present.
Black love has taught me that you cannot love another without loving yourself. It has taught me love doesn’t have to be hard and complicated, that love isn't give and take.
Black Love has taught me that LOVE is your wellbeing.
1, Expect nothing:
- Love is not self-seeking. It does not give to receive, it gives because giving makes you genuinely happy. When you are full overflowing with love, you can give without NEEDING/EXPECTING anything in return because you suffer no loss.
- It is okay to not be okay
- There is no need to always “be strong” or “be good.” You are allowed to be sad or upset. But there is no need to bask in these emotions. Find the reason behind these emotions, below the surface. And work it out.
- Needing or enjoying time alone is OKAY.
- It’s natural to want or need time to yourself. Being in a relationship does not mean you lose all freedom and personal space. It’s okay to take a couple of days (or as long as you need) to be alone.
- Communication won’t always be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
- Communication in relationships is key. It’s never been easy and with the “wrong person,” the situation doesn’t always get resolved. Black love is understanding. It is the comfort or explanation you may need to settle uneasy emotions. It’s also the reality check you need to remind you that your insecurities ain’t shit and that the devil is a lie.
- Check your jealousy at the door:
- Before you feel the need to go through your partner's phone or if your heart starts jumping out of your chest when your partner talks to another person...ask yourself. WHY?
- Why do I feel threatened? Why does my partner interacting with another person make me feel this way? Why do I feel the need to go through this phone? What am I expecting to find?
- If you feel the need to do these things, you need to check out what YOU have going on internally. Why do you feel as if you aren’t worthy enough of a loyal partner? Why are you with a person that makes you feel they would even give that kind of attention to another person? Or why can’t this person talk with other people? Are they not allowed the freedom to have their friends and privacy?
- Love is not being confined to another, it is non-possessive, it is truth.
- Love is an unspoken understanding; a soul contract. A title is just that; a title.
- There is no need to stress about the title. If you are literally stressing about whether or not your love interest is “yours” let me just tell you this, don’t. If you need a title to make you feel better about giving love to another person, then you are either not ready to be giving yourself to another or you know they are not. Now, I’m not saying that there is something wrong with calling someone your boyfriend or girlfriend. I’m saying the obsession with ownership or needing it to feel as if that someone loves you is. If someone is not secure with who they are or not ready for loving a title will not stop them from doing what they want to do. There is no need to force a title or stipulations on another person. Let things flow. Don’t overthink it. (This was probably one of the hardest things for me to for to deal with at first. I still have my moments where I get a little freaked out but the unspoken understanding is just something that is undeniable)
- Be present
- I know that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in looking into the future and thinking about “where is this going” or in the past and wondering if this one is like the other ones. But the only moment that exists is NOW. If you don’t feel good about it now, then don’t hope to feel better about it in the future. If it does feel good now, stop thinking about where it went wrong in the past. Leave that energy where it belongs, in the trash. Be present, think about how your relationship is serving you NOW. If it is bringing you the right energy, let yourself be happy. You deserve it. If is not, then you deserve to leave.
You cannot have black love without taking care of yourself. Black love is your overall well-being.
It is not going through another person's phone without permission, it is not arguments that leave you in tears and wondering if you’re good enough, it is not feeling as if no one else will ever love you so you might as well stay. Black love is freedom, adventure, it’s learning what your insecurities are and working through them, it’s strength, it’s a kiss on the forehead, it’s alone time, it is self-love. I hope this article finds you right when you need it and can help you in any way.
Author Brittany Bucey
Yoga and Meditation Instructor