“Everybody’s somebody’s everything. Nobody’s nothing at all”–Chance the Rapper, “Everybody’s Something”, Acid Rap 2013
“All You Need is Love”–The Beatles, some year before 1970 because I’m too lazy to google when this song came out or what album it’s from
All we do need is love. We need companionship, we need therapy, we need someone to check up on us, we need people (…and dogs, we need dogs because they’re awesome and they care about us…unlike cats). There has yet to be a major phase of my life where the strength and support of my friends and family haven’t carried me through. I will forever be grateful for that and pray for a continual village to help a young sista through the struggle.
Even now with having a partner and having almost unprecedented amounts of encouragement and gassing up on a daily basis there’s one thing that is undoubtedly true, none of it is worth much if you ain’t got your own back.
Bri, are you saying that all the love and nurturing in the world means nothing if you don’t love and nurture yourself?
This past week, amongst a string of stress fueled arguments and conflicting schedules, I realized that sometimes all you got in the world to keep you company and make you laugh is you. And that’s not in a “I’m outchea in the world by myself, alone I came in this world, alone I’ll leave it” kinda way. More in a “you can’t always rely on other people to be available to entertain you” kinda way. Nor should you.
As ‘duh’ as that may sound, it’s a different story when you’re laid up in the house twiddling your thumbs cause bae is working, you’re taking a break from your work, all your friends are out living their lives, and your Netflix queue is giving you nothing.
Bri are you saying that I’m not wholly and totally unique in my feelings of loneliness and abandonment and overall selfishness?
We all get there at times and I’m starting to see that often, especially once we get a partner who we spend significant amounts of time with, I put the burden of my emotional welfare and care on other people. When they don’t meet these expectations or have to focus more on what they have going on in their lives independent of me, I can get anxious, jealous, or some other form of agitated. For me, I find myself in these moods when I’ve put some unspoken and generally unreasonable expectation on another person and now feel some sort of betrayal because they have failed to meet said expectation.
Not your mama, not your sister, not your bestie, not your frat brother, not your advisor, not your therapist, not even bae is responsible for your emotional well-being and your centeredness. Can they do things that can potentially disturb your peace if you allow them to? Sure. But they’re not the sole guardians and keepers of your mental wellness. They got their own well being to tend to, the only person who is in charge of how happy, how sad, or how balanced you feel at any given point in time is you.
I’ve gotten much better about putting all my distorted and displaced frustration with my own situation on my partner. If I’m feeling antsy or just bored like I was a few days ago it’s not up to him to put all his stuff to the side to make sure I–a fully grown and autonomous human being with a car, a laundry list of work, and access to the internet–am happy, entertained, and on an even keel. And it’s the same vice versa. I give him and all my other loved ones as much emotional support as I can but my sole purpose in life is not to care for and upkeep their personal baggage. I got my own baggage. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN BAGGAGE.
On social media I see so many people ranting and venting about how this one let them down by not answering a text, or how upset this one is because bae is busy doing work or something, or how all that one got in the world is himself and he ain’t finna let nobody else in for the rest of life cause he gon’ get to this money and grind and show all these hoes what they missing…excuse me what?
It’s okay to just hafta deal with your ish by yourself sometimes. Half the time it’s for the best. I’m not saying don’t talk to others about what you’re going through…please do. But you can’t be mad when folks got other stuff to do and you just gotta make a way out of no way and figure some stuff out with just you, yourself, and the good lord and that’s alright.
You’ll be surprised at the fantastic emotional and spiritual work you can get done when it’s just you and your feels. Gives you some time to examine what your feelings are, question why you feel the way you feel, and release them without potentially projecting them onto your innocent bystander loved ones. Cause ain’t nothing more annoying and frustrating than having to apologize to someone you care about for wilding out over some stuff that wasn’t even their fault because you needed someone to take your frustrations out on….trust me, I know.
Find your happiness and do all you can to support your own peace. You’ll save yourself a lot of disappointment and anxiety by not putting so much weight on people who are not meant to carry it. Similar to what I said a few years back, we ain’t gotta save everybody. It’s alright to put yourself first, and it’s okay for others to do the same. So while you’re not saving others, truly do the work for yourself now that you’re focused on you.
Keep on keeping on,
Bri aka “I can’t hear you over my meditations and controlled breathing” bka “Yes i’m still writing my dissertation” fka the one who gave two damns
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
–Rudyard Kipling, If