Friday, March 24, 2006

ten things i would like to grow on

in light of my most recent post about the perfect lover i felt it necessary to write a list of things i need to work on in order to make myself a better mate for someone else. i mean, how da hell can i have expectations when i myself can't meet them?

so here goes...

ten things nikki needs to work on in order to be the kind of woman worthy of not only self-love but the love of a good brotha (the RIGHT good brotha):

1. listen
i have to stop being a sentence ender and concentrate on what a brotha is telling me. that means reigning in my impatience. there are secrets being whispered within the silence between the spaces of his words. if i listen closely enough i can hear him telling me what's in his heart even if he doesn't use the traditionally romantic words to do it. he has to feel as though he can communicate anything to me and if i make a point of actively listening, he will.

2. stop over-analyzing everything
i have a tendency to read too much into how a person acts. sometimes it's really not all that deep. i know i do this because i want the comfort of having an answer as to why a person does things, but the fact of the matter is that i have to find comfort in not having all of the answers.

3. rid myself of the fear of loving someone with my whole heart and believe in the power of love
recent events have brought to light the fact that i have difficulty being vulnerable to someone which is ironic considering the fact that i would want a brotha to be vulnerable with me. he would be taking just as much of a chance as i am and i have to acknowledge that. if i feel it, i must remain with it until it runs its course, but i can no longer run away from the unfamiliar. i have to learn to trust a brotha with my heart and not assume because he doesn't show his feelings as i show mine that a brotha doesn't care or isn't willing to love me.

4. continue to build my sense of self-esteem and self-worth
i don't know how many times i've pushed folk away because i was too afraid the person would reject me after knowing me too well. i have to believe i am a good person and i can bring light into a person's life. i have to believe in my own abilities and my strengths and be aiight with my weaknesses because i'm a lifetime project of growing. i have to accept myself. i know there are sistas out there who are more beautiful, more intelligent, more of alot of things than i am. i have to be cool with that because no matter who i end up with, he's gonna see those same sistas i see and i have to feel confident enough about what i bring to the table to know he will still choose to be with me.

5. let him do him
being together doesn't mean he's gonna be exactly like me. i can't make a person think like me. i can't make a person feel like me. i have to do a better job of stepping back and just letting a brotha be. how do i expect a brotha to love me as i am if i can't do the same for him? i have to uplift him, too.

6. release
i see that i tend to want to control the outcome of everything in my life, when i know that's just not possible. i can't make a person agree with me all of the time or want the same things as i do or go about solving a problem the same way. i have to just sit back and let things happen as nature intended, even if it ultimately means the outcome isn't what i wanted. i have to develop patience and allow for things to unfold in the way they're meant to unfold. a life worth living isn't rushed. each moment is savored, even if it ends up taking more moments than i'm used to in order to get to the finale (if there even IS one).

7. recognize his needs and respond without passing judgement
it really ain't all about me. just as i have challenges, so does he. because of this, i have to be aware when he acts in a way that comes as a result of his life experiences. he might need a little extra attention or a little extra space. i get the same way, too, and if i wish for him to give me what i need when i need it, i have to be willing to do the same.

8. communicate forthrightly without fear of him leaving
the more that's on the line, the more i clam up. if i don't think he'll understand, i won't say anything. if i think what i'm gonna say is gonna hurt his feelings, i won't say it. now this isn't to say i need to disrespect his feelings by saying something spiteful. it means i have to do a better job of communicating in a blunt but considerate manner when it comes to the relationship and my feelings. that's the only way a relationship remains strong, if there are no misunderstandings about what's expected of each other. a brotha really shouldn't be expected to read my mind.

9. be more about action and less about reaction
i can no longer see his behavior as a cue to how i should behave. in other words, if he's not putting forth energy towards the relationship, that doesn't give me license to be the same way. i have to always remain true to myself and my feelings in a relationship. if i love him, it means i will do things for him because i love him and not because he does those things for me. i also cannot assume his changing behavior is a result of him loving me any less (not saying it couldn't be, but i should at least be an optimist until i see the signs letting me know the relationship really is ending).

10. love myself unconditionally
i have to know i'll be alright if a relationship ends, even if i've put myself out there totally. by loving myself without reservation i gain the knowledge and courage necessary to love someone else the same way. i have to take active steps each day towards being the person i want to be while also loving myself at every stage of the journey.