Black-woman--006 alone and sadMore often than not, we look at love as being some huge prize reserved for those of us who are good enough to deserve it.  We have to be lucky enough, pretty enough, smart enough, sexy enough, patient enough and kind enough.  As a result, we spend an awful lot of time attempting to master those things we assume will get us that prize.

But eventually something happens.  Some of us begin to notice that we aren’t winning.   We assume that somewhere, somehow, something went wrong.  We go back over our list and check off all the things we’ve done to better prepare ourselves for the competition, and come to the conclusion that we haven’t done enough.  So, we up our game.  We read more books, attend more classes, diet more, exercise more, and find new ways to improve our appearance.  And in the midst of it all, are the firm declarations that we are only doing it for ourselves, not because we believe that if we get “better”, we will finally be good enough to love.  But sometimes, just sometimes, that’s a lie.

It’s a lie we tell ourselves because we have learned to mask our fears.  We have learned that strong women know their own worth and don’t need validation from others.  But there is a deeper truth behind that story; and that is we often do want the validation.  We want to be recognized.  We want to be acknowledged and we want to be chosen.  We want to be good enough to love.  But we can’t say that.  We don’t want to look like we care that much.  We don’t want to appear weak or needy, because being weak is for losers.  We want to win.  And when we do, we want to accept our prize showing the world that we were always confident in our ability to have it.  Now, that is not to say that every good thing we do for ourselves is to get love and approval from men or from anyone else, for that matter.  What I am saying is that if we are honest, we would admit that a lot of what we do actually is.

Although there are many who would proudly proclaim that they don’t need or even want the validation, there is still that quiet whisper of those who are not quite so convinced.  And they are ashamed; ashamed of their desire to be loved or of their fear of not being good enough.  So, let’s start having more real conversations-not just the ones where we tell one another how great and powerful and worthy we are.  While we are all of those things, there are times when we are also afraid and unsure and vulnerable.  And it is during these times that we should be able to simply say, without judgment, “Sometimes, I feel like I’m just not good enough.”  We don’t need to hear how smart or pretty or talented we are and we don’t need to hear what we could do to make ourselves better.  We only need to hear, “I know how that feels.”

– Angie G.


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  • Sharae N.
    November 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Funny, this last part reminds me of that fine line between being compassionate and being an enabler. Sometimes if the person is generally self-empowered, compassion is easy. But if that person (myself included) spirals easily, espesh on an “old” subject, I can become resistant to the idea of a potential pity-party…

    Also, one of my fav quotes from this article is “And in the midst of it all, are the firm declarations that we are only doing it for ourselves.” Now that being “enlightened” is becoming a part of pop-culture, I hear more folks insist that they’re doing things for themselves (boob jobs, certain debt causing material purchases, etc). Yet, at the root of many “choices” or personal desires, is still outer validation from the opposite sex, family, church, society, sorors, co-workers, etc. — which certainly isnt “wrong”. But, it isn’t being free either.

    Take a look around. Few folks on our planet currently make choices simply for choice’s sake. I often have check-in convos with myself to make sure Im choosing from an empowered place until that level of choosing becomes second nature… Chile, please. I’m having a BMW vs Honda Hybrid convo with myself as we speak! The larger part of me knows either choice is fine. However, the ego created the conflict and is now making me wrong for feeling conflicted! Ha!


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