Behind closed doors, we connected like long lost dust magnets traveling through space. My world met his through song. His soul met mine with presence, puppy love, cute care. There were times when the relationship felt like he and I were kicking ass in a long battle against the world. I just knew that any day, he would say, “I want you to be mine”. I longed for my vision of us holding hands in the rain to come to fruition. I prepared for the hour when he would introduce me to his family and tell the world that his heart had found a safe place in me.
But time would finally reveal that my version of love had only masked the truth – that we shared everything but the Sun.
Still, as the years went by…I kept giving myself to him…wholeheartedly, whole soulfully, and whole bodily. When, one day, I gathered the strength to ask him why we hadn’t taken our union more seriously. His response was… “You’re too dark”. He was referring to my skin. Damn. I wish I could say that I went into “African Queen” mode and told him off! I wish I had the tools to gather my confidence, restore my self-esteem, and run for the hills. That didn’t happen. I held my head low, questioned my existence…and stayed.
What do you call a man who opens up deeply to a dark-skinned woman in private and puts on a front to match a lighter-skinned woman in public? Is my dark skin reflective of how he sees his sexuality? Where he could let loose and be free with me in the bedroom, why was he driven toward polishing his act and approach for the yellow woman who barely acknowledged his sexual need? Had society’s eye that much control over his private pleasure? Why am I even involved with this man? Does the other woman know that he only loves her for her skin and the fleeting status it brings him?
Too afraid to wait on the answers, I put the pain out of my head and moved on.
So, when my world circled back into this deep seated rejection – I was ready. Front, centered, and fixed to a mirror, it was clear that I had so many people to blame for being uncomfortable in my own skin. I blamed black men, my mother, my biological father (whose absence taught me to hope against the truth when it came to love and sex); I blamed society … slavery … racism …capitalism. For all this unfairness, I avoided responsibility for repairing the wounded places in my heart…to play along and believe that whomever set out to fill the hole was destined to do so – no matter the price I paid in the end. That didn’t work. But for the grace of the Great Mother, I almost got stuck in a critical, bitter, unforgiving, and unloving disposition. Until…
…I learned how to appreciate the tools, opportunities, openings; helpful others, healers, teachers, musicians, nature…her dirt…and everything else I needed to acknowledge and develop a love for me! I turned away from regrets and received the heart of the first man who told me at age 7 “call me dad”. I turned away from a history of broken relationships and decided to give the present men and women (who love me ‘just because’) opportunities to help me soothe and heal my sorrow. I stopped viewing public disregard and deep rooted taboos against my skin color as a statement about who I am. I decided that I am worth so much more than a mere thought that “I don’t matter”. That worked!
Now, when I sing to them who see me, I am overjoyed. While dark violet skies play a key role in my evolution, I no longer wish to love and be loved only in the dark. He, who couldn’t find the courage to see past the bondage of a color-stricken mentality, only had power over the part of me who couldn’t see past the bondage of my low self worth. There I was: believing his back door efforts were all I deserved.
Here I am: Priestess of my Temple…and moving forward. I have processed my self esteem through an unearthed lens of the divine truth. Blessed be the Great African Mothers of civilization. And for that, blessed be me!
©Copyright 2012 by InnaRae