“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable.”
— C.S. Lewis
After I met a man who is now my partner…
I will never forget the time when a white colleague said to me, “When I look at you, I don’t see color. I don’t see you as a black person.” He was saying, “Race doesn’t matter to me. I am not a racist.” But I heard, “I am denying a big part of who you are and your experiences.”
He pissed me off.
When I asked him to explain his statement, he said he wanted me to belong. To be part of a team.
He’s not the only one who had bias without intention. One time, a white colleague asked…
“I regret not doing things I should have done in my 20s, Banchi,” my best friend whispered to me on her death bed. Her haunting words were the last words she ever spoke to me.
I didn’t check on her the next day because I was busy at work. I woke up to a dark day on September 22, 2019. When the phone rang, and I answered it, the news I heard was like nothing I’d ever heard before.
I slammed the phone down in shock, and tears rolled down my face. The wave of grief that settled over me…
One of my boyfriend’s friend has an internal labyrinth, a maze, and a torturous arrangement he made with himself. He is convinced every woman will eventually leave him. He is terrified he will end up stranded, abandoned, and alone.
This belief taints his relationships.
He is aloof, dismissive, cold, to avoid getting too close. Or, he is possessive, holds on tightly, and becomes abusive as he becomes increasingly afraid of the power of his prophecy. Either way, it becomes painful and self-destructive to any woman who dares to stay.
According to a psychologist friend, this behavior is called a control…
My 8-year-old friend’s smile is more powerful than the blazing of the sun.
Even though he has lost his parents when he was 2, he loves fiercely. I met Abel at an orphanage a couple of months ago. It would be easy to argue he doesn’t yet fully understand what love means and yet I believe it is precisely because there is no scarring or mental concepts attached to his understanding of it that he expresses it so purely.
I wonder sometimes how he loves so freely.
When he grows up he wants to be a ninja that can fight…
Do you ever wish you could be more emotionally strong?
While there’s nothing wrong with feeling any emotion, some people control their emotional reactions better than others. I’ve worked hard over the years to become emotionally strong. To be clear: I’m not perfect and I’m not always strong…
“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” -Rumi
Counting your blessings with clear intention might make you feel better in these troubled times. While I would love to grow old with my best friend, to sit outside in our rocking chairs as 80-year-old women, reflecting on our lives, I can’t.
She is dead.
My mind can still bring up a vivid image when she told me the bad news. Her face contorted into a grimace. Her eyes moistened and her shoulders convulsed.
“I have metastatic breast cancer,” my friend said.
There it is…
In civilization today you can’t be both pretty and intelligent is offensive.
There is an image from 2010 that I can’t seem to forget. For the first time in my life, I had left my country, Ethiopia, and taken a teaching job in a foreign country. My white peers commented on how different, pretty, and cute I looked. My job was to teach students alongside them. This escaped their minds. After weeks of listening to their comments, I had to ask them to stop commenting on my gender or dark looks because I’m a professional.
Their mindless comments pissed me…
Others have lost someone they love and are grieving a loss, too. This truth gives you something rare, something precious.
You feel you’re not the only one who has lost someone they love.
When my dear friend died of cancer two months ago, I longed for a space made for the living that awakened senses and allowed for conversations about glimpses death teaches us about life.
Since the pandemic hit us, we’re no stranger to grief. Our conversations have become virtual — like everything else. So I joined an online community where I could share my grief with others. I…
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” — Brene Brown
Alas, I would wake up in the morning with my heart full of love for him.
Except he enjoyed watching football games every night, and I did not. I’d say nothing, again and again. I wanted to please him and in doing so neglected myself.
But then, wait a minute. This isn’t right. After 6 months into the relationship, never saying no exhausted me. …