I Prefer Hope

Some of us can afford to simply “fall in love.” Those of us blessed with loving fathers, good examples, and a healthy self worth tend to gravitate towards men who want to treat them well.

For the rest of us, it’s not so easy. In the absence of positive relationship role models, we need to consciously program ourselves to accept love from a healthy person and conquer our fears that we’re not good enough.

My own journey to this acceptance involved lots and lots of fear, certainly not helped by all the hysteria-inducing statistical articles proclaiming, “Singles are doomed!” Like this one at cnn, where the author spends time complaining about how awful things are for Black women (and it’s true, things are a little more difficult for us) before offering a half-hearted note of optimism at the end.

The problem with articles like these is that they put too much power in the hands of others. Relationships aren’t easy for anyone, especially those of us with problems to overcome, but it can be done. I much prefer this article in Sunday’s “Modern Love” column.

In it, writer Kerry Cohen presents her tatooo habit as a metaphor for the self-inflicted pain caused by repeatedly choosing harmful or unsuitable boyfriends. Fitting, then, that she decides to get her tattoos removed when she meets the man who is right for her. No cataclysmic, Oprah-style revelation, no magical bells or music are heard. No exhortations to the reader to “do what I did so you can find love!” The article is short and so light on detail and introspection, but it appears that Cohen eventually just knows when things are right for her and responds appropriately.

Some quick research took me to Ms. Cohen’s webpage and blog, and it becomes clear just why I was drawn to this article. Like many, Cohen has clawed her way out of an abusive-man habit and learned to accept love, and, it appears, love someone else in return.

I prefer these types of articles. For some, healthy relationships come naturally. For the rest of us, we cannot view ourselves as hapless pawns of fate, destiny or statistics. This kind of mindset leads us directly to a broken-record of mistreatment. Instead, we need to be reminded that we have more power than that.

And for me personally, I needed to see that someone who once felt the same way I do at this very moment emerged successfully, and found hope.

  1. sherrieh
    September 25, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Abuse and poor parent relationships is across all cultures. We are all one people in our feelings. I write about strategies that help people move their lives and their journey forward. Please visit Love My Journey at http://www.sherrieh.wordpress.com. If some of those tips help you, then you might want to visit my website at http://www.moonwomenspirituality.com. You deserve awesome relationships today. You can have them. Yes, it is possible. Empower yourself! Many blessings to you!

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