My Essence, My Dignity: Settling for Me
As I sit and compose, I owe it to myself and to my followers to be completely transparent because maybe, just maybe, I can help you while I help myself.
This month represents loss and death for me. On August 23, 2014, I lost the man who meant everything to me. That man was my dad, the late Mr. Jessie Lee Nelson, Jr. He meant everything to me even though our relationship was strained and stagnant for the first eleven years of my life. I even questioned during my earlier years, if my dad wanted me for a daughter and I questioned what was wrong me. Kinda like what I have done over the past few years as I dealt with verbal and mental abuse and sheer rejection.
My hate for the month of August is representative of the fact that during this month I always seem to lose people who I valued (maybe they didn’t necessarily value me, but valued what I could do for them). In so many ways, my dad’s karma was passed down to me because of how he treated women. He was a good guy with a good heart, but it was something about women, that he could not get enough of. I mean he was tossing them just like he tossed his loose change in his pockets after he got off work from cooking all day in the hospital cafeteria–that’s how he made his living. Here it is, the child that he never had to worry about (Me) has to endure that same pain that he caused those women. I just wished he would have got it right for my sake.
I have never been good at this dating thing because for the most part, I have dated men who used me for their own gain and then tossed my heart like it was a bag of coins like my dad did with his women. So where am I going with this? While those men treated me like loose change, I also settled for that as being the status quo and that maybe things will get better if I do this or if I do that, but things only got worse. You can’t make a man want you and you sure can’t make a man love you. My dad always told me, “You can’t make a grown man do something he doesn’t want to do.” Intuition can see through illusive (deceptive) intent, no matter how much you try to get it to lie. Don’t get me wrong, if a man says he loves you, nine times out of ten he really does love you…but does he love you enough to do right by you or is he all about himself? Most times, the latter is true.
So what do you do in those instances? Look at yourself in the mirror and become so mesmerized with your essence that he was once mesmerized with, find your dignity and settle for your damn self. I am twenty-nine (29) years old and I wasted all of my twenties settling and putting myself last for these men who are quite frankly, way below my pay grade. I have been emotionally and verbally abused in ways that you would not be able to imagine. I was in a whole marriage where every day I dreaded being home because I knew it would be another round of insults and tearing me down because of his own insecurities. Whenever I would express myself, I was always reduced to the most volatile streams of tears. I will never forget the day that I slept on my bathroom floor in fear of having to go through another round of insults. It never mattered about my feelings or my truth.
When you are telling the truth about what your intuition is telling you and giving a certified heart tosser the truth, your truth is oftentimes referred to as “bullshit.” I used to spend so much energy pouring out my heart and my feelings to my ex, he always would say “I don’t have time for your bullshit (my truth) or you are always with the bullshit (my feelings).” Shit from a bull makes for good fertilizer to promote growth, but if a person is so constipated with their own agenda…everything will become stagnant and you can’t afford to stir in it because the more you stir, the more it stinks. If a person doesn’t have time for my feelings, then I don’t have another minute of time to waste on settling for them no matter how much I may love them.
As I went through a tumultuous time with my past relationship, one day a person who I considered a good friend told me to look in the mirror and tell him what I saw. That day remains vivid because looking in the mirror was something I tried not to do because I was so broken. When I looked in that mirror, the only thing I could do was cry because I truly was broken because I gave someone the best years of my life and it was all for gain and coverage. When I looked in that mirror, that friend of mine wouldn’t let me leave that mirror until I said what I saw and then he told me what he saw. He would say, it’s your essence. I never comprehended what he meant by “my essence” until recently, until today.
My essence is one that is unmatched. My essence is the aurora that penetrates any room that I walk in. My essence is my ability to not be defined by all of the hard times and horrible things done to me. My essence is my heart of gold even though I have been damaged. My essence is my ability to handle trials with grace without breaking the smile on my face, even though I am tired. My essence is my ability to still be good to those who have been less than good to me. My essence is a pure form of love and adoration that can be doped up on the toughest pain killers while in pain, that will go to great lengths to make sure you are okay, even if that means bailing you out of whatever jail cell of hell that you may be caught in. My essence is that ability to still be a distant friend and still want to see you win. My essence is giving you more than three strikes to get it right.
Then there is dignity. My dignity is my respect and honor for myself. Far too often, we forget to honor ourselves in the midst of getting caught up in someone who doesn’t even respect or honor you in the way that you deserve. Truthfully, they may not respect or honor you because they don’t even respect and honor themselves. We pour so much into those who can’t even pour into us at the expense of our hearts, mind, and sometimes our souls. Sounds like an empty cup that will eventually get thrown out. So what do you do with that?
I am learning to become so mesmerized with my essence and my dignity and settle for me. Settling for Self is better than settling for someone who doesn’t have the capacity to love you like you deserve to be loved. Settling for self is better than having to endure pain from someone who you explained your pain too. Settling for self is better than loving someone whose actions of love become attenuated over time. Settling for self is better than wasting nine whole years of your adult life, loving individuals who wouldn’t even care if you died tomorrow night, just so long as they got good use out of you.
In light of all of this, my challenge to you is to become so intentional about yourself that when the right person comes along the love and adoration will flow naturally. Love doesn’t hurt.