September 27, 2010
A Slice of Wisdom
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month
This is not about the backlash I heard Rhianna receive after telling about the abuse she suffered at the hands of a man she thought loved her. This is not about my female students who I spoke to about teaching another sister about being a better sister rather than alienating her from the group. My concern is about how sisters overall must love themselves better in order to be better sisters to one another.
In a poem I wrote to my mother I said, “Everything I learned about being a sister I learned from you.” Part of what she taught me was that it is alright to compliment a sister when she looks good. It is also alright to keep your sisters close even while “He” is around, because after “He” is gone more than likely your sister will be there. She will be the one to remind you that you are still beautiful and worthy when “He” disappears. When “He” removes his shoulder as a place for your head to rest your troubles on, nine times out of ten, your sisters will be there to remind you a better day is coming.
I really don’t have much patience for sisters who do not know their value and who do not take care of their relationships with other sisters. I remember my initiation into the Spelman sisterhood and how awesome we were in our white standing as one collective body. I took the ceremony seriously and although I did not graduate from the college, my sense of sisterhood did. I have and know sisters who know the bond of sisterhood that reaches beyond those iron gates. Trust, I have been careless in some of my relationships with my sister friends. I remember being so in love with a guy that I neglected my weekly sister chats. I put our relationship on the back burner until I needed her to be my co-pilot to jet down the highway to retrieve my belongings. Through our laughter, she admonished me with love to never forget your sisters because sisters have your back after the man is gone. It is for this reason I have allowed sisters into my circle who have not read the sisterhood memo. When they say they are without sister-friends, I ignore the red flag and take up the charge to show them real sisters do exist. It is my intent to share the value of the love I learned, but sadly I have also learned everyone isn’t able to be a sister to another sister.
When I became less reckless with the care I had for myself, I was less reckless with the care I had for my sisters. See, you can’t take care of one without the other. There is no way I can give excuses for a man beating a woman if I would not first excuse the behavior for myself. If I know love should not hurt and if I know that regardless of what I say, no man has the right to hit, push, shove, kick, or spit on me, then there is no way I will condone this behavior toward a sister. My response to my sister’s well being is a response to what I believe I deserve in a similar situation.
The inability to love and take care of my sister is ultimately a reflection of the love I have for myself. I want no less for my sister then I want for myself. The MORE I want for her is the MORE I want for me: more love, more happiness, more understanding, more gratitude, more purpose, more of the MORE the Most High has designed for me.
In the meantime…be MORE of you!