Heartbreak paralyzes us at our core.
The initial moments don't last long but the healing process seems to hurt worse than anything in the world. Sometimes it even feels like it lasts forever. I didn't think I could heal after giving her everything and watching her throw it all away for nothing. Her actions quickly made me think that she was just an example of what all women were like and I proceeded to develop a fear of love as a result of her act of hatred.
But, somewhere along the way of turning my back to Cupid, I realized that my fear of love has given so much power to hatred. I began to realize how my past was crippling my present and future, holding me back the "forever" that could be around the corner. Healing is relevant and can happen on your own terms but at some point, we should all grow past our pain and learn to love again.
Ultimate growth happens when we stop and realize that love is a relative and necessary application to our lives. It's not about trying to make love a little sweeter or a little softer. It's about being able to truly embrace its taste.
Love is an acquired taste.
Its sweetness can sometimes be the perfect balance to the sour moments in your life, but then that same sweetness can be abrasive at other times. Like lemonade with too much sugar in it. It can also carry an unimaginable amount of heat that can be just the perfect temperature for those cold nights. However, that same heat can suffocate you in the middle of the summer.
You get it.
It's interesting how cultural expectancies and norms take tolls on our lives. There are so many things that we suffocate because we expect a "norm" to exist and love is certainly one of those realms. We're bombarded with the 'happy-ending' love stories in films and literature, and then take all of these norms and spend our little lives chasing this fairytale ending without paying attention to the hell that led up to it.
Then we falter, fold, and wave the white flag. We delete Cupid's number and block him on all social sites then build walls around our hearts like a Mary J. Blige album.
Love isn't "for us" anymore.
Even I've stared into the dark tunnel of love with anger. But, after a few lonely storms outside of that tunnel, I realized the anger was merely the result of fear. I became scared of love because of a few bumps in the road and the control that love can have over us. You don't always get your way in "love" and for many of us, that's the first lesson that love teaches us. A lot of us don't survive that lesson.
It's learning the hard way that love and sacrifice are synonymous.
Many of my friends have shared that same fear, male and female alike. Each of them love to get drunk and talk about Cupid's bad aim without acknowledging the lessons in the pain. We quickly and collectively demonized love and started suggesting that it's far too painful to attempt to bear. In some cases, it just wasn't meant to be but that's not the issue in question. The issue is that we take those bad cases of love and decide to completely give up on it. We learn one lesson and decide that the rest of the curriculum is too difficult to understand.
Dating people who neglect to work for love or completely neglect the idea of commitment. It's tough.
BUT, imagine what is on the other side of that heartbreak? Imagine how relationships will taste now that we have experienced what we don't want to deal with. Now, we walk into our next chance at love with better understandings of ourselves and our self-worth. We ain't dealing with anything that disrespects us! Love is for everybody and that vision that we have of a strong relationship is no mirage; it's very real. A couple of run-ins with the wrong one(s) help us appreciate the right one even more.
Contrary to popular belief, love deserves our best efforts. It deserves us stepping up to the plate even after striking out before.
We should stop and understand that there is no perfect love. The beauty in that four letter "L" word is that it's not one size fits all. Your interpretation of 'love' shape-shifts itself to your idiosyncrasies. However, the bulk of the work comes from us understanding that we will undoubtedly have to work to keep love afloat; no matter how "perfect" our significant others may be. One thing you'll notice when couples renew their vows, or when we hear stories of love that has stood the test of time, is that you're going to have to work to make it work.
Sometimes the work is in getting back up and trying to love again.
Consider this a plea to you (and to myself, tbh) to not give up on love. Your last try may have been draining but it didn't drain you completely. That old and toxic situation is not worth your present and future happiness. After understanding who you are, try to understand who you are in love and then give it another go.
Female or male, love is still a valuable jewel that I would hate to see you get robbed of because of a bad experience.
xo, Brian James
Dear Queen is a weekly series dedicated to letters from women written for themselves and other women. Have a "Dear Queen" letter? We want to read it! E-mail your letters to email@example.com with the subject: Dear Queen.
Featured image by Getty Images
Brian James is a Media Personality, Artist, and Author from Prince George's County, MD. Having served several communities across America as a radio host, Brian continues to broadcast, write, and perform with the idea that love can save us all. Brian's nine-year career in entertainment has placed him on stage with several celebrities and major brands, spreading his message of love through music, literature, and his radio shows. Connect with Brian on Instagram and Twitter at @briancxvi.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
We all have a dream life that we spend our free time daydreaming about. You know, the one with a loving partner, high-rise apartment, thriving career, and endless abundance. But as much as we can dream about it, there has to be a little extra sprinkle of “magic” to make it become a reality, and that’s when manifestation comes in.
The uptick in manifestation techniques is nothing new to the internet. Since The Secret and the Law of Attraction became available on YouTube in the early 2010s and fast forward to today, where #manifestationtok and #spiritualtok surging in popularity, it’s clear that there are a number of different ways to get what you want out of life with the right action, affirmation, and visualization.
Still, with so many ways to manifest, from scripting to the 3-6-9 Method, it can be hard to know which one to lean into. But there’s one new technique that’s promising to yield “instant results,” and we’re curious about it.
The "I Am Sure" Manifestation
Replying to @A I M E E 🖤 lG: hothighpriestess 🤍 this is the “I am sure” method #iamsuremethod
The “I Am Sure” manifestation gained traction this summer by TikTok creator Sara Perl of @hothighpriestess, who initially introduced the method.
In her original video breaking down the concept, she detailed the steps to use the technique for those looking to “manifest overnight.” To do so, start by stating “I am sure,” followed by “your desired manifestation in the present tense.” If there’s a job, promotion, or text from a crush that you want, then you’d say, “I am sure that I got X job,” or “I am sure that I make a $100K salary.” Repeat this out loud 10 times, or for faster results, write them down on a piece of paper and say it back to yourself whenever the desire comes up.
Using your words and speaking in the present tense, affirmatively, “puts you in the frequency that has that desire,” as Perl states. “We know our thoughts create our reality, but our words create our reality even faster.”
No matter how you choose to manifest your dream life, there’s nothing like channeling a powerful affirmation and some faith to get what you desire. In every instance, though, allow yourself to dismiss any doubt that may try to cloud your hopes in good things coming into your life, and don’t hold too tightly onto the “how” or “when.” Trust the process and know that the “thing” that you desire is just waiting for the perfect time to enter your life.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Tassii/Getty Images