Why Every Woman Should Go On A 'Get Your Heart Pieces Back' Tour

"Love yourself, so that it won't be a stranger when it comes."—Jenifer Lewis

Love & Relationships

A few months ago, in the article, "The 'Pre-Commitment Interview' Every Dating Couple Should Have", I referenced a lil' tour that I took back in 2015 (wow, five years ago). At the time when I started it, I didn't know that I was on a mission to get my heart pieces back. But, as life would have it at the time, that is exactly what went down. Anyway, because I seem to get interviewed about "the tour" more and more, I decided it was only right to share with the xoTribe just what I did, why I did it, and how to played a huge role in making my heart truly whole again.

Why Our Hearts Are Do Divine and Must Be Protected at all Costs


The Classic Amplified Version of Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." If there's something that I tell soon-to-be parents is there are two things that children definitely need; two things that get overlooked far too often in the raising and nurturing (or, as the Bible puts it, "training"—Proverbs 22:6) process. First, children need to be taught how to be financially responsible and second, children need to be taught how to properly guard their heart. That second one is super layered because, by definition, the heart is a complex thing.

It's an organ that pumps blood throughout our bodies. It's the center of our emotions. It's also the center of our personality. In the Hebrew language, it's our mind and thoughts. Some synonyms for heart include our character, our soul and even our temperament. No wonder the Word tells us that out of our heart flows the springs of life. No wonder that a broken heart devastates—and sometimes totally alters us—so much.

This is why it's super crucial that we keep and guard our heart. For the record, this does not mean that we're supposed to be unapproachable, bitter or that we put up such a high wall up that no one can ever reach us. What it does mean is we need to handle our heart with an incredible amount of TLC. We need to be careful about who we let enter into our body. We need to be cautious about how we allow others to affect our emotions or influence our personality. Influence is a big freakin' deal. That's why we also need to watch what kind of folks are able to use their words, actions and even energy to infiltrate our thoughts.

Growing up, because I wasn't taught this well at all, I didn't know how to guard my heart. Sure, the rules in my house were semi-strict but what was modeled (parents, we watch what you do far more than what you say) was also pretty toxic. So, by the time I went to college and was in my own space, guys were able to…basically do with my heart whatever they wanted to. It wasn't until I got abstinent that I realized just how much damage had been done. Once I "detoxed", in the physical sense, from the 14 partners I had been with ("Each Of My 14 Sex Partners Taught Me Something New" pretty much breaks that down), I realized there were still parts of me that "belonged" to some of those men; belonged in ways that I had totally underestimated until I went…on tour.

What the Heck Is a “Get Your Heart Pieces Tour”, Anyway?


The love of my life. The one who got away. The best sex I ever had. These were the titles that I had given to certain men from my past. Although those resolves weren't untrue, because they were a part of my reality, those fellas still had a bit of power over me; power that I didn't even realize until I actually stopped and thought about my choices, my patterns and why, in some ways, I was stagnant when it came to my personal relational progress. And so, back in 2015, I decided that I would be intentional about finding those fellas and having a little convo with them.

The love of my life. When it came to this guy, clearly the Universe was in agreement that we needed to find real closure. I say that because my running statement is, "If you find your ex on Facebook, that's you. If you run into him in the grocery store, that's God." After looking for him for a couple of weeks (after not speaking for several years) and finally declaring to a friend that I was going to give it a month and then try to let it all go, the very next day after that phone call, I ran into ole' boy. It wasn't on Facebook, so you know what that means.

My first love had always been able to reel me back in, in a way that no other man could. But this time, I wasn't interested in romanticizing our situation. I wanted to know what the heck it was that we had been doing, basically since I was three months shy of 19. We talked off and on and met up a couple of times for a few weeks. Then one day, while we were having lunch, I realized that no matter how much he professed to love me, when we were in love, loved or liked each other, his treatment was pretty much the same. Meaning, there was no change in how he loved me beyond his words.

That a-ha moment gave me my heart piece back. I will always love him, no doubt. But that lunch—coupled with a run-in that we actually had in December—solidified the fact that we had a past, no future, and that the part of me that always kinda sorta held out hope that one day we'd be like the characters in Love Jones or Dear John wasn't going to—and didn't need to—happen. No longer do I have this sinking feeling and wondering suspicion that if I were to get married but he was to reach out, there would be a possibility that he might be able to reel me back in; even if it was just with an emotional affair (which is still cheating, y'all). The mouse hole is finally closed. That chapter—which was more like a novella—is done. Next stop.

The one who got away. Whew. This. Man. Right. Here. He's fine—and then some mo' fine. Smart. Charming. Accomplished. Hilarious. SEXY (and yes, I'm screaming the last part!). After all these years, he's still that. And, up until 2015, he was my biggest regret. Nothing was really "wrong" with us; the timing just was off. Way off. It was so off that one day, while he was in college, he called to say, "You're like crack and I choose to no longer be addicted." He hung up and I never heard from him again. I must admit that, in many ways, I totally got where he was coming from because I continued to think of him, sometimes dream about him, and always refer to him as the one who got away. This means that he still had some type of hold on me. So, one day I Googled him, found one of his office numbers (you can read between the lines right there, sis) and left a message referring to myself as "crack". Later that evening he called, we stayed on the phone for eight hours, partly discussing how, umm, ravenous we both made each other feel. Whew. I seriously considered hopping on a plane. ASAP.

Why didn't I? For a few reasons, really. One, it was evident that while there was still a deep connection there, spiritually, we are in very different places now. Secondly, I'm not so sure that reuniting wouldn't have been more than months—maybe years—of off-the-chain sex, nice dates, but not much more than that…on his part. But more than anything, he's divorced, and I hold a personal conviction about that (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Because my niche, as a marriage life coach, is reconciling divorces, I personally don't want to "be in the way" of a couple, who was once in that type of covenant, possibly getting back together. And so, after a few weeks of chatting—and I'll be honest, fantasizing—I sent him an email that it was so good to reconnect, to get to a good place, and to be able to wish him well. Now, he's no longer the guy who got away from me. He's just the fine divorced man who I used to know.

The best sex I ever had. How do you get past this one? Hmph. You might be surprised. As we emotionally heal and even physically mature, our take on what "best sex" is tends to shift (see "What GROWN Women Consider Great Sex To Be"). It was important for me to have a brief (LOL) conversation with this dude because, up until I did, I kept replaying how the physical part of the sex was without factoring in how absolutely wack everything else had been. I was never really "into him"; I liked the sex.

And chile, if you live on this earth long enough, you realize that great sex isn't super hard to come by; that oftentimes, sex is what you make it. Still, it was necessary to talk to him because now I don't feel like he has the ability to "hit some spots" like no other man can. He simply was one of the lucky ones who was privileged enough to do it. My future husband will be even more blessed. Yep. Got that heart piece back too.

Why It’s So Important to Restore Your Heart Before Moving Forward.


Although I can't recall exactly where it came from, I once heard someone say, "It's hard to walk away from a train wreck once the train has run you over." Indeed. Some of us don't realize that "the wreck" is a relationship (or several relationships) and "the train" is a guy. We don't get that we're emotionally stagnant, internally bitter or not thriving in a new relationship like we could and should be, and that it's all because there are men out here who still have parts of our heart. They still trigger our emotions. They are still able to love bomb or gaslight us. They prevent us from fully trusting. They keep us living in the past. They have us holding out. Or, perhaps worst of all, they are able to keep coming back—if not physically, mentally.

Man…when I tell you that words can't express, just how freeing it feels to know that, while there are some faint scars from some of my past experiences, all of the wounds are totally gone? It is so refreshing! Going on that tour has shown me that it really is possible to be fully restored, to not hate or even resent an ex and, no matter how deep or profound an experience—or set of experiences—may have been, it no longer has to affect or infect me. A tour can be "one and done". No matter how much of myself that I gave to a man, I can get all of me back.

All of this said, I will say this—the title of today's soul food for thought is a little bit of clickbait. Does every woman who has a past need to go on this kind of tour? Eh, probably not. But if you're like a lot of women I know who reflect on their past and have given men certain titles or accolades like the examples that I just provided, 8.5 times out of 10, what that means is those guys still have a stronger hold on them than they ever should. Whether those ladies realize—or choose to accept—it or not, those fellas still have a piece of their heart; a piece that they need to get back. That means that, on some level, they are stuck. And when you are stagnant, it is impossible to move forward. And you need to move forward.

If that means saying a prayer, taking a deep breath and hitting up an ex or two to have a talk, so be it. Better to get your heart piece via the clarity that you need than to allow a man to still have a part of you because you haven't found resolve with—or from—him. Take the tour. Get the T-shirt. I did. And I'm oh so very whole because of it.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

6 Reasons Why You STILL Can't Over Your Ex

How To Get Closure If Your Ex Won't Give It To You

6 Signs You're In A One-Sided Relationship

Should You Take A Break? Or Break Up For Good?

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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