If It's Easy For Them To Let You Go...LET THEM

Relax. Relate. RELEASE.

Love & Relationships

Let me just say that, before I go moderately all-the-way-in on this particular topic, that while I'm sure most of you saw this title and thought about it from a romantic angle, it actually can apply across the board. Because something that I've personally realized is when you are the kind of person who goes hard for folks and then you ease your foot off of the brake a bit, what ends up being a true light bulb moment is noticing how oftentimes, much the relationship probably wouldn't exist if it wasn't for all of the effort that you put into it/them in the first place. And that's why I think it's quite healthy and personally progressive to apply the relational mantra of "Be careful about tightly holding on to what isn't holding on that tightly to you."

Not from an angle of jadedness or bitterness. It's just that far too often, we do one of two things — we either ignore the wise words of Warren Buffett when he said that we shouldn't invest in something that we don't understand or we're so busy trying to keep what acts like it doesn't want to be kept that we don't end up having enough time, effort and energy for who and what truly does relish being in our space.

So, since this is the time of year when a lot of us tend to pause and reflect on what the hell we've been doing in our relationships all year long, I thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone who clicked on this that…if it's easy for someone to let you go, it's a true act of self-love to let them — personally or professionally, romantically or platonically. And if you need me to go a bit deeper, I will.

What It Means to Be a Person of Great and Precious Value


A couple of weeks ago, while I was in the airport waiting to catch a flight, a man who left his wallet on the plane was being all kinds of panicky and rude as he was jumping our line to flag down a flight attendant so that he could get back on the plane to see if he could retrieve it. As I watched him damn near lose his mind, I thought about when I've been around other people who've lost their wallet, phone or car keys (or at least thought that they did). There was nothing that they weren't going to do in order to find those items. Why? Because they valued them.

People are no different and all of us are worth more than an inanimate object that, if push comes to shove, while it might be inconvenient, it can still be replaced. Us? Eh. Not so much. While the concept of being in a relationship with us is replaceable, we are each an original — there has been no other us before we arrived and there will never be another one of us again. Ever. This means that whoever has the honor and distinct privilege of being in our space or getting to intimately know us in this day and time is blessed and highly favored. That's not arrogance. That is simply the truth. Problem is, a lot of us need to remind our own selves of this fact — a lot of us need to treat our own selves as someone of great value. To recognize your own value means that you are of great worth, that you are indeed important. Some synonyms for valuable include respected, relevant, treasured, cherished, esteemed, precious, and worthwhile.

That said, do diamonds go around begging to be seen and valued? Hell nah. They know their value. And the more that you settle into personally acknowledging just how valuable you are as well, the easier it will be to embrace those who see you (who get that you can't be replaced like a pair of lost keys can) and release those who…don't (who act like you come a dime a dozen).

If You’re Seen As “Costume Jewelry”…Why Hold on to That?


Years ago, I wrote an article for another platform about how not everyone can tell a true diamond when they see it. How do I know? Because I can't tell you how many times I've had a woman show me her engagement ring, brag on how big the diamond is, while I can tell that it's a fake — a cubic zirconia. Listen, I'm not even the diamond kind of gal (read up on how diamond rings became the "engagement ring of choice"; it's all about capitalism, nothing about love) and yet I know enough about them to know when a knock-off is in my presence. I had to be taught how to see that, though.

Do you see where I am going with this?

If you were to see yourself as said-diamond and yet you kept wondering why others kept not honoring your worth, while you might be pressured to blame yourself, I'm here to tell you that a lot of folks have no clue how to properly discern character, commitment, integrity, loyalty, and all-around goodness. They suck at seeing a good person like many mistake costume jewelry for the real thing. The objective is not to lower yourself and your standards so that they will accept you. The key is to get "oh…you don't get it" and let them go on about their merry way.

Because although writer Maureen Dowd irks me, on a few levels, I'm always gonna give her props for one of her quotes — "The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." When you know that you have a diamond in your midst, you treat it as such. When you can't tell the difference and don't really care one way or another, that's exactly how you're going to act. This brings me to my next point.

People Value…What They Value


A part of the reason why this article has the title that it does is because listen, you can't force someone to value anyone or anything. You can't make your boss respect you (check out "Ever Wonder If You've Got An Emotionally Abusive Boss?"). You can't make your boyfriend cherish you (check out "7 Signs A Great Boyfriend Could Be A Bad Husband" and "7 Not-Discussed-Enough Signs That He's Absolutely NOT 'The One'"). You can't make a particular friend treasure what you bring to the table with them (check out "Always Remember That Friendships Have "Levels" To Them", "Ever Wonder If A Friend Is Just...Not That Into You?", "10 Signs You've Got A Close (TOXIC) Friend" and "6 Signs You're About To Let A Toxic Person (Back) Into Your Life"). Folks have free will and they have every right to value who and what they want to value. Simple as that.

Here's the thing, though. When people do value something or someone, their words and actions are going to show it. Example. There is someone I know who is big on words. They are constantly talking about how much they appreciate my being in their life and that they do indeed cherish me. Thing is, they live in one state, I live in another and whenever we set up times to talk, literally 9.5 times outta 10, they "forget" and reschedule. Over and over again. Hmph. When someone values you, do you know what else they will do to show it? They will value your freakin' time. That said, earlier this year, I told them that they would need to call me moving forward because I've got a lot on my plate and them constantly dropping the ball was actually messing with my own agenda. They had the nerve to be offended. Chile, please. And you know what? I haven't heard from them since. Know what else? I am totally OK with that.

When folks value you, they are going to put in the time, effort, and energy. They are going to hear the needs and boundaries that you have and take heed. They are going to be intentional about making sure that you know that they want to keep you around and they will do what is necessary in order to make that happen…as you do the same thing for them. If that's not happening, they are showing you, live and in living color, what they really think about you and the relationship, regardless of what might be coming out of their mouth. And it really is healthy to accept what is real rather than trying to force the facts to be something else. Because while you're trying to get someone who doesn't truly value you to do so, you are taking precious time away from those who do. More on that in a bit. Next point.

Letting Someone Go, Peacefully and Fully Means That You Value Yourself


I wanna say that I've stated in an article on this platform before that now, more than ever, I live by the motto — "Chase nothing. You were born with your purpose and your dreams actually come to you first, so chase nothing." Shoot, while we're on the topic of chasing, that's why I actually find it semi-revolting when folks accept the mindset that men are hunters and should chase us. Because I am a word person, I'm always like, "Do y'all get what 'chase' literally means?" To chase is "to pursue in order to seize, overtake, etc." and "to pursue with intent to capture or kill, as game; hunt." That doesn't sound very loving; it actually sounds pretty violent to me. Besides, in the first love story in the Bible (Genesis 2), Adam didn't CHASE his bride; she was BROUGHT to him.

And when a man recognizes that a woman has been brought, by God, he tends to treat her with humility as a gift more than with arrogance as an acquisition. OK, but let me stay on full topic. Once you get that you are valuable, you also get that there is no need to chase anyone or anything. Maintain? Yes. Appreciate? Most definitely. Preserve and protect? When you see value in it, most definitely. But chase? For what?

Just recently, I ran into someone who said to me, "Why haven't you called me?" To which I replied, "Because the last time I saw you, you said that you would call me." To which they replied, "Girl, that was like, what, two years ago now?" They said it as if to imply that since they hadn't reached out, I should've done so. Entitlement is a trip, ain't it? The more time I spend on this earth, the more I realize that in order to be a good writer, a great friend, a consistent god mom and so many other things that I've got going on, I have to focus on what actually requires my attention, not simply who or what I wish wanted me to (some of y'all will catch that later).

In order to do that, I have to value myself and what I bring to the table. And the more I do that, the more I am able to be on the tip of, "People who don't want to put in the time, effort, and energy to keep me in their life, I need to let them go so that they can focus on what they want to put those things into as I do the same." And chile, when you're in that kind of head and heart space, it is oh so easy to release them…peacefully (check out "Why I Don't 'Cut People Off' Anymore, I Release Them Instead") because you really do get to a point and place where you only want people in your world who want to be there — and who act like they do. Everyone else, you want to move them out of your way, so that they can get to what they value. Because that is everyone's right.

Letting Go Is Giving Space for What You’re Worthy Of. And That’s a Really Good Thing.


Author Eckhart Tolle once said, "Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than hanging on." Indeed. That's why it gets on my last nerve, whenever I hear folks say, "If God closes a door, he will open a window." What kind of God do y'all serve out here? If God closes a door, a BIGGER door is on its way! And when you value yourself, the same thing applies to letting people go who act like they want to leave whether they realize that is what they are doing or not— you are clearing up space for who truly wants to be a part of your life…folks who want to be there so much that their acts and words are going to line up with that sentiment.

Sometimes it can hurt when people act like it's easy to let you go because it can tempt you to wonder if you are as valuable as you think. YES. YOU. ARE. The only time your actions dictate that you don't believe this is when you try to hold on, for dear life, to people who don't care if you remain in their life or not. It really can't be said enough — there is a world, FULL, of people who are just waiting to be what you need them to be because that's how much they see you.

So, the ones who treat you like Claire's instead of Tiffany's? Release them in light and love, chile. They are doing you a favor by showing you that they don't get it. LET THEM.

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If there is one artist who has had a very successful and eventful year so far it’s Mary J. Blige. The “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” shut down the 2022 Super Bowl Half-time show along with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Eminem, she also performed at NBA All-Star weekend and now she is being honored as one of Time's most influential people of 2022.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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