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What the Return of Black Love Taught Me About The Power in Knowing My Worth
by Jaleesa Diaz
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October 3, 2018

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What the Return of Black Love Taught Me About The Power in Knowing My Worth

Ladies. Do you realize there’s a difference between loving yourself and knowing your worth?


Niecy Nash & husband Jay Tucker from Black Love Season 2 episode entitled Second Time Around

Think about it. So many women, including myself, are generally conditioned to believe that we need to attract men, and once we find a man who loves us, then we should be happy.

Jaleesa Lashay Diaz, Journalist

Growing up, I remember being raised on how to “behave” in order to demonstrate self-respect and  carry myself with dignity. It’s not to say that dignity is a bad thing, but somehow those images of what a lady should be seemed closely aligned with the ideals of what “attracts” a man. So along with this lesson of how to “behave”, I also internalized that you need to find a man that loves you, and if you’re that lucky, cherish that man, and do whatever you can to keep him, because there’s a chance that you’ll never find that love again.

“But when searching for love from such a place of lack and need, could the resulting love ever be enough?  And what happens when it’s not? What type of man do you allow into your life when you love yourself but are unaware of –– or willing to compromise –– your worth? These are questions I have been forced to ask myself as of late.”

2018 has been a big year of self-reflection for me. With this self-reflection, I’ve taken time to analyze the way I’ve been conditioned, more importantly, how those conditions impact my relationships and my worth.

Black Love returned with a big premiere following couples on their second marriage. Martial Arts master Michael Jai White and wife Gillian found each other after previously experiencing rough marriages. Legendary actor, Glynn Turman met his wife Jo-An after being married twice before, and he had no intentions on getting married again. And “everyday couple” Danelle & Bobby, dated and broke up at 19 and reconnected via Facebook 27 years later.

However, it was the women, women like Tina Knowles and Niecy Nash, who really spoke to my heart. The episode was a powerful testament to knowing your self-worth and preparing yourself to receive love –– to attract the energy that you embody and project onto the world.

Mama Knowles, currently married to actor Richard Lawson,  touched on the importance of self-worth following her divorce from her previous marriage.

Mama Knowles, currently married to actor Richard Lawson,  touched on the importance of self-worth following her divorce from her previous marriage.

“I wrote down all the good things about myself. I wrote these things about myself, and I was like, I’m a BAD sister. I have done some pretty incredible things. I deserve somebody, because I’m ready. All these, I accomplished so many things, but I never owned them. And I think that’s how I was able to attract someone. So, if you want to attract someone. Fall in love with yourself AND know your worth. It really makes a difference.”

Notice how Mama Knowles said fall in love with yourself AND know your worth. There’s a difference. I’ve always looked at loving yourself as feeling good about yourself as a woman, and taking care of yourself because of that love. But knowing your worth is something else –– something more.  Knowing your worth is putting yourself first, and challenging what that looks like in every aspect of your life.

My journey toward self-love has been an ongoing one.  I’m constantly repeating affirmations, appreciating myself, and reminding myself that I’m a BAD sister. Knowing my worth is taking it a step further and putting myself first. It’s making an active decision to say these are the things that I deserve, because of who I am and the energy I give. It’s also having the courage to walk away from any situation that doesn’t match that energy. EVEN if that situation is a healthy, loving one. Sometimes we deserve more.

That decision isn’t always an easy one. I know, because I was JUST there. A few months ago, after SEVEN years together, my boyfriend and I decided to end the chapter of our lives together. We had a healthy, loving relationship. We had been together since we were 19 years-old, and we were happy. But it wasn’t enough, and I don’t feel guilty for admitting that.

Let me be clear. It’s not that his love wasn’t enough. The dynamic of our relationship, the things we did –– THAT wasn’t enough. The relationship did not mirror the everyday things that I want in a relationship. Sometimes we accept our relationships for what they are, and compromise how we envision our lives  to be. Sometimes we love ourselves, but compromise what we want and deserve. But, if I compromise at 27 then who will I be at 67? And will that woman be happy?

During this premiere episode, Mr. Lawson said something that really resonated with me, in describing his relationship with Mrs. Knowles.

 

Gillian and Michael Jai White from Black Love Season 2 episode entitled Second Time Around

“If you want something and you vibrate on the level of the thing that you want, the only thing that can happen is that you will get it. It’s not philosophy. It’s physics.”

How do we attract the things we deserve, if we do not take the time to truly know our value  and harness that energy? How will you attract a man who likes to go out on dates, if you’re willing to compromise and Netflix and chill? Again. You can love yourself, but do you know what you are worth?  Are you putting yourself first?

“You have to be in a prepared place for the things that God has for you. He will always prepare you for what he has prepared for you, and that’s the place you want to rest in, especially when it comes to love,” said Niecy Nash in describing the early stages of her relationship with her husband Jay Tucker.

Self-love is important, but the power in knowing your worth is that it prepares you for the blessings in life, including finding and sustaining a healthy, loving, fulfilling relationship.

Right now I am on a journey to put myself first. Knowing what I want and what I deserve  is the place that I want to rest in. It is the place where I feel most comfortable.

Black Love’s return from hiatus spoke to my intuition to focus on my relationship with my self and understanding my worth.  I’m keeping a close eye on Mama Knowles and Richard Lawson, and Niecy Nash and Jay Tucker, because the gems they dropped this episode are the ones that reaffirm that I’m on the right path.

Be sure to tune into Black Love, Saturdays at 10/9c on OWN. Join the conversation with us on Twitter @BlackLoveDoc and @JaleesaLashay.  

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