Crawling From My Hiding Place: A Mantra on Black Love

by Krislyn Domingue I spent last summer defining myself for myself , chasing authenticated know...

by Krislyn Domingue

I spent last summer defining myself for myself, chasing authenticated knowledge of self and love. I dedicated my three-month break from college to self-healing and self-care: loving myself from the inside out, forgiving others and myself, and nurturing growth. I reflected on my life up until that point: I accepted all that had come to be and looked to the future both hopeful and enlivened.

I knew that in order to manifest love on the outside, I had to nurture it intrinsically. So, I worked. I chipped away, I built, and I loved. I was ready. I was in a tiptop emotional state: my self-love levels were higher than ever before and I couldn’t imagine them going much further.

My desires began to manifest, and I had options, options I was not necessarily willing to settle for. I needed something drastically different from the pattern of loving I had previously set for myself. I was new and improved, and I needed to attract what I knew I was putting out: light. I was reaching what I thought to be the height of my capacity. I had standards these options needed to meet. I deserved it. And I was worth it.

And it happened. Despite how calculated this all may seem, it—just as it reads—happened: Black Love found me. And I was ready, so I thought.

I thought I was ready to be loved. I was ready for something that gave me butterflies. I was ready for a love that went down easy, something I could swallow without a glass of water. I was ready for something God-sent, natural, and easy.

However, I find Black Love to be, perhaps, one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Complicated? No. But, difficult? Yes. It’s difficult, and it’s trying. It’s terrifying, and it’s intimidating. It’s hide-under-the-covers-and-never-come-out raw. But still, it’s soft enough around the edges to beckon to me. He beckons to me, even when I hide.

Hiding seems to be a natural reflex of mine to the very paradoxical nature of Black Love. Parts of me slip back into toxic patterns of thinking: I don’t deserve this. The old me rears her head and tries to self-destruct, to knock down what we’ve built up. But yet, there is Black Love, as patient and as enduring as ever. It’s terrifying, but beautiful: Stressful, but liberating: Formidable, but calming.

Black Love dares my soul to crawl from its hiding place. It knocks on doors I had long since locked and thrown away the key to. It calls out my secrets and begs me to lay them bare. It sends light into the darkest corners of my past. It strips me of my masks and requests to sit front row to my thoughts and opinions.

It pushes me past my limitations; and it molds, it shapes. It pushes me past my capacity and forces me to reimagine new heights. Black Love betters. It challenges, it heals, and it nurtures in its best form. In its truest form, Black Love is everything White supremacy has tried to deny me. It is strength, it is withstanding, it is affirming. It is stability, it is security, it is trust.

Black Love is joy, Black Love is sacred, Black Love is God.

And I deserve it, as do you. We were made for this, fashioned for this by the Creator. We were made to both give and accept Black Love: to/from our lovers, our children, our families, our friends. Surround yourself in Black Love, manifest it, dwell in it, operate in it. For Black Love is unimaginable, Black Love is uncontainable, Black Love is patient, Black Love is strength, Black Love is affirming, Black Love is withstanding, Black Love is you…

Photo: Shutterstock

Krislyn Domingue is a rising junior at Spelman College--by way of Louisiana-- conducting research on New Orleans Voodoo queens. In her spare time you can find her reading, writing, or sipping Chai Tea. Keep tabs on her via Twitter (@krislynsd) or shoot her an email.

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