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RSI 101 – Black Love: Part 1

Black Kids Cheek KissThis is probably going to be a really long piece for a lot of reasons. I want to talk about love, about relationships, about being black in relationships (aka Black Love)… and further, after having done a recording wherein I barely touched on everything I want to say tells me that this needs to be a 2, maybe even 3 part discussion.  I have a feeling that some of my readers/listeners are going to feel alienated because much of this is going to be Black People specific, but remember, its Black history month, I’m Black, and as far as I’m concerned, some conversations are just to important to be PC about. Which reminds me…

About this Black history month thing: It shouldn’t be thing… more specifically, it shouldn’t have to be a thing. Black history, as we in the US commemorate it, is American history. It should be a part of the history curriculum. It should be included in English, Literature, and Reading lessons because we have there are Black American writers. Slavery and racism should as be openly and HONESTLY discussed as the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. Little Black girls ad boys shouldn’t be relegated to only learning about people who look like them during the shortest month of the year. It shouldn’t be that Blackness is only open for discussion in 30 second video clips before commercials. February shouldn’t be the only month people are encouraged to cram all of their/our appreciation of Blackness into. Just like people should be aware of breast cancer and heart disease all year, so should Black people, and our experience.

V Day ChocolateSimilarly, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t have to be a thing. We shouldn’t need a specific day to remember to show appreciation to our significant others. Further, the media should be ashamed of themselves for suggesting that men need to spend exorbitant amounts of money and women simply need to supply the sex to show appreciation for our significant others. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t for Valentine’s day, many wouldn’t get to know they were appreciated until something bad happened in the relationship…. because who really remembers Anniversaries anyway? Many married men would have to wait for God knows how long for their wives to remember that lingerie can be more enticing than comfy pajamas, or that men deserve to feel special too.

Now let’s combine this and get to what I really want to talk about: Relationships. Black Love & HappinessNow, if you’ve been reading me since the beginning, you’ll know that I don’t like giving romantic relationship advice… I will, but I don’t generally like to. This time I’m going this because there are people on my feed and in my family who have thoughts ad questions, that I think deserve a attention. First, history and upbringing… as they relate to Black Americans. Up front, I think it bears mentioning that a lot of what I am making Black people specific, is actually universal, thus, if you’re not Black, and reading this, you might still be able to relate.

All the messages we receive put us at odd with one another. As men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, romantic relationships are painted in hard and violent colors. There’s a battle for dominance; a question about who wears the pants in the relationship, that just makes things difficult.

Time to dig deep…

Back in the day, marriage was a form of ownership. Women, having no rights of their own, or value other than their ability to bear children and tend to the house were basically sold into servitude by their fathers to their husbands, or their husband’s family (depending on the age). Is it really any wonder that since the day women started working outside the home (because parenting and housekeeping is work) that a functional dynamic of relationships has been difficult to maintain? I’ll go deeper. Black women in You Don't Deserve HerAmerica have always worked outside the home. Whether it was raising the master’s children, picking the cotton, cooking, cleaning… slaving in general was work. And then they had to go to wherever the slaves slept, and work more for their own families. Although white women were undervalued in their homes, they could at least count on the protection of the men in their lives. Black women could not; Black women had to bear the brunt of all of the abuse, the rape, the indignity, knowing that no one would be coming to save her… not her father, brothers, or even her husband.  Her mother or sister might be able to offer herself up to the master to offer a reprieve, but it wouldn’t be man, at least not if he valued his life… not if he didn’t want to risk being sold to another plantation. Throughout history, women have had to do the parenting thing alone. Men were off hunting, fighting wars, and forging frontiers. Even when they were around, they were mainly there for sex and food. They gave women more work to do. I’m not trying to diminish the value of having a man in the home, I’m simply saying that not having a man at the home isn’t a new thing either. The value of male-female companionship didn’t actually come into play until much later.

Now, I can already hear some of you saying “That was then, this is now Reign… time to move on Reign.” But see, if you look at where we are in relationships now, where we have to be specific about “Black Love”–as if love isn’t complicated enough–especially with the women’s movement having given rise to messages that tell men that we, women, don’t need them, I want you to really understand
where that comes from. So where am I going with this?  Simple: women don’t need men… LOL… Okay, no, that isn’t where I was Storm Black Panther Kissgoing, but  had to say it. Because we don’t need men the way we needed them back then. Like all women, we need companionship. We need partnership. We need bed warmers. We need someone to be special to. Yes, we need you. The feminist movement, while I still consider myself a proud feminist, got that message wrong, or at least incomplete. More specifically, as a Black woman, I have to speak directly to the need for Black men. The complaint about Black women being too hard, too independent, too masculine… if you look at the history, you’d understand that we didn’t have a choice, and that being penalized for it is an injustice that is still prevalent in Black relationships today. Not just as companions–straying from the romantic element of relationships for this–but as partners in the struggle. When we are agonizing about #BlackLivesMatter, the people who understand through experience are Black men. The man you are least likely to have to explain why and how racism is still a problem for you personally, even if you never stepped foot in the hood, is a Black man. When being a “strong black woman” was in style and it got mixed in with the feminist movement, the message got twisted, everything fell apart, and the idea of Black love became a novelty. It became more about devaluing men and their role in our lives, and less about empowering women. Suddenly, “taking care of home” was a weak woman’s job; a white woman’s job. The rhetoric about men being unnecessary, more specifically how Black men “ain’t shit” became more important than strong families. I’ll ask this: What’s the point of being a strong Black woman if all you let yourself see are weak men?

At the same time, men were hearing all those messages too; and the message was loud and clear. So why are we surprised when they
fell back on their role as men? Why shouldn’t they have switched to only focusing on what they need us for? If we don’t need them to do the right thing, why should they? What’s their incentive? They’re told they aren’t necessary, but they’re still expected to pay for the dates, pay the bills, be physically present in their children’s lives–technically a new requirement–and sometimes the lives of children that aren’t theirs, be emotionally and financially stable, be able to fix stuff around the house, be educated, committed, and faithful… and in return, they might be able to look forward to sex. Where’s the equality in that? Where is the love in that? Since we’re out working, they can’t expect a cooked meal when they get home. They can’t expect well raised, respectful children who understand the value in patience and perseverance over the acquisition of things and instant gratification. They can’t expect anything because like the song says, “we run this.

I’m the kind of feminist who actually believes in equality, only with a realistic twist… Love Never Failsbecause we aren’t equal; not in all things. There are some things that should be exclusive to men, just like there are some things that are exclusive to women. Allowing this dynamic to break down; allowing the incomplete messages to corrupt the fundamentals is one major component to why relationships, specifically relationships between Black people, has become so difficult. Unlike most other racial groups, there’s a lot more to Black love than just love… and I have a lot more to say about it…

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I know that was long (especially on top of all this)… and I have even more to say about it. So come back next week for Black Love, Part 2.

In the mean time, Do More, Require Better.

But what if…

But what if I make a mistake?

What if they all laugh at me?

What if they don’t understand?

How can I be sure I’m doing it for the correct reasons?

I’ve heard a story and I want to share it with you. There was a rabbi who was leading a group of people in some task. The people were doing what they were told. The deed was a good one, but the people doing it grew concerned about how they would later be judged for their deeds. They worried aloud about the image they portrayed in accomplishing their task. They even felt unsure that their own motives for doing this was misplaced and was not for glorifying God, but instead was for personal edification. So they asked the rabbi if they should change their action for these reasons and more.

The rabbi recognized their fears and said to them that this thing they do is not something to fear. That what they are doing is good. They know it in their hearts. They’ve prayed about it and discussed it and they should finish the work. “Why?” They grumbled. “We think our spirits will be up to question because our motivations may be misplaced” the rabbi simply said that they should not worry so much about the motivation. Was not their task a good one? Yes. Was not their work good and correct in its base nature? Yes. Then focus on that. Focus on the good you do and less on the motivation. Sometimes the act is more important than the reason behind doing it.

Another story.

A musician who is greatly in demand was preparing for a very important concert. The entire reason for being there was not just the musicians talents but the cause the performance was for. The entire community would benefit from it and he was glad to do it. His partner, on the other hand was equally good at playing an instrument. But his partner was focused on the money that would come of it. Very focused on it. To ensure he would benefit greatly, he practiced much longer and harder than the first. The day of the performance came and the first played beautifully. The audience was in rapture. The second played and missed notes, was off in his time and struggled. He wasn’t sure why, since he had rehearsed so hard and long. So when the concert ended, of the two musicians the loudest applause and accolades came to the first musician. And he was rewarded in ways the other never realized. Puzzled the second asked the first why his reward was so great while his was so much less than he expected.

The first said “…because your focus was on the wrong thing. I focused on the music while you focused on the money you expected. I was in the music and in the moment. You were more concerned with the outcome and I was focused on the love of what I was doing. The music”

The thing is, he had chosen to focus not on where his music would take him and what others would think of it. How the music (little g) gods would love his efforts. He was more concerned with with doing his craft for the love of it because that was the correct thing to do. Not to worry about how others would see him in doing it. In so doing this in-the-moment act, removing his focus onto others, he found the greatest joy in what he put into it and less on what he got out of it.

I, myself, have often said that if you try to focus on a career that is big money and less on the career you want the money ultimately will come. Chasing that paper may seem like the right thing to do because after all, how can you have a family, home, respect if you don’t have a full bank account? I would argue that by doing what you love simply because you love doing it and it’s what God wants you to do, then eventually if not sooner, the benefits will come. Both spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

Do what you love and the money will come. But in the meantime, your heart will be filled with joy because what you are doing is for the love of doing it.

Main characters and Misanthrophes.

Main characters and Misanthrophes.

Madness tends to occur around my neck of the woods in odd spurts. So like last week I’m taking a break from my usual ranting to say something far more relaxed. And let’s start with a simple question. Do you like people? Now I don’t mean this in a condescending manner, or even in a sexual manner. I mean when you look at the people around you, do you find yourself enjoying the existence of other human beings around you generally speaking? It’s a tough question. And the answer gets to a deeper idea which I want to talk about her today.

We all have a bit of main character syndrome and a bit of general misanthropy. Scientifically speaking we know you can’t actually process the relationships you have with more than about 150 people at a given time. A few more or less depending on who you are. But in general you have 150 people who you actively concern yourself with to varying degrees. Of that 150 you have friends, family, rivals, perceived enemies, and of course mentors and targets of your affection. That’s basically it. Inside that 150 you actively track about 7 people daily. Yup just seven.

Now think about the shows we watch. Think about the movies we watch. In a hardcore action flick you tend to stop carrying about the mooks, goons, henchmen, whatever you want to call them because your brain gets tricked by the amount of them, usually the similar uniforms, and the fact that you never really hear much about who they are. But look deeper. Most films and shows keep about 20 people actively developed over the running time. Truly dramatic character pieces focus on even fewer. And it is both an unintentional human director move, and your brain’s psychological hardwiring.

SO let’s get to the deeper idea. I put the hypothesis to you that even though you try to avoid it, you and of course I have main character syndrome. Don’t worry though it’s a normal thing. We all know that just statistically speaking we can’t all be important in the grand scheme. And Doctor Who episodes and “everybody is special to somebody,” motivational posters aside, we just don’t all matter. And nothing is wrong with being only important to your circles. But our relatively narrow ability to focus compared to the mass of humanity isn’t really entirely bad …maybe.

It means that media will get you to focus into believing that certain things will happen regardless of the possible problems with it because, well you’re you right? You prepared, you did things the correct way, you handled your flaws, so you should get the reward for that. Well, and you should see this coming, sometimes you don’t. The universe doesn’t hate you, vast conspiracies aren’t working to hold you down. Reality is that sometimes you don’t beat the odds. Not because you are bad, but because well, someone had to lose, and this time it was you. Sucks right?

Well let’s shift over to that other part of the statement I made earlier. Because telling you that your disappointment when you don’t win is part of an inbuilt main character syndrome is only half of my point. You have a bit of internal dislike/hatred of humanity, if not other humans more specifically. Again this is a brain chemistry based psychological issue, but also a function of our evolution and survival. No matter how nice a person there is something that they dislike. And someone they dislike. For whatever reason. And that is our competitive humanity run amuck of course?

Not really. You have a bit of misanthropy because of that thing earlier. You can only focus on about 150 other humans. Outside that you’re unconsciously putting them into that “other” classification. Once someone is not a part of what we perceive as our core group, then it is easy to make assumptions good or bad. This I’d put to you is how you get people who turn their social causes into absolutist crusades against their perceived enemies. It isn’t enough to save the stray animals in your town’s pound, all city pounds are evil vicious animal hating kill zones.

Now certainly that isn’t true and city shelters for stray animals are necessary to control the spread of disease, and other factors, but once they are in the other group, it is a lot easier to be convinced. Same with people. I spoke with someone who is an atheist vegan recently. And she and I left the conversation with interesting impressions of each other. I understood her logic, and though I disagreed with her positions I found myself respecting her thought process. She emailed me saying that she hadn’t expected to have such a rewarding conversation. And admitted her biases.

The reality was that she expected me to be some crazy animal hating cigar smoking oaf. Now to the degree you think of me that way you’ve already proved my point but I’ll finish. It wasn’t her beliefs about me that drove this. It was her internal perceptions of my type of humanity. The groups I belong to, the subjects I talk about. And my place among the “other” outside her 150. And recognizing that other didn’t mean evil, was the way she removed me from her groups of humans she dislikes. Think about who you might need to re-evaluate too.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

 

P.S. Sometimes you just need to listen to some music in another language and relax with your particular target of affection. Here’s a new piece for the playlist.

Pick your poison.

We are all going to die.

Every person you know, love, hate, meet, talk to, read about, see on tv, watch on your lunch break, and have any interaction with whatsoever will die.

Sucks to hear right?

Well don’t let it. The thing about human life is this surity that it will end. We’ve yet to find some means of transcending the human condition whereby our physical bodies pass into some altered state of being which may dodge the ravages of time. So faced with our inevitable demise what do we do? Well the enterprising among us fill the time between that day and this with the things we enjoy. And for everyone that means different things. But why pick up this topic? And why title it pick your poison?

Glad you asked. Its because everything we do takes time, and thus is slowly killing you. Get it now? We spend so much time talking about the things other people fill their time with. Smoking, drinking, drugs of various sorts, sports, politics, law, blogging, writing, acting, singing, driving, kids, twerking, watching CSI for some of you strange people out there. But one of the things we spend a lot of time doing is categorizing people based on the difference between what we chose to do with our time versus them.

Now someone will of course will make mention of the fact that some people like to rape, murder, pillage, lie, and cheat with their time and enjoy it. I’m not making an argument for lawlessness. What I’m saying is we spend too much time concerned with the general actions of folks that do not cause us or others actual harm. Now I mean actual harm not perceived harm. Just because you hate the sound of EDM doesn’t mean you should ban it from being played.

I run into this kneejerk “make it illegal” reaction often when talking with folks of very liberal or conservative beliefs. And it is one of the reasons I don’t often believe folks who say they are moderates like me. But I’ll say the nature of my brand of moderate for another day. One of the things people with highly polarized beliefs don’t seem to get is that what is not immediately apart of their lives very rarely actually effects them. Whether this is allowing to gay people to get married, or leaving people alone who like to eat steak doesn’t matter. In the grand scheme of things you are still trying to pick someone else’s poison for them. Which just isn’t a terribly human thing to do.

As someone who frequents bars, cigar shops, and of course enjoys a great steak, I run into random protests from time to time. Nothing better than smoking a cigar outside while someone is ranting about the evils of such. I get it if you hate smoking because of the risk of cancer. As someone who has had family and friends die of the disease I understand your vinegar on the matter. But as someone who knows exactly how little time I probably have left, you are taking a major risk yelling at me on a street corner about my choices. On a good day I’ll remind you my life is my choice. On a bad day…well I don’t get called THE Ruthless Wonder for no reason.

So today I just want you to think about the things you do on a daily basis. Think about your poison. Are you picking the poison you really want to lead to your demise? Is that argument about who was supposed to watch dishes worth the time it cost your life? A have a friend and superfan that is into crossfit. And as I keep dropping lbs I am more and more convinced I’ll need to get into it too in order to keep seeing results. But that’s still picking my poison. Positive or negative, vice or virtue we all lose time for everything we chose to do. Are you making a smart decision with your poison of choice? Is it burning off more or less of your life? I could ask more but well…Words Don’t Do It Justice. Am I right?

 

-THE Ruthless Wonder

Be A Better You Without Beyonce

So I’m back, but be patient with me because life is taking a sudden turn! Some things are the same some things are very DIFFERENT! But that’s not what I wanna discuss today. Not about me today!

Achievements. Competition. A Better You!

Sounds like some motivational crap that I might just burst into outrage or advice about…and that may happy. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I write and post just as the thoughts are reaching me and my fingers! Well, I picked up this new thing where I say, “right?” after every statement I make. It’s so annoying and I don’t know where I got it from, I’m trying to get rid of it so be patient with me!

Anyways!

So I try my best to be my own competition, I could care less what anyone else is doing, blah blah blah I’ve said this to you before, RIGHT?! Yea, so a friend of mine told me that a friend of hers has been measuring herself and her accomplishments up next to other people that she knows and sees. She believes that she is somehow inadequate because they are either within the same age her or have had the same opportunities as her. I have yet to speak with her about this because she is not really a friend of mine but if I did, I’d tell her that she needs to STOP! WHO CARES what other people are doing? What makes you think that God wants that for you? You must remember that what is excellent for someone else could be a disaster for you! AND for the record, you should not even be paying attention to what anyone else is doing because you have you own life to worry about! I saw a quote that said, “They milk is good for your teeth. You know what else is good for your teeth? MINDING YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!” (Giggles!) Let them mind theirs, and you mind yours. If you do that you won’t feel inadequate because you won’t even know what anyone else is doing!

That makes you A BETTER YOU! Spend the negative energy creating something positive, right? Don’t give anyone the space in your mental that should be used to build yourself up into the person. Everything you do should be for you and the family that you have that cares about your wellbeing and success!

Is this boring to you? I’m bored! But I just needed to get that off my chest!

JAY-Z Beyonce and Solange!

OMG I’ve been wanting to talk to you guys about this for the longest! I can’t wait until I actually get people to comment and discuss with me! Anyways!

WHAT THE HECK?! First off, thank you TMZ for being such creepers! You are awesome. Since then, I am no longer friends with someone because they told me I was an idiot for thinking IN MY OWN OPINION, which is based on the media, that they weren’t a real family unit and there was no real love. Explanation for my reasoning:

So if I am married and my sister literally drop kicks my husband for any reason, I WILL NOT stand and watch as she does it! If I truly love my husband and those vows meant anything to me, then that would be completely unacceptable regardless of the situation. The argument was that they are family and families fight. Correction, families should only be feuding. Physical altercations amongst families can turn into domestic violence or be a result of domestic violence which IN MY OPINION is not love. Make all the excuses you want, but this is my ground and I’m standing on it.

Not that I have to explain why I feel this way, but just in case someone decides to ask, I now have a place to refer them to! 😉

Seriously though, count your blessings and stop worrying about other people. Jay-Z and Beyonce certainly don’t care about what you’re doing and neither do I!

 

–Realistic Royalty

Weddings, Reunions, Dental vists, and SHAKE UPS!

So you may have noticed someone has been missing a lot lately. You may have even noticed when he goes missing he doesn’t always explain why. Well…yeah no real explanation, sorry for that.

 

In other news I have been gone meeting old friends, getting massive dental work, and being best man in a wedding. Shout out to Superfans Chris and Ania Moncrief(aka Superman and Lois Lane) who celebrated their love in the classiest of weddings this past weekend.

 

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

But that Shakeup word is here again for good reason. 

 

Things are about to get interesting. Not only has WDDIJ been dealing with the …well Hilarious nature of advertising negotiations, but as you may have noticed we’ve lost a few authors. These things are not points to worry over. Trust me. In fact, the very way you view WDDIJ is about to change for the better.

 

In a short explanation, we’re doing an overhaul.

Why?

Because at 5500 views, we are little less than halfway to the year two viewership goal, and its only been 3 months.

In short, I’ve been short sighted.

 

To remedy that, I had to get to work.

And believe you me, the work is paying off.

Launching this fall is our interview series “Imperial Dreams”

Launching sooner rather than later this summer is a new format to the website

And Look for some shake ups in the staff as well.

Nothing drastic folks, but we want you to have a great experience.

And we want you to come to us for more of your daily content.

SO we need to be a place you want to come to.

And since I’ve been slacking on that. It is time to pick up the pace.

Of course I could tell you so much more, but as you know…

WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

If you love someone….

With all due respect to Sting and the well known songs chorus, setting someone free (ostensibly out of love) has been misunderstood for far too long.

I hope to help tilt the balance back the other way.

For many generations, folk have said that if you love someone, set them free. The problem with that turn of phrase is that it is too easy to think that the original author was speaking literally. There are many things in life that should not always be taken literally. The bible, chief among them. Please understand. This is not an argument for letting the proverbial rolling stone of a man, continue to roll around. Or to let that lady do what she wants to any way she wants to. This is not a do whatever with whomever whenever conversation. Far from it.

When I hear someone say “…if you love him, set him free…If you love her, set her free.” I always wait to hear what the next sentence is. Usually it’s a variation on “… Well, he/she is the one I love. But I don’t want to smother him/her so I’m gonna let them have some space. Breathe.” To that I think, and sometimes say, bullocks. This ethos seems to me to be a symptom of our very disposable society. We tend to be careless with our valued possessions. Everything we have is either disposable, recyclable or insurable. All in the name of letting go… Oh, but not too far gone. Now I see that same attitude being extended towards fellow humans.

Another songwriter once said that breaking up is hard to do. Why? Because anything or anyone you invest that much effort into developing a solid relationship with, SHOULD be hard to break away from. There once was such a thing as Solid State and American Standard. By their very names I took them to mean that it was built to last a lifetime. No return calls for repair, only maintenance. That the very standard by which it was created was with a history of craftsmanship and pride in building, creation and longevity. Ever wonder why your grandparents ugly green refrigerator still works, no matter how much z you wish it didn’t? Because the folk who built it had pride in their craft. The folk who own it cared for it and maintained it. The materials it was built with were not designed to do anything but work and work hard at it’s intended function. That’s why.

So why should our relationship with one another be any different?

We stand in awe of the folk who are married 40, 50 and more years. Not because they are so long together but because they are living examples of what happened when love is nurtured and maintained and worked on and crafted to last. And that is a great thing.

Now do not misunderstand me. Letting go is necessary thing for growth in some arenas. Where blame, hate, loath, mistrust and other negative symptoms exist. Where love is, we should hold on to the love. But it is a bad ideas to squeeze it so tight the air is pushed out. The amazing gift we have as living beings to cling to life at all costs. Have you ever wondered why the body tends to reject efforts at self termination? When the body is deprived of air, involuntarily it struggles to gain what it is suddenly in short supply of. Gasping. Evidence of the conservation of resources in the turning colors as oxygen is redirected to critical systems. Spasmodic twitching as the body attempts to position itself for maximum gain of air when it is returned in full supply.

This, in my opinion, is why a relationship that is on it’s own death bed is also spasmodic in its final throes. Lurching in fits and spurts towards its ultimate end. This is evidenced in spats, arguments, violent outbursts and illogical demands. If the two didn’t still somewhere deep inside want some part of each other, they likely wouldn’t still be fussing at each other. We often say, ‘if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t mess with you. I’d let you go on and do whatever you want…’

The very act of letting go is unnatural. That is probably why the are so many self help books on the subject. Not only in the letting go process but in the healing after.

But for me, I feel that completely letting go should not be part of a relationship that is still working and being fed, nurtured and built.

If you love someone, set them free….. That is not a get our of jail free card. Setting your loved one free is the giving of yourself. Giving your love to them so much so that they feel free to return it to you with their own added to it. And you doing the same. And they do it right back. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Setting them free is allowing growth. Getting out of the way of them being the greatest artist, studio executive, bank manager, livery driver, whatever they are trying to be. Being not a stumbling block, but an open door to their own God given future. Being set free is not only professional but spiritual and physical. Spiritual growth in a faith that nurtures you both. Physical movement forward in their seeing the light for the darkness. Even metaphorically speaking, the physical movement forward is something the loved one will feel and experience and be made the richer for it.

We have all been deprived of freedom in so many ways. Why restrict freedom in a loving relationship too?

True love is not holding tight until breathing is impossible. It truly is letting go. Because letting go shows faith in them by you. No, not letting go never to return. But letting go with the assurance that when, not if, they return, the door will be open, a warm dinner waiting with loving arms ready to heal.

If you love someone, set them free.