Saturday, January 8, 2011

Behind Closed Doors

I recalled an argument me and one of my besties had while living together years ago. She told me that i didn't know how to speak to people or really that i didn't know how to speak to her. I would come home from work exhausted and all I wanted to do was sit and be still and not breathe a word to anyone. She took this personal and probably felt i was a horrible friend and roommate. Ultimately our behavior behind closed doors led to us going our separate ways because our public behavior was completely different or mine was i should say. I recalled countless arguments with an ex-boyfriend about never making time for him and perking up when i get a phone call from a business person or friend and then right back to being a cold b***h when the call was done. He never got the same joyful person that the public got when i was out and about, networking and mingling.

As i recall certain things about myself, i remember feeling this way about my mother. Before she passed i took on the role of her care giver and road manager for her singing gigs. Needless to say we spent a lot of time together. Her audience loved her and anyone who had the pleasure of seeing her more than once would always share their thoughts. They'd come to me, delighted to meet Tia's daughter, and say we love your mom so much, she has such a wonderful spirit and she is so sweet and nice and giving. Internally, i was thinking "No she ain't" and it wasn't coming from a place of jealousy it was just that the Tia i often saw behind closed doors was very different than the jazz singer everyone else saw. Thinking back even further, my grandmother was the same way. She was very involved in the community and her church, but her grandkids didn't share the same views on her wonderful personality as the kids in the neighborhood. So why is it that three generations of woman display two different personas when interacting with loved ones and strangers? Why do strangers get the love that the loved ones should be receiving? I could say it's because we are products of our environment, that i watched my momma do it so it became habit for me. I could make excuses that a friend or boyfriend should know that i care about them so i dont have to show my love everyday, all the time, and then history will just continue to repeat itself. Or I can appreciate the greatness in this flashback and vow to make a change.

We're all guilty of this behavior. You're on the phone gossiping with your girlfriend and laughing, but you pause to yell at your child to say "sit down and shut up". You're mate wants you to come home for some quality time and dinner but you decline because you and the coworkers have happy hour plans. You're house has been a wreck all week long but your momma or an old friend is coming to visit and you break your neck to make the place look spotless. Your husband is looking at you like you're crazy, as you hang from the chandelier to dust it. How about when you got yelled at, as a kid, for acting a certain way because you have company or you accidentally used one of your mommas glasses that you know is only for guests, "Thats the good stuff".

Simple things that you may not be aware of that you give way too much attention to, attempting to please a stranger or someone less significant in your life than the ones at home that you should be pleasing. Trust and believe that the loved one at home recognizes these eager attempts especially when they get the watered down, worn out "you" at the end of each day. Leaving them to settle for the scraps of "you" and who wants to stick around for the garbage of any relationship. Husbands or boyfriends will lose interest, children will resent you and project onto others, and friendships will fade.

Iyanla Vanzant has a great quote and if we apply it to our everyday actions maybe our loved ones will receive a fair share of us and the balancing act wont be so challenging. "I treat everyone like Company."

This entry was inspired by Iyanla's book "Faith in the Valley"

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. OMG.. this is my mother and my sister too... my sister is better at it then my mom... I always called it "Putting On" ...Good Post