(This is an older blog that I still thought worthy of re-posting).




I just watched the Rihanna interview with Diane Sawyer, and every time I hear about this case it breaks my heart. It doesn’t break my heart because Chris Brown and Rihanna are so famous, or so good looking, or so talented, or so wealthy. It breaks my heart because when I look at these two young people, all I see is pain. I see a young man who doesn’t know how to express his emotional conflicts and anger, and I see a young woman who had to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders (even during her toughest hour).

Rihanna said during the interview that she’s in a very good place now. By getting to a point where she could publically speak about her ordeal, I commend her. Concurrently however, I’m sure her good place is more in “within the healing process” than “all better.” As she spoke to Diane Sawyer, eyes piercing , words thick with emotion, she seemed as if she was still trying to understand how so much turmoil could be caused by a man she unconditionally loved.
And while I was glued to my television set ( well actually computer screen a la Youtube), listening to the story unfurl, I had to ask myself: What would I say to Rihanna if she was my sister or cousin or close friend? How would I respond to so much emotional unrest?
Firstly, I would commend her for understanding that she is as much a public figure throughout this ordeal she is a victim. I commend her for understanding that she (as Tina Turner, Halle Berry, and Robin Givens before her) is the example to ladies of her generation on handling their relationships, and that her choices will be emulated by those that idolize her. I am proud that she understood that in this situation, her life and mistakes are not really just her own. I’m appreciative that she wasn’t a shrinking violet in any sense, and finally said, “It’s not okay. And it wasn’t my fault.”
Continuing, I would want to express two concepts to this brave young woman to keep in mind for the future. The first one is taken from a Maya Angelou quote that I find very dear: “When people reveal themselves to you, believe them.” There are always warning signs. Heed them.
The second one is that love should be honorable. Yes, it’s kind of a heavy word, but I did mean to say honorable. Honorable love has a splash of respect and a dose of patience. It acts, produces, and creates. It does not merely “intend to do.” Honorable love is willing and flexible. It thinks outside of the box, tolerates opposing opinions, wants to share time and space. It’s kind. Honorable love exists in front of friends and family, and in doing so is a profession of intent. Honorable love is not condescending, contemptuous, or mistrustful, or jealous.
Love lights up a room, it doesn’t narrow the eyes, furl the lips, or fill the heart with fear. Yes, there will be disagreements and arguments, but never that end in contact with intent to hurt (spiritually, emotionally, or physically).
Lastly, honorable love begins with honoring yourself first.

Imani Josey

Imani is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating Howard University in Washington, DC, Imani received her Masters from Northwestern University. Sometime during all of that studying, she danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a (Luvabulls) cheerleader, and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Read her short story “North” in the forthcoming Hidden Youth anthology, out November 2016 by Crossed Genres.

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