Sometimes God sends you a message through people in a way that you never expect. I get a lot of stuff sent to me and, most of the time it is an old skool song that someone around my age is just sharing to everybody, or a gospel artist they wanted to share in response to something I wrote, or a video sent by somebody actually attracted to me and it makes me blush.
Any of you who have spent any real time reading my site, articles, or books, already know that my confidence in myself is only in the gifts that God has blessed me with. I have never seen myself as all that so it is hard for me take in messages from women who call me handsome or think I am sexy- especially from my black sistahs who rejected me for the first half of my life because I was so not ghetto or a thug, that they didn’t know what to do with me.
Needless to say it has never kept me from giving back in every way that I can, or loving you with all my heart. But I suppose what it has done is something I only realized because of a song recently shared to me by a sistah on my list. I had to fight so long to be counted as black and to be loved as a black man from my own people, even my own family, that I learned to love my blackness and my people in spite of all that rejection. And so I never learned to accept that love for WHO I am and HOW I was made even after time began to mature my people to understand that God simply made me special.
I covered the pain of that rejection by resigning myself to such a humility that I became comfortable with, not only never receiving a compliment, but also, never fully accepting praise when others felt I deserved it. I still cry in disbelief when someone sends me a thank you letter for advice given because I have been backstabbed so many times for simply having a heart that I have learned to accept that faster than to accept a thank you.
When I think about my career, and all of my famous friends in entertainment who count on me as someone to talk to, and all the chances I rejected to be in the spotlight while helping them along the way with my talents and gifts, they always call me and tell me “you the real man brutha- not me.” I used to think it was because I didn’t want to come across as vain or self centered that I pretended not to hear them.
I have people who work with me who proof read some of my work and start to cry and tell me I should be bigger than a whole list of black stars and icons, and I have to leave the room or hang up the phone because I just cannot accept that kind of praise. Then a few days ago came SWEET L. I don’t know who she is. I have never spoken to her. I don’t know what things of mine she read but she felt led to send me the video, “I’m The Man” by Aloe Blacc.
I listened to it for about 20 seconds and turned it off because I felt like she was sending me a compliment and I could never be so vain to call myself “The Man”. I thought that was the end of it. But then tonight she sent it again-the live version, and this time my spirit told me to listen. I have been in tears ever since.
As my influence has been growing over the years, my biggest fear has been losing myself to fame. My friends have all been fighting me to understand that I need to embrace the greatness of the gifts I have been given and that, as long as my heart remains humble in how I treat people, that it is okay to accept how they uplift me because it is for the right reasons. Up to this point in my life, that has been a wall I could never get over. God knew that.
I have been holding myself back, but, this year especially, the love you have been giving through the increasing number of letters you send, has been calling me out. I never wanted to do this for the sake of fame or to make millions- only to try to make change in the lives of whoever was willing to listen. In your own way, many of you have been telling me what SWEET L has finally gotten me to hear- that in this mission I AM THE MAN, and that there is no vanity in accepting it. Thank you all for continuing to minister to me in your own ways . I love you. -NEO BLAQNESS