My second installment of #OutspokenSundays features a more recent piece of writing. In midst of fighting my daddy issues, building my spirit for the throne God has ordained me to and all the while, fortifying love for and of the world, I have been working on something else.

Something more quiet, far more personal and substantially more particular to my own truth and story. It is the story of my so- called love life, or the lack thereof.

As phenomenal of a person I believe myself to be, I can adamantly tell you that I am the worse lover! Like, the worse!! Many people, having experienced my love, might disagree. Nonetheless, this is my truth and I confess that I am a horrible lover. First and foremost, because I, of all people, have terrible communication skills. 

My post for this Sunday is a message I actually wrote this past week. It was written to a person that I love very deeply and truly, and who I have in some way or another, been grateful to call a friend for years now.

In any regard, because #OutspokenSundays is all about letting people, places and things, speak for themselves, I’ll let this message, in its unedited form, speak for itself. 


Hey, so prepare yourself for this long, tho highly important mantra of my feelings, desires and thoughts about you, I and us, all summed up. I am working harder than ever to dispel my life and soul of the personal lies and pathologies that haunt me still (what you might call demons or oppressions). I have a huge problem communicating my emotions, most particularly to those I have the most emotions for or toward. In such, I’ve struggled our entire relationship, with truthfully actualizing how I feel about us.

In fact, I haven’t even allowed myself to acknowledge to my own self, how I feel about us. So, for that, and all the other imperfect, unrighteous and unGodly actions I’ve committed since we first met, I apologize. In all, as I acknowledge and forgive myself, for everything I’ve done, I must make way to ensure never to do such things or be such a person like that again. That starts with saying stuff out loud, right now. I can only speak for today, and where I am right now, as there is no purpose in dwelling on our many yesterdays. 

i found myself

You often ask me to remember, or acknowledge that you’re human, that you have a past that still in many ways haunts you, and in such, that you too, still are a work in progress. What I’ve come to realize as I’ve worked harder to meet that request, is that the same is not being met for me. And I take partial responsibility, because up and until now, I haven’t put forth energy that demands the same thing from you; to be recognized as a human being.

I am not perfect and I too, have decades of demons that I am attacking one by one, in effort to lighten up my world. So, when you make the disrespectful, thoughtless and ignorant comments that you make toward me, I don’t take them personally because I am yet another woman, trying to dignify the worthiness of every woman, one man’s comment at a time. I take them personally because they remind me of my own personal lies. 


When you skip over really asking me how I’m doing or dismiss anything I say that is too deep or drawn out for you, to then request for me to kiss your penis, it reminds me that I’m the dirty, unloveable, unworthy little girl whose father left her. It reminds me that I am only worthy of sex and pleasing men’s needs, as I learned the afternoon I was raped, in 2004. It confirms my deepest hidden belief, that I will never be loved by a man and that I will always, certainly be only good for one thing. 

That’s everything I hear, with a sentence that seems so simple and innocent to you. Now, my internalization of all those things and my perception of your words and actions, are just that, my own. So, I am responsible for reminding myself that when you say those things, it doesn’t mean what I feel and believe it means. And everyday, I get closer to not thinking or feeling those things. 

On the other hand though, I have a constant reminder of those beliefs and feelings, in every man who continues to speak to or treat me like that. Including you. As I work harder at loving myself more, I understand more than ever the importance of having people in my life that will constantly and consistently remind me of what makes me worthy and accepting of love. I don’t need other people’s validation, but if they’re in my life, it is important to have their support, at all times. 
At no time do I stop being human, a woman, a Black person, a child of God, a soldier for love and justice or anything else for that matter. As such, at no time, do I stop being afforded the need, desire or worthiness of being treated and respected as all of who I am. I can’t, won’t and shouldn’t remind you that I am a human being or how to treat me like a human being. Nor will I or can I, accept that you need to constantly be reminded that I am human, because you lack will, desire or ability to display your knowledge of my human status in your actions.
loving yourself
I need people in my life that are aware of their shortcomings, so much that they use them as tools for how to be better, as opposed to excuses for why they’re still the same. Right now, in regards to my life and our relationship, you are the latter. You are knowledgeable about the past that drives your present, and yet, your actions don’t display your will to stop your past from driving your present. When I acknowledge my dislike or hurt feelings toward things you say, you make excuses, deflect the blame and then, shut down. 
Your journey toward being a better you is between you and God, and I no longer stand in your life as a tool for rectifying that. I am simply a person, sent to love and nurture you on your path to doing so. But only, if you’re prepared to honor and appreciate that love and nurturing. Honor, as you know is a huge word, so much more than what people acknowledge it to be. There is no honor of my love and nurturing nature, from you, and that’s real shit. 
I understand that you may have your own issues with people taking advantage of your friendship and love, not understanding your mind and intentions or only hitting you up, when they need something (like ppl that are always asking for a ride, but never around when ur tank empty). I’m not that person, though. And, in my heart of hearts, I believe you know that. In such, I can’t and won’t be held accountable to the demons and maltreatment in your past or present. 
To lay out clearly the only things I need and will accept in my circle right now: I am hiring ppl to work at the company of Shaquana Gardner’s life, as lifetime friends, lovers and confidants, only if they are my brother’s and my sister’s keeper. I am employing ppl that will eat when I eat, so I must ensure that these ppl will make sure that I eat, when they eat. If it isn’t a given on every single day, that you are my keeper, then a lifetime relationship with me, of any kind, isn’t what you want or are ready for. I can testify one hundred times over, that I am always my brother and my sister’s keeper, but how many people can say the same for me?
laying down ones life
With all of that being said, I believe it’s important for you to decide, and God willing let me know (through action), whether a lifetime relationship of friendship, loving and commitment is something you want with me. I heed you not to be shallow as you read my words right now, as you know very well this is not a proposal for marriage. Rather, this is a proposal for a spiritual commitment to be honorable and true in all you do, particularly with and to me.
If you can’t or do not want to make such a commitment, I completely respect and honor that. In such, it would be best for the time being, that our relationship as we know it, cease. I have every intention to do some amazing work with you, for the sake of justice and freedom, one day. And I don’t intend to let what relationship we have or don’t have, come in between our righteous purpose. So, we’ll always be homies, no matter what.
This is simply a matter of what kind of homies will we be. I’m not gonna lie, this isn’t written to incite a convo btw us, as I truly believe anything meant to be communicated btw us right now, must be in action, not words. In any regard, I implore you to really listen and feel what I’m writing, before you comment back, if you have something to say. So, the rhetorical questions I leave for you, in end, is, do you believe I am your keeper? Do you confidently believe if you needed anything in the world, and it was in my possession to give, that I would offer it you before you had to ask? And that if you had to ask, that I would undoubtedly give it you? 
Do you believe that I would ride or die for you? And last but not least, am I, Shaquana Gardner, truly worth riding for? Am I worth you allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough, to fully display to yourself that I am person worth riding for? Cuz at the end of the day, you have nothing to prove to me, and everything to prove to yourself. There’s always more to prove to oneself. It’s up to you to prioritize what’s worth proving first.