DMX asked a very pertinent question in his song Good Girls, Bad Guys. "Why do (good girls) like bad guys, knowin' that bad guys tell mad lies?" What's even funnier than the irony of the question is that we get mad when they do. Logically speaking, you can't be angry at someone who does precisely what they already told you they'd do. Or can you?
A while ago, I began watching the series Lucifer on Netflix. Of course, with my church upbringing, it's either almost taboo to even speak his name, or everything is his fault. I suppose my whole life, the depiction of this fallen angel, was a pitchfork, horns, red, ugly, and scary. Needless to say, this series showed him, in what I'd say is his true essence. He was swaggy and charismatic and was that homie who'd help you out of a bind when your back was against the wall. He was that friend you'd love to hate. He had money like dirt, and his influence was so magnetic he had you doing things that you just said you wouldn't do. While he's always giving you what you want, be warned you'll forever be in his debt. I finally concluded that this series had accurately depicted the illusive Lucifer as the perfect catch 22.
Let me just say by the end of the series, I was in love with this character. I was rooting for him. I mean all in my feelings when he was hurt and then screaming at the tv screen when he had to be banished back to hell. It made me look at life and how often we allow these less than favourable characters to run amuck in our personal space. Yet, we insist on keeping them around because we like them. Makes me wonder, is it truly better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don't? I mean, yes, the potato chips are good, but how does it benefit your health? After all, no one can eat just one, right? So I wonder, are we so blinded by the glitter that we never realize it's not gold? I'll tell ya, the good guy versus bad guy narrative has taught me a few things.
Lesson 1: Many of us fall in love with an illusion-the story we've single-handedly created in our heads.
A young girl was trudging along a mountain path, trying to reach her grandmother's house. It was bitter cold, and the wind cut like a knife. When she was within sight of her destination, she heard a rustle at her feet.
Looking down, she saw a snake, which spoke to her. He said, "I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food in these mountains, and I am starving. Please put me under your coat and take me with you."
"No," replied the girl. "I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite is poisonous."
"No, no," said the snake. "If you help me, you will be my friend. I will treat you differently."
The little girl sat down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. She looked at the markings on the snake and had to admit that it was the most beautiful snake she had ever seen.
Suddenly, she said, "I believe you. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness."
The little girl reached over, put the snake gently under her coat and proceeded toward her grandmother's house. In a moment, she felt a sharp pain in her side. The snake had bitten her.
"How could you do this to me?" she cried. "You promised that you would not bite me, and I trusted you!" "You knew what I was when you picked me up," hissed the snake as he slithered away. (sourced from: www.sun-sentinel.com)
Lesson 2: When we're close to our destination there is bound to be a distraction. But we hold on even when all the evidence, coupled with past experience says that we should let go.
Mistake vs. Decision
I suppose the only thing I can surmise after that would be in the words of Maya Angelou, "When people show you who they are, believe them." Twenty years of dating and many tears later, I finally see that I can't totally blame all of my former beaus for how things went in our relationships. Why? Because every one of them, in one form or the other, said precisely who they were-multiple times at that. Sidebar, I was showing out just as much as them. That Raquel in her 20's was a mess! Though at this stage in my life, I can relate to the appendage to Mays's quote, which says, 'believe them, the first time.' Ah, we women. Bless our darling little hearts. Some of us need to be told 20 times, the same thing because somehow, we have the innate need to 'fix'. Newsflash: "He's not a house, you are not Chip & Joanna Gaines and your life is not an episode of Fixer Upper!"
I am by no means saying that people don't deserve second chances. We all have to make choices, but when your mistakes become consistent decisions, then I have to now remove myself from the equation. I'm not sitting here thinking of myself more highly than I ought to, but I am saying that we need to take precautions to mitigate longterm damage. Listen, there is no such thing as a big sin and little sin. There's is no Corporal Sinner nor Chief Inspector Sinner. What I love about God is He just sees sin. I'm not here on a soul-winning tirade but a soul searching one. Which sometimes is one and the same. The more you search your soul, the more you'll learn that you can't do this on your own. God isn't here trying to make all the decisions for you, He wants you to be so lost in His will that yours and His are inseparable. Look, I'm not perfect; in fact, I'm the immediate past president of the 'Scandalous Church Girls' Auxiliary. Every time I remember where I came from, I can't just sit and point fingers.
Lesson 3: You ain't as good as you think, so cut others some slack.
You've seen this movie before.
So what is it that us gals want? Let me guess, Mr. Charming, Mr. Perfect, Mr. Handsome, Mr. Rich, Mr. Compassionate, Mr. Sensetive, Mr. Faithful, Mr. Thug sprinkled with Mr. Presidential, all wrapped in one, like the perfect Sushi Roll. Well, ma'am, sorry, he doesn't exist. We can go throughout the entire Bible and see that all of our heroes or the people we base many of our lives beliefs on, in some shape or form has a character flaw. No one seems to be exempt from these 'birth defects' I'll call them. So, even if you are usually the person that life happens to, or you have some typos in your life story, just know that that puts you in the same category of the guy you are bashing and always discarding.
I base my life on the Bible. That's my foundation, and while I've strayed from it many times, it's the thing that I come back to. We can go from Eve, the poster child of making the perfect the enemy of the good. The first woman had one job. Just be a companion and 'help.' But no, she was busy trying to get the 'tea.' Sarah, the wife of Abraham, is described as the quintessence of what it means to be a 'pie.' Yet impatience caused her to allow her man to sleep with another woman to get the child she was promised. Rebekah, Esau and Jacob's mother, has set the bar of manipulation for all of eternity. To put animal skin on your son to fool your half dying husband, whew child-she invent the phrase "You think this a game, aye?" Rachel, Pie 2.0, who all women wish a man could love them like, had the adoring love of this man but was still an example of what it feels like to not be enough. Because, for the longest time, she could not bear him any children. I mean, she watched the less desirable wife, spit kids out like she was popping popcorn. Man, that must have been rough!
Oh, then there is the wife of Lot, who remains nameless. She is the example of when you thingsy and you let desire consume you. She wanted so bad to stay where she was that looking back caused her to turn into a pillar of salt. Again, she invented the term 'being salty.' Tamar, pie reloaded, the Bible speaks about her infinite beauty, was left husbandless. Then in trying to carry on the linage of her husband, pretended to be a prostitute on the side of the road to seduce (get this) her father-in-law so she would have a baby. These Bible folks had trapsy on the level before we even existed.
David is by far one of my favourite characters. I mean, he was King and could have any woman he so desired. But no, he decides to kill a man for his wife, to cover the fact that he was bout to have a lil' pickney with her. Then there's Solomon, who is noted to be the wisest to ever walk the earth's face. I'm talking wise enough to settle a dispute between two women by threatening to cut a baby in half. This dude allowed the love of having multiple women to bring disgrace to an entire kingdom.
Sigh, Moses oh Moses, he killed a man. Then was chosen to lead the Israelites from slavery. He listened to their complaints for years and saved them from God, wiping them out more times than I care to count. Still, poor thing, after all that, never made it to the promised land. Why? Because he let his temper caused him to be disobedient. Peter, ah, Peter. He walked with Jesus every day. Seen miracles, walked on water, and still turned around and denied Jesus. Sampson, who could kill anything with his bare hands, was again a fool at the hands of a woman, who was probably thinking in her mind the whole time, "Yea, Sampson, you gon' learn today?"
So you see, male or female, young or old－flaws don't discriminate against gender. Hey there Lil' Ms. Muffet on your tuffet, stop being so judgy. Remember in the movie Baby Boy, Jodi tells Yvette he lies to her because he cares about her feelings. Then he turns around and picks her up late in her own car. I mean that had a whole lot of women in the 90's shouting at the tv screen. Why? Cause it hits different when it hit home! Yet, for so many of us, this is a 'now' reality. So what do you do? Take the devil you know, or try one that you don't?
Lesson 4: All of us are flawed, but all of us can learn the lesson.
No matter how thin you slice it, it still has two sides
I've said all that to say this, women often say men are the bad guys, but sometimes we do garbage too－even the best of us. I know he did you wrong, but if you look deep enough, sometimes you weren't as innocent as you think. A relationship, of any kind, requires give and take, compromise and confrontation, retreating and surrendering. Just because people do bad things don't make them bad people. It's just a matter of what you're willing to live with. But before you play judge, jury, and executioner, make sure that your slate is so clean that you can perform surgery on it. And you and I both know that's next to impossible. I'm not advocating that you stay with someone who mistreats you and is being dodgy. I'm saying don't leave over the one thing they did wrong but consider the things they may have done right! We all know, in the fight for all this 'equality' men aren't the only ones out here doing fool!
Lesson 5: Good thing come to those that work at it!