I consider myself fortunate that I have a pretty easy time attracting men.
Whether they are undergrads or card-carrying AARP members, black, white or other, this black woman gets a lot of love.
I’m not bragging.
As a matter of fact, I think it’s necessary to share my truth because I’ve encountered other black women who say they have had a completely different experience, particularly with black men.
These sistas that I’ve crossed paths with claim black men don’t want black women, that black men find black women unattractive and prefer to date anyone other than black women.
Now, I know there are some brothas who may fall into that category. These misguided souls generally rely on negative stereotypes, pasts hurts and insecurities to justify their decision.
But, they aren’t the majority.
I know this. And the black women who are in my circle know this. The doubters, however, persist.
In August, I sat down with Iyanla Vanzant, spiritual teacher and life coach, to discuss the new season of her OWN series, “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” The season kicks off this weekend and will surely have people talking. A future episode about a black woman who’s risked her life by getting butt injections brought to mind image and self-love issues that some black women face. I also thought about the number of black women who are battling with mental health issues but don’t seek help because we’re taught to be strong and tough it out.
Our conversation quickly turned to black female-black male relationships. Vanzant, a thrice married divorcée who’s endured abusive relationships, offers insight that other black women may find useful, especially those who claim they’re unloved by black men.
Check out what she says and be sure to watch “Iyanla: Fix My Life” Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.
WATCH: Preview of new “Iyanla: Fix My Life” season
How can black women get a handle on depression?
VANZANT: I think not from a clinical perspective, I look at everything first from a spiritual perspective of what depression is, and one of the spiritual causes of depression is the belief that you’re on your own, that you have to do it on your own and that there is no god that can help you, which leaves you, kind of, in the state of hopelessness. And the further you are away from God, very often, the deeper the depression. And even though in the midst of it, we may cry out to God and call out to God, the subconscious belief is that there is no god that can help you.
For black women, who believe that they have to do so much on their own, carry so much on their own, be so much for so many, I can see how the belief is developed that there is no god that can help me. There may be a god, but there ain't one who can help me.
I want to preface this by saying that I don’t feel this way, at all, but I’ve been hearing lately that a lot of other black women are feeling abandoned, especially by black men.
VANZANT: That’s too surface, that’s too surface.
OK, but that’s what I’m hearing from other black women.
VANZANT: But, that’s too surface. That’s where they are distracted. The universe of life does not read adjectives and adverbs. So, “the,” “my,” “his,” “her,” “our,” “yours.” The universe doesn’t read that. It reads nouns and verbs. Many black women have an issue with “my father.” But if you take off the adverb my, many black women have an issue with “father.” And God is always depicted to us as father. So we think, “it’s my father, I lost my father, I don’t have my father.” But in our subconscious minds, what registers is “father.” And so, since God is portrayed as a man, when we talk about my father, we talk about the Father. Start there.
So, if daddy rejected us and so many of us have fathers that abandoned us, rejected us, left us, never showed up for us. My father abandoned me, rejected me, didn't show up for me, wasn't there for me, violated me, hurt me. My father, take the "my" off and we're talking about "the" father.
So all of this surface stuff about, "I'm too dark, I'm too big"-it's surface. That's what the deceptive intelligence of the ego wants us to believe.
WATCH: Clip from “Iyanla: Fix My Life” three-part season premiere
What about black women who encounter black men who say they do not want to date or marry them, or they feel that black men don’t stick up of them?
VANZANT: It’s because they have daddy issues.
But, what if some of these ladies have good relationships with their fathers and they still have these feelings?
VANZANT: And they may not. So what? That ain’t no reason to get depressed. And, so they don’t.
I don't like eggs. Do you really think the chicken farmers care? Because there are hundreds of thousands of people who do like eggs. So maybe the black man you met don't like you're color, hair, legs, busts, whatever, whatever. So what? There are hundreds of thousands that do.
Now, you may not be in alignment with that, but what do you believe about that. See we don't get what we ask for, we get what we expect. We expect to be abandoned, rejected, disappointed, left or treated poorly-we expect it- and there's no god that can help us.
What you draw to you is what you are. We are in the presence of the presence. The presence is always in us and at all times around us. And we are at all times creating with our thinking and our feeling. That's what we're going to live. You're not going to live what you ask for. How many of you say, "I want a man, I want a man, I want a man," but don't expect to get one. How many of us say, "I want to be loved, I want to be loved, I want to be loved," but we focus on, "But, I don't want nobody like my daddy. I don't want nobody like this one."
We don't understand our power as women. We don't understand our power as people. But, clearly as women, as black women, we don't understand our power because we've gotten loss in the world of physicality and negativity, ego, and deceptive intelligence. We're creating it. We are.
WATCH: Clip from “Iyanla: Fix My Life” three-part season premiere
Some women struggle with that responsibility because they feel that so much is placed on black women already.
VANZANT: And black men feel the same exact way. I talk to them and they feel the same exact way. So, why is it that I want you and you want me, and we can’t see each other? Belief and expectation. You don’t get what you ask for. You get what you expect.
How do black men and black women change this?
VANZANT: Train your mind, train your mind. I call it you gotta put down humping puppies. Negative thoughts are like humping puppies and they’re going to be all over you. You’ve got to train them.
Some black women also feel that police brutality and other crimes against black women don’t receive the same attention as those committed against black men.
VANZANT: Comparing hurts! We’re as hurt as you are, we’re as abused as you are. Oh, please!
I say this, we don't have to compare our hurts. We don't have to be more hurt, as hurt. We just need to address the issues that affect all of us, because, whether it's men or women, black lives do matter. They matter. And it's not the black people that we've got to start fixing. We've got to look at the systemic process and structures that led us to the belief that we don't matter. That's where we start. Not black men more than black women, black women more than black men.