Tony Gaskins : Real Love Tour
A couple weekends ago, I was gifted a ticket to the Tony Gaskins Real Love Tour. I was super excited to go as I've heard a lot about him and have seen him quite a bit on social media. The event was packed and everyone came with their notepads to jot down important things. Well here are some of the things that hit home for me!
Remove Numbers from your List
Sis, the height and salary requirements gotta go out of the window. Those are not your standards. Those are your preferences. A lot of the things on your list are irrelevant anyways as they will most likely change as you grow. Standards are your morals and values, which stick with us for life. You would prefer if he made 70K and he would prefer if you didn't look like Chewbacca when you wake up. Tomato tomato.
" Love Hurts" - someone who didn't know how to love
Ever since Bobby Joel broke up with you in the 7th grade, you've been running around telling anyone who will listen that love hurts. Hang it up & find a new gig. Love won't ever hurt you. It'll make you do things that you swore down to your pinky toe that you would never do, but hurt you? nah. We keep coming across one another, beings with so many loose ends. Some of us never experiencing real love in our homes. A lot of us never really grasping what love really is. So we come up with our own definition. Sometimes the definition entails physical and emotional abuse. Other times it is defined with jealousy. Gaskins honed in on taking the time to get to know someone and being able to relate with them before you move forth with a relationship. If we take the time to have conversations that end up answering a lot of our questions, we can figure out how someone may define love. If we skip the early relations and have some early conversations that are meaningful then we can see all of the red flags popping up left and right. Which leads me to the next two..
Patching Up- with sex & meaningless conversations
"The Make Up After the Break Up" ...too many of us count on sex to "fix" everything. We count on it to do so much. To get to know someone, to make someone happy, to make someone forget, to forgive someone, to "love" someone, and even to hurt someone. We get it, sex can be great. Along with sex, we fill our times with our S.O with meaningless conversations. We keep talking about the same 3 things, never scratching the surface of one another. Never really taking true interest in one another so we create these fake connections with people. Before we know it, we've created a routine of surface level conversations that lead to surface level physical interactions. I've been there and it sucks. You don't realize how bad it is until you start to near the end. You look up and realize that this person doesn't even KNOW me. & what becomes even scarier is that you never knew them. You went along with the entire charade for the sake of "having someone". We have to go deeper than the body.
Red Flags -
Why do we ignore red flags? And so many at that. There is this need to call someone ours that leads us down all the wrong roads. As Gaskins says, thirst turns into dehydration. In the beginning we were thirsty for them. Taking a sip here and there in hopes of satisfying the want. But it slowly turns into a need. A faux need. We become dehydrated, doing whatever at this point for a sip. In turn we stoop to their level, compromise our self worth, and don't demand them to meet our standards. And then boom, you've wasted 5 yrs. To avoid all of this, Gaskins suggests self-love (see below). With self-love, your tolerance for bullshit is low to none. You will send away any and all things (people included) that disturb your peace or seem faulty.
Have you ever dated someone and they are so amazing? Like you feel like you're on top because your bae is literally everything. You're just head over heels and blown away. To the point you've called all of your friends, even your childhood BFF that you don't really talk to anymore to tell everybody about your new boo. They have swept you off of your feet and make you feel so damn good! A couple of months go by and the feeling is not as intense. Or worse, it is completely gone. Maybe the rage starts peeking out. Or maybe the nagging and clinginess. All along you've been dating someone's rep: The person they present to others to represent their real selves. Best case scenario: their rep fades within a month or so. Worst case scenario: you end up marrying the bastard. Sometimes you date someone's rep until marriage and you end up bound in a situation with someone you don't even recognize. I personally think we all have opportunities to see around someone's rep but we choose, whether on purpose or not, to overlook it.
Having the patience for a grown boy
Since babies, males are taught that boys don't cry. It is a universal approach but in the black community it is served up double time. From such young ages they are chastised and demeaned when they convey any emotion, especially sadness. Sometimes even happiness: "why are you laughing so much?" At 3 and 4 years old they emotionally stop being a child. Years later, we women come across these broken little boys in a mans body. We often expect them to be able to articulate their feelings and express their needs in a way that is conducive to nurturing a relationship. 9 times out of 10 our expectations are never met. BUT! I am starting to realize that patience is key in this situation. Along with being patient, initiating positive and thought provoking conversations with someone can lead to them opening up to be comfortable with not only their feelings but expressing them as well. Now, I'm not saying be patient with everyone because it's some folk that don't deserve it but you'll know when you come across someone worth it. During the seminar Gaskins talked about this and provided it as one of the reasons why he speaks to women mostly. That we are not only created but raised differently. We have an innate qualities that are necessary for building and nurturing relationships. (not to say that men are incapable...but you get the point.)
4 levels of LOVE -
lust- a foundation for love. But you can take lust and allow a soul tie (sex, one night stand) and turn it into what we believe to be love. Lust has an expiration date and love does not. If you can contain the lust you can grow to like...
like - a friendship is formed and you begin learning someone for who they are. You start to RELATE. Although often overlooked, being able to relate is key to relationships both platonic and romantic.
love- this happens even when you don't even like them. You love them more than anything life is gearing up to throw. It begins to trump the hardships that you both will face. When you come home and the dishes are piled up. LOVE. When the bills start piling up. LOVE. When they don't wipe down the sink after brushing their teeth. LOVE. And life will throw things at your relationship that you could never imagine but that is where love will come into play.
self love - Gaskins called self love the highest form of love. When we have self love, our abilities to give love are that much more. You give love because it is your duty and calling: the greatest gift given to man is love. But self-love is the highest and most important form of love as it allows us to protect ourselves. When you have self-love, you have the ability to know that at some point you have to walk away from some people. The hope is to have self love enough to let someone go so they can grow. Gaskins used the example of God turning his back on the people of Israel. Never did He remove himself from the throne or stop being God but he turned away, not rewarding behaviors that weren't conducive to his teachings. He refused to reinforce their behavior but continued to have self-love! If you don't have self love you can (not on purpose) allow someone to break you. You'll allow them to bring you down. My prayer for us all is to never see that day. "you will not drown me because I taught myself how to swim."
I would love to hear your opinions on Tony and some of his teachings. Let's get into it below!