Do not speak to a fool, for she will scorn the wisdom of your words-Proverbs 23:9

Of all the things that drive me crazy about us as black women (yes, I am going to engage in a generalization based on 44 years of seeing it play out over and over again) it is our seeming inability to SHUT-UP and LISTEN.   I mean, sisters at some point you have to listen to somebody.  At some point you have to realize that if no-one seems to like you, or if you have earned a reputation at work, or are often characterized as hostile,  fake, overly religious, walled off, a know it all, and the like that it may be time to take a self inventory.

I am on a bit of a rant today because two of my girlfriends have just worked my last NERVE with their nonsense.  I am seriously on the verge of cutting them both off for good, because after years and months of their foolishness you just get weary.  Sisters, I know we have been put upon, mistreated, even abused in relationships, in life,  etc.  But good GOODNESS when does it end.  At some point you have to trust somebody. At some point you have to TEAR DOWN THAT WALL. At some point you need to STFU and listen to what a girlfriend, older sister, a relative, somebody who loves you is trying to say.  And we wonder why we are often void of “true friends” and support systems when we get down, need help, or comfort.  The two sisters I am speaking of are relationally challenged on all fronts and yet they fail to see WHY.  All I can do is shake my head.

One of the things I talk about in my forthcoming book “Black Woman Redefined” in chapter 11 is that all of us needs a “love council”.  The old term of art used to be the “war council” (ya’ll remember Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever scene with the sisters in the living room) but my elders taught me a new word for honoring the women I admire, and listen to (even when it hurts)–I call them my Titus 2 sisters–my sanctum sanctorum and there are only a few of them and I trust them with my life because they have proven themselves to be in my corner in all seasons of my life: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I don’t know where I would be without their wisdom, their love, their rebuke, and their correction.  The great thing is I seek it out–I welcome it–I am a big girl- a grown woman and I know most of all that I don’t know everything and most of the times I am lucky if I know anything.

But what I value about our relationship is that it is reciprocal. Truly. Oh they can dish on me hard–but it is always in love.  They can also hold me close and let me cry–or stay up all night talking if that is what it takes.  But they also value me, and what I have to offer them.  We are close.  We work it out.  We don’t box each other out–or have fake friendships.  We don’t hurl scriptures at each other that we never intend to abide by ourselves.  I love these women because they are AUTHENTICNot petty or small. They have my back and I have theirs.  And most important sisters, when they are correcting me, or checking me I SHUT MY MOUTH and LISTEN.  I don’t push back or try to show them their own flaws–only a child responds in such a way.  A childish fool scorns wisdom and correction. God’s words not mine.

My point is this: Black women of America please get out of your own way and learn to LISTEN and embrace correction.  Deal with conflict like a woman.  Own up to your mistakes.  Work it out.  Don’t hide behind Jesus or your prayer group.  Accept correction, and wisdom for it will add years to your life, it will keep you from trouble, and given in love and concern it is a gift more valuable than silver or gold.  I am speaking to myself as always most of all.

Love you,

Sophia Angeli