As you all may know, Built by Flaws is a youth empowerment group for young women of color, but that does not mean we don’t want to impact and to motivate young men of color to accept their flaws and to tell their story. We usually do our Groupchats on Monday, but obviously tomorrow is a Holiday and everyone will be out celebrating.
A young man of color emailed us on June 30th telling us how much Built by Flaws has help him to sit down and to reflect on himself.
Here is his story, trust me you will enjoy it 🙂 .
I am ready to tap into a part of me that I have avoided my entire life. I am ready to tell my story, my struggle, my flaws. I am Black, God Fearing, Educated, Inspiring, Athletic, Compassionate, Loving, and Giving. These are the terms that a person close to me may describe me as, but I use these parts of me to bury my flaws so deep down inside of me that sometimes even I forget that they are there. If I have perfected anything in my life, it has been burying my flaws. I am about to embark on a journey that I have avoided my entire life, but I hope in my vulnerability you find strength.
I once asked the question, “How can I love myself when I am consistently on a never ending journey to be better than I am?” I have to be smarter, I have to have more money, I have to be skinny, I have to dress better, I have to be this, I have to have that. Unfortunately, these are all things that I am struggling with. I am consistently striving for these things and subliminally I am telling myself, “Maurice you are not good enough!” Is this inspiring me to be better or tearing my self-esteem apart? To answer that question, my self-esteem has currently reached an all-time low. Many people would never know because as I said before, I have perfected the process of burring my flaws. I look in the mirror every morning and try to find words to encourage myself, but those words have yet to flow. When I am on Facebook, Instagram, and around friends, I look for validation through likes, double taps, and compliments. Hahaha its awesome because I get the validation that I need, but why can’t I validate myself? Why can’t I accept the fact that my butt is bigger than the average male’s. Why can’t I accept the fact that I am a hefty brotha and THAT’S OKAY! Why don’t I live in a society that says that is okay? I’m sorry if this is all over the place, but as my mind speaks, I type.
Right now I am trying to find a way to love myself, mind, body, and soul. Yeah I may have some flaws on the outside but these flaws have done so much damage on the inside that it has left me a bit empty inside. Flaws can be exterior just as they are interior. My mind is the number 1 thing about me that is Flawed. I have to begin to love myself, encourage myself, be nice to myself. My mind is constantly racing, seeing new things, learning new things, meeting new people. I am blessed, but I am not happy. I have had very depressing moments, even thoughts of suicide all because my mind is telling me to be better than I am. I could never bring myself to act upon those thoughts, NEVER EVER EVER would I act on it, but the thought is bad enough. I thought about taking my life yo, multiple times. I have to escape those thoughts by listening to gospel music and surrounding myself with people that love me. Thank God for gospel music and my friends because they have saved my life on multiple occasions. I am constantly working on my mind because it is the going to take me far, but it also has been holding me back. I am my worst enemy, and I cannot wait until I can become my best friend.
My mother died November 21, 2008, 3 days after my birthday. Yo, words cannot express how that has impacted my life. She was my rock, my protection, the first time that I felt what TRUE LOVE FELT LIKE. My mother loved me for me and I felt that, I felt that love and it was true. She gave me all of her and when she left this earth, I closed my heart and began to prepare my heart and mind to never feel such a love ever again. With her death, I began to cope by have sex and a lot of it. Yo, I was wild and did some wild things. If I could, I would apologize to every young woman that I used as a way to deal with my internal battle with wanting to be loved. Yeah the sex was good, but all I really wanted was for them to love me like my mother loved me. Even when I began to be faithful and show girls that they were beautiful and that I loved them, I would get left in the dust because I wasn’t hood enough or good enough. They used me to heal their hurt and went about their way, and I couldn’t blame them because I was in their shoes.
I gave up on love and being loved, and just as I began to thrown in the towel, God gave me a gift. He blessed me with someone who has loved me far beyond my understanding. I never thought I would feel my mother’s love again, but when I see her I know that my mother has not left me. She encourages me like my mother encouraged me, she supports me like my mother supported me, she loves me like my mother loved me.
With God’s help, I am working on my self-esteem and my toxic mind, but as I wrote this, He assured me that I am going to overcome my Flaws so I can’t give up on myself. Until I have reached the point in my life where I can love myself for me, God has given me someone that will love me enough for me and that is such a blessing, Thank you Lord!
I write this as a way to heal, but also to encourage you. You have Flaws and you may not be at the point in your life where you have accepted them, but know that God made you and He doesn’t make mistakes. It may be hard to understand, but you have to have faith. I also encourage you to allow people to love you! Allow them to love you enough for you until you are able to love yourself enough. Continue to fight in the struggle of loving your flaws. It may not be easy, but it is worth it.
A Brotha Built By His Flaws
Thoughts and comments from BBF members :
“This was such an inspiring piece that reflects a major problem in society. Society teaches us all that men can’t be hurt or they don’t feel the affects of societal norms and stereotypes. This speaks volumes on feeling like there is no way for you to feel accepted in a world filled with people like you! This touched me and I want to meet this guy in person. #BBF#Flawedbynature . Thank you, Akeda Riley”.
“Hey, I read the letter and I’m just so speechless (In a good positive way”.
“I really like how the guy from connecticut college was honest with his emotions. Him sharing his story of what he really feels I think is a great example for guys to see that they do have flaws that they want to accept them too. It may be tough but there’s nothing wrong with struggling to find who you are because not everyone is perfect. I like his process of how he identified his flaws and made a way to change them into something more positive than what he was doing before. In return he found the love he needed in whoever that lucky girl is. I think not knowing what’s right at first is okay as long as you can learn from it and become something better. At the end like he said it is worth it”.
“All I wanted to do was cry because it touched me so much to know that a black male has the amazing courage to express as themselves and not be afraid of what others will say”.
” I felt it was very powerful and it made me remember that males can feel them same way that we do”.