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The Woman Speaks of Letting Go

Like Langston Hughes’ The Negro Speaks of Rivers, here is That Teowonna’s The Woman Speaks of Letting Go.

I’m no poet… certainly not one of Langston Hughes’ caliber. But I am a writer… again, not one of Hughes’ immense talent. When I went out to my car today on my lunch break, instead of taking a little siesta (as I’ve been known to do when I don’t sleep well the night before) I used Nino Brown, my beloved Crackberry, (Nino Brown, crack, get it?) to pull up Langston Hughes’ poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers. I don’t speak of rivers and I can’t pen prose like Langston. But I can speak of letting go.

Funny thing about me is no matter what other projects I have going on (paid or unpaid), everything else takes a distant second to what’s going on in my heart. Cynthia Hardy is waiting for me to send her an outline of this weekend’s radio talk show; I have two book-editing projects waiting to be edited; a newspaper that needs to go to the printer tomorrow before 12. And I am thinking of a Langston Hughes poem. So to get what’s on my heart off, (so I can earn my paycheck and keep Nino Brown from being temporarily disconnected so I won't have to go cold turkey), I decided to speak of my own river; the ever-flowing river of letting go.

Why is it so hard for women to let go? Many of us care very deeply and continue to hold on way after it is clear we should be long gone. My theory is that this is by God's design. The Lord designed us to be more softhearted and more forgiving because men are so heavily flawed. Men have an uncanny knack for screwing up a good thing. As carnal (and stupid) as men can be, relationships and society would be in a far worse state of despair if we women were not as forgiving as we are.

In these days of gross role reversal, women are letting go a lot quicker than they used to. This is not a good thing. How many of our grandmothers got a divorce verses our mothers? How many of our mothers divorced versus us? Women of old, hung in there. Women of new, let go. Again, not a positive trend.

But here is the thing… men are going to do their dirt; there is no getting around that. Some men are a little dirtier than others. Some are just a little dusty while others are down right grimy. But each of us (women) have our own tolerance level. One woman may tolerate a little more than another. We tolerate more from one man than we would another. But one thing every smart woman must learn is when to cut her losses and let go.

In my estimation, women have three basic needs. To be provided for, protected and fulfilled. Men were created to fulfill those needs. It is innate. But when we find ourselves getting less and less of those needs met, it is time to consider letting go. When we don't feel safe, our hearts and spirits are not being fulfilled, and our emotional and physical needs are not being provided, it may be time to step.

But here is the thing… when we finally do decide to ‘roll out’ we often feel compelled to come back in... as if we didn't get enough the first time. That again, I believe is by God’s grand design. We women MUST be forgiving and willing to give it yet another try; that’s the only way mankind will survive with men being as heavily flawed as many of them are.

And men count on that. They count on us to forgive. They count on us to take them back when perhaps we shoudn't... try to make them be ‘the one’ even though it is clear they are not. They count on our soft hearts to let them back into our souls, lives and beds time and time again. And we do.

Until… until all free tokens have been spent… until all get-out-of-jail-free cards have been pulled from the deck. Then and only then, is it really over. The problem is men and women don't always know when the last song has been played. Sometimes it sneaks up on both of us. We’ve forgiven far bigger sins. We’ve let greater transgressions slide. But when ‘it’ happens, it happens. Until then, he can come and go; he can hurt, lie, cheat and steal. But when we finally have our fill, we are full.

Like the negro who knew of rivers, I’ve known of letting go. And by God’s grand design, I’ve known of forgiveness and giving it many more tries. But God’s grand design is for my soft heart to forgive… not to be a fool.

So, this time, the same heart that made me come back time and time again, now says it’s time to let go. Edit


Letting go is hard for all of us. We all have songs of heart ache and lost to sing, sometimes out loud and sometimes to ourselves. But all of us must sing.

Women see men too simply.

Look at all the great love songs, poems, plays and novels men have created to express their love for women. We have gone to war, turned our backs on Kingdoms, even defied God for the love of a woman.

Women sometimes give away too easily what we are willing to work so hard to earn - your heart.

I love anything that has Langston Hughes connected to it. Delete Reply

Derek: Thanks for bringing your brand of clarity. I agree, women do have a tendancy to oversimplify men. I also agree that we give our hearts far too easily. Great lessons to be learned! Delete Reply

Amen to T and Derek. Ladies/Gentlemen, stop being doormats and get off the floor. Gentlemen/Ladies, you need to stop playing games with people's hearts. Not godly AT all!We need to stop the madness. Delete Reply

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