Up until recently, I had been happily and casually dating a variety of men. As 2012 wound down and my utter joy that I had survived the "end of the world" subsided, I began my yearly review of what would stay and what would be released from my personal world moving into 2013. I conducted a brutally honest self assessment of my entire life and became aware of my subtle dissatisfaction with dating men; a discontent that has more to do with who I've grown to be as a woman than the usual drama and upset that can accompany relationships.
I had a few good guys I had been palling around with; meaning they were decent men with varying degrees of characteristics I find attractive beyond their physicality. All around my experiences had been pleasant, with enough romance, adventure and intellectual stimulation to keep me interested given that my fixations with marriage and children have long been satisfied. Occasional hiccups aside, I thought myself to be relatively happy.
Yet as the year came to a close, I had this nagging feeling that prompted me to ask myself, "What do I REALLY want in a relationship?"
I heard a voice inside myself respond resoundingly, "I WANT MY BARACK!"
I was a bit shocked and then I had a hearty laugh when I began to understand what the voice inside me meant. It is my general opinion that the world we live in does not necessarily cater to people working towards deep soul satisfying relationships with themselves or others. Hence the record-breaking popularity of reality shows highlighting the indiscriminate sexual encounters of our nation's youth, ridiculous cat fights between adult women, and dozens of men and women vying for a hand in marriage to a virtual stranger whom they hope to win over and live with happily-ever-after, in the space of a television season. Add to this, the weekly headlines of infidelity and divorce and the whole relationship scene can look pretty dismal.
Then there is a bright spot. A man, a black man, who arguably holds the most influential position on planet earth and whose love, awe, appreciation and respect for his wife is palatable. What Barack and Michelle have built is beyond reproach; a beautiful family and a legacy of historic proportions that represents dignity, integrity, hope, intelligence, a multicultural vision of humanity and most of all the simple and beautiful love between a man and a woman.
The world has always recognized the power of a woman to influence a man's success, this is the first time I am witnessing a man -- especially a man in a highly visible position of power -- acknowledge and honor it publicly. Barack's love for Michelle trumps his ego. His unabashed celebration of her value in his life strengthens rather than weakens him.
To watch Barack love Michelle has been a healing balm to effectively soothe the wounds created by the "bitch and ho" rhetoric and it has provided an antidote to this misogynistic virus which had previously spread unchecked throughout the consciousness of pop culture. From where I stand, it is a miracle. And I look on in wonder, knowing that they, especially Barack, have set a new standard for me.
What I most notice and appreciate about President Obama is his clarity of vision for his life on both the microcosmic and macrocosmic levels; his masterful balance of strength and humility; his willingness to be vulnerable, which only serves to augment his power; his demonstration of the value of love; and most of all, his unwavering honor, respect and adoration for the woman he chose to be his partner.
Now I wonder, "Wouldn't it be nice to experience THIS level of relationship?"
"Yes indeed!" the voice inside of me answers.
Listen to Akoshia's prescriptions for improved relationships every Saturday at 7pm EST, on WHCR 90.3 FM New York, or streaming live at www.whcr.org when she presents her segment "Today's Lesson on the show "A Lesson In Affection," airing Saturdays from 6 - 8 pm EST with host Mark Lo playing the best in love songs. Podcasts are available here.