By Veronica Wells
Early last week, I stumbled across a clip of singer Ashanti taking time out during one of her concerts to speak to her audience about her personal life. In a video from the concert, she said:
“See, I just want to make sure y’all really understand what I’m saying. I’ve been betrayed before, publicly at that”
Someone from the audience yells, “F*ck Nelly!”
To which Ashanti responds, “Word.”
When I heard it, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I get Nelly broke Ashanti’s heart. Like she said, we all saw it. And while it was years ago, I can understand that it might still make her feel some type of way. But with everything that Nelly has going on right now, I would think it was the betrayal that blessed her. (I wish I could take credit for that but that was a line from Tiny when she and T.I. were in the midst of their divorce.)
I think we’ve all read the headlines. Nelly has been accused of raping at least three different women, in two different countries. And while none of us can speak definitively about the validity of the accusations, we do know that Nelly has denied the claims, saying he engaged in consensual sex and not rape. At the same time, homeboy has also been in a long term relationship. So at the very most, he’s raping women. And at the very least, he’s still cheating on his girlfriend…betraying her publicly.
By most people’s accounts, Ashanti won.
The man has not changed. He has not grown. And her insistence on resurrecting him in front of audiences speaks to the absolute, overdue necessity of Ashanti moving on.
I use Ashanti and Nelly as a jumping off point for behavior I’ve witnessed and maybe even exhibited entirely too often. Women will break up with men who they know, without a shadow of a doubt, are no good. Still, at any given opportunity, they start speaking about their breakups in terms of burdens instead of blessings. In all fairness, it takes some time, maturity and perspective to realize that the wrong people leaving your life, opens it up to so much more abundance. I was talking to my sister about the concept and in the middle of our conversation, I realized that this too is a conversation about self worth. From a spiritual perspective, if we view ourselves as God’s children, worthy of respect and kindness, anyone who doesn’t treat us accordingly will have to pay, in one way or another. You don’t even have to believe in God to get that, it’s just karma. The way of the universe. You get what you put out.
I have a dear friend who has a problem investing her time, resources and talent into men who don’t deserve even half of what she gives them. And while the process of giving, helping and encouraging them often leaves her drained, when they misuse or abuse the gifts she’s given them, it’s always the men, and not her, who are worse off afterward.
I think men view their mistreatment of women on a very surface and shallow level, instead of recognizing the spiritual ramifications. If you piss on God’s creation and the God-given gifts that God has given her, God is going to have a problem with that. Beyoncé said it, “When you hurt me, you hurt yourself.” And it’s true.
Our jobs, once we’ve awakened to the reality of the situation, is to run. The karma, the aftermath, the big payback is coming. And personally, I don’t want to be anywhere near it, offering tired explanations for your behavior on Instagram, when it comes down.
So many of us have watched and memorized The Color Purple. Still, we don’t take one of its pivotal scenes to heart. When Whoopi Goldberg, as Celie, points her curved fingers in Mister’s direction and says, “Until you do right by me, everything you think about is gonna crumble! Until you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna fail.” It was more than some powerful words. It’s a spiritual principle. So instead of pining, whining and complaining about “love” lost, thank God, the universe or your guardian angels for getting you out of harm’s way.