Last week, CNN premiered the Van Jones Show and the inaugural guest was none of other than HOV himself. During the interview, Jay-Z talked with Jones about politics, his marriage to Beyonce, as well as the longstanding Illuminati rumors. There were many powerful moments in the interview, (a certain orange haired commander-in-chief even attempted a Twitter spat with the mogul), but many found his responses to the questions about mental health and relationships to be most poignant. Jay dropped several gems, and even revealed that he has been doing some serious emotional work.
Here are four of those messages that is helping Jay change the game.
1 “Everybody is angry, but after anger, there is hurt.”
One of the things I’ve learned while working with therapists is that anger is an “umbrella emotion.” This means that anger “covers” over more complex feelings, like sadness, hurt or powerlessness. Many of us find it easy to express anger—it makes us feel strong, but going underneath the anger is often what helps us let things go and move forward. Going underneath, and searching for the source of the anger can help us see where we’re wounded, and also give insight into its root cause. So next time you find yourself angry, accept the anger, and also take time to go deeper. You may be surprised by what you will find.
2 “You can love someone… and if you haven’t experienced love and you don’t understand it and you don’t have the tools to move forward then you gonna have complications, period. And you can either address it or you can either pretend until it blows up at some point.”
The message here? We need tools to maintain and build Black love. Tools that help us communicate and unlearn coping strategies that have hurt those close to us. Tools that allow us to explore the ideas we have about intimacy and our silent expectations. Tools such as therapy, communication, exercise and books. Find out more things that can help here.
3 “The best apology is changed behavior.”
Jay did not create this phrase, but there are fewer words that are more powerful when it comes to healing and restoration as “changed behavior.” Changed behavior means we learn how to stop doing the things that harm those we are close to. It means we can seek the help we need to stop doing those things. It means we prioritize our impact over our intent. This helps to restore and heal in a way that words rarely can. So next time you’ve hurt someone, couple that apology with a plan on how you will change your behavior.
4 “You have to acknowledge the pain you have to let that person have their say… It’s definitely difficult to hear, difficult to say, difficult to listen to that sort of pain and you just have to be strong enough to go through that..cause on the other side it’s beautiful.”
Listening to others and acknowledging the harm you have created isn’t easy. It’s also not easy when the information is not aligned with how you see yourself. Yet, Jay is helping us understand that when we build up the inner resources to do so, we connect more deeply with our partners and loved ones. We free ourselves from the burden that emotional isolation creates. We create more Black love, more Black joy and brilliance, and like Jay says… that truly is beautiful.
Yolo Akili Robinson is a wellness advocate and founder of B.E.AM. Check out his work in CASSIUS’ 2018 Wellness Guide.
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