The Acknowledgement, Acceptance and Apologizing for the Pain we have caused others offers instant results that far outweigh 10 years of Reliving the Pain in TherapyKevin Ross
For years it seemed Janet Hubert was bitter. Her videos attacking Will Smith and certain people on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air could easily have been written off as an angry black woman whose star failed to shine in comparrison to the star of the show Will Smith.
When Will made statements on radio show interviews about her being mad because it wasn’t the Fresh Prince of Aunt Viv show it was easy for people to buy his side of the story since he also said she had been fired, which was not true.
Will had no idea what she was going through at the time and she didn’t know what he was dealing with. He was very young, 21 and she was pregnant in an abusive relationship and had to come to work each day and act like everything was fine. He was just a few years away from watching his father beat his mother up as a child and he used humor to escape that insurmountable pain. She was involved in a situation that he was desperately trying to escape.
In the end those two worlds collided and Janet ended up on the losing side and being deemed “difficult” in Hollywood by the star of the show literally ruined her career.
Will Smith, who went on to become incredibly famous and wealthy and for the 30th anniversary of the show decided to reach out to Hubert to finally settle the situation. He also did a Red Table Talk Takeover with a therapist Dr. Ramani. The question is what was more powerful, Will Smith finally listening, acknowledging and apologizing to Janet Hubert or Dr. Ramani evaluating the situation (snore)?
Of course it was his apology for his wrongdoing. It was what Janet was in dire need of after all these years and you could see the walls break down when the two finally came together. Moreover, the Red Table Talk would have been MORE interesting with either other cast members from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or a few of Will’s close friends.
Therapist Have to Get Therapy
Jada Pinkett-Smith came up with a brilliant idea for the Red Table Talk (hope she has it trademarked) and there have been some really good shows that have come through it. When we think of therapy in the black community it is often non-existant.
To that end, there is a place for it in our lives for PERSONAL healing but anything external appears to be a waste of time. When someone has done us wrong we can relive the experience in an hour session for 10 years every week and never be free. We simply keep reliving the situation. The therapist is waiting to have a breakthrough with you and you are about to have a breakdown. Who wants to keep reliving nightmares in their lives every week for 10 years?
What a lot of people don’t realize is therapists have to GET therapy because of all the shit people lay on them. Negative energy is incredibly powerful and it leaves a trail. If it’s a load on your therapist imagine what it is for your friends and family.
We are rarely healed from our pain UNLESS we get a direct acknowledgement from the person who hurt us and an apology. There are those times when we won’t get either and instead of reliving the pain every week in therapy we have to find a way to love ourselves enough that it outweighs the pain.
Most of the time we ARE able to approach the person or person’s who have hurt us and the truth is … we should. Not always IN person but a phone call works wonders. You would be surprised at how many times people are not even aware that they have done something wrong to you. It’s also true that sometimes they don’t care but trust me, Karma will take care of it all.
Excuse me Sir, Want My Trash?
I liken it to taking out your garbage. If you leave a big bag of garbage in your house long enough, it starts to stink, maggots find a way to it and it makes your entire environment heavy with a stench, people will stop visiting and they will complain about the stench in your environment as the reason (laying your psychological load on your friends’)
You are only going to resolve the issue by getting rid of the garbage and giving that garbage to someone else and getting it out of your house (our pain and giving the trash BACK to the person who gave it to us)
You put it on the curb for the garbage man to pick up (therapist). He does then he takes it to a big landfill, (therapist getting therapy). Now you have a huge landfill full of everybody’s garbage (negativity)
The problem is the smell is still there (you haven’t properly gotten rid of it and residue is still in your environment).
A more eco friendly approach is to give the garbage BACK to the person who gave it to you. Their trash does not belong in your house. There is no long process here, no dumping YOUR trash on everybody else like your friends, therapy or landfills which are always harmful to YOUR environment but giving it back to the person who gave it to you.
You left your trash in my house and it’s making my environment hard to live in so I need to give this back to you. This belongs to you (acknolegement)
Oh, I didn’t realize I left it at your house, I’ll take that (apology)
I can absolutely guarantee you when you give the trash back to the person who gave it to you, you are instantly freed of the burden, pain, frustration, anger, bitterness, depression etc. We are in pain because someone dumped THEIR trash on us and we don’t know how to get rid of it. Simply GIVE IT BACK!
What if I Can’t Give it Back?
The only way that you can’t is if the person is dead, if that’s the case, as harsh as it sounds, you’ve already won the battle. They are not free to hurt you or anyone anymore. In addition, some people will never acknowldege or apologize for doing you wrong. I know this from personal experience but it doesn’t matter as long as you get up the courage to let them know.
Why We Hurt!
Many times our pain is caused by others when we are the most vulnerable. Like Janet Hubert who was pregnant and in an abusive relationship. She was vulnerable and that’s when the negativity has an opportunity to flow into our lives. We must always allow ourselves to be OUR OWN source of strength. When someone takes advantage of our vuneralbity it leaves a bitter taste in our mouths and was say things like: “I needed that job so I took his shit.” or “I stayed in the marriage for the kids but couldn’t stand the site of her” or “My mother has never been attentive my needs as a child and now she needs me and it’s killing me.”
All of this can be resolved with a conversation, EVEN IF the person doesn’t give you the answer that you want or seek, you have stood up for yourself and acknowledged that there is a problem and you have given their trash back to them you have taken care of yourself … finally.
Why I Know This
I know this for two reasons, about 30 years ago, I was at a conference called Jack the Rapper in Atlanta. I ran into Ed Lover by the elevator and asked him a question about a panel and he blew me off with a hand gesture that basically said GTFOMF. That bothered me and I instantly didn’t like him. I had previously appreciated his work in the industry. When I started Radio Facts a few years later I wrote about it. It got back to him and he emailed me.
He acknowledged that he was wrong even though he didn’t remember it and he apologized. I believed him, it was sincere. He may have been having a bad day when it happened I don’t know but in that very instant that he apologized, I didn’t dislike him anymore. In an INSTANT! Here was a man who took responsibility for his wrongdoing and in our community that’s not always easy to come by.
I have found that I am often the guy who takes responsiblity for his wrongdoing and will accept critiques but when the shoe is on the other foot my previoius circle of friends didn’t want to hear it, making ME the bad guy. They refused to acknowledge or accept their OWN shortcommings. It was time to move on and to undertand that it’s very true, we TRAIN people how to treat us.
When it comes to Ed Lover, this is literlaly, maybe the third time the situation has crossed my mind in 25 years, whereas before everytime I saw him on TV or at an event, I was reiminded about it.
I also know this to be true for another reason that involves this magazine. Our stagnation often has a crippling affect on our growth and well-being. Now I understand why retired people who don’t do anything after retirement but watch TV die shortly thereafter. They no longer have purpose, goals or plans.
I have seen it MANY times over the years doing this site by DJs who eventually give un climbing the ladder and only apply for lateral moves but only AFTER they get fired from a job. They fail to understand there is greater power in finding more when you HAVE more. They get a job that eventually (and always in radio) becomes a guillotine and then they wait for the axe to fall instead of creating greater opportunities for themselves before it happens.
After it happens instead of growing they are consistently starting over with the same gig at a different Radio Station . The process repeats itself until they age out. Then the wait becomes longer and longer for the next gig. Depression sets in because their old “friends” in the industry are not returning their calls, they eventually get sick and die.
I have seen this happen more times than I care to remember but the moral of the story is, when we stop GROWING, LEARNING AND HAVING GREATER GOALS, we stop LIVING. Many people are dead long before their bodies stop working in these circumstances. What I have learned in other words … LONGTERM COMFORT IS DEADLY.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO WILL SMITH AND JANET HUBERT?
They were both deeply bothered by the situation for YEARS. Will had to take the high road, get out of his comfort zone of ignore the situation and allow her to express herself to him directly. I have a WHOLE new respect for Will Smith. I have no doubt that they are now BOTH free. See video of him and Janet below.