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Broken Crayons Still Color - A Short Story About Relationship Advice From A Brother To Another

“Never think you have a situation and a person completely on lock. There are plenty of locksmiths – or lock pickers.” - Prism

Art work from Broken Crayons Still Color Foundation/Chester Delaware

I was startled from my sleep by an early morning call from my younger brother. He had broken up with his fiancée. He was understandably distraught, and I simply listened to his heartfelt outpouring of emotions. After 15 uninterrupted minutes of talking, he then asked my advice about what his next steps should be. In a voice resonating deep from within me, I uttered from a place of knowledge and experience, "LET HER GO!" I could hear the pain in my brother’s voice as he responded haltingly that it felt like he was shot in the heart. Knowing the back story as I did about the trials and tribulations of their relationship, I explained that while it might feel like he got shot, he didn’t. What he actually did was dodge a bullet. Undoubtedly he would have inherited a lifetime of misery with this woman.

He explained that he was exhausted from facing one issue after another from his ex – almost as if she was actively seeking conflict and constantly pointing out something negative, which he found baffling. As a result, he said he found himself walking around on eggshells and felt trapped. “Did she no longer want this relationship?” “Was she seeing another man?” These were the types of questions that began to haunt him as doubts about their relationship began to invade his mind. Whatever the answer to the questions that began to plague him, one thing was abundantly clear -- he was no longer happy with her. He said he just wanted to know the truth from her about why the affection and the “I Love You’s” that were once plentiful had become so infrequent. He had been willing, he said, to do anything to fix the problem. He said he tried empathizing with her to understand her viewpoint, but it was difficult because he believed that her complaints were unfounded. He said he realized that she was stubborn, unreasonable, and refused to even try to understand his perspective. He admitted that he was largely to blame for that phenomenon because for far too long, his actions told her that she had him on lock. No matter what selfishness and foolishness she displayed – and trust me, the instances were numerous – he always rationalized her often-unreasonable behavior and thought his unconditional love would be enough to make the difference. He was wrong.

He continued on and on about how much pain he was in and how her action – and inaction -- affected him. Finally I said, "Bro - Stop being a Beta man! If I believe I can't be of value to someone's life then I don't want to be a part of theirs. There are significant challenges and adversities that we face, and the ideal situation is to have peace and refuge at home. If you are not at peace where you lay your mind and body to rest, then you must do something about it and quickly. Be mindful of your kingship, your health, your mental state, and who you are to GOD.”

Never put yourself in a position that you have to prove yourself to anyone, I went on to say. Start investing in yourself by focusing on your purpose and realize your value. As much as you may love this woman and despite the years of investment you made in her and the two of you as a couple, you were right to end the relationship. I know the decision to end it all may have hurt, but again God has prepared someone better for you. God will complete what He has started, SO BE PATIENT AND MOVE ON.

Simply put, I said, she was not right for you and in fact, you weren’t right for each other. I then explained that God has prepared a woman to love him in the manner he deserves for the remainder of his life. I told him that he must change his perspective and realize his position of power and self-worth and to no longer allow himself to be emasculated by his ex-fiancée as he had been. Focus on growing yourself, I told him, and then you will attract a woman compatible to you mentally, spiritually, and sexually. Accepting the fact that the relationship was truly over, my brother then turned his focus to a period of self-reflection. He embraced his situation and asked GOD to help him. He prayed, fasted, and separated himself from distractions in life to emotionally detox and focus on himself.

I have checked on my brother from time to time to determine his headspace and I can see that he is different and is continuing to grow from his experience. He is becoming a better communicator, working out, eating better, and abstaining from any type of sexual indulgence. He is working on starting a business and taking Salsa lessons. He appears to be revived and moving in the right direction. I am proud and happy for him. He was “draped and dripped out” the last time I saw him and now surrounds himself with people who appreciate and value him. My brother's situation may apply to many of you that are reading this article. Embrace your relationship hardships and make a change. I recommend the following steps to help you become a better version of yourself: 1. Reframe your thinking. Your heart may feel one way, but your mind inevitably knows better. Follow your spirit and do what is right.

2. Be self-aware. Understand how your actions can and will be interpreted by multiple, diverse stakeholders.

3. Beware of “vampires.” Stay away from those that suck the life out of you mentally and spiritually.

4. Protect and maintain your peace. My brother purposefully left the relationship because it was essential for his peace. His ex-fiancée drove him away. She tried to control him and resented how others treated him nicely. Never surrender or compromise your peace in any circumstance.

5. Love yourself. It is critical that you love yourself first. My brother poured so much of himself into his ex and compromised so much of himself to be with her that he barely recognized the person that he had become – the self that he used to love.

6. Insist on reciprocation. Never pursue anyone that is not pursuing you back. My brother pursued her, and she did very little in her actions to pursue him. Walk away if this is the case because they do not care about you.

7. Broken crayons still color. You can overcome all tribulations if you believe and implement processes to improve your condition. God is faithful. Allow him in your life. Now it is time to live, love, laugh and color outside of the lines.


After all the painful accusations, came the mighty truth and whispered, "you're free".~ Mitta Xinindlu

Walk away from those who challenge your innocence. They are not worth your time. Instead, blaze new trails to gain true happiness in people that invest and value who you are. - Kelvin Abney

Accusations reveals the character of the accuser more than the accused - Bangambiki Habyarimana


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