Will & Jada’s “Forest”

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Are you familiar with this expression, “Can’t see the forest for the trees?”

For those of you who are not, I will explain, and those of you who are familiar with it, please bear with me.

The expression, can’t see the forest for the trees, refers to a person who is so overwhelmed by the detail(s) of a situation that it obscures the overall situation. In most cases when the expression is used, it commonly suggests that there is an oversight that has taken place of what is truly going on by their fixation on one facet of the situation.

Let us not kid ourselves—we do this often. We get upset (and sometimes irate) when we do not receive our preferred gift and completely overlook the fact that the person was thoughtful enough to get you a gift. A parent is disappointed that their child just missed an A in one of their more challenging classes but quickly forgets that she just got a full-ride scholarship to Stanford.

 It has been slightly over two weeks since Jada Pinkett-Smith’s infamous Red Table Talk, her Facebook shows that provides a platform for riveting, provocative, and unfiltered conversations. But this show featured her superstar husband Will Smith and herself only. And as many of you already know, the streaming of this Red Table Talk was more of a response to the swirling rumors that she had an affair with R&B recording artist August Alsina.  Though Jada acknowledged that the relationship happened years ago, both she and Will were separated and looking to end their marriage. Will confirmed that their marriage was all but over and appeared to endorse the notion that her relationship with August Alsina was not an affair because their marriage of nearly 20 years was on the brink of non-existence. So, while this juicy information was now validated, it was also clear that again, it was more than four years ago, and the couple now has a marriage that is stronger than ever.

However, the world of social media is having a ball with this.

I think the funniest part, if any, was Jada’s euthanizing her relationship with August Alsina as an entanglement. Even Will confronted Jada’s characterization of her friendship with August Alsina (she ultimately acknowledged that it was a relationship). The memes just will not stop. But what is even more brutal has been people criticizing Will for staying with Jada after sleeping with August Alsina. And the name-calling that has been thrown Jada’s way is just insulting.

You know, maybe it’s the global pandemic that has restricted our lives and limited our ability to be social that they don’t have anything else better to do but zone in on the challenging areas of Will and Jada’s private lives. But here are how people are missing the forest for the trees.

Allow me to share 12 quotes from the Will and Jada Red Table Talk that I found earth-shaking and amazingly insightful:

  1. “I discovered that I cannot find true happiness outside of myself.”
  2. “In a relationship, do not let your expectations exceed your efforts.”
  3. “Attempting to repair childhood trauma by helping others does not resolve your trauma.”
  4. “I was able to do some deep healing”.
  5. “I was amazed by the ugly truths and the beauty that I discovered about myself.”
  6. “We were both broken people.”
  7. “The ability to make mistakes without the fear of losing your family is so critical.”
  8. “Any relationship, in trying to get to a deeper understanding of love, will be forged in fire.”
  9. “Marriage is not for the weak at heart.”
  10. “We have gotten to a new place of unconditional love.”
  11. “There is true power in knowing that someone is riding with you through anything.”
  12. “I never thought we would ever get back together, but here we are.”

If you talk to people who are single and desire to get married, it is not uncommon for them to be clear about their dealbreakers. Bad credit, joblessness, children from previous relationships, cheating, physical health and physique, financial woes, who pays for the first date, and the list goes on. However, while we will admire couples married 10 years or more and are happy, they very things single people will cite as dealbreakers are the very things successful marriages encounter and are resilient which leads to marital longevity.

Single people—let me say this. Your most difficult days being lonely and without a spouse is a walk in the park compared to being married and miserable—being married to someone and you do not have each other’s best interest at heart. It is like a jail sentence. But when two people, recognizing that they will resolve to love each other through their imperfections and human deficits, they can build a love that no one or nothing can penetrate.

Maybe our unrealistic view of marriage starts from the outset—the wedding. The fairy tale beautiful dress, the debonair groom, the impeccably dressed bridal party, the decadent food and extravagant décor of the ceremony and reception, the doves that are released when the vows are exchanged, etc. It is a setup. Even people who are neutral about the idea of marriage are seduced into considering it at a wedding event. And what we experience at the wedding we idealize that marriage is going to be that.

It is not.

It is a lot of adjusting to the other person in ways you could never forecast or prepare for. It is work!

In closing, I would encourage you, now that you have read this blog, to go back to Will and Jada’s interview, and view it with a different perspective. They are giving you golden nuggets for a successful relationship.


Image Courtesy of R Wolfson/Wireimage

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