Musings of Me

True Heart of a Man

In my new book, Dudoir Confessions, I present six different men in six different types of relationships. I think it will be something interesting for women to see because I actually modeled the characters, their personalities, and incidents in their lives after real things that have either happened to my muses or men that I know. I used things that my muses told me about themselves, how they see relationships, how they view women, and what we all do wrong in relationships.

In writing this book, I honestly feel like I am somewhat of an expert because I have brothers and over twenty five male cousins. I have been around males all my life who have given me the real and told me what to look out for in men.  In relationships, often times we think everything is okay because a man is talking to us and telling us things, however, we should only take the words coming out of their mouth for face value.  By nature, men are creatures of action. Communication and talking doesn't mean as much to them as it does to women. To prove this theory, all you have to do is watch little kids. If you go to the playground and look at little children, you will find the little girls huddled somewhere having conversations while the boys are running, kicking, and jumping around. For the most part, males are not talkers. Now, we do know that one man that can talk a female under the table, but he's the exception to the rule, and definitely not the norm.

Once again, men show you how they feel about you through their actions.  When you are with someone, you have to ask yourself, do the words he's saying match up with what he is doing? If they don't match, then you need to go with the action. You don't go with words because obviously this man is telling you what you want to hear. He can tell you anything.  It's what he shows you.  An example would be: you are dating this man, he texts you and calls you throughout the day, but you only get to see him late at night. He hardly takes you anywhere, or not at all, and you haven't met his friends or family, but he manages to come to your house late in the evening to "Netflix and chill".  He's not showing you off and basically, it's a you and him relationship, that's not a relationship.  He's basically showing you what you are . . . a booty call or a person he calls when he's done with whomever else he is messing with.

Women are naturally hopeful and we often choose to look on the bright side of things, when in reality, we should be keeping it real with ourselves. He can text and call you all day and still have a woman that he's with.  Again, it's what he's showing you.  Women often fail to realize what is right in front of our face.  So, part of this novel focuses on the fact that we have to pay attention to a man's actions and what he does. Men are show and prove type of creatures. As women, we see the signs and we don't necessarily ignore them, but we are afraid to call men out on what we feel like they were doing wrong.  We can become insecure and be afraid that the man will think that we are crazy or being insecure. I would rather him see me as being insecure for a moment, than to be walking around worrying about what he's doing or to feel like I'm being played. I have learned that, no matter how good of a man he is, you must follow your instinct and ask questions. No matter how hard asking those questions may be. If you see something that isn't right, ask.  You have to learn the truth for yourself.  Trust . . .but verify.

I also want to show that woman can ruin a man.  Bad relationships ruin men just as much—if now more—than they mess up women.  I actually think they mess them up worse because men are more sensitive. When they love a woman deeply and she hurts them, it will make it ten times worse on the next person. Women suck it up, we get over, we may even do something petty, but eventually we move on.  Bad relationships stick with men longer.  Those memories flash back just as soon as you do something that reminds him of the woman who broke his heart. Men don't forgive as easily, so if they've had a few bad relationships, they group us all into the same category.  I'm not saying it's right . . .but it's what they do.

Dudoir Confessions is a book for the ladies.  It shines a light on the innermost thoughts of men and how they view relationships, their children, love, and even the mistakes that they make. It will even show the hard reality that, you may be the most amazing woman in the world, but you can't change a man.  He won't change until he is ready. He may do some things to get you off of his back, but he will end up resenting you if the change is not something that he does for himself. Women are nurturers who want to save the world, and not even children can make a man change unless he has the desire to be a better person. I hope that in this book, women can get a better understanding of the men in their lives and the single men that are out there. They love just as hard as we do, and believe it or not, they hurt even harder. Check it out on February 2nd.

How much did you pay for that?

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In our world today, we are more about appearances than actual happiness and security. In these times, we allow our outer appearance and what we see on the outside to form our opinion of others. I'm not saying that a person should look worn down or sloppy . . . not by any means, since I am someone who prides themselves on always looking my best when leaving home. What I'm not about is looking good at the detriment of my family, myself, or my finances. When I see someone or meet them . . . I do look at their outer appearance but I'm absolutely not sold on them until I am able to evaluate what's inside. When I see someone looking nice and fashionable, I think to myself, now how much did they really pay for that? What do I mean by that? I'm definitely not talking about money.  Keep reading and you'll find out.

There are those of us who are willing to accept almost anything for a few baubles and trinkets. Put up with a little abuse, neglect, and degradation in order pop tags on some Ralph Lauren and carry a Michael Kors bag. Are those outfits worth your pride and dignity or ability to hold your head up high? Are they worth the mistreatment, the lying and the cheating, your health or your life even (AIDS is real)? So you had the streets talking; Facebook and Instagram popping not caring that your kids are failing school, your house is filthy, your bills are way past due, and your daughter is turning into you.

Those of you who would rather look like money than actually have money area part of what is wrong with society. You get in line for the new Jordan's, slam down wads of cash for that bracelet and chain, and blind us with the diamonds in your watch and pinky ring. Is that bling worth the price you really paid? Worth all the sleepless nights on the corner, all the breaths you held when those flashing lights got behind you, and the lives your poison ruined or the years you spent caged? Not caring that any day may be your day when your kids will have to see you behind prison walls, your mama will be accepting collect calls, the warden says you have to work even though it's only 25 cents an hour and your son will grow to be like you since his daddy spent his life in jail too. Is it worth it?  The ability to stunt temporarily may be their only purpose for living because if you take away those shoes, that jewelry, that bag, and that car, what would they have left?

What's the lesson in all of this? Keeping up with the Jones' and trying to put on appearances will send you to the poor house quicker than you think.  Instead of putting your money towards something constructive like a computer so your child can do their homework, pay a tutor so they can stop failing their classes, or pay for yourself to take a course, you would rather spend it on material things.  The most valuable things like love, knowledge, and peace of mind are priceless and unable to be purchased no matter how many dollars you.

If you have to beg, borrow, steal, rob or kill to get the material things that you want, the first thing you should ask yourself, was it worth it? Was the true price you paid worth the enjoyment that you're getting from that item? If the answer is yes then by all means carry on, but if you're not willing to risk life, freedom, dignity or self-esteem then maybe you ought to reconsider and put it back on the rack. Spend wisely

Sabotage

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There are times in life when you find yourself in a state of perpetual bliss. Everything's going the way that you want. Your relationship is great, your career is taking off or is going in the direction you have hoped for, your family is prospering, your children are behaving, your spouse is helping around the house and your pockets are overflowing with an abundance of cash. There's only one problem; you don't know how to enjoy it. You have this feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is going to happen to ruin your happiness. You're watching and waiting for what is to come and, you have your umbrella at arm's reach just in case you get caught in the midst of a storm. You wait and you wait and you wait but, nothing happens. Then, you're so anxious that, since trouble hasn't found you, you decide to go looking for it.

Once you've been in a bad relationship; had your heart-broken, been treated badly, been cheated on, been used or abused, instead of resisting and fighting back, something goes haywire and you start to expect it. You devalue yourself and tell yourself that you don't deserve something good. You're so accustomed to being mistreated that you welcome mistreatment. You don't know how to act when you're being treated well. The voice of the naysayers, previously drowned out by the cheerful music in your mind, resonates loudly, drowning out the once sweet music of your psyche. Distrust, jealousy, and resentment replace the feelings of love and elation and, the "bombs over Baghdad" start to explode. In your quest to find trouble's lair, you severe the once-strong bonds of your loving relationship and your home becomes a war zone as the rest of your life transforms into a battlefield. Even sensual sex can't bandage the painful wounds of spoiled love's grenades and your homie/lover/friend is now your arch-enemy.

I can't say that I haven't been there. So caught up on what could go wrong that I wasn't focusing on what was right. So ready to "pop off" if something went down; planning my attack, searching for clues that I never found, waiting for news of infidelity or deceit, and listening to those around me as they spewed forth bad advice. I was so used to a man doing wrong that, when I had one doing right, I pushed him away with insecurity and mistrust. Luckily, this man had the patience to subdue my feelings of inadequacy and has replenished my faith that there are good men out there just waiting for the right woman to come along so he can engulf her in his love. I must say, ladies that, sometimes, the pain we suffer from love lost is inflicted by our very being. I've learned to look at each man as an individual. Allow him to erase what has happened to me in the past and write his own story. Take down the walls inside and not allow the volcano within to erupt and burn all hope of love into ash. It may be one of the most difficult tasks in life but, you have to learn not to harden your heart. Love is out there but, if your heart isn't dressed when love is ready to knock, you could miss your opportunity to truly be happy. We must all go through a little pain, a little rain, a sadness, and take a few blows before we find joy. Oh, when you find it. True love will make you forget about all the bad things of the past, get rid of the baggage from previous journeys of love, and start fresh and new with a person who was hand molded by God for you. I've said all of this in order to leave you with a few last words, "If love came packaged perfectly, you'd be skeptical of its intentions, so when it comes wrapped in a package that you've never seen before, make sure that you crack your knuckles, take a comfortable seat and enjoy the thrill of taking something special out of the box." Love, make love, and give love.

Foolish Idolatry

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So, I was speaking with one of my students the other day about role models. He told me that his role model is Lil Wayne because he is a thug. This didn't surprise me at all because, in dealing with these young people on a daily basis, I know and understand that they see womanizing, doing drugs, drinking and being a criminal glorified on a daily basis by rappers and the girls get told that showing their bodies and doing anything for their man is better than being smart glorified by these video vixens. What I did do that he didn't expect was challenge him and pick his brain. I asked him what his definition of a thug was. He said, 'Somebody that robs, kills, steals, and is hard.' I said so, you mean to tell me that you want to be like a person that robs people, kills people and steals from people. Why are you in school trying to get an education then? That type of person won't do anything but end up in jail and you don't need an education for that. He told me that he really didn't want to do that but that he thought that Lil Wayne is a "G" and "Bout that life". I asked him about what life? I said Lil Wayne has been rapping since he was a little boy so how much of a thug or a G could he have been? How many people could he have robbed, killed or stolen from to earn any kind of street cred at the age of nine? Then, I asked him did he think Drake was a thug and a "G" too? Of course, he said yes. I told him what thug do you know danced and sang on the Mickey Mouse club with Brittney Spears when they were growing up. Drake is just a dressed up pretty boy who has his lyrics written by someone else and is personified as a gangster. I told him that most of these rappers have college degrees and have never been any kind of thug in their life and are selling you all a dream. They are telling you a story of a life they never lived and getting you to believe it and, while they are living in their million dollar condos and driving Lamborghini's, you are struggling to survive or acting out the things they make seem cool and ruining your life with a jail sentence. I told him to make sure that he does his research on a person before committing himself to be like them. Don't let someone else make you a fool. I told him the person he needed to idolize are the male teachers he's around everyday, his basketball coach Mr. Bellamy or our principal Mr. Clark. Real men, that he can walk up to and talk to, ask questions of and learn about REAL life from, not some idiot rapper who could give to farts about him, his mother, his brothers or their struggles in the hoods of Palmetto. We never got to finish our conversation because I had a lecture and notes to give but, I would hope that the things I talked to him about would somehow nag him deep down inside until he saw the error of his ways. If this is the state and the minds of the youth in our communities, we have ALOT more work to do than I ever anticipated and I'm determined to change them, one mind at a time.

Why I Don't Have Thug Passion

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I can’t lie, there is something about a “bad boy” that makes a woman feel some type of way. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a woman say that they love “thugs” or street dudes. The hustler you see with muscles, gold teeth, tattoos, and a rap sheet whose name is ringing in the streets. I won’t lie, I was one of those women too. Attracted to the bad boy; intrigued by a life of excitement, lured by the call of a man who lived by his own rules, and drawn to the challenge of trying to see the good in him and make him change for the better.  Like many others, I truly loved him and I thought that, if I showed him a better way of life, when he came to the fork in the road, he’d choose the straight and narrow over the wide road to destruction. In the words of Biggie, ‘it was all a dream’ and a huge waste of time, a source of needless pain, and a situation I should have turned and ran like hell from. I know what you’re saying, a person can’t help where they came from and just because someone was raised/or is in the streets doesn’t make them a bad person or mean that they cannot change. They may be a product of their environment. They may be resorting to the only means they know to take care of themselves and their family. All of this may be true but let me tell you why I’d take a good man over a bad boy any day.

What exactly is a thug? We may have our own definition but what is Webster’s definition. In the dictionary, the definition of thug is a violent person, a brutal ruffian, a criminal and historically, a thug is a member of a religious organization of robbers and assassins in India who were devotees to the goddess Kali (goddess of time, doomsday, and death) who waylaid and strangled their victims in a ritual manner. Some of you may call them hustlers but what exactly is a hustler. According to Webster, a hustler is a person who obtains or sells something by energetic or underhanded activity, to convey forcibly or hurriedly and often in a rough manner. Unfortunately, these definitions describe a thug and a hustler accurately. Reading this, I think to myself, now who wants someone like that? Why in the world would anybody in their right mind want someone who is described as a brutal ruffian? Who would want to bring someone around their family, children, or into their household who is described by society as a criminal or violent person who obtains or sells something by doing underhanded activity? Some of us, are gluttons for punishment and we would accept the unfulfilling and impossible challenge of falling in love with someone we know is bad for us just to one day have the joy of saying our love “changed” them.You can have those bad boys and thugs. I’ll take a good man and hold him up against any one of them. His pants don’t sag below his waist but, in his polos, khakis, and loafers, he’s got definite swag. His might is not in his fists but in his progressive thoughts, prosperous decisions, and calculate actions he proves a worthy adversary to dispel any stereotypes that may stand to place a damper on his steady rising star. His intelligence and wit is fascinating; drawing you in to his world, taking you on a mental fantasy ride, making you high while keeping you grounded in reality. His dreams are big and his determination is even bigger. He doesn’t need to adjust his crotch in hopes of staking a claim at being a man or shout profanities from the rooftops to show his edge; his stance reeks manhood and his presence alone speak volumes. He can change minds with just one sentence and commands attention when he enters any room. He understands that you allow the experiences to teach you about life, the books to teach you about history, and society to teach you about people but you never allow your past to define the present or your future. He’s a man that can network with presidents, CEOS, and government officials while still holding his own at any neighborhood barbeque.

So you see ladies, you can keep your bad boy thug. I’m a woman, I don’t need nor do I want an oversized boy. I’ll take Superman personified over your Dolemite. His intelligence is the new swag. He’s what every girl should ask Santa for. I’ve found mine and daily, he proves to me that I made the right choice. Choose wisely ladies. Just because you see his potential doesn’t mean he wants to put it to use. Love and be blessed.

Toxic Waste Women

Often, we as women complain about there not being any good men out there. I beg to differ. There are good men out there but some of us turn them off because some of us are Toxic Waste Women. Why do I say this? Am I on the side of the men? Am I some woman-hating female who wants to bash other women and take the side of undeserving men? No, quite the contrary. I’m not on anybody’s side. I choose the side of true love, common courtesy, and common sense (which some of us don’t have). Before you get upset and write this off as another sister hating on all the rest, hear me out.

There are always so many people out there with opinions on how men should treat women but very few on how women should treat men. As a mother of sons and a sister to two brothers, I am particularly passionate about this issue because, let’s face it, there are some nasty scandalous women in this world. Nobody’s perfect and we all make mistakes but some of us are the poison that causes men to label us all as bitches and hoes. They are the conniving, ungrateful, and self-seeking. Listen closely. There are various types of toxic women. The examples below will explain a few.

 

The Toxic Dater

As a woman, when she meets a man, one of the most important things to is letting everyone else know that he belongs to her. She wears his jacket, rocks his chain, holds his hand in public, changes her status to in a relationship on Facebook, and tells all her friends about the wonderful new man she’s enthralled with. There’s just one problem; he doesn’t see things the same way. Yeah, they guys are kicking it. Yeah, he’s taken her out a few times, visited her home, met her kids, and caused her to break the rule that she has about waiting a month before giving up the goods. The sex may have been amazing that sealed the deal. Her heart is telling her that she is in love. To him, the relationship is still new or he’s just not so prepared to commit. He hasn’t asked her to be his woman. He hasn’t placed the same restrictions on her that she has on him. Then, when she finds out that he may be talking to someone else or just not that into her, she flips her wig.

She blasts him on Facebook, writing cryptic messages on his timeline, attacking any woman that makes a comment on his status, making snide remarks about him to her friends and then proceeding to badger him and berate him via telephone and text message. Why, what’s the purpose? To let him know how hurt you are or how wrong he is? To put him on blast and make sure everyone knows what a scumbag you think he is? Do you really think that will matter? No, because the same females who wanted him before will want him even more now that they know he’s not messing with you and some of them will even want him only because you couldn’t get him. He will anger at you calling him out of his name and why are you so upset in the first place? Instead of being a woman and allowing yourself to figure out where you stand with this person, you assume that your situation is one thing when it really is another. If he’s not reciprocating the things you have done for him then truly, who’s chasing whom? When the situation goes bad and things go viral, this brother may choose to never do nice things for a woman or treat her well while he’s getting to know her because he doesn’t want the needless drama. Drama she caused because she equated sex to love or a relationship and tried to move things along too fast.

 

The Toxic Revolving Relationship Chick

Then there’s the toxic revolving relationship chicks. What is this you ask? Just give me a moment and I will explain. The relationship chick seems like the perfect girl, from the outside looking in. She takes care of her children, she gets assistance but knows how to manage it, and she has a car. A man comes along with promise; he doesn’t mind her kids, he helps her with the minimal bills she has and he reaps all the benefits of being with a chick who has kids and government benefits brings. There’s only one thing. Once she has him hooked and in her possession, she doesn’t allow him to be a man.  She doesn't encourage him to change his life, follow his dreams or pursue a legit way of living (if hustling is his game) She curses him out for trying to discipline her children, no matter how disrespectful to her (or him) they may be. She asks him for more and more, pay for this, get that, we want to go here but, he doesn’t “really” live there (he still has his room at his mama’s house) and as the days go by, she has more and more demands. When he talks to her about making a change, she doesn’t really hear it. All she sees is the come up; she has someone that can get her all the things that she wants. Eventually, one of two things happen; he gets locked up because his livelihood is contributing to the current detriment of society or he gets tired of being a sponsor and moves on to the next (if he hasn’t been cheating the entire time). Then again, why should he be faithful and “wife” her when his view from the inside is no longer warped by the rose colored tint on the windows.

He discovers much. She doesn’t clean, can’t cook and will feed her children McDonald’s or Little Cesar’s in a minute instead of turning on the stove. Her mouth is foul and, when it comes to mothering, she could use some pointers. Most of all, when he expressed his dreams, hopes and fears, she ignored them or tore him down so low that he may never recover. She never encouraged him to get out of the game; never told him about all the potential she saw in him; never expressed one iota of gratitude for the things he provided for children who did not possess his blood. What she did do was demand more. Just like every other woman in his life has. Now he sees us all the same. We want and ask and are forever ungrateful. Now look at what’s happened, a man with the potential to go far, change his life for the better and hers for that matter has no faith in the power of a relationship and the fact that, if she’s a real woman, she will help him start from scratch and build an empire. She will encourage him, be the voice of reason and, in times of trouble, she can hold her own.

The Toxic Baby Mama

The title is self-explanatory. Many men choose women because of looks and then, without fail, they procreate. The relationship falls a part and now, she becomes resentful because she’s stuck with responsibility for eighteen years while he’s got his freedom. He meets someone else and they start a family as well but she’s still sorting through the mess of men she allows into her life. Her resentment grows, especially when he’s at home every night with his other children and he doesn’t have as much time for hers or, since he’s gotten with his “new chick” he’s no longer willing to deal with her whenever she wants so she resorts to child’s play. She tells her kids that your other kids aren’t their brothers and sisters; she won’t let you see your kid or even have them around your new girlfriend and her family; she fills your child’s head with lies and makes them feel inadequate since you’ve gone and “started another family”.  You blast him on social media, you tell everyone you see how bad of a dad he is and you curse him out every time he calls or comes by, not realizing that your child is taking note of every word. Instead of wanting to visit his child and spend time with them or take them places, he would rather just send you child support and stay away because you make his life so miserable. He would rather deal with the pain and consequences of not seeing his child than have to face an ignorant, self-centered, hot ratchet mess of a woman scorned. Now, not only are you suffering but your child is suffering too.

Sometimes the blame is on us ladies. Sometimes we have to recognize the patterns in the way we live our lives and we have to be the one cut the cycle short. We have to stop adding to the destruction of a dwindling supply of good men. When one of us hurts the opposite sex, not only are we making it hard for our fellow sisters who have to deal with this man after us but, we are making it hard for the future of black children because they will have to deal with the consequences of broken relationships. Instead of adding to the problem, we need to be a part of the solution. I’m not saying that we have to accept whatever mess a man may bring but what I am saying is that we must be the kind of woman who builds up and not tears down, who helps instead of hinders, and who proves to the men in the world that life is more than just the images of women that they see in the street or have encountered in the past.

Focus...

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Ecclesiastes 11:9 Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes...

In my morning reflections and attempting to find a message for the upcoming year, I came up with a the saying above.  'Do what you love, focus.'  The new year is always a time of reflection, change, and goal setting for the year ahead. There's something about the new year that makes us want to start over and not repeat the same mistakes from prior year.  It's as if we have a fresh start on the life that we want to have, or a reason to believe that all of our hard work from the previous year will finally begin to pay off.  I'm no different.  Each year, I have goals for the year ahead written down, mapped out and placed on my vision board as a daily affirmation that those things will be achieved.

Deep inside of us, our soul is often a driving force in the things that we desire to change in our lives. There's this inner voice, this tugging, or this feeling that we can't explain, yet it is as real as ever.  Cheering us on and telling us to focus on what matters. It is in sync with our hearts willing us to continue on the path to our destiny.  With that being said, what's my advice to everyone who is trying to make changes and achieve their goals? Focus.  Don't become distracted with life's distractions. Keep choosing the right path and climbing the mountain—no matter how steep or how rocky the path—to your destiny.

We all know that life happens; accidents, hardships, unexpected expenses.  These things can all make it seem as if the plan that we have or the goals that we have set are not meant to be. Stumbling blocks will always be in the way, to distract you from your purpose and to get you off track, but you must continue to focus.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Continue to travel the path that leads to your future. Even if it means leaving some things . . . and some people behind you. Focus, and do what you love. There is no greater feeling than accomplishing your goals and fulfilling the vision that God has given to you.

I wish you all success and prosperity on the new year, as well as the courage and focus to not be distracted by the world around you.  I pray that God can plug your ears from the haters and naysayers and give you tunnel vision to be obedient and allow Him to fulfill His promises.  Stay the course, and above all else, do what you love.

Learning to Trust Again

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I will be the first to admit that I have trust issues.  It's kind of hard not to when many of the memories embedded in your mind involve betrayal of trust. Just as the thought of those things that are beautiful; your favorite birthday party, the best family cookout, or the best trip you ever took can elicit feelings of joy, memories that were unpleasant; your worst relationship break-up, the death of a loved one, or a scary encounter can evoke feelings of hurt and pain.  Those moments that can’t easily be wiped away because they’ve been permanently memorialized in the form of a brick around your heart.  Your wall of distrust adds bricks as you navigate through life’s tribulations, eventually becoming so high; scaling it, tearing it down, or even finding your way through it is an incessant impossibility.  What’s even worse, those around us seem to be more interested in fortifying the structure with more stones rather than explosives that are able to blast through to the other side.  How can one recover from the relentless onslaught of betrayals?

Communication is number one.  You must examine whether or not you are communicating your knowledge of the injustices that have been committed against you.  There are times when infractions are evident like stealing or cheating but there are other times when dishonesty constitutes actions perceived or taken as a violation of some unspoken rule. These misfortunes can often get lost in the sea of communication and carried off on a wave of what is never said.  Here’s an example, you tell your cousin a secret and make her promise not to utter a word to anyone. She pinky-swears and you spill the beans.  Later, you find out she not only tells your secret but the person she tells spreads the news and when an argument breaks out between you and someone else at a large family gathering, you’re soon humiliated by the fact that everyone in the family knows your business.  Now your trust is shaken and you’re feeling some type of way. The person you thought you could entrust with a secret has failed you miserably and you vow to never tell family a secret again. In a situation such as this, communication about how the offense has made you feel.  You must tell them how your confidence has been damaged you and what that person can do to change the way you feel or right their wrong.  Allowing someone to be redeemed and start over again. 

 Family secrets are secrets of the worst kind. Your family is holding onto something that could change your life forever.  As a black woman, these types of secrets plague almost every family I know and often cause more pain when kept hidden than if they were to be revealed and all parties allowed to heal.  Such secrets always involve such painful topics as molestation, paternity or a spouse cheating and are never revealed under joyful circumstances.  Once revealed, the news is no doubt devastating, and the pain becomes almost too much to carry or even fathom.  How can you bounce back from such a blow? How do you forgive and move on? How can you find it in your heart to allow those people back into your life and once again trust them? 

If the blow is life changing then the only possible solution may be time.  Just as a cut bleeds, clots off, scabs over and heals, so shall the wounds inflicted upon by those you love.  Time may require that you separate yourself from the offenders, give yourself space to thing and room to breath, allow you anger to subside and for the burning desire for revenge to be quenched in the cool sands of time.  The stitches in your heart will dissolve leaving it mended but scarred. With time, the memories will fade away and be replaced.  Eventually, once the work is done and those who have wronged you prove their sincerity with their actions, the walls within your heart will start to weaken and eventually fall down.  Even better, if you continue to develop a relationship with our Father in heaven, He will be the dynamite that blows those walls away.  

In closing I say this, trust is precious.  It is something that, once thrown away, it is hard to be retrieved.  In closing, I will say this, never ignore your feelings.  If something or someone hurts you, let them know. Second chances are about an important part of growth in life and, no matter the circumstances, you must give yourself permission to take down your walls and trust again. 

 

 

 

Am I My Sister's Keeper?

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Does my title speak for itself? Maybe.  Continue to read and find out.  As one of my previous blog post revealed, I have a love/hate relationship with the female gender. We are often the sources of one another’s pain and misfortune because we fail to follow some simple rules.  If there is any major example of how petty and trifling women can be, look at any reality show currently on television; Real Housewives, Love & Hip Hop, Bad Girls Club, Basketball Wives, R&B Divas, and the list goes on and on. These shows display the sad shape of our sisterhood.  Even Married to Medicine, where women who are professionals and the wives of professionals, exhibits it’s own amount of drama and mess among women who are educated and well to do. No one is exempt.

What is one of our main sources of contention as women? Well, men of course.  We often find ourselves at odds because one of us has allowed a snake to slither in our grass for a while and we got used to seeing it.  Then, when he decides to slither away because the grass is seemingly greener on the other side of the fence, we end up hating our neighbor instead of the snake.  We feel our neighbor is obligated to return to us what is “ours” and to apologize for the fact that “our” snake decided to slither away.  Is it our neighbor’s fault? In some situations, it may be but, even if your neighbor knew the snake was yours, what obligation do they really have to you?  More than likely, the answer to that is none.  Instead of taking your garden hoe and chopping that snake into tiny little pieces like you should, you continue to fertilize your grass in order to tempt him back to your luscious green turf.  Then, when your efforts to attract him are not enough, you choose to attack your neighbor; either physically, verbally or by ruining their character, not knowing that the snake will soon move on from you both because he’s always looking for the greener garden.  What’s even worse, often in this situation, children are brought into the mix and, instead of having mothers who are able to put aside their differences and bring the siblings together, you get mothers who would rather teach their children to hate their own flesh and blood.  You're also not keeping in mind that there is more out there to be had than just a little snake poison.  AIDS is real.

I don't have the desire to beat a dead horse.  We all know there are those of us who will never respect the boundaries of others, we will never choose the path of least resistance, and we will never take responsibility for our actions enough to see past our own desires.  We will continue to be at odds; spending our money on the best fertilizer (make-up, sexy dresses, weaves, lashes, and heels) and weed killer (slander, rumors, and petty fights) to attract the snakes slithering all around us.  We know there are those who don't mind playing second or third or hell, even sharing and playing on the same snake's team just to say that they have a little bit of meat in their flower bed.  Who don't care that their situation will never be permanent because the snake will continue to slither and find other yards to nest in. So why fight with our sister over a temporary situation? Why create enemies when, soon enough, you will both be at a loss? I don't get it and I never will. There is never a need to fight over a little rattlesnake meat when the one that is destined for you could be out there and you miss him because you're holding on to something that doesn't mean you any good.  But I digress.

The real lesson to be learned here is, when going about your everyday actions and dealing with those of the same gender, always ask yourself, am I my sister's keeper? If the answer is yes then, you would help her look for the snakes in the grass and you'd both get your lawn mower, cut down the grass so you can see him, then get your hoes out and chop him into itty bitty pieces.  What more is there to be said? As always, make smart decisions and never give more than your willing to take. Watch out for those snakes.

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When He calls...

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I am often asked how can I be so sure that I've made the right choice. What makes me so sure about my decision? Why don't I have doubts when there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I seem to just be fumbling around in the darkness? Recently, life has pulled me in so many directions, it has been difficult to keep up with my blog, social media, or even offer a daily encouraging word, because I was still trying to figure out what I want to do. Then this morning, it all seemed to make sense. All the questions in my head disappeared, and the reason for my being came to me crystal clear. No, it wasn't what I expected...not even close, but the beauty in it is that, the reward in the end will be greater than I can fathom. This post is actually the first step in my transparency. In showing the world who I am destined to be, and no longer being ashamed of what I carry inside of me.  The thing that has haunted me for the past thirty-five years. He asked me a question...and I had no answer. What could I say? How can I tell Him that all this time, I have been a afraid? A coward of sorts. Wanting to have it my way, yet cling to Him in the shadows. No more. My life was so at peace before. When I was dedicated to His purpose and living my life as He would have me to. In reality, I made this bed, but unlike so many others, I refuse to lay in it. It's time to put away childish things. Time is short. This world will soon be no more, and I cannot continue to struggle...

God will let you know exactly where He wants you to be. I waved my white flag of surrender today. I'm done. My legs have grown tired and I can run no more. His steps were deliberate. How you ask? Well, here it goes:

1.) He spoke directly to me. In the form of a minister, telling the young people how to break the chains of generational curses, to live different, commission themselves to a life of purity, and to guard themselves against attacks of the enemy. In seeing the youth singing today and speaking, it hit me...they need you. This is where I want you to be. (See I had been contemplating going to another church because it seemed more hip) If you're a believer, you know His voice and when you hear it, you have the assurance and peace that no one around you can understand.

2.) He will allow things to fall into place. You see, I was determined to go to the other church I had visited. I even started an argument with my husband because he didn't want to. I threw a tantrum and told him I would just stay home, then...my brother-in-law texted and said he was staying in today. Well, the decision was made for me. It all fell into place and an understanding came over me because if not for that, I wouldn't have made the decision that I did today. I mean, I walk in the door of that church and I want to shout. That doesn't happen at the place I wanted to go.

3.) He will send you a messenger. The youth sang one of my favorite Christian rock songs. Like, besides my son, I was the only one in the audience who knew the words. Afterwards, the leader was timid, but one of the musicians asked me to join the praise and worship team. You see, no matter how much you think you're hiding, your gifts will come forth and God will make you use them for Him.

4.) His word will give you the answer.  God used Esther, Deborah, Bathsheba, and countless others to reach His people. I want to be among them.

5.) He will close one door and open another. Sometimes, in large churches, you can get lost in the midst of those who are competing for positions and power amongst the congregation. I don't want that. I want God to use me to change people's lives. To influence others to live for Him and give Him their all. I like intimacy, closeness, and the feeling of family. That's what I came from, and that's where I will feel most at home.

I pray this little revelation has helped you as much as it has helped me to write it. For so long, I took the things that people who called themselves Christians and held them against God. I blamed Him for allowing those people to scar my heart, so I refused to fully commit to His will. Silly me. My rebellious spirit is no match for the Creator. Be blessed everyone, and never allow the pain and bitterness of others to make you continue to fight against what God has for you. The whooping He will put on you isn't worth the small feeling of power you may feel.