Motivational Monday Moment – 10/31/16

Continuing with last week’s Motivational Monday Moment about love, I want to talk about love of self. As I was sitting there watching this beautiful couple get married, I realized how much self-love matters. How can you find true happiness if you don’t love yourself first? How can anyone make you happy if you don’t love you?

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about self-love.  Self-love is described as

self-love (n)

the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.

Now, while the dictionary makes it sound like it may not be a good thing, let me tell you why I think it is advantageous for you to love yourself. Ready? Okay, who is going to love you more than you do on this Earth?

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Stay with me for a minute okay?

When we’re young we’re taught that we must be nice. We must be good people and that some people are mean and that we’re supposed to continue being nice and just love those people. Any of you heard that one? Love everyone. Love your neighbor as you would yourself.

But, when you get older you realize that is a piece of crap. How can you love someone that is mean to you? Want to know a secret?

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You can’t.

You can’t love someone who hates and despises you and you shouldn’t have too. This lie that we tell each other about loving people in spite of how they treat you is why we end up in narcissistic relationships with people that don’t wish us well. We accept the abuse believing that we’re supposed to keep taking it.

Umm, I’m here to tell you that it is not true.

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Let me explain something to you…Our God doesn’t love you in a narcissistic and demeaning way so why would you allow man to do that to you? When we realize and accept that God’s love is all powerful and encompassing and it anchors our spirit….we’re able to make better choices.

Like the choice of loving yourself more. Self-love or self-care means putting yourself first. You have to do what is best for you. What is healthy for you? Regardless of what anyone says you can’t allow toxic people or personalities to destroy the inner spirit of you. I know.

I’m learning.

Cutting someone out is hard. You think that you can’t do it. But, you know what? You can. You have to choose you over them. You have to do what is best for your sanity because like I said in the beginning…no one can love you better than you.

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When you really and truly love yourself and realize your worth, you don’t continue to try and grow in desolate places and situations with people who are not on your level. You release your true spirit and began to put roots in healthy dirt. You start to trust yourself and love yourself.

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More importantly….you start to forgive yourself.

For what?

All the bad choices. All the bad things that you thought you had to endure out of a belief that if you didn’t you somehow weren’t a good person. And that is when the real stuff starts to happen.

You start to cry. Not sad tears. Cleansing tears. Happy tears.

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You start to smile. You start to see the beauty in the simple things.

You start to breathe. Inhaling and realizing that the air is not being stifled by those who wish to harm you. You start to love you.

Slowly at first. You’re scared. It’s tentative. But, you do. And you know what? It’s good.

So, go on and love yourself more. More than anyone. Love that person with all your might and know that only a healthy love of self can move you into what’s next.

 

On the 4th Day of Christmas

What I received this year…

Vulnerability – I’ve always despised letting people in my heart. Whether friends, family or men that I’m in relationships with it sucks when someone hurts you so I’ve been unable to be vulnerable with people. I viewed vulnerability as a sign of weakness and I didn’t want to show anyone that I was weak. So, I never asked for help. Let people know that I was hurting or just that I needed them. It was easy to control the relationship if I didn’t give them a chance to hurt or disappoint me.

What I learned is that disappoint is a part of life and that you need people. It’s true. We are all interconnected and we need people to love us and support us. We have to start letting some of those dang walls down and burning some of those bridges. No one wants to be hurt but you can’t think like that. You have to know that you are meant to be loved and people want to love you if you just let them.

Sigh, I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. I am going through a situation and I burst out crying to a male friend of mine. I apologized for my outburst and said, “I’m sorry that I’m crying. It seems when I talk to you I start crying about all the frustrations that I have.” He responded, “It’s okay. I like that you can be vulnerable with me.” I was stunned. I wasn’t being vulnerable. Was I?

Yes, I was. And you know what? It’s okay. Sometimes we need to let people know that we are hurting and that we need their advice, love and just support to get through difficult times. I don’t always have to be strong. I want to be loved too.

Life is meant to be shared with the people that love us and trust me, we all have someone that loves us. You don’t think so? Well know that I love you. Why? Because you were intimately created by the one who loves me with all my faults and all. I received the gift of vulnerability.

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For Better or Worse and Addiction

Okay, yes I’m a celebrity (in my head) and I follow news of some of my favorite celebs like we’re best friends (sssh, don’t tell anyone) so it was a shock for me to read that my BFF (I told you I’m pressed) Khloe Kardashian Odom had called off her divorce to Lamar Odom. Why, I screamed? He’s an addict girl! You can’t fix him. Hell, Iylana Vanzant can’t fix him! You deserve better!

And then I paused.

Marriage is supposed to be forever right? I mean don’t vows say in sickness and in health? I mean does sickness include addictions where the person doesn’t believe that they have a problem. What if they never want to get help? Many addicts don’t see it as a problem. They can handle it.

But, when you addiction destroys your family then how the heck are you handling it? I mean I know love is supposed to transcend all, but is it reality that you stay with the person that is destroying you and your relationship? I don’t know. I wouldn’t stay if the person doesn’t want to get help. I mean Khloe covered up the lies for so long until the women started coming out talking about his affairs and his drug use publicly. She took the criticism.

She fought for her marriage. She left. She dated other people. She delayed and prayed that he would get help and hoped for a reconciliation. It didn’t happen. So, she filed for divorce. She still loved him. That love was reconfirmed when he overdosed at a brothel earlier this month. She flew to be by his side because she loved him and was still legally his wife.

She decided to fight for her marriage again and call off the divorce. Fight for the man that she loved. Fight for him as he geared up to fight his demons. The same demons that keep him trapped in a perpetual cycle of addiction. Lamar has a long road ahead of him and Khloe is fighting for her man, but she’s not naive. She’s in love. She wants her marriage. She wants that man. I just pray that this addiction doesn’t destroy her.

I will openly admit that I’m not as strong as Khloe. I grew up in a home with an addict and addiction is no place for a child. My dad is still an addict. I am an adult now and will fight for my dad, but a child should never have to endure that so I get where Khloe is coming from. I pray that she can stay the course and I pray that Lamar gets the help he needs.

Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian
Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian

And It’s Done

Mr. K and I are over. We just couldn’t make it work. While I believe he is an awesome man, I’ve accepted the fact that he just might not be the man for me. That was hard to do. But, I know you can’t put a square peg in a circle. I’m not sure which of us is the peg, but you get the gist right?

Compatibility. Differing points of view I guess. I don’t know. Probably my smart mouth or a combination of things.

Sigh.

It’s hard. It was sad. But, I’m thankful for the time shared. I told you that I believe that people come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime and it’s up to you to figure that out. Well, his was probably a reason. To remind me that I deserve to have a man who opens doors for me, pays for dates and respects me as a woman. I’m thankful for the lesson learned and I’m thankful that I met him.

I’m going on vacation Saturday and I will sit on the beach (with a big glass of wine) and reminisce about better days. It is what it is. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m optimistic.

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The Politics of Dating

My bestie and I were talking last week about our lives and where we thought we would be in comparison to where we are.  Obviously that allowed us to delve more into a discussion about gender roles and expectations with dating and then relationships.

Point of clarification here…neither one of us is claiming to be an expert in relationships or dating but we’ve recognized that dating has changed since we were last in that pond. Then my girl said something that blew my mind. She said, “I’m not ready for the politics of dating.”

I was like wow! I thought about it and she’s right. There are so many things women are told to not do when dating that it is kind of overwhelming. We need a manual. Things like:

  • He should definitely pay for the first date. 
    • I’m not against this, but what if we go out and I know that he sucks and I really don’t want to ever see him again? Shouldn’t I just split the bill and bid him a good life? Nope. Politics suggests that a man should pay regardless.
  • You shouldn’t tell a man what you truly want in the first three months of dating.
    • Why not? I mean if I want to get married and have 5 kids shouldn’t I tell him up front so that we don’t waste each other’s time? Nope. The politics suggest that you just date and not speak up in the first three months.
  • You shouldn’t ask a man where does he see the relationship going.
    • Again, why not? I mean at some point we have to have the discussion but when exactly is the right time? Six months of dating? What if I want to know now? Too bad. Politics suggest that women don’t rush this conversation and follow the lead of the man.

You see that it gets crazy right? I mean I would like to one day find a man that I can break all the rules with and he will just see and accept me for who I am. I can do the same with him. Let’s not live by a timetable, but let’s not create a fantasy of deception either. You want to kiss on the first date? Go head. You want to talk about your long-term goals with each other after a couple of weeks, do it. Your choice.

Let’s be grown up and live and love like we want too. Not by a set of rules and not being confined. Let’s stop allowing the politics of dating to interfere with what we want.

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Why Are You Single?

That was the question that I asked Mr. K last week. We were having a conversation and I said, “Why are you single?” I wanted to know. I had to know. You know that whole inquiring minds thing right?

No, it was more than that. This man is different. He opens doors. He pulls out my chair. He listens. He follows through when it comes to showing interest in things I’m doing whether personally or professionally. He converses about things he knows nothing about because I want to talk about them. He listens enthusiastically and makes me feel uber smart and appreciated.

So, you’re probably thinking, T, if you know all of this then why are you asking this man why he’s single? Right? Because I had to know. I mean he’s too good to be true. He’s normal. Normal is good. I mean he has dinner with his parents  every Wednesday. Sidebar: I think this is so cool.

His response? “Because I want to be.” He explained to me that he had two serious relationships that scarred him. He told me how he felt that he couldn’t be with a woman after his divorce because he paid an astronomical amount in child support. He said that he felt that he couldn’t date a woman while paying all that money. Wow! I was shocked by his honesty. But, appreciated that he shared that.

However, I wasn’t expecting his next question though…why are you single? I said because I’m a handful. He laughed. I told him that I was over playing a shrinking violet in someone’s orchestra when I was born to be the prima ballerina in my own ballet. I told him that I am all about compatibility and friendship first. I want to take my time experiencing being courted and making memories that matter and mean something in my life.

I explained that I am in no rush to do anything because I’ve been married before and I don’t want anymore children. I’m done. So for me it truly is me knowing and accepting the fact that the man who is supposed to be in my life will seek me out, court me, understand me, accept me and love me and my son with everything he has. He said I get it. I told him, “Remember when I told you that I want a man who knows I’m the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?” He said, “Yeah.” I replied, “That’s why I’m still single. No man has recognized that.”

Fast forward to today and I’m thinking, self-reflecting, self-evaluating and such and I realized that I was sorta right. I mean I think men recognized that I was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but they took it for granted that I would always be there shining for them. It sucks, but those experiences only made me stronger.

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Daddyless Daughters

That’s the term I learned by watching Ilyana Vanzant’s “Fix My Life with Karrueche Tran” interview. I’m a daddyless daughter. Ilyana told Karrueche that she “believes that when young women grow up without their father it breaks something in their heart that broken men will walk into”. Wow! I was literally paralyzed with a message that God had been sending me about my own life for the last month.

I have spoken openly about how my father wasn’t in my life. He was an abusive man. He was an alcoholic. But, he was my daddy. I loved him. He never hit me. He was just sick. But, what do you do when you realize that your daddy never loved you? You rebel. You find love in all the wrong places.

That was me. A virtual non-believer in love. Love was a lie. My life was a lie. How could a man love me when the man who helped create me didn’t? You run. You avoid love like the plague. You spend years building walls reinforced with steel girders that no one can break down.

Until one day you can’t run.

You have someone who sees you and wants you to stay. You see someone who says that I see all your brokenness and baggage and I want to help. I want to love you past your pain. I want to give you reason to smile. I want to make you know love and appreciate love from a man.

He says all the right things. He may even mean those things, but when you’re broken and your heart is broken, you can’t decipher fact from fiction. That the man standing there telling you all these things is in essence…broken too. So, you love. You give. You start letting those walls down because you believe that you can change him. Fix his issues. You two will be able to fix the broken parts of your life. You believe that it is not futile to endure the b.s. You believe that if you just love harder and smarter you can change him.

Until you realize that you can’t change him.

What do you do? You crawl, walk or run away from the pain. You pray, you submit to the spirit and you get therapy. You figure out what it is about you that keeps attracting broken men. What is it about you that has you thinking that you can save a man by loving him? You start to understand and repeat fervently the first stanza in the serenity prayer. You know the one that says:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Hoping and believing that it will get easier. Easier to fix you. Because let’s face it…you are the problem. You have to learn to forgive. Not for them, but for you. You have to accept that life isn’t what you wanted and dang it was hard, but you have to let go and forgive the man who left you a daddyless daughter. You have to know that you deserve it. You deserve peace.

You do.

You forgive the man who made your childhood a horror story. You forgive the man who put his hands on your mother. You forgive the man who walked out your life and never looked back. You forgive the man who left you. Not for him, but for you. So, you can grow. So you can change. So, you can stop allowing broken men to occupy time and space in your heart.

Because they don’t deserve it.

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