Podcast 06: Knowing When It’s Time To Let Go

knowing-time-let-go

I want to share my 6th podcast with you all (I’ve been on podcast hiatus for a few weeks contemplating the universe and it’s creation)… I believe that oftentimes we want a thing so badly, we’re willing to go through hell to get it. The fact that we waited so long, fought so hard, that we don’t want to let it go when we finally have it.  I’ve been that guy.

Have you ever been in relationship or dated someone for a time, only to find out you should have let them go long before you did? The signs were there, but you held on? Or maybe you had separation anxiety and you were too fearful of being single again.

In today’s podcast, I will talk about the obvious (and not-so-obvious) signs of separation anxiety. Also, when you should stay, when you should go, and coping with hanging on to a relationship past it’s expiration date.

Please click on the stream below to listen:
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https://www.spreaker.com/user/10276049/podcast-06-knowing

If you would like to direct download this podcast, please click play below.

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The Curious Case Of The Often Ignored Red Flag

ignored-red flags

That notorious red flag. We’ve all seen them. We’ve all ignored them, and later acted like we didn’t see a thing.

You know the role, we’ve all played it well. When we act like the person we’re dating, changed into a different person overnight—when they were the same person we discovered them to be a week into the dating process. They never changed, they were always the same. Those blinders are semi-permeable. We see what we want to see at times, to, “enjoy the ride,” or, “maybe it’s nothing.” When in fact that red flag is, everything.

Dating Is Already Difficult

While dating can be fun, the process of vetting can be exhausting. There are countless dating blogs about the misadventures of each dater, where they chronicle each experience they’ve had. So, the challenges are well documented.

So how do we still fall for the, “banana in the tailpipe?”

“The mind is the most skilled Photoshopper. It can rationalize anything and paint any picture of anyone, depending on our initial perspective. There is a psychological phenomenon known as the ‘confirmation bias,’ where we are inclined to discard all evidence that does not align with our views and only keep those that do. And with a potentially toxic person, they have worked to create a false positive impression to worm their way into your heart. So even if they do something bad or say something that’s off, you may think, ‘He’s only this way because he went through X.’ This is when ticking boxes of ‘Is he rude to the waiter?’ ‘Is he nice to his family members?’ doesn’t work. He could be all that — the sleekest toxic people are. But underlying it, if he says things like, ‘So they’ll treat us better the next time,’ or he has a mean mouth towards some people, and if you find yourself justifying his transactional mindset or meanness, then it’s time to pause and step back. Our brains work overtime to convince us of someone who’s not good for us, even when our guts know it.”

-Perpetua Neo

A Few Red Flags

Their communication is spotty…

…and inconsistent. Nothing is worse than rarely being able to reach someone. I’m not just talking about a phone call either. I”m talking about all forms of communication. Direct messenger, text message, email, smoke signal, and carrier pigeon are all unsuccessful.

This is why communication is so important. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be doing anything disrespectful or unsavory. They truly could be busy, or bad with prioritization—which is another issue (or red flag).

They love to challenge you

This is one of my pet peeves. Every-single-thing you say, or do… they have to interject, show they’re better, offer some opinion to the contrary, or confront you . This reeks of

insecurity, or an inferiority and/or superiority complex. Don’t be surprised that when you find an inferiority complex within, that there’s a superiority complex hidden beneath it. One compensates for the other.

This person cannot bear the idea of their inferiority, so they overcompensate in other areas that will test you. They feel as though they are superior (in compensation mode) when

they are actually not. An example would be… a man with a small penis would feel inferior to a well-endowed man. So he will overcompensate with an over-exuberance of oral sex. Another example would be someone who truly feels they are inferior to another race of men/women, and uses every opportunity to tear them down, so they can feel superior. This may occur when you give a compliment to someone in the race they feel superior to. These comments may come off as jokes, or back-handed, passive comments.

They want to test your boundaries constantly

This person wants to see how far they can get you.

  • You tell them you’re not ready for sex, and they still try to seduce you, or engage in sexual conversation.
  • You’re not ready for them to meet your family, or children and they make you feel bad about it with a “guilt-trip.”
  • From the beginning you told them certain days you are unavailable, and they still try to plan outings or meet-ups on those days.
  • You may not like talking about how much money you make, so they ask you, “what do you do you?”
  • They may not like your style of dress, or the way you wear your hair. Or, even the way your house is decorated. So they “low-key” offer suggestions.

Your intuition, foresight and “Spidey-Sense” kick-in

Then, your gut tells you…

  • “Nah… something ain’t right…”
  • Then you say to yourself…”he/she is cool, but I just don’t know about them…”
  • You feel this tingling in your head that says, “THIS AIN’T THE ONE!”
  • She complains a lot, but maybe she’s going through something.
  • I’m always pulling my wallet out when we spend time.
  • Why are all her photos from the neck-up?
  • They talk about themselves all the time
  • He/she is always talking about his/her ex.
  • They are a total narcissist. Always pointing the finger, always projecting.

So what do you do?

You date them anyway. When they mess up, or manage to arch your eyebrow, you justify their actions. You overlook the red flags that are presented to you on a silver platter. Later on down the road, maybe a few months or so, things go Topsy-turvy, and you’re now in reflection/hindsight mode.

My point… signs are always there. Although they are difficult to read at times, they are always there. Some people can detect red flags immediately because they literally look for them. Others do not look for them and get, “caught slipping.” Of course there are those that fall in the middle. They see the red flags, question them, and when the line is dropped in the water—they bite. Typically this is because they want it to work out so badly, you love them… or, you’ve had sex with this person, and their judgement is clouded. Even worse, they know there’s something wrong, and stay regardless out of desperation, or low self-esteem.

Choices Choices

We always have a choice. We can act on the red flag(s), or, we can can ignore them. If you choose to ignore them, be ready to reap the whirlwind. Remember, not all red flags are truly red flags. It’s best to communicate your concerns. If the person becomes defensive, that could be another red flag. Regardless, you need to voice your concerns. Never hesitate. If you do, it’s to your own detriment.

You may find out that the red flag truly was a false alarm. If you never bring it up, you will never know until it’s further down the line. Even worse, you may never find out, or you may find out when you’re in a relationship, or married to this person. Obviously this isn’t ideal.

Keep your eyes open, and happy discerning!

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Women Should Most Definitely Protect Men

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Recently, I asked a group of over 23,000 members (mostly women)… “Do you think you should protect your man/husband?” The major of responses were, “no..”  Or some round-about way of saying no such as, “That’s a man job.” I’ve asked this same question in other forums, and the answers were typically the same.
I’ve come to the conclusion that many women in the U.S. are socialized to believe that a man should protect her with no reciprocity. They are raised by their parents this way. Taught that a man should protect them, but not the other way around. Disney reinforced this idea with their films. From childhood, women have received over 20 plus years of subliminal messaging, telling them that men should to protect them. Whether it be a damsel in distress, knight in shining armor, rich man saves poor woman, Richard Gere saves Julia Roberts. The constant themes, and images of a man protecting a woman are abundant.

Various Form of Protection

  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Financial

When we hear the word, “protection” or “protect” we automatically default to physical protection. Hence why so many women believe it’s only a man’s job to do the protecting.

Imagery

Every day, I look at imagery. For my blog, my personal photography work, and just for leisure. When I look at images of, “love, relationships and dating…” I typically see the man with his arms around the woman. I usually do not see the woman with her arms around the man.

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Now, before you get all up in your feelings about that last statement, understand, I do not have a problem with these images and what they portray. In fact I love them. I also understand (for photography purposes) that men are typically on average, so they stand behind the woman with their arms around her.
On the other hand, these images show a man protecting a woman, which in turn would make any girl believe that is the way it should be. A woman consistently in the position of, “the protected.” I am here to tell you, a woman should protect her man/husband as well.

So How Do You Protect Him?

His reputation

We all have a reputation to uphold. Whenever someone tries to “come for him” or taint his name, a woman should help protect that reputation. Women can see things we can’t see… this also why your protection is essential.

Guard his feelings

This is a big one. From childhood, expression of feelings is something most men are just not taught. We were taught to be aggressive, told we shouldn’t cry, show no pain, or fear, and destroy your opponent. So, the one place we should feel comfortable expressing ourselves is with our woman/wife. I’ve been in many social settings (and groups) and when a man begins to express himself, he’s talked-over, talked-for, or simply told he’s complaining. I’ve seen women make jokes about men when they express themselves. Utter emasculation in public. If a man feels as though a woman doesn’t value his feelings, he will shut down and become emotionally unavailable.

Guard his heart…

…from the demons that would do him harm. I’m a firm believer in spirituality, negative forces, and negative energy. When I tell you, that the minute I’m on track, focused, and headed in the right direction, here comes a dozen different distractions, obstacles, and people to divert my attention.  My eyes and mind are always open, and aware of the negative people, and things that effect me in an adverse way.

  • A woman can see another woman who intends to hurt her man, and stop said woman dead in her tracks.
  • A woman could see something her man is doing where he could hurt himself, or his career (that’s protection).
  • Holding your man accountable for his actions is protection.

Protect him with your love

Surround him with it. Men don’t feel love from many places (especially black men)… we feel more hatred, fear and disdain than anything when we’re out in the world. The love we feel comes from family, and most of all our woman/wife. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I came home and felt lower than dirt from getting beat up all day (emotionally) and my woman would put her arms around me and protect me from the demons that were invading my mind telling me I couldn’t do it (give up). The love of my woman was like an extra barrier against those that would do me harm, or hurt me. Her love and support kept me focused and got me back on task when I felt inadequate.

Pray For Him

In an article about “4 Ways To Protect Your Husband… ”  Tiya Cunningham-Sumter says:

Another great way to protect your husband is through prayer. There is no greater protector than God. Pray for your husband and with your husband. His life, his choices and his spirit all need to be lifted up constantly. You can pray that in his role as husband he always feels loved and supported. Also ask God to provide you with all you need to protect your husband as well.

As you can see, you should protect your man. Stop letting society, the way your parents taught you, or girlfriends told you, dictate what’s right, and what’s needed in your relationship.

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Welcome To My Love, Dating & Relationships Podcast

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Hey everyone,

This will be short. I want to take some time out to thank everyone who has supported all my posts, blogs, vlogs.  Now, I want to introduce to you my new podcast about love, dating, and relationships.

I’m already on episode 03 Courtship vs. Dating.

If you’d like to hear the first two podcasts, follow the link below.

For those of you who have already read my blog on Courtship vs Dating, I expound on the subject even more on 3.26.18

Please click the link below, and then click the follow button on the home page to be notified whenever a new podcast is released. You can follow with Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

If you have any questions that you’d like to be addressed on the show, please submit them to:
relationshipsetcetera.com/contact

Subject: JustLsn Podcast

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Every Man Has A Label By Day 31

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I recently posted about the dating label that most men put on women by the 31st day of the month. In today’s post I will be depicting the various labels that women put on men by the 31st day of the month.  And yes… women do it too.

It is also not uncommon for a woman to have all these men in the lineup at the same time (each one carrying a unique label), especially if she’s single.

 

A Label Can Suck, But Not All Labels Are Created Equal

All men wear a label (whether we know it or not). Some women might be more intentional with their labeling—but they are very similar (and subtle) to men in how they go about applying the status they give each man. Women might apply a certain label to a man that defines what he does [for] her. In other words, if he’s someone who pays her bills, he could be labeled, “money man.”

 

Your man (publicly declared)man-label-day-31

Pretty self explanatory. Pretty much the hubby or boyfriend. Your man is the most well-rounded, and balanced man in your circle. He is the one you can do most things with….from great sex, to going out, or just sitting down having a great conversation. He is the one you share your most intimate moments with. The one you “love” and accept no matter what. Your man can just be himself because he is a constant fixture in your life. He doesn’t question his label because you make him a priority.

Your man does everything. He fills up your gas tank, cooks for you, rubs your feet after a long day at work, listens to you ramble aimlessly about (anything)—he even lets you eat off his plate.

 

Sex man

A.K.A. “Mr. Fulfillment!” S.K.A. “The Plumber.” Over a period of time, if your man is not putting out, doesn’t have time, or he isn’t very good in bed…here comes sex man. In many cases, the label “sex man” can be had by a random man you met. The sexual chemistry is so strong, you yield to it constantly, and the sexual excursions became a regular occurrence. Sex man is Mr. pleasure…you go to see him late at night..or sometimes early in the day. Sex with him is intense and spontaneous…he probably does all of the things that your man won’t do, or hits all the spots that your man can’t seem to find. He is a fantasy fulfilled… the man that has the equipment to get you off. Sex man usually doesn’t have the best personality, or even the best character. He only has one job…

lay that pipe.

Some women would probably believe that any man would want this label (right?)…. wrong. A man that is truly looking for a real relationship would not want to be limited to sex.

 

Bill Man

every-man-label-day-31The provider. Sometimes [your man], and [sex man] are broke-ass men.  Or, they work jobs that don’t make them enough money to satisfy your craving for material objects, movies, trips, car payments, bills, whatever. Money has all that covered. You need a bill paid? Call bill man. Car about to be repossessed? Call bill man. Don’t want to spend your own money? Do I really need to say it again?

You typically tease money man…making him think that you will give him some, but you never do…and if you do…you don’t let him smash… you (just might) let him taste it, that’s about it. Money man disillusions himself to think that one day he will become, [your man]. In some cases, money man knows all about your (real) man and has mass amounts of envy for him. Mm is typically not the most attractive of the 5 men listed. Having low self esteem is very common. Simply put, he enjoys your company, and/or the sex you’re willing to give him in exchange for goods…. and no, I’m not making this up.

 

Movie Man

Movie man wants everything that sex man, money man, and your man have, but doesn’t have the resolute to step up and take it. Instead he thinks of it constantly…every now and then bringing it up—and at that point you quickly change subjects. This man is cool to go out with.. you can eat and laugh with him.. or, go to a movie with him. Nights are short with this man because you very rarely go into his house, or sit and talk (that’s your man and friend man job).  It’s usually you sitting on his couch waiting for him to get ready to go out, or, you meeting him somewhere to hang out. This man also is aware of [your man] but has no idea about money man, sex man and friend man.

If you just so happen to be single and have a movie man, you don’t take him seriously, he’s a stop gap, someone you spend aimless time with until you meet the man you really want.

 

Just A Friend

This is the man that you talk-to about all the above men. He knows it all. From your indiscretions, to your infidelity. You can tell him these things because you don’t see him as your man, (you’ve friend-zoned him) nor will you ever.  He has the best conversation—better then everyone else.  He keeps your best kept secret locked away, and can even be a great alibi if your man knows about him. Perhaps at one point friend man was  go out to eat/movie man…but you just didn’t see him in a more advanced role, so…he ended up being friend man.

You may actually see friend man a little like you see sex man, but he is not as attractive to you sexually. You also don’t want to violate your friendship, so you keep things on the level they are. Friend man wants everything your man has. He will bring it up from time to time… but you always tell him, “I don’t see you that way.” Friend man typically has all the qualities you want in a man but for some reason you don’t pursue anything further. Know one knows why but you, (and probably your girlfriends).

He might be lacking in a critical area, or maybe you love your man so much you can’t leave him. This is why you have so many other different types of men. Friend man either hates your man with a passion, or he tolerates him—and really doesn’t care about the others, because he sees himself as better then them. Friend man just sits there and waits for the opportunity to pounce when you and your man break up. He is the comforter when your man is acting like an ass or you get into an argument. He is in all honesty…number two on the depth chart, waiting to be number one.

 

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Not Even Superman Texts Faster Than A Pissed-off Girlfriend

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So…. yeah about that pissed off girlfriend… who texts so fast that you can’t even get one text out before she’s already sent 5. And I when I say 5… I mean 5 loooong texts. You know the ones… your cell phone provider can’t handle the length so they break them up into different texts while you’re still trying to compose one!

Yeah, I’ve been that guy… I’m a generally fast texter, but not one male on the planet earth, matches the raw texting speed of a pissed off girlfriend (or wife). It’s like, in that moment, nothing else matters to her. It’s gets so bad you just stop responding and wait for that brief pause, so you can press send on your 1 measly text.

I’ve gotten so frustrated, that I just put my phone down and let the notifications go off. At that moment when they stop… you pick your phone up, and another one comes through (face palm). So… most men know, when this happens, you have seriously f’d-up. So what’s your next move? You send back a text with 10 words, vs. the 10,000 she sent—and she responds…”that’s all you have to say?”

At that very moment, you have no words… just a blank stare.

Homer-Blank Stare

You start to type in your response, and you stop, read what you typed, and delete it. Then, you start again, stop, and delete it. This redundant process goes on for the next 15 minutes. No sent text, no reply, no rebuttal. If you do happen to press send, you’ve reviewed what you typed like the editor of a world famous magazine.

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no dammit, it’s your girlfriend trying to get her point across.

My advice?

Let her.

Woman to Woman

Let’s have a talk shall we? As I’ve stated in prior posts, I’m in a state of transition..that from married to single. It’s been a long time since I was single and my first time as a single parent trying to have a co-parenting relationship. I will always love my ex for it was he who gave me our son, but I have to say something… this crap gets hard sometimes!

Not that I’m looking to fix a flat tire or repair my marriage, but co-parenting when we can’t seem to act like adults is hard as hell. Yep, I said “we” purposely. I’m not going to sit here and let you believe that I’ve got this all figured out and I’m the best person when it comes to disengaging my personal animosities and trying to co-parent effectively. I don’t.

Most of the time it is trial and error. Many errors, some good things and a lot of okay things happen. I think letting go of old wounds from our marriage is what is contributing to the bad head space we can find ourselves in. Why? Because we’re both headstrong individuals who have to be right. We both want to have the last word. We both hope that we don’t screw up our son.

Our son lives with his dad 50% of the time and with me 50% of the time. His needs come first. Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we put his needs first. Yes, he is six and yes he is aware that his mommy and daddy will not live together anymore. But, more than that he realizes that the two people who gave him life love him more than we ever thought possible.

The reason why I am calling this post “Woman to Woman” is because I needed to get something off my chest. If you are a woman dating my ex and plan on being around there are some things you should know. A list of how to deal with me and my desire to raise an incredibly wonderful little boy in two separate homes. Here you go:

  1. Never, ever listen to us argue. You see if my ex should get reckless and try to prove to you that I’m crazy and hold a personal conversation on the phone with me while you are riding in his car, be woman enough to tell him that it’s not acceptable. What we argue about should never concern you in your preliminary role.
  2. Just because I don’t know you doesn’t mean that I don’t do my research. I’m a protective mama cub. I only have one child and he means more to me than anything in my life. That being said who you are (your first and last name) matter to me.
  3. I don’t want him back. Nope, I don’t. I love my ex because he and I were together so long. We made memories. Some good, some bad, but in the end the greatest thing we ever did was have our son. I’m not trying to do it again. No matter what you hear.
  4. Understand that no one will ever take my place. Not that I think you believe that, but my ex said that to me. He actually said, “No one can ever take your place as our son’s mother.” Dude, I know this. I still have the incision where he was taken from me five weeks early. There is never a replacement for the original. I’m his mommy.
  5. What happens in my home is my business and vice versa. Unless my son volunteers information, I will never, ever question him about what occurs at his father’s house. It’s none of my business unless it affects his well-being. That being said, very little will ever affect his well-being (because his dad adores him) so I don’t care what happens at daddy’s house as long as he is being loved, fed, clothed and nurtured in the best way possible.
  6. Being a part of his dad’s life long term will mean that you will have to meet me. Understand that I bear no ill will or animosity towards you. I am a mother. I am a woman and I believe in the unity of all women. I encourage us to be civil and make the transition for my child seamless and positive. But, understand that you will have to do your part…know and accept that I will always want to do what is in the best interest of my son. No one is more qualified to make important decisions than his dad and I. No one.

One of the greatest things his dad did after we split was rush over to my house because our son had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop. It was almost 20 minutes of blood gushing and him screaming. His dad called and he screamed, “I want my daddy”. His dad was in a movie and left and said, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” You know what? He was. Not because of me, but because his son needed him. That was pretty awesome and it made me realize one thing…his dad will move mountains for him and for that I am eternally thankful.

I am new to this co-parenting thing and no I didn’t expect to have it figured out, but I’m trying. His dad and I make a lot of stupid mistakes (mainly because we’re pig-headed) but we are trying. We will someday get this right, but I want the temporary (or permanent) women to know that there is no reason to be less than a woman when attaching yourself to the foolishness that may be us. We love our son and we will get it right (hopefully sooner rather than later) someday.

single-mothers

By Faith on Soar

My latest short story was published on one of my favorite websites. I originally wrote it to end the way I wrote it, but the response to write a second part has been overwhelming. I am extremely happy that people like it and they want to know what happens next. Please read it and give me your feedback.

It’s called By Faith and you can check it out here

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Guess Who Got Published on MBB?

Happy Friday Folks!

If you haven’t heard, I was honored to get an article published on one of my favorite blogs…MyBrownBaby (yep, one word). MyBrownBaby is an incredible blog started by Denene Millner who states that “MyBrownBaby isn’t about pointing fingers at or putting down white moms. It’s about helping black moms. It’s also about providing a service for those who need the information but can’t find it or who just want someone to commiserate with them—help them sort through the beautiful struggle that comes with being black parents in America.” You love it right?

It’s a great blog with a wealth of information, articles, tips and stories from both men and women about children. I have been following along for the last couple of years. So, in light of #domesticviolenceawareness I decided to share my story in hopes of getting it published and bringing home what I’ve been sharing all month with you.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic Violence is a topic that is close to my heart. I’ve shared more with you than I’ve shared with my own family. (I guess you guys/gals are my family). This writing has been therapeutic for me and I’ve grown through it. Which is incredibly helpful. Well, I decided to submit an article for publication earlier this month and I got notified on Wednesday that it was accepted and went live. I am overjoyed and I hope you have a chance to check out my latest piece and to subscribe to this incredible blog!

Click here for my post –  Suffer the Little Children: The Effects of Domestic Violence on Kids

Be blessed loves!

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Knowing Your Worth

The sounds of screams, fists flying, furniture breaking and blood on clothing; are all vivid images from my childhood that still haunt me to this day. My mother left. Many women don’t. Domestic violence is not always physical. It can take many forms including sexual, emotional, verbal and psychological. It’s all about power and control. It has lasting effects.

I read this article last month on My Brown Baby entitled “#WhyIStayed: Teaching our Daughters & Sons How to Love Sans Violence” and was moved to write about this topic in October. Why? Because October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month and we need to stop blaming the victims for domestic violence and encourage them to get help and get out of destructive situations.

So, how did domestic violence affect me after witnessing it? I suffered all forms of domestic violence at one point in my life with the exception of physical, but it was just as painful.  Domestic violence affected my self-esteem and made me vulnerable and susceptible to unhealthy situations and relationships. You know the kinds of relationships where you think your first name is B*tch? How about the relationships where you’re being yelled at constantly with no regard to your feelings? How about the relationships where you feel that you’re just not good enough because he likes skinny women and I’m too thick for him? How about the relationship where he forced himself on you?

Domestic violence is serious. I suffered the affects for many years. Silently. As confident as I was on the outside, I was a wreck on the inside. I thought no one cared or that it was “my cross to bear”. Suffering alone and in silence strips you of your voice. You begin to doubt yourself and realize that maybe just maybe you deserved all those bad words or things that have happened to you. But, you don’t.

Domestic violence is simply about power and control. Hurt people hurt people. You can’t change someone. You have to love you first. Loving you is the fundamental point of everything we do in life. If you can’t love you, how can you expect someone else to love you? Truth? You can’t.

You can’t change someone.  You can’t heal a broken person when you in fact are broken. I know. I tried. I failed. All I earned was a broken, battered, abused heart and spirit. So, what do you do? You focus on you. Till this day, the best line I ever heard was from the comedian; Katt Williams when he says “B*tch, it’s called self-esteem! It’s the esteem of your mother*cking self. How the f*ck can I f*ck up how you feel about you…?” Vulgar and crude…Yes. But, it’s accurate and on point nonetheless.

That sketch reminded me that I’m the only one who can control how I feel about myself. I stopped waiting on others to validate me or my existence. I accepted who I am and I love me first. Think of it this way…when you fly they always instruct you in an emergency situation if the oxygen masks should deploy that you secure your mask first before helping someone else. Why? Because you can’t help someone else if you die. Help yourself first.