Tag Archives: love

“Happy Valentine’s Day”

14 Feb

It is Valentine’s Day again and even though I once scoffed at the idea of another financially driven holiday that we have been brainwashed to believe we must partake in, the notion of such has grown on me. To have one day dedicated to love is smart. Especially since amidst the chaos, a lot of us forget how pivotal love is, why not set aside a day to encourage you to take time and remember?

I hope all of you have a Valentine’s Day filled with tons of love =) And here’s a little something to help with that!

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“Ex-Factor”

23 Aug

I know I fell short of your expectations. But as my mother always tells me, “when you put your expectations on someone else, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed.” I couldn’t give you what you wanted and although you are a great man it was as much your fault as it was mine.
You kept pulling for me to be more and different, like I wasn’t enough as I was. So I rebelled at first and then slowly started to withdraw in order to protect myself. I just couldn’t bring myself to give my best to someone who didn’t see the best in me.
Sure I wasn’t ready to embrace your world, but what about who I was? What I actually did possess versus all that I was missing. I needed your praise as much as your critical eye.
I do hope that you find love, but first you may want to look into what love truly is, and what it definitely is not. How being a responsible steward of it can lead you to great reward, but poor handling will only lead to loss. I’m sure you’ll get there, but I won’t be standing by you to witness it because in your absence I gave myself fully to love and where you lost, I truly gained…

“The Blame Game”

15 Aug
Jungle Fever

Image via Wikipedia

“You Black women have issues. That’s why I’m gonna start dating women from another race!”

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well I’ve actually heard that on a few occasions and each time my response is laughter followed by a barrage of questions (due to my naturally inquisitive nature).

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the frustration. Us women feel it too at times, but the threat of dating outside of your race as a solution to your “problem” just seems ludicrous to me. Well first, because if certain members of my family hadn’t made the choice to date/marry outside of their race, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be short some family members and some of my friends wouldn’t exist. So the statement alone doesn’t present a threat to me. It also doesn’t upset me that these men want to date interracially, I am more upset at their immaturity. Boys blame their issues on others, not men. So essentially these guys are throwing their toys down and stomping off because they cannot get their way.  Instead of looking at the specific situation and individuals involved, and taking accountability for the role they played in their sour circumstance, they would rather play the blame game.

THAT’S THE ISSUE!

Successful relationships are made up of two mature adults. You can date anyone from any race and at the end of the day you would run into the same issue because the problem doesn’t lie with the women, it lies within you and possibly your choices (because it is a possibility that the “women” you are choosing may be the problem). Work on that first, and you’d probably increase your success rate.

“Daughters”

12 Aug

I have heard a lot of men say that they can tell when a woman has been raised with a father in the home. What I’ve realized is that fathers need to be more than just present, more than just a testosterone filled force that looms around the household as an intimidating figure that threatens potential suitors in between going to work and paying the bills.

Fathers need to be active in their daughters’ lives. Just like fathers are supposed to (stereotypically) play baseball with their sons in the backyard, men need to engage with their daughters too and not just for the proclamation of having a “daddy’s girl”, but because women need a strong foundation in their primary male relationship in order to function socially.

A father needs to show his daughter love and affection so that she won’t crave it. So that she won’t fall for the first guy that gives her a compliment. A father should be so encouraging and affirming that the this girl already knows the woman she is destined to be.  A father should be an example of what a man should be in terms of responsibilities yes, but more in the way he interacts with the world. How does he treat women? Other people? How does he address and resolve challenges? Is he even-tempered or highly reactive?

A father can essentially keep his daughter from being screwed (whatever way you take this statement). He can be the first person she learns to stand up to, so that defending her beliefs or demanding the respect she deserves from other men in the world won’t be a foreign concept. Women have minimal issues standing up to other women. When she is denied the salary increase she deserves, when the boss asks her how much she wants the promotion, as he places his hand on her knee, a woman needs to know how to handle the situation. Who better for the role of teacher, than a father.

What I find is that fathers at times feel that with a daughter, their role is limited. That as long as he keeps his daughter “off the pole (as Chris Rock puts it)” he’s been successful. As long as she doesn’t end up a teen pregnancy statistic or with some deadbeat thug, his job is done, but what these father’s don’t realize that is there are countless educated, worldly successful women who are broken and clueless. Broken because they don’t know their true value, never having been validated by the man who gave them life. Clueless when it comes to how to manage healthy relationships with men because they’ve spent their lives simply “dealing” with men; mastering the skillful art of obedience and invisibility. Sure these women are not strippers, but these women are not whole. And the only one who can heal the issue is a father.

“Lovers and Friends”

24 Jul

One of my favorite books is Friends and Lovers which I read when I was 19, ironically with the man who would serve in those dual roles for me (although I had no idea at the time). I’ve gone through the hills and valleys of relationships over the years since him, and I realize one imperative factor in successful relationships is friendship. It’s the necessary ingredient for true love, selflessness-the foundation of respect.

It took me living, “loving” and discarding or being discarded while carelessly casting aside their feelings or wallowing in mine, to realize that friendship is what was missing-the contributor to the demise of another “love” gone by.

Love and friendship are not mutually exclusive (except, perhaps by links of DNA). One cannot exist without the other, especially in romantic relationships.

Friendship is what inspires the giving that drives the reciprocity which starts the fire that makes love grow. It makes you second guess your words and actions as to not intentionally cause harm. It aids you in loving who the person is and appreciating your differences, instead of trying to change them. It enables you to open up when you are broken and cling to the reasons you love them as opposed to searching for and giving attention to why you don’t. Friendship reinforces the fight to save the relationship when everything (and sometimes, everyone) is telling you to throw in the towel.

In my missteps, I realize I forgot the importance of friendship between me and the men I called myself “loving”. I was living in fast forward mode attempting to achieve greatness without the greatest component. I was attempting to paint a canvas without paint, create a song without music, write a love story without paper-I was setting myself up to fail. I know that now, and while developing a friendship takes time and patience, which at times seem to be in limited supply, I want the masterpiece. If friendship is essential for me to live out my love story, I am willing to put in the effort in order to gain the greatest reward.

The Problem With Christians…

13 Jul

Knowing that you’re part of a group that is demonized daily is hard, but pointing a finger at the very group you belong to is even harder.

I belong to an online forum for free-thinking which encourages people to share ideas regardless of your lifestyle preferences, choices, ethnicity, religious beliefs etc. Despite the random posting of some, it does provide the opportunity to network with others and actually dissect some pressing issues within generational peer groups. This week I was really disappointed when a verbal war of words culminated in a (outspoken) Christian referring to an (equally outspoken) Atheist as one of “satan’s warriors”.

Christians like this make it challenging for Christians like me. I automatically get thrown into a group including judgmental sensationalists whenever I proudly proclaim my faith in a group of mixed religious groups. What it seems that a lot of Christians are missing is that the God we believe in, teaches love above all else. Some of us either missed that commandment (which is virtually impossible) or we have a twisted way of showing we love others. The requirement to love others was not intended to be one in which we decide if the other is worthy first. It is something that we are supposed to just give

Now I could be wrong, but last I checked calling someone “satan’s warrior” was not a loving phrase at all. And while it may be tempting to lash out when defending your beliefs, those who fall victim to such are just further validating why people dislike and shy away from Christians in the first place: We are an exclusionary group of judgemental scripture quoters, set on condemning people to hell. That is not who I am. And ironically enough many of my peers who also proudly proclaim to be Christian don’t base their faith in such ludicrous principles.

As Christians we have to do better. Love first. You’d be surprised with how far that alone can get you in your spiritual relationship with God and your relationship with others.

Love’s Greatest Killer

8 Jul
love pencil

Image by yanni via Flickr

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”— Anaïs Nin
 
Anais Nin was right. For some time fear has affected my ability to love, the way I love, who I love, sometimes even how long I love them (if the “love” was ever really there to begin with). I’ve been able to acknowledge this personal truth for some time and have analyzed the concept to death with some resolve. I have been able to attribute it (to some degree) to my discomfort with the societal paradigms that dictate how my life should be lived, rarely taking into account who I truly am. I don’t think I am alone in this place, but I do find myself isolated at times when I ask the questions that challenge the status quo.
What I have chosen to do in order to address this issue is to take time and understand myself, what I need and value. What does love look and feel like to me? This is imperative because sometimes the world seems like it is working overtime to cheapen what love truly is and reduce it to a symbol that was recovered from a mine, or roses that were plucked to die, or sex which can be a manifestation of love, but in modern times rarely is discussed as such. They reduce love to a stream of actions and words and less of a way of being which has succeeded in confusing people (sometimes I am one of them).
 Women are running around believing that a man will buy them a house if they love them or a ring resembling a small ice-cube, while men are convincing themselves that because she doesn’t offer to give massages or cook for him or give him sex on a regular, she doesn’t love him. To me, love is very personal. So much so that it cannot be defined by some global standard of tokens, talismans, and superficial expressions. Love is a body of emotions that shapes and defines me, so who I open myself up to is important. Not just what they represent or the lifestyle they can afford me, but who they are inside. Hence the anxiety. We are anxious because we have challenges being true to our own personal definitions of love. Perhaps we don’t know ourselves enough to uncover this personal definition, or maybe we know, and are too afraid of judgement to personify that truth because it is in opposition to what we have been socialized to believe.
What I know is that I am on the one who has to walk the steps of this woman I have become, and I have to live out the repercussions of the decisions that I make, so it seem only wise to be truly responsible and accountable for the life that I live as well as the love I give and receive. Doing so, will enable me to be true to myself which in many cases will diminish the fear overtime because true fear should come in living a life based on other’s wishes, and not my own.  
 

Challenge Yourself to Love Without Boundaries

13 Jun

I have gay friends and family whom I adore and not because they make great shopping buddies or love to gossip, that’s superficial. I adore them because they are great people and my love for them overcomes temptations of judgment.

Our obsession with labels often interferes with our purpose in life which is to love others and be the manifestations of that love even when people are trying their damnedest to convince us of otherwise. Who a person chooses to love shouldn’t determine your ability to love them. What if someone chose to love you based on one dimension of yourself? Depending on the dimension they chose, you could stand the risk of being loved less, or worse, not loved at all.

Embrace the challenge of casting aside preconceived ideas of a person based on a label and all assumptions pertaining to and choose to love them because they are people and everyone deserves respect and love. If you ever find the challenge hard, project yourself into their place.

“First Love”

5 Jun
Love heart uidaodjsdsew

Image via Wikipedia

We have the responsibility to love each other with the utmost level of integrity, kindness, respect, and appreciation. The irony is that most of us lack the necessary maturity when those first loves come into our lives. Due to this we often forget that this person we are on this journey with is sharing in an experience that is life defining, and somehow we mistakenly betray their trust in the purity of this experience. We only get one first. Wouldn’t you rather someone’s first taste be that of sweet as opposed to bitter?

A first love will always have a piece of your heart by default. Trying to fight against this is a war we cannot win. A first love becomes a barometer for all future loves, both good and bad.

I’ve tried for many years to replace my first love and although I found some seat-fillers, he couldn’t be replaced. Primarily on positioning alone, he was my first. I will only have one first. He was a great first. And herein lies the rub-having a great first can be a tough act to follow. Like so many of my cohorts, friends, and enemies, I have spent years chasing and/or attempting to duplicate the feelings that I experienced with my first love. The question is: can you really achieve that feeling again with someone who has a different heart and persona? We are unique individuals who embody a specific physical, chemical, mental and emotional makeup that define who we are. So can we fairly expect to achieve the same feelings we had with and for a first love with another person? I’m thinking, no.

So truthfully we never really do get over out first love. You simply put them in a cavern of your heart and make room for a second and subsequent loves. You can desire to have a great love with a new person which is achievable, but never again actually be the first love. In the end it may mirror the emotional bond and experience, but never duplicate and therefore will not be replaced.

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