A Ding in My Heart…

What happens when a closed heart opens up?

I wonder how many single people are out there asking, “where in the fudge is my happily ever after?”

How do you resist the temptation to pimp slap people who ask

– Why are you still single?

– What’s wrong with you?

– When are you getting married?

Why does it hurt so bad? Why do I feel so sad?

When will they finally accept that I am human too?

break_up_011

Yikes!!

All of that randomness just poured out but here is the point -> Some days, being single is the best thing in the world.  Some days, it just flat out sucks!! Ironically, the day you break up with the person you thought you were building a future with, is one of those days when it really sucks.

**warning: don’t read too much into my writing, some days i write based on (real and imagined) emotions…

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Success Secret #43: I’m becoming the person I want to be…

This may sound strange for some but for many, you are doing the victory dance with me!

For so many years, I struggled with liking me.  I struggled with accepting the person that I am because I thought I wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t the critiques or comments from others that created my insecurities but my own negative self talk.  I would look around at other people and pick parts of their lives that I thought should fit into mine.

If I had a man like him, I would be happy.

If my hair looked like that, I would be happy.

If I lived in a house like that, I would be happy.

If I could buy all the clothes I want, I would would be happy.

If I drove that car, I would be happy.

If I had more money, my life would be perfect.

I wish I could tell you how many years, I spent on this mental rollercoaster of internal anxiety.  It was exhausting!  I was never satisfied because all I could see in my life was all the things that needed fixing.

This part is going to sound really strange… I was on a call recently and the moderator asked the group how they dealt with insecurities and inadequacies.  I paused for a moment to gather my thoughts in case I was selected to speak and it hit me…

I got over it! [insert another victory dance]

I quit reading all the self help blogs, articles and books.  I quit looking for answers to my “problems” because I realized that I wasn’t broken.  We have this misconception that life is supposed to be perfect and that everyone is supposed to like us and that all things are supposed to be great all of the time but they aren’t and they never will be.  We see every problem in our lives as an obstacle to our happiness instead of a part of the process.

Some people think I’m arrogant or stuck up because I don’t walk around broken and defeated.  They think I think I’m all of that because I walk with my head held high, shoulders back and confidently placing one six inch stiletto clad foot ahead of the next.  It’s not because my life is perfect or because I have everything figured out.  I decided to get over myself and stop dwelling in my deficiencies.

All that I am not makes me all that I am…

Somewhere along the journey I developed a relationship with God and in every place where I feel weak, inadequate, insecure or beat down; he has allowed me to lean on him and draw from his strength.  I no longer feel like I need the STUFF to make me happy.  I don’t need the approval of other people to validate my decisions.  My happy place is simply doing good for others, being good to myself and seeing the good all around me.  I don’t see my life as an incomplete puzzle that’s always missing the final piece to become complete.  My life is more like a never ending game of Jenga – it has its high moments where all the pieces come together and the low moments where all the pieces crumble – and I’m ok with both.

I will never arrive…

In the title I declared that I am BECOMING the person I want to be because I realized that perfection is not attainable.  All of the pieces won’t ever fit neatly together.  Social media has distorted our concept of happiness because we spend so much time looking at the highlight reels from other people’s lives through their tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram pictures until we forget that there is actually life to be lived.  Outside the few moments captured in virtual time, there are the real everyday ebbs and flows, hills and valleys of life and you can’t think that one day its all going to be smooth sailing because it won’t. In my mind, the arrival at perfect peace is death and I’m in no hurry to get there.

key-to-happiness

I found the keys to my happiness.

  1. My relationship with God.  I can do all things through Him when I am in line with His will.  I surrendered my life to be a living testimony of God’s ability to do miraculous things.  I try to focus on asking for nothing but wanting to give everything.
  2. I learned to love unconditionally.  I stopped wanting people to be anything other than who they are.  Not everyone has a place in my life.  I can love some people up close but some have to be loved from afar but I refuse to allow any negative feelings about anyone to dwell in my spirit.  I forgave everyone who has hurt me, especially those who never apologized.
  3. I realized that being the person I wanted to be was simply a matter of doing the things that she would do… 

I hope and pray that you find your keys too!

Order your copy of Success Secrets for the Young and Fabulous today.  It features profiles of nine professional young adults who share how they found their keys to success.  Available on Amazon.com

Is there a future in being a side chick?

Once again, I know the immediate answer is “no” but there has to be or there wouldn’t be so many of them.

Men and women have been unfaithful since the beginning of time but lately, I have wondered what is the benefit to being the chick on the side… I mean, how do you feel on holidays when you can’t be with your boo thang or when he has to rush home to go to bed with his wife? And if he isn’t doing those things, don’t you kinda wonder if he would be that disrespectful to you if you were the “main attraction” one day?

*closes eyes, covers ears*

When I was younger, I had relations with a married man.  It really was not all that it seems to be cracked up to be today.  I don’t know if I missed out on the benefit package but I *insert shocked face* consider myself a winner, a prize and knowing that MY man was going home to someone else, that her bills were paid and she was going to the holiday dinners and taking the family pics did not sit well with me… Needless to say, I was a salty side piece.

Even recently, I have had men who I know are in relationships approach me about being their side dish.  The first thing that comes to my mind is, “what is it about ME that makes YOU think I would settle for SECOND place?” Like seriously, I try to go all out in whatever I do and I can admit that I don’t always succeed but I don’t think I have ever attempted something thinking that I WANT to be second place.

Ok, enough of me… what is up with these chicks who WANT to be side chicks, who look for married or attached men?black and married with kids

Here’s the question I want to ask side chicks… Do you love yourself enough to trust and believe that you deserve ALL of the love that a man has to offer a woman? Can you unequivocally stand and say that you would wait a lifetime for a love to call your own or is the fear of not having anyone driving you into the arms of someone else’s man?

I don’t have the answers, but I have a lot of questions…

And, yes! We want to hear from the guys… What makes it ok to cheat on the woman who you supposedly love enough to commit to with a woman who you supposedly have no feelings for?  Isn’t it kinda arrogant to assume you deserve both and cowardly to not stand up and tell you main squeeze that you’re getting some juice on the side?

Should you commit to someone who doesn’t want a commitment?

I know that sounds crazy…

The obvious answer is, heck no!

But.. (there’s always a but when we are trying to justify doing the illogical)…

What if you are seeing someone who says they don’t want a commitment but you think they are perfect for you? Everything about them crosses off on your ideal mate list EXCEPT they don’t want to be in a relationship.

When you are together, you do the things couples do.  You don’t THINK they are seeing anyone else but of course being in an uncommitted committed relationship prevents you from actually asking.  You even speak couple language – we, us, ours…

I mean when you consider all of that you would be crazy not to try to lock this person down.  Why keep searching when you’ve found your person? Right???

WRONG!!

uncommited

One of the biggest mistakes people make in relationships is falling in love with potential.  It’s not always the potential of what a person could become professionally but the potential of a relationship.  I have seen it so many times… A person thinks if they keep doing all the right things then eventually the other person will change their mind and decide to settle down.

Now you know that I am a self-proclaimed relationship expert so don’t take my advice and go break up with your boo thang but I would encourage you to consider what I am about to say…

If you are with someone and they tell you that they don’t want to commit… Believe them!

If you want to stay with them and do all the things that a committed person does with a person who isn’t committed to you, do it without expecting them to change.

If your relationship clock is ticking and you think you need to settle down right now, go find you someone who wants to settle down now too.  I know that means leaving your comfortable good thang but if having a commitment is that important to you, why are you leaving your future in the hands of someone who obviously doesn’t want the same thing as you?

Why Me???

He seems too good to be true… Like the kind of guy that women don’t think exist any more and here we are…

Doing the things that couples do, saying the things that couples say…

I look online and see so many women longing for what I have right before me yet they don’t think he exists…

But here HE is!

Of course, I should be jumping for joy.  I should be elated that he’s here with me but…

The looming question that I want to ask is… “Why me??”

Not to sound neurotic or crazy or mildly (definitely not extremely) insane but you know how you just want to know how out of the millions of choices… How did he pick me out of all of those choices?

whyme

He loves me… He loves me not…

Stock Photo of a Hand Picking daisy Petals

I remember playing that game when I was younger… How sad that so many of us are still plucking flower petals trying to figure out if the object of our desires shares the sentiment…

Thankful for a spirit of discernment, the common sense to learn lessons after the experience and the ability to love myself enough not to love until it hurts; I have a few ways to help you figure out if he/she loves you (or not):

  1. Love is a choice.  Yeah, I know that for most of us we have been conditioned to believe that love is an emotion and it is but when trying to determine whether someone loves you or not.  Look at the choices they make when it comes to you.  You may have heard this story before but… I dated a guy and he told me, pretty bluntly, that he didn’t want to have to consider me when making decisions about his future.  At first, I was broken-hearted but I actually liberated me from my flower plucking.  Why stay with someone who wants to make decisions independent of you?  There will always be someone better in bed, prettier, richer, etc and if you’re with someone (or if you are) holding out for something better… That can’t be love, not a love you want to build a future around.
  2. Love does not hurt.  If you find yourself in a constant state of pain over lies, betrayal, mistrust or any other issues; its not love.  Its probably a codependency or manifestation of some type of fear – such as being alone, not having the person in your life, etc.  Love isn’t supposed to hurt – all the time.  Every relationship has its ebbs and flows but if you’re always in the valley picking flowers and hoping for a sign, gather your strength and climb the mountain of self love.
  3. Love is not a secret.  I used  to love “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr! Let me tell you, that was my jam.  However, as I have gotten older and actually listened to the words and reflected on all my secret ‘loves’… Let’s just say, if it has to be a secret, its not love because the first question is “Who are you hiding from?” then “What are we afraid of?” As a young one, I loved the song because I had a secret lover who was much older than me and of course we had to hide because in hindsight, he probably would have been in jail if we weren’t a secret.  Those types of situations, no matter how exciting they may seem at the time, rarely ending up being love, more likely a physical lust.  Even as adults, most of those secret loves are a result of one or both people being in another relationship.  How can you trust or be trusted if you start off with a foundation of lies?
  4. Love doesn’t lie. In a world where almost everyone wears a mask, this is tough because most of us have been so hurt, so many times until its hard to reveal our true, vulnerable selves.  But if you can’t be your fun, sad, silly, hurt, happy, confused, loving-life self; you can’t be in love.  If you are constantly trying to be, trying to impress, trying to convince; then you’re not showing your true self.  So… even if they ‘love’ you, they don’t love YOU, they love the representative.  Eventually, you will get tired of pretending then the fear of being yourself will come over you, the wonder if they will love the real you.  Guess what?  I’m advocate of someone leaving you if they don’t like the real you after falling in love with the representative.  If they can’t love you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best.
  5. Love is constant.  You may not like the person everyday but if you really love someone, it doesn’t waver day-to-day nor is it dependent on something they do.  They may get on your last nerve, the one that has you looking at them like “don’t say a word” but you would rather them be there with a closed mouth than anywhere else.

Of course, I don’t have all of the answers but it pains me to see so many people searching for love, trying to make someone love them, looking for love in all the wrong places (I could preach a sermon about that) but at the end of the day… You have to learn to love yourself.  Know who you are and believe that that person is valuable and worthy of unconditional love.  Don’t be so quick to settle for the first person who pays you a little attention.  Invest (yes, invest because a good investment yields a return) in getting to know the person – DATE!  Don’t get upset if they don’t fall in love with you after the first date because 6. Love takes time.