Loving You.

My daddy tried. He tried to teach me how a man should treat a woman. He opened the doors for me. Took me on dates. Walked on the outside of me when we walked down the street. Showed me what affection looked like. And somehow I still ended up with men who did none of those things.

What I’ve realized is, no matter what he might have tried to show me or tell me I deserved, deep down I didn’t believe it. My self-esteem was non-existant growing up and even up into adulthood (I’m still working through finding the root of it).

I would write on sticky notes that, “I am the prize” and place them all over my house. I was hoping that if I saw it enough, I would adopt the mindset.

But I didn’t.

Every relationship I’ve ever been in, even in marriage, I’ve treated men like they were the prize. Like I was the lucky one if they gave me the time of day. If they called or texted me. If they took me out. If they wanted to be with me or marry me. Somehow that approval made me feel like I was worth something. Being something to somebody. But in reality, it is only made me feel even more unloved. Bitter. Resentful. Angry.

Until I love myself properly, I will never be loved properly by others. Until I see myself as worthy, no one will see that either.

I should be telling myself I’m the shit because I am. I’m as humble as they come, but I have to hype myself up. I’m intelligent, I’m ambitious, I’m hard-working, I’m savy, I’m financially stable, I’m a damn good mom, I’m sensitive, I’m compassionate, I’m empathic, and I don’t look too bad either. When I exude that confidence in myself, everyone around me sees it and responds to it.

That’s what I’m working on. Loving myself appropriately. That’s what we all should be working on. Doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, black white, green, or gold. When we treat ourselves with respect, kindness, and love, others have no choice but to do it too.

So how are you loving you?

Jayden’s Mom

I’m a boy mom. I’m praying that I don’t become the mom that everyone complains about.

The “My son is my King” mom.

The “Nobody is good enough for my son” mom.

The “My son does no wrong” mom.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard. Because my Jayden is just a great human. He’s so full of life! He’s curious. His laughter is infectious. He’s bright. He’s bold. He’s absolutely adorable (which he gets from his mom by the way).

He’s only been on this earth for a few years, but he’s taught me so much about patience, patience, and more patience. But oddly enough, he’s taught me a great deal about love.

Like this dude loves me. Like really loves me. Likes me even. I realize that this may change as he gets older. He’ll get mad at me for taking his phone away or not letting him go to a party or giving my opinion about a girlfriend. But for now, my toddler likes me.

He looks for me when I’m there and not there. He gives me hugs and kisses when I ask and even when I don’t. I think he thinks I’m funny and fun to be around. He dances and sings with me. He enjoys me. He’s taught me that I’m a pretty great person to be around.

He sees me. And boy, oh boy I can’t tell you how important that is.

To be seen.

This little dude has set the standard. He’s shown me how to love myself better. How to take care of myself so I can take care of him. And he’s shown me in his small, unawaring way, how others should be treating me.

Like I’m somebody. Because I am.

I’m Jayden’s mom.

Intimacy.

It’s not just about penetration of the body.

I need pentration of the soul.

I need connection.

I need devotion.

I need protection.

Every inch of me needs to feel secure.

We concentrate so much on the act of sex, that we forget intimacy. The closeness of being with another person. Being able to let our guards down. To be ourselves. To be free.

We forget to look deep in our lover’s eyes. To say what we mean and mean what we say.

We forget to grab their hand in public; a simple gesture that says, “You’re mine”.

We forget to touch their arm, rub their head, place their face in our hands. Gentle touches that say, “I love you”.

We forget to be close. A simple hug at the end of the day that says, “Lay your burdens down. Rest.”

We forget to kiss them softly and deeply. Acts to say, “I want you”.

And the things we forget can be the demise of our relationships.

Don’t forget intimacy.

February 15th.

This is important day to me. I’m sure you’re thinking, the day after Valentine’s Day? Why?

Well, it’s the day that my fiance didn’t give up on me. On us.

I had broken up with him a few months before. I did it for me. After 3 years, I knew that I wanted our relationship to progress further. Marriage. Kids. The whole nine. After being straight forward at the beginning of our relationship and him sharing that he wanted the same things, I felt that there had been more than enough time.

I know what the men are thinking, “Why do women have to have a timeline”? And this was my fiance’s train of thinking as well. However, yeah we need one. It helps us to protect our hearts. It keeps us from wasting our time. And unfortunately, age plays a large part, especially if we want children.

So, I ended it.

I walked away from him. No contact. No nothing. And his pride returned the favor.

And then all of a sudden, a phone call. And there was just one simple question, “why”?

Again I shared that my vision was to be a wife and a mother and my belief that he wasn’t ready to give it to me.

After spilling my guts, he simply said he understood. He knew why. And his plan was to put in work. Cautiously, I let him.

A year later, we’re living together, engaged, and working on our future marriage and family.

And just to think. What if I hadn’t picked up the phone on side chick day?

That Dirty Word Submission.

I always find the debate about submission interesting.

“You only submit to your husband”

“You have to submit during a relationship so a man can see that you are wifey material”

“Submission is degrading”

Most women these days aren’t having it at all. Submission has become a dirty word. I watched a reality show recently where a man talked about how he would like a woman with an element of submission to her. The women laughed and walked away. She was offended. So these days if a man talks about how he wants a submissive women, he might not ever see her again.

Let’s be real, submission is not a new concept. It goes back to the to Bible:

Ephesians 5:22-24 – 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

What we like to forget is that it says “wives” and that the Bible speaks about the husband’s role too:

Ephesians 5:25-28 – 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

I find it funny when the new age or millennial man speaks about wanting a submissive wife, when they are not willing to be that husband that is described. The real question is, do men have the capability of being a husband and head of the household? Taking care of their wife and children? Leading their family into to purpose and prosperity? Because a man like that doesn’t have to worry about finding a women who is submissive. She will easily follow if she knows she is safe and cared for.

Women these days get criticized for being “too independent” which makes them appear to “not need a man”, but how else are they supposed to be? The trash is not going to take itself out. The bills have to get paid. These are not the old days of a couple marrying young, the man working and the woman staying home to take care of the household and children. Men and women have become equal. To be real, it’s becoming, (if not already there) unequal because women are working more than men. Because of this, women hold it down until someone is willing to take the burden off of them. And even after that, women are naturally nurturing and are designed to be helpmates. So the quality of submission will be there. Men don’t have seek or ask for it; when they display leadership qualities, a woman like that is naturally drawn to them.

The trouble is, submission is not properly defined. Submission is not slavery. It is not a bad thing or idea that the women has no will of her own. It is an understanding that men and women both have strengths and weaknesses. During a woman’s time of weakness, she will follow the man’s counsel. During his time of weakness, he will do the same. Honestly, in a healthy relationship or marriage, you are submitting to each other in someway. You both seek each other’s advice and put each other’s needs in consideration. So submission is not this strange, old, one-sided concept that we make it out to be. Submission is not limited to the woman. Submission is “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person”.

Person.

Silver Medalist

 

Nobody wants to be runner up. At least I hope not. We don’t go into races, competitions, and contests to be second best. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m striving to get that silver medal”! So why is it that so many of us settle for second best when in comes to relationships?

I’ve been in situations where an ex has come back after dating other people or tried “other options”. And after those failed, they come running back to me. Oh, now I’m good enough? But only good enough to be the second choice. The last resort. The back up plan.

Silver medal? Nah, you can keep that.

I need someone who realizes what they had the first time.

Someone who has enough common sense to know how valuable I am. They treat me right the first time. They are afraid to lose me because they know they will never find anyone else like me.

So….Where’s that guy?

Love. Hope. Faith.

Case of the Ex.

Lately I’ve had two exs contact me in the same time frame. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the devil throwing out his distractions. Maybe it’s something in the water. Or maybe it’s because it’s cuffing season (shrugs shoulders). One ex wants to try again at our relationship. One wanted to apologize for hurting me and would like to try at a friendship. My thought is:

Why couldn’t you treat me right the first time?

Why is it that people have to use you, abuse you, break your heart and then move on to the next person to finally realize, “Hey, wait a minute, they were good to me”. Now all of a sudden, I’m the one that “got away”. No, I didn’t get away, you let me go.

I can’t sit here and say that I would never give an old relationship another opportunity (even though I would love to put up that front and say, hell no). I am wise enough to know that we all have a path to walk on and sometimes that path will lead us astray from those who are good for us. There is however, an appropriate way to do these things. A person can’t help but to respect a “I’m not ready for this” or “I need time” conversation versus cheating, lying, and “let me keep this up until they get sick of me” charade. We should know what we have when we have it. And if we aren’t ready for it, we should have the respect to let it go. If that person is for us, they will find their way back to us. Or they could find their way to someone else. Unfortunately, that’s the risk we have to take.

I’m not the smartest, the prettiest, or the greatest, but every ex has always tried to return in some form or fashion. I get sick of the Tyreses coming back singing, “Shame on me”. I just want to be good enough the first time. I’ve always believed, an ex is an ex for a reason, but depending on how things ended, it could be for a season as well. Too bad it has to take loving and losing to be appreciated.

Love. Hope. Faith.

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? + ? = Love

Good God, I wish sometimes there was a formula. You would think it would be simple.

Man + Woman = Love

Right?

Nah, because nothing is ever that simple. There are too many other formulas that people use. Too many scenarios that complicate things.

Man and woman don’t always stay in love. They don’t always stay faithful. They aren’t always truthful. Sometimes they leave. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they hurt each other. Sometimes they break up. Sometimes they try again. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

The point is, we can read relationship books, we can ask for advice, we can search for answers all we want, but there is no formula.

Love is what you make it.
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How to Get Away With Murder.

Kisses. Secrets. Hand holding. Hugs. Good morning texts. Late night phone calls. Love notes. Sleep overs. Delicious dinners. Deep conversations. Spontaneous trips. Priceless companionship. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Now imagine that being replaced with nothing. No kisses. No conversation. No contact. Unreturned texts. Unreturned phone calls. An empty bed. Solo nights. Nothing.

That’s murder. And I’ve faced death.

I’ve been given life before, awakened by love, only to die a slow death. You want to get away with murder? Give your love to someone and then snatch it away.

But what is the alternative? Never be vulnerable to love? Shut it out? Protect yourself?

You can’t die without living first.

No one wants to experience heartache and pain at the hands of someone else, but that is a risk we have to take. Just be cautious of who you’re handing your heart to. They might just be a murderer.

Love. Hope. Faith.
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A Chair is Still a Chair.

Let’s see. Valentine’s Day last year, what was I doing? I was strutting around in a short black dress and four inch heels. Cooking dinner for a man I loved deeply. Instead of a buying a card, I wrote a heart felt letter expressing everything I felt for him. That day, he heard, read, saw, and felt my love for him. I put alot of effort into making him feel special (although I made sure he knew he was appreciated everyday).

Fast forward to this year. What will I be doing? I will probably be in my pajamas, eating pizza, and watching Netflix. Alone. What does that tell you? Alot.

Time changes things.
There are no guarantees.
We can’t predict our future.
Our plans can be interrupted or changed.
People come and go.
What a difference a year makes.
Forever doesn’t always last.
Shit happens.

I could go on and on with a bunch of cliché sayings, but I paint this scenario to say this; one day out of the year, this one day out of our lives, is not significant enough to impact our relationships or our worth.

For those in relationships, this one day will not ‘fix’ or ‘save’ anything. If you do not celebrate each other daily, then those flowers, teddy bears, and chocolates won’t make a difference.

For those who are single like myself, this one day doesn’t take away from your value. We put so much importance on certain days and relationship statuses that it causes us to think our lives aren’t great. You’re alone on this one day, but what about the other 364 days in the year when you’re among family, friends, and other loved ones? Don’t let this one day take away your worth during the rest.

A chair is still a chair.
A room is still a room.
A day is still a day.
And you are still you.

Love. Hope. Faith.

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