Category: Emotions

Three Little Black Girls

I wish to friend, understand and play with the little girls who came before me. I want to know what they dreamed of when they didn’t have to concern themselves with anything except to play, laugh and love without expectations and instructions. What were the secrets in their hearts? Were they happy or unhappy, and how so? Did each of these little girls have someone who often hugged them, reassuring that ‘All would be okay?’ Did they feel beautiful or empty inside? Did they feel alone or cold, particularly in the company of others? Were they permitted to speak without being accused of ‘talking back,’ or were they told to ‘hush’ because they did not have the permission to voice their emotions?

cropped-torrie_ocean3.jpgThe aforesaid questions are sketched in my heart and although my maternal grandmother’s story remains untold, the remaining two girls, i.e. me and my mommy still have a chance to accept each other just where we are in life – fully flawed – and to possibly understand the heart of both girls whose first-male love (their fathers) were distant. Mom, the youngest of three, was brought up as a lone-spoiled child who was parented by a mother that regularly overcompensated because working full-time came first. Hence, mom gained materially but lacked proper nurturing such as the time when adamantly told to never return home with kids in tow with no husband but never explained what, how and why that was important.

Grant it, the desire of most parents is for their offspring to marry before having kids, however, the communication of these critical messages is more effective with explanations instead of demands so to teach healthy discussions instead of negative reactions. Just imagine how the curious mind of a teenager processes what not to do instead of what because of feared energy. We’ve all been there when asked not to do this or that but still questioning why not. If parents could only be mindful about how “the hurried pace of today’s society can be an obstacle to effective discipline” we’d invite more personalized ways of parenting for the betterment of child development for our family.

Now think of questions that are never asked of a daughter, or a child, to their mother because fright exist. When this happens the learn to understand or the ask to become empowered is suppressed unless there is an invite to share personal thoughts in a safe place. Hence, our homes must be that safe-haven, the place where intimate thoughts can be exchanged in a healthy way that promotes awareness, careful deliverance, love and affection  so that conversations with our kids aren’t viewed as directives but rather advice about how to handle certain situations.

Parenting from a place of fear delivers fear. Loving from a place of hurt delivers hurt. And communicating from a place of anger results in one’s inability to handle discourse in a positive way because rarely does anything happen from a place of hurt or harm, unless there is healing. Explained a different way means if a hurt person wants to truly bless another without constraint s/he will give, but with reservation because subconsciously and hesitantly, their instincts about what negatively affected them has a more lasting impact than any positive incident.

Parenting from Distance_HotSpringsLake

Need more convincing? Take a moment to think about a personal situation that impacted you so greatly that you now flinch at the sight of either seeing, smelling or talking about it. It could be anything from witnessing a robbery gone bad or the attack on the World Trade Center. Okay, now think about the person you were before these events occurred! My point exactly. Unquestionably, your disposition before these events are altered by the negative-emotional load you now carry today. Hence, the robbery, albeit, or the 911 attack is forever sketched as a recall about how to prevent or react should anything similarly revisit.

Lone_BlackGirl_LayingonMelon.jpgHence, there is a lesson to be learned about styles of parenting. Parents will either take on the same patterns of how we were parented, or we will unlearn to relearn other techniques for a different outcome. Nonetheless, my mission is to better know the little girl given to me before she was labeled mom so that shared fears of the little girl who lives in me sees her as a friend who desires to be understood, loved and embraced as the imperfect person who did the best she could to parent with the deposits of maternal love passed forward, despite its monetary value.

Black Women Need Their Mothers More Than Realized!  – Sunshine

No Favorite Person, Just Selected Conversations

A life of age-appropriate events ended way too early for me. When I parent my daughter, while reflecting on my own life, I realize the things once shared with me when I was her age are way too mature for her to process in her tween years. But then I realize questions she asks are warranted to validate certain behaviors about why me and her grandmother aren’t as close as she and I. It’s one of the hardest things I do as a parent, aside from explaining what good can become of severed affairs like the one between me and her father.

Glamour_MommyButterfly

If, in my younger years, I had a glimpse of how my future looked without an involved father I would have made a conscious effort to communicate my misgivings to mom about their divorce in hopes of some change. I further wish the time I spent keeping silent and finding support elsewhere was instead spent with my dad, sharing my most fearful thoughts about when I grew too close to men without suitable preparation. I regularly tell my tween that students learn from teachers they connect with. The same is also true about customers who buy from salespeople they like.

Likewise, you wouldn’t talk negative about your work to your boss and risk being fired, but rather speak with your close friend who can help you manage your emotions on the job. Hence, children and adults aren’t any different! My most intimate thoughts, as a child and now as an adult, are shared with people I trust[ed] with my emotions. I’d like to think I am not alone in this belief. Yet there are potential disturbances when you are closer to one parent than the other, particularly when your parents have moved on with their separate lives.

I’ve heard and am witness to the pathological cycle you can become a part of if old baggage isn’t handled in a timely manner. I am further convinced there is delicate balance I must keep between both parents, limiting my conversations with each about what the other one is doing. This is currently being practiced between me and my father but the to-do list is partly unaddressed with mother who is beginning to understand. So, what does this reveal, if anything? I don’t pretend to know, but I suspect the answers are more than surface deep. Breakups are handled differently between men and women, chiefly if there is no closure after a breakup.

An article I read the other day asserts that sex is 90% emotional and 10% physical for women. If accurate, this finding tells us two main things about females, i.e. we feel mostly everything, and we are overly troubled and mainly unhappy if we cannot fully express our senses with transparency to our mate. Therefore, if an emotional seed is interrupted and complete closure is never received, we can grow uneasy, overwhelmed and inundated about how to handle our anxieties, which could thereby lead to frustration or resentment, at worst.

Intimacy

I know this mindset all too well because when my emotions were mishandled at a young age I later grew guarded and defensive towards males. Consequently, my inability to cope with hardships led to many years of angst and regrets that continues to affect me and my loved ones today. It’s called “Sharing My Personal Scar!” I regularly reference “Sharing My Personal Scar” because the voice to the story saved me from self-hate, self-infliction, self-judgment and psychological warfare. Moreover, the negative energy and shame I once harbored are no longer because I realize my teen mind was manipulated by careless-adult men with a single agenda. However, going forward I am willing to love, give love and receive it when the occasion is mutual.

Now reentering this ‘single-woman journey,’ I give more credence to whom I share my heart and mind. Questions like ‘has he earned an opportunity of total trust; does he understand the importance of contingencies; is his patience short-lived and the list continues?’ are important so that I may forecast my emotional investment. So in the context of No Favorite Person, Just Selected Conversations – the heart must feel safe for love to be expressed, exchanged and reciprocated. Otherwise the union or setting will resemble an exchange of thoughts for personal gain with an abrupt outcome.

Cold conversations

 

 

 

 

Hire ‘You’ as the Project.

We undervalue our worth as women! Why? It’s not because we don’t know our worth, which may be partly true, but it is largely attributed to the lack of knowledge we have about why men do what they do when they do it and how often. Worded another way, women are strategically sought after for our complementary traits, aside from any other quality. What does this mean and how does this look?

For men, our physique is a plus and our conversations are a bonus but neither carries more earnest than the power a man feels when he is with a confident women because exuded strength will transfer strength; hence, a man will not gravitate to a woman that he cannot draw power from. Conversely, a man who is unsure of himself will disclose his shortcomings through his sole actions, which usually occurs – depending on the severity of his wounds – during the friendship and this takes form in overzealous conducts, such as excessive calls (day in day out, all the time), inappropriate rants or worse, an advancement to becoming his lifelong partner minus the serious discussion about personal collaboration. Likewise, a man who yearns confidence will also gravitate to women who possess this belief.

Consequently, this seek to find pursuit is admirable when (and only when) there is reciprocity about forward steps of mutual encouragement because anything aside from interdependence could swiftly result in a flat-lined relationship before opportunities to learn about each other are exercised. Thus, a discussion about how to amiably sever ties should be incorporated because when the strength of a partner is challenged, there are one or two outcomes: one will revert to preservation for future self-care, thereby withdraw from mutual engagement or each will succumb to self-blame and depart the relationship scarred about the experience.

Be Optimistic

On July 25, 2019 I chose the former and reading an article today, titled “How to Recover From a Breakup the Healthy Way,” will further aid me on self care because the content is relevant to who I am and why I do what I do when I do it that I had to write about my takeaway. The author was not only intimate about her own experience, but I began to distinctly see the pathology in my personal life that has hindered my personal growth and thus fueled my stagnation as a person. Thus, my inabilities to overcome obstacles because of my own unawareness of inner-strength has always been challenged until now.

Therefore, I want to encourage each woman to reach within and nurture your inner-being because you owe it to yourself. I further challenge you to welcome silence in your everyday practice because a crowded, cluttered, chaotic environment can never fully thrive unless there is a gap between planning and action. And lastly, ask the question: Why is he so overzealous and aggressive in pursuing me? Is there a lack thereof on his part because and remember, there is rarely any added work to be done with completed projects.

Hence, I urge you to Hire ‘You’ as the Project. Dare to become whole again. Define your strength and take charge by reclaiming self.

 

Self-Reserved. Curious.

She feels what I know, but reservation and preservation forbids us. It is my role to protect and I will with everything in me, yet the shared curiosity is expected insomuch to better understand why we both remain interested in the potential.

I once believed life is complicated, yet I know now that we all are at our places today because of the choices we made along the way albeit covert or overt decisions. Hence, there is a mutual agreement to take careful, slow and sensitive steps to finding out ‘what could be’ because there are so many variables involved.

Besides, our decisions – indifferent as they may be – were applicable and relative at the time. If only, if only … we can move forward because yesteryear consumes us so.

Perhaps one day we can meet at that place called Courage! Ahem. Until then, I remain SelfReserved & Curious.

Friendship from Scratch.

Photo credit: In-Between Life

Impartial relationships give one an opportunity to like or dislike on their own terms without the prejudices of another. With that said, a person deserves to be understood for who they are, inclusive of their flaws, so that if there is a like or dislike, they were given a fair chance to build something new that could last a lifetime.

 

 

Care with Deliverance

Challenges are plentiful in a relationship, but nothing trumps Communication. I remember the beginning of many relationships, two of which I was able to salvage after I identified the complex, yet simple problem – my Communication style. Twelve years ago before I became a parent communicating my candid thoughts weren’t as important as they are today. Not because my relationships carried less significance insomuch that I had less to lose than I do now. As a submissive wife, who wholeheartedly trusted her husband, I rarely vocalized things of the heart that was largely attributed to the incapacity to process and translate thoughts to feelings, i.e. head to heart because of the fear of what would become if I did so. Hence, it was adequate for me to suppress my inner voice and starve the heart instead. The outcome? A consensual divorce.

 “In my next relationship I will do everything in my power to not repeat the same mistakes, even if it means ‘telling my story to others to save their marriage.'”

My life at 35 carried a different perspective than my current age of 47. The reference point of knowing that I have less years ahead of me than I do behind me is relevant to the Why, When, What, How and Where of my Communication process today.

  • Why (the relevancy): Why should I communicate this today, right now instead of later? Why is it important to know what I am thinking and feeling? Why is it significant? Why do my thoughts matter?
  • When (the timing): When is it appropriate to address my (our) issue, i.e. when things have calmed or at the peak of frustration? When did I become affected by what was said?
  • What (the intent | content): Will what I say break or build the relationship? Will what I say matter insomuch to improve or takeaway from the quality of our friendship? Is the What greater than the We? What is the timing of the message: do I wait until we arrive home or should I say what is on my heart here in public?
  • How (the delivery): Will How I say impact us greatly – for better or worse? Will my message be received or ignored and How so, e.g. with love or anger, respectively? How do I phrase what I intend to say so that what I do say is accurately felt, spoken and delivered with love?
  • Where (the venue | environment | internal space): Is the setting suitable to discuss our personal matters? From where (internally) am I gathering my thoughts – a place of compassion; a place of frustration or hate; a place of jealously; a place of resentment and the list continues?

I could continue to expand upon the aforementioned points, but the focus of Communication should always be on these five main points. Attempt to always ask yourself is my message Relevant; is the Timing appropriate; what is the Intent of the Content; contemplate the appropriate deliverance by asking ‘will it lead to harm or love’ and how so; is the setting appropriate from where the problem occurred and from where the sentiments are birthed.

Again, I never said Communication is easy but I will attest to its importance! Remember I spoke of the two relationships I was able to salvage?

The first one was my marriage of 16.5 years. Although my former husband and I did divorce, we are more friendlier to one another now than we could have ever been married. Why? Because (1) We both apologized for our wrongdoings in the marriage – realizing that beginning anew would not be possible without this step, (2) We realized we hindered one another as a couple, although we were accomplished financially, because our dual obligation to cherish each other’s hearts was inadvertently and sometimes purposely ignored in the marriage, and (3) in hindsight we’d have it no other way than to remain cordial because what was not offered to us as kids, who had parents that did not communicate, would be the very thing to combat. So our daughter will forever have what she deserves – to have genuine love in her life with parents who can look beyond themselves.

The second is my current relationship to my fiance – this second g’round. After a 3-year courtship and a 2-year engagement we broke off the relationship because we grew separate and distant in personal goals. Conversely, that one-year break up was the best thing that happened to us! It allowed him to commit to a sole person, while I dated on and off. Albeit we each missed each other and didn’t realize it until we decided to remain friends (a philosophy I had never condone) separate from our individual lives. However, had he and I not decided to take a leap of faith and express our dismay about the breakup to one another, while respecting our intimate space with others, we’d be living a part wishing we should have communicated what we missed most – us. So, despite our flaws, inadequacies and divorces to our former spouses, we believe one of the most complexities of relationships can be achieved if we dare to put forth a genuine effort to understand our Communication styles.

Note the words Why, When, What, How and Where are intently used because they are the beginners of open-ended conversations that stimulates a dialog between and not at one another. Applied and used correctly will allow the initiator and receiver of words to not only respond to each other, but possibly have a discussion unknowingly – thus, the objective. Open-ended questions are widely used to gather feedback in the most clever of ways.

Stop Hiding

Let your true self be seen. Enough of hiding! Allow yourself to be rejected by others who have only seen your masked self – the one that gives advice but can rarely sit in your own; the person who regularly defends her point of view yet fails to understand others; that girl who is loved because of what she offers as a cover up to what she doesn’t have.

Stop Hiding! Reveal the Mask! Liberate Yourself! And wait to see who hangs around when you do. You’ll be grateful you’ve crossed over. I’ll see you when you get here.

Xo,

The Mirror (Reflections)

Life is full of colors. The unique thing about living is you have an opportunity to pick your palette. Will you select the color pink for your Monday or will the color blue be your preference for the weekday? Whatever your decision, you have a choice to paint your wall and create your picture the precise way you want to either be viewed by others, perceived by others, or true to others. I choose the latter. In fact, I rarely choose a color scheme. Instead, I go with the flow and accept whatever comes my way by endorsing a popular phrase you will always hear me say when things don’t go as planned and that is – it is what it is!

It is what it is’ is not a phrase more so than it is a way of life for me. I worry a lot, pray a lot, and wonder a lot. My mind is always thinking about the next best thing. Actually, I recently realized the way I think is a direct reflection of what happened to me in 2010 when I left my marriage of 16.5 years. Today I know of ways that I could have saved my marriage, but I also realize that reclaiming the core value of my role as wife and spouse had long left. Thus, nowadays my life is a cerebral exercise about how to discover ways to salvage and obtain the stability I once had that I must now restructure. And even though I know the answer to a stable life is through prayer and undoubted faith, writing about it and publicizing it for others to read will be my salvation because it is a confession of my faults.

The Heart. Not the Head.

So where do we go and how do we handle the luggage of clutter we have unloaded? The answer can be found in the same manner we unpack our clothes, one piece at a time. Expressing our inner-self is better achieved in small, regular chats when we are more in tune with our inner self, i.e. emotions so that what we feel, instead of think, can be fully expressed. Therefore, talking about an argument that happened 10 minutes ago is better resolved soon after the incident or when all parties are calm because datum is harder to retrieve days after. So, having discussions about how to resolve a negative discourse – when thoughts are recent, current and fresh – may present opportunities for better listening and communication so that honesty and transparency are the result.

My former premarital counselor talked about a process called ‘flooding’ that happens in our mind at a time when we may want to resolve differences but our convoluted thoughts forbids. A process, commonly known as information overload, could inadvertently and unnecessarily invite stress and ambiguity to a situation or relationship. Conversely, it is presumed that humans are unable to process multiple data at once, although we might refute the task of being able to. Perhaps my partner expressed it best when he said, “you cannot successfully hear and talk at the same time” because the brain is flooded with unsorted expressions without knowing what belongs where at what given time. So, the goal as speakers should be to express ourselves in a way that is easily heard and understood to avoid misunderstandings that could potentially lead to disagreements, or worse – emotional, physical or mental distance.

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