You’re the only woman…

The risk I took at 23 is a different risk today at 47. Times have changed. I’ve changed. I see life differently and my physical abilities aren’t as good today like years ago. Okay, these are a few of my excuses for a long-time engagement with a slow crawl to the alter. Yet, I can clearly recall what she said to me about a year ago, ‘Felita, you’re probably the only woman I know who would be engaged this long without getting married [paraphrased].’

My immediate response was silence, and then I thought to myself, “She might be correct about that statement.” Yet, just the other day I reminded myself of how listening to that and giving it weight is the sentiment she carries, and not that of my own. Albeit a disagreement or an indifference, we have independent decisions to make for particular reasons. Hence, my decision to remain engaged- with a brief hiatus- is a mutual agreement in my relationship.

Truth be told! There’s a hesitancy between us with approximately 34-years of past luggage we both are still unpacking. He, formally married for 18 years and I for 16.5. Our wounds of past agony are slow to heal, and we can now finally see progress with our communication skills where, formally, we spoke at one another. Today we now talk to and are empathetic towards each other. We further understand our beginning was in haste; hence, perspectives are realized. Nonetheless, reaching this stage has been an uphill battle but neither he nor I would have it any other way.

Conversely, we are now beginning to apply helpful tips to strengthen our relationship, such as ‘working on our whole self’ and bringing that person to the table. Though remedial to a few, these relationship nuggets are useful reminders of how the slightest misunderstanding of words can potentially lead to a large ordeal that, if mishandled, can take days or months to heal. We’ve gracefully been through that also.

With that said, me and my fiancé are going on 6-years strong with no plans of turning back. So today I will say this: Yes, you’re correct about the ‘very few women‘ who will hang this long. However, my urgency to marry is different than the next (it’s not an urgency at all)! Grant it – your and my decisions are independent but our positions are the same – direction, forward. So, I wish you well at your pace that will officially occur in a few months with one simple request … I pray you will also appreciate my walk to the alter – regardless of how slow of a pace I take.

Congrats 🎉 Mrs.!

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Once Told. Believed. L-O-V-E

Once told you will never meet another, then I met him. Once told that you will never be another, and then I defied odds. Once told that you may have a challenge loving again with your whole heart because you guard it like someone has robbed you of your most private possessions, yet he still stayed. My point! Let no one, and I mean no one, put limitations on what you will or will not become, particularly as it relates to listening with your whole heart and trusting with complete vulnerability.

Is it a wonder why one guards their heart in fear of letting go because intuitively they sense and subconsciously know something does not feel correct (rhetorical). I am a part of a prayer network site where persons will post their most intimate of stories for all to not only see, but more importantly to pray about. Today I read a post from a women who was in a relationship for one year, yet recently found out that her male partner announced he was becoming a father with someone else and this announcer wanted to know what actions she should take about how she felt. Of course, I contributed my thoughts along with others.

Over and over again there are stories similar or somewhat different than the one described above. Conversely, each time an article is posted, a Facebook post is shared, a conversation occurs or an exchange of thoughts are delivered, the denominator called L-O-V-E is in the equation. This word is so powerful, yet overly used where it has and continues to lose its connotation. Instead of it meaning compassion, nurturing, maintaining, reciprocating, giving, receiving, exchanging, offering and the list continues, the acronym to mean Lusting Over Various Events (L-O-V-E) is put in its place.

Casting judgment you ask, no. Analyzing one’s actions, no. Wishing ill-intent on another, absolutely not. Perceiving myself as better, not I, who has and continues to write about my flaws and transgressions. However, I am speaking from a ‘been there done that’ perspective where finding L-O-V-E has become a regular-everyday practice such as getting up to report to a job or posting a resume in pursuit of the ideal career, rather than patiently working together toward a unified goal of becoming one, where both partners bring their whole self (100 percent respectively) to the relationship with a single purpose.

Writing from a ‘single woman’s’ perspective is not an easy task because I too desire that ideal male companion who instead will say and usher support of  the “possible” instead of the “impossible” when I am unsure of how to unwrap my whole heart for him to hold and be trusted with. He, wherever and whoever he is, will have the discernment to be patient, understanding that relationships are building blocks versus stepping stones. So, to you my prayer peer who requested advise I write, “if an open relationship existed, the outcome of you and he was to be expected. I am sorry! What should you do? Embrace your heart, cry when and if you feel the need to do so, pray and give it to God, nurture You (the whole you: good, bad and indifferent) and the hardest part – wish him well, praying he finds true love with her. Work on you so that when your [future partner] arrives you can give your whole, complete self to him. I know this is hard, yet I also know it’s possible with God at the front and center of your focus. And besides, you deserved better and this is evidence of your true worth.”

To you the reader, do not be negatively overcome with the label ‘single woman’ that I once classified as a stigma, particularly when you are at my age of 47 this year. Of course, the perspective is different when you are put in a situation that you once viewed. So let my admission be the lesson of what not to do! Hence, I am not new to the scenes of the ‘single’s life,’ yet I am exercising different principles, ridding myself of what did not work the two times prior. And I am observing my flaws, working on my voids, praying often, engaging in dialogues, welcoming advice, socializing with others, listening to my heart more and less with my head (A Libra trait to a fault) and praying to be prepared to give of myself completely to whom is equally prepared to go with me in God’s path. Hopeful thinking? Perhaps too soon, yet whose to say there is a time frame for quality companionship. *Photo credit: Inspired Whole-Self Therapy (Purple Sage Healing)

It is His Grace. Be Present, Always!

Often God sees in us things and persons we don’t see in ourselves.

Flow Like a RiverI am sure you also know how HIS grace spares us from risky behaviors and grave decisions. Hence, it is HE who understands our thoughts, decisions and actions beforehand. Further, it is HE who also knows that what we want for ourselves may not be what he ultimately wants for us. I was explaining this message to a friend the other day who is adamant about decluttering her life, insomuch that things once appreciated and loved about her career and life have caused a spill-over detriment, thereby affecting her ability to become her whole self.

There is a belief that changing jobs or finding another employer may be the solution when, the real issue is with self and how and when we allow outside influences to interrupt our positive thoughts. Albeit there is so much control an employee has when working among and alongside others who are also struggling with similar concerns, however, I know and believe that God speaks to us individually. Therefore, in order to precisely hear and receive God’s message, we must be fully aware of our faults with the willingness to be changed.

I’ll use myself as an example. I am a four-year old Atlanta GA transplant who moved here in hopes of creating a new-blended family of my own. Intuitively my former partner and I both knew our relationship was tumultuous, yet our hearts spoke to the mind, changing all logical reasoning about why we couldn’t begin anew in a different location. Our haste to defy and refute the blessings God had for us, which was separate from one another, ultimately resulted in a rift that grew irreparable. Why and how so, I recently asked? We both disobeyed God’s instructions for our lives, i.e. living as married at a time when learning about each other from afar may have brought us closer together.

Hence, what I didn’t know then I wish I knew today, yet God ushered me forward with my desires to become the wife (metaphorically speaking) of our home without the honor. Hence, I wore my responsibilities, as did he, without God’s blessings upon our blended lives and today is actually where HE ultimately wanted us to be, separately living our lives on amiable terms. Conversely, today I am more in tune with the hows and whys of my emotions and I continue to seek counsel to better understand me and my needs because I still desire to become a great-committed friend to a future spouse.

So to my friend! Remain put in your current position. Take moments to reflect upon why God has you where you are today. Pray always and speak positive thoughts that will help dispel ambiguity and rid convoluted feelings that could ultimately consume you. Make conscience efforts to spend quality time with HIM, our Father. Exercise the art of patience and let your feelings flow like a river that streams in different directions without interruption so your foresight is clear and the path HE has for you may be received. Be Present Always!

 

Rest, Be still, Have faith

Sleepness nightsToday is one of those days where I often find myself behind the computer searching for that position. The position that will just get me over the edge until the next career find. This has been my status in society for over 5 years now, juggling things from attending school to remain competitive in the job market, to parenting full-time, neither of which I regret. However, the irregular sleeps and the midnight sweats like the one last night is beginning to wear on me.

Before I decided to bring up this subject and write about it, I prayed about it. I prayed about if sharing it with the public would put me in a bad light. I also prayed about what you’d say about the person you thought you knew, who supposedly has it altogether. And then, it hit me! Writing is to express, to share, to exchange, to reach and everything in between. I was scheduled to teach a certain number of ESOL classes today, but somehow the students who were previously registered to attend decided to cancel.

Canceling a class is an individual right, but when an online class is scheduled beforehand or within 5 minutes of instructor entry, there is no pay for that session. Hence, I only made a fraction of what I had budgeted for today. Likewise, I recently read a friend blogger write about how she had similar challenges of trying to find the next gig when everything she ultimately needed was staring her in the face – faith in her writing and the ability to communicate her candor. Conversely, I am no different in that description because you may have your own opinion, but I believe that each supposed job I’ve had, e.g. PRN health instructor, interim business development lead, substitute teacher, full-time student, part-time staffing agent and the list continues in the span of five+ years (which, by the way is the time I left my marriage) reflects why I haven’t been blessed with the things I need because I haven’t learned to be still and wait.

When you believe and have faith that HE hears and has heard your prayers, you must trust the process that will develop on HIS time. Hence, today is another one of those days, but a different one. I trust the process and have faith that my stability and that ideal profession will find me instead of attempting to find it. So as of right now, my role is to write to share my story with complete openness because this unemployed mother has never gone without the necessities and I am without doubt that on this 2nd day of October me and my daughter will be abundantly blessed.

I love you, despite …

I love you, despite is what we should first think of when we are faced with challenging circumstances that may physically, mentally or emotionally distance us from a person we once loved and shared a life with. I think of this phrase in a different context today, as it relates to my current situation, i.e. an interruption in my personal relationship. However, I would to speak about the idiom in the ‘past’ tense as it relates to severed relationships: separation and divorce. Wise_strong_flawed_beautiful

When you become a victim of parental alienation (PA) everything stops. Your heart begins to beat a different way, your thoughts become irrational, your foundation is interrupted, your stability is no longer, your health is jeopardized and your future is gloomy. Now just imagine how all of these emotions are housed in the mind of a child, who has no cognitive ability to recognize what is occurring nor does she have foresight about what the ‘fuss’ is about because in her mind she loves both parents and cannot understand why what is rational to her – apologize for wrongdoing and kiss and makeup – is beyond her parent’s comprehension.

Considering all things that distorts our mature thoughts about the partner we once favored and dearly cared for, our emotions often get in the way of our mental capacity to think beyond our hurt. When the British Politician, Andrew Bennett, was quoted as saying “the longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart,” he could not have been more truer with this statement. To add to his brilliant quote, I pray we, as parents are more mindful of the permanent effect our actions will have on our offspring. Although I don’t fault or blame anyone for my hurt and scars as a PA victim – because I believe my parents parented the way they witnessed their parents parented – yet, I believe that words spoken and voices heard is a beginning point to healing because when a person speaks and hears their own voice, they are claiming onus and accountability.

So let us begin with … I love you, despite:

  • my (your) hurt.
  • my (your) pain.
  • my (your) flaws.
  • the hurt I’ve (you’ve) caused.
  • my (our) inability to see eye to eye.
  • our falling out of love with each other.
  • my decision to move on without you.
  • our inability to reach common ground.
  • etc…

Now if you are reading this from the perspective of solving PA, asking will it solve what is becoming prevalent in our society? The answer is a resounding no because PA is a disorder that requires professional intervention and recurring treatment (in my opinion). However, I do believe that taking precautions will help us to think + feel instead of just feel and thus affect every other person in the process.

 

Flowers and chocolate

THE GESTURE

Many years ago, in my spousal years, I once liked the smell of flowers until the liking was suppressed because none were ever bought or delivered. The constant response of ‘it is just a waste of money‘ grew convincing and was immediately replaced with thoughts associated with high-maintenance purchases that lasted a few days to only be discarded and later reflected upon. But today was a different day! My former partner did something he wanted to do that would usually be refused by me yet I did not have a say so about ‘why’ and ‘how much’ – I received flowers and chocolate at my office today and I feel great about myself. I feel loved, thought of and worthy of receiving.

I thought – why is my text chiming, one message after another? I couldn’t wrap my mind around the urgency to get a message to me, especially after what had happened last night. I was tickled, surprised and felt loved all over again. Hence, it is moments like these, i.e. unexpected surprises that changes my perspective on life and makes me feel better about my self and the challenges I have to overcome, day in and day out. So tomorrow I will pick up my flowers and chocolate from my office and enjoy the smell and taste, respectively, of each item where both were bought and sent with love, without thought of money wasted.

Feeling better,