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.

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Inadequate

Are you like me, who once wondered if what and how I do things are considered inadequate? I heard a message on the radio yesterday that changed my perspective on how I interact with God. I am further convinced that what we think of most has a direct correlation to our actions, i.e. your thoughts will ultimately dictate your behavior.

The speaker suggested that we, as children of God, repeatedly measure and compare ourselves to HIM when we engage in self-doubt about the things HE has already forgiven us for. As believers, we will supposedly accept that HE has forgiven us for our sins (past, present and future), yet continue to engage in self-doubt that our sins are forgiven. When and if done, we are doubting the Father.

Inadequate

Inadequate feelings are a human emotion. Yet, we must not confuse ourselves with things of the flesh when talking about God! Hence, we must have faith in all that we do:

  • Never close or guard your heart so tightly that hinders you from loving again.
  • Refrain from living in your past unless you intend to revisit that place of regression.
  • Do whatever sanely possible to maintain cordial relationships with your ex for reasons that support your initial decision to date him/her beforehand.
  • Make a conscious effort to wish your former well in all that s/he does, particularly because retrospectively you desired the same when you were the significant other.
  • Pray often, daily. Always listen to your heart no matter if your head tells you otherwise. If it feels or looks funny, don’t dismiss – observe.
  • Be cautious of one who is overprotective. There is no such thing as being around your partner 24/7. Trust and respect yourself enough to let him / her do their thing because if you’ve done your job correctly, physical space rarely overrides strong emotions.
  • Respect yourself to wait for that suitable partner. I am one to tell you that quickly leaving one person for the next is a sign that screams ‘I need attention.’ Allow yourself to hear the birds, enjoy the waves, walk the pastures and smell the coffee.
  • What’s for you is for you! Desiring another’s blessings will rob you of your own.
  • Do not succumb to the hyperbole of needing someone to feel whole. Dare to complement, and not replace.

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!

 

My reciprocated partner

Happy Valentine Day!

On a day like today, i.e. the romantic-commercial holiday of exchanging and expressing love gestures to signify the appreciation we have for our partners and loved ones, don’t forget to keep the flame burning in your relationship. Whether you’ve found it already, still looking for that desirable match or are choosing to love on self because you need more ‘me’ time, be mindful of the gesture instead of its monetary gain or the public notoriety of receiving. Last year I wrote an article, titled Flowers and Chocolate where the giver of my gift was acknowledged for the Gesture of giving. I was grateful because the sender lifted my spirits insomuch the deliverance of joy was received at a time in my life when there were more downs than ups. Hence, his gesture of buying and ordering the deliverance of flowers and chocolate dispelled all self negativity.

Hence, today is unlike that day and now is a different situation because I am no longer in a committed relationship. I have thereby graduated to a stage in my life where the gesture of receiving is less valued than the act of giving. I will continue to usher more importance to the reciprocated practices of my very own Valentine who quickly forgives me when I make parental mistakes, compliments me when I feel low, lifts me when I am exhausted, reads to me when I need to hear an inspiring story and values our conversations during the slow-dance lessons on days when I will grab her hand to share the significance of ‘loving on self’ and why so. This person is my ultimate gift, my protege, my forever love, my darling, my Sweetheart, my shoulder when I am tired, my napkin when I weep and my partner who will sit across from me to work on her assignments when I also have work to do. She is my daughter and today is my day to make sure she continues to understand the essence of love, the act of giving and the significance of ‘marry to date’ so that flames in her future relationships are fueled with passion and substance.

Mommy and daughter

Enjoy your V-Day!

 

 

Once is enough?

Written as a Facebook Note, April 17, 2012.

To fix is equivalent to apologizing. To build is equivalent to improving. To maintain is equivalent to nurturing. Quality and valued relationships are absent when you continue to apologize, fail to improve, and forget to nurture!

Emotional stability in self

 

Oh. How I wonder.

Written as a Facebook Note, March 8, 2012.

Each time I see her, the picture is the same.

I am told all the time to look in a different direction, but nothing changes.

Sometimes I see grey, black, brown, and clear, but never anything worth staring at.

cropped-upclose_sisterlocs.jpgOccasionally the surface is rocky, leveled, paved, and sometimes shallow.

The echo in my head keeps telling me that the glass will always be half empty.

However, I remember what my mother tells me repeatedly – your posture tells the story.

Yet, each time I change my posture, I revert back to my ole ways.

I begin to reflect on how time is clicking away, and I cannot seem to reflect on what I just accomplished.

My lack of concentration is due to overwhelming distractions and the hastily interference that is abrupt.

Anything to steer my focus away from what I could have accomplished some time ago.

But something keeps bringing me back to full circle.

Uh oh, I hear the echo in my head again.

But it is not until I trip that I begin to realize that things are clearer if I ONLY hold my head up.

Signed – the Inner Self,

I may become Distant, but never Separate

Written as a Facebook Note, August 29, 2011. 

Although I am covert, I require tender care. Don’t beat me up because it may result in self-harm. I make you feel good when others may choose otherwise. I require attention so treat me gently. I realize that I have peers that live in other people, but you and I are unique.

I give you confidence when you are engaged in self-doubt. I serve as emotions at times when you cry. I may not come naturally, so be receptive to feedback. I may become distant from you, but we will never separate! Who am I?  I am your self-esteem and I love you unconditionally.

Walking alongside the beach_me_2

Note: This was originally written in fond memories of a dear-teenage friend, who was experiencing personal struggles. Today I am happy to report that she is getting her life back on track.

Cheers,