Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Let Those You Love Make Mistakes

Let Those You Love Make Mistakes

As I was reading this post by Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love, I felt as if I was being smacked in the face. I didn't have to spend much time considering the message he had to share. I immediately recognized myself as one of those types who had not allowed my past loves to make mistakes. I'm not referring to things like forgetting to lower the toilet seat or leaving the gas tank on E. I recall an occasion when a young man I dated spoke to me in what I considered a disrespectful way. I blew up. After I expressed myself, he was very clear about my feelings and thoughts. When I reflect back, I can clearly see the issue wasn't with what he said, but it was in how I received it.

My ego got in the way. That little bugger started messing with my head and confirmed my belief that this guy wasn't really interested in me unless it was about the booty. My ego capitalized on my fears and took off like gang busters. All this because I couldn't excuse a poorly executed attempt at being clever. What I forgot is that in any relationship you have to allow the other person the room to make mistakes and be secure knowing that your love won't be withdrawn because you've been disappointed or become angry.

I'm not suggesting that it's okay to excuse bad behavior or to settle for less than you deserve. What I'm advocating is that we allow our loves to be human. None of us is perfect. We're going to make mistakes, too. We don't want to be held to some impossibly high standards that can't be continuously met or indefinitely sustained.

I have finally figured out I'm responsible for how I react to the behavior exhibited by another person. I can choose to react wildly or take a deep breath and consider whether or not I want to be right or happy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Radical Truth

I apologize for being away for the last couple weeks. It's been hectic, but good. I went home to Cincinnati to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday, good times. I had a chance to re-connect with old friends and new.  I didn't get a chance to see everyone, but I'll do better next time. Why is time spent at home both too long and too short?

Not long ago I read a previously unpublished Harlem Renaissance novel, When Washington Was in Vogue. It is a love story told in a series of letters. I loved it. The book also reminded me that my love of writing letters had been pushed to the side with the advent of email, texting, IM, twitter and Facebook. The intimacy, anticipation and strengthening of relationships that occurs with letter writing has been lost. At least it has in my opinion.  Not too long after reading this book I came across a collection of letters edited and compiled by Pamela Newkirk. It's called A Love No Less. It is an impressive collection of African American love letters from the Civil War era to more contemporary times. I was struck again by the social distance that technology has created between people. After reading these books, I decided I would begin letter writing again. I ordered personalized stationary and then asked FB friends if they would like for me to write them a letter. There were some folks I expected to be on board and I wasn't disappointed. I was shocked by others who requested that I write. One was an old love that I have previously mentioned and the other was someone I dated in the past, but didn't click with in that way. With letters I can't blow smoke up someone's ass. I'm compelled to tell the truth. The person that I used to date requested a letter that answered his question about why we can't still be in love. I'm puzzled by the request because we were never in love, but apparently I'm the only one who doesn't know that. Still, this letter doesn't pose much of a challenge to write. The other to the old love will prove to be more challenging. I feel a need to be extra careful in my writing, but not shy away from being truthful.  While contemplating these things, I read the latest blog post from Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love.
In Mastin's latest blog post, "Got Guilt? Tell On Yourself and You're Off the Hook" he encourages us to tell the truth and shame the devil. He recognizes there is fear in revealing what you think, how you feel and risking rejection. He suggests that we look at this from a different vantage point. What if we do tell the truth and the person or persons you most want to accept you and your truth don't?   Mastin offers that we don't view this as rejection, but as vibrational alignment. If you go to a person with love and truth and are turned away, then room is made for someone or something new. Mastin writes:

"Instead of worrying about being rejected for who you are, I would like to invite you to step into the sifting device that is your authentic true self. When you are radically honest with people in your life, you begin to emit a new “vibration” and those who match that new and authentic vibration will begin to come into your life and those that don’t will take a bow."

I can attest to the validity of those words.  For the last couple years, I've been been practicing radical honesty.  As I become more and more committed to this path, I have been "rejected" and have found that friendships don't go as smoothly.  I'm not talking about being mean or nasty with people.  I'm talking about no longer sacrificing myself, my feelings, my comfort, my need to take care of myself, my needs and wants or my preferences in favor of someone else's preferences so that others will think I'm sweet, kind or always do the right thing.  I have no need to be recognized as the perfect anything.   I don't find much personal validation or satisfaction in that designation.   

When I look back at past intimate relationships, I know for sure that I wasn't radically honest with myself and wasn't with my partners for fear of not getting what I wanted or needed.  The irony is that by withholding my authentic truth, I wasn't any closer to getting my wants or needs met.  When my groom comes along, I know that any chance of success will be rooted in our ability to practice radical honestly individually and as partners.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Fell in Love All Over Again

Last week, I was driving in the car headed somewhere.  I don't remember the destination, but I remember thinking and saying out loud - "Dear Lord, I am SO in love with.........nothing and everything."  The feeling I was experiencing had nothing to do with a person, place or thing. It simply was.  It was not an unfamiliar feeling, but one that I am acquainted with - an old and familiar friend.  I felt like I could fly.  It had just been so long since we had been together. 

For a long time I have had laser focus on very concrete things such as pursuing goals, school, work, strategizing on how to get the things I want, decorating the house, paying the bills, mentoring or volunteer commitments.  I'm sure some of you have similar tasks that require your attention.  I had been spending little time with myself.  I found it uncomfortable to sit still.  I was certain something was going undone, that I was missing an appointment or that I had forgotten some important detail.  I felt guilty while watching a DVD or just enjoying my own home.  Crazy!  If I had been asked about things I enjoy or what soothes my soul I would have rattled off the list that I've been rattling for the last few years - traveling, reading, plays, dining out, my sorority, concerts, church, blah, blah, blah........ Really!  I've been repeating these words for years.  When did I become this cookie-cutter person?  I do enjoy all those things, but my interests used to be truly eclectic.  I had come to feel as if I was  a replicate of all the other black middle-class inhabitants of Atlanta.  Now, don't misunderstand me.  There's nothing  wrong with the black-washed American Dream.  It's just a little boring and doesn't provide much opportunity for growth.  Zzzzzzzz........
   Recently, I've turned my focus toward renewing my friendship with myself.  A re-discovery of sorts regarding who I am without any association to some other person, clique, my membership in Delta Sigma Theta, Impact Church, being a PhD student, my status in Atlanta or any other thing outside myself that someone else might use to measure my acceptability or okay-ness.  I did this by forcing myself to sit still without the television, mobile device, lap-top, calendar or music.  Reading is my escape.  I didn't give myself the opportunity to disappear into the pages of a book.  However, I did read some inspirational books and check in with some spiritual health gurus.  It helps to find confirmation that you're on the right path or to peek in on someone else's journey to know you're not the only kid on the block who's looking for her happy place.  I journaled my thoughts and took myself on  dates.  I didn't tell anyone.  I was selfish with me.  I wanted all my time and attention.  It is in this space that I fell in love all over again.
   Last week, I mentioned the book Add More ~ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein.  It has been a great source of inspiration for me.  Also, it is confirmation that I'm on the right path.  As I have  continued reading, I have discovered that her book addresses many of the things I've already blogged about.  I wish I had been aware of it sooner.  My other sources of confirmation are other bloggers, life coaches and dreamers that I've met because I began writing this blog.  They have rekindled in me stuff I hadn't thought about in years.  I got so bogged down in all my other love affairs, that I neglected the one I had been having with myself.  No more.  This is a love affair I intend to continue and share with my future groom.

Monday, June 6, 2011

So, You've Got a Big Ego?

I've been doing a lot of thinking about ego lately.  Specifically, I've been thinking a lot about my own. During the last few weeks I've been observing my own reactions to my emotions, family, friends, encounters with people, perception of the world, experience of events and surroundings in general.  The ego, mine especially, can be a nasty little bugger. 

I've been reading "Add More ~ ing To Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness" by Gabrielle Bernstein.  Gabrielle writes that the ego is the nasty voice of fear.  She goes on to quote A Course in Miracles which refers to ego as "quite literally a fearful thought."  I got it, but needed to dig a little deeper. My background is in psychology and behavior modification strategies and thought both statements were accurate, but didn't quite tell the entire story.  Ego is all about "the other." "The other" can be our body, family members, romantic partners, colleagues, friends, acquaintances, magazines, sorority sisters, society  or  any other thing outside us. We can be vulnerable to what these people, places and things tell us about ourselves and as such the ego can become a reflection of that.  For example, if your significant other thinks you're great and treats you accordingly chances are you feel pretty great about yourself and soak up the positive attention.  Conversely, if your peer group suddenly turns against you and begins to make disparaging remarks you start to wonder what's wrong with me.  Let's take it a few steps further.  It's a recession and ego tells you there are no jobs to be had so you won't be hired and will lose your home.  You break a freshly manicured nail and ego pokes at you and says you don't deserve to be pretty. Maybe you've applied to the executive MBA program, but aren't accepted.  Ego says you're not smart enough.  You're not receiving any attention and ego is feeling neglected and encourages you to go get some attention without regard for it being positive or negative.  Uh, oh you got married, have the spouse, the kids, the car, the gated community and the image, but wake up and find it's not what you really wanted.  Ego laughs and says, but it's what I wanted. You're hired, but only if you move across country.  Ego laughs because you let fear keep you from your dream job. You think you're really smart and have all the answers, but ego leaves you with egg on your face.  Or your last two relationships have failed.  Ego whispers in your ear you're not good enough, you'll be single and alone....FOREVER.  Essentially, ego finds its strength in past hurts, disappointments and our continued reliance on "the other."  The good news is that the ego is fake.

The ego is not real.  It's not our true and authentic self.  So, how do we find the real center?  How do we change our thinking?  Well, it's hard work.  I didn't realize that I was moving away from ego until that ugly voice in my head didn't show up one day.  In the past things such as lost keys, broken nails, a flat tire, lunch forgotten at home, horrendous traffic, a bad hair day, not getting the guy, poochy stomach, multivariate statistics, lack of attention from friends, a heart felt message that goes unacknowledged or burnt toast could send me over the edge. It happened because I was invested in an identity that was rooted in "the other."  Eventually, I discovered that in order for me to REALLY be happy, I had to leave all that in the past. I had to move outside my comfort zone, leave some people behind and stop making the experiences of others my own.  It took some conscious effort and some time.  First, I had to address the grief and anger I had surrounding multiple deaths and being left behind by one of my most important others, my best friend. This meant pastoral counseling.  Yup, I had to go talk it out.  Second, I had to let go of the folks who were contributing to those nasty little voices in my head. One an old love and the other was someone that I've known since elementary school - another best friend. I haven't had a real conversation with this person in nearly two years.  Last, I had to cast out my mother's voice (sorry Mommy if you're reading this).  On more than one occasion she's said don't get married and don't have any kids.  I adopted that thinking as my own for some time. Who knows who I might have missed on the path by making her experiences my own?

What does this mean for 18 Months to the Altar?  Courtesy of loving affirmations, meditation, and right intention I've arrived at a place where "the other" isn't center stage as it once was. It's off to the left now. By relinquishing "the other" willingly and unwillingly, I have been able to work toward cultivating my own consciousness that is much more real and fulfilling than what was possible with ego.  It's freeing and has eliminated some of the limitations that were keeping me in a particular space and not allowing me to see other ways of being. This is what I'm now offering to the Universe. In keeping with the law of attraction, I  expect to connect with a partner who is of like mind. 
We will both want to build a relationship that has its foundation in a ccollective consciousness created by us and is based upon who we are authentically and has no reliance upon what "the other" might expect or dictate.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Want Love? Then Be Love-Able. Here’s How

Want Love? Then Be Love-Able. Here’s How

This is a blog post from Mastin Kipp, founder of The Daily Love. It's a plainly written articualtion of our responsibilities if we want to discover love        
 and be loved in return.   

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stop Being Resistant!

This year I adopted the philosophy of ELEVATION.  My intent is to push everything I attempt beyond my comfort zone.  I feel pretty satisfied that I have remained true and not slacked off.  My accomplishments include declaring my intent to be married in 18 months, stretching myself academically, adopting strategies that rely upon dream manifestation, studying spiritual gurus and communicating my authentic truth and feelings without censure and with complete transparency. I admit that not everything has resulted in the outcome I wanted, but I took action, stepped out of my comfort zone and recovered my power that I had relinquished to fear.  When I did that, I became free and began to feel more like myself than I have in the last four years.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What I still need to work on is my resistance.  When I stake my claim on an opinion or adopt a stance, it is hard work for me to get a new attitude.  My awareness of this resistance grew as I bumped up against ideas and suggested shifts in my behavior.  I first noticed this during a class I took, Sex and Society.  The focus of the class was the examination of the ways society impacts sexual identity and behavior with an emphasis on LGBTQ issues.  For the uninitiated, that's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer. I am on the race and urban track and  had little interest in all things LGBTQ.   It wasn't until I realized how deeply these issues cut across gender, race and class that I considered how my resistance might have offended and what disservice I might be doing to the very people I want to champion. I REALLY knew I had a problem when I became angered by the repeated requests of Yahoo! to give up its classic mail version in favor of the new beta version. However, this time I was saved.  My inner voice spoke to me and said "stop being resistant."  I stopped and switched to the beta version. It works just fine.  My resistance reared its ugly head again during church this morning.  I won't repeat the pastors' sermon for you, but he referenced those of us seeking marriage and our reluctance to do something different such as join The Leading Website for Singles and Personals.  My goof girlfriend who was sitting next to me nudged my arm and poked me in the side.  She said "he's talking to you.

   Everyone who knows me can tell you that I've been resistant to on-line dating.  I'm not fearful of who may find out or what it may say about me.  I'm scared that I will be the one person who will connect with every serial killer who has posted a profile on the site.  Irrational, right?!  Obviously not everyone on the site is a serial killer.  In fact, a very good friend met her husband on the site.  I was a bridesmaid in their wedding.  No sooner than I could emphatically shake my head no and repeat my mantra about serial killers, my inner voice spoke out and said "stop being resistant."  At that moment, I knew that I was blowing a potential avenue for making it to the altar in 18 months.  Having nothing to lose and everything to gain, I turned to my good girlfriend and told her I would do it, but that SHE would be responsible for creating my profile and screening any potentials. She happily agreed.  

The point is that by being resistant I am likely to block my blessings or miss a gift the Universe has intended for me.  If you're a regular reader, you've probably noticed that my comfort with the Law of Attraction and its principles has grown to such a point that I've become a bit of an advocate.  So my conclusion that if I'm being resistant, I will be met with resistance is logical.  Definitely not what I want.  If I want to attract a groom who is open, curious and willing to grow with me, I have to live my life without resistance and be willing to take chances.

By the way, I've made a new friend.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Missing Ingredient for Success Today

One of my favorite websites is The Daily Love. It's administered by this guy Mastin Kipp who is a mentor and motivational speaker. I'm not sure how folks achieve these titles or receive the blessing to go forth as experts, but he seems to have a pretty huge following via his website, Facebook, Twitter and among all the better known self-help and law of attraction gurus. If he's good enough for them, I guess he's good enough for me. Anyway.......

Mastin Kipp has an excellent blog post today about patience and how our lack of it impedes success. I was not blessed with the attribute patience. I have prayed for it like a mad woman as I possess it in very small quantities.

I reserve it for the very young, the infirm and those who are obviously mentally compromised. That's not a lot of folks. So, you can imagine how long and intolerable some days can be for me. For example, I have little patience for fiddlers and dawdlers. When I arrive at Target and park my car, I grab my purse, jump out and head for the store. Easy peasy. Well, not for everyone. I have a friend who will jump out and then fiddle around in the backseat doing who knows what. I'm standing there thinking WTH. Finally, she emerges with nothing but a purse. I'm thinking that it took 3 f****** minutes to grab a purse. Arrrgh! Also, I'm easily frustrated by the decision making process engaged in by other people and a million other things that I can fill this page with, but won't. You get my point. I'm an action person. My brain is like a computer. Information is input, an analysis is performed, a decision is made and I act on it. For me, this is a fairly quick exercise. I can truthfully say I have few regrets regarding decisions I've made. As I sit here and think about it, I can only think of two. On the other hand, my lack of patience does not always serve me well.

My lack of patience is frustrating for me. I've often thought what have I missed along the path of my journey because I find it difficult to slow down. What lessons have I not gotten because I move through experiences very quickly? I don't like hurt feelings, disappointment or rejection. It's been my rule to cry about "it" for 24 hours and move on because there is still much to do and I'm a warrior woman.

It's only been recently that I've discovered there is much to be said for living in the present and that every step of the journey should be savored - the good and the bad. 18 Months to the Altar has been the catalyst for this understanding. In my preparation for marriage, I've not only observed couples who possess the type of relationships I admire, I've also done a lot of self examination. I've read dozens of books about the Law of Attraction, spiritual health and loving intention. I've asked myself what role has my lack of patience played in my not so successful intimate relationships. I don't mean the obvious stuff like being on ring watch, waiting for a proposal, wondering when will I meet the family, when will we make our formal debut as a couple or when are we going on vacay together, but my rush to just get it done so that I can move on to the next "thing." I've treated intimate relationships like something to be checked off a list. And I'm sure I've made some of the guys I've dated feel like they were a to-do item.  Not a great trait if you're hoping to become a Mrs. someday and I do hope to do so.  I'm decidedly more easy breezy these days.

Although I do hope to get married (sooner than later), I'm more about living the exact moment that I'm in and not worrying about what's going to come next.  No matter what actions I take, the Universe has already laid out the path.  I can either accept it with love, patience and thanksgiving or fight it every step of the way with timelines, demands and frustration.  I choose the former.  Check out this paragraph from Mastin's blog. It says it much better than I can. Below is a link to Mastin's complete blog entry.

"So, what does patience feel like? For me patience is the slow, yet perfect unfolding of my dreams one day at a time. It’s embracing the uneasiness of all the things that are still unsettled in my heart and having the faith that The Uni-verse is working for my best interest, even if I can’t see it or feel it in this moment. Patience is accepting the present fully as it is and then course correcting. Patience is allowing yourself to make mistakes and then learn from them. Patience is removing the word “should” from your vocabulary and instead, understanding that everything that’s happened in your life has been necessary to teach you."

The Missing Ingredient for Success Today

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet The Longest Married Couple In The World | PraiseHouston - Praise 92.1 Houston's Home for the Gospel Community

I thought you would enjoy this little story that I came across.  Not only is it inspiring, but hints at the elements that are important parts of relationships.  Notice the wife doesn't talk about how "fine" her husband was when they met, but that he was quiet and kind.

Meet The Longest Married Couple In The World | PraiseHouston - Praise 92.1 Houston's Home for the Gospel Community

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spiritual Running Buddies

I'm not sure if you are familiar with Gabrielle Bernstien, but if not you should be. I just finished watching her video blog, Spiritual Running Buddies. She vlogs about the importance of having buddies who are on a similar spiritual path as you. She talks with watchers of the vlog about the importance of having people around you who share the need for spiritual health, inner happiness, integrity and authenticity. I look around and see so many people who are only representatives of their true selves. They think they're fooling everyone, but it's right up front for all to see. These folks may be your family members, close friends, co-workers, sorority sisters, sitting next to you on the train during your morning commute or it may be you. Love them, but do it with a little distance. One day they may be ready to join you on your journey, but not right now. Don't jeopardize your spiritual growth trying to bring them along before they're ready.  Check out Gabrielle's vlog.  The link is below so that you can watch.

Bit by bit, I'm building a posse of spiritual buddies. Some I've had since childhood and others I'm acquiring now as an adult. Many as a result of this blog. 18 Months to the Altar is about more than a wedding and marriage. It grew from an experience where I was less than authentic and was tired of  my own representative. It's really about spiritual growth. Not the kind that happens in a church pew, but the kind that happens when you bump up against experiences you've never had before and learn who you really are. What happens? Do you cling even more closely to the representative? Do you hide?  Do you pretend it's not happening?  Or do you throw off the representative, accept the growing pains, embrace a new awareness and work to establish spiritual health and inner peace. I vote for the latter.

That said.....Mexico was great. Lots of sun, surf, sand and relaxation. I wish I could have stayed longer. Here are some pics below for you to check out.

Spiritual Running Buddies (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, May 15, 2011


First, I apologize for taking so long to post to the blog.  A humble and heartfelt thank you to each of you that have written, called and posted wondering where I am, what I've been up to and if all is well.  I was unaware of the number of people who actually read the blog and  have been touched by the thoughts bouncing around in my head.  I do not take you for granted and appreciate your presence and comments.

The last several weeks have been  filled with school and final exams, "volunteer" projects at work, house guests every weekend during the month of April, unexpected death, church obligations, lending a shoulder and listening ear and being there for everyone except myself.  Normally, I would suck it up, step into my 4 1/2 inch platform peep-toes and keep it moving. Not this time.  I can't deny that I am tired and worn out.  I wish I could say that I'm so together that I called a halt to everything and claimed some me time, but I can't. I'm getting a break only because the semester has ended, I've closed out projects at work, co-launched what seems to be the start of a successful campaign at church and shepherded some folks through some emotional land mines. If the movement of time had not brought resolution to these various projects and situations, I'm not sure that I could or would have.  I'm so addicted to doing the right thing that I haven't done right for myself.  Woosah!

I'm sure you're wondering what does this mean for "18 Months to the Altar."  While reading your comments, emails and twitter messages I've wondered the same thing.  If you've followed the blog from the beginning, you'll recall that I shared with you the qualities that I want in a husband.  Two of those are making me a priority and spending quality time with me.  Two biggies given the inconsistency that I have experienced in the  recent past. On the other hand, how can I expect to attract someone who will make me a priority and spend quality time with me when I haven't made myself a priority or spent quality time with myself.  I have to demonstrate that I am worthy of my own time and attention before anyone else will believe I'm worthy of theirs.  I have to show people how I want to be treated so that they can know how to treat me.  If anyone has been watching for the last few weeks, I'm sure they don't think I'm worth much effort.  Only this week have I finally looked around and noticed the disarray that has become my life.  All people know about me right now is that my life is filled with non-romantic commitments and that I'm tired.  So, today I recommit to myself and 18 Months to the Altar.

At 9:30am this morning, I will boarding a plane and heading toward Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a much needed week of rest and relaxation. Next month, I'll be traveling to home to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday.  While there a good friend is arranging dates with two gentlemen that he believes are potential husband material for me.  I'll be back one week from today with news from the Mexican Riviera and hopefully two confirmed dates.

Be good to yourself so that others will be good to you too.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Law of Attraction

Over the last two weeks, I have received constant reminders that I am loved and cared about. I had lost sight of this because I have been so focused on what is lacking in my life and not on the abundance in my life. First, my cousin is coming for a long weekend visit. He only sees me during the Christmas holidays and wants to spend quality time with me. Next, a classmate from high school wrote to me " are such an intelligent beautiful gift... I am honored to be able to say "hey,I know her" Thank You, Beautiful. " Then an unexpected Fed Ex package arrived. It contained a Chuck Brown 2-disc DVD set, a DVD of Prince videos from 1979 and a DVD of the Prince and The Time concert that took place in Houston in 1982. Also, another friend regularly sends me texts to ask about my day, check in on me and to let me know he's thinking of me When he asks about my day, he genuinely wants to know. He's never satisfied with just a "good" or "great." One of my oldest and dearest friends visits from time to time with his wife and kids. I was a bridesmaid in their wedding. When he comes to visit, he laughs out loud because he has me all to himself and doesn't have to share me with our other friends (other than his wife). I haven't had to convince any of these folks that I am lovable, that I am worthy or that I matter. They have shown up and shown out. I have to wonder what have I sent out into the Universe to deserve such wonderful friends. On the other hand, I have to wonder what have I sent out into the Universe that I have not been successful in my more intimate relationships.

This past week, I've been reading "The Soulmate Secret." It is written by Arielle Ford and is based on beliefs anchored by the Law of Attraction. Once again, my new age-y friend has me taking in this stuff that I just find so far fetched. She keeps reminding me of her success and I'm compelled to give it a shot. I have to admit that she may be onto something. The Law of Attraction or LOA suggests that our inner thoughts can shape our physical reality. I agree - to a point. I'm certain the folks in Japan would disagree their inner thoughts have shaped their current physical reality. We must be wary of blaming the victim. For me, the optimum way of approaching this is to take what works for me and leave the rest on the table. In case you aren't convinced, I'm sharing some chapter titles that might arouse your curiosity: Belief; Unhooking the Past; Taking Action; and Are You Ready for Big Love. I found these extremely helpful. After reading these chapters I considered the following: do I have time to incorporate another person into my life as I pursue a PhD and work full-time; am I holding onto an old love or past hurts and circumstances that are shaping my current reality and choices; how do I envision my life; and do I believe I'm worthy of the love I say I want or am I going to settle - again. All good questions and deserving of some contemplation. I think we should all examine what vibrations and energies we are sending out into the Universe and not only consider personal relationships, but all relationships including professional, familial, financial, etc.   The author offers some exercises for uncovering some of these hidden truths. I think many are symbolic, but will be revealing and cathartic when I get around to them. Speaking of settling....

I was scheduled to go on a date this weekend. Very attractive man, nice guy, great conversationalist and highly recommended by a mutual friend. I had planned to meet him for dinner, but then cancelled. I know what you're thinking. What? Why? The man has four children - one his biological child and the others are the children of his ex and another man. He's caring for these children while she is deployed to Afghanistan. Admirable to say the least, but too complicated for me. I do not want to take on a ready-made family of six or maybe seven (him, four kids, an ex and her ex). I have not excluded men with children from my dating pool, but I object to dating and marrying a man with some other people's children. I have to wonder where is their father and why has he consented to allow this man to care for them. I do want my own children (biological or adopted) but what might this family situation mean for my resources, future children or family dynamics.  I do think it's important to get out there and meet new people, but I don't think it prudent to waste my or anyone else's time.  There is no future in being dishonest with myself about what I want and potentially settling just to say I have a man.
in reference to: Home | Daily Word (view on Google Sidewiki)
The Soulmate Secret by Arielle Ford

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Need a Man!

My cousin, who has turned into my biggest supporter, has provided me with a ton of information and resources as I march along this path of 18 months to the altar. He shared this blog post from "Champagne Social" with me and I thought it was quite appropriate. Kudos to the author, Patron and Pineapple.

In this post, the author let's the world know that yes, she needs a man and so do the rest of us. I agree. She comments that us contemporary women don't need a man for the material needs and wants in life, but we most certainly do for those so very intangible needs that require a man's touch - to be our rock, biggest supoorter, shoulder to lean on, best friend, head of the household, role model to our sons and daughters, lovers of black women and community leaders. Amen! She also argues that our generation has eliminated the need for "this" man and not given him the space to do his thing. Once again, I agree. On the other hand, I think we need to take the argument a step further. We need to consider our fears.

I would suggest that not only has "this" man not been given the space to do his thing, I think we're scared. At least I am. I am scared to death of what it would mean to make myself this transparent, this vulnerable to another person. Would I be rejected, ignored or disappointed. These fears have kept me paralyzed. I've mentioned an "old love" in a previous post and have to wonder if my timidity and fear were partly responsible for our lack of suceess. I think so. What to do, what to do?

It may be too late for the "old love", but it's not too late for a new one. If my intent to make it to the altar in 18 months is to be realized, I can't let the fear hold me back. I've got to break down the walls, throw out the defenses and give my potential groom full access.
in reference to: I Need a Man! « The Champagne Social (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Do Something

I had hoped that I'd be able to write that I've made some progress on the dating scene, but no go.  I've been side-tracked by mid-terms, presentations, conferences and providing a much needed hand to dear friends during a crisis.  As a result, I've not been giving myself much attention and lost some focus over the last couple weeks.  The first to go was my quiet time with God.  Not good.  Because I wasn't talking and sharing with God, fear and doubt were able to creep in.  Fear that I'd always be alone and doubt about the wisdom of undertaking such a thing as making it to the altar in 18 months.  You see, I'm neither an eternal optimist nor a suffering pessimist.  Those are both extremes which can lead to some not so wise choices.  I prefer balance to operating in euphoric delusion or self-fulfilling doom and gloom.  Fortunately, for me it's Spring Break and I've been able to take a deep breath, re-group and reclaim some of my quiet time.  "Give us this day our daily bread."  I offered God a prayer of trust. I let God know that I have some things going on and needed help staying on track.  I asked for strengthening of my faith, help managing my emotions, doubts and insecurities as well as my academic and professional worries.  Usually this prayer is only a part of my quiet time, but today it became the most important part. I've decided to be a  warrior and step out on faith.

Do something!  I decided that an integral part of this endeavor would be to try something new every month.  The logic being that by stepping away from my comfort zone I would perhaps expand my social networks and meet some new people.  Well, I decided to try rock climbing.  Had a great time, got lots of exercise and had plenty of laughs.  The problem is that I went at the wrong time.  Apparently, I was there during family hour.  No single gentlemen to be found; only mommies, daddies and children's birthday parties.  Oh well, maybe next time.  On the other hand, the outing did remind me that my future groom must love kids, which is one of the qualities I listed in my petition to the guardian angels of my soul-mate.

Writing a letter to the guardian angels of your soul-mate might sound a little new age-y.  I thought the same thing when my very good friend suggested it to me.  She reminded me that I couldn't argue with success.  She had done this very thing and met her soul-mate a year to the date of writing the letter.  They are now married and raising a family together.  Encouraged,  I wrote my letter to God's foot soldiers.  Even more important, by writing the letter I was able to clarify for myself what it is that I WANTED in a partner, not what I didn't want.  Here's the list.  The qualities here are in no particular order:
1.      I want him to be sweet to me
2.      I want to be a priority in his life
3.      I want him to be my biggest cheerleader and one of the most important parts of my support system
4.      I want him to own our relationship and treat it like it is gold, silver and tickets to the Superbowl
5.      I want him to be attentive
6.      I want him to be able to express himself and not solve problems by walking away and reappearing when he feels the coast is clear
7.      I want him to be assured and confident – in a general sense
8.      I want him to be willing to take chances with me – emotionally, with our family and be adventurous
9.      I want him to be honest AND truthful; no committing omissions
10.  I want him to be ethical and have a personality built upon values similar to mine
11.  I want him to be compassionate, show grace and tolerance
12.  I want him to be physically compatible – sexually
13.  I want him to be open to all channels and avenues for making our love, life and family better
14.  I want him to be steadfast and never give up
15.  I want him to be financially secure and astute; know when to seek guidance
16.  I want him to make efforts to let me know I am special, that he is interested in me and that I am important to him
17.  I want him to have goals and objectives
18.  I want him to love having a good time
19.  I want him to be proud to be with me and be able to point and say she’s with me, she’s mine
20.  I want him to marry me
21.  I want him to respect me
22.  I want us to spend quality time together
23.  I want him to work with me to create a life together where we feel secure and safe with one another
24.  I want us to create a “village” that loves, supports and will safeguard us.  I want us to be that for others in our “village”
25.  I want him to always be willing to try
26.  I want him to be a spiritual man who knows there is something greater than himself; I want him to be awed by the ocean and nature
      27. I want him to be so comfortable with himself that who I am is no threat
      28. I want him to be fit, not super-model fine, but fit

In case you're interested in writing your own letter to the guardian angels of your soul-mate, the template I followed is below - start, body and conclusion.  This is great for those who are single and looking, married and wanting to maintain their relationship or those in a relationship looking to shake it up a little bit. 
Dear Guardian Angels of My Soul Mate,
Then, pour out your heart to these angels in the body of the letter. It doesn’t matter whether you know who your soul mate is, because the angels do. Then conclude the letter by saying something like:
I know that my soul mate is looking for me with the same fervor as I am looking for him/her. Thank you for guiding us to meet, love, and experience a joyful and harmonious relationship based upon mutual respect, integrity, shared interests, and passionate romance. Thank you for clearly guiding me in ways that I can easily understand so that I may enjoy this relationship now.

One last word, be careful what you ask for.  You will be and should be asked to bring the same to the table.