Being Authentic

One thing I know for sure is that God created us in a perfect form, and that it is our job to love and accept ourselves. When we do not love ourselves we create an injustice toward God, who created us in his perfect form. It is our duty to love ourselves, treat ourselves well, and honor and respect our bodies. One of the ways in which we dishonor ourselves is by trying to be something we are not. For instance when we attempt to change our sex or overall physical appearance. Imagine the God above looking down on his children and seeing so many miserable individuals. Individuals who have been hurt, and individuals who do not believe in themselves.

No one has the right to mistreat you, but unfortunately it happens. Your job is to deflect their hatred and abuse. Your job is to persevere and become the wonderful individual that God created  you to be. There  is  nothing wrong with you, you are wonderful just the way you are. You are smart enough, pretty enough, kind enough, and talented enough. Don’t allow others to trick you into thinking that you are not an awesome individual. Be true to yourself, don’t try to fit the molds that others have created. The only person you need to please is yourself and God, if you are pleasing God then you are on  the right track.

Guarding Your Heart

The heart is not only one of the most vital organs in our body it is also one of the most sensitive organs that requires protection physically and emotionally. Last night I was reading the following passage in my amplified bible “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:21, 23 AMP)” What I learned from this scripture is that the heart is the center of all that is good in human beings. It is important that we protect our heart because once our heart is damaged it is difficult for us to function.

After reflecting on the importance of the heart I began to examine ways that I have allowed my heart to be damaged, because I failed to protect it. So, here goes a little disclosure; in the past I was guilty of allowing others to hurt me and therefore hurting my heart. Every time I allowed my mate (past not present) to verbally assault me, every time I entered into impossible relationships that I knew ahead of time would not be able to fulfill my emotional needs, and every time I pretended I had control over others and their poor decision-making, therefore blaming myself when they inflicted pain upon themselves.

Whenever I listen to negative messages that counter the positive messages I normally tell myself, I am guilty of not guarding my heart. Words are some of the most common ways in which we do not guard our heart. I have learned that I am responsible for guarding my heart and I must take this task seriously. So many times I had difficulty functioning because my heart was afflicted with pain. Pain that I allowed into my life and my heart. Now that I am wiser and stronger I have learned to guard my heart, and I have learned that this is an ongoing task; I have to work on this task everyday.

Be sure to guard your heart!

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a difficult task, yet necessary in our everyday lives. There is a common misconception when it comes to forgiveness, this misconception is that by forgiving others we are condoning negative or hurtful behaviors, that by forgiving we are showing weakness. Both ideologies are incorrect. The bible states ” For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14 AMP)” I believe the point of this scripture is that, our goal is to be God like, and in doing so we have to practice forgiveness. God constantly and consistently forgives us of our sin, so we must do the same to those in our lives.

Practicing forgiveness releases us from internal pain, forgiveness allows us to move away from the past and embrace our future, while being productive during our present. Holding ourselves in un-forgiveness is the equivalent of living in a prison, it propels us into being unproductive. Forgiving others takes strength and courage, it does not mean that we allow others to mistreat us or that we allow others to abuse us. It simply means that we move on with our lives, we learn from the past, and we don’t worry about whether or not others will hurt us. We simply live in the peace and joy that God has granted all of us. Don’t allow yourself to live in the prison of un-forgiveness.

Relationship Insanity

Life is short, so ideally we should spend our time being productive and loving life as well as each other.  Well for some life is long, painful, and traumatic because of relationship choices. At what point do we stop participating in relationship insanity? You may wonder what exactly is relationship insanity?? Well relationship insanity is the act or process of engaging in constant mistreatment, but saying that you want something different and something better, but doing nothing proactively that could bring about change. For instance, staying with a chronic cheater, continuing to have children without a commitment, having unprotected sex and complaining about contracting STIs (sexually transmitted infections) etc. All of these acts require full participation from you, people can only do what you allow them to do.  What sense does it make to cry and complain about mistreatment when we have free will to change our circumstances and our relationships.

Why do people participate in this type of insanity? Well I suspect that some of the foundational reasons may be low feelings of self-worth, high levels of neediness, fear of abandonment, and poor relationship outlook. All of this leads to a willingness to accept mediocre relationships that are hurtful, dangerous, and pointless. Perhaps some people feel it is better to be with a loser than to sleep alone. But at what  cost are you willing to compromise your self for the sake of “so-called love” I am always amazed at what people consider love.

The bible says “Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.  It is not  conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5 AMP)

So how do we break the patterns of insane relationships? Here are some tips:

  1. Conduct a reality check and break the cycle of denial, if everyone around you can see the insanity, you might want to examine the relationship.
  2. Be sure that you have a definition of love, if love is not present in your relationship then let it go.
  3. Care more about your mental and emotional health and well-being; more than the relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Sex You Will Ever Have

So what does the best sex ever look like? The best sex ever will take place inside a committed marital relationship, with someone who is selfless. Selflessness is important because sex will not simply be about them only,  they will consider your feelings and work hard to please you. When someone truly cares about you, they will not pressure you to do things sexually that you are not comfortable with, and they will be patient and kind. They will understand any possible past sexual trauma, they will make you feel that you have the ability to meet all of their sexual needs, and those needs will be aligned with God’s word, the person that makes his or her spouse feel inferior by requesting to bring outside people or experiences into the relationship perhaps do not have your best interest at heart.

The best sex ever should include the following:

  1. A committed loving relationship which breeds respect and morals.
  2. High frequency, meaning as much as possible, with exceptions for health problems and long distance marriages.
  3. Creativity and spontaneity, nobody wants the same old boring sex.
  4. Free of health concerns, if there is concern of STDs then the enjoyment of sex will be hindered, condoms were meant mainly for those practicing sex with multiple partners, marital sex should be free of health worries, as this will provide a damper on sex.
  5. Respect is vital, because if one respects his spouse then he will not ask for uncomfortable or risky sex, who wants sex that someone had to pressured into.
  6. Patience and the desire to learn new things and explore each others bodies in a respectful manner.
  7. Trust, love, and security that sex is long-term and not just for one night.
  8. Freedom to share desires and passions in a safe environment.

Sex should not include the following:

  1. Guilt, shame, or force
  2. Deception
  3. Risk to health
  4. Other people besides your spouse
  5. Dread
  6. Being uncomfortable
  7. Feelings of loneliness
  8. Regret
  9. Contradiction to God’s word

Toxic Parents

Ideally parents are supposed to teach, love, and protect their children. Sometimes parents lack the ability in any of the above  mentioned duties. Parents should value and cultivate their children, but unfortunately some parents are very toxic. By toxic I mean abusive and neglectful, abusive by means of verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional withholding or parental neglect. Some children are lucky enough to receive help in repairing those old wounds of abuse, but what about the children who are not rescued, counseled, or engage in spiritual healing? Well they turn into adults who may someday have children of their own. The question then becomes how do adults avoid becoming a toxic parent? Well lets identify all the ways one can be a toxic parent and then we will examine ways to recover from toxic parenting.

The following should be considered toxic parenting:

  1. Verbal abuse in the form of criticism, yelling, name calling, cursing, discouraging your child, overall negativity. Ex. “you are useless” “you are stupid” “you are not smart enough to do that” “I wish you were never born” “I don’t like you”
  2. Sexual abuse in the form of touching, forcing a child to watch pornography, sexual intercourse, forcing a child to watch adults have sex etc.
  3. Neglect in the forms of not providing adequate food or shelter, meeting the adults needs before the child’s. Ex. buying food or clothes for adults but not the child, leaving children unattended in order to hang out socially, withholding emotional affection/emotionally unavailable.
  4. Physical abuse in the forms of hitting, beating with objects which leave long-lasting bruises, yelling, all punishments are physical, slapping a child, punching a child, pushing into furniture for mere infractions that are age appropriate.
  5. Untreated mental illness in which the child suffers because the parent is suffering from depression, mood disorders etc. the parent refuses to be medicated and refuses mental health counseling. Untreated mental illness leaves the child to suffer with abrupt moods, extreme anger, witnessing suicide attempts etc.
  6. Substance abuse which leaves the child witnessing parental black outs, drug and alcohol abuse by many adults within the home (parties), drug selling, neglect because the family finances are used to obtain drugs or alcohol. All of this can leave the child with trust issues, developmental issues (if use occurs during pregnancy), co-dependency issues, etc.
  7. Manipulating and controlling parents who constantly manipulate their children to fulfill their own agendas such as using guilt trips, using money to control children, using religion to inflict guilt etc.

Ways to recover from toxic parenting:

  1. Adults recovering from toxic parenting should seek mental health and spiritual counseling.
  2. Create boundaries such as staying away from those who have or continue to abuse or mistreat you.
  3. Self reflection exercises: listing your good qualities, volunteer work that makes you feel worthy and needed, and showcases your talents.
  4. Journal often, this helps to regulate feelings and is good for releasing anger.
  5. Learn the art of prayer and meditation.
  6. Join a support group.
  7. Surround yourself around positive people who love and support you in your goals, and who can help further your goals in life.
  8. Seek a mentor, a person who is healthy and possibly have overcome the same type of experience with toxic parents.

Marital Insecurity

What causes one to feel secure or insecure within a marital or committed relationship? Security or insecurity could be based upon the quality of the relationship and individual issues such as mental health, medical, or relationship issues. Adults, like children thrive better when they feel secure and can somewhat predict their daily routine, and response to their emotional needs. When thinking about security, the quality of the relationship is also important.  Security could be based upon individual issues that each of us carry inside.  Like security, insecurity, could also be relationship based. Insecurity could be the result of mistreatment in the relationship.

Ideally, when we enter into relationships we want, crave, and expect to feel secure with our significant other. But holding our significant others accountable for our total security could be dangerous and a difficult task for them to accomplish.  Such things like infidelity, abuse, and personal baggage could promote insecurity.  Also, those who do not have a connection to God, may feel less secure.

Examine yourself within the context of your relationship, and ask yourself whether or not you feel secure.  Regardless of the answer, next ask yourself why do you feel secure or insecure.  What could you do to promote security in your relationship? What major factors lead to insecurity in relationships? The following list may be helpful,

Ways to promote Security:

  • Being open and honest
  • Being loving to your spouse
  • Being trustworthy to your spouse
  • Having a significant relationship with God
  • Taking responsibility for your own happiness

Signs of Insecurity:

  • Chronic unhappiness
  • Chronic neediness
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Low self-esteem
  • Constant critical words toward others

No Longer On The List

Who do you have on your friendship list? How did that person make it to the list? How are individuals removed from the list? Your friendship list should be sacred, only a select few allowed. Those that exemplify love, compassion, support, and time when interacting with you should be allowed into the friendship circle. There is no room in the circle for jealously, envy, and those who do not practice reciprocity (returning phone calls and texts and love). In relationships distance is sometimes needed to protect your heart and conserve your time.

What does it look like when someone is no longer on the list?

  1. No longer given priority in relation to time.
  2. No longer going the extra mile to inquire about their day.
  3. In the words of Martin Lawrence “I will see you when I see you”
  4. No longer make the first contact, they should know how to find you, if they want to.
  5. No longer put their concerns before yours.

Misguided Hatred

Quite often, the saying “hate is a wasted emotion” is used, perhaps there is some truth to this saying. Hate usually leaves the individual feeling angry and unhappy.  Dictionary.com  describes hatred as “the feeling of one who hates, intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.” Usually when the term hatred is used it is directed toward a specific person, place, or thing. Unfortunately, I think it is highly misused against people.  What does it really mean to hate someone? Does one have to know an individual personally in order to hate them? You would think so, but think of the numerous celebrities that are hated by the general public, most likely for unjust reasons, but yet still hated. I say unjust because how does one hate someone they do not know? The hip hop culture often use the term “he hatin on me” which carries the connotation that someone is disliked or the victim of someone else’s jealous feelings without justification.

What about unjustified hate toward a friend or family member? I often wonder how does someone claim friendship and yet hate the person at the same time?  When the term hate is so loosely used, we forget that sometime the thing that makes us so envious of others could very well be the talent or blessing that God has placed upon them. If you compare yourself to your friend, or become angry or enraged when they acquire material possessions, a new spouse, have a special talent, a raise a work etc., then be careful, because you may be hating a blessing from God. So it’s not really the person you are hating, maybe it’s the blessing, and if it’s the blessing then you run the risk of hating God.

Maybe you should take a personal inventory and examine the next time you feel hate towards someone. Ask yourself, why am I so annoyed by this person, why do I dislike this person?  Think of how unfair it is for the other person who considers you a friend. They spend time with you and share their hopes and dreams, just to have you speak ill behind their backs and to betray their confidence. How unfair for the person who looks at you as a friend, how hurtful. Maybe if you cannot be a true friend without hate or envy then you should let the friendship dissolve. What are you gaining by pretending, every time your friend comes around you feel annoyed or angry; this is your issue not your friend’s. If someone is your friend you should be able to cheer for them and all their successes and help them in times of their failure. Practicing the art of “Fake  Friendship” is a waste of time and is hurtful to the other person.  Just as hate is also a waste of time, because it usually accomplishes nothing.

Knowing When to Relinquish a Relationship

How do you know when it is time to release yourself from a relationship? When I say relationship I mean all relationships, romantic, friendship, business, and family relationships.  When do you call it quits? When is relinquishing a relationship for the best, and when is it considered being a quitter because it’s too hard? It may be a good idea to end a relationship, if you have tried to make things better by communicating with the other person, you tried being flexible and compromising, you have humbled yourself and did not allow your pride to rule your decision-making. Perhaps you are not producing or receiving anything good from the relationship, maybe the relationship is one-sided, you give and the other person takes.  Eventually you will grow tired of giving that you become depleted. How many times must you apologize, choose to quiet your voice, or overlook hurtful words or actions.  

Why would one choose to stay in such a relationship state? Perhaps it is something that you learned early on in life, maybe this is the sort of relationship that you had with your parents or siblings, and you think that this is how relationships are supposed to be.  Maybe, you don’t think you deserve better. You think love or relationships consist of you pursuing and the other party or individual running and mistreating you.  Somewhere on your relationship DNA you were fooled into thinking that this sort of one-sided relationship is good, but deep down you know it is not right.  At what point do you value yourself enough to relinquish the past and walk toward something new and rewarding?

Perhaps, it is time to stop making excuses, and start making healthy choices that will allow you to prosper and grow as an individual. Perhaps, it is time to receive some of the love that you constantly share with others. Maybe, just maybe, every relationship is not worth saving. So, how do you know when it is time to move on to new endeavors and relationships? Here are some helpful hints:

  1. If you are in a one-sided relationship, constantly giving but never receiving.
  2. If your relationship is not producing any income, mutual learning, or emotional connection.
  3. If you are constantly second guessing yourself, trying to figure out how to make the other person happy, but in reality there is no making them happy, because they could care less about you.
  4. If you are being physically, emotionally, or verbally abused or financially depleted/manipulated.
  5. If you are not being appreciated.
  6. If you are dispensable to the other person, they really don’t care if you live or die, show up or cancel, call or don’t call.
  7. If you have given a good faith effort, and still there has been no change.
  8. If you are emotionally, financially, or intellectually depleted (there is simply nothing left).
  9. If you are not learning, prospering, or changing for the better.
  10. If the current relationship is hindering you from new relationships and opportunities.