Letting Go and Trusting God

This is a first time in a while that I’ve actually allowed myself the time to think and write down my thoughts. Up until last month I haven’t felt like being the girl that everyone loves. My smile was forced and my thoughts were dark. I’ve contemplated going off the grid a couple of times and moving to a remote island but quickly snapped back to reality when I couldn’t figure out who would do my hair. Smh! There are things on TV that I never thought I would be comfortable watching that I now can’t get enough of. Fatal Attraction, Crime Watch, ID channel are just to name a few. Basically, any show where someone ends up missing or dead is my cup of tea at this moment. So what compelled me to want to dwell inside the mind of a killer? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. Should I be worried that I rather spend my nights finding out why “Jim Bob” chopped off his girlfriend’s head and hid it in the freezer than hanging out with friends, probably not lol. I know this is just a phase but it was a new behavior that I noticed.

While doing some self-reflection I have acknowledged that some of the sudden changes within comes from a place of disappointment. I noticed a difference in my demeanor after a “situation-ship” ended earlier this year. I say situation-ship because it didn’t have the chance to blossom into a relationship. He was the first person in a long time that I connected with physically, mentally and spiritually. He appeared solid when it came to his pursuit of me and relationship with Christ. Often times he would reassure me he was in it for the long haul and he would talk about the future (girls like that). He fell quick and rightfully so, but I tried to not let it scare me. In my experience, people who fall quick burn out easily and I’ve been through this before so initially my guard was all the way up.

Our conversations were very much intentional, some lighthearted but mostly serious. From the beginning, we spoke openly about our views on marriage, family, religion and what we foresaw in the future. A man with a plan is what most traditional women want and it was refreshing to witness. Slowly my guard came down. Perhaps he really did find someone he wanted to be with. Perhaps he was different from the rest and meant every thing he said. So, I stopped analyzing and questioning his motives and I allowed him to be him and pursue me in the way that he wanted. I liked it. I felt special, cared for and adored. There were some religious and cultural ideals that we disagreed on but I allowed myself to believe that as long as we both loved God, everything would work out. Aren’t I optimistic.

“Like sand through the hour glass”, so are the days that I began to notice cracks in our foundation. For a man who portrayed himself to have all this faith, he certainly allowed things that he initially said weren’t issues to slowly became road blocks in our relationship. Either he was allowing fear to get in the way or this was something he no longer wanted. I knew trying to figure it out would only drive me crazy. Even though I had my reservations about the person he was now revealing, I still wanted to fight. Wait, what exactly was I fighting for? Was it him that I really wanted or was it the feelings that I felt in the beginning. After all, It’s safe to say that we didn’t really know one another. Because if he really knew who I was, it wouldn’t have been so easy for him to walk away. But then again, people know who God is and they turn their backs on him every day.

When we were together, he would allude to having a dark side and I sometimes would catch a glimpse of it. I could sense an anger or frustration when he would speak about his faith or when we didn’t agree on something. He called it passion. Had things moved a little slower, I may have had a better understanding of where that came from. For a while after it ended, I often wished that things turned out differently. I questioned if I was enough, contemplated on what I did wrong and would often beat myself up for even having feelings for someone I barely knew. I longed for the connection that I thought he and I shared. I wondered if I mattered to him at all. Essentially, all of my insecurities that I thought I dealt with came rushing back with vengeance and it didn’t feel good.

Thank God for time right. As cliche as it sounds, time does heal wounds and allows you to see things from a new perspective. By now, I have let go of the anger and even started to have an appreciation for the brief time we shared together. What’s been helpful in my moving forward is knowing that I didn’t know everything about him and perhaps the characteristics I didn’t see, I may not have liked anyway. God has protected me from other relationships that had the potential to be detrimental so it could be possible He was stepping in again. To fully understand God, I have to trust that He knows when to move people in and out my life. I also trust that the man I’m supposed be with is not going to crumble when things get tough. I trust that he will know the difference between love and lust. I trust that he will be humble, kind and will recognize a good thing when he sees it. I trust that he will love me on the days when I’m at my best and the days where I’m unrecognizable. And Lastly, I trust that he is out there looking for someone like me because I’m waiting patiently for someone like him 🙂

Until next time…

XOXO

Ready or Not (Part 2)

Happy New Year! So, I’m back and ready to pick up where I left off. In my previous blog I touched on people wanting love but not being willing to put in the work. I must say that this topic intrigues me simply because it’s the one thing that people want and no matter the race or class one falls into, it is this very concept that people can’t seem to get right. You see, the way my mind is set up…I’ve always been the type of person to step back and look at a situation and ask “Why and How”? I was the kid in class trying to make sense of how one man could fly around to every child’s house and still have time to make it to mine in just one night. Logically, it just didn’t make sense and later I found out why. They Lied!

So naturally, when I examine the complexity of relationships and how willingly we are to monkey bar from one to the next, I find myself asking why. Why are marriages falling apart? What hinders people from wanting to continue to put their best foot forward throughout the entire relationship? What causes people to be more open in the beginning and then slowly put their guards back up? How is it that a man can be so certain one minute that he met the woman he has been searching for to only shoot her the deuces and walk away as if that experience meant nothing to him? These are just some of the questions that I try to make sense of as I maneuver through my own dating experiences.

I recently came across the following statement: “When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever ties rather than to maintain commitment, but the extent to which two people in a relationship can bring up and resolve issues is a significant sign of the soundness of their relationship”. Say what!!? Now if this isn’t the truth then I don’t know what is? The majority of decisions we make in life, especially when it comes to how we deal with one another, is motivated by fear. Whether its fear of being alone, fear of losing the person you love, or fear of getting hurt (again), it’s all encompassing.

So fellas, think about it, when you first meet a woman you do what? Take her out, communicate your feelings, share your secrets, buy her gifts, and put your kidney on layaway just in case she needs it. You basically are being “That Guy”, the guy that everyone woman wants and still on the waiting list to get. And yes as women, we often times chop your approach up to “game”, which is not fair because most times you are being authentic and genuine in your pursuit. But Hi, my name is Woman and I got trust issues! Therefore it’s going to take consistency on your end for women to begin to see how genuine you really are.

Guys, is it safe to say that in the beginning some of the things that you do for a woman is out of fear of her not accepting you for who you really are or you losing her to someone else. And ladies, would it be safe to say that while he is “wooing/courting” you there is fear that he will stop doing these things over the course of your relationship or that he has some ulterior motive? For me, the answer is Yes! Unfortunately it is our past hurts that bring forth insecurities in the new relationship. And we can tell ourselves repeatedly that we are changed, healed, delivered and ready to embrace this new person in our lives but I personally believe that sometimes the real healing comes from experiencing a different result from a similar situation that occurs in this new relationship that caused you pain in your previous relationship. Are you following me? You may have to read that statement twice to actually get it.

Basically in this new relationship, you have to allow yourself to feel and go through whatever situation you are being faced with again. You have to be willing to throw fear out the window! And yes, it will feel uncomfortable and way all too familiar but in order to heal from the past hurt you have to allow this process to happen to you so you can replace it with a new feeling. Even if you believe that you didn’t play a role in the challenge you experienced, you can still take responsibility for your attitudes and feelings about what happened. You can choose to move on and continue to give that person the best version of yourself. In addition, you can choose to be completely transparent and let the other person know how their actions effected you. For some reason, we find it challenging to tell someone, “When you did this, it made me feel like ____”.  This type of dialogue is necessary and can only strengthen the relationship. You have to be willing to provide your partner with the proper information so they are better equipped to handle you in these moments. So the question will then become, Is she/he worth it? Is this somebody that I am willing to be vulnerable with? Do I want this person in my life? If your answer is yes, then DO THE WORK!

Unfortunately, it’s at this point where people find it challenging and decide that they rather cut ties. So, it’s on to the next relationship, only to continue the same pattern: “Find the right person, fall in love, fix your hopes and dreams on this person for your future fulfillment and if failure occurs, repeat steps 1,2 and 3”(Chip Ingram). This is NOT Gods design and thankfully so because it’s quite exhausting! Just as the Bible instructs us to renew our minds daily so we can discern the will of God (Romans 12:2), shouldn’t we then be applying this concept while entering into a new relationship? Shouldn’t we be operating with a renewed mind when meeting a new person?

So, how do you know if you are ready for Love? I personally believe that you are ready when your perspective shifts from what can I gain to what can I give to this relationship. You’re ready when you don’t allow fear to dictate how you operate in getting to know someone. You’re ready when you can fix your hope on God and seek to please Him and not only your mate because by seeking Him you will then become a better person in your relationship. You’re ready when you can understand that life’s greatest hurts come from other people and that at times you will have to extend grace and forgiveness, even when you think the other person may not deserve it. And lastly, you are ready when you realize that there is no perfect relationship but only imperfect people and we are all tremendously flawed, therefore when you find someone who you truly connect with and good for your soul, you do what is necessary to make it work. Easier said than done, but nothing in this world is more difficult than LOVE. And nothing is more worth it 🙂

XOXO

Ready or Not?

I’m looking for love? I just want someone who understands me? I want to be married? I’m tired of dating? I want, I need, I gotta have! These are just some of the things we say to convince ourselves that we are ready to be in a serious adult relationship. How do I know? Because I’ve said these very same things. Not only that, I’ve heard them from friends, family, younger men, older men, your momma etc.. Normally when you get a group of women together, the topic usually goes to, “I just want a good man”. And when men get together, although there are many details left out, I’m sure when a commercial break comes on during the game, the conversation may go something like..

Guy 1: “Man these women out here ain’t bout nothin”
Guy 2: “All they want is your money”
Guy 3: “And you can’t trust them”
Guy 4: “ Yo bro, the game back on”!

Pretty accurate right? However, if I was a man whisper and could hear their hearts rather than their mouths, I bet it would sound something like..

Guy 1: “I’m sure I haven’t always made the best decisions with my selection of women but I know there has to be some good ones out there”
Guy 2: “I had a couple of women who really liked extravagant things but I want to find someone who values not only her money but mine as well”
Guy 3: “The last chick cheated on me and it really messed me up. I’m scared to open my heart up to someone again because I don’t want to get hurt”
Guy 4: “Yo bro, the game back on”!

Only in a perfect world would we hear the true feelings of a man’s heart. Not saying that men don’t know how to open up, but in my experience it seems it’s as frequent as a solar eclipse. And like an eclipse, when you get a chance to witness the vulnerability of a man, it’s AMAZING! But why would a man not want to open up to a woman he is pursuing? Or why would a woman be afraid to let her guard down in a relationship? Perhaps it’s insecurity or being afraid of what the other person might be thinking? If that is the case, then how are we supposed to get love if we aren’t willing to give anything? Hmmmm…..

This leads me to pose the question, Are we really ready for love? “Of course I am”, many would say. But I’m not talking about falling in love or the lovey dovey stuff portrayed in movies. I’m speaking of real love. The type of love that will get you a couple of acres, a mule and some grandchildren. Just imagine how much commitment it takes to be with someone long enough to see your own children having children. That’s a lot of arguments, maybe some heartache, quite a few expectations not being met, with a side of tears, laughs and hopefully a whole bunch of love. This is the type of love and sacrifice that I’m afraid many people in my generation won’t get a chance to experience. Why? Because many of us want it but seem to have not a clue on what it takes to maintain it. We aren’t willing to, as Ms. Iyanla would put it, “do the work”.

As you may notice, there is no Dr. in front of my name, nor do I claim to be an expert on relationships. I can only speak from my own personal experiences and what I see going on around me. With technology today, we have more chances of meeting our mate than our parents or grandparents did. With a quick swipe of the fingertip we can find our next date for Saturday night just like that. Walla Magic! So hearing that should be refreshing, right? Yes and no. Yes because we have more options but then again, no, because we have so many options. I think knowing that we have more options, lowers our tolerance for dealing with some of the issues that comes along in a normal relationship. So our logic is when we see something we don’t like we’re on to the next. However, we all know by now that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

A guy friend and I were recently having an in depth discussion about why he is still single at 40. Yes 40! He is great looking, successful, loves the lord, nice body and NO KIDS. Did I say, no kids? Anyway, during the whole convo it appeared that his underlying reason for not being married had nothing to with him but simply because women didn’t have it together. So men, can you imagine getting to the pearly white gates and God ask you, “Son why didn’t you find your wife like I told you to” and your answer is “because the women that You created didn’t have it together”! Makes you want to laugh doesn’t it (I just did lol). Most importantly, it should make you think.

At some point in your life, you need to take responsibility for yourself and really work on becoming the man God wants you to be. And of course, the same goes for women. As much as we women want to think we got it goin on, we can also use some fine tuning as well.  So often we are looking for all of these extraordinary qualities that we want someone else to have. When we meet that person who catches our eye we immediately pull out our check list to ensure they are qualified to date us (since we are so awesome and have it all together) For men, it’s, “I want a woman who is loyal, kind, smart, driven, spiritual, good looking, not involved in drama, great communicator, strokes my ego, good listener, has a career, no kids and looks like Kim Kardashian”. Ok, maybe I overdid it with the Kim K comment but appearance is very important to a man and rightfully so. But the question I have is why should a woman with ALL of those qualities take herself off the market for someone like you. No shade! I’m just keeping it real. Do you possess the same qualities? Are you loyal? Are you kind? Do you have a career or at least in pursuit of one (see how I lowered the bar for you just now). If you met your dream girl, would you even know the things you need to change to keep her? Ladies, if you met the man of your dreams would you continue being the same or would you make some minor adjustments? “But Chyla, if she can’t love me for being myself then she ain’t the one cuz I ain’t changin’ for noboby”! I can’t tell you how many times I heard that line but here is the kicker..you said you ain’t changin’ for “nobody” and from my understanding your “dream girl” would not just be anybody. She would be THE ONE right?? So would she be the one worth changing for? If not, then you’re not really ready, are you?

To be continued…..

CK

Wait!! Let me explain…!!

So I realized that it’s been more than a year since I posted. Has it really been that long? Anyway, in my last post I spoke about being torn between two very different men. So ready for the good news…Drum roll please…both men are no longer in the picture. At least not in a romantic type of way. The good guy got engaged and married. Of course he would, he was the good guy lol. The good ones are always ready to settle down when You aren’t lol.  No hard feelings or jealousy because I knew he was ready to be married and although he is good man, he is not the one that God has for me. I also learned a couple of things about him from two of his close friends that helped me realized I possibly dodged a bullet…just saying. And so for the bad guy, well he is still single and “having fun”. He is actually someone that I still enjoy hanging out with and talking to. I’ve realized that in order for he and I to remain in each others lives, I had to view him as just a friend and not put these boyfriend expectations on him. Because he failed every time! He is someone that I can really talk to and just be myself with. Surprisingly he seems to give really good relationship advice. Smh…isn’t that Ironic.

When you learn to except people for who they really are, you are no longer living in a fantasy world. You are dealing with the reality of what the situation really is. For me, when I spoke in the previous blog about playing myself, I meant I was trying to emotionally connect myself to someone who didn’t have the mental ability to do that. I played myself into making someone commit who was not obligated to do so. I believe my aha moment came in December 2014 when he was trying to make things right after he messed up for the 20th time. During that conversation, he began to express how much he cares for me and how he doesn’t want to lose me. Blah Blah Blah. Although everything he said were things I’ve heard before. For some reason, a light bulb came on. In that moment, I heard my inner voice or perhaps God say, “Don’t you want a man who gives you every reason or excuse why HE SHOULD be with you versus reasons why he shouldn’t”? Well yes, I most certainly do. And although I appreciated Mr. Wrong for keeping it real and looking out for my well being by not attaching himself to me, I had to also keep it real with myself and realize that I needed to stop looking at the potential of what he and I could be and start looking at the reality of what the situation really was. Did I really want to waste my “good years” being with a man who could not keep his word, was always “making moves”, still “kinda” involved with other women, always having a reason on why he didn’t show up or call when he said he would. Absolutely NOT!

So it was December 2014, right before the new year when I gave that 2 year relationship over to God. That night, I remember closing my eyes peacefully and hearing God say, “Let that go my dear… I got something better in store for the new year”!

Torn between the two

I know!! Its been a while since I last posted. I believe my last post was talking about my dating experience in NC. I guess you can say that it’s still going strong but I still haven’t quite found what I’m looking for. Same conversations but different locations…lol. However, there are 2 guys that have sparked my interest in different ways. Let’s start with Guy #1, we’ll call him Mr.Right. He is everything a woman would want on paper, handsome, employed, christian and serves in church, attentive, kind and the list goes on and on. There actually isn’t enough things that I could say about him. “So what’s the problem girl”! “You better marry him”!, some women would say. The truth is, I don’t feel a strong connection when I’m with him. Sometimes I found myself getting frustrated with the fact that I don’t feel more for him. He has all the qualities that I wrote down in my journal about what I wanted in a man. I even prayed and asked God to open my heart towards him so I can finally be in the relationship that I have been hoping for. I knew he would be able to provide me all of the the things that I’ve wanted. But as the months went on and the more we hung out, my feelings remained the same. I still had the urge to want to hang around other guys. There was something that was still missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I started to hang out with…Mr.Wrong!

Oh don’t we all love a bad boy. Especially the good looking ones. What is it about them that make us so infatuated with them. Perhaps it’s the way they look at you when you walk in the room or how they carry themselves with a sense of confidence and pride. It’s how they command the room when they walk in and capture the attention of all the women, who know deep down “this guy is trouble”.  Yes, it’s all that and just when you think you have had your fair share of those guys in the past, you meet another who seems slightly different. Or should I say, same dog but different breed.  So, how did Mr. Wrong grab the attention of this girl, who claims to be strong, intelligent and could a spot a player from a mile way? Let’s just say, he didn’t play me…I played myself. Now, I want to go on the record by saying that this guy is not a bad guy, nor did he intentionally try to manipulate me in any way. He is like the majority of black men…broken, damaged and is trying to heal his wounds in the wrong way. If I had to be honest, no matter how highly I think of myself, I would soon discover that he and I were a lot alike. My wounds were just in a different package.  Although we were obviously attracted to each other, we enjoyed the process of getting to know one another. As the months went on, I became more vulnerable with him and my feelings grew for him tremendously. But, I still had my guard up because I knew that he had another side time. The side that I would see, when I caught his eye wondering when a woman walked by or when he hit the ignore button when a certain young lady would call. The side would come out when he would get ghost for a week or two and not respond to my texts. Even though he shared stories about his “playerlistic” ways in the past, I knew he still had it in him. So, this was the reason why I could not, absolutely not allow myself to fall for him. Now, I’m no dummy, I still dated and enjoyed my time with other guys. I even prayed really hard that Mr. Right would show me other sides to make me fall in love with him so I could be done with it all and get married and live happily ever after. But no, my heart seemingly never wanted to do what I told it too and every time I was with Mr. Right, I wanted to be with Mr. Wrong! And unfortunately for every other guy in between, they were just fillers.  So how did I play myself you ask? I played myself into thinking that I could surround myself with a man that I was immensely attracted to and think that I could keep my flesh intact. I played myself into thinking that I didn’t want anything more than just a friendship.  I played myself into thinking that I didn’t care about who else who he hung out with. And lastly, I played myself into thinking that I had the power and everything was completely in my control.
This was the biggest aha moment for me and let me tell you why…….

To be single or not to be single?

So, prior to July 12th of this year, talking about my dating life was not an option. Actually, it was non-existent, so there was absolutely nothing to talk about. Since moving to North Carolina, I have found myself meeting quite a few men. Again I say MEN..not boys. The majority that I have met, have it together. They are driven and have great careers. Not to mention, they have this southern charm that I am enamored by. Trouble? Possibly, but I’m having fun with it. Being the new girl in town is a title that I am owning and loving. First off, it’s a great conversation starter and secondly, many men find it quite interesting. However, the “new factor” will soon wear off and you will just be another chick. Until then, I’m goin to milk it for what it’s worth. It’s amazing how one move to a new city can change your life. The place that I am in now is completely different than 3 months ago. Prior to moving here, I found myself thinking about marriage often and second guessing my decision to break it off with my “crazy” ex. He is another blog entry for a totally different day! As of today, marriage isn’t on the forefront and I’m more open to dating. Oh, and my ex….so glad I let that go! There is a beauty about having options but there is also a downside to it. Too many options can confuse the heck out of you. It’s like going to baskin robbins and wanting to try every flavor. One thing that I know for sure is that I am learning more about what I don’t want but I still can’t seem to figure out what it is I DO want. My friend Dee introuduced me to the term, “keeping your funnel full”. It means that you need to have a good rotation of men and not put all of your eggs in one basket. Men do it all the time! However, you want to make sure to keep it classy and we all know what that means. One thing about keeping your funnel full of options is that you encounter many different qualities that you are attracted to. What one guy seems to lack, another one has. However, finding the total package is the tricky part. No rush, I ‘m sure it will come but hopefully sooner rather than later. A relationship is definetly something I want in the near future but right now, I am just enjoying the space that I am in the company that I surround myself with. Single, yes…but certainly not lonely 🙂

Underated and Unappreciated

So as I sit here pondering the past couple of days the words that keep coming to me are, Underated and Underappreciated. I hate that I have to start my first blog off with negativity but a girl has to vent! If you are not careful, blogging can get you into trouble so I will do my best to not disclose too much personal information. First thing first…I’m so sick and tired of playing the role of the perky, bubbly and positive girl at the work place. It doesn’t get me ANYWHERE! Our company has been telling me for a while that we were going to recieve increase in our pay so for months I have been looking forward it. I was imagining of all the things that I could do with that extra money. Once again…for months I have been looking forward to this. So, today was the big day, the day that I was going to find out what I was going to get paid. As I walked into my bosses office, I was beaming inside and knew that this was the moment that ALL of my hard work has paid off. He gave me the envelope that held the fate of future salary. As I opened it and looked at the numbers, I just stared!! What the hell!!!!!!!! Here I am thinking that I would get a couple grand extra on my salary but no..it was only $1400 dollars. Which amounted to a 3.50%  increase for the year. As my boss started talking about how much I meant to the company and how I was the most positive person on the team and how I recieved the highest increase, I can do nothing but smile and nod. In my head I was thinking to myself “This is some bull****. Of course I didn’t want to come off as the angry black girl so I kept my composure and tried to listen to what he had to say. To be honest, I tuned alot of what he had to say out. No disrespect to my boss, he is a great person but at the moment there was nothing that he could say at that time to change the way I felt. Some people would say, “well at least it will be $14000 dollars more than you had last year. That’s all great and everything but the real reason I am so upset is because I know for a fact that I make less money than every person in here. Rather it’s due to lack of experinece or whatever the case is, I know that I work hard and bring alot of things to the team that others don’t. In the end, I just want management to stop praising me for all of the qualities that i possess unless they are going to pay me for it!! Oh and the only thing my boss could have said that would have changed the way i felt would have been, “I’m sorry Chyla, we made a mistake. Let me contact HR”!