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Showing posts from October, 2015

DAY 26 DV AWARENESS: Give more

I know this might seem like a strange post for DV awareness. But truth be told, I write these posts for the abused and the abusers. I feel like ending DV means we have to reach the perpetrators and the victims. 
I don't understand living a life in constant turmoil and feeling completely out of control to the point of acting out in violence. I believe we owe more than chaos to our lives and our loved ones. 
If you are living a life in constant upheaval and dysfunction, you need to give more to your life than what you're giving. If that means giving it more time away from other people, so that you can become stable, do that. Give more personal space to your life.
If that means finding help for mental health or behavioral health, do that. Give more psychological health to your life. 
If it means loving people like you would want to be loved, do that. Give more love to your loved ones. 
If you are able to read this, that means you are blessed with life. If you want it to be your …

DAY 25 DV AWARENESS: Want more

How many times have people said to you something like, "Well, you oughta be happy...remember there is someone doing worse than you."? Or some other version of that statement? 
Guess what? It's your life, and it is okay if you want more than what you have. Yes, be grateful and show your gratitude for the benefits of your life and the lessons learned from your struggles. However, you don't have to settle or become complacent. 
There is greater. There is better. There is more.
If you're hurting right now...there is pain relief... Go get it. 
If you're sad right now...there is joy...Go get it.
If you're broken right now...there is healing... Go get it.
If you are not where you want to be right now...there is opportunity for transition...Go get it! 
What is today, does not have to be tomorrow. There are possibilities. It is okay to hope and to dream. 
But remember, dreaming without working is just a gateway to disappointment. You have to do something. You hav…

Day 24 DV AWARENESS: Find friendship

You can spend a lifetime looking for love in all the wrong places. Then you end up with someone for a time, to only discover that you don't like him/her that much. 
Most of the time when you meet someone whom you're attracted to, your judgment of other things about the person gets a little cloudy. It really isn't your fault, it's that dang chemical reaction popping off causing your brain to synapse in all kinds of funky ways. So it's hard to tell that he lacks a sense of humor because he looks so good, that your hormones make whatever he says sound funny. 
Or she's so dope, that you don't realize she's dumber than a brick. It happens...so it's not your fault.
But oh...when that attraction wanes a little, you start to realize just how irritating or boring your mate is..now you just don't want to spend as much time together.
That's why friendship is so important in relationships. If you can develop a friendship with someone, you establish com…

DAY 23 DV AWARENESS: Create your own happiness

What does happiness mean to you? Do you ever think about what it would mean to truly be happy? 
The other day I wrote about not allowing anyone to steal your joy. But what if joy has been so absent from your life that you don't remember what it feels like?
It gets like that sometimes just through the rigors of living, you can lose your happiness along the way. One of the biggest causes of losing your happiness is looking for it in other people. 
Happiness is one of those feelings that has to have a fertile starting ground. That means that you have to prepare the place in your spirit for happiness to grow. 
It also means you have to choose the appropriate seeds to plant in order to grow your happiness. 
Let's talk about the fertile ground...
Nothing you plant can grown on rocky ground. So it will be hard to plant happiness in a spirit that is in constant chaos or that has been hardened by life's disappointments. Dealing with the past and letting go will soften the spirit. R…

DAY 22 DV AWARENESS: Get help

When I had a flat tire in the past, I immediately jumped on the phone to call someone to help me. When I broke my ankle, I drove myself to the hospital to get it fixed. 
In both situations, I knew something was wrong...I knew what was wrong...and I contacted the help I needed. I didn't go to the hospital to fix my flat or phone a friend to fix my ankle. 
Then there were the times where I didn't even know there was something wrong with me. For example, I have food allergies, and apparently had them for awhile. I am allergic to peaches and had been having reactions that I thought were normal. Every time I ate peaches, I would itch. I blamed it on the peach fuzz and assumed it made everyone itch...literally for years. 
It wasn't until I had a life threatening reaction that I knew something was wrong. Then after many trials and errors, I finally saw a specialist who told me exactly what was at the root of the issue. Over a period of time, I figured out how to avoid the things…

DAY 21 DV AWARENESS: Have fun

I grew up with these great aunts and grandmas who used to drop pearls of wisdom on me whenever I was around them. Though my grannies and most of my great aunts have passed on, their words stayed with me.
I can't remember which of them said this:  Baby, don't let nothing or no one steal your joy.
If those aren't words to live by, I don't know what is...Working in the industries that I work in, I come across a lot of joyless people. The relationships they've chosen to stay in, or find themselves leaving, have drained them of every ounce of happiness they once had.
Of course the relationships didn't start our that way. They began like any other relationship, then the sadness creeped on, the dysfunction took up residence, and the toxicity found a home. 
Something stole their joy. 
Joy stealing doesn't happen in healthy relationships. In healthy relationships, there is laughter and happy tears. A healthy relationship will marry two senses of humor and add laugh…

DAY 20 DV AWARENESS: Fight fair

I need to get this off my chest. YOU ARE GROWN, STOP THROWING TANTRUMS!
Little ones throw tantrums and use their bodies to express, sometimes violently, what they want. They do this because they haven't learned the words necessary to express themselves. As they mature, they gain more words, more motor skills, more understanding and more of an ability to communicate.
So tell my why grown folks forget all of the good strategies to resolving conflict, once they are grown and on their own.
You know, when we are kids, we learn certain rules of engagement that could translate over to adulthood with a few tweaks tailored toward realism.
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 
Ok...sometimes you really don't have anything nice to say, but you really have to get it out. As an adult, there is a way to say not so nice things in a way that doesn't torch a person's soul. 
Let me be real, I am a trash talking connoisseur. I have, at a time, gone p…

DAY 19 DV AWARENESS: Communicate purposefully

What I need from you is understanding...how can we communicate...if you don't hear what I say...-Xscape

Quite awhile ago, I interviewed this guy about being a reformed player who became a dedicated husband and family man. He was raised by a single mother, and learned the dire importance of maintaining open lines of communication with his wife. (You can read his story in my book.)
Ultimately, good communication keeps good relationships going. If you don't know how to communicate with purpose, you will find yourself making a lot of assumptions and being in a lot of unnecessary arguments. 
Purposeful communication is not just talking to be heard. It isn't just getting your point across. It's definitely not shouting someone down or firing off verbal beat downs. 
Purposeful communication comes with ground rules. Purposeful communication has goals. Purposeful communication inspires understanding. 
The Ground Rules:
Establish what they are. You two can determine when and how …

Day 18 DV AWARENESS: Have it your way

Do talk remember that song that Alicia Keys sang about having a relationship like all these famous couples? Bill and Camille, Oprah and Stedman, Will and Jada...yadda yadda...
Let me tell you something... I don't want a relationship like any of those folks because I don't know their struggles and have enough of my own. LOL 
I get the point though, she was talking about the positive aspects that we perceive to be part of their respective relationships. The thing is...some of their "good" may come with sacrifices that you're not willing to make. That's why it is best to craft your relationship your own way with the person you're in it with. 
If you saw your daddy treating women a certain way, that doesn't mean you need to follow suit. If papa was a rolling stone and it left you unstable...do you REALLY want to roll like he was rolling? If mama couldn't get right in her relationships, do you really want to live like she was living. Even if mama and …

DAY 17 DV AWARENESS: Learn to forgive

First, forgive me for being late with this post. I've been behind these last couple of days.
Let me get right down to it. Forgiveness is a hard, hard thing to give to someone who has done so much wrong to you. But the secret is...forgiveness is something you give to yourself. 
Yep! Forgiveness is a gift to you, not them. 
All this time, you've probably thought that forgiveness is something that relinquishes a wrongdoer of the consequences of his or her wrong doing. It seems like you are giving the person permission to do you wrong again. After all, people have always said that you are to forgive and forget, right? 
What people hardly ever tell you is that forgiveness releases you from what happened to you. As a matter of fact the perpetrators may or not feel a release themselves. 
Quite frankly, holding on to the emotions and memories of what someone has done to you, keeps that person and his/her deeds alive in your life. 

This is quite evident in a video, "Steel Here,&qu…

DAY 16 DV AWARENESS: Stay connected

We were not placed on this planet to abide alone. There are people around for a reason. Those people who have always been there for you, should continue to take up their special places in your life.
People who genuinely love you and care about your well-being help frame your support system. One of the biggest issues in DV relationships is isolation of victims from their support system. This can happen subtly and appear as though the abuser merely wants to be the go to guy or gal in your life. 
Someone who loves you will not isolate you from others, who love you and treat you well. As a matter of fact, they would work to become part of these relationships to build an even stronger support system. That doesn't mean an abuser is always an isolationist, but often that is the case. 
A supportive and healthy relationship includes involvement of good friends and loving family. Healthy relationships often join support systems, giving a couple mentors to look up to, friends to enjoy, and …

Day 15 DV AWARENESS: Open your heart

One of the hardest things to do, after you've been heartbroken, is to open your heart again. You seriously want to seal it for the world for safe keeping. 
Why wouldn't you? The pain of heartbreak is excruciating. It can break you down, mentally, emotionally and physically. 
But, as the good book says, love covers a multitude of sins. That means exalting patience and kindness in your own life will begin to heal your heart. The funny thing about heartbreak is that it can turn us into cold, short-tempered, and mean beings all for the purpose of protecting our fragile hearts.
By giving in to those protective measures, we are working against ourselves. All of the pain we hold in our hearts, festers like an infection. Then we cover the infection with a bandaid of mean-spiritedness, isolation and/or fear...
We keep people at a distance and refuse to allow love in or out. The infection continues to grow and impacts whomever is closest to you. So now, you, the person in pain, becomes the …

Day 14 DV AWARENESS: Judge righteously

We have already discussed examining yourself a couple of days ago. Now let's talk about examining other people. 
Some time in the 90s, Tupac left an indelible mark on the psyches of folks. He made it so that folks were running around saying "Only God can judge me," as if it were scripture.
Now people will also say that the Bible says, judge not...but they cut all the rest of it out. 
The New Testament text is as follows: 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. — Matthew 7:1-5K…

DAY 13 DV AWARENESS: Deprogram bad information

If you are still dating like you did when you were 15, you really need an update in your protocol. Think about all of the things you have learned about how to relate to romantic partners...some of those things were just plum foolish. In my latest book, I delved into all of the mistakes I, and others (guys I interviewed) made, and how we recovered and made changes on our journeys to finding healthy lives and relationships. 
Oftentimes, we create bad habits in relationships that we carry from one relationship to the next without even realizing we are doing it. Even more often, we mimic what we've seen growing up and repeat it in our own relationships.

If mama and daddy fought like cats and dogs, and made up in the bedroom, we think that's normal. I don't care what you've witnessed other people do... As Lauren Lake says, you cannot resolve issues (find counsel) under the covers. You just create a toxic whirlwind of chaos that happens most of the time and gets capped off …