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Detroit’s Hidden Gem for Senior Adults

Sometimes, I like to provide information about things we may not know about that impact our community as a whole.

As you may know, I am a board member at St. Patrick’s Senior Center, which has been serving Detroit since 1973. St. Pat’s is located right behind Orchestra Hall in Midtown Detroit. Every day we provide our members with a hot lunch, field trips, computer classes, dance and choir activities, as well as health, transportation and advocacy services.

I truly believe that St. Pat’s is one of Detroit’s most amazing places and best-kept secrets. As a person who has many senior adults in my family, I support programs that support them. That’s why I’m asking you to help me spread the word in 2014, which is a banner year, as St. Pat’s develops, thanks to a partnership with Detroit Area on Aging, many services that will enable us to support even more people in these challenging economic times.

Here’s how you can help: 

  • Make an online donation by visiting our website at http://stpatsrctr.org 
  • Like our Facebook page – and tell your friends to like us, too!
  • Attend our festive events throughout the year, including the Spring Irish FestivalFall Musical Palooza or annual Golf Outing.
  • Serve as a volunteer!

If you’d like to experience St. Pat’s firsthand, I invite you to come visit, have lunch, and take a tour. We can set it up at your convenience. I promise that any support you provide will be tremendously helpful and appreciated. You don’t have to be from Detroit to support our senior community or St. Pat’s. Thank you in advance for supporting St. Pat’s Senior Center in Detroit!

 St. Pat’s is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization operating in Detroit, Michigan. 

Look For Inspiration In Everything

People often seek inspiration in the hope that something will hit them like a bolt of lightning and catapult them into greatness. When people don’t find the inspiration they seek, they then become defeated, never realizing that inspiration was all around them the entire time, but they were too focused on seeking it somewhere particular. When I’m interviewed or even sometimes in general, people will ask me what has been my inspiration. I don’t recall all of the answers I may have given over the last five years, but at the core, I’m inspired by life. I’m inspired to live a purposeful life, whatever that may be. I don’t have a definition for it. And there honestly isn’t a deep explanation either. But because I’m inspired to live purposefully, I don’t seek to find inspiration in a magic pill or miraculous experience.

My life before many of you knew who I was, was often filled with experiences that were sometimes devastating. I’ve had more than my fair share of near death experiences and drama. Where some of those situations would have driven other people completely crazy, they strengthened me to want to do better, live better, be happier and not rely on other people to help me get there. Not to say that I don’t have the occasional obstacle, but I have a lot less of them than I would have had otherwise. I’ve embraced my inner strength and made it an essential part of my life and my career. As a result I now have more options that I can use.

My journey has also brought me to a place where I see inspiration in everything. Everything?! Yes, everything. I don’t seek inspiration solely from other people. I find it all around me on a daily basis. Inspiration is in the sunrise every morning. Inspiration is in Jill Scott’s “Golden“. Inspiration is sometimes even in a color palette of eyeshadow on Sephora.com. I’m serious. I look for inspiration in everything I see, hear and experience on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, inspiration is present and sometimes it isn’t. When it isn’t I don’t get upset, defeated or worried either. I acknowledge that instance was a second in time that will pass and life goes on. I’ve been inspired to reach out to different people to express interest in business with them. Sometimes I get a positive response from that person and sometimes I get a completely negative response such as a rude email. If it’s the latter, so what. Life goes on and I keep it moving. It doesn’t diminish or tarnish my inspiration. I just know that is one person I will not consider for any future possibilities. They go on the “do not associate with” list. I’m not exaggerating either, I really do have such a list. I have that list because it inspires me not to put myself in uncomfortable or compromising situations with individuals I know I can’t do business with.  Which also eliminates the potential for drama. See, inspiration can be in everything.

I encourage everyone to start looking for inspiration in everything around you, where you go, the color of the sky, that day’s experiences…everything. Do it for about two weeks and see if it changes your life even a bit. I’m not saying the all the inspiration will feel good. Some of what you begin to see inspiration in will cause you to see some things differently or make some hard choices about your life, your relationships or your career. But hard choices that you are willing to make to improve who you are as a person are never a bad thing, no matter how hurt you may feel in that moment. But first you have to recognize inspiration in different forms instead of hoping for it to come down from heaven like a dove. God puts messages in small places. We have to just be open to them.

I recently added Super Woman Productions and Publishing to Pinterest. As I was pinning and creating boards for current and future public viewing, I found images that were inspirational to me for different reasons. This prompted me to create a board titled Look For Inspiration In Everything. I hope you will check out my boards, and that you will begin to look for inspiration in everything too.

 

Super Woman Brand On Pinterest

 

There Once Was A City With An Island

…and one day  someone offered the native inhabitants some beads to buy it. 

A man named Rodney Lockwood and a bunch of people with money and nothing worthwhile to use it for, have decided to put a one billion dollar price tag on Belle Isle.  They’ve done so without any consideration for all of the people and organizations who work so hard to maintain the park and its environment for the use of the entire community. And, get this, they want it to be a “Commonwealth” with its own laws, customs and currency.

The proposed “Commonwealth” will also have a citizenship requirement. Any interested citizens must complete an application, which is reviewed by a board of unidentified persons. In order to become a citizen of this proposed “Commonwealth” you must have mastery of the English language, have a good credit score (exactly what that is to the board is unknown at this time), no criminal record and you must pay a $300,000 “citizenship” fee which will be used to repay the investors and build an infrastructure for gas, electricity, sewers and a monorail. Did I mention that Belle Isle is approximately 5 miles long? Although Monaco, which Lockwood claims to have used as his point of reference, is smaller than Belle Isle, there are so many reasons why this is just complete foolishness. First what happens to the wildlife and other resources currently on Belle Isle? Why should Lockwood and his sheep get to retain use of said resources while no one else does?

Lockwood’s proposal has all the makings of the next great Ponzi Scheme. With YOUR $300,000, they will pay back investors (primarily Lockwood), build skyscrapers, condos, a sewer system, a monorail that goes 5 miles, print currency and what not. After all they will have just spent $1 billion to buy the “land” that is Belle Isle, so you can’t expect them to develop it without your help, right? Hence the credit check and minimum “citizenship fee” requirements. And no, you won’t get that money back. Any money left over, Lockwood claims, will be used to back the currency. So “Islanders” are going to use U.S. Dollars to back their monopoly money? But U.S. Dollars are backed by the value of gold. I’m not impressed. You want your own currency but you need the U.S. Dollar to give it value?  Lockwood would have impressed me more had he said he was going to use duck or goose poop to back the currency. Duck and goose poop are biodegradable and abundant on Belle Isle. A highly intelligent person could develop a way to turn it into a valuable resource. I’m just saying.

Lockwood states “citizens will come from all over the world.  People who desire to live in a beautiful city, free from excessive government and oppressive taxation, who want unlimited opportunity to lead a life of their own making will emigrate to Belle Isle.  Perhaps 50% will come from the United States, and the balance from other countries.  This diverse population will make Belle Isle a very cosmopolitan city, with an interesting culture.” But when that fantasy fails and they need law enforcement, they will be asking for it from Detroit and the United States. Yet, under this proposal, the rest of us, wouldn’t be allowed to go on Belle Isle. *hmmm…interesting*

Lockwood owns Lockwood Construction. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that his company would be building all of the proposed construction related to his own plan. How convenient. Again, does this not seem like a well thought out Ponzi Scheme to you? Lockwood also proposes that Belle Isle will have commerce related to finance, investments and insurance. Sounds like he wants to make it a mini-Wallstreet but with limited access for the rest of “us”. No offense to New York City, but there are a lot of architectural designers and engineers that have traveled to Detroit in the last several months to consult on many forthcoming projects. These subject matter experts have said that Detroit, and its Belle Isle, do not need to be transformed into a replica of any other city in the world. That if done right, Detroit can be a robust and beautiful DETROIT, not the next Monaco or Manhattan. By the way, the Grand Prix will have to take place elsewhere if Lockwood gets his way, and rightly it should be. Why should the “Islanders” get to benefit from all the fast cars zooming by while others can’t?  With 35,000 people paying a whopping $300,000 each, they can afford to get their own Grand Prix.

This is the most ridiculous use of money I’ve heard of yet. But Lockwood seems determined to make this happen and he has enlisted the help of many wealthy fools. I mean folks. Do any of them want to buy Pluto while we’re at it? It doesn’t technically belong to me, but since it’s vacant, and I don’t agree with its current use, I figure I might as well see what I can do to profit from it.

I have a counter proposal for Lockwood and his merry band of geniuses. First, everything on Belle Isle would need to be relocated to another park in Detroit or destroyed completely. And I mean everything. Every building, structure, plant, and animal. Including the fountain, the golf course, the Detroit Yacht Club, marina and the Casino. The “Islanders” should have to start from scratch building their utopia. Since they want their own laws, customs and currency, they should have their own country. Therefore, they should relinquish their citizenship from the United States and forego all of the rights afforded to them as citizens. Including the rights to vote, bare arms and have healthcare. I’m serious. They should be required to use the resources found  (or left) on Belle Isle and pay tariffs on all products and goods they buy from the United States and Canada. That includes food, clothing, and building supplies for their skyscrapers, condos, sewer system, and monorail. That also means, they can’t operate a business or “export” goods and services from Belle Isle into Detroit or Canada without abiding by international trade agreements and treaties [take that Lockwood Construction]. There would need to be an Immigration and Customs check point at the base of the Belle Isle Bridge and Jefferson Avenue that stops “Islanders” and checks for identification before they can come into Detroit. “Islanders” should not be allowed to own or operate boats without authorization since the Detroit River is considered an international waterway and is patrolled and protected by the United States and Canada. They could own the cars they took with them to Belle Isle, but wouldn’t be able to drive them anywhere but on Belle Isle, because they’re not United States citizens. I say just build a fence around them and call it a day. If Lockwood and his friends don’t want to share Belle Isle with us, why should we share everything else with them?

Under my proposal we wouldn’t have to accept their currency or employ them at our companies if we chose not to, after all they can’t scream discrimination and we couldn’t pay them in their own currency because it wouldn’t be in circulation here. Plus, its value would probably be less than a Peso considering it’s backed by the dollar, which is backed by gold (I told you duck poop made more sense). They’d have to have their own sports teams and stadiums for them to play in. They’d have to build their own schools, hospitals, have their own fire department and police as well. After all, that’s an additional 35,000 people. We’re already short-handed on law enforcement and public safety personnel here in Detroit. Because “Islanders” would no longer be recognized as U.S. citizens they wouldn’t be protected by any U.S. laws, which is what Lockwood wants, right? They would have human rights, of course, but everything else, they would need to establish for themselves like the first settlers did. I’ve seen pictures of the first settlers. Did that look like fun to you?

I mean if you’re going to do something Mr. Lockwood, fully commit to it. Don’t pick and choose what you like and not take some of what you don’t. How is that fair? Lockwood wants to isolate “us” from “them” yet keep all the benefits “we” have and take possession of our largest city park in the process. That’s like a group of people trying to buy New York’s Central Park then putting an electrified fence around it, so that no one else could have access to it. If this were New York City, Lockwood’s idea alone would be considered treason.

Lockwood’s utopia could result in additional work and even taxes for the rest of us, without us having the benefit of being able to go to Belle Isle freely. Let’s take car ownership as one example. Automobile purchasing and ownership is regulated and monitored by the State of Michigan Secretary of State. We pay taxes to the State of Michigan when we buy cars, sell cars and we pay fees each year to maintain licenses and registrations. Under Lockwood’s Dumb World Order, “Islanders” wouldn’t have to pay taxes. But those taxes have to be paid by someone, right? I seriously doubt the State of Michigan is going to waive those fees for 35,000 people. Lockwood wants those fees and taxes to be paid for the “Islanders” by the rest of “us”. It’s logical that some “Islanders” would already have vehicles so it’s only fair that they can retain them when they relocate to Belle Isle. However, because they are no longer U.S. Citizens, they can’t license or insure them, therefore as I stated before, they can only drive them on Belle Isle. In order to drive them outside of Belle Isle, they should have to pay to license, register and insure their cars as Detroiters currently have to do. Why should the State of Michigan or its citizens absorb costs to adhere to “Islanders” currency and laws? The costs to print “Commonwealth of Belle Isle” license plates, registration tags each year, driving records, driver’s licenses would come out of the pockets of the rest of “us” (higher fees to register our vehicles and renew our registrations) if “Islanders” are allowed to remain U.S. Citizens. Instead force Lockwood and his “Islanders” to develop a method of their own, since they want to do everything else on their own. Go Hard or Go Home. At the very least, then they should be charged more money by the State of Michigan if they can’t develop their own system. And they should have to pay in U.S. Dollars like the rest of us. No monopoly money.

I repeat: Lockwood has come up with the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard. Although on the surface it may seem well thought out because he has his FAQ neatly typed, it’s a hot mess of epic proportions waiting to happen. In other words, it’s fuckery. Anyone investing in Lockwood’s idea is being taken on the world’s greatest Ponzi Scheme and clearly has too much time on their hands and too much money as well. The truth is, even if Lockwood does get the City of Detroit and State of Michigan to go along with his foolishness, he still needs at least 35,000 idiots with $300,000 each, who meet his standard of a mastery of the English language, no criminal record and whatever he considers to be good credit (which could be a score of 900) in order for his plan to be successful. I say this: if Lockwood wants to own his own COUNTRY, which in essence is what he wants, he should find an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean to “settle” where the only contenders are potentially non English speaking natives with spears or carnivorous animals. Whoever is left standing, gets the island.

Belle Isle doesn’t belong to the City of Detroit GOVERNMENT; it belongs to the PEOPLE.

Of course, Lockwood might run across this blog one day and address some of the concerns I brought to light, causing him to make adjustments to his plans. However, that would just prove my point. The “Commonwealth of Belle Isle” plan is a selfish plan developed by a man with a selfish agenda of his own. It has nothing to do with beautifying an existing resource. It’s discriminatory at its root and has more long term negative impact than positive on the citizens of Detroit, Michigan and the United States, if allowed to come to fruition.

Blessed and Favored

With the holidays approaching, so many people feel hopeless and depressed because of what they don’t have. Statistically this is the time of year when people are more likely to commit suicide due to feelings of loneliness or depression over what they don’t have in their lives. A woman jumped to her death from a building days ago in Manhattan, after surviving Hurricane Sandy. While most people in Manhattan at that very moment were thankful for living through one of the worst storms they’ve ever experienced, she decided to end her life. Some people have a “glass is half empty“… or completely empty… mentality about their lives. Everyday I encounter people who throw pity parties for themselves, complain about how terrible everything is in their lives and about where they live. News media doesn’t help this mindset. They spend hours of time reporting on all the death, crime and scandals and give you only two minutes of human interest stories that are positive. Even in politics the candidates spend the majority of their time trying to make the other candidate look bad, instead of telling us what makes them look good – and telling the truth about it. During this year’s presidential election between the Binders Full of Women that don’t exist and Donald Trump holding “charity” for ransom, the whole politics for personal gain campaign had gotten on my last nerves.

However, it could be worse. I could have been without my sight, or even without my hearing and wouldn’t have known about any of it. And fortunately, I know how to change my television channel.

Therefore, it can be said that I am truly blessed and highly favored. My vision isn’t the best; contact lenses keep things 20/20 for my nearsightedness that I received thanks to chicken pox when I was three years old. When the weather cools down my body starts to ache from the two car accidents I had less than a year apart. I have a few extra gray hairs in my head that I’m not so enthused about. But it could be worse. Putting my contacts in everyday allows me to work, read, drive, and see everything around me. I know people who have lost their sight, although they are blessed to still have vision. Feeling pain in my legs and back reminds me that I still have the use of my legs and can walk. Those two car accidents in 2007 and 2008 could have ended a lot differently than they did. My gray hairs remind me that I’m alive and getting older, which wasn’t the case when I was told I could die before I turned thirty years old. Now I’m headed towards forty and there’s a such thing as permanent hair color to cover the grays.

I say all that to say that perspective about life contributes greatly to how we feel about our lives. Being grateful for the small things in life that we often take for granted can make the unforeseen tragedies a little easier to deal with. I feel so bad for the people in New York and New Jersey who suffered damage to their homes, businesses and disruption to their lives after Hurricane Sandy and after the nor-easter storm that followed shortly after. I really feel bad that a woman who survived the ordeal of Hurricane Sandy didn’t see herself as blessed and favored and therefore, made a decision to take her own life. She may have had the type of life that a lot of people in worse situations would have gladly traded with her. I recently read an article about a woman who had to have her limbs amputated because she so desperately wanted a bigger booty so she got illegal butt injections. She was so beautiful and gifted before making the decision that altered how she lives the remainder of her life. But she didn’t appreciate the beauty she had and instead concentrated on the booty she didn’t have. Now she doesn’t have arms or legs.

Maybe that’s what more people need to adjust their life perspectives; a “Trading Places” type of experience where they have to literally live someone else’s life for a period of time so that they can better appreciate their own. Personally, I’ll keep living the life I have. I can think of a lot of situations that could be a lot worse than what I have going on. I’ve also learned that by persevering through any situation, I come out learning a valuable lesson and often also reaping a tremendous reward.  No one said that living would be easy… At least not anyone that I know of. Even when everything isn’t exactly right in my Super World, I’m still very thankful for everything that exists in my Super World. I’ve been without creature comforts that I once took for granted. I know what it’s like to lose children, a marriage and many other things, including nearly losing my life and the use of my limbs. Those experiences taught me valuable lessons. I don’t regret the experiences because they were meant to occur so that I can be the woman I am. I wouldn’t give up any of this to have any of that happen again.

People complain too much. Often the complaint is related to something a person wants but doesn’t have; or something someone else is doing or has done, that they wouldn’t have the courage to change in the first place.

Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, I encourage you to be more thankful for what you DO have. The desire to acquire what we don’t have has caused some people to lose their lives, their limbs and their faith. Everything you have is yours for a reason – good, bad or indifferent; either own it or adjust to it. Likewise, whatever is meant for you will also be yours; not necessarily because of you, but in spite of you. Sometimes, we can be our own biggest hindrance to our progress with our doubts, complaints and fears.

As you go about your life wishing and hoping for more, and not appreciating what you have, be careful of what you’ll exchange in order to get something you want. Everything comes at a price, including wealth, health, beauty and success. Love yourself first. Assess the important changes you can make to improve yourself like your integrity, character, self-esteem and attitude BEFORE you go through hell to change the superficial elements. Be thankful for the family you have, instead of wishing you had different family members or more of them. Some people are literally the last person in their family alive now. Be thankful for the days you have today and ahead of you instead of complaining about each day that comes. Life isn’t promised and someone died today. Be thankful for your job instead of complaining about the people you work with all the time. You may not be the best coworker to them either, but there is someone who woke up unemployed today. Don’t complain about what other people should or shouldn’t do; instead evaluate what you can do to make your own situation better. It’s likely that you aren’t being the best citizen or neighbor that you can be. Get off of Facebook and get face time with people around you and in your community. Become more involved in something positive and you won’t have time to concentrate on the negative.

Everyday count the blessings you have and look for new ones to appreciate. Making this a regular practice throughout the entire year will put a glow of love and abundance around you during each holiday season; rum not included. 

When you want to open your mouth to complain about something, remember this: 

No matter how bad you may think your situation is, someone else on this planet would gladly take your place and your blessings instead of what they deal with.  

Be blessed and highly favored. 

Love Therapy

We all have issues. Some of us are just more honest about it than others. Some of us are aware that we have issues and some of us are deeply in denial. I’m going to share something with you that very few people know about me. I have a fear. A fear that causes me to use a particular defense mechanism because it’s easier than doing anything else. I have a fear of being alone. This fear in most people causes them to always want to be in a relationship even if it is unhealthy, just so that can avoid being by themselves. Since I’m not like other people, in my case, this fear causes me to want to remain single so that I don’t have to be worried about a man leaving me alone.

My entire adult life has been full of men who have abandoned the relationship. They’ve all had reasons that they felt were justified. My son’s father left me because I wouldn’t continue to have a sexual relationship with him while he was in a relationship with another woman. My ex-husband left me because he could no longer abuse me and he was cheating on me with another woman. My ex-fiance had his family plan a wedding for us, then I discovered that he was seeing another woman that he was keeping a secret from his family. One ex-boyfriend told me he didn’t want to marry me because I didn’t make enough money. One man I dated for nearly a year told me that he didn’t want a relationship with me because he wasn’t “ready“. Another ex-boyfriend of mine cheated on me because he said I get too much attention from other men. These are all forms of rejection, abandonment and betrayal that I have experienced over the years and resulted in me to developing this fear. Some people would refer to it as insecurity. It’s not insecurity. Some people would call it baggage. It’s really an instinctual response to protect myself from perceived or potential harm. What I have discovered is that a lot of people have this same fear. We all handle it differently. Some of us lash out at others to drive them away. Some of us hold on to others for dear life. Some of us may decide to remain in solitude because it’s less traumatic than going through break ups. 

My fear is resulting in me losing people who I love. I lost a friendship that I value because I am fearful of the friendship developing into a more intimate relationship. My effort to communicate was an epic fail.  So, I’m going to see a therapist that specializes in sex, intimacy and relationships. That may seem counterproductive because I’m not in a relationship, but in spite of my fears, I would like to be…one day…before I die…if God willing.

I truly think that there are a lot of good men in the world, I just don’t believe any of them could want a relationship with me. That is a part of my fear. Why did this fear manifest itself and what can be done about it? I don’t know if anything can be done about it, but my goal is to become better at expressing myself and then conquering the fear itself. The fear causes me to hide from the idea of a relationship with a man I love because I’m afraid he will eventually leave me; either for another woman or because he just doesn’t believe me to be worthy of him. I recognize that this fear hinders me in other areas of my life, and in my career. The fear causes me to be withdrawn in social atmospheres because I’m afraid of feeling rejected. The fear causes me to seclude myself because I’m afraid that others will not appreciate or accept me. As I take this journey to conquer my fears, I want to share with you some of the “triggers” that cause people to have a fear of being alone and what you can take into consideration if you’re in a relationship with a person who has these same fears or has trust or abandonment issues – or if you’re in a relationship period.  

1. Don’t use the word love if you don’t mean it. Love is an action word, not a stick of gum. When you love someone it’s best to show it to them, more than you say it. Personally, I’d rather have a man who never says he loves me, but shows me everyday with his actions, affections, protection and by claiming me as his woman or wife.

2. Be compassionate. You’re dealing with another human being. They have feelings too. Even if you don’t agree with how they feel, be compassionate towards their feelings and try to gain a better understanding of where it comes from. Everything isn’t always about YOU in the relationship. There’s someone else involved in that relationship as well.  

3. Pay attention. If you want a relationship with someone, paying attention to them is necessary. Pay attention to what bothers them, what makes them happy, what makes them sad and how your actions contribute to that. Learn what their likes and dislikes are. No one believes you truly love them if you don’t know anything about them. It’s not logical to us as people. When a person says they love you, but they don’t know your likes and dislikes, favorite color, what makes you sad, your favorite movie or anything else that makes you YOU, you feel like they are playing games with your emotions and you will react as such. 

4. Don’t use the relationship as a weapon or method of control. Too many people are always threatening to leave someone if they don’t do what you want them to do. Telling a person you are going to divorce them, leave them or cheat on them is the wrong approach. If you are not happy with that person and you don’t accept and appreciate them for who they are, you should not be in a relationship with them. If you feel it is necessary to use your relationship as a weapon or method of control, you need to seek therapy for yourself. That’s not love. That’s being a bully.

5. Be reliable. Do what you say you will do and be there for the person you love. If a person doesn’t feel that you have their back, they won’t be open with you. If they call you in a time of need and you never answer or show up, they won’t find you reliable. If you value a person in your life, showing you are reliable, and that you have their back and are in their corner will help them feel more comfortable with you and they won’t be guarded and withdrawn.  

6. Respect people’s timeframes. Some people believe that they have an eternity to have a relationship with someone. If you aren’t looking to get married until 2035, you should not say the words love, relationship or marriage to someone in the year 2012. It’s misleading. Consider that someone you love may have had a near death experience that makes them want to live every moment like it’s their last. They aren’t going to wait for you to be ready before they live their life to the fullest. You could lose someone because you don’t respect their timeframes and how they want to live their moments in life.

7. Respect the human factor. People make mistakes. Do you prefer someone who can take responsibility for their mistakes or someone who blames everything on everyone else, including you? In a relationship, both people are responsible for that relationship. What you do, say and don’t, will impact the strength and longevity of the relationship. You’re dealing with another human being who has feelings, problems and past experiences. Show concern more than you find fault in them and they will do the same with you. Treat a person the way you want to be treated.  

8. Be trustworthy. Don’t expect a person to trust you because of what you say, because you’re not like “other men/women” or because you think they should just trust you “just because”. Trust is earned. Trust is not given. Particularly for people who have experienced betrayal and infidelity. You have to show yourself to be someone a person can trust. See numbers 1 – 9 for ways to accomplish this.

9.  Know what a person expects from the a relationship. Understand a person’s views on relationships. This comes from having effective communication with a person, by being honest about your own expectations and by listening to theirs. This also comes from paying attention and showing compassion. You don’t have to agree with the person, but you should be aware of what they want and need out of the relationship. Then you can determine if you are capable of building a relationship with them instead of hurting them later.  

10. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s never a good idea to get a person’s hopes up and not follow through. This goes back to being reliable and trustworthy as well. If you over promise and under deliver, you look like a liar. Even if that is not your intention. People will call your character into question if you are “all talk“. If you are going to do something, do it. If something unforeseen prevents you from doing what you said you will, make a phone call, apologize and reschedule for another day or time. You can’t expect a person to keep giving you chances to disappoint them.  

11. Don’t communicate in 140 characters or less. As much as I love technology and gadgets, I also hate the effect they have on interpersonal relationships. We’ve gotten so comfortable with not having human interaction that we literally attempt to establish, have and maintain relationships using texting, emailing and social networking. This is not a good foundation for a relationship. Mostly because people have misused these tools in order to do harm to others. When someone constantly experiences meeting men/women on Facebook who are only interested in having sex, and that’s not what that person is looking for, if you met them on Facebook, you can’t expect them to just react differently. They are operating from what they know. They are protecting themselves from harm. You have to show that you are not the same, not just say it. There’s nothing better for solidifying a personal connection than face to face contact with a person. There’s nothing better than being present in their space, inhaling their pheromones, looking into their eyes and hearing the inflection in their voice when they speak. Take the time to get off the internet and get into each other’s personal space.  

12. Learn to agree to disagree without anger and animosity. Everyone you meet with not agree with you. If they do, you are doing something wrong. People are entitled to have a difference of opinion. Even if you are extremely compatible with someone else, you will never agree with each other 100% of the time. Learn to express how you feel in a way that doesn’t cause anger or animosity, yet allows you both to speak your minds and have a better understanding of each other. Some people just need to vent. When this occurs they turn towards the person they love and who said they love them. They want that person to be a sounding board. Their outpouring may or may not have anything to do with you directly. They just need you to be there for them and let them be vulnerable.

13. Don’t placate a person. No one in their right mind thinks they are right 100% of the time. A person dealing with abandonment or trust issues, or who has a fear such as mine, wants that one person that will prove them WRONG about how they feel. They don’t want a person agreeing with them to get them to stop talking or to end the disagreement. They want the person they love to be honest with them, tell them and show them that the fear they feel at that moment is not warranted. This doesn’t work if you placate them. It might only make them angrier and cause the already existing issues to escalate out of control.

14. Spend quality time together. Whether you call it quality time, intimate time, quiet time or date night, it’s important for two people who love each other to have time in the same space together to enjoy each other’s company. It doesn’t matter if it’s indoors or out; whether it includes activities or just laying in the bed holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes. Time together between two people builds bonds and strengthens relationships. It allows for a connection to exist and remain. People who have the best and longest lasting relationships are people who spend one on one quality time together and make it a habit to do so on a regular basis.

15. Listen to the person. It is said that we have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen twice as much as we talk. If a person says that they have a need from the relationship, listen to them closely and measure if you can meet that need or not. Silly and superficial expectations don’t count. I’m referring to reasonable needs and wants that a person expresses, such as “Honey, I would like for you to help me with the housework more, so we can spend more time together on weekends instead of me cleaning all day.” That’s a reasonable need.

16. Be honest. The biggest issue that causes people to fear being alone, being abandoned or to have trust issues is that the other person they are dealing with is dishonest in some way. Not many people can be honest with themselves, let alone with other people. Sometimes even withholding small bits of  information can appear to be dishonest. A person who doesn’t have bad intentions, something to hide or isn’t playing emotional games is more able to be honest, even when it hurts your feelings. At least you will be able to respect them for telling the truth so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.     

17. Compromise – The 80/20 Rule. You will only get approximately eighty percent (80%) of your emotional, financial and intimate needs met by the other person in the relationship. You have to be willing to compromise the other twenty percent (20%) and go without those needs or do those things for yourself. Expecting someone outside your relationship to fulfill that 20% is a recipe for disaster. Leaving one woman for another woman because she has a bigger booty or a smaller waistline is fuckery, when the woman you already had at home is a good wife, good mother, good friend and partner to you. Get your priorities in order in your relationship.

18. Give the same level of love that you expect. You reap what you sow.  Enough said. 

19. Measure the pros and cons. I’ll never forget the scene in Why Did I Get Married, Too?” when Patricia (Janet Jackson), told Angela (Tasha Smith) and Dianne (Sharon Leal) that they should“write down all the good he’s ever done and all the bad he’s ever done. And if the good outweighs the bad, you need to be big little women and fix it”. Resilience through the hard times is what people want to see that you are capable of. Marriage vows say for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for a reason. Are you the type of person that runs from a problem before you try to fix it? Are you a person who will quickly dismiss someone you say that you love because they did something you dislike or that offended you? This behavior tells a person you don’t think they are “worthy” of you, your time, your attention, your energy or your love and that you are not able to be there for the long haul. It translates into “You’re not good enough for me to stay and work this out.”

20. Be happy. Being happy is a decision. One of my favorite songs is “Be Happy” by Mary J. Blige. When I was going through my divorce it was on heavy rotation. The answer to true happiness lies within yourself. Another individual can not make you happy. It’s not their responsibility to make you happy. They can only enhance your existing happiness. If you’re not already happy with your life, even without being in a relationship, you should reassess if you should be in a relationship at all.

21. Learn to forgive. If you truly love someone and you want them to be your friend or spouse, you must learn to forgive them when they make mistakes in your relationship or fall short of your expectations. No one is perfect. If you think you are perfect, seek therapy for yourself. If your relationship is not abusive, full of addiction, infidelity or anything demeaning or harmful to you, your health or happiness and it’s worth fighting for or saving, the first step is to forgive.

22. Sex ain’t better than love. There’s a difference between physical and emotional intimacy. People desire to be loved, appreciated, respected and acknowledged…outside the bedroom. If you are not capable of this, you should not use the words love or relationship until you areEmotional intimacy is the most valuable type of intimacy between two people. It means that they trust each other, are reliable, communicate effectively, know each other well, and have the other building blocks necessary for having a healthy relationship.  

Look at a relationship like a tree. Trees have to be planted. The tree has roots that develop into a trunk, which sprouts branches, and grow leaves or fruit. If your roots are weak, your tree won’t be strong, your branches will be limp and your tree won’t bear fruit. And if it does manage to bear fruit, the fruit will be rotten to the core. Take responsibility for your actions or inactions in your relationships and make an attempt to grow. If you love someone, truly love them, and they have fears of being alone, have trust or abandonment issues, make an attempt to work through their issues with them before you walk away. You could be that one person that teaches them how to love and makes a difference in their life.

~ Love is the strongest element on Earth. It can heal a broken heart, rescue a lost soul or it can be used to destroy.

Married To Super Woman

I follow Michael McDaniel on Twitter and we’re Facebook friends. Recently he posted a question asking if a person would marry themselves. It was a very interesting question to me because I knew what he meant. He wanted people to examine if they were the kind of person they would want to be married to, if they were the opposite sex. It’s a self-assessment of ones values and qualities. We often don’t self-assess ourselves and our faults or even our good qualities. We just go into relationships seeking validation and perfection from the person that we are in a relationship with. We often forget that we attract who and what we are most of the time. In those instances when you attract those who pretend to want to be what you are, knowing that they fall short of your expectations and standards, you get a pass. But it’s a short pass because you don’t have to give that person your attention.

So I thought about Michael’s question as it relates to me personally. I’ve had more than one person tell me that I’m my own husband. I don’t think people who said this about me meant it as a compliment, but I took it as one. I took it as a compliment because it means I embody the qualities that I would want in a mate if I had one.

  • I’m dynamic
  • I’m confident
  • I’m talented
  • I’m intelligent
  • I’m a good parent
  • I’m suspenseful
  • I’m a person of action
  • I’m articulate
  • I’m ambitious
  • I’m hardworking
  • I’m inspiring
  • I’m self motivated
  • I’m unique
  • I’m aware of how other people perceive me (and I often don’t care because my purpose isn’t to please everyone else) 
  • I’m a protector of those I love and care for
  • I’m a provider

Now, I’m not the dysfunctional woman who doesn’t believe that she needs a man. Men and women need each other. But in a society where marriages last less than 90 days and people get married because they think they love someone, but didn’t take the time to get to know someone, I’m okay with the idea of being married to myself. After all, what is marriage? Marriage is a committment before God to another person. If two men or two women can marry each other in some states, I should be able to marry myself and it be acceptable until I meet a man who is equally yoked.

I’m not saying that we don’t need the affections of or appreciation from a person of the opposite sex. I’m saying we need to take inventory of ourselves before we can expect someone else to have what we are looking for. Having a spouse isn’t going to make a tremendous difference in my life. At least, not that I can see at this time in my life. Any man who wants  a long term relationship with me will truly have to enhance every area of my life. I have what I have because of the work and time that I have invested in myself. Likewise, I lack in areas where I lack due to my own fault. I am responsible for myself. But when the day comes for me to be a partner with and wife to a man (if it’s in the Master’s Plan), I want to bring more to the table than my pretty face. Particularly since so many men think that’s all I have going for me. I want to be a positive contributor to the relationship in every way, shape, form and fashion; emotionally, spiritually and financially. I also want to be a motivator to my husband. 

In my experiences, it has been the men who said they loved me the most who treated me the worse. I no longer value those three words; I care more about the actions of a person. Being “married” to myself is a level of dedication that I give to myself that isn’t predicated upon how someone else feels about me or what that person thinks of meI’m “married” to myself – the woman that I am and the woman that I will become. I fully love and appreciate myself more than a man could. I know myself better than any man does.

Feat not, for I am not losing my romantical mindset. I’m also am not saying that Superman doesn’t exist. He’s just extinct. In fact, there are several men interested in filling the position of Superman in my life. Which is how my upcoming reality show Finding Superman came to exist in the first place. Many men have tried, and several have failed over the years. A man can no longer proclaim he’s my Superman and expect me to do hand stands in excitement to be with himA man has to embody the traits and characteristics that a Superman should. I’m also putting my life on reality television because I want a man who is proud to be with me and wouldn’t have a problem saying so publicly. Being with me requires going places, networking and attending high-profile black tie events. Superman can’t be a hermit or be ashamed of being seen with me. Many men say what they feel (and what they think I want to hear) privately. But I want someone who is willing to go through challenges, publicly, in order to show me. The job of Superman is not one for the weak, fractured, or timid. It is for the right man and it isn’t easy.

Go to the Finding Superman Reality Show Official Facebook Page and show your support with a LIKE and a SHARE. The show will be filmed here in Detroit and will not depict African-Americans or women negatively in the way that other shows have done recently. The show is also Super Fan interactive, so the Finding Superman Reality Show Official Facebook Page is very important for those who will watch the show because your vote will count. When each Fan Challenge is met, information about the show will be released. We are just  TWO (2) LIKES away from releasing the contestant criteria. Then we can move on to completing the next Fan Challenge and the next stage in the project. By the way, my friends and family will be heavily involved in the process, although I will not so that I can remain neutral.

In the end, there can only be one Superman.

~ To whom much is given, much is required.