Tag Archives: love

Prioritizing Love

Priority – somebody or something that is ranked highly in terms of importance or urgency; the state of having preceded something else.

Prioritize – to order things according to their importance or urgency; to regard something as most important or urgent.

Temptation – a desire for something considered wrong; the incitement of desire or craving in somebody.

Necessity – something that is essential; a basic requirement; water, food, shelter, clothing, love and acceptance; the condition of being needed or required.  

Blessing – something to be glad or relieved about; a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.

Someone recently told me that a relationship is not a priority for them.  I’ve heard this a million times.  I believe that anything that someone wants badly enough becomes a priority to that person.  A person’s lack of desire for something doesn’t make it less important in life, just less important to that particular person.  According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our human needs are, in order of importance from most to least, (1) physiological, (2) safety, (3) social, (4) esteem, and (5) self-actualization.  Physiological includes what we know as basic human needs; food, shelter, sex, and breathing.  Safety includes security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health and property.  Social includes love, friendship, family and sexual intimacy.  Esteem includes confidence, achievement/success, and respect of and by others.  Self-actualization includes morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. 

If you understand the Maslow Hierarchy principle, then you know that social includes relationships with others both related to us by blood and by emotion.  Our esteem is connected to our achievements and status in society.  If this is true, then why do so many of us look at love as less of a priority than career?  Why do we put our goals and desires to succeed and make money above having someone to share those achievements with?  Why do we prioritize love as the least important element in our day to day life?  Why do we view love as a temptation instead of a necessity? 

The happiest people I’ve ever met are not the wealthiest financially.  However, they are considered very wealthy because they have mates.  They have taken the time to cultivate strong and resilient relationships that include emotional bonds with their mates.  They have families, friendships and great sex.  They have prioritized love into their lives.  Then there are the single people who strive to make more money, gain more position, and obtain more respect from people whom they don’t share any emotional connection with.  They already possess the physiological and safety needs, so they feel that they can overlook the social needs and continue on to the esteem and self-actualization needs.  Do they ever go back and try to capture the social aspects?  Yes.  And sometimes they fail to do so because since it was not a priority to them, they passed on every opportunity for love that came their way.  In their minds when the opportunity arose, it was not the “right” time.  They had other priorities to concern themselves with that took precedence over love. 

Then there are the single people like myself who want everything.  We want to fulfill all five of the human needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy.  We believe that we can have balance, just like many of our married predecessors.  We may have even failed at love previously but we still believe it to be a necessity.  Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in encounters with the single, success-seeking individuals who do not view love as a priority.  They desire the money, status and respect of others, but do not desire to come home to the love and respect of a mate.  One of my biggest fears is being extremely successful, but not having anyone to share my experiences and success with.  Not having anyone to encourage my steps when I’m moving in the right direction.  Not having anyone to catch me when I fall or wipe my tears when I fail.  How lonely life could be with a huge bank account and no one to share life with.  No matter how much money I make, I can’t take it with me when I die [no one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”].  But I believe that I can share a love that lasts an eternity.     

People often throw themselves into their careers as a defense mechanism against love.  They fear love and the requirements of it.  Love requires commitment, focus, decisiveness, self awareness, honesty, and selflessness, among other things.  These requirements are often more difficult for a man, because in society men aren’t always celebrated for the wife they have, but instead for their professional achievements.  Love isn’t leisure, it is work.  You can’t take a vacation from love.  When love hurts, it can be debilitating.  There is no cure for love when it hurts.  When love is presented with problems, you can’t walk away from it, tear it down and start all over.  As a result some people opt to take the easy way out and decide not to include love.  Some people literally choose not to prioritize love into their lives.  They’re afraid of the work more than potential failure or pain.  In spite of our fears about love, under Maslow’s Hierarchy, without love, a human being is not “whole” in life.  A life without love isn’t living; it is just existing.     

So, the “timing” isn’t right when you meet someone.  When did humans become powerful enough to control “time”?  Everything happens for a reason, and it happens when it should, not necessarily when we want it to.  If an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly for your career, you would view it as a “blessing”, not an obstacle or a temptation.  You would do whatever was necessary to take advantage of that opportunity.  You would fear losing the opportunity and never getting another.  You would conquer your fears, travel long distances, empty your bank account, sale your car, change your routine or schedule, you would change your plans, and you would even disappoint others in order to accept the “blessing”.  You would pray about it, increase your tithe offering, burn sage and anything else necessary for that blessing.  Sometimes people are also a blessing in our lives.  They are brought to us for many reasons.  Some people come into our lives for a season, some for a reason and some for a lifetime.  Someone who comes into your life that you feel a connection to may also be the one you are meant to love.  But if you are unwilling to take advantage of the opportunity, it will pass you by.  That person will then become a blessing to someone else who was unafraid of love.  I heard Steve Harvey say that more love songs have been written by men about lost love because men fail to see what they have until it is gone.  They don’t view love as a priority.    

Time waits for no one and some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime.  If you are willing to make sacrifices for achievements and material possessions, why would you not also make sacrifices for love?

Reaping a Bad Harvest

Karma.  It is a word used in the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies.  Its definition is the quality of someone’s current and future life as determined by that person’s previous behaviors.  The Good Book says, “You reap what you sow”.  The principles are the same.  You get what you give.  If you give heartache, drama and pain, at some point in your lifetime, the same will be returned to you, often in higher doses that are much more difficult to swallow. 

As I embark on this journey that is the fulfillment of God’s plan for me, I’m finding that I have to be very mindful about who I select to spend my personal time with and whom I allow into my inner circle.  Most of those people are loyal and understanding.  They know that my dreams are important to me and they support me completely.  Although I’m not yet at the level of success I am striving to obtain as the next reigning Queen of All Media, it’s just over the horizon because I’m working towards it.  As a result of my future plans for myself and Super Son, I’m very selective, especially when it comes to my interpersonal relationships with men.      

Before I began on this journey I had some painful relationships with the men in my life.  I had been rejected and heartbroken, even battered and abused.  I have healed from that and it made me a much better judge of character.  Now I can tell when man is a problem a lot earlier, sometimes even when I first look at him.  Even the men that weren’t problems have still caused me pain to some degree, even if unintentionally.  Then there are those few who know that they made absolutely no attempt to treat me well and they tried to take my kindness for weakness.  Those are the men who seem to think they always deserve another chance in my life – especially now.  Now that I’m in the Google search engine, my phone tings and rings from the “past loves”.  Those are the men who toss the word love into their text messages without fully understanding how to show love.  Now they see that everything I ever dreamed about is coming to fruition.  Everything they told me I would never be, I am becoming.  And they want back in the game. 

I find it most interesting that these same men, since ending their relationships with me, are having difficulty in their careers, with their families, with their finances, with their new woman; regardless of their level of education, upbringing or social status.  They are all suffering in one way or another.  The men who told me I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough or I didn’t make enough money to be their wives, are still single, and a lot older.  The women they pursue now mistreat them.  They are all reaping their harvest and it is rotten.  Attempting to invade my garden will not clear up their karma.  If they now know better, they have to do better.  The first step is not telling me what they think I want to hear in hopes that they can resuscitate what has died.  The first step is recognition of what they’ve done, followed by a sincere apology.  On the other hand, the men who treated me well are happy, successful, have financial security and very little drama in their lives, if any at all.  Their harvest is bountiful because they treat people well in their lives.  If any of these men wanted a second chance at a relationship with me, I would gladly consider it. 

When a person sets out to treat others with compassion and respect, kindness and understanding they often reap the benefits of those good relationships.  When a person is honest and considerate without being condescending or demeaning, they often receive respect from others.  When a person operates with integrity and good character, it’s a lot easier to accept them as an individual regardless of what you may dislike about their personality.  When a person shows you that they care for you with their actions, you can believe them when they say “I love you”.   These are the same people who are fully realized, happy individuals with good Karma.  And I am happy for them.   

I know that my life is a road trip, full of interesting stops along the way.  However, I can’t drive forward, if my car is in reverse.  I can’t fulfill my heart’s desire for mutual love if I allow those who do not love me to inhabit that space.  I give to others and I’m being blessed in return.  As I compare the two types of men I’ve had in my life, I am thankful for both.  They have helped make me who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.  To those who were loving and supportive, regardless of how it ended between us, I’m thankful for the experience and friendship.  To those who tried to break me, damage me, belittle me and who doubted me, I appreciate you also.  Because now I am fabulous.  And the best revenge is to be fabulous.      

I encourage you to be mindful of how you treat each other.  Be careful of how you treat those whom you profess to love.   Love is an action word, not a filler in place of remorse.  You only get one life and you don’t want to spend it reaping a harvest full of bad Karma.

Define Your Success

There’s a lot said about money.  [The love of] Money is the root of all evil.  Money can’t buy love.  More money, more problems.  Although all of those things may be true to some degree, money is still a major factor in our day to day lives.  Without it, life can be a lot more difficult; with it, life can be more interesting.  A wealthy person can never tell a homeless person that money isn’t important or rewarding to have.  The homeless person only knows that their lack of money contributes to their homelessness.  A middle class person won’t fully comprehend the isolated feeling that wealthier people have because they fear being taken advantage of because of their net worth.  They only see the opulence that the money affords a wealthier person and believe that wealth brings happiness.  Wealth is wealth.  Happiness is not wealth.  Happiness is a by-product of good relationships, love, self esteem and personal achievements.     

For some people having money is equivalent to being successful.  Although the word successful is synonymous with victorious or winning, not wealthy or rich, ask any teenager through early twenty-year-old to define success and they will include having money in their definition.  This is the society in which we live.  A society where we see money as the definition of success, and we view those who have lots of money, as also being very successful.  This is sometimes true; for a moment.  Eventually the reality comes to the surface.  It’s not the money or how much of it you have that makes you successful; it’s the way you obtained the money and what you do with it that will really matters.

In a world where money is coveted by those who don’t have it, or want more of it, there are individuals who will often sacrifice their morals to obtain it.  They set dangerous agendas for others they come in contact with.  They will mistreat, manipulate and abuse others, for a few dollars.  They behave dishonestly and even maliciously to “get money”.  They take advantage of other people’s kindness, steal and even are willing to kill for money, all along never realizing that their actions will not allow that money to remain in their possession very long.  All ill-gotten gains eventually burn down to nothing.

We need to redefine what constitutes a successful person.  It’s not the money that makes a person successful.  It’s the work and time that the person put forth to become a success to begin with that defines their success.   The money is simply one of the rewards for the work.  Who did you help on your way to becoming rich?  Who did you step on or step over to gain your success and wealth?  When you became rich, did you go back and do for others where your roots grew from?  These are just a few questions that should be answered when a person is considering their wealth and success.  Everyone has the ability to make a lot of money – either legally or illegally.  It’s a choice based on morals, principles and standards and whether a person is willing to sacrifice theirs for linen paper. 

When  person dies, on their tombstone there are two dates; the day a person was born and the day the person died.  The dash in the middle represents life and that’s the legacy that remains that people will remember most.  People will remember if you were giving and unselfish and they will honor that memory of you more than if you were greedy, malicious and calculating.  People will miss you if you were charitable, loving and caring, more than if you had a large monetary will that people fought over in probate.  Which person do you prefer to be remembered as?  What will the dash on your tombstone represent and say about you after the money is gone? 

Consider this when defining your success:

No one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”.           

A Good Thing

I was in the hair salon yesterday, reinventing myself again, when this young lady came in to make an appointment for herself.  After some conversation with her and my hair stylist, it was discovered that this young lady thought that she had a relationship dilemma.  She had a man in her life who wanted a relationship with her.  He had told her and shown her in numerous ways.  He had done all the things that men do when they want a woman in their lives as more than a pretty accessory; he had taken her to his friends’ weddings, introduced her to his friends and relatives, spent quality time with her, even though he lived in another state.  If you’re single like me, you realize that often a man can live down the street from you and you will never see or hear from him.  Here she was with a man that clearly loved her and wanted to care for her.  But she was indecisive about her role in his life.  Men know when they want a woman in their lives and they know sooner than they are often willing to admit.  On average, they know within thirty to ninety days of spending time with that woman.  This man had waited for her for a full year.  I asked her was there anything bad she could say about him and her response was ‘No’.  Then I asked her did she think he was just too good to be true and she said ‘Yes’.  Ah-ha! THAT was the REAL dilemma. 

So many of us have been defrauded and betrayed in relationships that we develop a very unhealthy sense of cynicism.  We believe that because of everything negative that we have previously experienced in our relationships that everyone we meet with be a repeat of the same negative energy – over and over again.  Without realizing it, we talk ourselves out of a good thing.  We sabotage our own happiness because we do not believe in its existence. 

This young lady reminded me of myself SO much.  We’re even born under the same astrological sign – Capricorn.  But the biggest difference between she and I is that I’m almost six years older than she is and I do not have someone in my life that treats me the way her man treats her.  Yes, I told her that he is her man, but she’s the only person that doesn’t know it.  I don’t know what I’d be willing to give to have a man love me to that same degree or greater.  I’d love to have someone to share my achievements with, my ideas with, and my life with.  I’d love to be in her shoes and many other women would also.  I told her that there are women somewhere who would sit on top of rooftops with sniper rifles to get the man that she has.  Even though I often feel like I’m being held hostage as a single woman, I’m surrounded by people with healthy relationships and good marriages.  Therefore, I have a pretty good idea of what one looks like.   I told her to go get her man and the other women in the salon agreed. 

It’s disheartening that for so many of us we are waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We constantly believe that a person is just too good to be true and that their motives are to create harm and pain in our lives.  We let our pasts hinder our ability to love and trust.  We aren’t receptive to that level of emotion.  We are unable to be vulnerable out of fear.  We forget that other person is also a person, who may be just as nervous and fearful about us as we are about them.  We talk ourselves out of a good thing

I’m speaking about myself as well.  I’m known for talking myself out of a good thing.  I’ve had so many painful relationships and I’ve been rejected so often that meeting a good man who has the capacity to love me sounds like an urban legend.   I over analyze gestures of admiration and wonder ‘why’ about almost every little thing.  However, I’m learning that when there isn’t anything wrong, you shouldn’t create something wrong in your mind, just so that you can be right about there being something wrong.  If there is in fact something wrong it will manifest on it’s own without you applying energy to it.  I’m trying to be more open to that part of me that wants love so that I can accept it when it arrives.  That doesn’t mean that I turn my bullshit meter off.  It just means that I need to stop talking myself out of a good thing.  Maya Angelou said “When a person shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”  A person that isn’t good for you will show themselves to you.  The person that God made for you will also do the same.  All you need to do is believe them.

On a Clear Day

It is said that on a clear day you can see forever.  This morning, as I drove Super Son to school, from the Westside of the city, I could see the Renaissance Center with the sunrise gleaming off of it.  It appeared to be so close that if I hadn’t known better, I might have tried to reach out to touch it.  As I marveled, I said aloud, “on a clear day you can see forever”. That caused me to reflect on clarity in our minds and hearts as well. 

When your mind is clear, you can see possibilities as endless and limitless.  You are more open to change and therefore, more likely to adapt to situations and environments.  If your mind is clear of negativity and fear, you can make the impossible, possible.  If your mind is clear your faith and perseverance are stronger and challenges become opportunities instead of struggles. 

When your heart is clear, you feel love deeply and without fear of rejection or pain.  You can give of yourself to others fully and with trust, knowing that you may or may not receive the same in return, but it doesn’t prevent you from loving regardless.  If your heart is clear of pain felt resulting from your past, your ability to move forward into the realms of love in your present and future are not impeded.  You are then able to be loved in return, fully and deeply.

Sometimes we hinder our own success because our minds aren’t clear and we refuse to view things differently.  We stick ourselves in a box labeled “comfort zone”.  Sometimes our relationships fail because we hinder ourselves with fear and apprehension.  We stick ourselves in a box labeled “past experiences”.  This is neither a prosperous or productive way to live.  

I encourage you to clear your minds and hearts, not for anyone else, but for the limitless possibilities it will create for you; professionally, personally and financially.   Because on a clear day you can truly see forever.

Be You

We’re surrounded by it everywhere we look.  Billboards, mainstream media, including television telling us what the standards of beauty are and how we should be, instead of embracing our ever varying diversity and what we are able to contribute as individuals.  Regardless of what others insist that you mold yourself into, it is very important that you remain true to yourself in life.  Be yourself; only better.  This can be the most difficult task of your life because others will want expect you to be who they think you should be to satisfy their own agendas.  Whatever obstacles you face, you should always have your own agenda that dictates who and how you contribute to this world.  Stay true to your feelings, your vision, your morals, values and standards.  Develop your personal sense of style, love your skin, and hair, size and shape.  Acknowledge your gifts and talents.  If you do these things, you will always be blessed. 

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t embrace positive change.  Change is good; it promotes growth and enhances character.  Be open and receptive to any of the challenges you face in your life.  Challenges that are conquered feed the soul and will bring about a sense of accomplishment for you if you simply try your best.  Whatever you set out to achieve is well within your grasp when you exhibit determination and have focus.  What you bring to this world as an individual is priceless and irreplaceable.  There will never be another you.  You are unique in your design.  Your style is your own, your beauty is unique, your intellect is a treasure.    

Self assess yourself and your personal relationships.  Strive to be the type of person you would want to have a relationship with; a person who is strong, confident and honest.  A person who compliments your best qualities and enhances your existing happiness.  Someone enjoyable to be around who loves and appreicates life and the diversity that it includes.  These are essential elements for the foundation of a healthy relationship.  Embrace your flaws, pet peeves & annoying habits.  They give you personality.  Change only what you want to change about yourself, along with what you should change to improve your health & finances.  You are aware of what those things are, even if you’ve never acknowledged them aloud.    

Be a good friend to others.  You can only receive what you are willing to give to others.   You can’t expect others to live up to standards that you do not yourself live up to.  If you are consistently being disappointed by someone, one of the two of you isn’t a good friend to the other.  Be encouraging and uplifting of others.  Particularly towards other women, both younger and older.  We are each other’s responsibility and we must care for one another.  Putting others down will never lift you up.  Being a hater is an excuse for not fulfilling your own potential.  It may give you temporary satisfaction, but won’t feed your soul or fill your bank account. 

Work to fulfill your dreams and goals.  You may have had to sacrifice your dreams at some point in your life, but it’s never too late to pursue them again.  It takes balance, prayer and perseverance. If you’re interested in pursuing your dreams, network with like-minded people who will encourage and support your endeavors and success.  Working hard and smart have monumental payoffs for those who don’t give up.  Don’t allow people to deter you and draw your focus onto their dreams, when you can spend your energy pursuing your own.  You have a purpose here in this world and you can be a blessing to yourself and to others; you don’t have to choose one over the other. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  You add more stress to yourself when you don’t ask for help.  Asking for help includes asking for guidance from whichever spiritual entity you worship.  God uses us to bless others.  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s a sign of strength and wisdom.  Where you may be lacking in an area of your life, knowledge or ability, others may contribute.  Even a super hero needs a sidekick for assistance sometimes.

Don’t be afraid of trying something different or being adventurous.  The human body needs an adrenaline rush on occasion to preserve our natural survival instincts.  Plan a vacation somewhere that you’ve never been before, go to an amusement park and ride a roller coaster.  Open yourself up and do something you’ve always wanted to do, even if you don’t have anyone to accompany you. 

Nurture your individuality.  Whether you like to wear your hair long or short, like to read or listen to music; whatever makes you different is beautiful.  Embrace it fully.  We don’t all look or think alike and that keeps life more interesting.  What a boring world this would be if we were all mindless clones of some other person.  Learn to appreciate the differences that others have.  All of your friends don’t have to be exactly like you.  If you have friends that always agree with you no matter what you do, you need new friends.  You make mistakes, as anyone does, and a true friend will call you out on your mess.   

Don’t work hard at getting revenge on those who have hurt and disappointed you.  Instead, work hard at getting better.  The better you are, the better you look, and the better you feel about yourself, the more the person who has wronged you will regret not having you in their life.  The best revenge is to be fabulous.  

Live your life to the fullest; you only get one chance.  Be beautiful.  Be bright.  Be powerful.  Be you.

Smooches.