Tag Archives: men

Evolution…

One definition of evolution is a pattern caused by movement. Another is the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form. There are many stages to evolution for an individual. Some people evolve slowly and consistently, others have spurts of evolution. Evolution can take place in our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our finances, our careers, and our relationships. We are ever-changing as people. How you accept and adapt to those changes make the difference in the quality of your life.

If we do not evolve, what is the alternative? What happens to people who do not evolve? We all know someone whose life is stagnant and depressing. They have been saying and doing the same negative, unproductive things for years. Some are in abusive relationships; some have addictions but do not believe in recovery or redemption. Some have extreme financial problems, or are not growing in their careers or improving their personal relationships. They have been unhappy for years. Yet, they don’t make changes in their patterns of behavior or accept changes that occur naturally that can make their lives better. They are constantly complaining about what they don’t have, but they aren’t working towards changing their circumstances. They are waiting for someone else to come along and “rescue” them from themselves. The best evolution is not a forced evolution by others, but one that is initiated by self.

Ted Williams is a recent example of this to a degree. The man has had a tremendous amount of hardship in his lifetime. However, some of it he is personally responsible for. No matter what anyone does for him at this time in his life, he has spent many years of his life not evolving. He has not been the best example of a father or husband. He also has suffered from addiction. He’s been homeless for a number of years and was “discovered” singing while panhandling on a street corner.

Prior to the World learning of Ted Williams, he worked in radio in Columbus, Ohio for a period of time. I’m sure people in and around Columbus, Ohio may remember him and have even wondered what happened to him, not realizing that they were driving past him as he stood on the street. But how much was Ted Williams working to do on his own to change his situation? Why hadn’t his family welcomed him back home if he was clean and sober? Would he still be on that street corner if Doral Chenoweth hadn’t spotted him and pulled out his Flip Cam? These are just a few questions that come to my mind. A lot of people are talented. They work very hard to get to where they want to be and never receive the types of “offers” that Ted Williams has. Why do we celebrate him, more than he celebrates himself? We love an underdog, but isn’t a young man struggling to pay for college on his own, also an underdog?

The reality is this: Until Ted Williams wants to evolve, all of the job opportunities, television interviews, accolades and compliments will not change his life for the better. He could easily regress back into his addiction (allegedly he already has) and go back to panhandling on that same street corner. We can sit in awe of his amazing voice as much as we want to. We can pray for him daily, offer him opportunities, money and support. However, until Ted Williams prays for himself, and becomes self-motivated to change his life for the better, then takes the steps necessary himself, he will soon be forgotten about and be replaced by the next “discovery”. While the young man struggling to pay for college, will graduate and become successful because of his self-determination and the World won’t even notice.

Change and Choices – Part 2

We are the common denominator in all of our personal relationships.  If your personal and intimate relationships are all negative and unhealthy, you have to look more closely at yourself to determine why you are attracting those types of people.  You attract what you and who you are.  The better person you strive to be individually, the better caliber of people you will attract in return.  That’s the basic law of attraction.  Unfortunately, we’ve been taught that opposites attract, so often we will give someone completely opposite of ourselves “a chance”.  However, the Good Book tells us that we should be equally yoked to our mates.  That means that the person we regard as partner in life and marriage should be someone that complements us and enhances us; not someone who is the opposite of us.  It is true that a person may have some opposite personality traits, but that is not the same as being an opposite person.  We take opposites attracted more literally as in one person has steady employment and the other can not hold a job for more than six months.  That is not a health opposition between two people.  That factor will always create financial difficulties in the relationship.  Financial problems are the greatest reason for divorce.  So why would you want that type of relationship to begin with? 

Instead, we need to begin to look at people who are like-minded and like-hearted.  You can not have a relationship with someone who doesn’t want the same type of relationship you want.  If a person doesn’t believe in monogamy, marriage and commitment, there is nothing you can do to convince that person otherwise.  That person’s mindset is based on their experiences.  The only thing you can do is respect their mindset and move on.  By staying in that situation you are only hindering yourself from becoming connected to someone else who shares your values and mindset. 

For example, if a man tells a woman that he only wants to be “friends with benefits”, the woman then has the information to make an informed decision as to whether or not she wants to have the same type of relationship.  If the woman agrees to that type of relationship, that particular man will likely not ever see her as anything more than a “friend with benefits”.  The odds that he will become committed to her and marry her are very, very slim.  That is the truth of the situation.  However, some women will agree to a “friends with benefits” relationship with the expectation that the relationship may evolve into more if she can get him to change his mind.  The chances are a lot greater that it will not.  On the flip side, if the woman tells that man that she is not interested in being “friends with benefits” because she would prefer to cultivate a long term committed relationship, the woman can then freely move on to someone else who is more like-minded.  The same is true of a man who wants committed relationship but the woman does not. 

Many of my male friends have told me that men only do what women allow them to get away with.  Women can not make men change their minds or hearts as long as we allow them to categorize us however they choose to instead of respecting our desires.  You have to be willing, able and unafraid to walk away, anytime you know that the person you are dealing with doesn’t want what you want.  It is often difficult, but the reward is the retention of your own dignity.  It is more difficult to move forward if you are holding onto something that isn’t meant to be.  Also, being willing and able to walk away will make a man have more respect for you in the long run, regardless of whether you ever have a relationship with him or not. 

Remember: You are the only person who can facilitate change in your heart and your mind.

Change and Choices – Part 1

Personal change begins within.  Often we seek to change the minds and hearts of others without realizing that the heart and mindset of another person is based upon their personal experiences and what they have learned from their families and friends.  Those experiences, whether good or bad, have shaped their perspective.  Their personal perspective dictates their actions and reactions to situations and relationships.  Any change that takes place in a person’s heart or mind therefore is the result of a personal choice made by that individual.

We all choose whether or not we want to have a successful relationship, or not.  We choose whether or not we want to follow in the footsteps of those who had toxic relationships also.  You are a product of your environment but you also have the power as an individual to overcome any circumstance that you may have encountered.  If you come from a broken home, you do not have to create a broken home situation for your own children.  If you had an absentee parent, you do not have to be absent from your children’s lives.  If your parents divorced, you do not have to fear marriage, commitment or experience divorce in your own relationship.  If your household was abusive, you do not have to be a victim or victimizer of abuse.  You are not a slave to your past or that of your family.  You are free.  Free to make choices for yourself.  You are free to be better than what you’ve seen, been taught or witnessed.  You are free to make changes to improve your situation and provide a safer life for your children so that they will see a positive example that they can refer back to.        

Statistically more than 70% of Black women in America are single, and approximately 40% of those women have never been married.  However, more than 40% of Black men in America are also single and have never been married either.  This means that just as many Black men as Black women have never been married.  Why is that? Logically you could say that if the 40% of Black women and the 40% of Black men meet, they could get married.  Maybe they just reside in different areas of the country so it’s a factor of distance more than anything else.  Realistically it means that a large percentage Black men do not have the desire or goal to become married.  This means that the 40% of single and never married Black women have to explore other options, such as crossing racial divides, in order to find a mate.  And with there being an overabundance of single and desperate women willing to share a man for the sake of not feeling lonely, many men do not feel it necessary to commit to one woman when they can have a different woman everyday.   

In my own dating experience I meet a lot of single Black men who “do not want a relationship”, don’t consider it a “priority” and do not want to be committed to just one woman.  They are fearful of the possibilities of failure in their relationships because of their past experiences (marriages and divorces) and the situations in which they were raised (single parent homes without their fathers present), or they have so many women pursuing them that they feel they’d be “giving up” something (ego) in order to commit to just one woman.  These men make a choice, regardless of it being conscious or subconscious.  It’s sad, but true.  It’s the reality of dating in the world we live in.      

People are very cynical and negative about personal relationships.  However, that negativity can be overcome through positive experiences and examples.  In spite of some of the bad relationships I’ve had, I recall the ones that were healthy and positive.  Those set an example and developed a standard for me as I move forward in life.  The good relationships taught me that there is hope and the possibility of love.  Those relationships reiterated to me that all men are not dogs, or trifling, or useless.  Those relationships allowed me to value and respect my authentic self and understand what positive attributes I bring to a relationship.  Those relationships also allowed me to improve myself as an individual and as a woman.  I have made a choice that I will have a healthy and successful relationship.  I have made a choice that I want to be married.  I have made a choice that when the day comes, I will work to have the type of marriage I want and deserve.  The only thing I’m missing is a like-minded and like-hearted man who also has the same desire, goals and resolve that I have. 

To be continued…