Tag Archives: integrity

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. 

Upgrade Yourself

I’ve been reading a lot from both men and women complaining about the kind of people they are meeting and dating. Women are complaining about men not having jobs, money and ambition. Men are complaining about women being gold diggers, lazy and expecting too much from them. I find it all comical, yet very sad. I find it comical because the majority of the people complaining don’t have their lives together, yet expect others to tolerate it. Some of the people complaining also have extremely low standards, meet a person that meets those low standards but they expect the person to exceed them, as if by magic.

I find it sad because it’s making men and women more divisive than we already are. We no longer seem to appreciate the good things about people and overlook them in exchange for superficial, temporary characteristics that we like, then we don’t understand why our relationships fail. People no longer strive to build friendships that turn into relationships. People just want to have sexual relationships that turn into…well, a hot mess later on. Everything that looks good to you, isn’t always good for you.

First Law of Attraction: You attract who and what you are. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, because there are so many people who pretend to be someone they are not in an attempt to impress a person when they meet them. But for the most part, if you’re looking for a person with wealth, you will need to be wealthy or aspiring towards wealth yourself. If you’re looking for a person who is employed, you will need to also be employed. If you’re looking for someone educated, same should be true of you. If you want someone ambitious, you should make sure that you are as well. Point of clarification: ambitious doesn’t mean you talk about all the things you’re going to do “one day”.

Second Law of Attraction: There will always be at least one quality you’re looking for that a person lacks, so you have to decide if it’s a nonnegotiable (i.e. deal breaker) or not. No one is perfect and no matter how compatible you are with someone, you will always find that there is one thing that person is incapable of giving you. Some of those qualities you seek may be superficial and therefore, you should be able to live without them. But if there are flaws in a person’s character, work ethic and integrity, or they negatively impact that person’s health and freedom (you know what I mean), you may want to reconsider dating them.

Third Law of Attraction: The more you upgrade yourself, the more likely you are to meet someone who is of equal or greater caliber. I’ve learned that the more you upgrade yourself, the more options you have, and the more you can say no to people who aren’t on the same level that you’re on when they approach you. It’s also not about a person’s occupation. Whatever they do, if they don’t have the desire to do it well, there may be an issue with their self motivation. Beyoncé couldn’t upgrade Jay Z had she not already accomplished certain things herself as an individual. You can’t expect to take a person who has never had anything, never been anywhere, doesn’t possess any drive or ambition and lacks basic common sense and turn them into a multi-millionaire. If a person has never given birth to a good idea and had the desire to make it on their own, you coming into their lives won’t change that. Self motivation is a key factor in everyone’s lives. It’s the same part of a person that tells them they need to work in order to pay bills and eat, that determines how successful they will or won’t become.

Fourth Law of Attraction: Be the person you want to have and do it for yourself, not to get a man/woman. This means you need to already have some of the aspects of the life that you want to share with someone else. If you’re in debt, and you don’t want someone broke, get out of debt. If you enjoying traveling, and you want someone else who does, get yourself a passport, some frequent flier miles and go somewhere. If you want someone who is successful, become successful yourself. What happens if you don’t meet someone after you’ve done these things? You will have lived a blessed, successful, enjoyable life on your own terms. You will have had experiences that you can share with your grandchildren. You will have rocking chair memories in when you’re older and can no longer do those things. You will be happy as an individual, regardless of whether you had someone there to share it with or not.

You can’t wait for someone else to come along and upgrade you. That’s not a logical expectation. If you don’t have anything to offer someone else other than your good looks, you’re not going to obtain the person you want to attract.

Men, if a woman has a job, a career, aspirations, children, a car, a mortgage, insurances to pay, and she’s keeping herself groomed (which isn’t cheap),  it’s not likely that she’s going to want a man who adds more bills to her plate, unless she lacks self-esteem or is controlling. If you’re not a provider, you won’t last long in her life because she doesn’t need you. That doesn’t make her a gold digger; that means she believes in self-preservation. You also can’t expect her to lower her standards to accommodate you. You can’t expect her to give you everything you want or need, but you can’t relieve some of the burden or responsibilities she already has. Why should she when she can have what she wants and needs without you? It is true that a woman can do bad all by herself. So if you’re not on her level, upgrade yourself or leave her alone.

Women if you’re always dating men that have nothing to offer, in exchange for orgasms, all you will ever get is orgasms. If the most important thing to you is how a man puts it down in the bedroom, instead of his accolades in the boardroom, you will always have the man who is good in bed, but bad for you emotionally. If he didn’t have a job when you met, him, you can’t expect him to become employed if you’re taking care of him. That’s the truth. I believe that if you don’t work, you don’t eat. If you want a man who is a provider, show him that you can compliment him by being responsible and independent [read Miss Independent for a better understanding of independence and how we don’t use the term appropriately]. If you want a man to respect you, have respect for yourself. This means you will need to have boundaries (like not posting naked pictures of yourself on Facebook), and not allow yourself to be persuaded to let men cross or ignore your boundaries. Men may like to have the girl that’s hot, cute and always down for whatever to play with, but they never want her to be their wife. A man who knows his worth, wants a woman who does also.

Upgrading yourself isn’t easy. It’s a step by step process, that first begins with self assessment and admitting that there are characteristics about you that you can improve upon. These characteristics may span from your attitude to your bank account, from your job to where you live. It may require that you step out of your comfort zone, make new friends or acquaintances or even get a complete makeover. But if you do it for yourself to improve your life and well-being, you will see that the type of people you attract will also improve. There will always be the occasional opportunist looking for someone to take advantage of, leach off of or otherwise take their kindness for weakness. Becoming a better person will allow you to avoid those types of people as well. You don’t have to take my word for it. Try it for yourself and see what happens.

~ “You don’t do it for the man, men never notice; you just do it for yourself, you’re the f*cking coldest” – Drake, “Fancy

Why Does a Dog Lick Himself?

When I was growing up and I’d ask my aunt a question like “why do boys do stupid stuff?“, she would answer my question with this question ~ “Why does a dog lick himself?” Of course, I’d say “I dunno”, and she’d say “Because he can… and that’s the same reason boys do stupid stuff.”

As I’ve gotten older, the question remains. And it is still the same answer. In relationships, people have forgotten some basic fundamentals. One in particular is honesty. People use lying as a reason to save a person’s feelings, because they believe telling the truth is more damning. The truth is that lying damages trust and creates fractures in the foundation of the relationship that never heal. Telling the truth may hurt someone’s feelings, but it does a lot less damage in the long run. Telling the truth might mean the relationship ends, but that’s better than having an unhealthy relationship full of anger, deceit, resentment and betrayal.

I bring this up today because too many people like living a lie in their relationships and it’s both unnecessary and unhealthy. Personally, I’m tired of seeing it, hearing it and having it walk up to my front porch uninvited and unwelcome. Unfortunately, it is true that more men lie about stupid things they don’t need to lie about, than women do. Men lie about where they are going and who they are going with. Men lie about who they love and who they want a relationship with. They lie about the color of their socks. Men lie about what they do for a living and how much money they don’t make. Men seem to lie about a lot of things, both big and small, for no reason at all. And they get away with it. Sometimes because women will say “oh, he’s just confused, but I can change him“. You can’t change a person who doesn’t want to change themselves.

Why do men get away with lying? The same reason a dog licks himself. Because they can.

Men get away with lying because so many women accept and tolerate the lies, even when their instincts tell them not to. It’s usually desperation and fear of being alone that causes women to ignore common sense, women’s intuition and the clues that a lie is being told straight to their face. Men only do to a woman what they are allowed to do. Men are well aware of this. Steve Harvey even talked about it in his book. Men understand and value loyalty and respect over love.  If a woman demands honesty from a man, that man may not want a relationship with her, but he’ll respect her more than he respects a woman who puts up with his lies. That doesn’t mean he won’t lie anymore. It just means he’s aware of who he can’t lie to and get away with it. I’ve always preferred having a man’s respect towards me more than his attention or admiration. Which is probably another reason I’m single. But it’s worth it to have my peace of mind.

Women: If a man is constantly lying to you and you remain in a relationship with him, he will not stop lying to you. If anything, he will just lie more often and get better at it. And why should he stop lying to you? His lies got you. His lies are keeping you. He gets everything he wants by lying to you and there aren’t any consequences or repercussions handed down to him when lies are told. Every time he lies, he gives an apology (another lie), and a reason for lying in the first place (another lie) and follows it with a promise to never lie again (another lie). That’s too much lying for me right there. But I see it more and more in relationships.

So many women seem to be accepting of this disrespectful behavior. I say disrespectful because anytime another person takes the time to deceive you, mislead you or takes away your ability to make an informed decision for your life based on truth and facts, they are disrespecting you. A self-respecting person never likes for others to disrespect them in return. The same women who allow men to needlessly lie and accept it, contribute to a cycle where that same man lies to the next woman he meets, and the next and the next, until he has a come to Jesus moment. That come to Jesus moment is usually something extremely dramatic, like a paternity lawsuit, his car being keyed, his house being burned to the ground (ala Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Andre Rison circa 1994), or something else that takes a lot of money out of his pocket. I’m not condoning doing these things to men, I’m just saying that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. These types of acts also aren’t necessary to get revenge against a man. The best revenge is to be fabulous; which means being able to walk away from that man leaving him without the privilege of your time, energy or intimacy.

Men often don’t consider what they might lose by lying, they often are only looking for something to gain when they do so. Whatever happened to the truth setting someone free? When did telling the truth become so hard that a person would go through the trouble of creating an entire story about something that never happened, that includes people, places and conversations that didn’t take place, to avoid telling the truth? When did a lie become one of the building blocks in relationships?

I remember a time when a man lied or cheated and was greeted with hot grits in return.  Have the women of the 21st century become such weak doormats that they would rather be with a man that constantly lies to them than be happy, healthy and single? Being single isn’t a bad thing. Particularly since it’s so obvious that a lot of people have no business being in relationships in the first place because they lie. When a person lies all the time they are often referred to as a pathological liar. This was once thought to be a mental illness, but for many it’s just a bad habit that they get away with maintaining and are never held accountable for.

All of the energy that is put into cultivating a lie can be used for many more productive ventures. Instead of lying, why not be an adult, tell your partner the truth and move forward – whether that means the relationship ends or not. A relationship based on a lie is never worth maintaining. It’s a parasite and the only purpose it serves is to drain you dry. It’s a time waster. It’s a dream killer. It’s utter fuckery at the core of it’s existence.

Of course a dog will lick himself because he can. A man will lie to and disrespect the woman he can. Just like a woman will abuse and emasculate the man that she can. I’ve never liked a liar – man or woman. I do my best to avoid anyone who lies to me, male or female. I’ve always believed that a person who would lie to me is a thief and a killer. Neither of whom should hold a position of power in my Super World, personally or professionally.

Integrity. It’s a word people forget and no longer practice. Integrity means doing the right things, even when no one else is watching you. It means being trustworthy. It requires honesty.

Women, please remember this in your relationships no matter what: a man who lies, will cheat; a man who cheats, will steal; a man who steals, will kill. Don’t settle for lies out of fear. If he lies to you, he’s not honest with himself. A man with integrity will always be honest, even when it’s hard or painful for him to do. A man that truly loves you, shows it and will always consider your heart before he does anything that could hurt you. 

Why does a dog lick himself? Because he can.

Why does a man lie to you? Because you don’t demand more from him and let him get away with it by staying with him.

Life is too short to live connected to someone by a lie. If you wake up everyday, fearful that you’ll be alone if you end your relationship with a liar, so you stay in the situation, I have news for you: You’re already alone… you just don’t know it yet.  

~ If you’re a man reading this and you feel like I’m man bashing, too bad. Stop lying to yourself and others and you won’t feel that way. When you know better, you do better.

 

Hi, I’m An Over Achiever

People are so proud of me for the local media coverage I received in the Michigan Front Page on September 21, 2011. I’m not as excited. I guess I’m still in the “building” phase of SWPP after 3 years of being in business, so that’s not a HUGE accomplishment to me. As far as I’m concerned, I can do better. In my (warped) mind, when I reach my 5th year business anniversary and I’ve been in Ebony, Essence, Uptown, Jones, Black Enterprise, Savoy and O Magazines, then I can get excited. Believing in self assessment, I’m aware that admitting I have a problem, is the first step to recovery.  
 
Hi, I’m Angela. And I’m an Over Achiever.
 
I’d like to be excited about media coverage I’d received over the last few months. Particularly since I waited and prayed for almost a year for that to happen. I’d also like to be excited about some of the opportunities that are now coming my way (tv scripts, more media coverage, media projects, book publishing deals), but I can’t because I’ve learned not to count my chickens before they hatch. I need contracts to be signed and deals to be solidified before I can exhale and feel that this is “real” and tangible. Until then I just can’t get excited.
 
As an Over Achiever, I’m often unable to enjoy my minor achievements…
 
I realize that part of my problem is that I live in the real world, where I know that people sometimes disappoint me. People don’t always exhibit a great amount of integrity in their dealings (personal or professional) and taking someone’s word isn’t always the best idea. I prefer to watch a person’s actions and see what they will actually do before I get excited by their offers. I once had a young lady ask me why I don’t talk more about what I’m doing on my blogs, Facebook, etc. I told her it is because some things are dependant upon other people doing their jobs. In the event someone else doesn’t do their job, I don’t want to be the one standing around looking stupid because it fell apart. I told her that I don’t talk too much about my projects publicly because I don’t want people with more power and money than I have to steal my intellectual property. I also don’t want people to think I’m full of crap if something doesn’t happen on the day, at the time and at the place I said it would, so I prefer to wait until it is complete before I share it with the public. It’s my way of protecting the integrity of The Brand. I don’t want a reputation for being unreliable, even when other people are.
 
 …and I have trust issues.
 
I’m glad that others are proud of me. I want to continue to make people proud by fulfilling my purpose, growing my business and becoming successful. I do recognize that I am my own worst critic. I’m my biggest competition. I’m my own kryptonite to some degree. One day, it will be more than enough. But that day isn’t today. It wasn’t on September 21, 2011 when the Michigan Front Page hit news stands, and it won’t be the day I complete and register my first television script either. The day when it will be more than enough will be the day I can exhale. When that day arrives I will be in the position to pay all my bills on time again, I will have a number of projects completed, a number of contracts signed, books will be selling nationally, I’ll be getting paid to do what I love to do and The Brand will be profitable enough that I can hire people, expand and take a much needed, all inclusive vacation to Barbados and not worry about Super Woman Productions and Publishing falling apart as a result.   
 
And did I mention that I’m always setting higher goals for myself?
 
Yes, I like the media coverage. I honestly do. But I’m just not that excited about it. Not yet. Not today. There’s still too much more I need to do before I can rest and say to myself “well done“. There are too many ideas that have yet to be developed. There are too many words that have yet to be written. There are too many dreams that I’ve yet to dream for me to be excited. There’s just too much yet to come. I hope you’ll join me, continue to encourage me and share me with others that you know. That’s what helps to make my current struggles worth it for me.