Tag Archives: superficial

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

Mean Girls

Earlier this month, researchers at Iowa State University published “Frenemies, Fraitors, and Mean-em-aitors: Priming Effects of Viewing Physical and Relational Aggression in the Media on Women“. The study, which observed 250 college women, found that viewing mean girl antics such as social exclusion, gossip and emotional bullying on shows like Basketball Wives, Love & Hip-Hop and Real Housewives of Atlanta, primed viewers to be more aggressive towards each other. The part of me that believes in Sisterhood, found this surprising, disturbing and sad. The part of me that is logical, viewed this as a sign that we are weak-minded, easily influenced and lack moral fortitude. The part of me that is in entertainment said ‘here we go, blaming television for our problems again’.  When Essence Magazine first published a related article on their website, I posted the following comment:

“They say if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. The fact that a person’s behavior can be altered by watching other people’s ignorant behavior on television is very sad and disappointing. I think it speaks more to how weak-minded and fickle these women are if they begin to emulate the bad behavior they see (on television). So then my question becomes this: if they are inundated with more positive behavior represented on television, will they adapt and emulate that positive behavior also? I’m just saying, while we’re brainwashing, we should make it worthwhile.”
 

I’ve previously admitted to watching reality shows. Lately, I’ve found myself wondering “whose reality is this really“, where women are constantly backstabbing, backbiting, fighting and behaving as if they are wild animals fighting over the last scraps of prey, that they didn’t even hunt? This behavior is evident on Basketball Wives (which has turned into WWE Part 2 in Miami), Love & Hip Hop concluded their season after lots of fist fights and drink throwing, no matter what city they were in, and Real Housewives of Atlanta has turned into Sheree versus Everybody Else. Not to mention the woman who threw a ziplock bag full of flour on Kim Kardarshian while she walked the red carpet at a recent charity event. Who does that? Mean Girls do that.

I’ve never been the type of woman to surround myself with a lot of other women. I was raised to believe that you only need one really good girlfriend and a few close girlfriends, but no more than five. I’ve lived like that for almost 40 years now. I’ve learned through experience that the more women present in a room, the more problems could arise. In my younger years, I had more than my fair share of girls and young women who were jealous of me for what I viewed to be silly and superficial reasons, so I preferred to keep to myself. I believed that things would improve as women matured, and if not, that’s okay because I enjoy my company just fine. 

Then something happened.

I met a Mean Girl. Unbeknownst to me, she was already in my midst – like a snake. She is someone I’ve known for the last few years and considered to be a dear sister-friend. I was clearly wrong and had ignored her character flaws, possibly out of love or because I just wasn’t paying attention. Maybe she was just that slick. Well, recently she showed her true colors, as snakes often do. For the last few years, I’ve been so busy working on things in my life that were important to me (traveling, building the Super Woman Brand, sending my son to college, and enjoying my life), and avoiding men with hidden agendas, that I completely overlooked the woman who had come into my life with a hidden agenda of her own and envy in her heart. She flew right in under the radar and nested herself into my life for the sole purpose of getting whatever benefits were attached to being associated with me and being known as my friend. And she got away with it for years. Once she couldn’t get her way any longer, because I have my own life, goals and dreams, she began to show herself to not be a good friend, but to be a superficial, insecure, vindictive and malicious person. My life had never revolved around her to begin with, but for some strange reason, she assumed she was my only friend and that I somehow relied on her for my mere existence. I found that to be hilarious. She actually had the blatant audacity to send me a text message that said “you’re gonna need me before I need you“. For what?  When I think back, that wasn’t true, and wouldn’t be true. She hadn’t contributed to any of my personal or business accomplishments. She hadn’t introduced me to anyone of importance. She hadn’t done anything truly significant. So again, I ask – for what? She doesn’t have anything that I would covet and my only competition is myself

Just like the Mean Girls on reality television, she began to say terrible and untrue things about me (mostly behind my back to anyone she thought would listen, because that’s what cowards do). I immediately recognized this as an attempt on her part to make her feel superior because she is insecure. Strangely enough, she’s at a time in her life where she should be happy. She’s recently got married and has a beautiful blended family, bought a house and has a grandchild. So when others would be relishing in their life’s accomplishments, this woman is directing her energy into attempting to discredit or harm me. Obviously, she’s not very happy. However, I’m not responsible for her happiness and nor will I take responsibility for her unhappiness.

Mean Girls develop their own false truth. A false truth that is often laced with insecurities and judgment against others, that they persuade themselves into believing in order to compensate for what they lack as an individual. Fortunately, for me (a) I have real girlfriends (b) I have self-esteem and confidence that is virtually unbreakable by another human being, and (c) I have a life. Therefore, I’m not too concerned about this woman and the lies that she attempts to spread out of anger and animosity. No one of any importance knows her or cares about the venom she’s spitting. I’m also not too concerned about any other women like her, regardless of who they are. Personally, I believe that if she were both a mature and respectable woman, she’d have a conversation with me, face-to-face, woman-to-woman, instead of talking about me to other people behind my back like a second grader. Instead of telling other people what (she thinks) I am or not, she’d tell me directly what her problem is with me. Instead of her stalking my Facebook pages to see what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with, she’d be enjoying her new husband and family. Instead of telling other people how much money (she thinks) I have or don’t, she’d be building her own career. By the way, if she wants to count my money and assets, she should make sure to include my copyrights, trademarks, service marks, intellectual property and stock dividends. I don’t have a lot of material possessions because I don’t need them to be happy. I have everything that I truly need; God, food, clothing, shelter, family, career … and a fabulous shoe collection.

I truly pity Mean Girls. They are so consumed with making other people miserable, being dishonest, fighting and being manipulative, that they miss out of the joys of true friendship and sisterhood. They are so concerned with the latest trends and material possessions, that they forget what life is truly about. No matter how much stuff you buy, you can’t take it with you when you die. No matter how much stuff you buy, it won’t make you a happier or a better person. No matter how much stuff you buy, it’s not going to add value to who you are, because you’re likely buying it to impress people who don’t like you very much or are just as materialistic. If a woman considers her material possessions, her mean attitude, who she’s married to, what kind of car she drives or what city she resides in to be the sole determining factors of her worth in comparison to another woman’s, she has a very sad existence.

She’s not just a Mean Girl… she’s also a Sad Girl.

I learned to be more observant of people who try to come into my life, as a result of this experience. But I still don’t have time to revolve my life around someone else’s to make them feel good about themselves. I’m responsible for myself. My goals and achievements are mine to either attain or take responsbility for if I fail. Plus, jealous words from unhappy individuals don’t hold any weight in my world. My world is already Super.  

*Those I trust most, are those who have earned my trust, by not betraying my trust* – Urban Confucius

 

Haters, Haters, Everywhere Haters

I recently read Amy DuBois Barnett’s (Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine) Editor’s Letter in the July 2011 issue. For the ladies, it’s the one with Tyrese Gibson on the cover; or for the men, it’s the one with Taraji P. Henson on the cover – both of whom are perfectly clad in white attire, looking fabulous. Yes, I said Taraji P. Henson looks fabulous. In Amy’s article, which she aptly titled “I Hate Haters“, she recounted an unpleasant encounter she had with a female associate of hers who overly scrutinized and criticized the beautiful women in attendance at an upscale event she attended. This immediately made me think of a slogan I have, which I will not include in this blog because I haven’t copyrighted it yet. Amy said the following “The thing is, the more negativity you spew, the worse you look. Not only is meanness an unattractive and unsexy trait, but it’s an obvious sign of insecurity. If you feel good about yourself, there’s just no need to tear anyone else down.” That is VERY true. Every word of it.

I don’t have any friends like the woman who Amy referred to in her article, but I have encountered many women like that. In the workplace, at the store, at the gas station, at the hair salon, on vacation… HATERS are everywhere. You can’t avoid them no matter what you do. That’s the reality of their existence –  they are unavoidable.  However, unlike Amy, I love haters. This is why. If someone isn’t hating on me, I’m doing something wrong, and I’m pleasing too many people the wrong way. No one can please everyone all of the time. It’s impossible. If everyone you meet loves you, you might need to closely evaluate why. It may be all love in your face, and backstabbing when you aren’t looking.

The job of a hater is to hate. That’s the first thing you should always remember. They are the people who often don’t have anything else to do. The second thing to remember is that haters are unhappy with themselves. The only joy they can experience is the brief moment it takes to attempt to tear someone else down. Thirdly, they are usually cowards. They talk a lot, but rarely say what they have to say directly to the person that they are hating on. Lastly, they are fickle, superficial and materialistic. Haters often try to make themselves feel better by acquiringmaterial possessions to stay on or ahead of the lastest trend. This is their feable attempt to replace their nonexistent self esteem. Then they hate on others who don’t have the same lavish and decadent accoutrements that they falsely believe makes a person. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion. There is nothing wrong with being fashionable or with setting trends. How a person spends their money is completely up to them.  However, haters are not trendsetters, fashion icons or leaders, in any other sense of the word. They are followers, copycats and imitators, because that is what they believe it takes for them to be noticed by others and feel superior to others.

I imagine that it must be a very sad existence. One where your entire self worth is based on how much you can try to make someone else seem less fabulous than what they really are. But it’s a haters job and someone has to do it. The next time someone hates on you, [You already know when those time are. You look fabulous, flawless, dressed emaculately, exhibiting intelligence, talent and know-how.] smile at the hater. I’m serious. Smile directly at them. If you’re having a drink, raise your glass to them. Then remind yourself of this – haters reaffirm your greatness.

The Question

I hear it all the time. It’s the proverbial question that everyone asks me; men, women, older people, younger people. It’s the one question that I can’t escape no matter what I do. I’m not able to dodge this question regardless of the environment I’m in; day job, networking, the club, the grocery store, the hair salon. It is everywhere and when it is asked, I can’t not answer the question because it leaves a poor impression. I’m sure a lot of you are often asked this question also. “Why are you single?” I don’t know if you’re able to answer the question when some asks it of you, but I can. I know exactly what is wrong with me. I am not in denial about the person I am in any way, shape, form or fashion. I’m honest with myself above anything else. That is what allows me to be honest with the world.

Well, here is the honest answer to the question of why I am single. I am single because I am very particular about the type of person and relationship I want and need to have in my life and I have yet to meet a man that can meet or exceed those standards. I’m less superficial about physical appearance (men get older, lose their hair, gain some weight, but if he was good looking when I met him he will always be good looking if I love him) but I’m very particular about what I want from a man as a partner in life; spiritually, sexually, financially, and emotionally. He must be my friend, my lover, my confidant, my support system and my biggest fan. He must not be fearful of commitment, must be loyal and have a good work ethic. He must be willing and able to do for me the things that a man should do for his wife and know that as his wife I will return to him the same things. But that’s not the type of men I meet.

I meet men who want to be my lover, but have no interest in being my friend or confidant. I meet men who do not want to have a committed relationship with me, but have the audacity to think they can make demands on my time and energy. I meet men who don’t want a wife, but they want the benefits that should only be for a husband (The Goodie Bag). Then there are the men who have considerably less going for them than I have going for me. Their entire goal is to try to minimize me to make themselves feel better. They know that they are lacking, but instead of becoming better men, they try to make me think I’m less of a woman. NOTgoingtohappen.com. I know my worth, strengths, weaknesses and limitations. No person can ever make me feel like less than what God made me to be. At my age, I just refuse to settle for the BS that someone else wants to give me because they don’t think I deserve more. I want it all or nothing at all. If I can do things for myself, a man can’t come into my life and want to give me less.

Now, I may be nice in my dismissal of a man, because I am comfortable with myself so it’s not always necessary for me to “dog” a man out to get rid of him. There are other ways to make a man go away. One way is to be myself. I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I have high expectations of others (as I do of myself) and men often don’t measure up, so they run away. That is perfectly fine with me. If you can’t handle Super Woman, admit it and move on to someone you can handle. The first step to growth is to admit that you need it. Then, of course, I can get rid of a man by simply pushing the button.   

Now I know that I’m not perfect. But I do know this. I am a wonderful woman, for the right man. Some men have thought they were Mr. Right, but they were wrong.  If there is one man on this planet that is capable, able, willing, and strong enough to accept and love me as I am, with all of my personality quirks and idiosyncrasies, without trying to mold me into his Stepford wife or mindless concubine, he is my Superman. Where he is, I don’t know yet. I don’t even know for sure that he truly exists. But I do know that I would rather have a great love affair and relationship that I had to wait for, than settle for having a hot mess of a relationship because I didn’t want to be alone.

So until  my Superman arrives, I will continue to be the fabulous woman I am and work on making myself better for him.  He’s probably somewhere right now, wondering where I am, and working to make himself better for me also.