Thursday, December 9, 2010


It’s so easy to worry. There’s global warming, wars being waged, and children starving. There is much to focus on in the global community. A little closer to home, we worry about family, personal relationships, career and debt. But does worrying truly serve a purpose? Of course, we must acknowledge the things that we consider to be wrong so that we can make the adjustments necessary to improve those conditions. But when we take these issues on as a reason to worry, we are not in the business of creating solutions. We are just feeling bad for the sake of having a bad feeling.

Somehow, we have adopted the belief that worrying about problems means that we truly care about something. We even judge others when we determine that they aren’t worrying enough. We believe that when things are not going well, the appropriate response is to feel bad. This belief runs so deep for some of us that even when we don’t care about a particular issue, we feel compelled to work up some negative emotion. We will put on the sad face and give the requisite, “Awwww, how sad!” in response to the news that a friend has ended a dysfunctional relationship that has outlasted its usefulness. We exclaim, "How terrible!" and sigh heavily when we hear that a family member has lost a job that we know they hated. Why? We make it mean something that we can commiserate and share in the suffering. We mistakenly believe that it makes us “good” people; that we are kind and sympathetic.

When we feel powerless to positively impact a situation, we choose worry and sadness as our contribution. We go all in and get lost in the negative emotion because it is familiar to us. It is our way to act without taking action. We are not empowered and we fail to empower others.

Of course, “bad” things are happening in the world. Sometimes, “bad” things happen to us and to our loved ones. It is during these times, that we may want to consider taking a step back before we choose worry as our reaction. We may want to ask ourselves what would be our truest intention. Is it to feel bad for the sake of feeling bad or are we simply acknowledging our feelings before moving into positive action? Is it to offer authentic support to a friend in need or do we just want to give the appearance of caring? Or, are we worrying because we feel powerless to do little else? When we choose to react to life’s unpleasant events from a place of pure intention, we allow ourselves the freedom to genuinely express caring. And it is through this authentic expression that we empower ourselves and others.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



During a spurt of bad PMS, I asked God why I feel as if I am spinning my wheels, as if I am striving to get somewhere but can never quite reach it. I put my head down in frustration and almost immediately I heard, “Look what you have already created. You wanted to buy a place when you changed jobs, and you did that. You wanted a new car within a year, and you did that. You wanted to move into a place surrounded by windows and trees and have outdoor spaces, and you did that. You wanted to move positions in your job and to change locations, and now you’ve done that; you even have a big office with big windows and NO ONE there! You’ve created exactly what you desired.”

And, I thought about that. In my pity, it came to me that “spinning my wheels” was more about me perpetuating my own unhappiness by not fully appreciating what I have created. I use the guise that “I am always striving to be better, to become more, I can’t get complacent…” but I came to understand in those thoughts that the only way that I will create more of what I want is to be relaxed in what I have already created.

Now “relaxed” may seem to be a curious word, why not “appreciative”, or “thankful”? Well, I am coming to realize that I have to relax my mind into accepting my successes, whatever they are right now. I have to relax my body into the belief that I can and will create more of what I want. I have to relax my emotions by recognizing that everyday is not going to feel the best and even in that, my past and present creations are not meaningless.

I said to myself this morning, “If I had my house on the hill with lots of windows and I was touring, delivering my God-given message, I wouldn’t feel like this, I’d be happy.” I had to check myself with the thought that during travel, I may miss my family, or I may find myself lonely from time-to-time. And, that’s when I realized that it’s not geography, it’s not partnership, it’s not circumstances, it is simply a matter of relaxing; at least for today. ;-)

By Alisa

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Even in the year 2010, interracial relationships continue to be hotly debated and are often a point of contention between Black men and Black women. With all of the reports about the shortage of “good Black men” going around nowadays, some of us can get a little “spicy” when the topic comes up-and that’s putting it mildly.

We use all kinds of clichés to express how we feel (“Your mother is a Black woman. How can you say that we aren’t good enough?”), but none of it gets to the root of the real issue; and that is a belief in shortages and limited choices. Some of us express our displeasure loudly and openly, but preface our statements by saying that we believe that we should all love one another; that there are no color lines; that we are all God’s children. But if this is the case, why is it that some of us look upon interracial relationships, specifically Black Men with White women, as being an insult or a slap in the face to ALL Black women, everywhere? Do we really believe that the reason that we “don’t have a man” is because the “good” ones are being snatched up by predatory White women? Is it really a matter, as some of us would assert, that White women are easier to get along with and more willing to put up with crap than we are? Or could it be that Black men who date White women are filled with self-loathing and suffering from low self-esteem? Logically speaking, if these things are really true, wouldn’t we prefer, for these Black men to seek love elsewhere? Or is it that we want them to stay, against their own will, and be with us because they “should?”

Some of us speak of our loyalty to the Black man, saying that we would NEVER date outside our race, as if that somehow proves that we are more committed to our collective well-being than they are. We are ALWAYS down. We ALWAYS have our men’s back. When a Black man “dates White”, we often view this as an act of desertion. Our perception is that they have turned their backs on us; leaving us unwanted, unsupported, and unloved. Now of course, according to some of us, it’s okay for a Black man to date a White woman, but we take offense when we have determined that he has made it a HABIT or when it becomes his preference. But who are we to make that call?

We’ve heard most, if not all of the arguments. From intellectual discussions about the disappearing Black family to flat out anger and sadness over feeling dismissed and disrespected as Black women. All of these arguments have valid points, but we must always remember that there is no attack. There is no conspiracy. There are just people making decisions about who they want to love and be with. And whether those decisions come as a result of a deliberate choice or because of some deeply-rooted dysfunction, it is not OUR place to judge or criticize. Our only work while we are here is to be the best WE can be, as we encourage and support others to do the same. And in doing so, we must realize that we may not always agree on what is “right” or “best.”

When we mistakenly believe that someone else’s choice is making a statement about who we are, we limit our ability to define ourselves. And who we are is beautiful and worthy and powerful.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Commitment. One word that women of all ages are familiar with. Most of us want it, many of us chase it, and some of us worship the thought of having it. We want somebody to “put a ring on it.”

But often, the search for commitment is not a movement toward something, but more a desire to run away from something; and that something could be loneliness, single girl income or being the last one in a circle of friends to walk down the aisle. Yes, commitment sounds good, but what does it really mean to us? To most of us, it means having a “plus 1.” It means validation. It means that we have been chosen. It means that we are “good enough.”

And as we pursue the brass (or “golden”) ring, the achievement of anything short of that becomes flat and meaningless. "Single" becomes a four letter word and the older we get, the nastier the word becomes for some of us. We come to believe that we have somehow missed the mark or that we don’t measure up; that we alone are not enough; or that we are on the outside of our own lives waiting for someone to unlock the door and let us in. Our other accomplishments begin to pale in comparison and being in a committed relationship becomes the stick by which we measure how successful we are. Careers are not enough. Family is not enough. Friendships are not enough. Love, in all its other manifestations, is not enough.

But through it all, as romantic relationships begin and end on our journey to finding “the one”, we are always left with ourselves. And for that reason, our bliss must come through an appreciation of ourselves and all of the many blessings that we have -recognizing that we are experiencing love regardless of our relationship status. Who we are is not enhanced by a ring. So, in our race toward commitment, we have to ask ourselves, “When I reach that magical destination called ‘married’, who am I gonna be?”

It’s time to rid ourselves of the antiquated belief that our lives will somehow begin with “I do.” Life is happening now; and as we continue to create whatever in our lives that we are desiring, we will be no better or worse than who we choose to be in this very moment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


As we grow older and experience various relationships; some good and some not so good, many of us seek to have a greater understanding of ourselves and the men in our lives so that we can better relate to one another. In our quest to do better and be better, we buy books, attend seminars, join groups and engage in endless discussions about relationships. In an effort to transform the quality of our relationships, we analyze the circumstances that have led to a “breakdown” in communication between men and women. And as our awareness increases, we become “experts” who are able to quickly identify dysfunctional behavior in others.

For instance, we know why our best friend continues to date a man who will never marry her, or can recognize when a particular man has a “fear” of commitment and can’t seem to settle down with one woman. In our arrogance, we may even have a suggestion or two about how to “fix” these problems! And, what about us? Somehow, that’s not so easy to tackle. While we are quick to offer advice to others, we are unwilling to take that same advice and do the work it takes to make ourselves better.

As we become more skillful at labeling issues and calling other folks out about what we perceive to be their shortcomings, we are often satisfied to merely label on our own. Now, of course we cannot change what we do not acknowledge, but simply acknowledging our faults does little to transform the quality of our relationships. While it is smart to understand the dynamics of relationships and what it takes to make them succeed or fail, it does not stop there.

When it comes to our personal behavior, we are quick to explain it away and assign it to some past psychological trauma or social stigma that’s causing us to act out; but when exactly do these explanations cease to be explanations and become excuses? Surprisingly, we expect our partners to understand and accept our faults, while we audaciously judge others for their negative behavior. We become complacent with our circumstances and the comfort of having someone there, while ignoring our part in damaging our own relationships. But, if we are truly seeking to heal the quality of our relationships, we should start the healing at home. In order to transform our relationships, we have to be in the act of transformation. This means that we have to take responsibility for our own actions; to actually BE the standard that we set for others.

So, before we engage in conversations where the finger of blame is pointed away from ourselves, maybe we should instead take the time to decide one positive change we will make within our own relationships. It’s great to be able to spot and analyze problems in other people’s relationships, but the best part about understanding where relationships tend to breakdown is using it to identify where our behavior may be similar and taking the advice that we so freely give to others.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


“You get what you give.” “What goes around comes around.” We often use these sayings to describe what we consider to be “karma”; a kind of cosmic justice that creates balance in the world. It makes us feel really good to know that ultimately no good deed will go unrewarded just as no bad deed will go unpunished. Somebody or something is keeping score. And because we generally like to consider ourselves to be on the right side of “right”, we do our good works and we sit back and wait for our reward. We are so invested in this belief that we can become really impatient, sometimes to the point of frustration even, when our good stuff fails to show up.

And what about relationships? We do all the right things. We practice being spiritually grounded; we want to be present and emotionally available. We surround ourselves with the right people; “toxic” friends are no longer a part of our inner circles. We keep ourselves physically fit and well groomed as we pluck and wax and tweeze ourselves to perfection. Even more important -we are good. So, so good. Kind, loving, thoughtful and considerate. We are Ms. Right ready for our Mr. Right to appear. We have cleaned out our emotional junk, done our spiritual homework, and we are ready, willing and able to give our best. So what is up with the men who show up in our lives who don’t quite match our perception of our perfect mate? For some reason, our relationship reward seems to be slow in coming. Surely something is off-kilter, but we keep moving and we wait for our good karma to kick in.

And as we move in and out of relationships, attempting to get it right and seeking our reward, we often find ourselves dissatisfied. We feel we deserve better. We see ourselves as more than what we are attracting, but what we fail to realize is that EVERY relationship that we experience is a direct reflection of who we are in any given moment. Through our relationships, we are given the opportunity to truly see ourselves-our greatness and our strength, and also what is injured and needs healing. EVERY man is our Mr. Right and right now is our perfect opportunity to heal and to grow; to use each and every relationship to help us become more of the person that we ultimately want to show up in our lives. Nothing is broken. Nothing is wrong. Nothing is out of balance.

Our karma is good and everything is exactly as it should be.

-This post was written by Angie

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Labels Can Get Sticky

We just love labels. We look for particular labels on the clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive, the products that we use and even on the foods that we eat. We believe that it helps us to differentiate between quality and junk. Heck, we love labels so much that we even put them on people; rich, poor, pretty, ugly, nice, mean, good, bad. We develop lists of characteristics and behaviors that we look for so that we can easily place the people in our lives into neat little categories. Makes life simple, right? Some would say, “yes”, but the problem with labels and categories is that they cause us to limit our choices. And when we limit our choices, we limit our experiences.

When it comes to developing relationships, we tend to analyze everything according to our little lists and we judge (oh, how we judge) a person’s suitability and/or worthiness based upon the limited perspective of our experiences. We treat people according to the labels that we place on them and we feel justified in doing so. In our minds, if a person exhibits a characteristic that places them in a category based upon our past experiences, the person becomes that, i.e., player, selfish, untrustworthy, etc. We have a hard time reconciling the possibility that they can be a person who does something that reminds us of some unpleasant past experience as well as a person who is loving and kind.

As we gain more experience, and we’ve pieced our broken little hearts together time and time again, we become acutely aware of relationship warning signs. When we sense the presence of bullshit or questionable behaviors, the little hairs stand up on our arms and we brace ourselves by building walls and making it clear that we can “see through all of that!” The problem is, one seemingly false move does not a bullshit make. We, all of us, have borderline qualities that would call us to question, and yet we don’t expect for someone to make an assumption about our entire character based upon one or two shortcomings.

It is understandable that we would want to protect ourselves when getting to know a potential partner. If we didn’t, we would be irresponsible. But we must always remember that we have not met EVERY TYPE of man or woman that exists. Just because a certain characteristic reminds us of a person with whom we have had an unpleasant experience, that does not mean that ALL people with similar characteristics will behave exactly as that person did. Even more importantly, it does not mean that we should respond the same as we did in similar past experiences. Sticking a label on someone based upon “what I know” can keep us ignorant. Maintaining false power over people by holding them in a box of our own construct is the perfect way to ensure ourselves a nice, cozy, enclosure. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Is There Really THAT Much Power in The P*?

We read somewhere that there is not one of ‘our’ relationship problems that cannot be solved by a Black woman simply closing her legs. Humph! Could this be the magical solution? Should we just get some self-esteem and pull our panties up? Now while this may make logical sense to some, we began to mull this familiar supposition over and voila, the idea occurred to us that this widely held belief may not at all be the simple solution it appears to be, but rather a BIG part of the problem!

Inherent in this thinking is that women must be the stronger of the two sexes and therefore must be responsible for making the most discerning decisions regarding intimacy. Could this be setting women up to be the perfect scapegoats upon the demise of relationships gone intimate too soon? Are the successes and failures of our relationships a direct result of what we as women do or don’t do? Is it really ALL about our failure to wield our P* Power with authority? And what about the men?!? Well, it seems that under this scenario, they come out scot-free. They are seemingly relegated to the role of children to be rewarded or punished based upon the quality of their behavior. They are not culpable, nor do they bear any of the burden, or so they may think...

When a man engages in a sexual relationship with a woman for whom he has no serious intentions, the outcome of this “hook up” for the woman is that she often becomes emotionally invested. Even when a woman screams from the rooftop, “I’m just out to get mine!”, repeated attachment to men who have no desire to provide her with the love and attention she is really seeking can lead to a change in attitude; she becomes bitter, angry and mistrustful.

As a result, once a man gets to the age where he wants to settle down, he may find that most of the women he encounters are scorned. We have heard many of our male friends say, “Why am I paying the price for what the last man did?!?" and to that, we respond, “Why would you think that you wouldn’t?” After all, we are all suffering in our own mess, why would YOU be any different? Don’t be naïve, your choice to “do you” while ignoring the part you’ve played in mishandling your female counterparts through the years contributes to our collective pain; and at some point, you will be forced to reckon with it.

Look, it comes down to a need for both women and men to alter our thinking about this issue. For a man to hold onto the antiquated belief that “I need you to keep your legs closed in order for me to respect you and understand your worth”, demeans a man’s personal power. Implying that a woman needs to be responsible for a man's behavior is contrary to a man’s natural inclination to lead. At what point can we start to count on our Black men to have our backs, protect our hearts and keep their pants zipped until they are clear that all women are too precious to simply use and discard?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Relationships...oh the pain! The misery! The heartbreak! For serial daters, relationships can become a cycle; fun, excitement, challenge, escape, pain, misery, heartbreak. Over and over again until the heart becomes steel and the tongue could pierce armor. For those of us who are “unlucky” in love, we can get to the point where we feel that someone must “earn” our trust before we let our guard down; that we’ve got too much going on to just let some guy use up all of our good stuff and leave us with more emotional baggage than we deny we had before meeting the guy!

Once we get to a “certain age” we can sometimes emit a signal of ‘prove to me that you’re worth my time‘. We can be serious, slow to laugh, quick to accuse and very self-concerned. But when we act like this, is this really us? Are we really showing up to this fresh, clean situation fresh and clean? We fortress our hearts and in the process our soft, feeling center is encased, yet we expect for someone to respond to who we know ourselves to be; warm, loving, generous, thoughtful and interesting...huh?!?

Interaction within a relationship is just like anything else in life; you get what you give. We look for a man to show up and be a perfect representation of himself but oftentimes we aren’t even being our real selves; I mean who is this skeptical, quid pro quo, scorekeeper anyway? It’s funny because we always expect “the one” to be able to see past all of our gar-bage and see us for who we really are, yet we take everyone else we encounter at face value, ha!

When our expectation is that someone will trick us or sell us a dream, we behave in ways that are consistent with that belief. Our behavior, (not being a true reflection of who we know ourselves to be) causes the men in our lives to respond to it, not to us. When we play “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” in a relationship, we lose. If we were honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge that when we take on this attitude, we wouldn’t want to date the person that we are being. Yet, we just justify our behaviors because we know who we really are.

At some point, we have to release...we have to trust that our past experiences and greater understanding will lead us to what is best for us. We have to trust ourselves and know that if things don‘t work out, we will still be ok, we will still be strong, and we will still have our dignity. If we really want to have love in our lives, we have to give ourselves the freedom to let down our guards and trust our own judgment to choose people that will honor us and act accordingly. If our behavior truly is a mirror, we should get back from our partners what we give and if not, we can choose to go elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Most break ups tend to end in a marathon telephone conversation with at least one of our closest friends or a full out pow-wow with all of our girls. The topic? How wrong he was and how we are better off because basically, we could do better, anyway. He’s the loser and he missed out on all of the wonderfulness that is us.

What we often fail to wonder about, however, is why it NEVER seems to be our fault when a relationship ends. And our friends? Far too often, our well-meaning sisters only help to support us in our delusional thinking that we were faultless and perfect during the relationship. After all, we are ”good” women! But even though we are all beautiful, wonderful, worthy of being treated like queens, and blessed children of God, etc., could it be possible that sometimes WE may have been the pin who let all of the air out of the relationship? For many of us, it isn’t enough to have a broken heart. We have to pile delusion on top of it; as if it will lessen the pain for us if we are not to blame. It’s the man who is broken and needs fixing. Not us.

We like it when women bond. It’s good for the soul. And although it’s great to have friends who will let us cry on their shoulders and/or help to smooth our ruffled feathers, we might want to rethink the practice of running to our sisters to get pumped up after a break up.

Post break up periods are a good time for self-reflection; not necessarily a time to magnify every single perceived flaw that he had in an attempt to make ourselves feel better about no longer being in a relationship. It may very well be true that he wasn’t necessarily “man of the year” material, and yeah, maybe he could have been “wrong” about a lot of things, but how exactly does that help us? It doesn’t. It only allows us to keep our own flaws in tact while we continue to arrogantly wade around in our own messiness. Instead of gathering our friends to watch “Waiting to Exhale”, perhaps we would be best served if we used this time as an opportunity to evaluate who we have been and how we can be better partners as we move forward. Being our best possible selves allows us to attract the mate who desires to be the same. Win-win.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Enjoy "What is" for What it is

As women, we can sometimes focus so heavily on the outcome of a relationship that we miss our opportunity to enjoy the relationship for what it is in the moment. Many of us find ourselves feeling that if the relationship is not “going somewhere”, then it is a waste of our time. We may even stop ourselves from enjoying a perfect date because we don’t want to get too comfortable, or give too much of ourselves. We attempt to avoid being let down- by what we consider to be a potentially unfavorable ending- by holding ourselves apart from living joyously in the moment. Our deepest fear is that we will lose out; that we will somehow be fooled, tricked, or lied to.

When our focus is on the outcome of the relationship instead of the kindness and intimacy shared in each moment with the person that we are involved with, it causes a slew of unintended consequences. There is a shift from joy, to the fear of loss when we look toward a future that is based upon getting to goal and seeking a guaranteed “forever.” For example, if a man says that he wants to get married and have a baby in the future, we may take that to mean that he wants to get married and have a baby with us. But let’s say weeks down the line, he says in conversation, “When my wife and I have a baby…” and it is not clear that he is speaking about us, we are offended and act as if a bucket of ice cold water has been thrown in our face based upon a story that we made up!

The reality is that anyone, at any moment, can decide whether or not they want to be with us. But, not allowing ourselves to feel happy or joyful because a relationship is not “going somewhere” does nothing to endear our partners to us; in fact, it can act as a repellant. The fact will never change that we can’t create our futures based upon what someone else is doing or saying today. We are ever-changing, ever-growing creatures. The best that we can do is to relax and enjoy each moment without plotting and planning what’s in it for us. We should enjoy our every experience based upon the value we receive in the present instead of focusing on the potential that someone else may decide to move on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Ever notice how anxious we sometimes get when things don’t go exactly as we plan? When it comes to relationships, we get particularly wound up when we perceive that our partners are not “on board” with every plan that we choose to create for ourselves or that they are somehow failing us when they don’t participate the way that we would wish for them to... Sometimes, we even feel like we are being stopped from living out our passions and blame them for not supporting us. After trying time and again to engage our partners in endeavors that we enjoy and coming up empty handed, we sometimes give up the fight and call it a compromise.

What we don’t often consider is the impact that this behavior has on us. It is one thing to concede on certain points, all in the name of being generous or sensitive to another’s feelings. It is quite another to concede, but harbor resentment over the decision; or worse yet, to believe that relationships require that sometimes one partner must compromise their life experiences in order to maintain balance within the relationship. This is faulty thinking. When we take on this belief, we actually increase our own sense of powerlessness, create unnecessary stress in our relationships, and lose focus on an absolute truth about life. And this truth is that in any situation, we all have the ability to choose. While it is nice to have our partners along for the adventure, the adventure still remains a possibility for us if we choose to proceed on our own.

Once we release the need to drag others along on our life’s journey, we will see that we do not need for anyone to be compliant with our wishes in order for us to choose to honor our commitment to ourselves when it comes to personal goals, expectations and experiences. When we move forward and fully experience our lives as we intend them to be, we will no longer see others as standing in our way or holding us apart from what we desire, which is often at the root of our self-created anxiety. In this place, we become truly powerful.

Sometimes we can feel resistant and angry when our partners do not meet our plans with the same level of enthusiasm that we would want them to. When we experience this agitation, it is not necessary to control our negative thoughts or blame ourselves for feeling this way. We simply need to surrender our thoughts and our feelings about it and focus on the joy of the upcoming experience, while moving forward toward our goals in a manner that respects our partnerships and honors our commitments to ourselves. The results? A feeling of peace, empowerment, and a recognition that our lives are what we choose to make of them and that sometimes, just sometimes, this means that we have to go it alone……..and that it’s all okay.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Knowing When to Say When

It is a common stereotype that men have applied to women…..women talk too much! If we would just allow them to have the TV remote, a beer, some good food and great sex every now and again, they would be happy! Of course, this is an oversimplification and different strokes are meant for different folks, but there may be some validity to the statement that as women, we talk too much…… or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that sometimes we just don’t know when to shut up.

We’ve all heard the term “nag” before and it never seems to describe the woman that we see ourselves to be. In our minds, we justify what we say, how we say it, and why we need to constantly repeat ourselves in our communications with the men in our lives. We honestly feel that if we don’t, they will somehow miss the point or may forget to follow through on what we ask of them. But, if we look deeply into why we feel the need to over-communicate on certain issues, we may find a deeply-rooted fear; a fear that we are powerless.

Often, when we feel a compulsion towards repetition, all in the name of “asserting” ourselves or making ourselves clear, what we are really trying to do is manage our own anxiety. If we repeat something enough times, if we can just get them to understand our point of view, if we make sure that they are aware that we ain’t playing and that we mean business, everything will be better. What we fail to see is that once we have worn out our welcome on a discussion topic, we often leave our men feeling deflated, uninspired and resentful. We dampen the brilliance of their creativity, constrict their desire to be generous, and trample on any hope of genuine spontaneity.

In our push to be understood, sometimes we fail to understand. When we force our point out of fear that we will not get OUR needs met, we stop meeting the needs of our partners. If we were to put the shoe on the other foot, how many of us would appreciate the behavior? If our men repeated themselves over and over, over-shared their feelings about our lack of understanding, and demeaned us like children for “stepping out of line”, how tolerant would we be towards them? More than likely, we would say something like, “Not me. Not today!” and remind them that we are fully grown and capable of responding without all of the “extra”.

From this point forward, let’s make an attempt to communicate from a place of love and not fear. We may be surprised at the outcome.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Why is it that we have such a hard time accepting one another as we are when we are in a relationship? Men and women each feel that we bring something magically unique to the table; something that the other just can’t do without. This is true. Women have gifts that men need, as men have certain gifts that women need; but are we using those complementary gifts to our advantage or are we using these gifts to make one another feel inferior?

For a man, that may be observing a woman’s emotions and judging them as wrong or feeling that she is being “dramatic.” However, for women, this looks different. Often, as we observe men’s behavior, we believe that we are smarter or more gifted and we take on the belief that we must tolerate what we perceive to be a man’s shortcomings. We criticize them for small things like when they don’t load the dishwasher correctly or when they go to the grocery store and buy the “wrong” brand of juice, or how they never seem to tuck the corners just so when they make the bed. We make a big deal out of the little things and develop a perception of who they are based upon things that don’t really matter. What makes our way the best way and what is the cost when we continue to hold on to this belief? We become frustrated when things are not done our way, and in turn it causes us to feel burdened or that we don’t have the support that we need from them.

What we don’t get is that this is arrogant. When we judge one another as lacking or deficient in some regard, we aren’t able to appreciate the areas where they are gifted; where they complement or enhance our lives.

It would be so much easier if we choose to see things differently; if we choose to celebrate the differences between one another. Not focusing on what we see as wrong or lacking, but taking the time to appreciate the value that we add to one another's lives.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We just can't help ourselves. As we live our lives, making observations and taking on different beliefs, we create a vision of what our ideal relationship will look like. We spend our time hunting for a relationship based on this idea of perfection and it doesn't matter what we haven’t seen or experienced in the way of perfection. Most of us have a preconceived notion of how our ideal relationship will go down. In our minds, our love will defy all odds. We will have perfect communication. We will keep our love alive. We will work through everything that comes our way. Our love will conquer all.

It’s always interesting when we get into the grit of a relationship; when the shine wears off and what’s left is the raw, guttural experience of two very different people trying to meet somewhere in the middle. In this place is where “…for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, …” begins to sound more like movie dialogue than real-life reality! It is in this moment of reckoning that we begin the internal dialogue of, “is this really worth it??” Sometimes we begin to think about the other character traits and positive aspects our partners are missing that would be more compatible with our idea of a “perfect mate." We begin to question our decision to be with our partner and look for an escape route, or worse yet, a way to change them in order to make them more acceptable. Our declaration to “conquer all” begins to seem naïve, and “I’ll choose better next time” becomes our new mantra.

But, have we ever stopped to consider how much happier and more fulfilled we could be if we focused on what we have before us in this very moment? What if we nurtured our relationships based upon our partner's capabilities, as we know them to be, instead of blaming them for not being what we expected in our relationship fantasies? What if we released the expectation and longing for having something different; could we simply choose for this experience to be enough? Could we allow “happy” to be the joy that we get from allowing them to be who they are, and conversely, them allowing us to be who we are?

Perhaps living the fairytale is knowing that the fairytale doesn't exist. That a "perfect" love is loving one another for who and what we are right now, in this very moment; without the expectation of more, better or different.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


As women, we have come to rely on our intuition to help steer us away from danger. We feel confident that what we perceive to be true is reality. Through our intuition, we are able to sniff out a lie. We know when something is "not right" or is out of sorts and it causes us to protect ourselves when we encounter negative situations. In short, we use our intuition to come to conclusions about what "is."

We have become so comfortable with relying on our intuition that we often fail to see when it ceases to be a gift and instead becomes a curse. In relationships, we can get so caught up in the feeling that something is amiss, we lose sight of the purpose of our intuition and instead focus solely on the stories that we create; and these stories are often created as a result of past hurts. Sometimes, things are not as they appear and it is our misinterpretation of what we believe to be intuition that becomes the catalyst for negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors that can damage our relationships.

What would be possible if instead of reacting, we choose to take a step back and think about what it is that we really want? Is it to be reassured? Is it to avoid disappointment? When we act on what we think we "know" under the guise of following our intuition, we create tension that leads to breakdowns in communication. Instead of drawing our partners nearer to us, it drives them away. It creates the very thing that we are seeking to avoid.

We have all heard the saying, "the truth always come to light", but when we hold so tightly to our beliefs about what is absolutely true based upon a story that we have conjured up, we can't see the difference between protecting ourselves and causing unnecessary drama.