Progression of Rejection

As a woman who has been disappeared on in the midst of relationships, I have a sore spot for men that leave without a warning. It is the deepest rejection that I had ever felt and I asked God to never allow that to happen again. I didn’t want to feel the pain of unworthiness and rejection again because it was a heavy load to bear. What I didn’t realize was by me asking God to cease rejection in my life, I was asking him to allow me to entangle myself in relationships that he has not intended for me just so I can feel accepted instead of rejected. Which one was worse? Rejection or relationships that serve as life detours for the sake of my insecurity feeling momentarily secure because someone was finally accepting the love I was offering.

Today, I backtracked my request to God. Today, I asked Him that every relationship that He has not intended for me rejects the love I try to offer it. I asked God to allow every man who is not meant to be in my life to leave me expeditiously, if not sooner. Today, I realized that I prefer the temporary pain of rejection than the permanent pain of intertwining myself with a poison that accepted my love but detoured my destiny. Today, I gave up pleasure for the progression of pain. The pain of rejection is transportation. The pain of rejection is transporting me right into the arms of the man God has called to be mine and me to be his and I’m ready for the ride. There is a progression in God’s rejection.

Consumption of Bad Relationships

“This world is full of choices…don’t forget to choose yourself.”

I always thought I had a high self-esteem. Even back when I was much heavier, I would slay the hallways of my high school with a designer dress from the plus-size racks. I always knew that I looked good, so I thought that correlated with having a high self-esteem. It wasn’t until I reflected on how I allowed myself to be treated in my past relationships that I began questioning whether my self-esteem was so high after all.

I constantly used to let men walk over me and I constantly allowed men to treat me as less than I deserve. That designer dress from the plus-size racks was just an expensive bed sheet where I laid my inequities to sleep. But they would wake up every time a man would walk away from me. They would poke their head from under the covers and remind me just how ‘less than’ that I felt. It also wasn’t until recently that I realized how much I’ve grown since that girl who felt ‘less than’.

Since then, I’ve never had an issue walking away from men who either don’t value me or from relationships that could potentially place my heart at risk. When you love something or someone it is extremely hard to walk away, but it is easier than sacrificing the health of your heart.

I remember staring a piece of chocolate cake in the face on the day that I committed myself to lose weight a few years ago. I knew the cake tasted really good and even though it was hard, my dedication to my health diminished the desire to indulge in something that would taste good temporarily but would push me further from reaching my goal. Since then I have surpassed my goal and walked away from hundreds of chocolate cakes to the point where it doesn’t tempt me anymore.

Contrary to what you may believe, what you eat and who you choose to be in relationships with heavily correlate with each other. They are both external forces that you have given internal access to. Once something has internal access, it can travel to various parts of your body causing damage that may not always be reversible and it is not much you can do to stop it once you have given someone access to all of you. Have your frustrations of constantly consuming unhealthy treatment in relationships caused such a build-up in your emotional arteries that they are now clogged and you’re at risk for a heart attack?

The only way to fix this is to put your relationships on a lifelong “diet”. Go in the pantry of your love life, and throw away everything that has gotten you to this point, because clearly, it wasn’t feeding you right. Slide under your bed and throw away that pile you don’t want anybody to know about of men that you ‘snack’ on late at night for validation when you’re lonely.

Place restrictions on what you will and what you won’t consume and watch your waistline get thinner because you’re no longer bloated by the excessive consumption of bad relationships.

Schoolin’ Relationships: Learn to Love

“You must be the student in your relationship. Always be willing to learn about the one you are with and let them teach you how they receive love. Never think that you have learned so much about your significant other that you have enough knowledge to be the professor…for that is the beginning of the declination of your relationship.”

In a society that prides itself on knowledge, being ignorant is a negative thing. No one wants to admit that they are unaware concerning anything, so we’ve adopted this mentality that it is acceptable to “fake it until you make it”. This mindset may work in your career, but this mindset is destructive in relationships.

The majority of people walk into a new relationship with unconscious preconceived notions that were developed in past relationships. I’ve been with men that made me feel unloved and upon further analysis, I realized that it was because the man I was with spent our entire relationship trying to force preconceived notions of how women need to be loved upon me. I was at the receiving end of an ineffective love, because he was trying to feed me love in ways that I couldn’t digest. From his point of view, he was confused about how I felt unloved because he was constantly making an effort to make me feel loved. And that is accurate. He was making an effort to make me feel loved, but he was making the effort to make me feel loved in a way that I don’t receive love and since I couldn’t receive it then that is what made me begin feeling unloved. When he walked into the relationship with preconceived notions, he never allowed me the opportunity to show him who I truly am and how I receive love.

He was trying to be the professor of a class on how to love me when he could have gotten further by taking the role of the student. Every woman is different, every man is different, and every relationship is different so treat it as such if you want it to last. Don’t bring old knowledge to teach a new classroom a new subject, because assuming you already know how to love somebody is essentially claiming that you’ve become the professor of a class you’ve never taken.

Celibacy: The Weapon That Doesn’t Always Win The War

It only takes one heartbroken night of tears for the average woman to make a personal vow that she will never allow another man to hurt her like this. A lot of times that personal vow includes the vow to not have sex with another man until marriage. It is a common belief that celibacy is the weapon that will win the war and get you the healthy relationship because it effectively protects you getting involved with the wrong men. It wasn’t until I reflected on my love life that I realized how inconclusive this belief was in changing my relationship patterns and lead me to a healthy relationship.

In the past, I thought I was in love with this man whom I had begun getting to know on a deeper level. His favorite outfit was an orange jumpsuit, he had a very close relationship with Mary Jane but had no relation to Rick James, and when he used the word “baby”, there was a chance he wasn’t referring to me. In other words, he had a criminal record, sold drugs, and had a baby on the way. Although he clearly wasn’t a good choice in the first place, I still continued to see him. I just told him that I wasn’t willing to have sex with him because I wanted to be married first and he said that he supported my decision. Since I took away the option of us conversing with our bodies, it forced both of us to speak and listen with only our hearts. Instead of making out in the dorm room, he would pour out his heart and tell me how he wanted to stop selling drugs but feared not being able to take care of his family. Instead of cuddling, he would lay by my side and listen to the formation of my trust issues with males as a result of my childhood and my sincere desire to not let the past affect our relationship. The absence of physical bonding left an abundant presence for the opportunity to emotionally bond. That situation ended in the toughest heartbreak I had ever experienced and contrary to the type of guy he was, the heartbreak was not because of the previous things I listed or him mistreating me. I was extremely hurt and it was frustrating because I could not understand how I took sex off of the table and still ended up in the same position as before.

It was because removing sex only fixed one aspect of my relationship patterns. It did not fix the fact that I continued to involve myself with men who were broken to fulfill the desire in me to always feel needed. It did not fix the fact that I was a shallow chooser of men because I sought external approval of others about my relationship decisions. It did not fix the fact that I subconsciously chose men that were hard to love as a way to reenact the relationship I have with my father.

Being celibate in the wrong relationship will pull you further away from your goal of a healthy relationship then you originally were. Celibacy is not a time to continue being reckless with your dating patterns just because you think that not having sex will make you get less emotionally involved with the wrong men. Although that is true in some cases, most women are emotional and we can get attached easier through our hearts than we can through the bedroom boom. That is why celibacy is the time to be even more careful with your decisions. By me choosing to be involved with the “Mary Jane Jumpsuit Man” because I didn’t change my dating patterns and reflect on how they were formed, then all I did was set myself up for even more failure because I was doing a new thing in an old mindset. I had this mindset that I wanted to wait until the right person to give my body to, but yet I was willing to be reckless with my heart.

Every girl wants a good and healthy relationship and sometimes we’ll choose various paths because we have been told that going a route like celibacy is guaranteed to get you exactly what you want, like many of us have heard about celibacy. Just like every other guarantee comes with terms and conditions. It’s not enough just to stop having sex. If you agree to analyze your dating patterns, heal the wounds of your heart, and seek God in all of your ways, along with being celibate then the guarantee is more likely to be revealed.

Single, But Not Ready to Mingle

“Life is not about the material things we cherish or the people we know, it’s about the journey we embark on and the knowledge and love we gain along the way. Single doesn’t have to be a road block on that journey.”

Being single is hard. I’m talking unbuckling a car seat with prosthetic nails hard! If you don’t understand, wait until you have kids or deal with them and you will. It’s hard but it’s not impossible. Love is the purest and ancient form of energy we know. From the moment we hear, “Daddy loves you princess”, or from the moment we have our first kiss, it becomes the goal to find the man of our dreams. The stigma that comes along with being single, however, is that we treat it as an in-between stage. Single is a stage all on its own and it is one of the most challenging stages to conquer.

If you’re single, people either assume that you just got out of a relationship and are looking for another one immediately, or that something must be wrong with you…or both. I’ve heard it all before, “I don’t know how you’re single, you must be crazy!” Or my favorite, “You don’t want a man? Oh, that’s just because you ain’t met a real one yet!” *Inserts eye roll.* All of these things cause us to expedite the process before we are truly ready, which then leads us to hop into relationships that are not beneficial to us. There are two major steps that get overlooked but are the key to unlocking successful singleness.

Step 1: Self-Discovery

This step is so crucial that it has caused me to no longer say “I’m single.” Now, I say “I’m self-loving.” This step is all about self-discovery. How many times have you gone on a date and when the question, “So, tell me about yourself” comes up, you get choked up faster than eating a Popeyes biscuit with no water? That’s because you didn’t spend time getting to know yourself in the single stage. You are forever evolving and growing and to assume that you know yourself just because you spend 24 hours of the day with yourself is detrimental. If your mind isn’t focused on the right things, then you learn nothing from those 24 hours.

Self-love is more than just being okay with what’s on the outside. Self-love is knowing what makes you different on the inside and loving those differences. It takes a lot of nights spent alone. It takes a lot of questions that may be hard to answer. It’s also filled with a lot of revelations and a new-found confidence.

How can you tell a man what you like and dislike when you’re unsure yourself? Take time to indulge in things you enjoy. Go on that solo date! Get your nails and hair done! Create that vision board! Once you learn to love your own company, the codependency for outside company begins to fade. You begin to become self-aware and confident in exactly what you want. This lets you know you’re ready for step two.

Step 2: The Grocery List of What You Want

Once you’ve become knowledgeable in who you are, this makes step two ten times easier. Step two is what I like to refer to as “The Grocery List”. A wise woman once said, “Dating with no expectations is like going to the grocery store with no list, you’ll just pick up anything.” As a result of you spending so much time getting to know the ins and outs of yourself in step one, the person that you allow into that space in step two must be complementary to the things that make you ‘you’.

There’s no such thing as the perfect man. Lists that sound like “6’7, brown hair, 6 figures, and owns everything” create unrealistic expectations. A man could possess all those qualities and still not be compatible with you. You must figure out what you value, what are you willing to work with and what are your deal breakers.

Make a mental or physical list of the things that you are looking for that will help you grow into a better person. For example, the things on my list are things that I value and would want my partner to value as well. Some of those include honesty, a relationship with God, good money management, and understanding. Those are just a few of things that I look for when meeting someone new. The list doesn’t have to be set in stone but it’s important to know what you are and aren’t willing to budge on.

Once you have zoned in on the things you need, it makes it less dreadful to embark on a new journey with someone. These things can now mold the conversations you have during your singleness and even shed light on the dangerous paths that would have otherwise been a mystery. This method doesn’t just apply to your dating life, apply it to your friendships and partnerships as well.

Life is not about the material things we cherish or the people we know, it’s about the journey we embark on and the knowledge and love we gain along the way. Single doesn’t have to be a roadblock on that journey. By taking these steps, singleness can go from feeling like a punishment to feeling like a privilege.

You are a marvelous creation of God and the prize does not lie in a man finally realizing that. The true prize is the moment you realize it and begin to walk in it.

Grown Man vs. Grown Male

“A man looks to be of service, a grown male looks to be served.” – Dondre Whitfield

Dondre Whitfield of OWN’s hit television series Queen Sugar was being interviewed in May on Sister Circle Live, a talk show on TV One. The moment he stepped on the set, he started dropping gems of knowledge. He began the interview by discussing the importance of men placing boundaries in relationships and proper communication. Then, one of the television hosts asks him, “What do you say to men who don’t understand what exactly it means to be a man?” Dondre proceeds to give a profound breakdown of the difference between a ‘grown man’ and ‘grown male.’ Check out the video below!

 

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

The greatest part about growing up is gaining wisdom, but what if we could rewind the clocks and stop the continuum of time to give the younger version of ourselves a few words of wisdom? Words of wisdom to prevent the hearts that have been broken, the tears that have fallen from our eyes, and the sleepless nights we’ve lied awake wondering how this chapter of our lives will end. Although the limitations of our current reality prevent us from traveling back to the future, it doesn’t limit us from pretending. So, let’s pretend. Let’s pretend that for a moment, we all have the ability to give the younger version of ourselves one piece of advice. What would you say?

“I would tell her not to allow the pain of today to make her believe that there is not a brighter tomorrow. I had a rough time growing up and I remember thinking that this is the way my entire life will be, so if I could, I would love to go back into time and whisper words of hope to that little girl who felt hopeless.” – Bailee

“You are worthy. Don’t allow others that fail to see your beauty dictate the trajectory of your life. Life passes by in a glimpse so enjoy the music, the fashion, the movies that YOU like. You do not have to change yourself to appear more appealing to others because your tribe will find you and the people that are meant to be in your life will love you regardless. When it comes to love, let the feelings flow. Don’t adhere to expectations and timelines that society has placed on how things should go when it comes to love. Take it one day at a time and allow yourself to feel the emotions totally.” – Amelia

I would say to not be afraid of who you are, even if people won’t accept you. Be patient in your growth and your time will come. Don’t beat yourself up for the mistakes you made, they are all for a reason. – Derrick

Surround yourself with individuals that have goals and dreams! – Brian 

I would tell myself not to sacrifice myself for others. I’ve always sacrificed what I wanted for myself to accommodate other people’s growth so I would tell myself not to do that. – Melissa

I would tell the younger version of myself to not rush life. Do not rush your goals, dreams or even love. Embrace the journey because that is where your memories lie. No one remembers the destination without the journey. – Cassie

I would tell myself a lot. I would tell her to take your time and get to know individuals before giving them your all and I would tell her not to have sex until you are married…. a moment of pleasure can give u a lifetime of pain.  – Khrystian

It’s ok to say no to others and losing friendships in the process is normal. People are in your lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. – Delilah

Follow God and not people. – Colton

Learn to love yourself and do not compare yourself and your journey to others. What God intended to be for you, will be for you in His timing. Don’t try to rush life or alter the course of your life to keep up with the next person. Embrace who you are and be thankful for the things that you have. – Taraji

Although it’s going to be hard… just fight through it. It’s only going to make you 10x better, wiser, and most importantly 100x closer to God. It’s the best feeling, but it wouldn’t be the same without the heartbreaks and the struggles. Yes, it feels like God isn’t there. Yet, I promise you he is ALWAYS THERE!!!!!! – Destiny

Don’t live your life wanting to please others. Don’t care about what other people think. Be exactly who you are and do not waiver from it. Find the beauty in self-love. No one can do that job better than you. – Allysa

My advice would be to slow down and enjoy life. It’s all going to work out. – Beverly

I would tell my younger self to silence out the voices of fear, mediocrity, and must do’s and don’ts of others, and instead attentively listen for my inner voice of direction and desire.  I would train myself to “trust myself” to understand the power I actually have over my life’s design by first, taking time to notice the things that physically manifest in my life that was first only in my imagination, my desires or my dreams; second, I would use that evidence to build trust and belief in myself and my inner voice so that thirdly, I could be more intentional to imagine, desire and dream better than the best I know for my life, my love and my future.  I would learn to act from a place of courage, not fear, accepting that bruises will come but will heal. – Shon