Sunday, March 22, 2015

Its Already Done!

"So how's everything going? You still with the guy? She asked.

I should have had a conference call with all my close friends and family so that they knew what was going on all at the same time. Once you've told the story once, or twice, or three times, its kind of hard to move on and heal when others keep asking about the relationship. But that's life. And its really how you know what your true feelings are about the situation. Are you really over it and have moved on? Are you faking it until you make it? Do you really miss him? Do you still have some anger or hurt still lingering?

In keeping with my mode of transparency, this week has been a bit of a battle in my mind of not living in the past. Your mind has a way of playing the should of, would of, could of game in which you replay all the possible scenarios in your mind wishing you could try and make it better. I did miss him. I missed his company and the daily phone calls. I missed the companionship. I was still a bit hurt, but more frustrated at myself. I could have really used that "easy" button like the Staples commercial, but then I wouldn't have had the opportunity to really sort out my feelings and address them.

I'm OK.  And when I say, I'm OK, I really am OK.  Speaking of Staples, I actually went to the store last weekend and purchased a dray erase board and colorful markers. I had a project in mind, more like God had a project in mind for me.

I attended a church service last week in which pastor preached from the title "Its already done" (Ephesians 1:1-3). Now upon first hearing the title, I can honestly say I kind of rolled my eyes. Here we go again. Another sermon that seeks to excite the crowd. But God put me in check! I listened intently. There was a word for me.  The pastor declared that God has already done what we needed Him to do. He said to appropriate the gifts God has already given me and focus on what God says about me. My spirit immediately agreed with the word. I was in need of healing and deliverance from this bondage of attitude and emotionalism, and yes, it was just that deep, bondage! But he was reminding me that its already done! I have the healing and deliverance I needed. I have to trust what God says about me and declare it upon myself, and then walk in it! So of course, I had to shout! I was told I just about cleared my row! I felt like running too. That word freed me from going down a path of beating myself up and condemning myself to a lonely life with a house full of cats!

Now, the project was to make an affirmation board. A board full of statements of what God says about me and what I want to declare over my life and for that day. I am a visual person, and there is something about a constant reminder of what God says that illuminates your mind and cast down negative thoughts. All week, before I left my room, I read my board, declared the statements over my life and my day, and walked out to embark on whatever the day had for me. I was ready! And it felt so good!

The devil definitely tried to get in my head and push me back, but because of the affirmations, I was ready for him! I had a come back for whatever he tried to hit me with. Walking in it!

Walking in it also meant that I had to make the first step in my healing by setting an appointment with a counselor. I made two appointments! I attend my first session this Tuesday, and I am truly excited about it! Its been a long time coming and I can't wait to sit on the couch and talk! That is, if she has a couch! I watch too much t.v.! I'm going to pray for a couch, I feel like I have a lot to talk about and I need to be comfortable! LOL

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust!

"I don't think I can do this anymore," he said.

My heart sank. It was the very phrase I didn't want to hear. But to be honest, I knew it was coming. He had become distant over the last week and I couldn't put my finger on why. While I was away visiting my family our communication was very limited and short.  When I returned home we had "the talk." He finally shared his true feelings about my attitude toward him and his feeling of inadequacy when it came to meeting my expectations. I made him feel as though he couldn't do anything right! Yep, that sounds like me! I couldn't do anything but apologize for the way I treated him and asked if time could heal and help us move forward in the relationship.

His response, " I honestly don't have the patience to deal with you. Its something you need to work on, and you won't change overnight."

Talk about a slap in the face!  But it wasn't like I hadn't hear it before! Deja Vu! Another one bites the dust! I seem to leave a trail of good men who have a low tolerance for attitudes and emotionalism. Go figure! Who wants to put up with that? He made a decision of what he would and would not deal with and moved on. I don't blame him! I'm not even mad at him! He did what he needed to do for him.

But may I vent for a few seconds:

The same patience he sought from me when he didn't live up to my expectations seemed to be NONEXISTENT when it came to the patience I sought from him to work through my emotions. I thought there was a commitment, but it was more like temporary companionship.  I was going through a family crisis and at the first sign of trouble he bailed! Not the man I need in my life!

I 'm a fighter. I fight for what I believe in and I don't give up. I'm always willing to do the work to make it last. To be honest, this week I felt like a failure. Another relationship for the books and back to being single. But the thing about having a relationship with God, He always seems to prepare you for what is to come and ultimately remind you of who He is and His number one place in your life.

While I was at home, my dad unexpectedly asked me to preach Sunday morning. Did I mention he asked me Saturday morning! Word to the wise, be ye always ready! I was not ready! LOL But God gave a word. My message was entitled: "Stay with God".  Who knew that that was the word that would carry me during this time. It reminded me that if I needed to fight to stay with anyone, its God! The God who says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." And the God who says," Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." That's the man I needed in my life!

Now please don't get me wrong. The word of God comforts and absolutely meets all of my needs, but there is nothing like the presence of a human body in the form of a man who will commit to you and meet your needs, preferably over 6'0 tall, loves long walks on the beach, has a beard......but I digress. But I'm alright with waiting on God. He has yet again revealed that there is work to be done on Kristin.

Being in a relationship right now can't heal and deliver what needs to be worked out in me. Some things only come through prayer, fasting.......and some counseling! Yep, I'm going to take the step that I've shied away from, heck, that most black people and church people have shied away from. Its taboo to say you're going to counseling. Just pray about it and God will work it out! The devil is a liar! Sometimes an extra step needs to take place, and for me, that extra step is to sit and talk with someone who can assist me in finding the root of my emotions and ways to manage and control them.  When one person tells you you have a problem, you smile and nod your head. But when you have three men who you were in relationship with, that absolutely don't know each other, say the exact same thing concerning your attitude and break up with you, you might want to talk to somebody!

So, I celebrate me! I love me! I'm grateful for going through each relationship and seeing that God loved me enough to shut it down, so that he can continue to build me up! God has things for me to do and places for me to go! Taking a break from the dating process and taking the time to get to know Kristin more! She's kind of cool and deserves the attention!

Scripture References: Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 11:28

Sunday, March 8, 2015

World War Me!

"Are we OK? And please be honest," I told him

Women's intuition told me something wasn't right. But to be honest, I knew it was me and the damage I had already done. It was deja vu all over again. It was like my past relationships were flashing before my eyes. I was doing it again! And he was a good one! Why am I like this? What's really going on with me?  Maybe I just should suffice on being single for the rest of my life!

The battlefield of emotions are real. And for me, it was like World War Me! You think you have overcome a struggle that has left a trail of scars on your heart, only to realize the struggle is back, and on its way to ruining another potential relationship. I'm emotional. But to top it off, I'm emotional out loud! I wear my emotions on my sleeves for all to see and respond without thought or care concerning the other person. It's always about me and how I feel.

During my season of singleness, after my last relationship ended, I realized that I seriously needed help in the area of controlling my emotions. I struggled with containing my emotions when I felt an expectation wasn't being met. I would catch attitudes at the drop of a hat. A great day, could turn into a horrible day with just one action that didn't go my way. Instead of being cool and communicating effectively how I felt, I shut down. I would shut him out with the famous words, "I'm good." I would come to my senses, apologize, and vow to do better. I would do well for a few weeks and then the emotional monster would rear her ugly head again.  When the relationship ended, I knew something had to change. I was being destructive to others, and most of all, myself.

I started reading books by Joyce Meyers on controlling emotions. I even sat and talked with someone on strategies to over come my struggle. I was putting in the work. I even fasted and prayed, asking God to increase the fruit of patience and self control in my life. I desired to be a healthier Kristin. Not just to be in another relationship, but just for myself, and all the relationships in my life. I celebrated my progress and was on my way to emotional freedom!

Or so I thought. The devil hears your prayers just as much as God does! I got another chance. Met a great guy and we hit it off well.  We're a month into dating and the emotional monster comes with a vengeance.  But this time during a more sensitive time in my life. I was dealing with the sickness of my father along with other friends who were either in the hospital or going through circumstances. My sensitivity was at an all time high, and my expectations were also on high. I just needed him to know what do and how, but most men don't work that way! I was constantly snapping at him when he didn't do what I expected. I mean, he couldn't just read my mind!  Of course not, but that's what I needed!

But what about him? In the mist of all that I was dealing with, I didn't stop to truly think about him. How was I making him feel. What was he thinking? Did I reach my quota of attitude and emotions already? Do I even meet his expectations? He was a good man who deserved more of my patience and understanding and less of my attitude; more of my appreciation and less of my entitled behavior.

So much for being "cool".  I revealed a side of me that I thought I was healed and delivered from. The fight to stay calm and be cool was like Pacquiao and Mayweather in my chest. I wanted to keep my emotions down and be understanding; take the high road and be patient. We were just getting to know one another. I cant honestly expect him to be Superman and Jesus. I mean, that's just too much pressure don't you think?

I had to realize, we never truly arrive, and when we think we do, God will always remind you there is more work to be done. So back on my knees I go, turning down my plate, and seeking Him more.  I refuse to go backwards in my progress of a better me. I've come too far, and there is so much more road ahead of me. I still desire to be a wife and a mother, but I desire to be healthy woman first!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Save the Drama for your Mama!

"So what's new on the dating scene?" she asked me.

Now, I hesitated before I responded. Do I really want to tell my mother that I'm dating someone new? Ever since I moved out of the house, over ten years ago, she has had a strong desire to know everything that is going on in my life, and I mean EVERYTHING! I guess it's her way of staying connected and keeping her role as a mother up to date, but it drives me crazy!

I look at my other friend's relationships to their mothers and the closeness they share. I desire to be able to share intimate details of my life with my mother; particularly who I am dating, but the truth is, my mother and I have not always had that close knit relationship. I found myself sharing more things with my dad then I did with my mother. Maybe it's because she was a military mom and I saw her more as a disciplinarian than a confidant. She was a provider, but not necessarily the intimate "girl talk" type of mother. And to be very honest, my mother is a gossip! She means no harm, but she couldn't hold water to save her life!  But as I've gotten older, I've made a decision to truly work on my relationship with my mother and let her in on aspects of my life.

But also, as I've gotten older, having three failed relationships under my belt, I've learned that talking about my relationships early on leads to too many opinions, questions, and expectations on a relationship that has yet to fully be developed. People want to know more than you are willing to give. The pressure to live up to the expectations can be damaging in the long run. So I am learning to just be quiet. But it's a struggle, especially when you are happy and enjoy the person you are with.  You want to tell the world!

So reluctantly I shared with my mother that I was dating someone new. And the flood gates were open! She wanted to know his job history, spiritual back ground, family history, specific physical features and to top it off, she asked for a picture! It was only matter of time before the social security number question would come up! What did I get myself into!?

My mother shared with me that she has been praying that I would find the right man, my husband. She witnessed my previous breakups and genuinely just wants me to be happy.  She is also genuinely ready to plan and experience the wedding of her only daughter, and desires grand children to spoil. No pressure though, right?

Well, pressure it is! One night while I was hanging out with "the new guy", I get a call from my mother. I answer because I hadn't talked to her all day, and I was low-key avoiding her calls. She proceeds to probe me about my location and current activities. I reluctantly share that I was at his house just hanging out. I shared with my mother that we had went out earlier that day, had dinner, and were now just relaxing. Her question to me," Do you tell him thank you? I looked at the phone. She raised me right. If anyone does anything for me I always say thank you, numerous times if led to. She then proceeds to tell me that I must tell him thank you because he does not have to be nice to me. Pause. Was he doing me a favor?  Was I a charity case? We were dating. He wasn't doing anything that he didn't want to do, and I always showed my appreciation to him.  She then proceeds to tell me that I must tell him thank you right then and there while she was still on the phone.  She couldn't be serious! Oh, but she was! Relentless is not the word for it! After I said no numerous times and threatened to hang up on her, she began to yell out his name hoping that he would hear her!!! She was so serious! I wish I was making this up, but I'm not! After a few more attempts, she finally got the hint and I hung up.

What just happened? My mother has finally gone off the deep end! Where do we go from here? I had to take it to a higher power. I called my father! I explained the crazy antics of his wife, and all he could do was laugh!

"Baby, you know how your mother is, but she really just wants you to be happy," he said.

And the crazy part is, I knew that too. She is my mother, and for the 30 years that I have known her, the crazy hasn't changed. But in my attempt to finally take a relationship slow and develop a friendship, her excitement/love was killing an experience that could ultimately be a life changing one for the both of us!

The line of respect once you cross the threshold into adulthood can be a tricky road to cross with your parents. I wholeheartedly believe in Exodus 20:12, "Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." But I also believe Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers [mothers] don't make your children bitter about life..." I love and respect my mother, but at this point in my life, I desire just a mustard seed of respect as an adult.  She raised me to be strong, independent, and intelligent in all my decision makings. But I also realize that she is not changing. So I expect her antics, let her have her moment, knowing the true motive behind it is love.

Mothers, can't live with them after 18, but Lord knows I wouldn't be the woman I am today, and I absolutely couldn't live without her!

Exodus 20:12 [NIV]
Ephesians 6:4 [God's Word Translation]