Everything Ain’t About You

Listen I know that there are times when you can have sensitive spirits.  It could be that you are going through a rough patch but please know that everything ain’t about you. There are times when you have to attempt to get your emotions together and place them in the right category.

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For instance this morning I am talking to a friend. She is going through. I am trying to listen to her, give her hugs, reassure her that things will fall into place when an associate comes and is like what are you talking about, me? Now I am looking puzzled and trying to find the right way to respond because my friend is normally outgoing and had she been in the right frame of mind she would have been the one to tell her to go and keep it moving.  I also didn’t want the friend who is going through to be so upset in her own emotions to lash. So I give the girl the “look.”  The look is girl you see she is upset, this ain’t your fight, relax.  So she gets it but it reminded me so many times we have whatever going on that we push those emotions through to others and there is no need. We were not having a conversation about the associate whatsoever.  She was thinking that because of whatever is on her mind and heart. No one wants to hear someone prejudge them when they haven’t even given thought to that person.  That comes from the person having something on their mind and heart and pushing that on to others.  As adults if you have an issue with someone speak up.  There isn’t a class on mind reading.  Discernment goes a long way.  Had the associate had some or just looked at body language she would have kept on moving.  My friend could care less at that moment what she thought.  Neither could I if I am honest and I am sure my face let her know that.  There is no need to take others who haven’t given you the green light to an issue through an emotional roller coaster.

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So today, if you have something tugging on you that makes you think something is happening that isn’t-ask.  Everything about you. People generally don’t wake up attempting to find out how to mess your day up.  How they are going to talk about you today.  The folks that do that have no life or for sure have a lot in their life that is out-of-order. Ignore the emotional pull of these people. Giving into them only fuels them.

 

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The Gift of Friendship

When I was deep in my postpartum depression I would cut off my friends.  Right after the birth of my son after moving from Lancaster to Philadelphia I felt isolated.  I was isolated because in my mind I had told myself that this move was only less than 2 hours away and that it wouldnt’ change anything. I was wrong.  I was blinded by having my family under one roof that I didn’t consider a few things.

One of the biggest things was the lack of support. I had my immediate family and one of my best cousins and my friend that I didn’t think that would change. I thought I have a car I and I could get in it and see them anytime I wanted.  My oldest was super easy in how I traveled with her that I never took into account how much more harder it would be to travel with 2 kids would be.  For a day trip it took me the day before prep and an hour just to get them into the car with everything that was needed that often times I elected not to travel.  That in itself also made it hard on me because then I would be upset that I couldn’t travel as often.  So after getting past that blow I would get the kids together and go. Trust me the come back was harder.  I felt comfortable being in Lancaster and I would take a day or two to adjust to the pressures that I was under and having these little people who needed me.

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The other issue is that I didn’t have a network of my own friends in Philadelphia.  I love my husband’s friends but they were his not mine. I didn’t want to have them as my friends on the strength of them being nice to me because of him. He and his friends had history that I didn’t have.  I didn’t want to be the wife of his and they extend some type of olive branch because we were together. I am the type of person who has friends on mutual respect, great closeness and I no longer felt that way since my access to my network had changed. I pushed the long distance ones away too because it didn’t feel the same.  I learned through this season that this was the wrong way to approach things.  Not only that so was sitting in the house day in and day out wasn’t the best way to meet anyone. So I was stuck and miserable for years like this.

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Thank goodness my friends were forgiving and understanding as only one ever knew what was happening.  Only one of them had the sense to address me on it and call me out. I appreciate that.  That isn’t a dig to anyone so don’t take it as such.  Not many of them saw me when I would have outbursts. I did well in open environments and to this day this is one of the reason why I do NOT like pop ups.  I need to prepare for visits.  It’s not personal it’s that I know what I need and I make others respect it even if they don’t like it. I am not ashamed of that.

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I learned how to love myself, how to show love and most importantly how to let others in.  I learned that I didn’t have to carry everything alone and that support looks different when you don’t hold on to the ideologies of what its supposed to be.  Change is hard but in change you find that the ones who have your back won’t change.

Cherish your friendship.  As you progress through various stages of life, some friend will drop off.  There’s nothing you can do about that.  Show love and support no matter how far and near your friends are who have been in your corner through it all.  Know that disagreements and bumps in the road are to be expected.  Remain respectful at all times. If a friendship does end make sure you try to work it out.  Don’t throw a whole friendship over an emotional off the bat without calming down, talking it out, and attempting to make peace.

To all of my girlfriends who have nurtured me and have stood the test of time, I salute you!!!!! Thank you for being amazing women to me during these years.  I pray I can continue to sprinkle the same love your way for the years to come!

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Teach the Babies-You’re Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

So this week the recurring theme has been forgiveness.  This is a tough lesson for many adults let alone my own son. This week for both of my older kids the trying to teach them to understand that its okay to have a disagreement with a person, work things out or decide to work things out but be cordial and not be friends.

My son who is 6 is having the hardest time which is to be expected.  I do not expect him to understand adult like themes and to me forgiveness will come to him as he grows and matures.  So the issue is allowing my kids to find out whom feels safe to them.  I even teach my kids even those closest to them can give bad vibes, you have the right to retreat.  I do not make them give hugs or be around ANYONE who makes them uncomfortable.  This means that if you come to my child and my child rejects you for whatever reason, there’s no make them give into your insecurity of showing you love they don’t feel is genuine to give. We stress to kids to be aware but then judge them for feeling ill feelings.  My husband and I don’t.  We try to help them work through these feelings.

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For my daughter she has been going to the same school for years and most of the kids she has known since Kindergarten.  At this point she is well aware of certain people’s triggers, how they act, and what they do when the teachers and principals aren’t watching.  I am not one  of those parents that push my kids into certain friendships.  If there are mean girls in her school and she identifies that is who they are, I trust that I have raised her well to this point to know who they are and if she chooses not to embrace them outside of a school setting that is fine. We really can’t push the all the kids are angels routine.  I am all for her or my son working it out but its one thing to work it out and it’s another thing to have a blind eye to a problematic child and act as if that child isn’t an issue.

So this week my son has been having an issue with one child in particular.  He has tried being nice.  He has tried having meetings with the kid etc. However to no avail.  This kid is problematic.  My advice to my son was be cordial.  Work together when you have to in the classroom because in life you can’t always disengage with someone just because you don’t care for them.  However at recess is your time to play.  You shouldn’t have to spend your time in recess trying to push back negativity from one child.  Some days he gets the message other days he doesn’t.  The days he doesn’t its a hard conversation to have.

Yes we are all for kids getting along.  Yes we are well aware that at this age kids go back and forth and are learning how to socialize. The same rules that apply to me with other adults do NOT work for kids.  However let’s also keep it real and stop acting like some of these kids already come in the door with whatever they have at home and spew the most hate, the most vile words on other kids and in the name of letting kids be kids we give these kids many chances in hopes they will fare better.  They don’t always fair well.  So we can’t just act like it’s not the case.  As a parent I would love to tell my kids that the world is awesome all the time and that they won’t have issues with other kids or other people but that is not the case.

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My conversation with my son is about helping him weed out those he thinks are bad news for him and show him how to make healthy relationships with those who want the same in return.  He needs to be cordial meaning just because there is friction, school work still needs to be done.  If his teacher assigns him to the student that he is having issues with then he needs to buckle down and get things done.

Parenting is hard and I am sure there will be someone who disagrees with my conversation but the beautiful thing about parenting is that it is an individual pathway per parent and its a collective pathways for the parents involved.  My only hope is that my kids get to the point where they don’t waste energy on those who don’t mean them well.  They learn to keep their peace with them and not get entangled with those kids who have ill intentions.  That’s my hope for adults too.  Stop giving your energy to the bad person in your life regardless of relationship.  If it doesn’t serve you, leaves you feeling less about yourself, etc then the point is moot, leave them alone and allow the right folks to come in your life. These are life lessons.  They should be taught early.  I want my kids to grow into confident human beings that know what they want, who they want, and to go where they are celebrated not where they are tolerated.  These lessons aren’t to wait to be learned.  These lessons are taught early on.

The Mirage is really A smoke Screen

People, good people, good morning.  Listen let’s have a serious talk about what appears to be and what is.  We ALL have put out into the atmosphere our very best self.  We post the best pics out of the 100 we took.  We use filters because let’s face it they are pretty. However there is one thing that we all need to be reminded.  Everything that glitters isn’t gold.  This isn’t the first time we have heard it but let’s talk about it some more.

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We get caught up in the ideas about of what people put out. Some people post about solid marriages and have the most flakiest ones.  Being real is about being loud and yelling instead of just being honest and transparent.  Just because you yell you keeping it real doesn’t mean you are.  That’s a free nugget of wisdom for someone.  People struggle. Relationships and marriages struggle.  People don’t air out their dirty laundry or rather they shouldn’t.  We base our lives off of others and do less work on our own.  If you see a woman get flowers, you go home and complain you aren’t getting them.  However you haven’t expressed you wanted them before.  You don’t go and get them yourself because you enjoy them.  You are waiting, hoping that the man you are with will finally take this initiative and do and missing out on the love you really do and can give yourself.  You realize that if that love won’t measure up and you practice self-love, nature will separate you from what you don’t need to be with.  Again another freebie for you.

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Please learn to take some stock in YOUR life.  I give great advice but I try to eat and nibble on it before I give it.  I hold myself accountable.  For instance let me give you some realness.  I was having the worst anxiety attack.  I didn’t want to go to an event because I knew some of the people there I don’t vibe with.  I had to be reminded that its more than talk, I will NEVER vibe well with them.  I can’t live with brakes on.  SO I got dressed and made it happen.  I wanted to be in my defeated world and just go to bed.  I ended up having an amazing time.  The point is simple, it’s about getting past the hiccups with action and not just lip service.

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We have to get past our favorites smoke screens.  I love LL Cool J and Morris Chestnut and both are married.  Like my marriage there are days even with all of their fineness that their wives are ready to trip them because of something they did or didn’t do.  No different from my own marriage. I have friends who I look up to but when they close their doors they have things they are working out in their lives.  So you have to understand that and learn to live life on your own terms.  A lot of people selling this message of love your spouse, or job or life to the fullest don’t always mean they receive it or live it everyday.  Be careful who you put your highest stock on.  Everyone on your pedalstool will disappoint you if you don’t keep things into perspective.  No different from when the report of  America’s sweetheart Jesse Williams called it quits with his wife.  Everyone like lawd if they can’t make it what we gon do?  You gon get over it and make your marriage work.  You need to use the information to make yours solid.  Love harder, listen more, don’t take things for granted, etc  That’s what you do instead of attributing everything good and going into doom and gloom when it doesn’t add up.

Live your OWN best life!!

 

 

Action Do Something

So let me just say that I have about had all I can take but I know that is not true because as time goes especially in the next day or so the complaints are going to take off.  I am referring to the swearing-in of Donald Trump, which artists or celebrities will be in attendance and even those who aren’t.  This is about the family and friends that are about to go into social media war…. Do Something!

Yes I said it.  There.  There will be countless of those who will have just about every complaint in the world but that will be where it stops.  You don’t like one of your celebrities or artist who is performing or going, than have an action plan.  One of the best ways is to stop following them on social media.  It’s like the Kardashian affect, people say they hate them but they have over 1 million followers a piece.  Yes some folks just follow to get the tea to someone’s life but you aren’t getting how that makes you the person look. You are literally watching a person you wouldn’t even otherwise care for and you aren’t even benefitting from it.  That is a sad part of life.  We ALL have better things to do than to allow the cycle to continue.  Although the media sometimes controls the images that are out, you personally can control what you take in.  I followed Chrisette Michelle an artist that has agreed to attend and sing at Donald Trump inauguration celebration.  Now whether or not I agree with her reasons or not, I sat and watched all the comments made and thought to myself, we have the power to evoke change.  The best way is in the pockets of any artist, socialite, etc.  They thrive on media interaction, and financial backings of their product.  It doesn’t just apply to this now political storm that has been brewing for quite some time now either.  This is a principle.

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If you have people in your own personal life that you don’t deal with don’t just block them on social media but block their access to your spirit and life.  I have done this and trust me the peace to just live and not worry about the foolishness is priceless. So before you go gangster social media arguing, just end it and cut you out of it.  I had a disagreement with a family member.  I found myself getting all upset and going back and forth via social media than I thought, what is the point?   Just stop it now and deal with them on a personal level if you need to and move on.  Or not and just keep on pushing.  We give our energy to do many things and wonder why we are zapped out.  Even in your emails, you can unsubscribe correct?  Unsubscribe in real life.  There is no need to have things and people pulling on you to the point where you are up in arms.  Will Donald Trump being in office cause issues even for those who supported him?  I am sure it will. Learn to deal with what is for you and leave the rest.  If you are going to make a stand I say go for it but do it with more leg work and action and a lot less mouth.  We need a world of doers and not just good ideas alone. Protect your spirit and especially if you are a parent or help in the parenting of your children.

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Keep your Hands to Yourself

So today while out grabbing breakfast before work I see a man shove a woman.  I am livid. A man comes from the middle of no where and grabs this young man up and inside I am happy.  A lot of men do not step up in these days not because they believe a woman should be hit but because these young idiots out here stay strapped.  Back in the days of my dad and grandfathers, men stepped up.  Yes there were men hitting their women but men didn’t sit idle and allow this mess to continue.

Last weekend I went out with my husband and his friends.  I had a really good time despite my initial apprehension.  None the less as I was coming back from the bathroom a man approaches a woman and out of no where this man punches this woman square in her face.  I moved back initially because I wasn’t sure what this man was going to do.  A man came out of no where again and punched the unsuspecting man dead in his face.  I was like go head and get em.  I applauded that man.  He didn’t have to come to her rescue but again it should never be okay to hit a woman regardless of the situation.  On the flip of that I don’t agree with women hitting men neither.  I have seen countless videos on social media where women are balling their fist up and hitting these women but then dying when that man hits back.  I don’t think as a woman I could take on a man and just flat-out win.  It would take a lot of effort.  But I don’t run up on none either.

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This is the day where women are more and more at risk for such violence and it’s getting to the point where it don’t have to be from a domestic dispute.  I just read a story where a woman asked a man in the store if he knew how to bake a pie and he leaves and comes back and knocks her out.  No one in the store stepped up  They sat there and just watched and filmed the whole thing.  The video I am sure will be great evidence later, but how about rendering aid?  No?! Where do they do this mess?  Like I am really trying to find a reason and I am coming up blank.  Like I am the type of women that has way too many men that would stand up for me.  My husband, my dad, grandfather, just too many men that have been outstanding in my life to think that this is how you treat a woman.  It’s not.

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Ladies violence is wrong.  If you are in a situation where you think this is love, we got some talking to do.  I know it starts off as mental abuse first before they graduate to physical abuse. This is why I advocate for women to get their stuff together before you link up with someone.  Men need to do the same quiet as its kept. Some of the things that are in your past lies dormant until you link up with another person or have a child.  It’s important to be whole in your mind, body, and spirit.

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To the men that think this makes you a man, I am a woman and can’t tell you what it takes to be a man but in the eyes of women and most men this is definitely not a requirement. You are put here to protect women, all women.  Not to put your hands on them.  Do you realize that the woman you hit is someone’s daughter, mother, sister, etc?  What happens when you have a little girl and she’s watched you batter her mother?  She thinks its okay. I watched another video on social media where a man had an actual leash on a woman and paraded her through the block calling her a bitch.  She smiling thinking to herself I am sure that at least she got a man.  A man that walks you around calling you a bitch with a leash would have gotten his ass beat by my dad and thats real.  Matter of fact my dad might have gotten me too if I allowed it.  That is crazy.

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Walk away. Get some help. But it won’t be until you run up against another man that makes you accountable that you will see the error of your ways.  Or you must have that woman you beat get enough strength to realize she don’t need your sorry ass then the power you had on her will be gone too.  It’s easy to hit someone who isn’t a worthy opponent.  Please evaluate yourself.

What irks me is the men who don’t have the good sense God gave you.  Back in the day women were being beat and hiding behind black eyes,sunglasses, and makeup.  Now y’all bringing behind the scenes beatings to the street.  It don’t make no sense in this day of camera phones but what do I know. I am not advocating for you to take it back in the house either.  I am simply saying you have to be special kind of special to do it with witnesses.

Ask Toi: If you wanted to throw a party for a friend that is married or in a relationship, do you have to ask their mate first?

I would say out of respect you would.  How do you know that the mate or significant other would want to be the one that plans it?  Or what if they were taking your friend out-of-town? Back in the days when your friend was single, planning surprises was easier but it doesn’t mean the element of surprise still can’t exist.  You just have to be creative.

I know in our house my husband usually is really good at planning great birthdays.  Now I do celebrate from May 1st until the actual day of May 10th.  So that leads plenty of time for friends to do their own thing. He however is always the one on my day with the major of surprises.  He welcomes others to do as they please but if its dinner, etc. he’s the one that makes that day special.  If others contacted him he would be willing to make things happen.

It’s about respecting your friend’s relationship.  You can still be spontaneous towards your friend.  I have had friends who send me things to my house or work place and it catches me totally off guard.  The ideal is to honor your friend and celebrate their Earth day.  You can do that and still give space for the special man or woman in their life to be able to do the same.  Who doesn’t like multiple celebrations?  Dinners, luncheons, happy hours, brunches these are a few ideals that still can be done to honor your friend.  You can do one day or in conjunction with the friend’s boo or separate and have a great time.  Now if you don’t like your friend’s significant other, well there’s not much that can be done with that.  However it cost you nothing to ask questions and clear the schedule.  The significant other can even assist you in getting your friend to the location of your choice for a great guy’s catch up or girl’s night or day out.

Now I have heard some vindictive signficant others who say they have no plans and then when you do, they make them for the same day that you set aside.  Keep in mind that your friend will in time see through this.  Do not sweat the small stuff.  Let your friend know way after their birthday what transpired.