Relationships 101: Letting Go of “Perfect”

Disclaimer: I AM NO GURU/EXPERT. I’M JUST SHARING MY EXPERIENCES AND THE LESSONS I LEARNED. THE FEATURED IMAGE IS NOT MINE EITHER.

The only scripture I will give word for word is this:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 10:17

I gave that scripture verbatim as you will read that I support a lot of what I learned by scriptures throughout this post. The goal is for the reader to seek and confirm the accuracy of those scriptures by actively engaging in the word. For those who don’t regularly read the bible, this is a good way to start. The point is to create a healthy habit of bible study all while engaging with me and learning from my own personal experiences and seeing how God moved through them to teach me. There are a lot of Gurus and “experts” out there just giving their opinions. God’s word however is the only word that will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).

With that said, here are 5 lessons I learned in relationships, whether it was platonic or progressed to more than:

Be honest and upfront. Both go hand in hand. It saves both parties involved a lot of time. It’s less friction. And whatever the result, there may be understanding in the end. I say maybe because you may be in one place mentally while the other is not depending on the situation, that is okay.

They will never be Jesus. This is a lessons that I am constantly being reminded of. Which is the reason why God insists that we love him first, then ourselves, and THEN others. Mark 12:28-31 I have come to understand that no matter how high of a standard I hold my relationships, I have to understand that we are human and the same way I have weaknesses, so does the other person involved. I can be hard on those I love and that has shown me how hard I can be on myself (hence the scripture above). I’m learning to self reflect and to take it easy on myself, so that I am in a head space to do the same towards others as Jesus does for me (ALL THE TIME).

To love the rose is to embrace its thorns. Now this is a step further from the previous lesson, like in the next dimension. This is stepping into intentional relationships. Going in it for the long haul. Being willing to stick it through, again whether with friends or a significant other. In 2 Corinthians 12:6-10, the Apostle Paul speaks about moving in his purpose but still having troubles which he referred to as a “thorn in his flesh”. He asked God multiple times to remove it, but God reminded him that his grace was all he needed because his power works best in weakness.

The “thorn” or the weakness plays a role in our walk with Him. It keeps us humble or we’d only go to God when a thorn is there. The weaknesses or (speaking for myself), personal character traits in ourselves or what we see in others that we deem as flaws, our shadows of the past, or skeletons in the closet are the thorns. But God is constantly doing a work in us, for when we are weak (going through those torments like Paul), God’s strength is made perfect and his glory shines. If you read the first five verses of chapter 12, Paul says he could boast about the blessings, but it would do no good. People would look to Paul as being in control when in fact it was God’s strength that allowed him to carry out such great things. So, he is adamant on shining a light on God. The work he does in us, allows us the power to control our strongholds. As we stay in communion with him, he will constantly have power over those thorns.

For me personally, as I drift out of God’s presence from time to time (and we all do as believers), I can tell because the power feels like it has gone tranquil in my body (it never dies as I know he is always in me). The strongholds I once had power over, are overtaking me again. When I am confused, it’s like God is there but I left him behind, and I have run ahead of him trying to figure it out on my own. When I finally realize it, I turn back to him, and he is. There where I left him, patiently waiting like the gentleman he is. This is how he humbles us, that thorn when we realize it was piercing at our flesh, should cause us to check ourselves. It is all in how you view the thorn. It can either be a burden or a reminder. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 KJV) comes to mind because I can’t do anything without him. Nevertheless, I can do all things through Him that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). Paul concludes his testimony with a changed perspective, now embracing his weaknesses and shining light on them. This is why it is important to be transparent as a believer who ministers to other believers because when with others your weaknesses, they see your strength (or rather God’s strength in you) and are encouraged by the blood of the lamb and the power of your testimony (Revelation 12:11). This also relates back to Mark chapter 12 as quoted above, when you love and seek God first, you understand his heart posture, this gives you the proper insight on how to fully love yourself, and then love on someone else (that friend, significant other, child, etc.), as he loves us.

“Your testimony is healing for another.”

If you can’t handle their past, don’t put them on a pedestal. Now this is yet another dimension of relationships. You see the imperfections of the other person involved, now you have to ask yourself, “Can I handle what they bring to the table where they are right now? If so, am I willing?” If you’re like me, you tend to jump into things too fast. You tend to attach to one’s potential. You dive heart first into the situation ready to build and fix. The rose lenses is my stronghold. But that’s just it. We are not going into relationships to fix or change people; we are there to compliment or add to what God has already ordained them to be. But I have learned to start paying attention to, are they “ordained yet”? Or is it the “potential” I am fixated on. I had to learn to take off the rose lenses and look at what they are showing me right now. Can I handle that? Turning down your heart, and turning up your mind to the red flags is a must. If there are red flags, I’ve been doing both of us a favor and allowing God to close the book before the story is written that should’ve never been told. If it is too soon to tell, wait and allow the person to truly reveal themselves. This is not fun. Especially when you have to let go. I personally, didn’t realize my tendency to try to fix things that were not my place to. A generational curse that I have identified and have released to God. What I am learning to do is take my time, and really understand the person in front of me. If something doesn’t sit right with me, I go to work on my intentions understanding the person, and I pray about my understanding. Am I being judgmental or harsh? Is that generationa curse of trying to control everything trying to butt in or is this really a red flag that I have overcome and God is revealing to me in this new person (friend or new man). With sound judgement, I move accordingly. Proverbs 8:1 Relationships can be scary, but remember not to worry about anything but pray about everything that is on your mind (Philippians 4:6) Which brings me to my last tip:

Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 : Not obeying this scripture or taking the time to actively live out this this scripture is what gets me in the most trouble. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so instead of taking control of my thoughts, I allow my emotions to take hold of my inner thoughts and it is detrimental. I recently ended two relationships who I cared about deeply. Two friends, one we were exploring dating. Because I didn’t take the time to guard my heart, by grabbing control of bent up emotions, I allowed my mouth to write a check that I couldn’t cash. My intentions are always good but, because I didn’t proactively approach both situations with care, the relationships suffered as a loss.

Now I believe the ending of both were inevitable based on all the signs but, how it ended was up to me. I could’ve been obedient by writing out my feelings each time prompted and organizing my thoughts to strategize a care plan for both, but instead I allowed the thoughts of concern to fester in my mind.

“I don’t care what social media says about letting the relationships drop or fall off for whatever reason and being this hard independent person who doesn’t need anyone and not claiming to have friends, I mean that’s cool too if that’s you. To each its own. But if it meant something to you, you’ll feel it when it ends. And that’s okay. Just don’t lie to yourself. It does more harm than good.”

One relationship should’ve ended years ago but I wasn’t ready to let it go. So, I held on, bottling things in while I watched it dwindle away by the time I siad something, I was already out of it. Made peace with myself and understood we were just growing apart. But by the time I made them aware, they were completely blindsided. Because lack of communication and fear of confrontation because I held on to what was (the thorn in my flesh), my lack of faith in God, killed any understanding that person could’ve gained had I intentionally worked at the friendship and put my all into it. But it was in this ending that the mirror was turned on me and I saw myself for who I was what these thorns were doing to me and my relationships. Sometimes God will allow things to happen for the blessing in the lesson. Lesson learned.

In these two friendships, noticed same problem presented itself in different ways— I love how the holy spirit reveals “cycles” during a trial. I say all this to say that if we don’t get those thorns in check, we’ll never receive what God has for us. And sometimes he’ll check us in ways we would never expect. God is dope like that but I digress.

In his Damaged Goods Series, Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church said this:

There are 3 parts of us: Soul, Body, and Spirit

The realest version of you was made a spirit. Where the intent of the thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.

Even though the spirit was made first, the soul and body usually respond first. This is our flesh and emotions/feelings we have to grab a hold of and keep in check) and wait for the spirits response/holy spirit (the first creation of us hence Genesis 1:26 NLT “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us”. This was while God was still creating Earth in the first week, when he thought of Adam.

“We all have damaged goods, but God can’t heal what you act like doesn’t exist.”

– Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church

I really want to engae with you guys. What are some lessons that you have learned from your everyday relationships? If you resonated with this, please like, comment your thoughts, and share to 3 other people. Relationships are one of the most important blessings God has given us and we can’t do life without others! Take care.

Until next time,

t.

5 Books I’ve Read in 2018

Starting Your Career As An Actor Jason Pugatch

If you don’t know already, my dream is to be an actress. While still working on my schedule to free up time to pursue acting as well as raise my daughter, finish school, and work a full-time jobsjfnsjlfnwgwkg!!!#* (so much to do),

I remembered this quote:

“Accept the things you can’t change; have the courage to change the things which you can; and have the wisdom to know the difference.

A friend I met at work who was interested in acting came to work with an improv book and literally told me she checked it out at the library. Something so simple and resourceful, its literally a 5 min drive to the library. So one day I went on a whim, asked to be pointed in the right direction and there! All of my questions answered in this one book.

This is a good reference guide for anyone interested in acting. Whether you’re looking to start, not sure where the work is, tips on finding the right agent and headshots, as well as stories from actors themselves and what they went through. I looked up the actors and the work they’ve done to see if I recognized any, and I came across The Punisher (Jon Bernthal—I love Marvel and Netflix!).

Broke Millennial Erin Lowry

This is for anyone on the road to financial freedom. College students, Parents, teenagers, Young adults, even adults mid-age and older! It’s never too late to get right financially. I actually started reading this book the end of last year, but it was kind of a guide to my financial goals for this year. Erin (the author) is a little (ok a lot of) frugal, but she means well. She speaks on saving, investing (my focus area), as well as paying down debts. She talks about more but these were the areas that stuck out to me. She does it in a way that keeps the reader’s (for us millennials) attention.

Willie Lynch Letter William (Willie) Lynch

For those who don’t know, I am African American. To my fellow A.A.’s, this they didnt teach us in school. Knowledge is infinite and we should always seek it. I RECOMMEND THIS LETTER TO EVERY BLACK FAMILY & INDIVIDUAL. After reading this, I can only speak for myself. But it it a clear picture how we as black men and women move. How we operate, how we think. This letter is about the taming of the black slave. The method used on taming a horse influenced the taming of a slave. I warn you now, this will change your life forever and if it doesn’t make you want to do something about past, current, as well as prevent future events, please seek help. This letter not only humbles me, but it makes me pay attention to everything that I am saying, how I am raising my daughter, as well as how I treat myself and others. After you read it, pass it on. Make others aware.

You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford

Create a personal library and make this one of the very first books. Personal success, business success, simple communication with others. Read it. You never know what you could be missing. On another note, this book reminds me to remember service. Through service you can reach anyone. I learned mindfulness, and how to speak to others, and marketing tips. I believe marketing can be universal, not exactly selling things but the power of persuasion and networking. CREATIVES THIS IS YOUR GOLDEN TICKET. MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

Year of Yes! Shonda Rhimes

If you like Grey’s Anatomy, then you’ll love this. The dialogue in that show is Shonda to the T. To the mothers out there struggling for a personal identity and making time to do it all. Spend time with your children, go on that trip you have been planning forever, take that new job opportunity. Dare to say yes! You will love the outcome. From what I have read (still reading), I have to meet this women—hell, I have to at least land a guest role on one of her shows.

The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control  Dr. Walter Mischel

Weight loss, financial freedom, etc. self control is the root cause. I just started reading this after seeing someone post this on instagram about three years ago. Only into the first chapter I feel like this book arrived at the perfect time. I happened to stumble across this book in the library. I had every intention to by this as its in my booklist on amazon prime. Two words, Delayed Gratification. Everyone should read this, parents raising their children (teach them early) as well as individuals (save now, have more later).

This is not my full reading list. I think I’ll post a list of books I plan to get to. What have you read? Like Comment and Share!

Quote of the Week 

I’m gonna add another goal to the second half of this year as I have been lying to myself and trying to fake it until I make it. Learning to love myself for who I am (I have flaws as well as my highlights). We all naturally insinuate our strengths, but sweep our weaknesses under the rug if we can’t address them.
I have big dreams. I maybe leading off as if what I am about to say sounds like it intangible but the reality is this: most don’t make it, though few do. The difference between the some from the few? While both have a come-to-Jesus moment in their journey, was what they did about it in the end. Most allow their circumstances dictate their next move, their reaction, their outcome. Few in that moment, change their way of thinking to mold that circumstance to work for them getting them a step closer to where they want to be.

I feel for that to happen, I have to be completely honest with myself. Which I’ve never been.  So I need to add one more goal to my Mid-Year Goals. I officially claim this Self-Love journey I’ve unknowingly been on. Step one: Recognizing & Accepting the things about myself I can’t change. For the things I can change, plan & execute.

No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.

-James Russell Lovell
Until Next Time,

t.

Jay Colby covers: Finding Yourself vs. Creating Yourself

For many years the concept of finding yourself versus creating yourself has been a topic of discussion. This concept comes from a famous quote by author George Bernard Shaw “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating you”. Finding Yourself Many times when the topic of finding yourself is usually referenced to a “young […]

via Finding Yourself V.S Creating Yourself — Jay Colby

Vision Board: Long Term Goals

Here it is!! So I’ll just say, I originally made this vision board in February. With everything going on, I had no motivation (or lack there of) to post anything. Now that I am back into the swing of things, I am giving you guys an update on things that I have done during the first quarter of 2017, one being a many project for my vision board. 

This is one of many vision boards for me, but my next vision board— I’d like to incorporate into my new place (Oop! Spoiler alert! Stay Tuned…). 

This vision board I kind of drew inspiration from personal struggles and the problems of society. But overall long term goals (financial, emotional, physical, mental) are what you can see depicted below in the slide show I have whipped up.

As I was constructing this vision board, so much motivation lit a flame inside of me. It hangs in my room and puts that much more umph to my tri— get it? Tri-Umph? … Sorry I know, any who, If you have a vision board post, I’d like to see it I need inspiration for the next one and will be sure to tag you in it! Post your link in the comments for me as well as others to see!

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No Seeds of Doubt Will Be Sown, Not This Time.

As I was reading through content discovering new bloggers, I stumbled across a post I found to stopped me in my tracks: method acting can be used to boost my confidence.

The author of this article explains that before taking on a role, the actor studies [thoroughly] that particular character and asks readers exactly how much time we spend studying the character we play in our own lives? I immediately thought, there is nothing to study, I was raised this way, but this new train of thought in me begged to differ. I was reminded when the author of this eye opening article said while yes, we are influenced by our environment (parents, peers, etc.) as children, When we are adults, they immediately stop, well, most do and really its more like the commands stop and the suggestions roll in. I could not help but to agree.

Immediately after I turned 18, I became an adult. My mom switched up so fast. At first I was afraid, and felt like a magnet. I thought I needed her advice, her input, and her blessings. I did still feel this way up until I moved out. Someone who I am very thankful to have in my life constantly till this day opened my eyes to this. I went from feeling paralyzed in a certain mentality to “I’m every woman, it’s all in me” by Whitney Houston state-of-mind.

As I reflect, I have come to realize how much I have allowed my environment to influence my internal perception of me. While some things I am learning to overcome day-by-day, others I still internalize.

Growing up, I spent my entire life earning the approval of others— people pleasing. And for that reason I haven’t found much enjoyment in my life. Overthinking and rationalizing why I can’t pursue the things I really want in my life. Always wondering how I am perceived when I say or do certain things. Constantly comparing myself to other women and downplaying my attributes. This is one of the worst ways to be. It wasn’t until the end of my junior year in high school that I started to break out of this mentality. I was becoming a senior, and unlike the previous three years, I was the head and not the tail. It was freeing. I think in adolescence, status quo is a powerful thing. Senior year, everyone was preparing for adulthood. College, job training, whatever that next step in life was, everything else didn’t matter.

 

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I knew what I wanted and was determined to get it. Senior year kind of opened my eyes. Things don’t always pan out the way you imagine them to be. This feeling, I know all to well. Degree first, married next, then babies.. I’m starting to think I had this backwards.

To be continued..

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2k17 New Year’s Resolution: Why I’m NOT Sharing Mine

First things first, to anyone saying they are not doing a New Year’s Res. because they believe it will never get done, good for you. However shaming other’s for using this time for a clean start because they set realistic goals for themselves to attain and you couldn’t is not the way to play it. To anyone who is participating, don’t listen to the naysayers, as a matter of fact, don’t even mention your New Year’s Resolutions.

Personally, and even aside from NYR, I have found that when I share my goals with other’s, most people have reacted in a way that had discouraged me from pursuing my goal or reverting back to old habits. Now I’m not saying everyone should keep it to themselves. Some people can share their goals and dreams with others and use that as motivation not to slack off out of fear that they are either disappointing those folks they shared it with, just not keeping their word, or have others motivate them in the process. The constant positive reinforcement goes a long way for some. For me, as I have had time to reflect, I feel I can check myself enough to keep myself motivated. I have found that I am able to stick to things if I show people what I have accomplished already, rather than tell them what I plan to do. I’m better off motivating myself, because looking to others for motivation leaves me disappointed every single time.

With that being said, I will not have a NYR post. As much as I want to, I am a firm believer in bad juju. The only people who need to be involved in the plan is myself and God. I will however, post my NYR either after I have accomplished it, or when I’m already well into it. I will however, share anything that could be beneficial to others like a few challenges I will be participating in. But anything like weight loss goals— well okay, I won’t constantly post, but will periodically update my progress.

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I will say this, I will not waste anymore time watching others live out their dreams. A few months back I found this quote that said:

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”

The point of this post is to say that this year I will no longer worry about the actions of others and whether or not they are paying attention to mine. I have been throwing away my dreams to fit the mold of other peoples expectations. I vow to protect my dreams, goals, and aspirations, even if that means keeping them to myself and walking alone. Side note: I have thought about that quote every day since we crossed paths.

Here’s to the New Year, and an ever-evolving me.

Cheers,

t.