Tell Him I Love You

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I am searching for answers within and with how I interact with people. You probably have noticed if you have read any of my current posts. I just finished a phone call with my twin brother. I had not spoken to him probably in two weeks which is a long time for us. He was about to hang up and my spirit spoke to me and said "Tell him that you love him." I heard it in my head several times before I said it. And he said "I love you too."

My brother tells me he loves me all the time. I know that I do not say these words often to my twin who is probably one of the closest people to me. He said that he is the more emotional one in our relationship. The thing is I have no problem saying I love you to my nieces and nephews, but these word uncomfortably come out of my mouth with others. I have friends, at the end of our phone conversations or when we depart say, "I love you!" and I say it back, but in my head I do think, "How can you love me and how can you say such sacred words so easily?"  

I deeply love each of my family members, but do not feel comfortable being that vulnerable with my siblings or my parents. I hug them and we get along really really well – but saying "I love you?" We grew up that way. Mother said she loved us and showed it in how she made our clothes, in the cards she gave us in the food she made and in the hugs and kisses she gave and still gives us. My father is a little different. I am sure that he loved and loves us – but the words, I have never heard come from his mouth, not to me. I've heard it said to his grandkids which I think is a great evolution, but I have not heard it said to me. I doubt that any of my other siblings have either. Many men that came up during his time did not show emotions in that way. As an adult, I understand. But it has created something. 

One of my longest relationships was with a person that did not verbally ever tell me that he loved me. It made me unsure about where we stood, just as I was with my father. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I just made the assumption that my father liked/loved me. Before that, I really could not answer the question with confidence.  I am assuming that my father may have experienced the same thing I did growing up. I am glad that with his grandkids, he has broken some patterns. 

I come away from this knowing some things. I know that I am loved. I know that I love others. There is a part of me that may not think I am lovable which is why I question others when they say it. It also keeps a guard up for me which makes it challenging for me to say the words without fear. Lastly, I know I can change the negative beliefs and I think the conversation tonight was a step in the right direction. 

Belief Series: What I believe About Me

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I believe the following:

  • I am good daughter, sister and aunt
  • I am very intelligent 
  • I am creative
  • I am invisible
  • I am light
  • I am hard to love and like
  • I am loyal and love deeply
  • I keep people arms length
  • Something about me runs people off – I haven't discovered what yet
  • I follow my spirit because it leads me with love
  • I listen intently
  • I am beautiful but do not fit the standards of the world I live in – therefore, some days, 
  • I feel quite plain and ugly 
  • I am comfortable in my skin on ugly days and beautiful ones
  • I believe that I am a peaceful person with a anger streak
  • All people are equal
  • I am meaningless
  • I'm meant to be alone
  • I am looking for approval
  • I am funny
  • I will change the world for the better

I am sure this list will grow.  

 

Attraction, Commitment, Love, Communication

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Attraction is easy. We all have a picture of the perfect person or persons and how they look. Looking at them makes our head swim. We make up stories in our heads and for some of us, in our beds. That is the easy step to be attracted. You can be attracted to hundreds of people at the same time and it is considered a normal part of the human experience. What takes up deeper down the relationship hole is that we make a decision in our head that we want to committ time to that person and get to know them.  Some call it dating. You go out, you learn more and more about this person and you are wowed. They are gorgeous, but they are smart, funny, goal oriented and just comfortable in thier own skin.  Maybe you have dinner with them and find out the they are psycho in the most formal sense of the word. In these moments we make the decision on how committed we are to this experience of relating to another person. If they are the later, the committment may be short and sweet. But if they are the whole package, you committ more time and more of you to the person in you life and the next thing is love. Oh L – O – V- E. That is this never ending experience. You open yourself in all ways. You are very vulnerable and are okay with it. You share and are validated through this process. You become better. But understand – love existed at the attraction stage. Love itself is everywhere all the time. I just think in intimate relationships you tend to share it on more levels – mental, spiritual, physical, time, space.  I hear people fall out of Love. I think that is true. One of these levels of love diminishes and with it diminished the committment. I hear some people fall deeper in love where you feel like you have become one with another person.  That has to be an amazing experience. Where do most relationships falter?

I think expectations connected to committment after love screws up most relationships. What committment looks like and should be has made the best of people hate each other.  Some people believe committment is connected to what you buy. Committment to others is how much time you spend with them.  All of it could be resolved with communication. Talking, sharing and listening. 

I have been attracted to someone and been in love with them and not had committment from them. I have had committment and love and not attracted, initially. I am not sure that all three are needed for a healthy relationship, but I am sure that communication is. I guess I am writing this so that if you are in a relationship, know where you are and act according. Stop expecting and experience. Love through the whole process and always communicate your true feelings and thoughts. It is probably the best way to go. 

 

 

Co-Creator

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God is my co-pilot. I kind of knew what that meant. In life, God is there by my side, just like a co- pilot. But as I got older and was trying to figure out religion, church, God and myself, the co-pilot thing was a little difficult for me to understand. In church, God is in charge, but these custom license plates seem to tell me other wise. That God is in charge only when I am not available to do it myself or when I need help. That is how I thought of a co-pilot.  

In an airplane situation, us civilians know that there is a pilot and there is a co-pilot and the co-pilot, in our minds, take over when the pilot needs assistance or can no longer perform his duties. The rest of the time, the co-pilot is just sitting there (nothing agains co-pilots – this is just how most civilians see you) Is that how it is with God?

I think that is how many of us interpret our relationship with God. "O Lord, I need your help. Save me from this misery." We only bring God in during the rough and troubling times. That has to be tiring to God. I did not want the co-pilot relationship with God. I want myself and God to have a lot of practice working together, so I let God into my life as much as possible. I finally got the right word to explain this type of relationship, co-creators. 

The other day, I was doing a guided meditation and in it, the fellow said something that struck home. He said that life is a partnership with God and together you create your life. You, using words and deeds create an energy and God reacts to it. At times God creates and energy and you react to it. But in most cases, when you are living a life that is one of love, you create the vision and God steers you to it, together, learning and changing the world into something even more beautiful. 

I create with God and God with me. We are partners, both with the title of co-creator, which is different from one of us having a title of Creator and the other Co-creator. This shared title of co-creator makes us equal in the outcome of my life and that is a humbling experience. To know that God trust me enough to want to create with me. Now, I just need to trust God enough in our co-creation.  

The vanity license plates need to be updated with this revelation. 

It’s About the Water


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Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press[/caption]

Detroit is not the only Michigan city that has been in the news lately. Flint and the water crisis has been on all of the major news stations and papers and it should be. A decision was made that was about the bottom line and it has put children in danger.  We hear the conversations that connect this to racism, but we could connect everything to racism. 

What this really comes down to is not caring. Not seeing people as people but as commodities.  This is what happens when you put business above people.  This is not the only water faux pas. Last year there was a huge campaign to decrease the debt that Detroit residents owed the water company by turning off water for more than 100,000 people.  Yes, I agree, people should pay for what they use, but in a city where we were not getting all of our services and was hit severely hard by recession and lack of employment opportunities, a different solution should have been chosen. 

Money is the problem. We give it to much power and we let it direct our decisions.  Many people want Snyder's head and I do not blame them – but until we – the bigger part of humanity make quality of life of all more important than the all might dollar, getting rid of Snyder is a small win. By the way, y'all voted for his ass again so take responsibility for that error just like he has to take responsibilities for his.  

All people deserve access to water regardless of how financial resources. Take note that there are many people around the world dealing with similar if not worse. Help locally and help globally.

 

Bad Black Bean Burger

Photo from FoodLab

Photo from FoodLab

I took the day off and planned to take it easy. My plans were a little bit of designing, a walk to the museum and that was it. I recalled that there was a restaurant that I wanted to go to on the way to the museum and added it to my list. I won't name the place to protect the innocent and the guilty.  I was excited about finally going to this restaurant. I heard that it that had a large variety of sliders, salads and sides. I like sliders – just the right size.

I walked from my home to the restaurant – maybe a mile and a half away and I looked around. The place was pretty empty. It was beyond lunch time so I didn't expect it to be full. The waitress greeted me with a smile and handed me a menu. She asked me if I know what a slider was. I almost said, "really?" but I said yes and she began to give me suggestions, but I already saw what I wanted; the black bean slider. Some years ago, I basically stopped eating red meat and pork. Sometimes I will eat a fried pork chop if my mom cooks it, but basically I eat fish and fowl. With such a change in diet, you pick up other things to compensate – bean and veggie patties are great alternatives. 

I placed the order, sat down at a table in the corner and watched ESPN for a few minutes. I see a different waitress coming toward me and brought me m golden fries and my black bean sliders. I saw the thickness of the patty and saw that the bean patty was all bean and nothing more. I got scared. Maybe it will taste better than it looks. I took the small bun from the patty to put vegetables on top. I picked it up and bit the slider and it tasted like it look – bulky, dry and unseasoned. It was dry as hell to. I didn't want to make a stink but I paid 11 bucks for this meal and I couldn't eat the main course. 

I politely took it back to the waitress that greeted me and told her, I couldn't eat them. "They are too dry", I said. She asked me what could we do to make them better. In my head i thought use a different recipe. What I told her is "I do not know, but I can't eat them as they are." She apologized took them back and said let me see what we can do.  

Five more minutes of ESPN and the owner or cook came back with a new set of black bean burgers. He said, "These should be better, we put a little bit of oil on the grill with this batch." He sat them down, I smiled. He left, I took one bite and spit it out into a napkin. This was a day off. I didn't want to cause anyone any problems, so I ate my fries, drank my soda and left a note: "Please take the black bean slider off you menu."

Martin Luther King Jr

Photo from Biography.com

Photo from Biography.com

I was about nine year's old when Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday became an official federal holiday. I was on my way out of college by the time every state actually observe the day. From a kid's perspective, I knew something huge was happening in the world. Our teachers were mentioning it in our lessons, it was talked about in church and home for months. Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday song was being played before Black History Month began and afterward. I remember feeling anxiety about it. Of course I did not know it was anxiety, but I felt if America could celebrate a black man, then maybe we are better people. I wanted what my parents saw and lived through to mean something. I wanted to also be a part of their struggle and a resolve to it in a way. I remember seeing Regan on the TV a lot and I also remember the protests and angry faces. 
 
Why did celebrating a peaceful man cause so much anger and division? Now, the reasons put forth delt with money; paid vacation day and the fact that Dr. King was a citizen and not a govement official made MLK Day an impossibility. But in my hood and in other parts of the world it just looked like another act of racist thought and ideology.  It was just one of the first moments of my life where I was to learn what America can be sometimes; oblivious of its own stupidity. I am glad we got over the fear of change and moved forward.  
 
Now I am no longer a kid and I am asking, what does this day mean?  As a kid growing up, it was a victory. It was one more thing to make me proud to be black and gave me some pride in being an American. As an adult the day means what we want it to mean. For some it has become a day off work to be at home. For others its a day to shop. I actually have seen MLK Day sale advertisements that really made me roll my eyes. For some it is a day to serve. Since President Obama has been in office, he has pushed the intiative to make this day more than just a day off work, but a day to serve one another – a day that really honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For me, that's what it has become as well. A day to give back, to honor, to love and live peacefully. 
 
I do wonder if Dr. King was alive right now, how would he think of America as it stands. Would he be amazed at our accomplishments, saddened by how little things have changed. Will he still preach love, peace and understanding? 

Steven’s Universe

I still watch cartoons. I am more selective than when I was a kid. Two of my favorites are the World of Gumball and Steven's Universe. I just started watching Steven's Universe a couple weeks ago. I needed some white noise as I was designing something and I turned it to Cartoon Network. The clip above is from the episode I saw. I heard this song about a "giant woman" and I stopped and watch. It simply made me smile. I like the show because here is a kid in a very adult situation, trying to protect his world, yet, he is still a kid. He is still innocent even though his mom is gone, he doesn't live with his dad and he is uniquely different from everyone around him – yet he is so okay with who he is. He is very comfortable in his skin. It has been a pick me up the last couple weeks. Even at 40, I can appreciate it. Just watch like one episode and tell me what you think. 

Belief Series: Rejection

shutterstock_213352912Everyone has experienced rejection. From the simple things like mom saying no about going to a friends house or buying a new dress to not getting a job that you interviewed for. Second fact is we all deal with rejection…differently. I am told no a lot and that things cannot happen that way and that I cannot do "something" whatever that something may be because of some reason. In most cases, I do not let a little no keep me from getting to my destination.  But there is a pattern of rejection that happens in my life that i do not bounce back from that well and that is rejection from people. Family, friends and other. I have been rejected by people a lot. I mean, down right don't want to see you again, don't talk to me just go to the other side of the room rejection. If you know me, I am not drama, not in the least, but I have had friendships and relationships go south and never return. 

The endings are short and abrupt like an amputation.  One day the arm is there the next day it is not. One day the friend is there and the next day, well, they are not.  I can trace pinnacle moments of rejection that truly molded my personality to my father. I am not blaming my parent. There is no point in that, but I am 40 and still remember a moment of rejection by my father at 5. And then another one by my twin brother at 7 and another one by my oldest sister at 9. I am sure I have contributed to other people's negative beliefs in my years on this earth. We all have voluntarily on involuntarily done it. It is sad to think about. Yet here we all are dealing with them. That kind of rejection has caused me to see relationships as moments. I appreciate what I have when I have it and let it go when it is gone.  Those moments where I feel I may like more, I remove the thought, knowing that it will end like the rest of my relationships I wanted more from – with me dumped and them moving on.  I've limited myself and I know it. There are some situations that, as long as I cope with rejection in this way, I will never experience again.  

What rejection has done is made me feel all other things in my life quite deeply and passionately. For right now, that is okay.