I LOVE OLD SKOOL MUSIC! It’s no secret. It’s been a very long time since we’ve heard something that seriously makes us want to get up and move. There is no way you can listen to this and not want to dance. When I first heard it many artists came to mind from the late 70s and 80s. I believe many would agree that you hear “The Time” “Prince” “James Brown” “Earth Wind & Fire Horn Section” and just that classic old skool funk sound.  I caught them on SNL and ran to ITunes the next day to download and I have it on my phone and tablet.  I’m in love with his song. DON’T BELIEVE ME — JUST WATCH!

LYRICS
UPTOWN FUNK (complete lyrics)

This hit, that ice cold
Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold
This one for them hood girls
Them good girls straight masterpiece
Stylin’, whilen, livin’ it up in the city
Got Chucks on with Saint Laurent
Gotta kiss myself, I’m so pretty

I’m too hot (hot damn)
Call the police and a fireman
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Say my name you know who I am
I’m too hot (hot damn)
And my band ’bout that money, break it down

Girl sent you hallelujah (whoo)
Girl sent you hallelujah (whoo)
Girl sent you hallelujah (whoo)
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
Saturday night and we in the spot
Don’t believe me just watch (come on)

Don’t believe me just watch

Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Hey, hey, hey, come

Stop, wait a minute
Fill my cup, put some liquor in it
Take a sip, sign the check
Julio, get the stretch
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood
Jackson, Mississippi
If we show up, we gon’ show out
Smoother than a fresh jar of skippy

I’m too hot (hot damn)
Call the police and a fireman
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Bitch say my name you know who I am
I’m too hot (hot damn)
And my band ’bout that money
Break it down

Girl sent you hallelujah (whoo)
Girl sent you hallelujah (whoo)
Girl sent you hallelujah (whoo)
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
‘Cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you
Saturday night and we in the spot
Don’t believe me just watch (come on)

Don’t believe me just watch

Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Hey, hey, hey, oh

[Before we leave
Lemmi tell y’all a lil’ something]
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
I said uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up

Come on, dance, jump on it
If you sexy then flaunt it
If you freaky then own it
Don’t brag about it, come show me

Come on, dance
Jump on it
If you sexy then flaunt it
Well it’s Saturday night and we in the spot
Don’t believe me just watch come on!

Don’t believe me just watch

Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Don’t believe me just watch
Hey, hey, hey, Oh

Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up (say what?)
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up (come on)
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up (say what?)
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up (come on)
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up (say what?)
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up
Uptown funk you up (say what?)
Uptown funk you up

Songwriters
Mars, Bruno

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Addicted official movie trailer - Oct 2014

Addicted official movie poster – Oct 2014

BEFORE E.L. JAMES PUT PEN TO PAPER, THERE WAS ZANE!

Kristina Laferne Roberts aka Zane is a gifted writer of erotica. Her first officially published book was “Addicted” and was released October 2001. I happened upon the book one day when visiting Barnes & Noble. I’ve been a fan of her work ever since. When I learned the book was being made into a major motion picture I was excited and a little on edge.  If you’ve ever read any of Zane’s books you can understand my feelings.  Zane put the “E” in erotica.

The critics masequered this movie. Lucky for me, I don’t listen to critics and prefer to draw my own conclusions. This movie was very entertaining.  Before I rant about the movie, let me give you a little background from the book:

For successful African-American businesswoman Zoe Reynard, finding the pleasure she wants, the way she wants it, is not worth the risk of losing everything she has: marriage to the man she has loved since childhood, a thriving company, and three wonderful children. But Zoe feels helpless in the grip of an overpowering addiction…to sex.

Finding a compassionate woman therapist to help her, Zoe finally summons the courage to tell her torrid story, a tale of guilt and desire as shocking as it is compelling. From the sensitive artist with whom she spends stolen hours on rumpled sheets to the rough and violent man who draws her toward destruction, Zoe is a woman desperately searching for fulfillment—and something darker, deeper, and perhaps deadly. As her life spins out of control and her sexual escapades carry her toward a dangerous choice, Zoe is racing against time to uncover the source of her “fatal attraction”—as chilling secrets tumble forth from the recesses of a woman’s mind, and perilous temptations lead toward a climax that can threaten her sanity, her marriage…and her life.

ADDICTED THE MOVIE

AddictedGalleryKudos to the casting agent for this movie. Sharon Leal, who is best known as the wife to Tyler Perry’s character in the “Why Did I Get Married” films plays the lead, Zoe Reynard. Boris Kodjoe was delicious as ever in his role as Zoe’s husband, Jason Reynard. William Levy (Quinton Canosa) and Tyson Beckford (Corey) serve as two of Zoe’s main sexual addictions.  Note: in the book there were many more but for the movie they focused on these two. Both actors delivered in my opinion. There was lots of rock hard abs and steamy erotic scenes that were believable. William Levy has so much sex appeal and the chemistry between him and Sharon Leal was phenomenal.   As a sidebar, he would have been a strong contender for the lead in the E.L. James movie 50 Shades of Grey.   Actress Tasha Smith did an excellent job as Zoe’s therapist. It was refreshing to see Tasha in a role where she was calm. LOL!

There was nothing preachy about this movie, which has been written by so called critics. Yes, there were a few changes in the screenplay from the book but when you only have 106 minutes to shoot a movie that happens.  I felt the movie did the book justice.

Emayatzy CorinealdiKat Graham
Emayatzy Corinealdi                                                               Kat Graham

Small but important roles were played by Emayatzy Corinealdi as Zoe’s (Zoe & Company’s) assistant and best friend Brina. Kat Graham, who in the book, Zane also had an affair with plays Quinton’s other lover Diamond.

The bottom line:  We go to the theatre to be entertained. If you’re looking for entertainment value I suggest you go see Addicted. The movie does a good job of exploring Sexual Addiction which in recent years has been widely publicized mainly because of celebrities. If you want a good read, pick up a copy of Addicted. I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. It’s been 13 years since I read it. I’m planning on a re-read after seeing the movie.

ZANEAuthor – ZANE
Kristina Laferne Roberts, aka ZANE is an author of Erotica fiction novels.She is best known for her novel Addicted. In 1997, Zane began writing erotic stories to pass the time after her children went to bed. She was living in North Carolina and working as a sales representative. The stories developed a following on the Internet and she self-published The Sex Chronicles before landing a deal with Simon & Schuster.  She has since published 17 novels.  She is the Publisher of Strebor Books International, an imprint of ATRIA/Simon and Schuster. Under Strebor, Zane is responsible for acquiring dozens of titles per year and currently has nearly fifty authors under her imprint.

Her official website

“We have to treat people like we want to be treated and not like we’ve been mistreated. “

There is no higher joy than giving without asking anything in return, especially when we give unconditional love.

Selfishness divides us and we claim superiority over one another in the name of love.  Why we have problems loving is because we make love too restrictive.  It has too many rules, regulations and expectations.  Spiritual love is not about tradition and sentiment.  Spiritual love is about truth, trust, acceptance and a willing faith.  It’s about seeing God through another person and allowing God to love us through another person.

 Love can escape the restrictive boxes in which we contain it.

 I can’t complete the picture for someone else. I’m not that strong or Godly.  The purpose of relationship is not to have another person complete you; but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.  Love is a passion which does not take into consideration any reward, utilization or return. It’s Spiritual, clothed in total acceptance

It can be difficult to let go of some of the baggage we carry around with us from one relationship to the next but we need to let it go. Otherwise we will be let go.  You can’t start the engine of a new vehicle with the key from your former vehicle.

A relationship needs a foundation and two willing builders. The outside of a person tells us nothing about what is inside.  We must begin to look at people from the inside out instead of the outside in.  That’s why so many people are living lonely lives.  Choosing love is not like choosing fruit.  The cantaloupe might be smooth on the outside but once you cut it open it’s bitter.  The cantaloupes that have the lumps and bumps are usually the ones that are the sweetest.  (read that again!)

Love blossoms where differences are respected and people are allowed to be themselves, rather than something that someone else wants or needs them to be. I can’t be everything for you because I have a hard enough time being enough for myself.  Sometimes we don’t have all the answers.  Sometimes we’re wrong. We must learn to give up the need to be right.  There is no right or wrong…it just is!  That is the essence of spiritual love.

We all have an inherent need to merge with those we love. But we simultaneously desire the comfort of detachment. Love requires a certain amount of freedom.  You don’t have to stop living just because you are sharing a life with another person. Spiritual love is not caged.

God is attempting to show us the essence of Spiritual Love.  It’s all around us if we would only open our hearts to it.  Sometimes we have to take risks.  We have to step out on faith.  How can we reach out to each other if we aren’t courageous enough to let others see who we really are and what we need?   

“……………but the greatest of these is LOVE”

1 Corinthians 13

(c) 2005

 

respect-youI discovered YouBetterPreach dot com from Facebook. It’s actually refreshing to find a man dispensing such valuable information for women.  What we deal with, and this goes for both men and women, is often tied to our own issues of self-worth.  If you’re not getting what you want in the relationship, don’t blame the other party, take a look in the mirror. I’ll continue to say it: “We teach people how to treat us.” (Dr. Phil gets the credit for the quote)  Isn’t it time to get off the clearance rack?

KFC
Hello All, First let me say it’s good to be back to WordPress.  It’s been awhile and all I can say is LIFE HAPPENS!  I’m sure I’ll blog about it soon but for now i wanted to carry on with my Thought Provoking series.   I ran across a really cool Pinterest page called “We All Need Saving Sometimes”  Lots of thought provoking quotes there.  This one caught my attention and I don’t even need to elaborate on it.  The message is perfectly clear.

The Verdict is Read – George Zimmerman 7/13/13   (From CNN)

It took two days for the six women jury in the George Zimmerman case to return a verdict of  NOT GUILTY.   For a year and a half we’ve been immersed in this case, many times drawn along racial lines.  I won’t rehash the whole ordeal here because it’s not necessary. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard all about this case or have discussed it with someone you know.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN IS FREE ( or is he?)

While Facebook lit up like nightfall in Las Vegas following the news of the verdict, with people posting their disdain, I shed tears for a Mother and Father who walked away with absolutely no justice.  I watched the press conferences where the defense almost gloated over their client’s acquittal while failing to utter any kind words for the loss these parents are feeling all over again.

In my honest opinion, George Zimmerman will soon wish he had gone to prison.   Life as he has known it is over.  He will live each and every waking hour of the rest of his life in fear.  What type of life is that?  He claims he acted in self defense and a jury of 6 women, five white and one Hispanic, agreed with him.  It’s done.  He may have walked out of that courtroom free but he will never be free.

Media sites and blogs are already referencing the Rodney King case.  If anyone is inciting any riots, it will be the media.  People of all races and backgrounds are outraged over this verdict, not just Black people.  George Zimmerman stated he was on his way to Target when he spotted Trayvon Martin on that fateful night.  My question has always been: Why did you have a loaded gun strapped to you in a holster to go to Target?

Did the Prosecution not present their best case?  Obviously the star witness Rachel Jeantel wasn’t prepped properly.  I will admit I was embarrassed for her.    She was not a credible witness.

It doesn’t matter where you stand on this case.  Lives are forever changed. Sabrina Fulton & Tracy Martin have lost their child.  George Zimmerman  will serve a life sentence of fear.   No one wins all because of some bad choices made on a rainy evening back in February 2012 in Sanford, Florida.

Share-with-Us

My friend has a Facebook Page and I just had to share this post. LOL

WRONG-PERSONIn 1983 Galway Kinnell won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. I’ve read a few of his collections in awe. I ran across these words from him and it really touched me.

I’ve written so many pieces about love and how right and wrong it can be. Mr. Kinnell’s words actually make a lot of sense to me. I love the line:  “If you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong.”

I’ve often written the words, we attract who we are. You may have been in relationships where you totally grew to hate or severely despise the other person. Why?  Because some of that very behavior we despise in another person is within us. We attract and are attracted to people who cause us to take a deeper look at ourselves. I’ve always maintained that God put certain men (and people) in my life to teach me some valuable lessons.  If you take the time to sit back and think on past relationships with honesty, you’ll realize that person showed you things about yourself that you needed to know.  It may have been painful but the lesson was there to learn.  For me, that’s what Mr. Kinnell means by wrong in some complimentary way.

In loving someone else we can only give what we have. Period! We can’t give them what we don’t have. We also can’t be for them what they aren’t.  The bible refers to it as being unevenly yoked.  I refer to it as loving equally. When it’s not equal there will always be someone who has more power. There will be someone who gives more.  The only place that leads — is to resentment.  So how do you know if you’re in an equal loving relationship?

When you know within your heart that everything you have and can do, your partner already has and can do for him or herself. 

No one comes without static cling.  We’re all flawed.  It’s literally impossible to find someone who has every single thing we desire in life.  I guess the idea in this piece from Mr. Kinnell is accurate, we find that special person who is wrong for us in just the right way and our scars fall in love.  If done with an open heart and complete honesty, we heal those scars through love.

What do his words mean to you? Please share.

steve

I don’t have daughters but I do have nieces and young women I mentor.  This quote by talk show host Steve Harvey is exactly what every young woman should be told over and over until it sinks in.

Young girls/women today have tons of peer pressure and the media telling them they have to dress provocative to get attention from a man.

perception
Caption reads:  “Just because you dress like a Slut doesn’t mean you’re a slut.  And just because I act like a rapist doesn’t mean I’m a Rapist.”

Often I see young girls and ask, “How did her mother let her out of the house like that?”

prom-dress

This photo is tagged “Prom dress”  Prom dresses didn’t look like this when I went to the prom.  It’s unfortunate that young girls are starting to dress this way at a very early age.  Mothers, talk to your daughters. Fathers, talk to your daughters.   It’s important for young women to have healthy self-esteem.

DON’T SHOW ALL YOUR GOODS!

lOVE-DESERVE

A mentor once said to me, “You attract what you are!”   It was mind-blowing for me. I’d had a few failed relationships that I had a hard time reconciling in my 20s. Why? Why did he hurt me? What did I do?  The things I really didn’t like about myself were being mirrored in the relationships I was having.   To make a long story short – I grew from those experiences.  I learned to stop asking why and wondering for months on end what I did wrong.  It’s really a matter of self esteem. As my self esteem grew stronger, because let’s face it, your 20s are the biggest learning curve of your life, my needs, desires and wants grew stronger.

I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil but I do hold firm to his phrase, “We teach people how to treat us.”  If you’re in a  no-win relationship step back and do some analysis.   The only reason you’re staying is because you’ve subconsciously convinced yourself  it’s what you deserve. It must be! You’re still in it but you’re still miserable waiting for things to change.  It might sound like a cliche but there is truth in: The only person you can change is you!  

If you subconsciously don’t believe that you deserve BETTER, you won’t get it.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in.”

Happy Valentines Day

single-status

ImageWith 6.2 million weekly viewers, it’s no surprise that ABC’s Thursday night drama “Scandal” has everyone buzzing. I’m heavily invested in this show. You can log on to Facebook on any given day and find thousands of users discussing the ins and outs of Olivia Pope & Associates.  Since it’s
April 5, 2012 debut, Creator- Head Writer and Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes has taken viewers on a joyous thrill ride into the darker side of DC politics.

What’s the secret to Scandal’s Success?

Aside from a stellar cast, the writing team on this show is phenomenal.  ShondaLand’s writers are some of the brightest in the business:

Heather Mitchell  (Medium & Grey’s Anatomy)
Matt Byrne  (Grey’s Anatomy)
Richard E. Robbins  (Rubicon & TV News Documentaries)
Mark Wilding  (Grey’s Anatomy & Charmed)
Jenna Bans  (co-creator & writer Grey’s Anatomy)
Mark Fish  (Damages & The OC)
Raamla Mohamed  (Grey’s Anatomy)
Chris Van Dusen  (Grey’s Anatomy & Private Practice)
Peter Noah  (The West Wing)

I always notice when people are discussing Scandal they always credit Shonda.  The truth is Shonda has only written three of the episodes for Scandal. Being the head writer I’m certain she gets the last word but let’s face it, Shonda is a busy lady.  Her credited episodes were:

“Sweet Baby” – April 5, 2012  (Pilot Episode #1)
Young lawyer Quinn Perkins is in awe when she is invited to join Olivia Pope and Associates, a crisis management firm designed to protect and defend the public images of the nation’s elite. Quinn works alongside her idol Olivia Pope, a woman who is willing to help her clients no matter what the cost. But when decorated war veteran Sullivan St. James is accused of murder and a White House intern, Amanda Tanner, accuses President Fitzgerald Grant of having an affair, Quinn discovers that nothing is as it seems.

“Grant For the People” -May 17, 2012  (Season 1 – Episode #7)
The team rushes to help Quinn when she finds herself in a compromising position. A reluctant Cyrus must turn to Olivia when the Vice President’s Chief of Staff Billy Chambers makes a public announcement that shakes the Grant Administration, The White House, and Olivia to the core.

“Happy Birthday, Mr. President” – December 6, 2012    (Season 2 -Episode #15)
President Grant is rushed to the hospital following the attempt on his life. A series of flashbacks reveals more about Olivia’s time in the White House and her relationship with the president. Despite Olivia’s best efforts to retain the office of president for President Grant, Vice President Langston is inaugurated as president to serve until President Grant recovers.

The woman behind ShondaLand

At 43, (born January 13, 1970) Shonda Rhimes is a dynamic force in Hollywood these days. She, along with creative partner Betsy Beers,  has given ABC three hit shows, Grey’s Anatomy which has run consistently to a large audience since March 2005.  Private Practice which aired September 2007 until January 22, 2013, and now Scandal, which hopefully will run as long as Grey’s Anatomy has.

private_practice_une-602x481

While Shonda is most famous for Grey’s Anatomy, she was also the writer for several other hits, including the 1999 movie ” Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” which put Halle Berry’s career on the map. In 2001 she wrote the movie for Britney Spears film debut “Crossroads” for which she was nominated for a Razzy award. She also wrote the Princess Diaries 2-Royal Engagement in 2004.

Shonda-movies

I’m certainly convinced that anything she touches will turn to gold.

Shonda has a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth (1991) and a master of fine arts (MFA) from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television.  She was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the youngest of 5 children born to a university administrator and a college professor. She has two adopted daughters  Harper Rhimes and Emerson Rhimes.

On  December 11, 2012 there was an article published by the IndieWire where someone asked her the question:  “Why all the gay and lesbian story lines?”  of which she answered:

Because I believe everyone should get to see themselves reflected on TV. EVERYONE. And because I love all my gay and lesbian friends. AND because I think same-sex marriage is the civil rights fight of our era and back when being a person of color was the civil rights fight, people like Norman Lear put black people on TV and helped change some minds. So you know, it’s gotta be paid forward. As long as we are willing to sit by while one person is not free, none of us are free.

And FINALLY: because as long as someone feels like it is okay to ask the question “why all the gay people on your shows”, then there is still a HUGE problem that needs to be solved. It’s like asking “Why all the black people on your shows”. (Which is, in fact, why there are also a lot of people of color on my shows . Cause people keep asking. Like it’s unusual. Which means we have a LONG way to go). Okay, done preaching.

Shonda is changing television as we know it. Her answer to the question above says it all. I shake my head when I think she has not won an Emmy Award.  Her wins to date have been:

PGA award by Writer’s Guild of America for TV Producer of the year 2007 – Grey’s Anatomy
Lucy Award (Women in Film) for excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television – in 2007

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Dramas Series, Grey’s Anatomy – 2007

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing – Grey’s Anatomy – 2008

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing – Private Practice – 2008

(2) NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Writing – Grey’s Anatomy – 2009

Nominated for three Emmys in 2006 and 2007 but has not won one yet. (Shocking)

Shonda Rhimes & ShondaLand writers/actors and staff – I salute you today. Keep a place in your offices for that Emmy because I personally believe it’s coming.

scandal

Thursday has become my favorite TV night of the week anticipating where this show will go next.
Kerry Washington rocks as Olivia Pope and the on-screen chemistry between her and Tony Goldwyn (remember him in Ghost?)  is so tantalizing.   The entire cast, Columbus Short (Harrison Wright), Darby Stanchfield (Abby Whelan), Katie Lowes (Quinn Perkins/Lindsey Dwyer), Jeff Perry (Cyrus Beene), Joshua Malina (David Rosen), Bellamy Young (Mellie Grant), Gregg Henry (Hollis Doyle), and Dan Bucatinsky (James) have all gelled together so well.

Whose your favorite Scandal character?  I have to admit mine is HUCK!  Guillermo Díaz has come a long way since the movie “Half-Baked” with Dave Chappelle.

Oh how I love this show.

I LOvE LUCY

Like you, throughout my life, I’ve had some disappointments with jobs, relationships, family and friends. I’ve been in the “pit” when I felt so low I wondered if I would ever smile again.  Like Lucille Ball says, “You have to keep busy and make optimism a way of life.”  It’s easier said than done but whenever I find myself going to a dark place because of some life event – I’ve learned to busy myself.  Go for a walk, clean out your closet, bake a cake or volunteer your free time. What you can’t do is wallow in self-pity. If you focus only on what’s bringing you down, it will keep you down.

Thanks Lucy.

judging

This lovely quote can be attributed to Dr. Mitchell Perry, a psychotherapist.

I’ve always felt that judgment is one trait that all humans share. It’s ugly, but we do it. We all know someone who judges others constantly, with vigor, and others who simply make snap judgments. I personally believe we judge other people by the way we perceive ourselves.

What irritates me is for a person to judge a “situation” they themselves have never encountered.  Years ago I worked with a woman who judged everyone for everything.  (She was a miserable person. We’ll call her Miss Judgment.)  Another woman who also worked with us had been very ill and out on sick leave a lot.  She came back from one of her sick leaves with a different appearance.  She had on a shiny blonde wig.  Miss Judgment took one look at her and blurted out: “Why does she have that ugly wig on? You can tell it’s a wig! She looks silly!  I would never wear a wig!”  I looked her straight in her face and said, “This is not a known fact but she has battled cancer which is why she has been out so much this year.”  Miss Judgment’s total expression changed and she felt bad but it didn’t stop her from continuing to judge others.  Some people are really that miserable.  The only way they can feel good about themselves is to constantly judge and pull others apart.

I’m making a diligent effort to not judge what I don’t know.  We all have different situations, different upbringings, different environments and different issues.  I read a statement from someone once on judging and he said it’s an “undo-it-yourself-project”.

So perhaps the next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re judging someone’s situation that you’ve never encountered, you’ll remember this wonderful quote and you won’t do it.

no=regrets

I’ve always attempted to live my life in such a way that I have no regrets, but I do falter.  We all do. We’ve all had difficult  jobs, relationships and friendships that have driven us to the brink of insanity.   They didn’t all start out that way.  Maybe I’ve finally reached a level of maturity where
“I get it.”

When we’re going through the THICK of drama; when the love relationship turns out to be less than stellar it’s difficult to see our way.  It is only after the dust has settled that we arrive at a place of peace with everything.  We realize that job, while we had it, allowed us to eat and pay our bills. We realize that relationship taught us valuable lessons about who we are at our core.  We realize that friendship, while only for a season, was just what we needed at the time.

If it brought you to who you are today, don’t regret.  Embrace it because one time it did make you smile.

idol-logoI diligently watched American Idol for the first eight seasons.  It was my guilty pleasure and the show was amazingly entertaining.  Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson were the best Judges.

Actually it was in season eight (2009) when the show began taking a turn for the worst.  Kara DioGuardi was added as a fourth judge, which I never understood.   She didn’t add anything at all to the show.   Paula Abdul left and was replaced by Ellen Degeneres (a Comedian, not a singer) who only stayed for one season and then Simon Cowell left to do the X-factor.

By Season 9  (2010) Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joined the judging table and while I was skeptical, both of them did a pretty decent job judging and America stopped complaining that Paula and Simon were gone.  Jennifer and Steven only stayed for two seasons.

THE NEW AMERICAN IDOL JUDGES

idol-judges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randy Jackson (The Veteran), Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj & Keith Urban.

What’s wrong with the “Reality Show” culture in America?

What does it say about our culture when the only way to get television ratings is to manufacture feuds?  This is a singing competition, not an extension of Basketball Wives or The Real Housewives of Atlanta or  Beverly Hills.  Let me add, I don’t watch any of those shows.

I use to enjoy watching the American Idol auditions.  The good, the bad and the hilarious.  Remember “She Bangs” by William Hung in Season 3?   What about General Larry Platt’s song, “Pants on the Ground” in Season 9?  Those were really good times.  I recall watching the auditions and the work water cooler the next day was filled with stories about the hilarious auditions.  What happened American Idol?

I noted last night that in a two hour premiere we only got to actually see about 7 auditions.   The rest of the time was spent telling contestant sob stories and listening to a very annoying Nicki Minaj egg on Mariah Carey.   You do know that all of this is manufactured by the Network producers right? Unfortunately for FOX, this will backfire to the tune of ratings. I logged on the Idol Facebook page and read comment after comment of people’s disgust for last night’s premiere episode.

CONTESTANTS TRAGEDIES

Let me preface this by saying that no one is more empathetic than I am when it comes to someone’s hardship.  No one is immune from the trials and tribulations of life. No one!  But my goodness, this is a singing competition not a charity event.  I’ve pulled away from a lot of the singing competitions because of this fact.  All of the shows do this, X-Factor, The Voice and America’s Got Talent.   By now everyone knows the story of Stacy Francis from the first season of the X-Factor.  Remember stuttering soldier, Timothy Poe, from America’s Got Talent?  My point is that it should be about the talent – and not the sad story.   I tune in to see the talent.

Sadly, my prediction is that this will be the final season of Idol.  The Voice has soared to the number one spot since its debut and with CeeLo and Christina taking hiatus to promote their own projects I’m not sure how long their ratings will last.   When I have a conversation with someone about Idol I always ask:  “Can you name the last 5 seasons winners?”  It seems people can’t remember past Carrie Underwood who won Season 4 in 2005.   Just in case you can’t remember, let me list them here for you.

  • Kelly Clarkson, 2002
  • Ruben Studdard 2003     (Clay Aiken soared and Ruben was cut from his label)
  • Fantasia Barrino 2004        (Also produced success for LaToya London – Jennifer Hudson)
  • Carrie Underwood 2005  (Also produced success for Chris Daughtry)
  • Taylor Hicks 2006   (Also produced success for Katherine McPhee (Smash)  & Kellie Pickler
  • Jordin Sparks 2007
  • David Cook, 2008
  • Kris Allen, 2009     (Adam Lambert had small successes)
  • Lee DeWyze, 2010
  • Scotty McCreery, 2011
  • Phillip Phillips, 2012

Last night’s show taunted the success of past winners but in reality of all the winners – who has really gone on to break the bank besides Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood?  Before Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson was hailed as the most successful but Carrie Underwood is a mega-star now.  In just seven years she has won 116 Awards out of 174 nominations.  Of those there are 7 American Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards and 5 Grammys.  The rest are all Country Music Awards.  Kelly Clarkson has a total of 75 awards and 135 nominations.   Kelly has only won two Grammys.

carrieunderwood2

The only other successful person from the Idol stage has to be Jennifer Hudson who has a Grammy, an Oscar, a SAG and a Golden Globe.   She received 30 different Awards for her breakout role in Dreamgirls.  She’s also Weight Watchers most successful weight loss spokesperson.

JHud

Fantasia Barrino was doing well until controversy struck with her affair and subsequent child by a married man.  She’s trying to overcome and make a comeback but when America is done, they’re usually done!  She has two Billboard Awards, one Grammy and a Theatre World Award in 2006 from her time with the play, The Color Purple.  I’m rooting for her. I like Fantasia.

FantasiaB

So will American Idol Season 12 produce another Carrie Underwood?  Don’t count on it.  I said I would tune in again tonight to see if they can redeem themselves but I already know I’ll be removing Idol from the DVR record list.   So what did you think?

As another year comes to a close I wish you all peace, love, happiness, joy and many blessings in the New year.

In 2013 think about letting go of anything that does not bring you to your greater good.  I leave you with two quotes, both by Iyanla Vanzant:

“Anything you attempt to control – CONTROLS YOU!”

“What other people think of you is none of your business!”

HAVE A SAFE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION!

play-outside

Being born in the late 50s and raised in the 60s I often find myself having conversations with other baby boomers (people born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964) about simpler times. All baby boomers will agree, much has changed since then. I’ve always felt that the digital age has ruined children. It amazes me on Christmas day that we don’t see more young people out and about riding new bicycles, skateboards and the like. When I was a child my siblings and I couldn’t wait to get outside to play.  We might stop in for a brief bologna sandwich but we were right back outside playing, and we wouldn’t come in until it was dinner time or the street lights came on, whichever came first. I credit the childhood obesity problem to this new digital platform. Game Boys, Xbox, Nintendo, IPads and flat screen TVs in their bedrooms.

This Ecard made me laugh because it’s true. “When I was 10 – Outside was the best thing for play.” So here’s to all of you who remember the good ole days when outside was all you had to play with. Our children have no clue how wonderful that really was.

DJANGO UNCHAINED – A GOOD OPPORTUNITY BLOWN
django

Anyone who has ever seen a Quentin Tarantino movie expects lots of blood. That’s a given. With his latest movie, Django Unchained he doesn’t let the audience down. There is a lot of blood and a lot of shooting/killing.

After watching an early morning showing of the movie today, I’d be interested in knowing how much money was spent on marketing. I saw all of the interviews from Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington. I watched the TV-One interview with Quentin and Jamie and was really stoked to see this movie.  Judging by the packed theatre at 9:45 a.m. others were as stoked as I was.

I knew I shouldn’t have too many expectations, but sadly, I did.  After all, they were hailing this movie as an untold portion of slavery history with a spaghetti western theme.  The movie should have been called a comedy.  Quentin, as usual, was all over the place.  The movie is two hours and forty-five minutes long. (2:45)  It could have been 1:30 as there were several unneeded scenes that Quentin could have left out.

I adore Jamie Foxx. I enjoy his acting, comedy and singing but as a slave it didn’t work for me.  I JamieFoxx-marksmantend to be a little critical but the movie is set in 1858 before the civil war which began April 12, 1861.  Django’s dialogue as a slave was much too precise to be believable.  Christoph Waltz, who plays a Bounty Hunter (Dr. King Schultz) purchases Django rather unscrupulously, and turns him into a Bounty Hunter.  The audience is left clueless as to why Django is chosen, other than the fact that he was a slave on the plantation of the three men Dr. Schultz is hunting.  The killing starts almost immediately after the opening credits.

Django, who as a slave has never handled a gun or a shotgun turns into a marksman.  Django who in 1859 doesn’t read or write learns to read and for me, he does it too well.  Again, it wasn’t believable.  Once the three hunted men are taken care of Schultz/Django decide to stay together and become Bounty Hunters in the south.  Django’s goal is to find his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who he was separated from years earlier in a slave sale.

jamie-horseWe see Django transformed into a cowboy, complete with a horse, a shotgun and John Lennon sunglasses.  Sunglasses in 1858-1859? Really?  Sam Foster of Foster Grant fame produced the first sunglasses in 1929.  I know they did it to make Jamie Foxx look like a cool cowboy but my critical eye caught it.

Django Unchained was heavily marketed as an untold part of slavery when in actuality it isn’t. It’s a comical western set in the mid 1800’s that is so over the top Quentin Tarantino.  For a moment during the middle of the film I almost fell asleep.  Sam Jackson, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio are not seen until the third act.

Don’t take it too seriously folks. It’s definitely not Roots. It could have been a spectacular story but instead, its Quentin Tarantino unplugged.

Laughing at the Klan should have been my first hint I was heading for a let-down.   Upon leaving the theatre a guy in front of me told his friend, “It’s the best movie I’ve seen in five years.”   I can’t wait to see the final numbers.  If you’re a Tarantino fan you’ll enjoy it.  It has its moments but overall I’d give it a 7 out of 10 rating.

With the world mourning the tragic events of Sandy Hook Elementary School one week ago, I was proud as a mother of a murdered child by gun violence, to listen to fellow American Coach Pat Kelsey on the MSNBC program “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell.  If you haven’t yet seen this video I urge you to take the 7:50 to watch it.  Fellow Coach Boeheim and Pat Kelsey used their postgame press conference following a highly publicized game to talk about the issues of guns in this country.  Mr. Kelsey’s words have gone viral.

During the press conference, Mr. Kelsey spoke passionately about the need for people to “stand up” and keep the United States the greatest country ever.

Coach Boeheim said in his postgame press conference:

“If we cannot get the people who represent us to do something about firearms, we are a sad, sad society.  If one person in this world, the NRA president, anybody, can tell me why we need assault weapons with 30 shots — this is our fault if we don’t go out there and do something about this. If we can’t get this thing done, I don’t know what kind of country we have.”

Vice President Joe Biden will head a task force to address the issues of sensible gun laws.  We should not let this issue die.  The time for change is right now.

IM-THE-QUEEN

Being a woman has its challenges. Any woman reading this will agree with me. For centuries, it’s just the way it is. We are mothers, fathers, employees, cooks, housekeepers, taxi-drivers, and many of us balance our household budgets attempting to avoid falling off our own fiscal cliffs.  We give and give until there is absolutely nothing left. There always seems to be one more thing to do.  In short, we’re tired as hell!

In 2013 I’ve made a conscious decision (not a resolution) to take some time for myself. I want to do something every single day that I can say is “just for me.”  It could be stealing 20 minutes to read a chapter in a book, or going for a walk in the neighborhood.  At this point I’d appreciate simply sitting still for 30 minutes with my eyes closed.

Steal a little time for yourself in the upcoming year.

 In 2013 – BE THE QUEEN!  Happy Holidays!

LIST OF NAMES

CT-pics

The world mourns for the tragedy that occurred on Friday in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While complete details are widespread and confusing, due to each media outlet attempting to be first to broadcast, the one thing we know for sure is that 20 children and 6 adults have senselessly died.

The debates going on over the internet about gun control/laws have gotten heated with each person passionate about their position.  No matter what side you stand on the issues of guns in this country, 26 PEOPLE ARE DEAD and 20 of them between the ages of 5 and 10.  My heart aches for all of the victims and their families.

There are two distinct issues involved in this tragedy:  Gun laws and mental illness. 

Is our country doing enough for either?  That’s the discussion that needs to happen. In the meantime, we mourn. We hug our children a little tighter and we pray for those who died and even more for those who were left behind to pick up the pieces.  Every life is valuable.

blood type

This wonderful chart has been making the rounds on the Net.   You never know when you’ll need blood.  Do you know your blood type?  The first step is to find out what your blood type is. Once you know,  this handy chart will tell you who you can give blood to and who you can receive blood from.

The information might just save a life.  Please feel free to copy and pass on.  Everyone should have this information.

Have a great day!

encourage-others

Many of us were raised with our parents teaching us, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”  Gossip is venomous!  It sells magazines and promotes dissension.  Men and women alike are guilty of it, but women tend to do it more.  We all know someone who never has anything nice to say about another person. These people have a need to feel superior to others.  If you had the chance to look into their lives you would find they are miserable.

The worst part is that we usually gossip based on limited or false information.  Would we act the same way if we knew the whole truth?  Probably not! I’ve arrived at a solution for people who come to me with gossip. I stop them in their tracks. Why are you telling me this?  That usually brings about immediate silence as well as a dumbfounded look.  The truth of the matter is: you can’t engage in gossip unless you have a willing participant.

Gossip will not go away but if we all could practice “nice” the world certainly would be a better place.  Tend to the weeds in your own backyard!

the-first-timeIf I had one dollar for every time I’ve used this quote or told someone else about it, I’d have a nice stash of cash. People are always showing us who they are but unfortunately we keep missing the message. You can apply this thought provoking quote to all types of life relationships. Whether it’s professional or personal, it will happen. When it does, you have a choice to make.

Ladies and gentleman please read these words closely. It’s not what someone says – it’s what they do that matters.

So many of us have stayed in relationships well past their expiration date because we hung onto words when actions were what we needed to be paying attention to. I’ve had many late night girlfriend conversations where the words “But, he told me…….” came into the conversation. Love is a verb. It’s action. If you pay attention in the early stages of any new relationship the other person will show you exactly who they are. When they do – believe them!

When someone shows you lack of integrity or dishonesty the first time, know that this will be followed many other times, and at some point in life it will come back to haunt or hurt you. I worked at a company for many years where the owner put me through pure hell. I saw the writing on the wall after being there for two months but I stayed anyway. We sometimes have to deal with things we don’t like in the name of financial survival. When I finally got the courage to leave years later, my spirit took a beating but looking back over the abuse I realized that I was shown very early on and chose to ignore it because of a fat paycheck. In hindsight it wasn’t worth it.

Whatever relationship may be affected in your life, when someone shows you who they are the first time – Believe them!

“Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never dared to admit you wanted-an emotional speed-ball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement.
Soon you start craving that intense attention, with a hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy, and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore — despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, got-damn it, because he used to give it to you for free.

distraught-woman-Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have ‘that thing’ even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you’re someone he’s never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is, you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess, unrecognizable even to your own eyes.

So that’s it! You have now reached infatuation’s final destination– the complete and merciless devaluation of self.”

Author – Elizabeth Gilbert

I’d like to know what book this excerpt came from.   I ran across it this morning on the internet and thought it was so POWERFUL I just had to share it.   Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of several books, most notably, Eat, Pray, Love.

The message is very clear:  DON’T DEVALUE YOURSELF IN THE NAME OF LOVE.

Ethics of Life
Before you Pray – Believe!

I’ve always believed in the power of prayer and I really do attempt to pray before things fall apart. It’s human nature to fall to our knees when trouble strikes but we must remember to pray when things are going well also. A pastor told me years ago that if I say nothing except “Thank you Lord” that was sufficient, so I try to start each day by saying Thank you. A little goes a long way. There’s a saying “Leave it at the altar.” Make your request to God known and leave it alone. There are only three responses to our prayers. Yes, No and not right now. Your relationship with God will let you know what the answer is for you. Faith is a powerful thing.

Before you Speak – Listen!

Listening requires a lot of discipline. We’re always busy thinking of our response to the words we hear that sometimes we fail to hear the message being delivered in our conversations with others. I’ve learned that many disagreements could be solved much sooner once we learn how to fully listen.

Before You Spend – Earn!

Credit cards are the root of all evil. Many people will be in shambles come January 2013 when those credit card bills begin showing up because they financed Christmas day. If this economy has had any lesson, it would be: before you spend earn. Imagine how much peace of mind you could have if you weren’t in debt.

Before You Write – Think!

I’m amazed at some of the things I read on Facebook and online in general. It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and write hateful things to people you don’t know. It’s also very cowardly. The bottom line is that every word you write becomes permanent. Every email, chat, and post becomes permanent. Nothing is sacred online.

Before You Quit – Try!

It’s been said that the moment people get close to success, they give up. The reality is that you can’t be successful if you don’t even try. A New Year is approaching. 2013 could be the year that your dreams finally come true. Maybe it’s time to stop talking and start doing. You just might win. Life is a game but you must be present to win.

Before You Die – Live!

Life is for the living. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, “If I died today, would I be satisfied with the life I’ve lived?” That old saying is true – Live each day like it’s your last – it just might be. Live-Laugh-Love.

MISTAKES

One thing that’s certain about life is its ability to teach you who you are. Life knows what you are capable of! The only reason life has taken the time to point out your shortcomings is because Life wants to teach you who you are.  I’ve always been a firm believer that these lessons will continue to come back around until we get them right.

Make a vow right now that in 2013 you will be devoted to stopping the things that do not honor who you are and who Life wants you to be.

howuliving

I’m always reflective during this time of the year. I tend to quiet myself with a mental assessment of the current year and what I’d like to do differently in the New Year, or better yet, how I can challenge myself.  I outgrew the resolution roller coaster in my 30s. For me, it’s a waste of energy and too much pressure.  You know, the “I’m going to lose 20 lbs, exercise more, stop swearing, save more money, go to the gas station before the gas light comes on..”

What I do instead — I ask God for things.  Not things in a material sense but things that I feel I need to be a better person.  For example, last year I asked for DISCIPLINE.  Like many of you I procrastinate. The year before that I asked for BALANCE.  You get the idea.  Every year I ask for something else.

So am I more disciplined and balanced than I was before I asked for those things?  At times I am. When I find myself falling off the wagon I simply restate my vision and keep one foot in front of the other.

How are you living?

I can really relate to this. Can you?

Wishing you many reasons to be thankful not only on Thanksgiving day but always.
Thank you for your support.

May you find many reasons to be Thankful.

Image  —  Posted: November 13, 2012 in Depression, Living Out Loud, Personal Growth, Quotes that Heal
Tags: , , ,

Well folks it’s finally here.  Will Barack Obama be allowed to move forward for another four years or will Mitt Romney become the first Mormon President of the United States of America?

Will we have a clear winner when the polls close tonight, or will we be inundated with provisional ballots and recounts?

It’s been a grueling campaign! At times it’s been shocking. What have we become as a nation? Why is this nation divided?   President Obama inherited massive problems when he took office. Could he really clear it all up in just four years?

How will Mitt Romney make it better?  Can a wealthy business man run the highest office in the land? If elected, what will Ann Romney take on as her cause?

In the end I guess the question is: Who do you trust?  No matter what side of the isle you stand on:

Exercise your right to vote today!  God Bless America.

Being a Denzel Washington fan, I haven’t missed an opening of any of his films in years.  Yes he’s a leading man and double Oscar winner, but I enjoy his acting most when he plays flawed characters like Alonzo Harris in Training Day.

In his latest film, Flight, Denzel plays Whip Whittaker, a skilled Pilot but flawed man, with personal demons. Director Robert Zemeckis immediately pulls you into the drama the moment the movie opens and red flags start flying in your mind the minute Captain Whittaker boards his aircraft with a 55-minute flight bound for Atlanta.

The aircraft scenes are intense but the story actually begins once the plane lands.

The casting for this movie was great.  It was nice to see the re-team of Don Cheadle with Denzel Washington. (Devil in a Blue Dress)  Cheadle plays the attorney for the airline, hired to defend Denzel’s character.  They way the two act off of each other shows the talent of both actors. Other cast members include Garcelle Beauvais (Jamie Foxx Show),  Nadine Velazquez (Hart of Dixie), Tamara Tunie (Law & Order SUV),  Kelly Reilly (TV Actress Above Suspicion), Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), and Bruce Greenwood  (Young Justice)

Honorable Mention

Flight has a dark overtone so the casting of John Goodman (Roseanne) who plays Harland Mays, an old hippy and longtime friend of Whip Whittaker provides this movie with the perfect amount of comic relief.  In my opinion, John Goodman should receive an academy award for best supporting actor because he steals his scenes in this movie. I’m laughing as I write this.

To John Goodman – I say Bravo, well done!

Denzel Washington nails his performance and provides the perfect perspective when it comes to addictions and how difficult it is to overcome them.  Did we just witness another Oscar performance?  You be the judge. I highly recommend the movie Flight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box office November 2nd through 4th, 2012 – Flight was #2 and took in $25,010,000

MY PETITION by Jill Scott

You say you mean good for me
But you don’t do it
You say you have a plan but you just don’t go thru with it
You say you know the way to go
And I should follow
But all of your empty promises
Leave me hollow

And oh
How do I trust you
How do I love you
When you
Lie to me repeatedly
And oh
How do I have faith, in you
When you just don’t come thru
Like you say you could

Oh, say can you see [2x]

You say that I’m wrong for
Stating my opinion to you
You say that I’m wrong and there’ll be quiet consequences too
But I know my rights babe
There’ll be no law abridging
The freedom of my speech
Or the right for me to petition for a remedy of grievances

And I want to trust you
I want to love yeah
But you lie to me repeatedly
And oh I want to have faith in you
But you just don’t come thru
Like you said you could
Oh say can you see
Hmmm

I want fresh fruit, clean water,
Air that I don’t see
I want the feeling of being safe on my streets
I want my children to be smarter than me
I want, I want to feel
I want to feel, I want to feel free
For real ya’ll
I’m just telling you so you know
I want to, I want to have faith in you
I really do but you keep lying to me
It hurts
I believe, I believe you owe it me
Give it to me like you said you would
Hmmm
Oh say can you see
Hmmm
Oh say can you see
Oohh say can you see
Hmmm
By the dawn’s early light

God Bless America

Your Vote Counts

Being the youngest of three children has had its pros and cons throughout my life.  Yes, I was spoiled in my childhood and often heard my parents say “Leave the baby alone,” addressing my siblings.  Being the baby did afford me some privileges.  Both my brother and sister did their part to look out for me, as it should be.

As my siblings and I aged what I find is that they sometimes still look at me as that little baby sister and feel the need to inject themselves into my life with well meaning intentions and unsolicited advice.  I’ll admit my sister does it much more than my brother. She feels that she is the only one who knows what’s best for my life and has no problem letting me know.  It’s infuriating and we’ve had words because she treats me like I’m one of her children. I know I’m not the only person who deals with this.  Are any of these statements familiar to you?

“Did you do this?
“Did you do that?”
“What you need to do is…..”
“I know this might piss you off, BUT…”

 I believe this is something we’re all guilty of, whether it’s with family or friends.  I’ve certainly been guilty of it. We really must learn to stop injecting ourselves into other people’s lives were we’re not asked to be. I’ve dealt with this for many years and recently realized its time for change.  People who constantly have an opinion about something that has nothing to do with them tend to be judgmental and controlling. These very same people will reprimand you if you attempt to do the same to them.  Sound familiar?

We all know the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  • If no one asks for your advice – don’t give it.  When they do ask, give your advice in Love.  More times than not – you don’t have the entire picture.
  • If it doesn’t affect you, why get upset about?
  • Just because something works for you doesn’t mean it will work for someone else.
  • Respect other people’s space and their choices.  It’s called FREE WILL!


“A lifetime can well be spent correcting and improving one’s own faults without bothering about others.”   ~ Edward Weston ~

Whether you’re dealing with this situation with family or friends, Author Mark Matousek put this in perspective as follows:

 This paradox can be excruciating. How is it possible for an ordinary, controlling individual to care intensely about his friends and loved ones without trying to change them? How can we give our treasured advice without feeling attached to its implementation? How can we witness friends making the same terrible decisions again and again — and again — without feeling the need to castigate them? Shouldn’t influence be part of the friendship contract, a modicum of say-so to help us guide the people we love to lead happier, more worthwhile lives?

The answer is: Absolutely not. We’re not meant to have any control whatsoever over the behavior of our friends and (our adult family members.) That is because their behavior is none of our business. Our opinions about the lives of others are void of inherent importance or meaning. This is the price of loving individuals born with a measure of free will: Control is never, ever, an option. We can no more dictate friends’ actions than they call the shots for us. This is the slipperiest slope on the friendship mountain, the most demanding incline of all:

How to be hands off and hands on at the same time;
Committed but not attached;
Attentive but not invasive;
Present yet guaranteedly distant. This distance is extremely important. Friendship requires distance and closeness, just like any intimacy does, which is why knowing when to keep our mouths shut is such a virtue.

Skillful detachment proves to others that we love them for who they are rather than the person they’d be if only they were perfect and listened to us.

Trust me, the old saying is true: the only person you truly have any control over, is yourself.  Tend to the weeds in your own backyard. It takes some practice but in time it will bring us all to a place of peace.

 

Friday Jam – 10/26/12

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Music
Tags: , ,

This little gem is on a sticky note which hangs on the wall  in my home office.  How many times have you worried about things that never happened?  I try to live  life in such a way that I will not have regrets, but I’m human.  Someone asked me once to look back at my life thus far and was there anything I would do differently?  After a little thought I answered, “I wouldn’t have worried as much as did.”    As a child of God I like to think that I relinguish control of my problems in prayer, but then I find myself still hanging on to them.   What it has taught me is:

                                          Fear and faith cannot exist in the same space.

Just a thought!

 

According to John Maxwell – People only change three times in their life.

       1)    When they HURT enough that they have to change.

      2)    When they LEARN enough that they want to change.

       3)   When they receive enough resources and support that they are ABLE to change.

 

 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

There are two theories to winning an argument with a woman. Neither one works.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise.

A penny saved is a government oversight.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Change is the only thing that will make things different.

It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “In case of an emergency, notify:”, I put “DOCTOR”. What’s my mother going to do?

If the grass looks greener on the other side, you can bet the water bill is a lot higher too.

Laughter is so good for the soul!

For those of you who have never heard of  Atlantic Starr or their 1985 hit song Secret Lovers, let me introduce it to you. The reason the song shot to #3 on the US charts and was certified Gold – and continues to be a hit on the R & B charts is a testament to the state of the martial/love relationship and the topic of this post. Get a cup of coffee, or a coke, this is going to be a long one.

When two people stand before God and witnesses; profess marriage vows, they usually mean it. The idea of infidelity never enters their minds. To have and to hold from this day forward…yada.. yada.. yada.  In some marriages, years and sometimes months later, the breakdown happens. This becomes a volatile time. Whatever the excuse, “it’s cheaper to keep her,” “I’m staying because of my children,” “I don’t have the strength to start over,” or “It’s complicated.”

Whatever the reason for your cheating on your partner, it’s a no win situation. I’ve talked to more women than men about this problem. So guys, forgive me if you feel left out of this post but there is a pattern with women that I feel needs addressing. Statistically, more men initiate infidelity than women because frankly, I think it’s easier for men to pull it off.

Ladies, listen to me. If you are involved with someone else’ husband the statistics are against his leaving his wife for you. Of the men who leave their wives, very few settle on the mistress and if you’re one of the rare ones naïve enough to believe he has chosen you, beware – he was cheating on her when he got you.

“I didn’t know he was married until I fell in love with him.”

If I had a twenty dollar bill for every time I’ve heard that line. It happened to me once. His name was Steve. I was in college and he detailed my MG Midget. I had never seen a man as fine as Steve. I was in my 20’s and his smile melted me. It started with a drink and then dinner and then another dinner and a movie and more drinks, and the next thing you know…Jed’s a millionaire! It took about three months before I realized things weren’t adding up. He’d show up at my house at all hours of the night and he’d never stay the entire night. He’d tell me, “I have an early morning job to do.” My calls would be abruptly ended, “I’ll call you back” – click! He always had the perfect excuses and my stupid ass would fall for all of them. He finally had to come clean, telling me that his marriage had been over for years and how much he loved me and I had done more for him in three months than his wife had done their entire marriage. I dropped him like third period French! That was my first and last experience with a married man. I’m too selfish to share.

CHEATING

No one likes to be cheated on. It hurts like hell. If you are in a relationship and think you’re being cheated on, please get out! Whether you’re the wife, the girlfriend, or a live-in, you are with a man who cheats. It’s his problem. Stop blaming yourself. When your self-esteem is tied up in another person you set yourself up for failure. People cheat in relationships for various reasons, habit, convenience, curiosity, and because they think they can get away with it. It’s not because of something that is wrong with you. I’ve sat for hours with women beating themselves up. “I have gained a lot of weight in the last year.” “I really don’t fix myself up as much as I use to.”

Secondly, ladies, STOP BLAMING HER! There is nothing more pitiful than to see two women compete for the affections of a cheater. In the case of the married man, if he really wanted to leave his wife he would. He’s doing exactly what he wants to do. It’s working so why should he stop? Often times when an affair is discovered by a woman she immediately blames the other woman. Calling the phone numbers you find in his pocket, writing down the mileage on his car, checking his cell phone and cell phone bill. You’re out with your girlfriend like Cagney & Lacey, tracking the woman down to threaten her to stay away from your man. Really? All of that madness is tied to your self esteem. If you’re spending countless hours tracking a man’s whereabouts, why are you with him?

Stop thinking he’s different with her than he is with you. Men are pretty simple. They don’t change from woman to woman. The women may be different but he’s still the same. If he calls you Boo, he may be calling her Boo as well just so he doesn’t slip up.

Stop thinking he’s getting something different from her than he’s getting from you. Women have this habit of assuming the sex at home must not be good, or there is no communication or understanding, which are all things he’s told you and you’ve bought, hook, line and sinker. Nine times out of ten, he’s getting good sex from both of you. Yes, having his cake, dessert and seconds.

I’ve been cheated on when I thought everything was going fine.  Unfortunately, it happens.

Let me just close by saying, if you happen to be a cheater, male or female, have enough decency for yourself and the other person to be safe about it. I know a woman who cannot have children to this day because of some disease her husband brought home.

Chris Rock received a lot of flack in one of his comedy routines when he made the comment:


“Men are only as faithful as their options!”

What do you think?

Please feel free to copy and save this to your computer and by all means – PASS IT ON!  Someone shared it with me and it hit me like a ton of bricks because it’s so true. We live in a time that is not so kind.  Life forces and situations have made us bitter and sometimes rude people.  Reality TV is not reality, it’s sensationalism.   I came up in the age of “count to ten” before you speak.  This has replaced that. It takes a little effort at first but when faced with speaking out in anger, by all means….THINK!

No one enjoys being dumped, rejected, laid off, denied, delayed or put down. Sometimes – rejection is God’s protection. People can be blinded by fantasy, abuse, guilt or procrastination and not realize because they lack the strength to move on. God has a way of closing doors to unfulfilling jobs, cutting us off from people who mean us no good and ending relationships where we lacked the integrity, self-esteem, faith or courage to mend it or end it.

Sometimes there is some good in a good-bye. There are times we are too naive or in a comfort zone and the only way we can grow is to experience the GOODBYE. – Jewel Diamond Taylor

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. – Ambrose Redmoon

My “intention” with this post is that I know there are many who are at crossroads/transitions in life. Relationships, jobs, friendships, family problems; heavy decisions that need to be made in order to live the life you should be living, or desperately want to live.

Be encouraged today that sometimes, there is GOOD in goodbye.

“We have to treat people like we want to be treated – not like we’ve been mistreated.”

There is no higher joy than giving without asking anything in return, especially when we give unconditional love.

Selfishness divides us and we claim superiority over one another in the name of love. Why we have problems loving is because we make love too restrictive. It has too many rules, regulations and expectations. Spiritual love is not about tradition and sentiment. Spiritual love is about truth, trust, acceptance and a willing faith. It’s about seeing God through another person and allowing God to love us through another person.

It’s time to release love from those restrictive boxes.  I can’t complete the picture for someone else. I’m not that strong or Godly. The purpose of relationship is not to have another person complete you; but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.

Love is a passion which doesn’t take into consideration any reward, utilization or return. It’s Spiritual – wrapped in total acceptance.

It can be difficult to let go of some of the baggage we carry around with us from one relationship to the next but we need to let it go. Otherwise we will be let go. You can’t start the engine of a new vehicle with the key from your former vehicle.

A relationship needs a foundation and two willing builders.  The outside of a person tells us nothing about what’s inside. We should look at people from the inside out instead of the outside in. That’s why so many people are living lonely lives. Choosing love is not like choosing fruit. The cantaloupe might be smooth on the outside but once you cut it open it’s bitter. The cantaloupes that have the lumps and bumps are usually the ones that are the sweetest.   (read that again!)

Love blossoms where differences are respected and people are allowed to be themselves, rather than something that someone else wants or needs them to be. I can’t be everything for you because I have a hard enough time being enough for myself.  Sometimes we don’t have all the answers. Sometimes we’re wrong.  We need to learn to give up the need to be right. There is no right or wrong…it just is!  For me, that is the essence of spiritual love.

We all have an inherent need to merge with those we love. But we simultaneously desire the comfort of detachment. Love requires a certain amount of freedom. You don’t have to stop living just because you’re sharing a life with another person.  Spiritual love can never be caged.

God is attempting to show us the essence of Spiritual Love. It’s all around us if we would only open our hearts to it. Sometimes we have to take risks. We have to step out on faith. How can we reach out to each other if we aren’t courageous enough to let others see who we really are and what we need?

“……………but the greatest of these is LOVE”
1 Corinthians 13

About Stripper Poles

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Humor
Tags: ,

CAUTION: You may want a professional to install your stripper pole before using it. Ouccccch! Brain damage comes to mind.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.   – 1st Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

This bible verse has saved my sanity! When I first read it many years ago, I recall making the statement “If God doesn’t give us more than we can bear – he must think the world of me.”

I use to be an excessive worrier. I worried to the point of losing sleep. I worried so much I developed irritable bowel syndrome. I’m sure you’re aware, the things we worry about never seem to happen and the things that happen unexpectedly are things we probably wouldn’t have worried about in the first place.

The next time you’re out driving in your car think about this, “Why do the roads curve?” “Why can’t roads all be straight?” In every city the streets go up and down or around corners. Those curved roads are a great metaphor for life.

My six year marriage was tumultuous. In the midst of my marriage crisis when I was down and really beating up on myself I remember asking, “Why didn’t I see this coming?” My mentor said, “Because you would not have been able to handle it before now.” She said, “That’s why the road curves. It provides us with the opportunity to take in a little at a time. As we move forward, covering more ground, a little more is revealed to us.”

(Looking at this picture, we don’t know what’s beyond the curve)

That’s how Life works. It’s a process! It gives us what we can handle in small doses, even when we think we’re able to handle more. It’s called the Grace of God. He will not give you more than He thinks you can handle at any one time. Each time we face a challenge, obstacle or difficulty, we learn what we CAN and CANNOT do. No matter what we do, it’s the best we can do under the given circumstances with the information we have at the time. When it’s time to do something different, we will.

Wherever you find yourself is exactly where you need to be.

Deepak Chopra, who at times is a little too deep even for me, said in © The Book of Secrets,
“Whatever relationships you have attracted into your life at any given time, are the relationships you need to be in at that time. When you’re ready to do a new thing, in a new way, you will do it, with new people.”

I read more and more about people who are waiting for their soul mates and loves of their lives, frantically hunting and searching. Realize today that there are people waiting for who you are becoming right now. Chances are you’re not ready to meet them today but have faith because you will, but only when it’s time. Until then, honor your process. Think of how fabulous you’ll be when the time does come.

The road curves for a reason. It’s a process and now when life throws me a curve I smile and say, “If God thinks I can handle it. Who am I to second guess Him?”

Perception is a powerful thing.

There are certainly some new shows on television, as well as some returning favorites that I’m indulging in. Let’s talk comedy first. The New Normal by Glee Producer, Ali Adler tops my new comedy list. The casting is great and veteran actress Ellen Barkin makes the show. Her off-colored remarks add so much to this show. I read that 9 more episodes have been ordered. Yay!

NBC’s Revolution reportedly has already been picked up for another season. Thank goodness because it’s a great show. After NBC failed miserably with The Event starring Blair Underwood, they’ve certainly redeemed themselves with Revolution. The show follows a group of survivors 15 years after the power went out all over the globe.

ABC’s 666 Park Avenue might not make it. I love supernatural dramas and there’s enough intrigue on this show to keep it on. It was announced recently that Whoopi Goldberg will be joining the cast. The show opened to low ratings but if you’re a fan of the supernatural I say give it a chance.

ABC definitely has a hit with Last Resort, starring Andre Braugher. At first I thought it was a series for men. The premise: A renegade crew of a nuclear submarine led by Braugher go AWOL after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. I’m loving this show.

I watched the pilot on CBS for Made in Jersey and while there was something a little appealing about the lead character, Martina Garretti played by actress Janet Montgomery, my prediction is this show will not make it. Can a small-town Jersey girl succeed in her high-powered law career in the big city? I can’t quite put my finger on why this show doesn’t work. It just doesn’t.

Another NBC show that I watched twice was Guys With Kids. This is the new comedy from comedian/talk show host Jimmy Fallon. It was just okay for me. I giggled a few times but I didn’t watch a third time.

I’m looking forward to Nashville which premieres on ABC October 10th. I think it will be a great show to watch with lots of juicy drama. I love Connie Britton. Her time last season on American Horror Story was great. For me this show is like Carrie Underwood vs. Faith Hill or Taylor Swift verses Reba McIntyre. At least that’s what the rumor mill is alluding to. I’m sure there’s no truth to the rumors but it has people excited nonetheless.

I’m sure there are many more good shows that I’m missing but I have my personal favorites such as Scandal, Revenge, Criminal Minds, American Horror Story, Grey’s Anatomy, Person of Interest, 2 Broke Girls, and Mike & Molly. There’s only so much time in one week.

What are some of your favorites?

Technology has changed our lives in many ways.  It’s changed how we conduct day to day business. How we shop. How we keep in touch with family and friends.  Land line telephones are almost primitive. We have GPS systems to find the local farmer’s market and our favorite DSW store.  We’re paying AT&T, Verizon and Team Mobile for minutes we never use because our conversations are being conducted through a series of text messages.  If we forget to TiVo or DVR that’s okay because we can tune in online and catch the missed episodes of our favorite television programs.  We no longer have to return to the doctor’s office for our CBC test results, we can obtain them online.  Google maps will not only give you a satellite view of your neighborhood, it will give you the exact street view of your home with your car parked in the driveway. (That’s real scary)

We’ve reconnected with former coworkers and classmates on Facebook and I will never understand why Twitter became so popular. What I’m doing every second of the day is none of your business.

When breaking news happens we don’t tune in to our local affiliate news station, we go to TMZ or YouTube. WebMD has become our second opinion when our HMO doctor prescribes some unknown medication.  (You have to check those side effects) For many people (mostly the uninsured), it’s become their personal MD when symptoms have lingered for days and the home remedies aren’t working.  Do you ever notice that every symptom you read about is the one you have?  “Oh my God, is it cancer?” 

Technology & Unemployment

When’s the last time you wrote a personal check?  When’s the last time you ordered personal checks?  I was at the market the other day and this elderly woman held up the line because she was writing a check for groceries.  I thought to myself as I stood impatiently, “People are still writing checks!”   Chase and Bank of America now allow you to deposit your checks without a deposit slip. You just slip it in the slot and it gives you a print out on the receipt of the check.  Check ordering companies are feeling this crunch in their bottom line.  We use to receive bank statements in the mail monthly.  Now, we get an email or text message, “Your statement in account ending 0000 is available for online viewing.”  With the introduction of debit we were screwed. We could no longer write that personal check at the grocery store three days before payday. Man, those were the good ole days. A personal check in many stores today is run just like a debit card. You will get embarrassed if the funds aren’t there.  (Don’t act like I’m the only one!)

If it wasn’t for junk mail Postal Workers wouldn’t have a job.  My local Post Office has removed all of the stamp machines in the lobby and replaced them with a machine that takes ATM debit to mail letters and parcels.  The situation has become so tenuous that the Post office is in discussion about cutting our mail delivery down by two days per week. Let’s face it folks – we’ve gone paperless with the companies we do business with.  With all this new technology at our fingertips why do we still have so much paper clutter in our homes and offices?  I don’t get it!  My home office needs a visit from Neecee Nash and the Clean House Crew!  Foolishness and mayhem with the paper clutter.  It’s gotten so bad for me that I only check my mail box twice per week.  Ninety-percent of what I pull out is junk mail.

Businesses like Hollywood & Mr. Video have shut down because of companies like Net-Flix.  Net-Flix is being replaced by those dollar movie vending machines found in most major grocery stores.  Major recording artist must have savvy business managers because I don’t understand how they’re making money. Why buy a CD when you can go on ITunes, preview the CD and choose only those songs you like?  That’s what technology has done for record sales.  Music Artists have to tour to make any money.

Big Brother is watching!  “Do you have your rewards card,” the cashier asks. They offer you small discounts in exchange for the ability to record your every shopping habit.  Yes people, big brother is tracking us.

Technology was created initially to make life easier, more convenient – but in actuality what it’s done and IS doing is turning us into recluse humans.  We’ve become slaves to the technology.  We may forget to grab the sack lunch we’ve prepared the night before to take to work, but heaven forbid leaving home without our cell phones.  How many times have you been late for work because you turned around to get your cell phone or IPad?

WHAT ONCE STARTED OUT AS CONVENIENCE HAS CREATED MORE STRESS IN OUR LIVES!  We use to wait on Fed-Ex to overnight our business documents. We get them the same day with PDF and an email address.  At work we’re performing the duties of three people, all because of technology.  We use to schedule business meetings and have at least a few weeks to prepare.  Now we have video conferences and Skype.  Video conference meeting for all department heads today at 1 p.m.  This is the agenda. Please come prepared and be prompt. 

There’s a war on obesity in this country. Blame it on technology.  When’s the last time you went outside and got some fresh air?  We sit at a computer terminal for 8+ hours per day and then come home and check emails, Facebook, Twitter and the latest hot gossip.  (How U Doin?)  Add in another hour for TMZ and YouTube videos and it’s time to go to bed.   We may have good intentions to simply log on and check emails and log out, but then our home pages have a breaking story that ends up keeping us at the computer screen reading well past bedtime.  It dawns on you, “OMG! I haven’t eaten yet,” but now it’s 8:30 p.m. which is rally too late to be eating. That’s the reason for your extra pounds.  Blame it on Technology.  Even if you have the luxury of Blackberry, IPhone or IPad, you’re still laying in your bed staring at a computer screen.  It’s more stress than you realize.

I made a conscious decision last year to get off the rollercoaster in doses.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  I consciously vowed to:

  • Call my friends and talk as opposed to texting or emailing.  Periodically, I show up and surprise a few of my friends.
  • Unplug the Wii and the X-Box
  • Turn off the television and pick up a book.
  • Enjoy a morning cup of coffee sitting on my patio with the birds chirping instead of sitting at the computer.
  • Take a lesiurely walk in the park
  • Be more present in my own life.

Some technology is great but with everything that is good there is always a flip side.  What about you? What is technology doing to you and how do you find the balance?

Something to think about today! Holla if you hear me!

I’ve tried the online dating thing. I’m happy to say, I don’t miss it! While I’ll admit I’ve met some nice guys online, many profiles I viewed I simply sat back and laughed, right before I hit the delete key on my keyboard.

After awhile it became a job in itself. I remember telling my girlfriend, “I can’t get with the bullshit being tossed around on these on-line dating sites?” Let me share some of my experiences with you and then let’s compare notes.

OUTDATED PICTURES – With technology of this millennium there is no excuse not to have a current picture on your profile. While I was online I posted current pictures of myself with the date plastered right on the bottom right hand corner of the picture. Each month I would post new pictures with new dates. I also posted several shots, i.e. a head shot, a full length shot where I was dressed for work and a casual shot in denim jeans. These full length shots of course were of me standing up.

I would be off line for awhile only to go back on and see the same men with the same pictures they were using about five years ago. Some of the photos have the audacity to have the date on them 2004, 2005, 2006 with a caption that reads, “I still look the same.” Are you kidding me? Use a webcam, a camera phone or a bonified camera, connect it to your USB and upload a damn picture. It’s not rocket science! Word of caution: Keep your shirt and pants on and stop posting those pictures of that pretty car sitting on 22’s. If you have to do that to attract a woman, you probably lack substance.  You know who you are!

I HAVE A HARD TIME TALKING ABOUT MYSELF! – The purpose of a dating profile is akin to a resume for employment. The idea is to get the employer to contact you for an interview. What’s the saying? “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” When you say, “I have a hard time talking about myself,” what comes to my mind is RUN FOREST RUN! If you can’t express the basics about yourself, a relationship has zero chance. Who are you? What do you like? Do you have any goals? What are you looking for in a relationship? Do you want something stable or do you just desire to have sex? Then say so!

THE LAUNDRY LIST – You give yourself away when your profile consists of a list of demands. No overweight women, no women with nose rings, short hair, bleached hair, crazy hair, tattoos, menopausal…! Must have her own home, car, job and I don’t pay for dates, we split the cost, etc. etc. etc. What this says is that you’ve misjudged and been taken for a ride so you’ve put up these laundry lists hoping to escape the drama this time around. Again, my reaction is: RUN FOREST RUN! We’re all damaged in some way. You’ll mess around and miss out on Miss Right with all those demands.  Stop making every woman pay for the mistakes of one woman who by the way – you chose.

NO DRAMA – I truly get a kick out of the profile that reads: “I’m not into drama so if you’re bringing drama, pass up this profile.” This is usually the person that brings the drama. Again, you know who you are. Refer to the laundry list above.

MONEY TALKS AND BULLSHIT WALKS – Many dating sites offer services for free. If you choose the free route I believe you’re limited to the amount of contact you can have. If you’re serious about finding a connection take your debit card and key it in, pay the ten bucks or whatever it is to allow yourself full access. You say you want a relationship but you don’t want to come off the ten bucks for a membership. That’s real smart.

BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF – If you’re truly serious about finding an honest, loving relationship, do you boo! Be your 100% authentic self.  You can only fake it for so long. You will be found out.

How has your on-line dating experience been? (Those of you who have tried it) Inquiring minds definitely want to know.  I have several friends who have found the loves of their lives online. I will admit it’s a good way to meet people but it also has its flaws.  Please share.

COMING SOON – You’ve connected – Now What?
I have a few juicy stories to tell. Don’t miss it.

As I grow, I find myself requiring more space. My emotional well-being has become very important to me. At home, at work, as a consumer, taxpayer, mother, mate and a friend. I’m learning that just as I have CHOICES, those choices require certain guidelines, that is, in order to remain sane, as well as remain true to who I am as a person. Those guidelines have become my boundaries in life. In other words, where I will or will not allow another person to take me. It’s another CHOICE you can make in life.

In terms of relationships I must coin the favorite Dr. Phil phrase, “We teach people how to treat us”.

We have to be more up front and let people in on how we’re feeling. We especially need to start being more honest with ourselves about what behavior we will accept from others whose lives we share. If we don’t, we’re robbing ourselves and the person or persons we interact with on a daily basis.

We spend a great deal of time and energy discussing and worrying about everyone’s business except our own. Our family, our close friends. What they are doing, and what they are not doing, and the biggest of all…what they SHOULD be doing. The coworker and her personal problems…AGAIN! The company’s lack of enthusiasm about money or procedure. Your girlfriend’s “not good enough for my girl” man. Your brother’s new wife. The neighbor’s new car. Workplace favoritism. Come on people, we all have issues.

We fail to realize that people are who they are, good or bad. All of us are at different stages and experiences. We need to honor that and let go of the control issues.

Most of our stress is self-induced because we’ve failed to set boundaries. If your friend or family member is continuing to borrow money from you and not paying it back, you really must consider not repeating that mistake again. Don’t get mad and talk about it to everyone, except them. Let them know, “I’m sorry, but I can no longer loan money to you”. Learn the lesson and move on. If you’re in a dead-end relationship, stop and ask yourself what kind of boundaries did you set for your own happiness and self worth? Boundaries are really about self worth. Typically, the more you allow someone to mistreat you, the lower your self-esteem. Women and men alike have a hard time accepting this, but it’s a core truth.

If your relationship has split and gone back more than twice, boundaries is something you might want to look at. We are constantly (especially in new relationships) teaching our mates how to treat us. We really do have a say in our romantic/personal lives. Wake up! It’s a new day. We’re not setting enough boundaries. We tip toe around the truth for various reasons, mainly out of fear. Fear of not being accepted, not being liked, and not being loved.

“If I said what I was really feeling, that person might not like me”.

So we create illusions instead. We can’t keep the illusion up for long because it turns into frustration. The next thing you know…we’ve burst. We turn into “Sybil” or “Dr. Jekyl” and our mate says we’re crazy. Sounds like a boundary issue to me, what do you think? It’s not entirely their fault…you allowed the behavior to continue.

No one can do anything to you except that which you allow them to do.

If you continue to allow people to violate your space; your boundaries, you’re robbing one person…..you! You don’t have to be rude or hostile to have boundaries. You set them, practice them consciously, and not allow people to cross them. Let go of the fear! Stop saying yes, when you want to say “hell no”!

Maya Angelou said, “When you fail to place boundaries in your life, people inject themselves into places of your life where you don’t want them, and where they have no business being”.

Are you allowing people to “inject” themselves into your life where you don’t want them?

If so, I humbly suggest that you examine the boundaries in your life.