Dawn of a New Century…

By T. Marie on July 3, 2020

July just breezed in… yet it seems like just yesterday was January 1st… when the timeline was filled with goals, and those who proclaimed that new years resolutions were a thing of the past and affirming their destiny was the new normal. Sequin dresses, suits, and parties on NYE filled the screen as we scrolled through our timeline in boredom. It seemed like everyone was having fun, right? Although my NYE tradition is spent in the house visualizing, praying, meditating, and sageing, it was still a normal day in the neighborhood.

It couldn’t have been a whole week into January before it all changed. My initial description for it was the likes of the earth’s axis shifting. Although extreme, that doesn’t even describe what was beginning to happen. For me, I noticed that I just wasn’t feeling well (note: I don’t get sick often. Up until January, it had been years since I had a common cold.). Everything in my body was just off. I had flu like symptoms that were awful, and on top of that, I was extremely emotional. I could not put my finger on why. It was like my physical and emotional body was trying to “warn” me about something. Maybe a better word is “preparing” me for something. But, at the time, I just could not pin point what that was.

By the time we got to February, the table was starting to shake. If you have a business, or visibility to the financial reports of the company you work for, you probably saw a negative impact to the profits. You may have even experienced random, yet elaborate, personal expenses popping up that impacted your finances at home. It was certainly proving to be the most weird and rockiest start to a year that I have ever witnessed. So… I meditated. prayed. and meditated again. I reached out to a friend of mine to engage in some talk time, and I remember asking her, “hey… does this year not seem “off” to you so far?” She responded with a hearty, “HELLLL YES!” and proceeded to tell me about the many weird things that had been happening to her since the new year. Eerie, right? I was oblivious to anyone else’s plight throughout it all, only to find out that it wasn’t just me?!?! So… I began to call my folks and ask, how they were. Low and behold, one call after another was filled with something… frustration, sadness, death, anger, loss of work- or work-related issues, heartache, familial issues, illness, financial rifts, etc. That’s when the lightbulb popped on. I went into MYspace and meditated again. This time with the intention of being shown what was really happening. It was becoming crystal clear that it wasn’t as surface as I had assumed in the previous month.

Then, March rolled in with the Coronavirus on its back, and boyyy did shit hit the fan fast. From instant causalities to record breaking deaths spreading across the sea. Illness covered every inch of the world, some mild and some extremely severe. Let’s make a note here that I believe all illness rose to the surface. Not only did large portions of people contract the virus, but those with pre-existing medical conditions, and subtle mental illness experienced some form of complications with those (whether mild or severe). The country was in a state of emergency. So much so, we were all ordered to stay home to flatten the curve. This is where the socially-deprived psychosis began to form. The longer people felt forced to stay at home, the more their behavior became erratic. The number of posts made a day on social media by any one individual increased significantly. The arguing and debating over posts increased. Half nude photos being posted increased, yet, the masses grew more and more frustrated each day. It was a challenge for most to become still. The narrative became more about our constitutional rights, than our love for humanity and our desire to maximize life. Groups of people and organizations formed to demand to have their freedom back and then… The untimely demise of George Floyd occurred, ushering in a national spotlight on the many assassinations of black & brown people at the hands of the very government entity that swore to “protect” us. The country was in a complete uproar. Riots, looting, and protest ensued across the world. This was our breaking point. We are tired of being tired, so action is here to bring about change; not just any change, but concrete, tangible change. Much more than just a handshake and a promise.

That brings us to today where we are still engulfed in a virus ridden, and protest-filled world. The world is smothered in anger and disbelief. Energetically… we are teetering back and forth between darkness and light, trying to find balance. We are being challenged intensely spiritually as well, because I KNOW that, all realms are in sync. It matters not whether we are physically on earth, or in the spiritual world void of our physical bodies. Occurrences must occur on both planes because there is NO separation.

What I know for sure is… due to the many moving parts that I expressed above, the mind, body, and spirit are all being challenged right now. We are being presented with a CHOICE. The question is, what do we want as individuals AND as a collective? Ask yourself… “What do I want?” The window of opportunity is open, and we must decide. Do you want to change your life and your future? What does your heart desire? Are you in a job that you hate? Do you want to mend your relationships (with your parents, children, spouse, friends, etc.)? Do you want to stabilize your finances? This is it! Make the decision, THEN, implement strategies to enforce the change that you want. What we cannot do is continue to say that we “want” something different, yet still engage in behavior and activity that is in direct contrast with that in which we desire.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. For instance, is it a coincidence that we fell into a new century that has dismantled the false truths that this world was once built on? Nah, I don’t think so. I do believe that we want to hold on to the truths that we have “constructed” in our minds so badly, that we will fight tooth and nail to keep them there… With that said, it is extremely heartbreaking to watch the psychosis that is settling in. There is a significant amount of human beings who are in mental agony right now. Some have lost touch with reality completely; and while others may be having more of a subtle response, it is still mental distortion nonetheless. I am very familiar with the mind, what it does, and how it responds to certain scenarios. When you have been forced into a situation that you cannot control, one of two things will happen:

  1. You will lose your mind… First, your mind will shift to cruise control. That means you are no longer the “driver”. Your actions will become “automatic”; less thought – more doing. You may very well know that you are participating in behavior that can be destructive and disastrous to you (and/or your family) … BUT you do it anyway. Until you crash the car – arriving at a point where that same destructive/disastrous behavior has caused you harm (i.e. physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual harm).
  2. You will gain your mind… becoming conscious of your thoughts and belief systems, and which of those are yours versus what you learned from others. Consciousness will also show you the world, in clarity, for what it really is. It allows you to detach from behavior and ideologies that are fear based, and certainly not for your greater good. Consciousness is not a cult. It is the state of being FULLY aware … A concept that allows the Divine Presence to infuse with your spirit and move through you.

So, what do you choose? Are you bold enough to live in a state of awareness and in your true authenticity? Are you willing to care less about what others think of you, your career, your goals, or your relationship? If you can say yes to those questions, you are ready to walk the path to true happiness. No thing is for nothing. All the chaos, destruction, and illness are making way for better and brighter days. The century’s end has brought forth a true rebirth. It has shown humanity the detriment of its ways and shook the very ground that we walk on to force anew. My advice is, embrace it. Besides, change is here whether we like it or not.

 

With love always,

Tina Marie

The Victim vs. The Villain

By T. Marie on April 11, 2017

SUMMARY

What is the role of the victim and the villain? Can there truly ever be such a thing? What I mean by that is when you are within a relationship with someone, there is this litttttttle thing called accountability that is bestowed upon each and every one of us.

Now, I know you are probably saying, wait a minute, I didn’t choose to be cheated on, or I didn’t choose to be lied to etc… But I’m pretty sure the person that you are/were dealing with showed some signs of cheating when you were dating (i.e. not answering the phone after a certain time, appearing to be on guard when they were with you). And… I’m pretty sure they showed some dishonest ways during the dating phase (i.e. lying about stupid shit like why they didn’t answer the phone, or their whereabouts).
Of course, the accountability factor is probably the hardest thing to accept in relationships. So, let’s explore an example to get a clear picture of where this lies, then, we will dive into some analysis, and explore possible resolutions.
Let’s take this Tiny and T.I situation that is occurring right now. Just to recap (and this will be a very brief recap because I do not want us to get caught up in the negatives of the situation), per the media, T.I has on multiple occasions been caught cheating on Tiny (one of which resulted in a baby per the media). Tiny on the other hand was said to have been carrying on a special friendship with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (who is a professional boxer for those of you who may not know this tid bit of information). Sometime in 2014, T.I and Floyd were said to have had a brawl in Vegas, following Tiny attending one of his fights and a cookout the next day. There were many disrespectful words hurled, including Floyd screaming to T.I. “control your b*tch”. Ok, so that happened. I suppose T.I and Tiny done what people do in relationships and discussed it and moved forward. Now… fast forward to late 2016, Tiny and Floyd were captured on video having a dance at some sort of a Halloween party. The video hit the internet and all hell broke loose. Not just from the fans, but from T.I and Tiny as well. From there, it has escalated to be one of the ugliest public break ups in history. Tiny was quoted stating, “When a woman’s fed up… For years I’ve been the one getting hurt, but now that a lil video done surfaced with me having a friendly dance, he’s mad?? Why? Yes, he’s my husband but damn can I not have a male friend?! T.I can’t be the only male friend I associate myself with just like I know I ain’t the only Female he associate himself with so… It is what it is…” (click the “ANALYSIS” tab to continue reading)

ANALYSIS

Now, there is plenty to be discussed here. The first being the root cause of the issue. Tiny, who clearly has felt that she has been done wrong again and again in the past, is clearly hurt from T.I’s actions. Through dealing with such, she more than likely developed the mentality of why is what’s good for the goose not good for the gander? This is an analogy that basically states, what is good for a man is equally good for a woman; or, what a man can have or do, so can a woman have or do. So, if he has female friends, why can’t I have male friends? Which is a valid question! And, in dealing with such there should be balance in the relationship. When it comes to friends of the opposite sex, there is no harm in having them. The harm comes in when those friends turn into other things such as sex partners, baby mamas, baby daddy’s, etc. Be an adult about the friendship meaning, no bashing your spouse to your “friend”, no sexually provocative conversations, no crossing any lines PERIOD. Once you do, there is sand that you quickly sink into that can ultimately cost you your relationship/marriage. But, as far as having friends of the opposite sex, there is absolutely no harm in that.
T.I, on the other hand, also feels hurt behind the situation and a bit disrespected too. The masculine energy can bring a bit of possessiveness which translates to, they do not want any other male to be intimate in any way, shape, or fashion with their woman. And whether we want to believe it or not, dancing IS indeed intimate. Now that the video has hit the public, and been seen by pretty much millions of people, he is embarrassed. Embarrassed that just a couple of years ago, he was fighting this man over his wife, only for her to turn around and be caught dancing with him. His feelings are very valid as well, and should not be ignored when assessing the facts here.(click the “RESOLUTION THRU HEALING” tab to continue reading)

RESOLUTION THRU HEALING

We are ultimately dealing with two hurt people here. Either of which can be portrayed as the “victim” or the “villain”, it just depends on whose perception is being applied. Both of them have very valid feelings and concerns. However, anytime something as personal as this plays out in the public eye, it never ends well. Mostly because the ego comes into play, and no one wants to feel like the dumbass of the situation. Meaning, oh she took him back after he cheated she’s dumb, or, oh he’s crazy for going back to her after she danced with his enemy. But to be honest, if the relationship is worth overcoming that and healing, then so be it. That brings us back to the root word… ACCOUNTABILITY. Both parties are accountable for what is occurring right now… both parties are accountable for hurting one another. This issue is one that should have been addressed within their home. One that would require many tears and frustration, but could have ended much better. The hurt has to be healed, that is the only way to get back to some sort of normalcy. Anytime a relationship has been around for 20 years, you are going to have some stories to tell BECAUSE we are dealing with people AND people are not perfect. So, what happens? You go through things, and you grow through things. The most important key is communication. Both parties have to be open to RECEIVING what their partner has to say. Whether that is the explanation of how your actions made them feel, or their frustration with you and your decisions in that moment. No one reserves the right to tell you how you feel. NO ONE. So if something hurts you, say that. If something made you angry, say that! Your feelings cannot be explained by another being. You are entitled to them, and they are specific to you. Embrace them and pay attention to them. If you ignore something that bothers you, it will only fester and grow bigger. There is no victim or villain in relationships so please, let’s stop portraying such. Life is about decisions. Every decision that you make, impacts your future. The decision can either yield a reward or a consequence, you choose, but one will be reaped. The same applies when staying after you feel that you have been done wrong. If you make the decision to stay, you can no longer cry as the victim. You CHOSE to stay. Simple. You could have left and moved on with your life, but you didn’t. Take control of your decisions. It doesn’t have to be this complicated, but unfortunately, going through such hurtful things helps us grow and sometimes that’s the option that we always choose.

Everything in life is about relationships. From our loveships, to friendships, to workship, to financeship. Take the time to ponder how you are relating in life. It means everything, but costs you nothing.

T. Marie

Quote of the Day

#RelationshipGoals

By T. Marie on January 18, 2017

In light of Obama’s farewell address and the LIFE that we got from it, I think it’s only proper that I take a moment to highlight his marriage and relationship. Barack and Michelle appear to embody the characteristics that every.single.woman wants in their relationship/marriage. They seem to love one another unconditionally, while having fun and making power moves together. The public affection that he shows her is something that a lot of women crave from their men. The fact that he publicly shows appreciation for her and acknowledges her contribution to his life, both personally and professionally, is commendable (again, something that most women want). Their relationship to the public eye is healthy and functional, and is indeed everything that we would want a relationship to possess today. Yes, there may be a valid argument that this is the Chief of Command, so there is almost a duty there to do such things in the public eye. But, in my opinion, this appears to be a genuine connection. However…

… let’s discuss how they may have gotten to that point. We see Barack and Michelle today, at 55 and 52 years old, with their shit together with relating and what not. According to news article, they have a 20 (+/-) year relationship. Yes, 20 YEARS! That’s 20 YEARS to conquer issues… 20 YEARS of working on bettering SELF… 20 YEARS of disagreeing at some point…. 20 YEARS of working through those disagreements… 20 YEARS of growth… 20 YEARS which may have included some struggle (financially) or otherwise when trying to accomplish what they have today (because I’m sure it wasn’t easy). Bottom line, I’m positive that the cohesiveness of their relationship did not happen overnight. Hell, realistically, I know plenty of people, including in my own family who have been married much longer. My parents have been married roughly 40 years, and they can attest to the trials and tribulations that may have shown its face at such young ages, that they had to grow through (emphasis on GROW). WE have to grow through some of the trivial issues to get to the point of where we see the POTUS & FLOTUS at today. I say “trivial” because some things may appear to be so small, yet, they turn out to be biggggg issues. Some may take a years of self-work, and couples work to get through. However, it is possible! Remember the YEARS that we talked about above?

So, how can we expect overnight perfection? All of the post and statuses acknowledging their relationship and how it’s what women want, but no one wants to put in the time, effort, or work to get there?

Nothing is perfect, or even comes close to it without doing the work.

Even in our day jobs, you don’t get promoted for sitting on your ass, do you? You don’t just “become” a doctor without studying medicine, do you? All of it takes work and the same goes for your relationship! So… find someone that you genuinely love and care for, and be patient… work through your issues, grow through your immaturities, suppress your ego, love unconditionally, appreciate the good times and heal from the bad, so that one day you too can wake up and realize that you are living in the bliss that you once hoped for. But be realistic with yourself. If this is what you want, you can get it, but no one can wave a magic wand and give it to you. Put in what you would like to get out. 20 relationships in 20 years may not get you there OR 1 stagnant relationship in 20 years. The want and need to grow together have to be mutual for both parties. Are you ready to do the work?

It’s Just A Paper…

By T. Marie on November 22, 2016

Soooo… when are y’all getting married? That’s probably THEE most annoying question that you can ever ask a person… Especially one that is in a serious relationship. Not that every woman doesn’t dream of their wedding day, because we do, but seriously, we don’t want to be hounded about it either.

Furthermore, marriage is about a lot more than the party and the paper. The marriage should happen inside first before you present it to the outside world. To be married to your partner means to be of one heart and one mind. No, I don’t mean that you can’t have an individual thought, but I want you to dig deeper. Marriage is essentially combining the family and life of two people to one. That same principle applies to your heart and mind. You and your partner should operate with the same goal in mind, you should love your partner just as much as they do you, you should want to see your household thrive just as your partner should etc. It’s not about you, it’s not about him, but about y’all and what the both of you want. Make sense? Both of you, individually, must go through your own growth and healing processes from whatever baggage that you may be carrying prior to attempting a marriage. The goal of being married is to be synced in every aspect of your life, that’s the beauty of it. The union should magnify the strength of your household and your bond.

With that said, the paper means absolutely nothing. In western society, the paper allows you to have joint debt, but that’s about it. And of course, everyone loves the party, right? The wedding, in my opinion, gives a couple the opportunity to celebrate and rejoice over the union (that happened well before the wedding) with family and friends. I absolutely loveeeeeee the idea of weddings! So much so that I could look at wedding pictures of strangers all day and feel the same sense of joy that I would if I were viewing pictures of close friends and family. I mean, let’s be real, what woman doesn’t want to spend months planning the biggest party of her life? What woman doesn’t want to spend countless hours trying on beautiful wedding gowns, adorned with trains and veils that make her feel like a princess? What woman doesn’t want one day where she just feels like it’s all about her and her happiness? (… and her husbands too *side eye*). Yes, there is joy in that moment, and lots of it! But let’s not get confused, there are too many people who get married these days just for the wedding. Some even display such dislike for one another that I question why they would ever be getting married in the first place? Far too often, we have the perception that once we get married things will change… HE will change. No no no, that’s not true. The person that you entered a relationship with is the same person that you marry. Marriage doesn’t change personality flaws, infidelity or any other issues that are lying beneath the surface in the relationship. That’s not how it works ladies. The expectation that it will is where we often go wrong. For example, if a man is verbally abusing you, and he hasn’t taken any steps toward healing that aspect of himself, he’s still going to do so after the wedding. So… back to the point of the “marriage” happening before the wedding. As lifelong partners, you must be aligned: one heart, one mind, one life, and one family. However, in the back of our minds we still hear that question ringing ever so loudly in our ears… “Sooo… when are you getting married?” And in that instance, we start to question our whole life! We think… omg, it IS time for me to get married. When is it going to happen? I’m getting old, I can’t wait forever! Where is my Prince Charming, he needs to hurry! Wait… he can’t be broke though. Maybe he’s somewhere prepping himself for marriage too? Maybe he’s already married and need to get a divorce *side eye*. The 22 questions that we begin to ask ourselves forces us to start to put wayyyyy too much emphasis on the wedding, and not enough on the marriage. Due to such, we ultimately jump the gun, right? We meet a man (or three) … feel like they are the right one because you know, he’s cute, right?! He treats you nice, he has a job AND his own car! Bang, you found him this time! But focusing on those trivial things causes you to lose sight of your hearts TRUE desires. Like… what do you really want (beneath the surface)? What type of man do you need to help you thrive as a person? Who do you want to wake up to every morning? Does he flush the toilet when he goes to the restroom? *insert sarcasm* but all the important things, the questions that need answered, the desires that you ignore, go unnoticed because you are focused on… well… getting married (the wedding). I’m sure if I pulled some statistics, the divorce rate of our generation would be through the roof which it’s easy to do when you didn’t get married for the right reasons in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a wedding, but the marriage… the marriage happens under God, and does so well before you ever get to the alter. At least it should…

My hope is that at some point we, as women, realize that… marriage takes time. Be patient with yourself and your partner. The process of joining two hearts and minds into one is not an overnight task. Even if you meet a man who seems to be in sync with all your hearts desires, be patient. There are men out here who love to prey on and manipulate women. I know I’ve said it a thousand times already but patience really is key. Good things come to those who wait and if you allow yourself the time to find what you truly want and need, it will be well worth it in the end.

Love Is…

By T. Marie on September 30, 2016

What is LOVE? And I’m not talking about the textbook definition, but what does LOVE mean to YOU? How does it feel? What does it look like? I, as well as many of you I’m sure, have heard (and seen) the fairytale stories. The one where a prince falls from what seems to be the sky, does everything so perfectly and proposes (in the most romantic way) at the end of the first date and the princess falls head over hills in love with him. Now… I’m not saying that this story is impossible, as a matter of fact, I hope that it is for someone out there. But, the way my life is set up, I have yet to see it…

See, I live in a world where humans reside. Yes, humans… Humans who are not perfect. Humans who make worldly mistakes based off the situations that they are put in (which I have also been a victim of once or twice). Humans who are just being… well… humans, and humans may make a mistake or two here and there. I know we hate to admit it, but just because your partner may phuck up a time or two doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. Yes, that means, if a man cheats on you it doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t love you. But before we go there, define it, what does LOVE look like to you? Does love look like loyalty? Does it mean being financially stable within the relationship? Does it mean having great, passionate sex every time you have an encounter? Does it mean having long, intellectual conversations in the middle of the night, or falling asleep discussing the latest novel or politics? Does it mean connecting emotionally to a man who will cry when you cry or feel what you feel? Does it mean a man who is willing to marry you within 90 days? I want you to think long and hard about this one because it will be the driving force of your relationship and its longevity. I know all of you ladies are screaming, “HELL, love means ALL OF THE ABOVE to me girl!” But don’t jump ahead just yet, ponder each of the examples above and make sure you realllllllly understand that each scenario has a downside. Let’s review below:

o   Does love look like loyalty? Well hell, what does loyalty look like? Especially when it comes to men. A man that provides for you and ensures that your well-being is good can be considered loyal… That don’t mean his ass won’t cheat. *side eye*

o   Does it mean being financially stable within the relationship? Again, What…The…Hell…Does…That…Mean? Financially stable to some may mean having savings that equal at least three-month’s worth of bills. Financially stable to someone else may mean having solid life savings and living a lavish life. Either way, both will require your partner to put in some work whether it’s in the office of someone else or his own. Doing so will take a large chunk of his time, which then means that he can’t be home with you all the time to partake in all the lovey dovey shit. So still, you will have to sacrifice something to fit your definition and needs, and what would that be?

o   Does it mean having great, passionate sex every time you have an encounter? Ahhh… Isn’t this ideal?!? Every woman wants this type of intimacy in their life. However, the reality is, great sex may very well come packaged in a broke man who has no drive or ambition. So let’s be real, I know there are a lot of women out there settling for this aspect alone… Calling it love and what have you, then crying when he needs your credit card {AGAIN} to pay his bills. Yea… that’s love. *side eye*

o   Does it mean having long, intellectual conversations in the middle of the night, or falling asleep discussing the latest novel or politics? These type of men can get the panties from WHO-EVA (including Oprah). Their knowledge and intellect easily paves the road right to a woman’s heart. Honestly, women tend to be a bit more intellectually advanced than men (sorry fellas), so there is nothing more desirable about a man who can keep up with a conversation. On the flipside, he has likely paved several roads to the hearts of many women (and shut a couple down for construction).

o   Does it mean connecting emotionally to a man who will cry when you cry or feel what you feel? I love a man who isn’t afraid to show his emotions. But, in some cases, he may very well be a bit more emotional than you. Nothing is wrong with that (if that’s what you want), just be sure of whatever that is. If he’s crying over your menstrual cramps, that may become a problem at some point.

o   Does it mean a man who is willing to marry you in 90 days?  Although true love can very well be possible and this scenario has a high chance of playing out. But I’m sorry, I’ve seen too many marriages crash and burn, and most are the ones who do it quickly. There is so much of the unknown in the world today that I’m not even comfortable saying that I’ve met your “real” mother in 90 days. Heck, you could have 15 kids or be in debt up to your ears with the IRS. How will I know in that timeframe? Just a question…

Often times, we approach our relationships with a perspective and expectation of our partner being perfect. He should be the one that sweeps us off our feet and make us fall in love immediately, right? Question… what if it doesn’t work out like that? What if he stumbles a couple of times along the way before he can give you that slipper and ask for your hand? What if his life is complicated at the moment, and he just doesn’t want to get you wrapped up in his mess, but he’s still digging you like you are him? What if he is trying to get his finances together before he pops the question? Does that mean he doesn’t love you? NO, it doesn’t! We were all taught, if not by our parents then through books and movies across the world, that we deserve that perfection. Not only were we told that we deserve it, but we were also told what that looks like without the consideration of the days and times that we are living in, our cultural beliefs, and lifestyles. It is important to know what love looks and feels like to YOU because it may be much different than what it looks and feels like for someone else. Also be aware of when that “someone else” is attempting to tell you how it “should” look. Whatever it looks like, it should be fulfilling to YOU. It doesn’t have to fulfill your mother, or your homegirls, or your co-workers. Regardless of what it is, I hope that it feels like something that you can’t live without. Be an individual with your actions and thoughts. Part of the issue with society today is that we often mimic what we see on television and think it is reality.  Television does one thing and that is sell something. Whether that is an image, or perception, or goods and services, you will ultimately buy in to what you see. Be mindful of what you visually consume as it will also shape your reality.

~GG

3 Examples Of How You May Be {Not So} Effectively Communicating

By T. Marie on September 26, 2016

Communication. It’s such a loaded word. It’s one of those things that can solidify the relationship that you are in, or end it. The word in itself is so simple, yet it’s one of the most complex actions for human beings to grasp. Why is that so? Maybe it’s in our voice itself (or the lack thereof). One thing that I’ve noticed is the fear that some of us have when it comes to self-expression = expressing yourself. We often ponder everyone and everything but ourselves. Thoughts are typically, “how will he/she feel about what I am conveying?” “What if I hurt his/her feelings?” “What if I run them away by being too expressive?” “How will my words come off to others?”

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the contemplation of your words before you say them, and keep in mind that there is a difference between expressing yourself and attacking someone else. When attacking, we typically use words that cast blame onto those who we are speaking to, and often add a hint of offensive language to the mix. Now expressing yourself, means just that. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Freely expressing your thoughts or how something may have made you feel yet in a constructive way. Have you ever heard the saying it’s not what you say, but how you say it? This sums up whether what you are communicating will come off as effective or offensive.

Communication, in essence, involves the exchange of words. With that exchange, there is a level of receptiveness that must exist that doesn’t in most cases… Do I have examples you ask? Of course! Let’s explore some below:

{Scenario I} You and your partner are having a discussion. It doesn’t even have to be about anything heated, it could just be a conversation regarding a current event. The two of you may bring two different views to the topic, which in theory, could make for really great dialogue! But the convo turns sour and fast… Neither of you want to believe that you are the reason for the change in tone, but… Is it possible that one of you were just listening to respond? Especially when you feel that you already have the answer. Sometimes we tune out during the conversation because we are already forming our response in our head. In that instance, you are not being receptive, but you are being selfish. This is something that we have to consciously work on, especially since most people don’t even know they are doing it.

{Scenario II} A question is posed on social media asking men how they feel about women wearing make-up (you’re laughing, but this shit is really a “thing” on social media). Again, this could make for a very interesting debate; the perception on the subject from both women and men will indeed be different for that reason alone (WE are different). But, the debate often goes south when the men start to respond (to the question that was actually asked to them btw). The ladies immediately go in, almost as if they are offended by the responses… Is it possible that this is an instance where someone is posting just to make conversation, not necessarily to hear the opinions of men? Or again, listening just to respond? *side eye* I’m asking because I really don’t understand. Here we are, posing a question TO men, but the moment they don’t respond in a way that WE deem acceptable we attack. Why ask a question that we really don’t want to hear the answer to? Better yet, why even entertain the post? There has to be a level of respect and acceptance during the communication process to make it effective. As women, when we are comfortable enough to be vocal, we sometimes struggle with the response that we are given (and accepting that response). There is some internal work that is so necessary for us to start doing if we expect to push forward.

{Scenario III} You rush home from work after being in the office for 11 hours. On the drive home, you are thinking about how you have to cook dinner, help the kids with their homework, and finish up the chores all before you can take a shower and head to bed yourself. You walk in the door and immediately begin to execute those things. After dinner, you ask your partner, “how was dinner” and he responds, “it was good, just a bit saltier than usual”. What would your response be? Would you dwell on the critique and go into defensive mode, recapping how long your day had been and how his ungrateful ass should just appreciate the food? Or, would you receive the information, contemplating how long your day was so you may have overdone it on the salt a bit and making a mental note for next time? Is it possible that your partner was just trying to communicate how he felt about dinner (answering the question that was asked of him?) Also, for the men, sometimes it’s better to leave the critique out until the next day when your partner is much more calm. She will receive the information much differently at that point.

Let’s be real, communication is simple, it’s people who are complex. You could be talking just to make conversation, talking but not listening, or listening to respond. These three things are counterproductive to effective communication. To combat these things, find your voice. That’s all you have to do. Your voice should not be the anger, fear, and screaming that we typically do when we want to be heard, but don’t necessarily want to listen. No. That’s not it. Subliminally, the shouting and anger is a cry out for something though. In reality, those individuals just want someone (preferably their partner) to listen. That’s all. The common misconception is that when you talk in a normal tone, it is considered to be unauthoritative and no one will listen. That’s not true. If the message is meant to get across to that person, they’ll get it. Even if they get angry, if they are working toward the same goal as you they will put their ego aside and listen. That alone will push you one step further in the communication process which is all we can ask for. Are you willing to put in the work to get the results that you expect? I hope that’s a yes. 😉

~ T. Mariē

The Reason Why Women Can’t Get Along

By T. Marie on September 12, 2016

Women. We just can’t seem to pull it together. We are the gender of people that are the most complex. We have such jealousy and envy for one another when someone’s life does not look like ours. We just can’t seem to pull it together. We want so desperately to form bonds with other women; we want to be friends and besties, but don’t necessarily know how to be. We like to hang around for the good times; the parties, celebrations and otherwise. But, we don’t do a great job at calling just to check on one another. Being there for one another… just a little. It doesn’t have to be for a life crumbling crisis, it can just be a should to cry on… An ear when your home girl needs it. Anything… hell, everything! Because that’s what friends are for, right? But… we just can’t seem to pull it together.

There is a reason for this though. We have been through generation upon generation of suppression; From not having a voice to feeling like our voices aren’t heard. We have watched our men gawk at our counterparts, causing us to question and doubt our own self-worth and beauty. We have watched as men slept with our sisters and friends, while we feel helpless. We have experienced… We have hurt… We have survived. But here we are now… Thrown into this world of confusion. We are competitive. So much so that we are competing with other women AND men. “Anything you can do I can do better”, right? We want their sports, we want their jobs, hell we want their… Titles… Or no? What do we want? What do we want as women? What would make us feel secure, loved, and accepted? What would satisfy us so much at our core that it would make us better women, sisters, friends, and wives? Do we even know? Or are we thrust into this rat race and we are just chasing our tails for survival?

We are powerful ladies! We are the beings that God placed here on earth to give LIFE. Yes, that alone is powerful! We are sooooo much more than we give ourselves credit for! But we do have a purpose here, as do men. In my opinion, I don’t feel that our purposes here on earth are the same. That’s what makes us unique… That’s why we are wired differently. Now let’s act accordingly. Let’s figure out WHO we are and WHAT we want. Let’s get back to loving ourselves… Because it’s one thing to express that you do but it’s a total different ball game to FEEL it. We are healers. We have the power to heal all things around us through words and actions. Words are powerful… OUR words are powerful. Let’s be careful of how we use those words. Instead of tearing each other down let’s try building one another up. Instead of bashing and degrading our men, let’s try uplifting and loving them. Instead of screaming and hollering at our children for everything that they do wrong, let’s try nurturing them and commending them for what they do right. We have the power. We embody it… It flows natural through our DNA. Now let’s use it.

~GG

#1 Misconception About Relationships – V-Day Edition

By T. Marie on February 10, 2016

Ahhhh… here we are… Just 4 days away from the most anticipated day of the year, Valentine’s Day! V-Day spawned from the notion of love and relationships. Or at least, that’s what I thought. The thought of the day is to express your love and affection to the person you care about the most. Now, the “old school” way of doing that was to send flowers or balloons, or simply to get some intimate time with your significant other. This new school way though… *side eye*

Think I’m lying? Look at today’s society, all they care about is the gift! And the bigger the gift, the more he loves you, right? WRONG! We are so caught up in this false sense of reality where everything is solidified by money and gifts, especially relationships. Once upon a time, people thrived off of true love. In those times, people understood the value of a relationship, and they were thankful for just that. Putting a price tag on what that looks like was unheard of. What happens when a man can no longer afford that price? Does that mean that he doesn’t love you anymore? Or even worse, he never loved you? Or is it even about love? Maybe it’s all about convenience… yea… that’s it I’m sure. Take a look around you… do you disagree? We live in an era where social media likes morph into a sexual relationship, which then gets misconstrued for love. (Read that sentence again… and again… sounds weird, right? *side eye*)

So let’s get back to the basics… By that, I mean let’s go back to the root of a relationship, the foundation if you will. This is going to be note-worthy so make sure you have a pen and paper ready, voice record on, your vision board handy, and post-it notes available for reinforcement!

You ready… MONEY CAN’T AND DOESN’T BUY LOVE! Yes, we all want that sense of security, but that comes once everything else is in place.

  1.  Start with dating without motives. It may be hard for some, but look at the whole person first before you shoot them down. Ok, he may not be a looker but does he have a stand-out personality? Yes, he may take you to White Castle, but does he open the doors for you and treat you like royalty? Ask yourself a couple of questions…
  2. Stop with the mind games. You know, there are so many “rules” floating around… I can’t for the life of me figure out who made them. The 90-day rule, the don’t take her to my house rule, the don’t text back immediately rule. Stop it! Just stop, this is madness. How about do what feels natural?!? Playing these games only sends mixed signals to the other party. No one wants to admit it, but we all hate to be toyed with, and the emotional nature of most people causes them to seek revenge.
  3. Stop begging. Period. From sex to hand bags, you don’t deserve that after two dates. And if you feel like you do… well… there’s another name for that.
  4. Lose the time constraints. Different relationships move at different paces. It’s ok that your friend’s man proposed after a mere 3 months, that may not be your path. Stand firm in that and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it. Every human being was uniquely placed on this earth with their own individual path. How did we lose sight of that? There is no need to compare yourself and your situation to anyone else, be happy right in the life that you are living.
  5. On that note… enjoy the ride. Enjoy the dating phase, have fun, live a little for Pete’s sake! Every relationship has different cycles, where two people are going through the different motions (we’ll discuss this more in-depth later). Be present in each so you can enjoy the moment.

Politics do not belong in relationships, and we all have an individual course. Yes, Valentine’s Day is near, and so what if you don’t have anyone that you can call such. Be patient and enjoy this cycle of your life, whether that’s being single or dating freely. One day you will have someone to enjoy it with, and you’ll cherish that moment just as much when it gets here.

Lessons To Learn From 2015

By T. Marie on January 19, 2016

We all want to be that super friend, right? Or most of us do anyway… That friend who is always accessible; morning, noon, and night. That friend who, if nothing else, people can always call loyal, committed, and trustworthy. That friend who tries with every breath in them to give good, solid advice. That friend who wants more for their friends than the friends do… (I know that was a tongue twister, but keep up with me!) That friend who… well… is by definition A GOOD FRIEND.

The only problem is, good friends are not appreciated, and definitely not wanted all of the damn time. As a matter of fact, being the super friend might get you caught up in some mess that will leave you like… wait… what just happened? Yes, it’s true! Being the super friend might leave you friend-LESS, for alllllll of the reasons below:

#1 – As people, we control our situations. We control those things that we entertain, and those that we ignore. We control who is in our presence, who we choose to pass by, as well as what we tolerate from those in our presence. So let’s get straight to the point… You CANNOT give your friends advice or feedback on any damn thing that they are going through. I don’t care if they ask for it, they really don’t want to hear it. They will listen for the sake of pacifying themselves, but they could care less about what is rolling off your tongue. You know how you can tell? If they did care, they would implement at least one piece of advice that you have given them to correct their situation (whatever that may be). How often do you see that happen? I’ll wait… Getting involved in their shit will put the shit right on your plate. Next thing you know, it is more of your problem than it is theirs! The messiness has now left their house, and somehow ended up in yours. Now how is that? How is it that you call yourself helping a friend; picking them up when they are in need, giving them advice when they ask, and you somehow end up inheriting the problem? Just say NO! No one wants to inherit shit. Yes, it is totally fine to be an ear, besides, good friends listen as well. Everything doesn’t warrant an action or response. Let your friends call you and vent if they need to, but don’t soak it up and become a piece of the puzzle. That’s the key to being a super… Know your role in the friendship before you end up with the baggage.

#2 – There is a thin line between friendships and loveships. Please know which lane to stay in. A friend can never ever everr everrrr tell another friend anything about their man/woman. You will end up being the bad person in the mix. Next thing you know, you’re hearing:

“You’re a hater!”

“You just don’t want to see anyone happy!”

“You need some business!”

“You’re jealous and need some D!”

Whatever it may be, never insert yourself into the equation. It’s none of your business. No matter how much your friend tells you they would want to know, they really don’t… No really, they don’t! It sounds good coming out of their mouth, but when the reality comes, they will find a way to flip it back on you. Besides, whatever there is to know, the person is more than likely already aware. You just don’t know it…

#3 – Don’t overcrowd your friends… Being needy and obnoxious will leave you friend-LESS… There are boundaries to be understood, and lanes to stay in. Everyone needs the right mix of friends, romance, family, and work. However, if your friend finds themselves hanging with you and your man, while coming to family outings, and riding with you to work… When the hell do you get a free moment?!?! I know I’m an introvert, but you can’t tell me that normal people don’t get a bit tired of this behavior too… *side eye* I’m just saying, get some time to yourself. Go do something that you enjoy, possibly by yourself. Spend some time with your own thoughts. It is actually refreshing to just… be… sometimes. Again, it’s all about the right mix. That mix won’t leave you friend-LESS.