Tomorrow is not promised

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Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

One month ago my brother in-law called me, he was not feeling well and wanted me to explain what his doctor had told him. At the end of that call he said thank you and I love you, now this is not something he has ever said to me before however I knew he loved me because he loved my sister and I came with that package. Gordon was a Man of few words he showed approval or dis approval  using facial expressions like when I returned home from the ARMY he nodded and gave me his famous smile and that was it so I knew he was proud. Now when I busted the tire on his prized Trans Am lol he didn’t say a word then just that look that said you are buying me a new one.

My Brother was called home June 17th 2012.

 

Tomorrow is not promised, but you have today! So I asked myself what will I do with each day I am gifted with. Here is my list:

1. Wake up with a smile
2. PRAY
3. Forgive
4. Show gratitude
5. Pay it forward

My Brother was proud of me and he valued me, he saw me as important to him. I learned that my brother had worth, people would come up to my sister and say,” You don’t know me but your husband saved me or my life because he gave me a JOB” and that happened over and over again. So I asked myself what am I worth. How do you put a value on ones life?

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them… Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will. (Michel de Montaigne)

So my Worth is Measured in how much will(power) I have! So I updated my list.
1. I WILL put a smile on my face and share it.
2. I WILL Pray everyday
3. I WILL forgive myself and others
4. I WILL show gratitude, and give thanks for my Blessings.
5. I WILL pay it forward just as my Brother did in his life.

Thank you all for reading…In loving Memory of Mr. Gordon Kirk RIP I love you Brother.

 

I wanna know what love iiiiiis!

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I wanna know what love iiiiiis!

I don’t really talk about love (in the romantic sense) here, because, well, I don’t trust my heart. I haven’t since my breakup, another thing that I don’t talk about because,well, that’s what Christine and her fabulous Single on Saturday posts are for – love, relationships and all that fancy jazz. But I was in conversation last night with a friend of mine and we were talking about love and what we think it is. I tried to keep the conversation focused on Agape love and love for humanity, but she told me to “cut the bullshit” and open my heart, and I spit out some old beliefs that I still kind of believe, in theory. Am I right? I dunno. I’m more of a cynic than a romantic now, so I’m not sure about the existence of love in this sense. But here goes:

i think when that person’s happiness becomes an important part of your concern, when you want to see them grow to be the best person they can be, and support them in their endeavors, you can say that you love them. when you can see their flaws and imperfections and embrace all of who they are without trying to change them. when you can be honest with them and you can allow them to be honest with you and not take it personally, knowing it’s for the evolution of your spirit…

when you can recognize the God/dess in them, when you can call that person your friend, when you connect with that person on multiple levels, and when you recognize and appreciate the balance they bring to your existence without trying to be their everything, or make them yours. we should complement (not complete) each other….

 when you are willing to step away if the situation requires it, and fight when it’s time to fight (for the relationship – not physically). it takes time for that type of love to build and strengthen, which is why I don’t believe in love at first sight, and I don’t believe you can love someone in a matter of months (that’s lust and deep like). it takes a lot of SELF examination and SELF love to really be able to love someone else. that’s work that many people refuse to do, either out of fear or laziness, or they expect someone else to do it for them. i also think that people forget that love is something you DO – not something that you feel….

 the relationship doesn’t have to last forever, and the love can and will change over time, but it is essentially always there…

 i think being “in love” is different. it’s not always instant and it’s not always a fleeting thing. the butterflies, the joy in waking up next to the person, not minding the smell of their farts, that kind of thing. it’s definitely not an “everyday is glitter and rainbows” kind of thing, but it’s there, whether it’s a slow simmer, or a vigorous boil.

i used to want to be in love with my future wife forever. now, I just feel immense joy when my close friends get engaged, married or committed in some fashion, and resign myself to a nice bottle of wine, the latest True Blood episode (#EffSookie #TeamTara) and a good book…

~Nitra

BLUE IS MORE THAN JUST A COLOR

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I’m blue. I’m more than blue actually. I am extremely and profoundly sad. I am heavy with grief. I lost a major contributor to my life last week. My cousin Natalie passed away peacefully in Florida while a violent storm raged here on the East coast. The storm was a particularly dramatic metaphor for her life. She lost a battle raging against her own darkness. It has sucked to be single during this time because, selfishly, all I want right now is my someone special to cry to, talk about her to and who will wipe my tears. This loss is huge.

We met when we were 10 or 12 years old and we fell in love. We finished each other’s sentences, we communicated telepathically, we shared the deep, scary secrets, we honed our personal styles through our epic shopping trips and when we hit a dance floor, all eyes were on us. My cousin was a stunning woman. She never failed to turn heads when she entered a room and many adored her. She went to the best private schools in DC, graduated from Howard U with a degree in Biology and came from a family that loved her fiercely. She, however, didn’t see what the world saw. She focused on the dark and, in so doing, ignored and eventually lost her light. She would turn out to be one of the many who self-medicate emotional pain with narcotics. Her drug of choice was cocaine but, she was open to anything that made the pain go away. I also suspect she had serious mental illness and, unfortunately, was never diagnosed.

I had to remove myself from her life many years ago. Her path was dangerous, hurtful and frightening. Our fights were scary and one day she told me to just stay the hell away from her. 20-something year old me was pissed and took it personally. I know now that she didn’t want me to see her slip away to the dark and dreadful places she was choosing to visit. She was absent from me and my family’s life for over 15 years but, we never stopped looking for her. We now know that she became one of the many we pass on streets everywhere. The ones we never really see yet often pass judgement on. The homeless, the street dwellers, the crackheads, dirty, unkempt and seemingly un-cared for. She became one of ‘those people’. We cared!!! We found her again just a few weeks before she left us for good. She had quit using and was working but, her body was tired and abused and her time with us was up. My family and I are dealing with the fact that we did not have a chance to see her face and hear her laugh just one more time. My heart is broken and a part of me is lost.

I want to remind everyone to hold your loved ones close. Kiss your mother and father. Go visit your sister. Wave to your neighbor. Call that old friend. Play with your kids. But, most importantly….LOVE YOURSELF!!!

Single and more than a little bit sad on Saturday.

Christine

Love and Relationships (RePost)

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The severing of love runs rampant in our world. Irreconcilable differences. Conflicts of interest. Petty disagreements.

It can be said that such failed unions were doomed from the start. But every relationship – if founded on love – has the ability to withstand any & all forms of adversities.

Every relationship.

Any couplings that falter underneath such hardships were simply not taken to their fullest potential.

Love never fails. It waxes & wanes, of course, due to the maliciousness that monotony can sometimes produce in our lives. But love itself never fails.

Silly infatuation & half-hearted affairs do.

For love to flourish, both persons must be equally (if not overly) in love. Both persons must contain a passion for it so constant that it is almost tangible. Love must be in everything they do: from the love they make, to the arguments they battle.

Love must fuel everything you do in your relationship.

Love should never be a constant battle, but it should always be a consistent effort.

So work at your relationships, hard.

Give unabashed love.
Receive unabashed love.
Repeat.

Do not treat your partner as a possession. Respect their individuality; give them space to grow & transform. Encourage their own self-discovery. Fight fair with your lover.

Love unconditionally.

This post is from http://sexloveliberation.com/

New Days, New Ways!!!

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Hey all!!! I’ve missed you guys. I’ve been busy…..DATING!!! Yes, I’m still at it and this time around, I am having a ball. I am about to try date #4 this week and again, I am mixing it up and stepping outside the box. So far, I have gone Korean, Republican and shorter than I prefer. One of the 3 has more than piqued my interest but, I am in no way about to be old Christine and rent a U-Haul lol. Candidate #4 is also culturally out of the norm for me and I am attracted to her mind. For real lol.

I am realizing that my conscious decision to step outside the box has helped me change my ‘nesting’ norm. I am  relishing the chance to gain new perspectives, hear new opinions, get new takes on things that each new person brings. Shoot, I may never stop dating. SYKE!!! This plunge has also gone a long way in boosting my self-esteem. I gotta tell you, I AM AN AWESOME DATE!!! All 3 dates requested more of my time and while not all were a sucess, I was elated that I was a dating super-star to them lolol.

The attention and personal reinforcement came right on time. It has allowed me to become unstuck from an old gear and to look back at my ‘single’ path with fresh eyes. It has breathed fresh air into an old routine and makes me feel shiny and new again. These women are getting the best of me and I am only gonna get better and better.

Still Single on Saturday but…..DATING!!!

Kisses and hugs and love dahlings!!

 

I don’t own my child’s body- GUEST POST

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Ladies, we made it to another Friday! I don’t have any children, but I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately. Being the “Sexy Lady”, I’ve especially thought about what I would teach them about sexuality and body ownership. I came across the article below and thought she made some interesting points about the aforementioned subjects. I’d love to hear your thoughts and perspectives! ~Chanel Jaali

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My daughter occasionally goes on a hugging and kissing strike.

She’s 4. Her parents could get a hug or a kiss, but many people who know her cannot, at least right now. And I won’t make her.

“I would like you to hug Grandma, but I won’t make you do it,” I told her recently.

“I don’t have to?” she asked, cuddling up to me at bedtime, confirming the facts to be sure.

No, she doesn’t have to. And just to be clear, there is no passive-aggressive, conditional, manipulative nonsense behind my statement. I mean what I say. She doesn’t have to hug or kiss anyone just because I say so, not even me. I will not override my own child’s currently strong instincts to back off from touching someone who she chooses not to touch.

I figure her body is actually hers, not mine.

It doesn’t belong to her parents, preschool teacher, dance teacher or soccer coach. While she must treat people with respect, she doesn’t have to offer physical affection to please them. And the earlier she learns ownership of herself and responsibility for her body, the better for her.

The trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach accused of sexually abusing young boys, has only strengthened my resolve to teach my kid that it’s OK to say no to an adult who lays a hand on her — even a seemingly friendly hand.

Sandusky’s comments on child rape allegations

“When we force children to submit to unwanted affection in order not to offend a relative or hurt a friend’s feelings, we teach them that their bodies do not really belong to them because they have to push aside their own feelings about what feels right to them,” said Irene van der Zande, co-founder and executive director of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, a nonprofit specializing in teaching personal safety and violence prevention. “This leads to children getting sexually abused, teen girls submitting to sexual behavior so ‘he’ll like me’ and kids enduring bullying because everyone is ‘having fun.’ ”

Protection against predators

Forcing children to touch people when they don’t want to leaves them vulnerable to sexual abusers, most of whom are people known to the children they abuse, according to Ursula Wagner, a mental health clinician with the FamilyWorks program at Heartland Alliance in Chicago. None of the child victims of sexual abuse or assault she’s counseled was attacked by strangers, she said.

Readers react strongly to this article

Sometimes a child picks up on something odd about your brother-in-law that no one knows. It may not be that he’s a sexual predator. He may just have no sense of boundaries or tickle too much, which can be torture for a person who doesn’t like it. Or he may be a predator.

“It sends a message that there are certain situations [when] it’s not up to them what they do with their bodies,” said Wagner. “If they are obligated to be affectionate even if they don’t want to, it makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse later on.”

Why wait until there’s trouble? Parenting coach Sharon Silver worked hard to cultivate her children’s detector. Silver says her sons easily pick up on subtle clues that suggest something isn’t quite right about particular people or situations.

In your child’s case, it may be that something’s off about Aunt Linda or the music teacher down the street.

“It’s something inside of you that tells you when something is wrong,” said Silver. Training your child to pay attention to those instincts may protect him or her in the future.

Having sex to please someone else

Would you want your daughter to have sex with her boyfriend simply to make him happy? Parents who justify ordering their children to kiss grandma might say, “It’s different.”

No, it’s not, according to author Jennifer Lehr, who blogs about her parenting style. Ordering children to kiss or hug an adult they don’t want to touch teaches them to use their body to please you or someone else in authority or, really, anyone.

“The message a child gets is that not only is another person’s emotional state their responsibility but that they must also sacrifice their own bodies to buoy another’s ego or satisfy their desire for love or affection,” said Lehr.

“Certainly no parent would wish for their teenager or adult child to feel pressure to reciprocate unwanted sexual advances, yet many teach their children at a young age that it’s their job to use their bodies to make others happy,” she said.

We can’t be rude

You might think my daughter’s shiftless parents are not teaching her manners, but that’s not true. She will shake your hand in greeting or give you a high-five when we’re saying goodbye. She knows how to set the table and place a napkin in her lap. She even has me saying a little all-inclusive blessing she brought home from school.

We’ve trained her to say please and thank you so often that she’ll say it back to me when I ask her anything. “What did you say?” I sometimes ask her when I didn’t hear her. “Please?” she’ll answer. No, I meant what did she actually say? (Maybe we’re overdoing it.)

Once a cheater, always a cheater?

She has to be polite when greeting people, whether she knows them or not. When family and friends greet us, I give her the option of “a hug or a high-five.” Since she’s been watching adults greet each other with a handshake, she sometimes offers that option. We talk about high-fives so often she’s started using them to meet anyone, which can make the start of any social occasion look like a touchdown celebration.

“When kids are really little and shy, parents can start to offer them choices for treating people with respect and care,” said van der Zande. “By age 6 or 7, even shy kids can shake somebody’s hand or wave or do something to communicate respect and care. Manners — treating people with respect and care — is different than demanding physical displays of affection.”

It creates more work

Refusing to order her to hand out hugs or kisses on demand means there’s more work to keep the relationships going and keep feelings from being hurt. Most of our extended family live far away, so it’s my job to teach my kiddo about people she doesn’t see on a daily basis.

We make sure to keep in contact with calls and Skype and presents. In advance of loved ones’ visits, which usually means an all-day plane ride, I talk a lot about how we’re related to our guests, what they mean to me and what we’re going to do when they arrive. I give them plenty of opportunity to interact with her so she can learn to trust them.

I explain to relatives who want to know why we’re letting her decide who she touches. And when she does hug them, the joy is palpable. Not from obligation or a direct order from Mom.

And while I hope I’m teaching my child how to take care of herself in the future, there are benefits to allowing her to express affection in her own way and on her own timeline. When my child cuddled up to my mother on the sofa recently, happily talking to her about stories and socks and toes and other things, my mother’s face lit up. She knew it was real.

Editor’s note: Katia Hetter is a travel writer for CNN. She also covers parenting and relationship issues.

Not Quite a Daddy’s Girl, but…

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Well, Father’s Day just passed, and I think this was the first time in a while that I really missed and wanted to be with my dad. He hasn’t passed away, like the fathers of some of my friends, so I am blessed to be able to call him, and I did. But my relationship with my father has been very strained for a very long time, since I was a teenager, and we are just now, starting to get around to, kind of, beginning to, try to bridge that gap. Yeah, like that. I won’t get into all of the issues that my father and I had/have; I’ll just say that it has been and still is a long road, and I have always wanted, but never had that daddy-daughter thing, that Cliff and Denise Huxtable thing. Not even the Al and Kelly Bundy thing.  I think it’s really just a matter of us being two completely different people, and us wanting different things for our lives. We’ve both said and done things to disappoint and hurt one another. But at the end of the day, I love my daddy. I’m thankful that he’s still here to talk to when I need to, or not when I don’t want to. So I made a list of the things I miss about my dad. He’ll probably never see this, but the good energy and feeling is there, so I hope he feels it.

  • Laying on his chest and listening to him talk. The vibration of his deep voice was always so soothing. I did it a few years back when we were in Jamaica and it took me right back to childhood.
  • Shaking my head at how horrible of a dancer he is, even though he thinks he’s the best.
  • His Steve Harvey suits. He’s from Detroit. ‘Nuff said.
  • His pranks, like when he put a fake roach on the toilet seat at 3am, or when he put a huge porcelain clown in my bed as I slept. I didn’t appreciate the water gun assault just two hours after I’d gotten my hair done though.
  • His sauteed mushrooms. They were the best thing ever. Hell, just the fact that he can and did cook. Even though he taught me how to cook, and I do pretty well for myself and the girls, I kind of expect my partner to take that on.
  • His love and knowledge of music. I’m a hardcore music lover because of him. It’s the best gift I could have ever been given.
  • His porn. He had a treasure chest trunk full of videos and magazines that I used to sneak into since I was about 7. Pornhub has nothing on my dad’s old collection. I wonder if he ever found out. That and his “educational” sex books like Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex. Freak runs in the family yall.
  • His insistence that I be a strong independent woman. Sometimes I get tired of the cape, and it’s hard to ask for help, but I’ve faced a lot of battles and knowing that I can handle my own shit because of what he taught me, has made all the difference.
  • His love for nature. We used to fish and go hiking when we lived in Arizona and California. I do it with my girls (and my dates) now. I love being outside and I’m not above climbing a fence, a tree or crossing a river.
  • His thrill-seeking and insistence that I try new things. He forced me to get on a roller-coaster when I was 10 and I loved it. He never let me order chicken fingers and fries or a burger when we went to fancy restaurants. Now I’m a sky-diving, zip-lining, whitewater-rafting foodie.

My dad is a square. He’s very much a military man, he’s not a typical “Black dad,” he wasn’t the most affectionate, he often just said the wrong damn thing, and there were times when I swore I had to be adopted (and times when I wish someone would adopt me). But he did a great job with what he was given. I only turned out 3/4 crazy, and I’m certain 1/2 of that is because of my mother. I love my Daddy.