Being Single

Sometimes you just want to be touched by another human being. You just want to be held, to be told that you matter; not that you don’t know it already, but because you want to hear the echo.

Sometimes you wonder, “Where’s my happily ever after? Has God forgotten about me”?

We are social creatures, we were not meant to live isolated lives. It is totally normal and natural and acceptable to feel the need to be in the company of others, or with someone dear to our hearts. These sentiments must not be frown upon because they are innate.

In Genesis 2:18, we read, “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him’” (Genesis 2:18 KJV).

So there you have it, God puts it in our hearts to feel the need to be loved, to be longed for, to feel wanted…

So, what better person is there to ask for your ‘happily-ever-after’ than the One who implanted this desire in you, even before you were born?

And don’t think it’s just an adult thing to feel the need to be in relationships; it’s an every living creature thing; man and beast, even plants if you care to go that far.

So, next time you’re feeling down because of your single life, remember that you are not truly alone and that the person that God has for you will be for you no matter what life throws at you. It is okay to feel down some days, just don’t stay down there…Get up, show up, show out, and ask God for strength to wait for what you deserve.

Self-Abandonment

I do not claim to be an expert on DEPRESSION nor a victim of its tantalizing grip. But I have seen DEPRESSION; I met her four years ago, one night in the month of March. It was a few days after the dry Winter of Florida, and Spring was just around the corner. I had just returned from my afternoon class, and it was well after 8 pm.

I stopped by my next door neighbor to see how she was doing. Usually, she would sit outside on the porch and we would talk for a few minutes before I make my way to my own apartment. However, that night which was not quite Spring, she was already inside and invited me in when she heard my knocking.

That was when I came face to face with DEPRESSION: her eyes were red and puffy from weeping. She held her hands, finger to finger, and despite it not being too cold, she was trembling like leaves. She seemed so small and fragile and just downright frightened.

I couldn’t believe my eyes nor my ears as DEPRESSION  sat there and recounted to me how she has been living with this kind-hearted woman–my neighbor–for the past 26 years if not longer. She said that it started when she was still a teenage girl and her mother passed away after years of sickness and other mental illness. Then she lost her first husband after giving birth to their baby girl. Not long after that, her father passed away and subsequently her fiancé died. She said, “He [The fiancé] was the moon of my midnight sky. And when he suddenly died of a heart attack, my whole world plunged into complete darkness.”

I was all ears; I offered my sympathy, my prayers. She was so happy to see me because she said, “I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know who to call…”

I want to emphasize once more that I am not claiming to know anything about DEPRESSION but it is my humble belief that DEPRESSION  stems from abandonment of the Self; yes, abandoning the Self in the past, at a place, and a time which exist no longer. The present Self either keeps visiting that same place over and over or it just abandons Itself there.

When this happens, the present Self cannot properly deal with the day-to-day of life. Something always seems to be lacking. DEPRESSION neglects the Self, thinking that this present Self is not deserving of life or of anything which brings joy and pleasure, sometimes even blaming the present Self for the things that took place in the past.

DEPRESSION  has a low-level of Self love; believing that everyone deserves to be loved, to be cherished, to be needed and wanted, except for her. DEPRESSION believes that any bad thing that happens to her is well deserved…

…but it is not so. You cannot abandon Yourself in the past while living in the present. It’s not even living if you’re stuck somewhere in the forgotten and distant past.

Living with DEPRESSION (as I came to find out from my neighbor that night) is no simple matter, and should not be taken lightly.

You have to be strict with DEPRESSION  and cast her out far from you. It is not an easy fight but it can be WON!

Reclaim Yourself from the past, come back to the present where a life full of joy and hope and love awaits YOU.

 

P.S. If you know someone living with depression, be a listening ear. Sometimes, that is all that is needed.

INTEGRITY

Call me “Old-School”, but I believe there are some things that never go out of style. And one of those things is INTEGRITY. I only have one definition for integrity: DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO.

The Bible says this about INTEGRITY, “He who walks in integrity walks securely,/But he who perverts his ways will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9 NASB).

INTEGRITY is not talked about anymore: it is not taught in the schools; it is not preached in the churches. But it is a topic that deserves a grand re-opening.

Only a few people are walking in INTEGRITY these days; others just go about lying, and breaking promises without a qualm.

But it mustn’t be so. One cannot afford to live without INTEGRITY. Your word is your contract and you must abide by it. Be true to yourself, and be honest with your fellowmen.

I do my very best every day to be a person of integrity. I have not always been this way, but God worked on me and continues to do so; I did my part and continue to do so. You can too. You can be a person who walks in  INTEGRITY, a person who keeps an oath even when it hurts. After all, nothing that’s good ever comes easy, and anything that comes easy is rarely good.

My mother defines INTEGRITY in this manner: “Integrity is a moral value that can be learned; but lack of respect is deliberate.”

Without INTEGRITY you have no respect; no respect for yourself and none for others. First you must cultivate INTEGRITY, then your respect will be earned and given. INTEGRITY is a virtue that I prize highly. I talk about it with my friends all of the time.

INTEGRITY is as simple as calling a friend back just like you said you would; it can be as complex as keeping your marriage vows (just like you said you would). When you leave here, the one thing that you must make certain to take with you is your  INTEGRITY. And the legacy that you will leave behind must be one of total  INTEGRITY.

Being Single: Part 2

Sometimes, the Loneliness just creeps up on you like a clown who’s ready to give you a fright.

It (the Loneliness) just comes out of nowhere and demands to be given a place of residence.

Sometimes, the Loneliness wants to curl up in bed with you like a child clutching a teddy bear to sleep.

It (the Loneliness) just wants to hug you so tightly and never let go.

Sometimes, the Loneliness just wants you to throw a pity party for your three close friends: Me, Myself, and I.

It (the Loneliness) just wants you locked up in self-pity any day that ends in day.

Sometimes, the Loneliness just calls your name reminding you of what could have been and of what can’t be.

…And sometimes, just as abruptly as It comes, the Loneliness departs…and Companionship comes in.

A Kind of Love

There is a kind of love that the ancients used to love with:

It was fierce, strong, very powerful.

The ancients loved freely, lovingly.

They gave love ALL that they’ve got.

This is the kind of love my grandparents loved with.

I’ve seen my grandmother loving

Each one of her children with this kind of love.

It is this kind of love that I want to love with:

It is free, it is kind, it is fierce.

I want to give love ALL that I’ve got.

I want to be loved with this kind of love.

Will you love with this kind of love?

~~

A very wise woman once told me, “Love is epidemic, but hatred is isolationist! It takes a special heart to give love unconditionally, and an evil heart to invest time in delusions, chaos and atrocities.”

There is a kind of love that you must thrive to love with. The kind of love that is ready to put it ALL on the line, to forsake anything that does not call itself love, and to pursue love as the ONLY thing that truly matters. You have to give love all that you’ve got.

This kind of love seems archaic now, but it needs a great awakening. The times are dire. There are hearts out there that are breaking, and falling apart piece by piece with no one to put them back together. Those hearts are crying out, “I am weak, I have no strength to call my own!”

Will you hear these broken hearts out? Will you love them with the ancient kind of love? Will you make the final decision to give love all that you’ve got?

I have given love all that I’ve got, all that is in me, and so much more. I have so much love to give, much more than I expect in return. I made a covenant with my heart to love with all of me and nothing less.

I will leave you with these encouraging words from a dearest friend, “Pick your heart up and trust that God will send someone who will permanently glue your heart back together.”

Giving Love a Chance

You are being too hard on yourself, you are being too hard on love. Will you give love a chance? Sometimes, we are quick to say, “I am done with love; love has hurt me, love has deceived me, love has failed me…”

But that is NOT so. Love has never hurt anyone; people hurt people, but not so with love. Don’t give up on love because of the hardness of people’s hearts; don’t blame love for people’s callousness.

At the end of it all, you have to WANT what you NEED; and love is what you need, what we all need.

The late doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. said it perfectly, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

The good news is when you have love, it is not yours alone; but hatred is heavy and it’s rarely shared…

So, go ahead and forgive yourself if you have given up on love. Love has always been there, all along, all for you. You just have to be opened for love, be opened to love.

Little Outbursts of Joy

If you’ve ever spent time with young children, you probably notice how they’re always happy, always laughing, and giggling, and playing. It’s like they have a storage of unending joy, never run out.

They don’t yet have the verbal skills to explain to you the secret to their permanent happiness, but if they did, they would probably divulge to you that they deduce their happiness from the little things in life.

It’s always the little things: a gesture–funny, kind, cute, goofy–a grimacing look; a simple laugh. Kids find little outbursts of joy in those little things.

Will you do the same? That’s the difference between children and adults; we take life too seriously; we laugh little, we worry too much. Why don’t we revert to the way we were always meant to be? Laugh about the little things, cry for what matters to us, pray for what we cannot change; the things we have no control over.

Happiness is an accumulation of little outbursts of joy. Laugh at yourself, laugh at a joke not just when it’s funny but because you can. Protect your joy, go to extreme measure to protect yourself because people will go to extreme measure to hurt you, life will go to extreme measure to steal your joy; but you mustn’t let it.

Happiness is the gift that you give to yourself, joy is a given. Cultivate happiness in your life. Be able to say, “I come from a very rich background: I am rich in happiness, rich in kindness, rich in knowledge and wisdom and understanding, rich in generosity, rich in love.”

True NAKEDNESS

It is so easy to undress yourself before someone you have come to know intimately. So simple to just bare IT ALL, even before a stranger; I know because I did it in boot camp before lots of strange women. After having done that a couple more times, the process became easier and more natural.

How easy is that!

…but can you handle true NAKEDNESS? Do you have the stamina to confide in another soul? To let someone else witness all of your fears, all of your hurts, all of your dreams, all of your past, all of your faults and shortcomings and mistakes, all of the different combinations that make you you, UNIQUE…?

Do you have the courage to let them in and see all of your loves, all of your rage, all of your scars, all of you…?

It’s not so easy now, is it?

In life, you will undoubtedly be naked many times, before a few small numbers of people perhaps, but ONLY a selected few, if even that, will witness your being TRULY NAKED.

It is not easy to let someone see you in all of your elements, to let them in your heart, in your life after so many collateral damages have been done.

After that, it is much easier, I’ll admit, to just lock your heart in a prison cell and throw away the key in the Atlantic Ocean…

It is not easy to cover yourself and uncover yourself before someone else after your true NAKEDNESS has been exposed and violated and trampled upon, after a solemn promise has been broken, a trust has been shattered to pieces…

So no, it is NOT an easy matter at all to be truly naked one time too many.

I know and I understand that.

Yet, you will have to find the strength, the willpower to do it again: to be genuine, to be kind, to be right, to be true, to be YOU…to ONE MORE PERSON.

Don’t lock away your heart simply because it has been fragmented; use it and take your mind with you wherever you decide to take your heart…

Life on a Track Field

You have to go through life with the vision that it’s a TRACK FIELD: each one of us on a lane with a different starting point. You cannot look at what the person on your right is doing and thinking you ought to be doing the same thing. NO. Nor can you focus at the person behind you and thinking that you’re faster than him or her. NO. And you definitely cannot consider the person ahead of you as being faster than you. NO. You have to stay in your own lane and pay attention to your own speed. For if your eyes are wandering left and right, up and down, this will slow you down.

Think about the last time you were at a track meet or maybe you were watching it from home. Do you recall how focused the runners were? Did you notice that as they were running, their gaze were straight ahead?

Runners know that the only thing that matters at this moment in time is the goal that they set for themselves.

Think about the goals that you have for your life. You are on a TRACK FIELD along with many other runners with goals quite different from your own. If you focus your energy on anyone else’s goals, you’ll always come up short, you’ll always feel as if you are not working hard enough, or you’re not enough. NO. Focus on your goals and the speed at which you are running after them.

If you keep focusing on that coworker who got the promotion that you wanted, or that friend who get the job that you applied for you might lose speed. Keep on running in your OWN lane, and you will eventually get to your OWN FINISH LINE.

Did your best friend get married before you did? Stay in your lane. Did your neighbor just bought the new Lexus that you dreamed of? Focus on your speed. Did your sister buy the new house that you couldn’t get approved for? Stay in your OWN lane.

The moment that your eyes start wandering into other people’s lanes (lives), you start losing focus of the race that you are running.

The TRACK FIELD of life has multiple finish lines–unlike the track field that can be physically seen. That’s why you cannot afford to lose focus while running because you might just step foot on someone’s else’s lane and so miss your FINISH LINE.

Don’t worry about others reaching their finish lines before you; you have your OWN personal FINISH LINE and NO ONE will get in FIRST place other than YOU.

YOU ARE ALWAYS A WINNER!

So, run at your own pace, and stay in your lane.

Remember that just because someone is ahead of you does not necessarily mean that he or she is running faster than you– (This is something that I learn in driving–the car ahead of you is not always driving faster than you). We all have our OWN personal FINISH LINES on the TRACK FIELD called LIFE. Maybe yours is just a little bit further…