Gossip Girls, Backstabbers, Haters, She Said….They Said

I would love to say that this is truly a NON ISSUE but truth is ladies…IT ISN’T! In my lifetime I have witnessed so many friendships, relationships and even whole families torn apart behind malicious gossiping and “half truths”. The question I pose to you today is why? Why is it that when someone comes to us with “oh girl you won’t believe what I heard” or “girl, I got to tell you what they said about you” we never find the strength to calmly go talk to the person being sited as the “she” with the problem? How many times have you been minding your own busy just to be ambushed by someone with a story to tell?  And how many times has the news totally disrupted that good feeling you were having? I am raising my hand because I have always thought of myself as a pretty easy person to get along with. You know funny, friendly and glad to help. I am not a the type of woman who gets all heartfelt when perfect strangers take issue with me but when someone I care about does…that’s another story. Question is: should it be?  What if I found my way to the person..my sister, my friend, cousin, co worker and simply asked “hey, what’s going on? Did I do something to offend you? Is it true you are feeling some kinda way about me?” I would like to believe that we are adult enough to at least have a conversation with someone we once shared our secrets with. I know we have all heard the term “Hater” and we have pretty much bought right into the idea that there are spies all around each and every one of us hating on everything we do. Some people in our lives have proven that concept to be true. But let me ask you…have you ever been the person being accused of HATERISM? Has something you said been repeated and twisted into something ugly? Would it had made any difference if your friend had come to you and asked instead believing what someone else told her instead? I know it would have made a world of difference to me. So I ask you…who’s really the hater? From where I am standing, when we give the messenger all the credit for being the honest, upstanding citizen and never offer the same courtesy to the other party we are, in fact, HATING ON OURSELVES! Popular belief isn’t always equivalent to truth and as we take steps to change the idea that women can’t get along, don’t care about one another and are in a never ending competition…we must first change how we see ourselves in the grand scope of things. ~Your Sista, My Sista, iSista!

I’m Every Woman…..So Are YOU!!

Ladies this message has been exploding in my heart all day and I want you to know that the enemy is so treacherous and afraid of the truth that he tried every trick in the book to keep me from sharing (internet connection, FB would not open, password problems and then the first draft of this posting mysteriously disappeared) but that just confirmed for me that I am exactly where I am suppose to be at this moment doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing. I can proudly say to the enemy “U are a liar!” You know you are on the road to a breakthrough when everything seems to be getting in your way sistas. Please know that!

This past week I have spoken to so many of my sistas and have been broken hearted for each of them over what they shared with me. Even though none of their stories were the same they all shared one thing…defeat. Made me wonder do any of us truly know that our personal perception of life starts from the inside and manifests on the outside?

Ladies, let me say that I too am pressing through an issue that is not easy to accept and continues to challenge me. I find peace in the knowledge that this is yet a moment in time and that I have already been placed on a path to the victory I deserve. It bothers me, yes it does, but it does not consumme me. I am a believer that just when we think that our problem is the biggest, toughest, most impossible obstacle in this world we can be reminded that this battle, just as so many before it, is not ours. It does not define your life’s purpose. Sistas we are survivors! We overcome! Truth is we are being polished and we shine brighter everytime.

I hear my sistas say “I know things will get better. God is working it out” However, they are walking around with their heads hung low and their body slumped over in defeat. How an we say we KNOW greater things are coming but carry ourselves as if all we have to look forward to is more pain and suffering? Kinda like wearing a Vera Wang gown with some dollar store chinese slippers. Can you picture that? Do u KNOW the commitment our Father has made to us? He can do all things…except fail! He gives us one another to lean on when our strength runs a little low.

Why, then, do we silently suffer? If our husbands cheat…our children become disorderly….our finances are a mess….our health is is failing…can we not say “sis I need you?” Sistas…can we reach out and take that needing hand and not judge? Can we show compassion?

I challenge each of you to do exactly that…..EACH ONE…REACH ONE!

I’m Happy With Who I Am…I’m Just Worried Are You Happy with Who I AM?

Submitted by member: Shaunte’ Reid

I have been feeling some sort of way and just a moment ago it hit me. I am happy with my curves and my rolls and my thickness but I am not happy when YOU point it out to me. I can stand in front of my mirror and love me up something serious but when YOU get there I worry. Now I know what you are thinking if HE loves me HE should love me always. The catch is I mean women too. We as women see other women full figured or slim and for some unspoken reason “we don’t like her”. I am the type of person that usually miss the concept of the size of the next woman. Why? Because I am too busy making sure I look right. I find my days smiling at me loving me up and someone will come and say “You shouldn’t do that. Let someone else love you” but if I wait around for some random person to say they love me and never show myself any love where is the justification in that. Yes I have moments when I want to weigh less but really I love the skin I am in. Why should I change? Who knows what is good for me? Any doctor will say being healthy is the key. So if I eat healthy, watch my sugar and never have any issues does that make YOU better than me because YOU are skinny. Why compare? The joke is on you people who exercise everyday because my doctor told me my cholesterol rate was one that most of his slimmer, I run fifty miles a day, patients do not have. Guess what the doctor said? “How did you do it?” Yeah my hips, curves and rolls may offend YOU but I am sick and tired of trying to change them so YOU will stop giving me that look YOU do when YOU see me coming. I am happy, I love myself and truly I do not plan on changing. Now I know some people feel like you have to change for your mate but guess what…..If he start loving these curves right, he won’t want to stop. Love the skin you are in as I hug myself for being a thick girl with curves that JUST LOVE ME SOME ME!!!

Silence Isn’t Always Golden

For many years I believed in the statement “what they don’t know can’t hurt me”. Meaning that I would keep many of my feelings to myself in order not to give someone the “upper hand”. I would even withhold apologies at times thinking it made me appear “weak” if I broke first. I am here to tell you I was soooooo wrong. I know now that real strength comes from being willing and able to take the risk and live to tell the story. I hear what many of you are thinking “what if i make a fool of myself?” “what if it still doesn’t work?” My answer is “well at least now you KNOW”. I remember letting someone walk out of my life all because I was not smart enough to say “please don’t go” and I also remember someone being in my life that I really wanted to go all because I was not brave enough to say “please leave”. There is no real progress in our lives when we fail to L.O.L. (live out loud). Love as hard as you can for as long as you can. Ask for that promotion, talk to your kids, apologize when you need to, cry if you have to but do it all because its really how you feel. I’m better for it now. Trust me when I say my teeth didn’t fall out and I didn’t fall dead. The more I spoke from my heart the better I felt and now I would not have it any other way. 

Forgiveness – It Is For YOU!

Strange thing about forgiveness…it does more for you than for the other person. When we forgive we release burden, pain, resentment, vengence and grief. I have been guilty of holding on to be mad so long that I forgot what all the chaos was about in the first place. Forgiveness, sistas, renews the spirit. In everyone’s life will come a day when we need this. From intimate relationships to friendships. From family to co workers. Your day, if it hasn’t already come, certainly will. A friend of mine, whom I love dearly, and I spent three long years not speaking over something which could have been resolved in a matter of minutes. The kicker was the root of the problem was somewhere going right on with their lives totally oblivious to the pain they’d caused. It took us three years to figure that out…whats 3 time 365? Hell, a whole lot of lost moments. Today, we are smarter and wiser but changed. There seems to have been something stolen from us that cannot be replaced. Time can do that. This is something that saddens me to this day. Time, ladies, is abstract. It waits for no one and it does not repeat itself. All we have is this moment, this hour, this day to make things right. Don’t lose that opportunity. I have learned that it is not always so important to win the battle. I just want to not lose what is really important. Time won’t give me back those three years. But within God’s grace I have today to say “I love you and I am sorry” —- Blessings

Open Relationships/ Open Marriages..Is This A Better Option

I know I may be a day late and a dollar short here ladies but I finally watched the Barbara Walters Pre-Oscar special, which included an interview with Mo’Nique (one of my favorite entertainers). During this interview Mo’Nique revealed that she and her husdand Sidney Hicks share an “open marriage” which would allow for sex with others outside of the marriage. Now this is Mo’Nique’s third marriage and she seems very happy. According to the interview the two have been friends since childhood and have an awesome relationship but I cannot help to question the entire concept of an open marriage. She defined cheating as lying and being deceitful however contends that simply having a sexual affair (no matter how many times it is repeated) does not, in fact, fall under her definition of cheating as long as she is told the act took place.

Seeing as that I am a stickler for detail I felt it necessary to check some definitions of marriage and even looked through some traditional wedding vows…I found the words “forsaken all others..blah blah…remain true to him/her…blah blah…united as one” but no where did I find “sleep around and as long as you share the facts with your spouse all is well”. I also question the message being sent to our younger generation that fidelity is an accessory, not a requirement. Furthermore, according to the Center for Disease Control women of color are the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. Young women are more likely to contract the disease than older women and AIDS is a common killer of women coming in second only to cancer and heart disease.

After listening to this interview I asked myself “Is it because this is her THIRD marriage?” “Is this a hard but true fact that we (women) need to began to accept?” “Am I crazy because I say I WISH YOU WOULD!!!”

Where do we go from here ladies? If this is marriage…I will pass!

If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time

To My Friend,

I will never know what happened. How did you slip away from us and I not notice? We were once like sisters, stuck to each other like glue. When I got the news of your death, I said what many people say “What do you mean dead?” We think we have forever to say the things we need to say, to correct our wrongs, to mend our wounds. Truth is forever is whatever God says it is and tomorrow is not mine or yours. Dawn, your forever came so soon it seems and as I write this confused tears blur the page. How could this have happened to you? MY FRIEND! Better question, where was I when you needed me? Man, life drags us from one “important” project to the next. We lose focus, we lose control. I passed your house so many times and said “I’ll stop by tomorrow.” I want to talk to you. I want to hug you and say that we are going to fight this together. I’m angry that drugs came into your life…into all our lives because once it touches someone we love it touches us all. Do you remember junior high when you, Tanray, Rodricka and I were the “Hollywood Squares”? When we skipped school to go to the youth fair? When we learned that I was not joining you all at Northwestern? Dawn, we had so many plans to be old ladies together, still talking trash, singing our own songs, writing our own stories. I apologize for not keeping my end of the bargain, for letting life take me away from our friendship…our sisterhood. Know that I never will forget your smile, your laugh or the fact that your hands were unnaturally soft. 😉 But most of all I am reminded now that we must never forget to remember the promises we make. Never get so busy that we can’t return a call or stop by and sit on the steps and chat with an old friend. I pray that no one else has to ever feel what I am feeling right now and no one else has to hurt the way you were hurting and not have a friend standing by your side. I love you Dawn. Rest in Peace…..

The “Other” Woman

From Member: OK ladies, before we start this topic let me be the first to say I have been on both sides of this scenario and I would like for us to open mindly share all aspects. I know this one can get heated. Like I said I been the “wifey” who got cheated on and I have been the “HER!” who was on the sideline trying to be in the spotlight. I will be the first to say neither position is an easy one to be in. I could defend my actions by saying that in the beginning of the relationship I was not made aware that the starting position was already taken. But then the question becomes “but when you found out why did you stay” so I won’t bother to do that. The other woman, I have found, lives a sad and unfulfilling existence. She knows that she isn’t right. She knows that she has to appear invisible. She hates only because she longs for the time, attention and respect she cannot dare demand. It’s not the wife or girlfriend that she despises. It is, however, loneliness that she fears. As the wifey, I am appauled that you dare enter my life and try to tear apart what i have. As the “other” I am angry that you have what should be mine. I have worked too hard to make them happy. I stay available, I answer the calls, I run the errands, I wait up late, Get up early. I keep my hair in that style, I wear those shoes they love while you get to sit around all comfy and do nothing. As the wife, I have built them up from nothing. Wiped their tears, cleaned their noses, had the kids, took care of his mama. I was here when you weren’t. You have no idea!

What do u do when you end up here? Who is at fault? Can this be saved?

Ladies, Are We Raised to Love Freely?

I grew up in a single parent household. Women make up the majority of the role models in my family. Growing up, I always admired their “strength” to not let a man come in and “tell them what to do”. My grandmother, mother, aunts and adult cousins all worked hard and paid their own way. Men were more like a great arm piece or a source for additional income. From my perspective..they were SO strong. I don’t remember ever seeing them cater to man as the song says. I would hear “oh she just weak..letting him tell her what to do..he put his pants on just like I do” if a friend or acquaintance suffered a bad break up or took back a man who hurt them. I was taught that isn’t what strong women do.  I was a child of the 70s and the women’s movement was in full swing. Strong women brought home the bacon AND fried it up in a pan. If a man was in your life he better have money and he better behave or he simply had to go. So it leads me to ask…are we raised to love freely?  Now don’t get me wrong I love the determination, drive and passion of independence but is it so wrong to desire being held and loved? To not have to have all the answers, all the time? To feel a sense of loss when things go wrong and to want to work at having a healthy balance between yourself and your chosen mate? Is it really weak to ask your significant other’s opinion and respect his/her position when making life decisions?  I was married, then divorced and I am here to tell you getting divorced isn’t fun.  The expectation (at least in my family) is that you do what you have to and put your feelings in your back pocket. What I must admit is my back pockets were so full of feelings, my jeans were waaayyy too tight.  The greatest tragedy is when you can’t say to the women you love and admire the most “I am hurt, I am afraid, I don’t know what I am going to do” without the fear that you will be considered one of those “weak” women you’ve heard about time and time again. Love means being vulnerable…being vulnerable will sometimes lead to being hurt or caught “off guard” but all love is worth the journey.  When I found the courage to love again I discovered a strength I never knew and I want to share it with the world…. Strong women LOVE hard and even when we fall..WE GET BACK UP AND DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN! 

He Loves Me Even Though I’m Overweight

From member:

I have always been really selfconscious about my weight. I never tell guys but I always worry. I think over the years I have gotten better, but there are times when a guy will say take it all off and I flinch. I have dated some very nice looking men but the feeling is still the same. Is he gonna not want me when he sees what I am hiding under all these clothes? Is he gonna be rude when I take my clothes off? Am I ready to deal with the embarrassment? The answer is always the same “HELL TO THE NO!!!”

I just started dating this guy and I know he’s the one for me but you know how you have that second thought in the back of your mind telling you something bad is going to happen? Yeah I have been doing everything possible to run him away. I have just come up with one thing or another to make him go away but he’s still here.

So back to the weight thing…..he asked me to take a full picture of me and I said okay but never did it. He was getting upset but I just couldn’t do it. Why was it so hard? Because I didn’t want him to notice that I’m a plus size woman. Now go ahead and say it. If he’s seen me once he knows I’m plus size but that smart thought didn’t register in my mind. I just went back to the old way of thinking. Is he gonna be like “Oh no she’s fat!” Which again I say is dumb but that’s how I think. So I waited until the next day and I texted him about my self conscious thoughts.

Two days pasted and then he says “Who told you I like skinny girls?” Of course I forgot about the message so I’m like what are you talking about. He then references the text and I felt like damn I was hoping we were going to have to talk about this. He then begins to say (while my mind is wondering how bad is this going to get?), if you have a problem with your weight then let’s join a gym or go walking. He says we can do something about it if it is bothering you. I was lost for words. Did he just say that? Am I watch “Why did I get married?” Am I being set up? Who knows I think about that part of the movie all the time? And as all these things run through my mind, he is sitting there patiently waiting for me to respond.

I thought I was going to cry. A man who is really thinking about me? Who is willing to help me with my flaws even if they are my own and does not bother him? What prayer did I say that made me this lucky? I have no idea but I am more than grateful that God heard me and sent me him!!

Am I Still Your Friend If I Say You Are Wrong?

I recently watched the season premiere of “Basketball Wives”. In this episode Evelyn has decided to profit off of selling t-shirts with the slogan “You’re a Non-F’in Factor” (short recap: Last season Evelyn revealed that she slept with cast member Tammi’s husband and in a heated argument blurted out “oh well you were a non f’in factor”) Apparently the statement went viral and thus her “brilliant” plan took flight.

My question stems from the factor that Evelyn and Shaunie seem to be pretty good friends. So as friends I wonder why didn’t Shaunie speak up and say “Hey friend, that’s in very poor taste. How about you DON’T do the shirts?”

Ladies, what kind of friends are we if we stand by and say nothing when our good girlfriends show out in public, make bad judgement calls, lack integrity, are classless and down right unladylike?

Am I not your friend if I call you out on your mess? Is this simply an example of birds of a feather flocking together?

Shouldn’t we hold ourselves and our friends to a standard of excellence? Does it not look bad on you, as a woman, when your friend acts like she has lost her mind and you amen the madness? Aren’t we responsibile to be the voice of reason?

To my friends, be advised….I WILL CALL YOU OUT. I love you too much not to. As TLC said, What about your friends?

Is Faith Enough?

How many times have you been asked “Why are you so mean?” “Why don’t you trust people?” “Why do you always have your guard up?” I know I have asked these questions a thousand times. I have explained my reasons so many times I should put them to music. Have you? Yes people have betrayed and hurt me. Yes I have some deep wounds, scars that I can’t easily forget…But I AM STILL STANDING. Guess what? So are you! You see it isn’t the things that knocked us down that are so worthy of our words but the one thing that allowed us to get up afterwards. I have to admit I have failed at giving the triumph as many words as the trial. Life will beat you up. Loving will rip your heart out but FAITH will keep your perfect peace in order.  You see when we believe that God can do ALL things we begin to feel differently about the situation.  Oh but here is a newsflash. ..sometimes God says no. Just no. I have to say I’m thankful for at least some of the no(s) because had I gotten what I asked for when I asked for it I would be stuck in the muck with that mess and He would be hearing from me yet again begging for out instead of in. Even our obstacles are designed to get us prepared for our great life. Whoever said you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs was a genius! Those eggs simply represent the moments when all appeared to be lost. Just to find that all those broken pieces allow for an amazing testimony to be revealed later.  Sometimes we have to let go. Accept that this thing right here isn’t ours to fix…even if we are the ones guilty of breaking it.  All the time we have to ask God to take charge and allow His will to be done. We spend too many moments standing in our own way. We claim we know He can and we read the bible…we go to church and we learn the words. We even pray and yet until the moment comes where you FEEL differently about all of that you won’t act like it. Say what’s on your heart. Love again. Laugh again. Remember the happy moments with loved ones who have left. Put the pains of the past in the past. Trust again. Live. Grow. Be confident. Smile brighter than ever before. What do you have to lose? Faith isn’t tangible but it is real. What’s even better than that idea is the fact that Faith exists in abundance. Still don’t believe me? Ask yourself this…where has emotional hoarding gotten you really? You did all this to not let anyone else hurt you…All the while you were hurting yourself. It will never matter as much what everyone thinks..or what you let them see. What truly matters is what’s fueling your journey. How do you feel? Take your own temperature.  Find the balance. Now say to yourself FAITH IS ENOUGH! 
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History Lessons, Math and Racism

Soooo in Norcross, Ga. third graders from one public school took home an assignment which contained math questions such as the one below. The school officials contend that this was NOT racially motivated just “a poorly written question”…what do you think?  I think this is just an example as to why we must demand sensitivity training for all teachers and adminstrators.  Our country’s history must be taught, our children must be made aware of what it took to build the United States into the country it is today; however, we cannot have teachers and administrators allowing this type of poor judgment slipping through the cracks.

The “Casey Anthony Diaries” HUH?

As Casey Anthony sat perched on a chair in front of her laptop sharing the details of her new life I could not stop shaking my head wondering “huh”? I mean I get it, she was found innocent of murder and as such deserves to return to a “normal” life but wait a minute Casey….YOUR DAUGHTER WAS MURDERED!!!! I mean come on, sitting here shooting the breeze about how long you will remain in hiding and your new puppy and the kindness of strangers…but you NEVER mention that your child, your beautiful, innocent baby girl was murdered and since you didn’t do it…THERE IS A MURDERER RUNNING FREE OUT THERE! Right?

For every parent, sadly I know a few who have lost a child, I ask what does a normal life look like after your child is gone? Does their name still come up in conversation? Do you still get that sinking feeling when you see their picture or meet a child with the same name? Why isn’t Casey Anthony publicly demanding that the search for her daughter’s killer continue? I mean she has this uncensored forum. I cannot imagine an innocent parent, after having been dragged through a lengthy trial and found NOT guilty, sitting there talking about insignifcant accounts of her day when the guilty party roams the earth free.

Who is the voice of the silenced child? Who cries her tears and fights this battle? Rest in Peace, Little Caylee…we have not forgotten.

Roots and Wings

As we walk in our truth, in the pursuit of positive change and growth, we must keep in mind that our thoughts become things. If we think abundance and prosperity, we will live in abundance and prosperity. If we think about failure and defeat, we will live in that as well.  I challenge you to pray about, speak about and move consciously towards the life you MOST desire leaving behind the disappointments of the past. No this is not easy, but who promised it would be?  One of the greatest legacies we can leave is a fearless quest for greatness.  One that will equip our children with a life lesson that keeps on giving. That it is not our falling down that breaks us but, in fact, our getting up will MAKE us.  Our daughters and their daughters should not be afraid of this big world and neither should we.

Our younger selves would probably beat up our current self if she caught us hiding from a challenge. She knows you’re bigger than this moment.  Our truth is a journey into self discovery. It will make us open doors that were closed, turn on the lights in dark places, turn a whisper into a yell and free fall from a high place into an unknown space.

It is our responsibility to give the our girls the two things they need to grow and flourish, ROOTS and WINGS. We can’t make it without them and they won’t make it without us.  Happy trails!!!!