Category: Relationships

3 posts

Authenticity: Keep it Real with God [Part II]

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ImageThe man upstairs is how some refer to God, a distant reference to a God who wants to be so close to our hearts! Some of our prayers are so disconnected and robotic “God bless me… Amen.”  All God truly wants is for us to pull down the walls and keep it real with Him. A relationship without intimacy (sharing of personal thoughts and emotions) will be superficial. If we only keep it at a surface level with God, you may not fully experience the deep relationship many of us crave.

If you ever find yourself around a gentleman, and a lady is in his presence he won’t let her carry anything.  I know God as a gentleman. Although I am on stage acting or speaking publicly I am an introvert by nature. I carry a lot of weight internally; God knows this, so He reminds me to let Him carry it (1 Peter 5:7). In order to let Him carry your cares or anxieties you have to trust Him. Vulnerability breeds authenticity.

In life there will be experiences that may consist of joy and excitement, as well as tears and turbulence. Having a relationship with God will help with dealing with both sides of the coin. It won’t be easy but it is well worth it.  God is a gentleman so He won’t force you to have a relationship with Him. On the flip side, He is a romantic so He will woo you! God is the lover of your soul. There are so many things that have hurt us in the past. We have walls built up to protect us from future pain but those same walls are shutting God out. How can He reveal more of His character to you? First, remove the walls that you have built up brick by brick by being honest with God. That means revealing anger, fear, doubts, disappointments, loss, regret and bitterness… laying it all out.

ImageOne of my favorite books in the bible is Psalms. David and the other writers kept it real with God, pouring out their hearts. David expresses true sincerity with every verse; poetic authenticity that gives us a glimpse into his heart for God. I could just imagine David journaling his joys, hurts, depression, despair and frustrations. When you read the Psalms one moment David is saying Praise the Lord sharing his adoration for God the next moment, he is worn out from calling for help (Psalm 69:3) then his soul is down cast (Psalm 42:5), then he is asking God for forgiveness for his sins (Psalm 38). These can all be different seasons in his life but for the most part, it means that he had an authentic relationship with God. God allowed him to share how he really felt about his circumstances and God gives us the same access.

There are only a slim few who know me very well. I may get the question “how are you doing?”  I might respond “I’m ok,”  but only those special people can look past my cheerful disposition and then ask me again “NO REALLY… how are you doing?’’ Depending on who is asking, I really go in-depth and share what is going on. I’m learning that although there may be people who truly care about me, everyone cannot handle or help carry some of my burdens (I will be writing about “safe people” soon). Those that he has placed in my life that can, I am grateful for them <3. The beauty about God is that he can handle all of it! Many of us go to God acting like it’s all good and He’s giving you the side eye like …. No for real… What’s really going on? Although He knows all things, He still wants you to share your heart with Him!

2013 was one of the most painful years that I have gone through. While everyone was excited about 2014, I stepped into a new yearImage without my mommy </3. I was and I am still grieving the loss of my golden star. My whole world shattered. I can’t explain it but I’ve never felt so much pain in my life thus far yet, I have never felt so close to God. Through this season God constantly tugged at my heart, when I had no words to pray or when I couldn’t find the words to write because I was so heartbroken. I soon learned that God is truly close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), I always felt His presence. As of now some days are better than others. I truly take it one day at a time. I see so much of my mom in me, I miss her like crazy <3.

The best advice that I received was from my cousin and she told me to grieve in the way I chose to grieve, no apologies. Then my mentor told me to go through my experience authentically. I ran with it! Freedom!!! God allowed me to be honest with Him about how I was truly feeling just like Job. Job is another book in the bible that I love. I’ve read Job before, but this time was different, every word pierced my heart like daggers, I felt it! Job expressed his hurts to God authentically, he kept it real. This Christian walk is not only about joy and blessings! No matter how much we love Jesus, we will experience tragedy!  Open up your heart to God through each season of your life.

Start with prayer. Hey, you do what best suits you. Don’t get caught up in tradition so much. Your quiet time with God doesn’t have to be super structured. You create it! Some of the best conversations I have had with friends… we have no agenda. Let your prayers be conversational or if you are more of a writer start a journal.   Granted, there will be many occasions when we come to God for specific needs and requests. If you are hurt, start there. “God I am hurt about…” Sometimes you won’t have any words to say… it’s ok… let the tears fall. He understands that as well. Just be your beautiful self in His presence, He gets you! God will not judge you for not being strong enough…man will. You are not weak because you are vulnerable. It takes great courage to delve into your soul and share yourself, the raw and uncut version. Everybody cannot “hang,” but God can! The experiences that you go through may even cause you to stray away…it happens… come back. Through your pain, He will carry you with His grace.

Vicky S. Joseph

Vicky is vibrant and vivacious and she exudes versatility. With Her sparkling personality she wants to ignite moral change in individuals through creative expressions such as acting, writing, public speaking and poetry.

 

Ride or Die

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How many times must you be embarrassed, disappointed, have egg on your face, or have to pick your face up off of the floor, before you realize that you are in several one-sided relationships. Your “boys” are not really there for you, your “girls” are simply using you, or your “man” is not really down for you!

I have had to reevaluate this phrase “ride or die” because interesting enough those who are loyal in many relationships the loyalty is not being reciprocated.

Check this out:

Are you the one your friend calls for moral support after a breakup or a mishap and when you need them they’re always “busy?”

Are you in an emotionally draining friendship with someone who you have to rescue or bail out of trouble all the time?

Are you in a romantic relationship with a man or a woman who demands total commitment and loyalty from you but he/she is clearly unfaithful?

Let’s get to it! START READING Ride or Die

 

Mixed Messages

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I saw this Facebook Status update along the lines of “Men/Women should not verbally claim they are involved with someone romantically when the other party has not confirmed the seriousness  of the relationship.” That statement makes perfect sense. If both parties have not consented to terms in which they both agree with, in terms of being in an “mutually exclusive” relationship, then unfortunately, one party may be sadly disillusioned.

Then I thought to myself. Why would anyone in their right mind ever claim to be  dating someone exclusively if both parties have not expressed that they are together officially? Then it dawned on me. It’s simple! Two words: Mixed Messages. Sometimes people make the mistake of “acting” as though they are completely into someone when they know in their heart of hearts they would never officially pursue a long-term relationship with that person.

We have all seen this case before. A case in which a young womans Facebook relationship status is “in a relationship” and her boyfriend status is “single” or vice versa. I remember an instance where a young man was asked about his girlfriend and he blatantly denied having a girlfriend. On the other hand, the young lady in question was publicly declaring that they were an item. Everyone was confused regarding this relationship. The way he interacted with her, based on the verbal cues, non verbal cues and even the body language we all assumed they were together. According to him they were not.  I wished he would have expressed that same sentiment to the young lady. Men and women alike need to be clear about their intentions when it comes to exploring a romantic relationship with someone, if not emotional scars may be a result.

How do we send mixed messages?

Terms of endearment: Baby, Babe, Boo, Sweetheart, My girl, Hun, Sweetie, My man, and Papi/Mami are more or less “pet names” that can be used for a girlfriend/boyfriend. In using terms of endearment when conversing in platonic relationships, it may change the dynamic of the friendship.

Touching: Keep your hands to yourself. Physical touch may be another way both parties can send mixed messages. Holding hands, arms around the shoulder or around the waist should not be appropriate for a friend. Hugging is okay; there is a thin line between platonic and romantic and whenever those lines get crossed, it causes confusion in the relationship.

Empty Promises: “I see myself spending the rest of my life with you,” “You would make a wonderful father to my children,” “When I get my life together, I am going to “wife” you up.” What is unfair is when people say these empty promises in their platonic relationships, it gives the person on the receiving end false hope that one day this platonic relationship will become romantic when in actuality, in many cases those promises do not pan out the way they were presented.

Boyfriend/Girlfriend Duties: Going to dinner with your “friend”  every night, spending an excessive amount of alone time together, meeting friends and the whole family, sharing of very personal information/items, and the like. In these cases, it is easy for the platonic and romantic lines to be blurred. This occurs when a friend is taking on boyfriend/girlfriend responsibilities when they do not have a title. When asked if this person is your boyfriend/girlfriend, you don’t know what to say because you don’t even know. What happens is because no one has an official title, one person may introduce the other as a friend. In private a conversation may begin along the lines of “What? I’m only a friend?” and that is where the drama begins.

Going to dinner and hanging out with a friend is not the issue, the issue is not having healthy boundaries. Without boundaries with the opposite sex this breeds confusion and hurt emotions, especially if one person assumes they are in a relationship when they are indeed not in a relationship. If there has been an extensive amount of mixed messages sent,  a conversation should be had about the stance of the relationship. The cool thing about being friends is that you can talk to your friend openly and honestly about your feelings. If the feelings are mutual, great! If not, hopefully it doesn’t ruin the friendship and both parties can continue to be friends. Be sure to clear the air so both individuals are on the same page.