Behind My Sunglasses
I had this crazy idea to go to Busch Gardens alone for my birthday. After spending almost $50 to take a cab to get there from my hotel, it must have been a gazillion degrees outside! I wanted to take pictures of and with everything, but I hated to keep interrupting couples/families to take pictures of me with my camera. They were having a great time, with some pretty picturesque moments themselves, and I didn’t want to be a burden.
I had a picture taken by a woman at a gift shop in Busch Gardens who stopped to compliment me. She was super friendly and had no idea that behind my sunglasses, I was near tears (and probably a breakdown!) for having such an outlandish idea that I could enjoy myself at an amusement park unaccompanied. We engaged in a short conversation, wherein she encouraged me to ride in a cable car high above the trees. She motivated me so much so that I actually did it! In spite of the lovebirds I could see in the cable cars around me, I had a great time snapping photos of myself next to treetops, doing something I thought I would NEVER do! From there, I ended up going to see live entertainment shows, having lunch in a beautiful, well air-conditioned edifice, taking a nature walk, reading monuments, watching animals, and overall, thoroughly enjoying myself...alone.
There have been things you may have wanted to do in the past, but felt you needed companionship in order to have a good time. Wrong! Stop pressing an imaginary pause button on life waiting for a knight in shining armor to appear. It doesn’t work that way and you had better believe death is not waiting for you to finish your bucket list before he pays you a visit. Fall in love with the person staring back at you in the mirror that other people may have walked away from. If your good girlfriends are not available, call a travel agent, pack the sunscreen and be sure to keep me posted about what happened behind your sunglasses!
Where Are You?
I was going through something for quite some time, wherein I had been holding my breath as it relates to circumstances I did not have the time or will to address. I didn’t allow my mind, body or spirit to process whatever it was that I was avoiding. I swallowed, downplayed, ignored my feelings in a feign attempt to press forward…or so I thought. Come to find out, I wasn’t moving forward after all. My feet were stuck in quick sand, but I was able to move my upper body to get things done. Thus, I assumed I was making progress. Sound familiar?
The reason why you’re not advancing on the Outside is because you are not advancing on the Inside. You’re avoiding issues and welcoming distractions in the form of food, shopping, social media, television, drugs, alcohol or relationships. You’ve reached for everything, but God.
Have you ever stopped to truly consider where you are mentally, emotionally and spiritually? I don’t want you to consume yourself with being a victim of your circumstance. I don’t want you to have a myriad of pity parties. Contrarily, the idea is to take the time to effectively Process and Address. When you don’t take the time to process your day, it doesn’t diminish what has happened, but rather puts it on hold until you pick it up again. If you elect not to pick it back up, the positive or negative experiences is put in an internal storage closet.
If you successfully Process what has happened, it’s important that you Address it as well. Otherwise, you’ll remain in a victimized state. Do you want to live simply as a victim or as an overcomer? You CAN get through this and I am here to help. Let’s consider some ways you can gravitate towards winning within:
Acknowledge what happened, whether it’s good or bad
Forgive yourself. You are human and prone to make mistakes somewhere along the way. That’s life. Free yourself from the impossibility of absolute perfection.
There is so much in you that needs to be processed and addressed. Time does not heal all wounds if we don’t heal with time…
This award goes to…
Ever find it ironic that celebrities are awarded for authentically portraying someone they are not? I would imagine millions of dollars are spent for the festivities, venues, gowns, tuxedos, jewelry, etc in order to be celebrated for making us believe the nominee was convincing enough.
Well, I apologize for the short notice but let me give you a round of applause. I commend you for all the times you made us believe you were okay, for all the times you showed up to work or church with a smile on your face, when it took everything you had not to drive your car over a bridge. I celebrate you for pretending like you were ready for love, when all the while you were scared that a person could actually be a man or woman of their word.
We believed you, but now the show is over. Once the makeup, expensive designer brands and hair comes off, you still have layers of unresolved issues. Getting married or acquiring a well-paying job won’t change the fact that you have played a role. A role where you have starred with no competition. That believable version you played of someone else is screaming for a big break. It wants a chance to win at being authentically whole.
The little girl or boy inside of you wants a chance to grow. Before the abuse, before the lies, before the betrayal and disappointments, there was an innocence you embodied. Go back and get him or her! It’s not too late to exchange your award for the road less traveled…wholeness.
The sex is over. Now what?
In the midst of scattered sheets and a room in disarray, you gather your belongings and leave the home unsure as to whether this guy you’ve been seeing is going to call you again or seek a monogamous relationship with you. What should have been shared on a honeymoon and beyond has now been freely given to someone that you have an “undefined” relationship with. What is it about defining relationships that scares “almost” couples away? More importantly, why do we settle for relationships that are not defined at all?
If one or both of you are just getting out of a previous relationship, you may be taking things slowly this time around. Of course, you want to see where things may lead before a serious commitment, but factoring your body into the equation shouldn’t come with having a good time. Get this: He’s never told you that you are and will continue to be the only one he wants to be with, yet you assume that is the case because you’re always together. He refers to you as his friend or with no title at all in front of his family and friends. Sound familiar? If he has a phobia towards commitment before your relationship was defined, what are you expecting to happen after you give him your body? You will know a man sincerely wants to be with you based upon his investment in you. No matter how much the diamond bracelet or the dinner check costs, they don’t add up to your body. You’re worth a wedding ring and vows before God.
Putting a title on things makes you responsible. If you put something in the refrigerator and someone eats it, their justification may be that they did not know it was yours. However, if your name is on it, that person is held responsible for eating something that did not belong to them. So it is with relationships. It’s so much easier not to complicate things with titles; nevertheless, having sex first and expecting love later is a surefire way to set yourself up for heartbreak, an unplanned pregnancy, or a sexually transmitted disease. Anyone else up for the “complicated” route now?
I am told (and firmly believe) that when a man REALLY wants to be with you, nothing can stop him. Don’t be afraid to “rock the boat” with direct questions about where you stand. If you have to ask at all, you may already have your answer, but that’s a different blog. Stop pretending you’re indifferent about something that’s important to you. The bottom line is this: the world is full of precious children born out of lust, rather than love. No one is wearing a sign indicating if and whether they are carrying a sexually transmitted disease. We’re crossing our fingers in hopes of demonstrating some form of parental structure that we have never seen. The cycle will continue if we don’t put our foot down and respect ourselves.
I’m all for spontaneity and going with the flow, but not when it comes to my heart. Having someone choose not to be with you AFTER they’ve seen you at your most intimate state is the ultimate rejection. I am fully aware of the fact that some of you grew up in situations wherein you were unable to decide when to be intimate or were never taught the value of your bodies. However, it doesn’t matter where you start, it does matter where you finish.
You have to put an invisible bow on top of your head and realize that what you have to offer is a gift to someone. Stop allowing discounts, when being with you should be a package deal. Sex first and love later will never be the keys to developing a successful relationship. Get to the point where you stop racking your brain wondering whether someone loves you after you have sex. Stop walking around talking about what a prize you are if everyone gets a chance to have it for a little while. The people that you are in relationships with do things that they are allowed to do. You are too beautiful and have been through too much to settle for misconstrued love yet again. Once you start setting standards for your body, then people that genuinely want to pursue you will have to follow suit. After today, you have no excuse to pout about an undefined relationship, if you never insisted that your relationship be defined.
I wanted a box that was sitting on top of a locker at work. One of the men jokingly asked me why I acted like I had alligator arms all of a sudden. That led me to think, “Why do we pretend to have alligator arms when it comes to our goals?”
Asking the average person why they haven’t pursued a career goal, entrepreneurship or went back to school oftentimes yields a myriad of excuses. They can stretch for the attention of a love interest, but can’t exercise the same vigilance to better themselves.
I want you to take a moment to consider the kinds of things you go all out for. Whether it’s a vacation, a pair of shoes or the needs of a child, you have undoubtedly spared no cost in some form or another. Now, I want to you to consider what you have done to enhance your life in terms of inner success. See the disparity?
In this moment, you have the opportunity to forego the alligator arms mentality, in favor of finally becoming a better you. You don’t get a second at this life. Make your move.
It’s Coming…Can you feel it?
I was babysitting a five year old when all of a sudden, he called my name rather urgently. I hurriedly ushered into the room to see what the issue was, only to see…opening credits for a movie. Confused, I glanced from the television to the small child. He didn’t understand my confusion and wanted to simplify the matter by informing me that the opening credits was for the movie, “Frozen.”
I chuckled inwardly as I noticed that there were no words on the screen. As a matter of fact, there weren’t any people or even a picture of the movie setting yet. However, based on the music introducing what was to come, the child knew what was about to happen. Do you see where I am going with this?
Something is brewing. Look at the number of obstacles and the number of doors that have seemingly been slammed in your face. Take note of the level of discouragement and distraction that the enemy has been using to get you off course. The opposition at work, church, family, etcera, has told on themselves. God is indeed up to something.
It’s time for us to get into position. You don’t want to be called onto platforms and not have enough word to sustain you. You don’t want to be called to witness and your social media accounts contradict your testimony. There is no place we can hide from Him. There is no message in your phone, inbox, direct message, or purse that He did not see. You can’t afford to miss this next move of God. Repent and turn from your way to His way. Something is coming. Can you feel it?
Click here to listen to Sheree's transparent interview on Blogtalk360.
Sheree's Five Reasons Why You Could Be Single
1. You’ve taken your independence too far. No one wants to feel invaluable in a relationship. Search within and find out how important you have made people feel in your life. We all need somebody and that person(s) shouldn’t have to guess you love them.
2. No research on failed relationships. My book, What Are You Bringing to the Table, discusses this in more depth; however, answer me this: What is the underlying theme for the demise of your past relationships? Have you made contact with your ex’s to find out what you did wrong? Never, ever shoulder all the blame, but you have to take some measure of responsibility for what happened to cause the downfall in your friendships and relationships. If you don’t work on your character, you will never progress and thus, the merry-go-round will continue.
3. You struggle with submission. It’s difficult to learn the significance of submission when you have never grown up in a household where the Ephesians 5:22 scriptural inference “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord” is carried out in a healthy manner. Thus, as women we sometimes are afraid of losing our identity and subjecting ourselves to a more traditional role that is deemed to reflect that of an individual who has no real life outside of her home. It’s very imperative that you find a wise male leader to subject to, whether it be a Pastor, mentor, colleague, professor, etc. These men should not take advantage of your vulnerability, lack of a father figure or your quest for knowledge inside the male brain, but rather carry and convey the characteristics you would like to have in your impending marriage.
4. You haven't healed. No man wants to listen to the saga of your past relationships over and over again, nor does he want to be constantly accused of what your last man did. Allow me to share some tough love with you: You are not the first person to get cheated on, abused, and abandoned. You cannot afford to die emotionally. Get rid of the pictures, voicemails, text messages, friends, or anything else that keeps you from moving forward. Some of us have this brilliant idea that the fastest way to get over an ex is to replace him with a new guy. Wrong! When you don’t give yourself a chance to heal and reflect, your judgment is thwarted. The level of pain you endured throughout your failed relationships determines the necessity and oftentimes, the longevity of your healing. You’re too old to keep repeating the same mistakes. The merry-go-round must end. It’s time to work on you. Jesus is the ultimate healer and specializes in our restoration.
5. You give it up too soon. Sex clouds your judgment. Chemistry is complicated enough without you factoring sex into the equation. Your body is a gift that should never be unwrapped by someone that won't commit to you before God. It doesn't matter how many people you've slept with in the past or who initially stole your right to say no, now is the time to realize that you are a prize. Muffin top, bad skin, big feet and all, you are beautiful because you are God's creation. Don't feel as if you have to give your body in order for them to reciprocate with their heart.
Click here to watch Sheree's 30 second motivational segment on What's Good Cleveland?
The men we overlook
Let me start by saying that it takes a lot to catch my eye. To put it another way, there are simply not a host of things that garner my interest. Not to mention the fact that I have mastered the art of being physically present, but emotionally absent. Nevertheless, I attended a luncheon wherein I had the distinct privilege to be served by a gentleman who was so attentive to the people at the tables under his care. He was humble, gracious, listened well and hastened to fulfill our needs. Overall, he appeared to be the epitome of what it means to go above and beyond the call of duty.
I speak on character a lot more in my book, What Are You Bringing to the Table, but women whatever you do, please do not overlook a man’s work ethic. After all, it’s a reflection of his character and commitment. If his (legal) employment is severely unstable or he conjures up excuses as to why he can’t do what he gets paid to do, these are clear indications that he may be lazy. I don’t know about you, but witnessing a lazy man makes my skin crawl!
With that being said, don’t overlook the guy that doesn’t need to be the life of the party, may not have the charisma of Idris Elba, has an imperfect background or fails to meet your six figure salary requirement. Let me help you: Whatever package God puts your gift in, trust me you want it! Never turn your nose up at God’s plan. He sees further than you could possibly imagine. The guy in a blue collar uniform may have the favor to get a prayer through and the faithfulness to stand by you through a detrimental illness.While you’re questioning his character, don’t forget to do a self-inventory. It would do you well to really search within and not make the casual mistake of downplaying your own character flaws. Why? Because relationships start in the mirror, not in the sheets…