WANTED: A Few Good Fathers

fatherhood

The title says it all. The world needs a few good fathers. Well, more than a few, but a few is a good place to start. Fathers are important for a plethora of emotional, psychological, and lots of other –ological reasons you can and can’t think of. They help form our identity, provide stability, love us, protect us, and encourage us . . . or not. The “not” results in, quite often, identity issues and hopelessness. I’ve been thinking about fathers as I watch and read the news about the riot going on smack dab in the middle of America. I wonder how many of the looters lack a father or father figure who cared enough to discipline them, to call them on their crap, to show them how to raise themselves above the violence and drug and gang culture they live in. I wonder how many of those protesting...
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Happy Now

Love yourself to be happy

I hope you read my post on finding your purpose in life. Purpose gives our lives meaning and contributes to our happiness. But even if you’re not at a place where you’re actively pursuing your goals and dreams, you can choose to be happy. Because happiness is a choice which is not dependent on possessions, social status, the absence of adversity, or perfect health. If you wait to be happy based on these things, you’re in for some major disappointment. Much happiness relates to your level of self-acceptance. I mean, if you don’t like you, how can you expect to be happy? Take this self-acceptance quiz to find out where you stand: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Self-Acceptance-Scale A lot of lack of self-acceptance has to do with guilt. Whether it’s real guilt over the past or false guilt for things you aren’t responsible for, guilt robs us of joy. Guilt causes us to punish...
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Blog Your Purpose

Where is God calling you

Ever wondered what your purpose is? It’s a question we ask ourselves at various stages in life. When we’re young, the question is usually framed as, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” The question seems settled once we hit college, but then we graduate and start a career (many times one which has nothing to do with our degree) and maybe a family and we’re so busy that our purpose seems superfluous to establishing a home or financial independence. But then the question arises again if we find ourselves dissatisfied with our quality of life. “This is it? There must be more.” By then we are filling so many roles – worker, spouse, parent – that we wonder what happened to our dreams, the spark which warmed our hearts for so long. It’s no wonder marriages fall apart when one spouse snaps, believing he/she has wrongly...
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Relationship Detox

toxic relationships

The other day, a friend’s ex-spouse said he was planning to move to another state. My friend felt this incredible lightening of her spirit at the thought that this abusive, conniving man would finally be removed from her sphere (they share custody of their kids, so she’s had to have some contact with him). It then hit her how for almost twenty years she’s been influenced by his toxicity; how so much of her energy and thoughts have been focused on him, thoughts of hate and bitterness and annoyance. . . and how she’s had enough of it. My friend is long overdue for a relationship detox. The definition of detoxify is to remove a poisonous or harmful substance from (something). We can all use a relationship detox from persons who act as poison to our thoughts and actions. Instead of edifying us, they are harmful to us. I’m sure...
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Removing Your Mask in Society’s Masquerade

be who you want to be

Who are you? When someone asks you this question, what will your answer be? Most of us fall into the trap of being the person we are not but the person others expect us to be or the person media tells us we should be. We walk around in branded clothes and expensive shoes; we boast about our big houses; we drive fast cars; and we act a certain way around other people. It’s like the person we show is an identity that is nowhere near who we truly are. And we do all these for the sake of approval and acceptance; to fit in and be “like everyone else.” But have you ever stopped and asked yourself who you really are? Do you really want to be like everyone else? Who is the person behind the mask that media and other people’s opinions imposed on you? More importantly, are...
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The Problem With Fiction Writers Is…

reality fiction

The problem with fiction writers is they avoid adding snippets of their lives to their story like the plague. Some believe that weaving the writer’s experiences and feelings into a fictional novel only makes a thinly veiled memoir that is written with much laziness and self-absorption. I don’t agree. If you ask me who Bella White is, I’d say Bella is me. I am that overweight, half-Scottish half-Samoan, poor single mom whose ups, downs, and near-death experience led her to rediscover herself and her worth. She’s a fictional character, yes, but she’s me. Through her story, I was able to share my feelings about and experiences concerning my weight, self-esteem, and relationships to thousands of my readers. And they loved it. They loved every bit of it because Bella’s story resonated with theirs. I’d like to think that that’s the key to writing a story that will be read and...
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The Incredible Changing Woman

Do not change who you are to be accepted

Had an interesting hour and a half-long conversation today with a friend about relationships. Not just romantic relationships, but good old-fashion friendships and why they’re so hard to come by. Our overwhelming conclusion was that when people won’t be themselves, the quality of their relationships suffers. And that’s a big problem, especially for us women. We change who we are to attract and/or keep the man we like. We give up hobbies, goals, and dreams to conform to whatever he likes or what he wants to do. Which means we’re not being honest with him or ourselves. Which doesn’t end well. Sometimes in our incompatibility, we convince ourselves a certain guy is the best thing to come along and so we willingly give up our goals/dreams – which in essence is giving up a part of ourselves — in order to make the relationship work. Which doesn’t sound a whole...
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Status Post

Living Significantly Through Time Alone

Senior woman writing in notebook

A friend texted me not long ago that her boyfriend broke up with her. I have lost count of how many boyfriends she’s had over the past 20+ years. There’s been two fiancés as well. Mr. Most Recent was not yet divorced from his wife. Neither was the last guy.

Rather than jump right into a new relationship, maybe it’s time for her (and him) to be alone for a while. Being alone is a scary thing for some people. I mean, who wants to be alone? You want to know someone cares about you, is there for you. Even if you’re super busy with work or other activities, it’s nice to know there’s someone, somewhere, waiting for you....
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Alone

feeling alone

There’s almost nothing worse than being unattached while around two people who have recently started dating. I’m talking the type who are waaaay into each other to the point that they’re hardly aware of the eleven other people seated at the table eating lunch together (of course, this is a hypothetical scenario). The leaning toward each other, the incessant smiles, and hushed tones as they talk about sweet nothings: it all reinforces the fact that once again, you have not been chosen. Though you may look like the gal who is chosen and even share a lot of the same habits and tastes, it is her and not you who “wins.” I spent the rest of the day (hypothetically, of course; this didn’t really happen) feeling crushed. The guy in question and I used to date but that’s ancient history. There’s a ton of things about him I can’t abide....
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