The Urgency of Self-love

The Urgency of Self-love 

It’s a new era in this generation called “millennials”, the tech generation, the free spirits, and the “self-loved”. I am 100% pro learning to love yourself, I would love to see everyone who I cross energy with to experience the peace and joy that accompanies self-love, however, I think many people miss the purpose of what that (self-love) means. In this new era I’ve noticed a lot of the claims of self-love are coming from a sort of narcissistic, selfish, sometimes fearful place. The “I’m going to love me because no one deserves me” people, the “I’m going to love me because no one else will love me” people, or the “every time I’ve tried it fails so I’m all I got” self-love type of people. These are dangerous philosophies. 

The urgency of self-love that I believe people miss is the purpose to elevate the love for oneself in order to love someone else the way you love you. With unrepentant sincerity. Everyone wants a great love but we cannot for the life of us be one. We cannot give what we don’t have and so, often times, we create these affectations of love lacking the truth of it. We do good in order to get back, we love those that are easy to love, the ones that we agree with; there is no real sincerity in that kind of behavior. This is a generation that is constantly looking on the outside trying to find meaning for what’s on the inside; their desire to be loved, not realizing the lack of real love within is the cause of their confusion. You see people trying to satiate this desire with things and other peoples superficial attention, you notice they have no real sense of joy or peace because they aren’t being their authentic selves and they get exhausted. Some of these people often say things like “I don’t trust anyone”, “I’m focused on me”, “I’m about the money” and the like. They adopt principles that isolate instead of invite, keeping them from having to express humility or sincerity all the while exhorting “self love”. They are often overly sensitive, easily offended, inconsistent, uncommitted, and show no real interest others happiness if it doesn’t include a reward for them. 

There are those who are on the right path of self love but they struggle because of the company they keep. They wish to be influential love givers to the people they love and care about but those people don’t love and care about themselves the way they should to have the capacity to receive the truth of love they desire. These people usually end up corrupting their idea of self love that they are practicing simply because of their stubborn unwillingness to change their environment. I believe very firmly that you cannot learn to be different in the company of people desperately trying to stay the same. Those people want the benefit without the effort. A part of self love means severing connections with dead weight, destructive influences, and toxic relationships. You can only love people based on the quality of love you have for yourself and the quality of love people believe they deserve; these things have to match. Unfortunately, we have people who are dying trying to save people who can only be saved by themselves.

We forfeit our right to love for a twisted affectation of love that’s at best, and in part, sensually masturbatory. What I mean by that is we focus on just pleasing ourselves and feeling good. We stroke our own egos for a climactic attention high all the while holding on to a cynicism about love that includes anyone else because that kind of love has been defeated within us. We forfeit humility for pride because no one ever lifted us up, we forfeit courtesy because no one ever put us first, we forfeit patience because being offended is way easier than trying to understand, we forfeit honesty because we have been lied to when we allowed our hearts to lead, we forfeit forgiveness because we need to remember the pain in order to justify our condition, and we forfeit self-control because we feel like we deserve to revel in our lust for feeling good. These things corrupt our character, they corrupt the idea of love in its entirety and leaves us with a void of longing that will never be filled. We will become angrier, more bitter, more contemptuous, self seeking tyrants, turning into the very people we were betrayed by in turn betraying ourselves. 

Self-love embodies the character traits of humility, courtesy, patience, honesty, forgiveness, and self-control. It cannot be defeated by the decisions of other people, it cannot be swayed by their opinions, it will not lack in provision for you, and it surely will not keep you from loving other people. When we learn to accept the trials of life and learn to overcome these toxic philosophies that keep us prisoners to doubt and fear our perspectives on love will begin to change. We will stop feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with us, but everything to do with the condition of other peoples minds. Love is not the romanticized happily ever after that’s beat into our minds. Its rough, hard and takes time and effort that doesn’t always feel good. It’s a lifestyle that takes practice and study, it has to be who you are before it can be something you do. Although we may fail at it enough to frustrate us to the point of giving up, one thing remains true about love and its that love done wrong may hurt for the moment but love done right heals for a lifetime. That’s enough to keep going. 

Love Therapy

Couples who have been together for a while, and new partners wondering how to make it last, love has revolutions that must be completed. There will come a time when you must go deep as one determined unit, past transgressions and inadvertent wounds to rediscover the magic and essence of your individual couplehood.

Destroy & Rebuild Foundations

In relationships, we must be aware not everything old is compatible with the new. Things that have worked for us in our past, may not work in our future or present relationships. Your partnership is much like a house built from the ground up. If you want that house to last, it requires a strong foundation. Lots of people build their homes using the blueprints of old, outdated foundations, then they move in and everything slowly falls apart. The house is eventually destroyed, but the foundation laid remains until they decide to build a new one.

The entire process of destroying and rebuilding foundations starts with constructing your personal foundation. Prepare yourself with patience and understanding, identify what it is that you are searching for and practice articulating your needs to whomever it is you decide to be involved with. You must also have the ability to recognize when a person isn’t on the same page as you and then make the proper adjustments as necessary, which may mean limiting interactions, or calls. You should also strive for learning to convey the reason for your adjustment. It is crucial that after you make any form of adjustment that you remain firm in your decision.

Make sure you build your foundation with constructive qualities and beliefs. A constructive foundation embodies what you need, which allows you to express your needs to potential partners without forcing them to compromise their own values. Because they keep their sense of self, it permits them to give to you confidently and comfortably. Nobody enjoys feeling as if they are being taken from, drained, or compromised, so be sure to make it easy for people to want to give to you.

It isn’t difficult for a person to recognize another person who has a solid foundation, that’s because you will project an outward expression of an embodied stronghold. Your confidence, mannerisms, and ability to communicate will manifest themselves more effectively  because of your strengthened foundation. Only those who have built strong foundations have the ability to withstand the weathering of a real relationship so, build on to yourself before attempting to construct with another person.

Diminishing Misconceptions

Many of us enter into our relationships believing in certain concepts of love that could potentially damage the welfare of our relationships. These misconceptions place expectations on our partners that they may or may not have the capacity to deliver, and when they fail to meet those expectations we resent our partners and blame love. As we grow in our relationships, misconceptions such as “love is a two-way street” or “love doesn’t hurt” should be ruled null and void because they don’t apply in a real relationship.

Love in it’s most simplistic definition is “charity.” Charity is a gift from one party to another without any payment or gift anticipated in return. When we define love as “charity” it never becomes a two-way street, in fact, love is often a one way street with a stop light. It’s necessary to regulate just how much love you are giving out because giving too much of yourself can cause you to either forget about your own needs or may cause you to be taken advantage of. When love is working the way it was designed to work, that’s where the two-way street manifests, two people giving freely of themselves. It is not you give me some then I’ll give some back. Similar to a highway, sometimes one side has traffic and the other side is flowing. Love fluctuates.

Another misconception is that “love doesn’t hurt.” Love hurts for the better. The very idea of love forces us to break bad habits, do things we normally don’t do, and above all, it forces us to be vulnerable. There will always be moments when love hurts because nothing good comes without hard work and the willingness to take a potentially painful risk. Love is an action meant to be performed over and over again; some of us get it right the first or second time around, but others have to learn the painful lessons it takes to become intimate with love and learn how to apply what we’ve learned to the necessary areas.

Maintaining Consistency

Lack of consistency is one of the top reasons why relationships fail. This is the reason why our partners may say, “He doesn’t do the things he used to do”, or  “She’s not the same person I remember.” Consistency is vital to our relationships’ success. Consistency, by one definition, means “an agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole.” So ask yourself, what are we agreeing on? and where is our harmony that is necessary for a successful relationship?

Four Key Practices

Love in Communication: Hone communicating your feelings regardless of fear or doubt. Do this knowing it means progress and understanding when you are being communicated to as well.

Love in relations: Show love in this area not just sexually, but find what makes each of you feel appreciated. When you do this neither you or your partner will feel burdened when giving.

Love in confrontation: Even when you’re disagreeing, show love. Never use hurtful information against each other because you erode your partner’s sense of trust that they can’t be intimate with you. Find a way to argue productively towards a solution or just listen to what’s being said.

Believing in the Existence of Love: The biggest and most powerful lie we can tell ourselves is that love doesn’t exist or it doesn’t work. Find a way to destroy the barriers keeping you from loving and love selflessly and abundantly,  and you’ll rarely be unsatisfied.

Human beings instinctively seek the most comfortable and pleasurable circumstances, elements that are naturally consistent within our personalities. With a combination of life experience and external influence, we develop an internal persona which influences our perspectives, decisions and attractions. We then let this persona develop our idea of love, which serves to become an item of our basic instinct: the yearning to be satiated.

People continuously change within relationships, however, love does not change. In order to have a sense of consistency, we must embody a synonymous definition of love. As we hold on to our definition, our personalities will mature, but the actions we took at the beginning of our relationship will never go away because they will grow as we do.

Our agreement to love another produces a harmony between two hearts and minds; it allows us to apply every variable of love to each other consistently. This doesn’t mean there won’t be issues within the relationship, (every relationship has them), but it does mean issues will be solved with love, that troubles should be resolved productively. Maintain your consistency by upholding your agreement to love and fight against your selfish instincts. Love is a living thing, which thrives as you provide for its care. The more you place your relationship into love, the more love places itself into you.

Appreciation & Reassurance
Men and women have many incentives to love, however, there are two in particular that are constant necessities in any relationship. Appreciation and reassurance. Each of these qualities are love’s fuel and glue and need to be exercised often in any relationship. Although men and women have a different demand for each of the two, women, I believe, are more in need of reassurance, as men are more in need of appreciation.
Because women instinctively love through their ability to communicate feelings of love and spending quality time with their partners, they have little issue reassuring. Men, on the other hand, naturally love through their ability to provide, protect and physically please, so appreciation is one of men’s natural gifts. Again, this is my opinion. Both men and women should be proactive in learning how to give to each others love in this respect.
Without these elements, resentment can be created, which may cause other aspects of the relationship to deteriorate, communication, for example. If one isn’t receiving these necessities, the resentment may cause a person’s ability to communicate from a place of love to be diminished and therefore, to become ineffective.
Conversely, appreciation and reassurance encourage a a cycle of building trust within a relationship, which ultimately guides the two of you into true intimacy. Intimacy, being the final and most important part of any relationship as well as the most difficult to attain if the prerequisites haven’t been met. Lovers must keep appreciation and reassurance in mind at all times if they truly wish to take their relationship to the next level.
Setting Boundaries & Gaining Understanding
In our generation’s relationship practices, we see a lot boundaries being crossed as well as the presence of stubbornness ruining the stability of relationships. It is more than necessary to establish how far you are willing to go for the sake of your relationship, and even more necessary to learn to understand the other. There are too many people who have no discernible perimeter for what they will do to keep their relationship, due to the fear of starting over or being alone. At the same time, people define too many limitations for what their partner cannot do in their relationship. Relationships can’t function under those kinds of circumstances.
It is of the greatest importance to maintain your own identity within your relationship. Any and all relationships are a sum of two parts working together and should remain two parts to continue being considered a relationship. The feeling of love can be a consuming one. If you are taken by that feeling to a point where you are no longer an independent operator in your relationship it may result in your being drained of an ability to be conscious of boundaries you shouldn’t cross. You will do things because you “love” them, ignore signs that are obvious to everyone observing them and blame yourself for problems that arise in your situation (I reference “situation” because at this level your relationship has ceased).
Gaining understanding in a relationship is vital. To know your partner’s habits, likes, and dislikes is one thing, but to understand why they are important to them is far more important. Understanding must be reached in relationships, or resentments could potentially damage the relationship. Arguments and misunderstandings are inevitable in all relationships, however, they are just learning experiences. Remembering this may help you during your next disagreement.
Certain boundaries need to be discussed in relationships, especially as sexual romance is concerned. Many people are not willing and/or comfortable fulfilling certain of their partner’s sexual desires. Discuss these challenges and settle upon a mutual agreement.
Once these boundaries are set and understanding is achieved, the lines of communication become clearer and resolution easier. All of these items work together in love and should be exercised consciously.
Reaching for Intimacy
The most important step in our love relationships is reaching intimacy. Defined as “the acquiring of a deep unusual understanding of a person”, reaching intimacy requires the constant study of your partner’s mental, emotional and physical conditions to understand their being.
It requires trust in your most vulnerable areas, too: forgiveness and sacrificing your will for the sake of love.
Intimacy doesn’t happen magically or suddenly; it requires absolute commitment to not just the “titles” to which many of us apply so much substance. It requires the decision to put your hands to the plow and cultivate your love regardless the season. If you have no trust or fear of being vulnerable you will find it impossible to acquire the experience of an intimate love. But you must first make yourself available to it and then stick with it.
You must be proud of your relationship as you give up being prideful. Accept the possibility of being wrong. Know what roles you play, and give your partner your best effort.

We Are One

You're like an unsheathed sword whose blade has countless nicks

It glistens with blood, encroached by rust

A half broken blade with a lethal crack

You give into fear unable to face your grief

You turn away from love in utter disbelief 

You'd rather die lonely in the cold

Than be refined by hammer under fire

You are but a days end away from being thin as wire 

You are one rain drop away from snapping in two

I was to be a sheath to you

to support, guard and be one with you

To let your jagged edges rest in my spirit

To be refined by the fire in my soul 

Forgive me for my absence

I fell at the wayside of pride

Shrouded in ego

Encumbered by unconscious paradigms

With the image of God created in me

I should have known the power of your femininity 

All that it is gave meaning to my masculinity 

For out of man you came to be

Now all of you lives inside of me

We are whole and complete and lacking nothing 

Having been made one in each other

We have become as lightning and thunder 

At the hand of love 

We are one because of the other

Fears labyrinth 

She’s a walking masquerade stuck behind many different faces trying to find the right one to replace the one that shows her pain

Her beautiful light dimmed by her inner fears, stricken by remnants of pain well rooted in her memories

Tears swallowed with shots of resentment, manipulation of the many are her due recompense

She knows he loves her, she knows he cares but the last time she thought it was love it was a joke

her countenance broke when the truth hit her 

Showered her in melancholy and left her with a life long memory of him 

Her light was dimmed by the darkness of turmoil, her plans foiled by inner confusion

Illusions plague her road to sanity

Gripped by despair unable to rid herself from calamities chains she mindlessly wonders in circles around her broken heart in search of it’s missing pieces

Pieces clinched in the fists of her past

Unconscious chains tangled in the weeds of her insecurities 

Notions of a forever make her cringe

The fear of vulnerability cripples her ability to trust 

What cannot be controlled must be done away with 

Trapped in a labyrinth of deception 

Mirrors with false reflections 

A hell for those who have eyes but still are too blind to see

The Workshops

Find me in the workshops of your mind

Building love on the foundation of your treasures

Feed me the bread of your devotion 

May you live in every part of me forever 

Quench my thirst with the wine of your lips

Allow me to revel in the inebriation of your touch 

Clinch your fist into my flesh 

Sink your teeth into my chest

Wrap your desire around my waist 

Plunge me deeper into your embrace

Lets dance in rhythmic energy

Let your eyes whisper the passions trapped inside by the necklace of my masculinity 

Burn me with the heat of your vibrating soul 

Ignite me 

Combine me with your femininity 

Emerge me

So should I find you in the dining room of our romance

Enticed by the fragrance of wine 

Feasting at the delicacies we made 

Enjoying the treasures of our love

I will remember the time spent in the workshops of your mind

Why Can’t I Love You?

When I was a child I used to ask myself what is love, until I found out. I found out that God is love and love is good. After some time I found you, and the things I’d seen made me believe you agreed.

If love is good then why do you run from it? That’s something I just can’t get. I mean I do it’s hard, harder than running. You see my God told me what love is and I just happened to believe it. He told me love is long suffering and kind so I don’t mind suffering in my kindness.
I don’t mind working for your mind. I’ll go and find each scar on your heart and heal it with the tears I saved up getting close to them. I’ll let those same tears pour their way to that seed of love you buried so deep so no man would bother to water it. Or so you thought. I will not be out worked. You know who you are.

You must also understand I am just a man and I get weak too. Sometimes I’ll fail to break through and With every strained heartbeat I might not have the strength to hold you, hold me. I might stop looking at you and begin to see me and then my love won’t always seem long suffering. My love won’t always seem kind, but by that time you should already know and trust I keep your heart in mine. You should know that I’ll strengthen me to protect you, you should know I’ll decrease me to uplift you and soon you’ll realize it’s not me but God loving you. You’ll realize I was just a vessel used for him to reach and touch you and you’ll realize it was his love that healed your wounds.

You’ll realize that I said yes to him long before I said yes to you. You’ll begin to understand that I gave up me to have you and that by loving you I love me and then we might be able to love happily. You’ll begin to see me differently, you’ll begin to see the scars you placed on me in your fight to protect you from who you thought I’d be. And still I’ll offer my hand and ask you to walk with me because my god said love is long suffering. And I believed it. Now why can’t I love you?

What kind of pain did you go thru that made you hide in such dark places?
What kind of lies did you endure that made you forget what an honest face is? Who did you give your heart to and why did they treat it as anything less than priceless?

All I have is this lamp. It guided me through this darkness. It showed me where to find you. I called out your name, you know the one that God gave you? Beloved, precious, friend, masterpiece, beautiful, treasured handiwork. I was lost in you. Can I shine this light on you? Can you walk with me until the sunrises in you? Can I love you?

He Who Finds

What is it that’s making dating so damn difficult these days? It’s as if this generation has never seen a successful relationship and all it knows how to do is satisfy selfish endeavors. It’s almost narcissistic how much this generation cares so much for itself. It’s gotten so bad I’m questioning if my brothers know just how much of the dating responsibility lies within their hands. The kind of example we have to display and the expectations that we men need to live up to are necessary for our women to feel provided for and protected.

For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ I’ll be using Proverbs 18:22 as a reference point. It says “HE who FINDS a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the lord”. There is not only a promise attached to obtaining a wife but there is some work to be done to receive it. The word “find” can be defined as “to obtain by effort or management, to discover by intellect or feeling”. What kind of effort are we (men) putting in to discover a worthy mate? How are we managing our lives to be considered a proper man worthy of a forever? By what form of intellect and intuition are we using to discern what is “good” for us? Take a second to think about it.

Ladies, how are you preparing yourself? Are you ready to be someone’s good thing? While you’re equipping yourself with the adequate defenses against the adversaries that maliciously seek your queenship are you also seeking the ability to allow yourself to be loved the way God intended? Understand that this good thing you possess also needs to be matured. You are also a gift that has to be earned, remember that.

Men, before you go finding your wife you must find yourself and also understand that there lies reflection of you with the acquiring of a partner. Choose wisely, endeavor to satisfy your spirit and soul before you satisfy your body. Strengthen your character, protect your integrity, and make the right decisions for your future. You are important in ways you may not completely understand yet. You are a shield of protection to whatever woman you give your life to. Her trust, her vulnerability, her unique preciousness are what you are required to protect. Those cracks from her heart break, the scars left behind from someone taking from her love are where you stand guard.
You are to be able to provide the safe place, the sense of security, and the leadership that a family will require.
The bible gives specific instructions on how we should treat our S/O..

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭25-28‬ NIV)”

Our women were designed beautifully and specifically for us. Created in such a way that we would receive just by giving ourselves. The responsibility is ours. To be that man you have to want it, to be willing to put the necessary work in to grow that fruitful relationship. To seek out the things in a woman no ones bothered to find, to learn to understand what it means to be that protection and provision, and also be willing to allow that woman to give the same love back “HER WAY”. You need life spoken into you as well. It’s a part of that good thing and that favor.

Dating isn’t about the dates, the sex, the gifts or the photos and cute stuff. It’s about finding yourself in another person and being able to surrender to each other. To learn intimacy and to learn to give love, it isn’t to get for yourself.

Love & Karma

If I’m to say I’ve learned anything about how to love a person I would have to say that in order to love them properly you must love them the best you can one day at a time. Today is the only day you have power over. Today would be the day to show them, today is the day you tell them, and today would be the day to give them the love you want to give them forever.

When we say “tomorrow” we take power from today. We place love on the hopeful notion that tomorrow is for certain and we have time in tomorrow. It gets easier and easier to love a person tomorrow because the output it requires is significantly less than what today demands. We focus on the gifts, the money, and the exciting plans that we have for tomorrow then forget about the priceless moments of right now. Time we will never see again squandered over the hope of something we may never get.

As love is an outward moving force, karma, is an inward moving force equal to the outward one. You reap what you sow. If you spend your day sowing love, giving love (kindness, patience, understanding, time, compassion) then you will reap love. Today is all you have and if you aren’t giving you are taking from something, somewhere. Karma is a dependent energy that we can call yesterday, simply because we don’t often see karma in play immediately and Yesterday’s forces are often manifested today. It’s dependent on how you treat others and how you treat yourself. We create our tomorrow’s from our today’s, if we are loving today we create love for ourselves tomorrow and our yesterday (karma) becomes good.

We create our own fate in love and in life with our energies. When we love with false intent we create false hope. When we live with negative thought patterns we create negative paths for our lives. Our tomorrow’s are born on pretenses we set in motion, yesterday. If you live with walls placed around you, life will not intrude, love will not reach you. If you do only for yourself, life will take its cut and love will not bless you. We get only what we have first given and always remember life gives first to you many possibilities each day.

A Little Work Never Hurt.

I’ve always enjoyed having the relationship conversation; always being mindful of the many perspectives of the many people I’ve had the opportunity to exchange views with, and one thing that has been repeated on various occasions from women is “I can’t find a good man”. Maybe I’m just old fashioned but I believe that good men aren’t meant to be found, that would suggest that women have become the pursuers and men the ones who require the chase. It seems as though men have just lost their tenacity for finding quality through hard work and women have let them by acquiescing to a lower standard. Men aren’t trying so the women have taken the offense.waystomakewomenchaseyou11_1379341560_652x304

A man should find you ladies. To “find” by its definitions is “to obtain by effort or management” or to “discover by intellect or feeling”. No good man will want a woman who doesn’t excite a desire to work for her in him and no woman should want a man who thinks it should be easy to have her. chivalry-300x288A good man understands the value of a woman and invests himself into her with time, diligence in learning her personality, and openness to trust her with his guard absent. A man’s countenance in his pursuit of a woman must be unwavering, confident, but always humble. “I can’t find a man” should be turned into “a man hasn’t found me” especially if you all insist on carrying the title of black queens anyway. None of your power is stripped away allowing yourself to be still and allowing a man to discover you where you are.

Men aren’t being men because no one is requiring them to. “Chillin”, “kickin it”, “talkin” are all defense mechanisms so no one has to be held responsible for each other’s feelings. It’s not a bad thing for a man to have to prove his trustworthiness to you, if he wants you for real he will take the challenge of earning it; or not. A man will always rise up to the occasion if you are worth the chase to him, it shouldn’t be difficult to know when someone isn’t being sincere. We hear it all the time, “actions speak louder than words” and if that’s the truth why are so many of us giving in from mere words without exercise?quote-there-are-men-so-incorrigibly-lazy-that-no-inducement-that-you-can-offer-will-tempt-them-to-work-william-booth-325110

I’m sure we all are quite frustrated with dating these days, those of us who actually want a meaningful relationship that has potential to go the distance. It begins with us men, we have to make up our minds that we can be committed and willing to persevere through temptation, doubt, and ourselves. Having more of a desire to give than the desire to get has to be something that men and women have to realize is what makes relationships work. To be emptied by yourself and refilled by your significant other has to be the conscious decision by you both but it begins with the man.

Winter

20140415-183225.jpg

I spent the winter trying to warm a cold heart
I tried to melt the ice with warm words I even tried to blanket it with my pride
I tried to lay with it through the chill of night
I shivered through the storm trying to keep life inside
Howling winds from spacious skies cut like blades from samurai
Resting on thin ice
Frost bitten tears welled in my eyes
I tried
To break the shell that encumbered
This treasure
A sleeping wonder in a nightmarish slumber
I misunderstood how to ignite this life
Tangible heat couldn’t meet its needs
So I relinquished the love that burned within me
And like the dawn
It began to rise
A light began to shine
it opened up like a blooming flower in springtime
Id spend the rest of time bathing in its light
Because it spent the winter bathing in mine