Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's in a name?

As I was walking my dog just a little while ago, out of nowhere it dawned on me that I’m experiencing a bit of an identity crisis…

You see, years ago I obtained a nickname through my marriage that I have grown fond of…”Bo”. It wasn’t a certain way that it was said and it doesn’t have any romantic notions attached to it for me, it’s just something that I’ve come to accept with a smile and am accustomed to answering to. Now that we are simply co parents and our relationship has taken a major change, he now refers to me by my given name. While I can understand his need to make the adjustment towards me, I sometimes mourn being called that snappy little name that best describes me on any given day.

At times my nickname made me feel fierce in a ‘no holds bar’ sort of way, at other times I saw it as a gentler side of me, in a shy little girl way.  In either case, I thought it was a perfect way to sum up ‘Bonita’ the woman. The problem is nicknames aren’t like the other things that you divide when a relationship is over. It’s not a couch or a favorite desk or the ugly lamp given to you as a wedding present, it’s an identity that was born out of a kinship.So how do you decide whether it stays or goes?

In an excited effort to reclaim my original self, I now go by my maiden name, but little did I know that the question of my nickname would cause such an inward dilemma. Had I given myself the name, then continuing to use it would be a non-issue but since it was given to me, I feel as if I am taking a gift that the other person would rather me throw away, which is a sad thought. I don’t want to throw Bo away. I just want to steer her in a new direction with guidance and anticipation. I want her to know that she is still snappy and fun and adored, not discarded.

I want her to know that she is still worthy of love and affection.

So, do we allow our loved ones to nickname us on the outside chance that one day they will no longer be our loved ones anymore? If so, do we make a personal pact with ourselves not to allow anyone to walk away with even a fraction of the person that we have grown to love and accept as ourselves?

I must admit, that either way, we are still just as vulnerable to the suddenness of change and the outcomes that go along with being ‘taken in’ by another person.

But this is just Bo’s opinion…

Monday, January 28, 2013

words to live by...

Fingers dancing

Receiving secret messages from my soul

Emotions drifting

Then rising

Afraid to peer into the unknown

I hide from my own creative side at times

Because of the intensity that comes with it

There is no

One word


Single feeling

It’s all connected like veins in a leaf

In order to mass together

The beauty of nature

I’m often secluded from my own depth

Because the journey can be taxing alone

But I've learned

That I cannot allow my ‘me’

My true self

To die along life’s roadside

Withering from artistic dehydration

I must be

I must write

I must share

With anyone who needs a drink

Of living words…

© by Bonita Y. Jones

Isn't it interesting that often times, without knowing it, we hold back our best self waiting to share it with our ideal someone? Write the book or the song. Paint the portrait or launch out in whatever way that is designed just for you. Don't wait to be all of you...if your ideal is coming, let them see you in progress...invite them to a party that is all ready started. bjy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Love POTUS and FLOTUS Style...

I will admit that I am smitten with the overwhelming love that I feel emanating from our President and First Lady. It was hard not to squeal like a teenager while watching the Inaugural Ball with my daughter when President Obama introduced his wife in such high loving tones. I was breathless at the sight of them dancing  and truly enjoying each moment of this occasion together. There is something in the sound of his voice when he says her name that makes me pay attention.

The evening was flawless as was she. I consider her to be one of the most elegant women of our time. And I believe with all of my heart that love contributes to her beauty in many ways. Love is a refining agent, an enhancer of all that is inside of a woman and it leaves us with a glow that challenges the sun on its brightest day. 

While watching the exchange between the Obama’s, my mind stilled to hear the answer of my life long question: Do men really fall in love? I have honestly wondered this simply because it seems so easy for a man to walk away from a relationship or simply shut down in the middle of one with no communication or look elsewhere for more. I have wondered if their hearts beat the same as ours at the mere anticipation of seeing us and if they spend sleepless nights wondering what will become of their lives with us. Sure, it’s in the movies but is it real.

I have known a lot of guys, friends, cousins, Uncles and of course my own Dad but seldom have I seen the kind of powerful love that I see transpire between the first couple.
I’m sure that what we are witnessing is part of a process of time, effort and growth. I am not delusional about what it takes but from my experience and vantage point, this kind of love is rare. 

Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention in my past experiences or maybe I was caught up in my own heart’s weaknesses and needs to notice it but from now on, I am going to make it my business to recognize such love in the future.

I want to know what it looks like, so that I know what to respond to, what to expect and what to appreciate. I’m sure that it takes on many forms and many languages depending upon the person but my prayer is that I recognize when the language that is spoken is delightfully, exclusively…just for me. I don’t want to go running after it. I don’t want to conjure it up from my imagination. I simply want to know when it has arrived.

We may not spin around on the dance floor with millions of eyes on us. We may not live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and hold grand titles, that is not what I’m looking for. It’s the expressions of partnership, trust and emotions that can come from no other person on earth but one, that interests me. It’s the respect that comes from weathering life’s storms together and keeping each other afloat that I’m looking forward to.

It’s the knowing, yes the knowing… that I am his First Lady for life.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fussy Me...

I’m a fixer. My children might even call me fussy. I’m constantly fixing throw pillows on the couch and lining them up perfectly, fussing over my daughter’s bedspread so that the dust ruffle flows nicely down the side of the bed-frame and putting things in order on counters and book shelves. The poor child has a knee-jerk reaction when I go to touch her hair and the boys have learned to duck and cover when I come after them for any reason…mostly to fix a shirt collar or fuss over whether or not they’re well groomed (to my standards.) I am working on my issue and have informed my kids that this is my problem, no reflection on them. I don’t know when it began but I do understand the root of the problem now more than ever.

You see, my constant need to keep the universe in line, one dust ruffle at a time, is just an outward manifestation of an inward need to be safe, and from my psychological vantage point safety comes in the form of order. No order, no safety. So, I lend myself to the everyday business of trying to keep order in a chaotic world. If I feel that I am in a threatening relationship with someone who is out of order and loses control to easily, I try to help (fix) them, because 1.) I care about them, sometimes more than I realize and 2.) I need to feel safe in their company, lest they turn and attack me for whatever reason.

My favorite word (ask my family) is ‘proactive’. I believe deeply in the notion that one should be proactive in life in order for things not to get out of control. However, at times I approach a situation prematurely instead of proactively. You see, not everyone senses danger lurking at every corner and sometimes, people don’t perceive a problem at all. So when I feel my Spidey senses tingling and I want to jump in and fix what I see as threatening, it sometimes can cause a dilemma.

Timing is everything. It goes hand in hand with permission to act on a situation, which is what I am learning more and more.

I take my roles in life, as a mother, and a friend quite seriously. Because of this, I am constantly fussing in my mind over the people that I care for the most. Sometimes that fussing finds its way out of my mind and wanders into a conversation or not so subtle gestures and hints…people just LOVE that.

Over the last few days, I've been in nonstop talks with God over my issue to save the world, thus saving myself from this cruel world and He has lovingly given me permission to resign as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer over the lives of those around me. I have been promoted to the position of ‘love’. At first, I was shocked at the news that God didn't need my help anymore in this way, but with each passing day, it feels more and more like a release than a demotion.

I still care deeply for the people in my life and while I’m sifting through the issues and rubble that come from living on this earth and being inside a human body, I will still feel the need to be a ‘help’ from time to time...but only with permission and guidance from my Supervisor.

I can’t promise that I will change completely, but I will work hard to direct most of my fussing to dust ruffles and throw pillows and spend more time praying rather than saying…

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


It’s nine days into the new year and some of your super charged energy that comes from starting a new  calendar is starting to wane…right?

Don’t be alarmed, I believe this is typical of our microwave, ticker tape news, and minute marriage society. If change doesn't come within the first 24 to 48 hours, we’re discouraged.

 I woke up two days ago feeling quite under the influence of discouragement. My heart was heavy and sadness was serving my coffee that day. I thought that it was partly because my oldest son was going back to college, while applying for internships this summer. I’m sensing that this will be a big change for us not having him home during the summer months, but I encourage it highly because he needs that sense of independence and experience as a young man. However, when I woke up a day later still feeling blue, I began to realize that I was experiencing my own let down from all of the pre-new year hype of what’s to come.  You see, nothing changed magically at midnight January 1, 2013 and that snapped me back to my daily reality.

A good friend of mine sent me a motivational message for the New Year, by a man named Jim Rohn called “The Set of the Sail” which I found more comforting than I could have imagined. He said something in that message that will stick with me forever: “Don’t wish life was easier, wish you were better.” Brilliant, I thought, simply brilliant. Because of those words, I have a small list of things that I wish I were better at, topping off the list are: persistence and patience.

I realize that I myself, like the rest of society at large, am a person willing to do hard work but I am severely impatient with anything outside of my control to get the results that I desire.  I am this way particularly in relationships. I am willing to go the extra mile, mend a fence, extend an olive branch and so on, but I go nearly insane waiting on the other party to see that my efforts are genuine and whole hearted. Not being in control of how my efforts are perceived nearly gets the better part of me every time. This is where I need persistence not to quit and patience not to walk away.

Along with better relationships, the rest of my goals for this year are somewhat lofty, and already I can feel my energy slipping away from me while wondering how these things will come about. This is where I must implement operation P.U.S.H (Persist Until Something Happens.) Sometimes such persistence can come in the form of prayer, sometimes hard work and, hardest of all, it can be in working with others to come to a solid place of understanding.

Even though a pep talk this soon into 2013 may not have been what you were expecting, let’s face it…it’s exactly what we all need.  We have to be reminded of persistent people like, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and going back even further, Jacob (from the Bible) who worked 7 years to marry the love of his life, Rachel, only to be tricked and have to work 7 more years  to actually obtain her.

Our circumstances may not be that extreme but they are important. Whatever it is that we came into this year proclaiming, we must lay hold of, by the grace of God and the power that He sustains us with. People need the value that we have to offer the world and if we quit too soon or simply wear out waiting, we’ll just be left in our sail boats, drifting at sea, at the mercy of the next wind...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Clarion Call for 2013

A new year is not an eraser for everyone.

For some it is a compass.

It is necessary to hold it to the LIGHT and seek the way that is paved for you.

It is imperative that you trust it when nothing seems to be going well.

It is motivational to understand the designer of the compass and His plan for your life.

May those who seek to know The Knower do so on His terms.

Release the old and streeeetch with great concentration toward the new.

Accept the failures and the defeats of the past, don’t sweep them away, use them as text books and study guides toward your tomorrow.

Release shame…it is a burden, not a helper.

Embrace people FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE…for this is the only way to live a just life.

Leave judgment to The Perfect One and give up the notion that you have a special status in society.

If you are assigned to someone who is uneasy about the love walk…walk quietly and deliberately beside them and demonstrate rather than speaking.

Give…TO ALL MANKIND IN NEED and let God discern who deserves it…and be grateful that He decided that you deserved life!

Speak blessing over the heads of your children so that they may hear the wisdom of the ages through your voice.

If an old relationship ends…end it in peace and witness the miracle of forgiveness.

If a new relationship begins…begin it with the clear understanding that everyone needs to be accepted for who they are.

Now go in love and save the world from hatred’s wrath.

Love has ONE language…learn it well and teach it freely.