Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Awesome Legacy of Enoch...

For the last few years I have become slightly obsessed with my own personal legacy with questions such as:  What will I leave behind when I leave this world? What will my name mean? What will my children say was the single greatest thing that I passed on to them? What will my future generation thank me for…or not? And on and on…

Because of the fragility of life and its sometimes abrupt ending, it has become important to me that I choose to live on purpose. While I do welcome spontaneity and adventure (still a choice, mind you) I do not care for haphazard living at all at this age. Simply letting the chips fall where they may, in relationships, business or raising my children is not an option. There is too much at stake for me and those I leave behind not to give careful consideration as to how I live my life while I can.

I can’t claim that this has always been at the forefront of my thinking. I will admit to being rather careless as a younger woman, lacking the ability to see ahead and access what my decisions may cost me at some point. (I don’t believe that I’m alone in that retrospective tour.) But today, ah sweet redemptive today, I am fully alive with the “what if’s” of my next steps in this chapter of my journey and it excites me!

I believe that once God gets a glimpse of the fact that we want to change our world in some small or grand way, He steps in and provides us with the drive and desire to accomplish such a worthwhile feat. People appear in our lives to help us or add to the vision. Dreams expand and become more vivid. Details, details, details fall into place when we least expect it and before we know it, it’s happening. The thing that we have desired to become or be a part of begins to flow out of us.

It doesn’t matter what the vision is. At one point, all I wanted was the ability to raise my children with compassion, love and understanding. I wanted to leave behind some ineffective behaviors that were part of my own rearing. Later, I expanded my dream to releasing free thinkers and innovators into the world. I wanted my kids to see life through a non-traditional lens in order to make their own marks.

As of now, my vision is to demonstrate what it means to take chances, in order to speak in my own creative voice to the world and to make statements that can heal and unify humanity, instead of dividing it. 

Visions expand and so they should.

Whatever happens for and to me in this chapter will come as a result of a concerted effort on my part to be as considerate as possible to the people that will be affected by my choices and the unknown blessings of God which will raise me to a new level of experiencing life.

My greatest hope is that my future generation and the people that are in my span of influence will remember me with these three words if nothing else, she – walked with God

Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.  Genesis 5:24

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Boys are gross and girls have cooties…

Can men and women ever really just be friends? If you would have asked me this question a  year ago, heck, a few months ago, I would have said “no” given the fact that the laws of physical attraction usually draw people together based on mutual chemistry. I would have said no because throughout my lifetime, I have never seemed to be able to achieve a certain emotional distance from the opposite sex that would allow me to keep a balanced perspective on the friendship. Finally, I would have said no because it has been surveyed and confirmed that most guys hang around girls that they are attracted to and are in pursuit of in one way or another. That last statement was based on a college survey I should mention.

What I realize now, is that  for me,the idea of a platonic relationship is based entirely on maturity. The older I get, the more in tuned with my own needs I become and with that has come the ability to categorize my wants. What I mean is: If I want to have coffee with a male friend simply to talk and catch up on life, I can do that because the want in this instance is face time with a friend. If I were to ask the same male friend out for dinner or a movie and I stayed in constant contact with him, then the want in this instance would be companionship. 

Because I am not in search of companionship but I do love good conversation and to reconnect with my busy friends, I am free to enjoy more platonic relationships at this stage in my life. I should note that the relationships are mutually platonic. I try to stay connected to people who are busy, productive and focused on their own goals. In other words, they are not looking for someone to complete them because they don’t feel incomplete.

I've also found that we women are sometimes in search mode and we don’t always address why that is, so that we can understand what we are really looking for. Sometimes we can apply the same answer to every need in our lives. For instance: I’m lonely. I need a boyfriend to take me places. I’m sad. I need a man to comfort me. I’m tired. I need a man to take some of this load off of me. I’m scared. I need a man to make me feel safe.

What happens if said “Man” doesn't show up for weeks, months or years from now? Do you trudge through life without ever experiencing relief until then? And when he shows up, does he know that he has a pre-written ‘honey-do’ list? That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone that you haven’t met yet. No wonder we can’t just have coffee and chat, we've been in interview mode from day 1! 

The only answer to that particular train of thought is if there is a man out there somewhere who is praying for a woman that he can rescue...could happen but let's not put all of our eggs in that basket, okay? 

The purpose of spending quality time with my male friends is not to interview them as potential prospects but to relax from that pursuit and just enjoy hearing a male perspective on life. I learn a lot from men, particularly if they are wise and mature. Sometimes the student can miss the lesson if all they are doing is making goo-goo eyes at the teacher.

Eventually, I imagine I will want more, but not before I can feel comfortable and complete in my own skin without needing someone to make me feel whole. In the meantime, I like my guy friends and I hope to learn a lot more from them…even though we all began with thinking that boys are gross and girls have cooties…

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Guys, I admit it, I have lost my desire to be in combative communication with anyone. As much as I like a good debate, with reasonable informed parties, the polar opposite for me, is a tense conversation that leads absolutely nowhere.

Whenever I’m listening to a hostile voice, I want to yell "SERENITY NOW" and walk away.  This has not always been my way. For years, I would stand you down and argue until the sun sets, if I thought it was necessary but now, all I want is peace. I've learned more in my silence than I ever have in my speaking and that my friend, has been one costly lesson.

 I finally figured out that a willing heart and open ears are a rare combination and I simply do not wish to engage with the opposite.

If I walk away from a conversation with an elevated heart rate and a banging headache, chances are, I engaged in some dialogue that will never get my attention again.

Trust me, if you find the veins popping out of your neck after a conversation one too many times, you may either be the carrier of far more rage than you realize or you have been exposed to someone else’s unhealthy behavior. Either way, it’s necessary to uncover the source and pray for guidance as to how to access the peace that you need to function well.

We humans have an incredible tendency to claw at the hand of reason, if we feel that we have every right to be unreasonable. We get angry when someone suggests viewing life from another vantage point because it implies that our perception may be just a bit askew.  We hold on to every single solitary offense and guard it as if it were a gold mine. Why? Because it fuels the always running engine of our unhealthy anger and without the ability to go from 0-120 in 6 seconds, we feel weak and vulnerable to those around us.

I was the scrawniest kid you could imagine, I vaguely remember someone referring to me as 6:00, (straight up and down.)  I used my anger constantly in order to feel stronger and to be heard. Most of the time my feelings were hurt but instead of saying so (because my environment did not lend to sensitivity) I roared my little lion roar in hopes of warding off my predators. I was deemed “the bad one” because of my inability to fly under the radar and respond subtly to anyone that  I felt threatened by.

When I got older…years older, I began to study my own patterns of behavior. I paid attention to when I felt most weak and vulnerable. I found that my anger was the trigger of not feeling heard or simply being belittled. I learned (not without much effort) how to communicate effectively without the use of venomous tones and words. Most importantly, I had to let go of many of the memories that did nothing but keep my anger engine in idle. I am still deleting much data from my past. 

I believe that communication has been my saving grace, unless I am engaged with someone who does not feel the practice of talking things through is useful. Whenever that’s the case, I retreat, because I know what I am capable of saying and doing out of self-defense.

Not everyone is striving to become a reflective being, one who thinks his/her actions through in order to grow. Not everyone will do the work of self-improvement…it is A LOT of work. So if you find yourself on the other end of fury and you are looking for a way to calm anger's flames, take a deep breath and pray for God’s help to smother that fire the quickest way possible. It’s not always easy but you stand a lot less chance of getting burned.

If that approach doesn't work, simply yell: “SERENITY NOW” and run!!!

Here's a little something for my Seinfeld fans: