Tag Archives: desire

What does your sign say?

repairblackloveI believe everyone should live their lives to the fullest and that means making yourself happy, but unless you want to live life alone, you must be conscience of making room for a significant other. I talked about this topic in an earlier blog called “prepare a place” but I want to take this a step further. It appears that in a quest to arrange our lives in the way that would make us happier, we are (knowingly or unknowingly) blocking out someone special from entering into our lives. For example, just imagine yourself as a piece of property (motel, hotel, apartment or house), with each property having some type of signage that lets you know the level of time commitment expected. You may have a sign outside that says “$39.99 per night with hourly rates available”, while another sign might read “extended stay” or “first month free for one year”. These signs indicate not only the time commitment desired, but also to an extent, the condition the property is in and how it is operated.

I realize that the anticipated significant other may not be currently present, but if the sign on your property reads “closed for business”, then the person will keep it moving and not even stop to inquire. See, if the overarching thought you have about having someone special in your life is “leave me alone” or “don’t bother me”, then that energy creates a force field around you that repels people with good intentions. Notice I said “people with good intentions”, because you must know that people with bad intentions don’t care what your signs say. They don’t want to stay long anyway nor do they care about leaving “a mess” behind for you to clean up. You see, someone that is going to stay for a while is going to take better care of you (your property) like they would their own home. They will try to make improvements and suggest positive changes that can be made with your approval. But someone with no good intent will do just the opposite and leave you (your property) worse than they found you. Now I know you are saying to yourself, “if my sign is saying closed for business, that means closed for business for everyone right?” Well, not exactly, because you have to remember what state of mind (energy) you are in. It is not a state of mind where you are open, loving, welcoming and desiring someone special, it is the opposite.

This state (energy)allows you to be easy preyed a pond by undesirable people because they too don’t want anything lasting or significant. Plus, I don’t have to tell you what happens to a property that is shut down for any extended period of time and the people it attracts. Also, let’s be honest, most people will not totally shut down; meaning they may be open to certain people or certain situations. These people will only offer short term, get over the hump, situations that will not last long. For example, most people rent because they are not able to own a home. But renters are essentially borrowers (have a landlord, maintenance man can come in your place when you are not home, etc.) but someone that buys a home is an owner (no landlord, nobody enters unless the owner authorize, etc.). My point is, too many people are letting themselves be rented out instead of demanding and working for lifetime ownership. Now I understand that sometimes renting may be the best option for a period of time, but there is nothing like having a property you can call your own!!! My suggestion is that you change the sign from “close for business” to “close for repairs” and work on your property in prayer (or meditation) everyday. Before you know it you will be able to turn what was a short-term lease property into a long-term mortgage property.

Read, Recognize, React!!!

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Potential vs Perfection

cropped-thppl.jpgIf you have lived long enough, you have heard people say many times that you get out of life what you put into it!!! Another famous saying is “nothing in life comes for free; you have to work hard to earn what you get from life”. Consequently, if you went to Bank of America today, you would not be able to withdraw $1000 from that bank if you have not put $1000 in to it. It is obvious why this is the case and it is summed up in a little word called Investment.  See; when you make an investment in something you will always get a return. Sometimes the returns are not what you may want or expect, but you will always get a return. I believe that the level of return you get back has a lot to do with the level of investment you put into it.

Some people do very little (or not enough) research before they invest, while others may mean well, yet they still make poor investment decisions. Some people, in fact, do ample research and due diligence but still ignore signs that may indicate they are making a bad choice. As much as there is no way to say that one system of investing is better than another, we can surely say that most great investors following the golden rule of investing in potential. The reason is simply because the possible return is greater than what you would receive from a more established investment.

Quite often you find that some people want to get the most out of a relationship without investing much into it; and that is simply not practical. You find that they “cheat” the relationship by doing the least amount possible for their mate, but expecting their mate to go above and beyond for them. Some people use persuasive and even manipulative tactics to make the relationship advantageous to their desires and wishes.

I know some people feel that “taking advantage of the relationship makes them the winner, but I still believe that making a fair and equal investment into the relationship is the key. Now it’s hard to argue against situations where people appear to be getting everything they want without putting much into it.  But what often happens is when they themselves are ready to fully invest in someone, that person they desire either shows little interest, or takes advantage of their investment.

I feel the reason this “cat and mouse” game is happening is because too often people are hoping and waiting for Mr. or Ms. Perfect. A man that is bigger, stronger, earns more money, and is more handsome than the other men she has dated. Men, consequently, are looking for the woman that are more generous, selfless, more attractive, and has a better shape than the other women he has dated. I believe that in our quest to find the perfect relationship we are overlooking mates who are not perfect but have great potential.  Let’s say you meet someone that has great potential and you help them reach their goals, you can ultimately share in their bliss. However, if you meet someone that already has achieved success, then you may always stand in their shadow instead of sharing the spotlight. So if you really consider yourself smart, talented, and successful, then what is wrong with investing in someone and helping them rise to your level or beyond?

One night, President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the President’s Secret Service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner.

Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle, “Why was he so interested in talking to you?” She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”

Remember: Great people make great people!!! Don’t just use your smarts, talents, and success for your own ambition. INVEST IN OTHER PEOPLE’S POTENTIAL!!

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If you had three wishes

lamp and cloudIf you had three wishes that you wanted your mate to be, what would be those three wishes? Take a minute and really think about that. For some, they already know what the three wishes are because they wish there mate can fulfill them right now. For others, that might take a while because they want to pick the best three. Some people would wish for physical, social, or maybe financial wishes coming true. For others, it may be more about emotional, mental, or even spiritual wishes being manifest. Irrespective of what your three wishes might be, you must remember that you, yourself, must be what you wish to see. In other words, if you wish your mate to have certain traits and qualities, you must also embody those same traits and qualities. Now I know some are saying that I go to church and I am a Christian and I want my mate to do the same, but right now they are not involved. In this example, you are asking for something from your mate that you are doing yourself. But are you really living it? Could it be that your mate doesn’t see right living in you and for this reason chooses not to get involved?

I believe that if you are a true Christian it shows in the way you live your life and in the way you treat others. I also believe that when it is done correctly, these people literally attract other people to them. They are the type of people you want to be around so maybe some of what they have may rub off on you. It is the exact same way with relationships. When a person is filled with happiness and joy, people of the opposite sex want to know “why are they so happy”. They see the joy and fun in that person, and who is not attracted to happiness and fun. Just with the Christian example above, people want to be around loving, joy-filled, and fun people because they feel it will rub off on them and make them better people. Now here is the challenge point for my ladies. Be happy!!! Have nothing but joy and love in your heart for everyone, especially for men if you want good men to come into your life. I accordingly say to Men to Be Real!!! Women love honesty. Let them know up front what they are getting from you. Good and bad. You may lose a few ladies because of it, but the ones that stay will not only love you, but they will respect you as well.

Now let’s take it a little deeper. I know most ladies want their man to be faithful and honest because they are going to faithful and honest with him. But the real question is, “do you fully expect and believe that he will be faithful and honest”? I ask this because if your fear is stronger than your belief that he will be faithful and honest, then your fears will win out. You have to understand the power of thoughts and words and how it can and will shape your reality. Although we may want a desired outcome, our deep down gut belief is that we will keep getting the opposite of what we desire. This has to change with you!!!! You’ve got to have the faith and belief that faithfulness and honesty does exist in a mate and will be in yours. You’ve got to believe that your faith and desire is strong enough to overcome any negative words, thoughts, actions, atmosphere, people and situations!!!!
Remember: We already have the “Great Genie” that is constantly doing magical things in our lives. All you have to do is make three wishes, make sure you are doing (or have done) your part correctly, then sit back and watch your wishes come true!!! THE END.

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Love + Focus + Faith = Success

love-1As I sit back and think about all of the blogs I have written on this site, all I can do is thank God for continuing to give me more to say. I pray it is well received, but mostly I pray it is applied in your life to help you discover that special someone or make your relationship with that someone you are with better. With that being said, there is no place “better” than being in the presence of Love. So what is Love?
Love is the most powerful emotion that we can feel as humans. It is what we yearn for from our parents, family and friends. But the love we really seek (outside of seeking God’s love) is the love from our mate. But for some of us that love has been stepped on and crush. That love has been betrayed by cheating. That love has been mentally and physically abusing. That love has been one-sided and unbalanced. That love has been impatient and intolerable. That love has been mean-spirited and hateful. THAT IS NOT LOVE!!!! Love is light!!! Love is a light that shines brightly and eternally. So is that light shining brightly in you? Have you, or are you, letting someone put your light out? Whether you are married, in relationship, or single, the light of love should be beaming from you.
Now love isn’t about who has the power or control in the relationship. There are plenty of relationships where the lady may have the upper hand when it comes to having control and power, but are they receiving love? Are they giving love? Please don’t make the mistake of mixing power and control with love!!! They don’t mix!!!
In order to receive love you MUST GIVE love. In order to give love you MUST BE love (light). Your love light must shine brightly; it can’t be dim or buried under hurt and pain. It is your responsibility (and yours alone) to make sure your light is shining brightly!!! A ship in the night will not land upon your shore, if their is no light there to welcome it.

After you have powered up or recaptured your love light, now you have to set your sights on a target. This is so important because we must definitively know exactly what it is that we desire. In many sports the object of the game is to always keep your focus and attention on the target. Make it your goal to concentrate your efforts on attaining the relationship that you desire. Many things may come your way to distract you but you must remain vigilant. If your focus is even slightly altered, quickly re-focus your energy back on your target. Your love and unwavering focus on your target can without a doubt get the results you desire. Conversely, if you add a cup full of faith to that recipe, it is utterly impossible for you to fail at achieving your goal.

Faith is having belief for a desired result that has yet been seen. Having Faith that what is unknown will become known is a very powerful act. Faith causes you to search your soul and challenges you thoughts. When conventional wisdoms tell you that the outcome must be this or that, you must rely on faith to go against all that is conventional. When you are told that your mate will cheat, you must rely on your faith that a monogamous mate will be sent to you. When you are told your marriage will not last, you must rely on your faith that it will endure and thrive. When you are told that you will never get married, you must rely on your faith to know that someone special is being prepared for you. It is the combination of there three powerful “states” of being, that will surely lead you to relationship success.

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Ask and it shall be given

askIn the last couple of blogs I talked about believing and not doubting and giving thanks even in failure. So it is only fitting that if you apply these two principals, you would feel assured in asking for the relationship you desire and receiving it. This is the juncture where you are ready to ask, knowing what it is you want and having full faith that it will come. Did not this line of thinking work for everything else in your life?

When you wanted that car you just had to possess because it was so “you”. You asked for it in faith, and it was given to you. When you were tired of the work you were doing and wanted a better job\career than the one you had. You asked for additional training (and some of you went back to school) to get the skills you needed to get a better job\career. When you were looking for a place to live and finally found a house you loved. There may have been some obstacles to getting the house, but you did what was needed and you got the house you asked for. By now you may be wondering where I am going with this; and to be honest, it only leads me to a question? If you can ask and then receive the car\job\house you wanted, why is it so hard for some to receive the mate you want?

Well if I had the answers to that question then I guess I would be a Millionaire!!! Well I believe I have one answer so hopefully the Millions are on the way!!!! First of all, it is safe to say that everybody reading this has asked for, and even prayed for, a suitable mate. The Good Book states “ask and it shall be given,” yet we still have not seen or met our mate. Or have we? Could it be that we have somehow missed out on our blessing? But if we asked for a significant other and we were waiting to receive them, then how could we have missed them? Well this is my answer to that question and I am sticking to it.

When we were kids and encountering our first loves, we were wide open to love and full of hope and optimism. Well after a couple of heartbreaks from failed relationships, we began to become jaded and guarded in regards to love. After even more unsavory experiences, we started to lose faith in the fairytale of love. Our child-like belief in love was gone and we started erecting the proverbial “Wall” to shelter us from the hurt and pain of love lost. After we felt we had exhausted all of the ways of finding and keeping love everlasting, we turn to the one source we know can deliver the love that seems so fleeting. Whether through heart-felt emotional prayers or vocal celestial summations, we call out to our source to send that special someone. Now of course our prayers were heard, but here is where the problem begins.

We ask God to send us someone, but before He can get started working, we go back and take it out of God’s hand. We want things to happen in our time, so we become impatient and begin working on it again ourselves. We are sometimes so impatient, we assume the first person we see after we pray is who God sent for us. We must understand God’s time is not our time, and every time we interrupt God’s work we often slow down or stop what God was planning. We all have the ideal plan of who and what our mate will be, but I truly believe that God’s plan is better!!! Believe that and don’t doubt it!!!!!

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Believe and don’t doubt

ID-10092697I believe we all grew up feeling we knew almost exactly what age we were going to get married. We also believed that we knew how our mate would look, where we would live, and how many kids we would have. For some of us, what we expected came true for the most part, but for many others this was just wishful thinking. Furthermore there are large number of people that are still wait and wishing for there soul mate and all of the amenities that goes with them. In my last blog I talked about giving thanks even when faced with a failed relationship, so what would be the next step after giving thanks? I my opinion it would be to believe and don’t doubt!!!

We all know that a failed union leaves you feeling some type of way no matter how it ended. This can often become the breeding ground for doubt and mistrust in finding someone that you can have a life long partnership with. If yet again we are looking at another relationship ending then we start to question if it will ever happen. Are we in a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself with the different people we enter into a relationship with? The lies, the games, the cheating, the fronting, when will it end? I believe it ends when you say it ends!!!! I know you are saying to yourself “well I want it to end now!!!” But the question is “can you believe that it will end now without any doubt in your mind”? I mean it is easy to say that it will end now, but what happens when you see what appeared to be a wonderful union now heading for divorce? What goes through your mind the next time you meet someone new? Will you have doubt that it will work out? Will you question your readiness or their readiness to have a healthy, harmonious, and lasting relationship?

You have to understand that doubt makes you unstable and double-minded. It causes confusion, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and allows negative thoughts and actions fester and take shape. The following Bible verse gets right to the point of what doubt does to us.

(James 1:6-8)
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
One of the biggest reasons that doubt creeps into our mind is because we are oftentimes surrounded by negative images, messages, and people that are feeding our doubt and fears. We will exclaim that we know what we want to happen in our relationship lives, but we often lose our focus when we are faced with counter opposing views and situations. It is extremely hard to stay positive in room full of negative people, especially when we have just gone through a bad experience. Doubting is easy to do, but having faith and believing in something we have yet to see is hard. However this is what we must do, so we have to stay away from negativity of all shapes and forms.

Another step we must take is to fuel our belief by taking to right actions. It is not enough to have belief; we also must put in the work to show that we are serious in our walk. Focusing your mind intently on the relationship you desire without wavering and doing the acts that show you are serious are two major steps in achieving your goal.

Remember: All it takes is one negative person, story, or image to cause thoughts of doubt. You must be ready to dismiss and destroy each negative thought with your strong and unwavering belief!!!!

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Get “Ripped”

black_love_lostSo, what is the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the phrase “get ripped”. Well for anybody that exercises or has tried to get in shape, you have heard this phrase quite a few times. For those that do not know what this term means I will break it down for you. Getting “ripped” is the process of exercising to a point that the cuts and symmetry of a person’s muscles are visible to the naked eye. The dictionary defines this term as “Having an extremely defined physique; toned: ripped, bulging muscles”.

Now I know we have all seen someone that was” Ripped”. Maybe you are currently in that state physically or were when you were younger. But the question that I have for you is, what does it mean to “get ripped” relationship wise? What steps would need to be taken to achieve this goal?

1. We all know that you can’t achieve any goal without knowing exactly what your goal is, and what it will look like when you accomplish it. In bodybuilding, there are many photos in magazines and on the internet of toned and fit men and women. But what does a toned and fit relationship look like? This must be the first goal because seeing what that looks like and knowing what it takes to attain this lets us know what we have to work toward. You must formulate a clear and defined picture of that healthy and loving relationship that you aspire to have. Most people find working out with a partner helps them to stay motivated and focus. Therefore I also believe it is a great idea relationship wise to have someone around to “work out” with. Someone that is in the type of relationship you want to have or that desires the same type of relationship you desire. This person can be very positive for you mentally and emotionally. Thus helping you to stay the course when you may get discouraged or when you run into negative people and influences.

2. Now it is time to work!!! The question is how much time and effort are we willing to put into get “relationship ripped”? Most people that exercise and has incorporated it into their daily routine, will work out at least 2-4 times a week or more. It is true that you only get out of something what you put into it. So if you want the relationship results you desire, you must spend time “exercising” your relationship muscles. Make the time in your daily or weekly routine to do stuff that will improve your chances of meeting, dating, and keeping someone special in your life. Use this time to work on known weaknesses and seek honest advice about areas where you can make improvements.

3. Anybody that exercises will tell you that your dietary habits may be even more important than how much you exercise. Your diet can literally kill any chance of you seeing the results you want to accomplish. The same can be said about your relationship diet!!! In relationship diet I am speaking of the things that you put in your body through your eyes and ears that pertain to relationships. Are the images and programming your watching showing you a positive relationship picture? Are the conversations you are having and music you are listening to speak of relationships in a loving and positive manner? If they are not, then you must change your diet to ingest information that will help your “relationship” body get toned, cut, and “ripped”. Now that you have the game plan, it now time to get “RELATIONSHIP RIPPED”!!!!!

Remember: You are what you eat!!! So go read my previous blog titled “you are what you eat”  

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Should men get married

freeimage-1763564-webI know some people will find this title to be shocking, silly, or even sacrilegious. Some of you are probably saying “why would you even ask a question like that”. Well to be honest, I have never really thought about asking that question. See, like most men from the south, I grew up in the church and believe that every man is to find a wife and start a family. It wasn’t until recently, after watch a couple of Youtube videos on this subject, that I even gave the idea (should men get married) any thought. But after watching the compelling arguments that were made on this topic that I felt I had to do a blog on it. So here goes!!!!

In one of the Youtube videos I watched, Warren Coleman (author of the book titled “why nice guys shouldn’t get married”) stated, “in this point and time, in this society, America is no longer producing wives that respect and appreciate nice guys”. He also stated that “women want to be married, but they don’t want to be wives”. Another video that I watched (based on a book by Dr. Helen Smith titled “Men on Strike”) gave six reasons why men are avoiding marriage. The following is a summary of her six reasons.

  1. They will lose respect – in the past a man wasn’t concerned a true adult until he got married and had children. Today, however, husbands and fathers are the butts of jokes and they are constantly devalued. Ex. Father’s day gifts vs. Mother’s day gifts
  2. They will lose out on sex – Men who cohabitate with their partner but are not married, have much more sex than their wedded counterparts. Recent studies have also found that couples that cohabitate are happier than married couples.
  3. They can lose their children and their money – Men are aware of the danger of divorce, especially when it comes to courts showing favor to mothers. Men only get custody 10% of the time, and overwhelmingly are responsible for paying child support and alimony.
  4. They can lose their space – once a man gets married, he is relegated to the dirtiest part of the house. The attic, basement, or garage often becomes the domain that he is left to dwell in even though the home is supposed to be shared space.
  5. They can lose their freedom – If a man gets divorced and cannot afford to pay child support, he can get locked up.
  6. The single life is better than ever – in the past single men were looked at with suspension, but this is no longer the case. There are plenty of 40 year old bachelors. Employers look favorably at employees with non-committal or non-conflicting family responsibilities. Dating has gotten easier, and pre-marital sex is no longer taboo.

She ends her video by saying, “This is not due to laziness, but due to rational choices where men no longer see the value of participating in these areas. People respond to incentives, so if we want more men to marry, it needs to be a more attractive proposition”.

Now I know that most will find these reasons as copouts, excuses, or flat out garbage. But it is worth exploring and investigating if these reasons and others might be why some men are not getting married. I would love to get your opinion on this topic or for you to ask the question to others for their opinion.

Remember: knowledge is power

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Part 3: What does the Bible say about relationships

ID-10092768Just as I stated in the last blog, Part 3 is dedicated to the men (sorry guys). These verses will explore how men should conduct themselves and what the Bible says when they don’t conduct themselves accordingly.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

It goes without saying that if a man loved his wife like Christ loved the church, then relationships and marriages would be much stronger and healthier. For men, this should be the type of love we should strive for and seek to bring to our relationships.

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

This verse clearly states that a man that is led by and focused on God’s word is a strong, blessed, prosperous man!!! Gaining his strength from God, not the world, allows him to remain steadfast on the right path. This will really benefit him in his relationship with a significant other; because he will be led away from bringing harm and shame to their union. For men that don’t put God first or don’t lead lives that steer them away from evil, temptation, and wrongdoing; the Bible talks about what can be the consequences, and how it can touch the people around them.

James 4: 1-4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Wow!!! That really firmly illustrates the plight of us men that fall into the ways of the World. This next verse further explains the conduct and character traits of such men.

2 Timothy 3: 1-9 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

It is so much that can be said as to what men can do to improve or change their lives. First and foremost, seek and form a strong relationship with God!!! Second, I feel the following verse would be a fitting way for men to conduct themselves in any and every relationship.

Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

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My advice after 16 years of marriage

As you know, the last few post have been about men and some of the issues that plague us. Although my post are original content that I write based on my opinion, I was moved by this piece that I had examined. It was written by Gerald Rogers and it has, in my opinion, some great advice that should be shared with the men in your life. So please enjoy and share what I believe can help cultivate, improve and save our relationships.

 

My advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage, by Gerald Rogers.

ththalexcuteblkwhitepicsObviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time. These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time. If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for. MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

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