How to stop the pain!

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Have you found yourself in situations, sometimes repeatedly, where you are constantly being hurt, where you feel this person made you feel bad, that you are not worth much or that you’ve been lied to or used? If you have, allow me to share how you can lower the chance of that happening.

I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I can tell you what has worked for me, how I came to have peace of mind, how I’ve stopped the pain. I’m sure you’ve read the articles, seen the quotes, listened to everyone’s point of views on why you get hurt. If you’re like me, you probably heard but could not relate and that is why you kept on repeating the same pattern. Nothing clicked.

They did not register because you weren’t hurt enough. You did not reach the point of feeling so bereft that you could feel yourself sinking. There is such a pain when you know you’ve tried it all, you’ve done everything, you kept the faith, remained opened to possibilities, raised the banner of hope, was honest and yet, no matter what, this person, this relationship wasn’t making you happy. You loved this person, or these guys, you saw potential. They promised the world. Some days they were good to you, a nice conversation, if you’re lucky a couple of hours of intimacy and not just in bed.  And then you started to second-guess yourself, believing it was all in your head, that you were imagining trouble, that they were right, you were the reason why things would be good today and they’ll disappear tomorrow. You were asking for too much, too many questions, too many requests. You were needy or clingy or too demanding or going too fast. You were everything they were planting in your head. Basically, you were the source of all that was bad in the relationship and they were the good guys, the good ones. They were trying their best (even when that wasn’t what you knew was the best for you, or enough for you or what you stated you needed to feel loved). Basically, they were molding you to do what was good for them. They were training you to accept crumbs for food.

Your heart wasn’t  having it. You felt empty. Deep down you knew that seeing each other every three months wasn’t it, never being invited to their house wasn’t a relationship, discussing his ex or being compared to her wasn’t respectful, paying his bills when he couldn’t babysit your child wasn’t support. You knew. He left you more drained than fulfilled. You could sense that many things were missing and the situation ship was wrong.
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That was your intuition. It is that part of you that sustains you, that little voice that leads you to happiness. Don’t bury it. Each time you took a road against its counsel, was the time when the pain was sharpest. Yet, you kept on, sometimes out of loneliness, or boredom or need or love. There is this kind of love where you want this person so much, that you stop loving yourself and place your needs on the back burner, that is “vampiric love”. And it always leaves you, bleeding, empty and weak.

When you reach that point and have to heal, sometimes over and over and over again, becoming a ghost of your former self, living in darkness, that is when you will learn how to stop the hurt and learn to let go.

If you’re there at this moment, here are some steps to make sure it won’t happen again:

- Acknowledge the pain. Sink into it. Cover yourself in it so you will know what it tastes like, feels like, smells like. You want to remember every ache and imprint them on your emotional psyche. You know why, because you don’t EVER want to experience it again. And since that moment will be the last, let it overpower you and penetrate your every being. Taste the pain.

- Do NOT point fingers at him. I’ve found that when you do, it leads nowhere to improvement. And yes I agree, he hurt you. He did you wrong. He used you. He made you feel like you were the worst woman he’s ever been with even when he told you he loved you. He made promises and pulled your strings. Do NOT blame him. I’ve learned that when you spend time blaming him, recalling every dirty trick and abuse, every lie and misdeed, you can’t learn what you did wrong and where you went wrong. I’m not saying it is your fault at all, which in part it may have been, because dear if you weren’t on the dance floor, the two of you could not tango; what I want is for you to realize you were dancing. Once you do that, now you can learn the tricky steps that will make you shine, not just your partner.

- Define what you want in a relationship that makes you happy. Do you like long conversations, time together weekly, reciprocity, openness, a man who follows through etc? What do you want? What do you need to be happy? If it helps, write them down so you can remember. There will come a time when that right-looking dude comes along and the chemistry is on point, when your senses mask that weak, newly built inner voice and you will need that list. Do NOT move away from it. What I have learned from men is they will play with almost anyone, but won’t settle just on chemistry. Women, we make that mistake too many times. “I love him. Or, he’s so good in bed and we go googoo, gaga, then proceed to throw away the requirements. We compromise our needs just to have him, to be with him and become the person he wants, doing the things that makes him happy when he doesn’t even bother much with what we need.

Don’t allow any man to tell you that what you need to be happy is too much, or too demanding, or the list is too long (it can be, be cautious as well). That is another trick to turn you into who they want without trying at all. It may be too much indeed, but for him. He’s not the one. He’s just not the one for you. For example, I’ve adopted the “no text rule” with almost everyone. So, if a man wants to date me, I tell him from the beginning that I don’t accept text conversations. They have caused more hassle in my romantic life than bring intimacy. I have met suitable, smart, sexy men (the type I enjoy) who tell me that is their preferred mode of communication. What do I do? I walk away. This is one of my non-negotiables. I need real life conversations, by phone or in person. No sexy lips, or amazing pair of hands or brilliant mind will change that. Do not minimize that inner voice and keep your list of needs close.

- This leads us to the most important one: consistency. You must look for consistent, repeated behaviors that don’t sit well with what you need to be happy. Ex: if he makes promises and does not follow through, if he doesn’t make an effort, if he is unwilling to admit when he is wrong or has done things that hurt you. As Maya Angelou stated, “If a man shows you who he is, believe him”. Watch him, his actions or lack thereof will tell you a lot. If you keep having the same conversations over and over and over agin, he is not listening to you. I know you may like him, are into him and could already picture a future together although you’ve known him less than a month, but that man is a stranger. Question him. Follow him. Watch him. Look for consistency and inconsistency. He’s trying to get into your life either for good or bad. And that pain you tasted that you don’t wish to swallow again should be a reminder to make sure it would be for good or in the least, make it extremely difficult for it to be bad once more.

- Finally: learn what love feels like. When you’ve been in relationships that left you more hurt, broken than happy, you tend to forget what love feels like. The best way to do so is by treating yourself the way that makes you happy. Love yourself girl. Love yourself in such a way that the next guy, if he comes would have a really high bar to jump over.

No one’s gonna save you or protect you baby girl, but you! Too many come to take and not give.Save yourself.

And I promise, you will not only be happier, most importantly you will find peace.image

May I explore you?

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Just when people think they have you all figured out, you change. You see, people seem to create this image of you and box you in as if nothing can get you out.you can change. We all do, it just depends why we change. Usually, it isn’t the how but the how come. At the root of true change is self-love.

Well, except with my mother. Once my mom gets this idea about you, no matter what you do, that’s it for her. My mother doesn’t believe people can change. I love my mom. I do. But every time I talk with her, she brings something back from ten years ago or her version of it. My sis is the same way, but I digress.

I have to say that I get bored, not as easily as I used to, and I’m quite impatient, that too is changing. I’m more patient than I used to be, and it is not due to age. I really work hard at it. I do that because it annoys me that I am so impatient. I have to constantly remind myself when dealing with people, that I live on a different planet, uhm, that would be in my head where I am often 100 steps ahead because before I say or do anything I’ve already analyzed every possible angle, option, twist and turn. This is not to say that I’m okay with an outcome that I may find negative or that I won’t be upset about one that wasn’t part of the possibilities, and I do. I don’t like being taken aback. I want to be prepared, yes pet peeve of mine, which makes it quite difficult for me to readily accept change. I’m working on that as well.

Life is about changes. I repeat it often. I must or I’ll go mad. I have changed. Maybe that should help me accept this truth, right? Hardly!

It tickles me when people who think they know me realize I have changed. It tickles me even more when strangers say things that would have not been said about me, had they known me a few weeks ago or months ago or years ago. An acquaintance of mine stated recently “you make it hard for people to get to know you. You are so guarded and you intrigue me. I would live to explore beyond that wall, but I’m not sure if you’ll allow me to. So, who hurt you?”

Ha! I was thinking to myself if he was drunk or something because I do believe I’m quite open. I then realized that I haven’t been as open as I used to be. And it wasn’t because someone else hurt me, it was because I didn’t protect myself enough. I was quite unguarded before and trusted the wrong people with the most intimate parts of me. It is not a wall, it is an “I won’t let it happen again” yield sign to myself, with the unseen writing of “child please”, as I listen to them.

Yeah! I used to treat folks how I wanted to be treated. I used to give folks the benefit of the doubt that they were nice and good, yadee yadda. Not anymore. I still have that blank slate for anyone who wishes to come closer. They just won’t be getting much out of me in the process though. So, you want to explore, I’m waiting for vulnerability from you first. I want to see you bleed emotions and actions. I want to see consistency.

I don’t allow people to drain what sustains me anymore, by taking from me, whether it is my friendship, my attention, my love, or my time. They come and take what they feel they need and give nothing in turn. I find these types of people drain me especially when they are on the “still” list. That is they don’t grow, not for the better or even closer to you. They are still broke, still unhappy, still sitting on a dream, still self-absorbed, still, still, still. I don’t need that. I can’t waste my energy on people like that.

So when someone just thinks they’ll chat me up, try to open me wide out of boredom, I don’t bother anymore. I don’t need to share myself with people like that. Usually, they are folks you hear from when they have problems and need to vent, or they barely have time for you unless there’s a storm brewing and the idea crosses their minds that maybe you’re dead, they give you a buzz or their girlfriend asks how you are and they remember you may still be alive, or the holidays are around the corner and they want some of my cooking, or they noticed you tweeted the past hour after not seeing you on their timeline for weeks and they act as if they want to get close. Yep, “child please! This isn’t the discovery channel.”

I don’t have a wall or a door. I just have lil old me that I must protect from having to go through the same things repeatedly. And that is what being emotionally smart and setting boundaries is all about.

Thanks RA for the playa lines! :-)

Shalom les lecteurs! Bisous, wherever you are!

What your doctor wishes she could tell you!

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What your provider wishes he could tell you!

This has been on my mind for so long and I gave it much thought before publishing it. Despite the doubt in posting it, I felt I must. The reason is that it is really good information that everyone should be aware of but most people won’t learn anywhere else.

As a provider hi the healthcare, a practitioner for over a decade, my job is important to me. I love what I do. Most of us go into healthcare because we want to help people. Helping people makes us feel good. If you have been keeping up with the system, you will learn that many of us spend years in school, leave with so much debt that the lifestyle you imagine we are having is practically non-existent. Many of us after more than 8 years of schooling will not start out with a six figure salary. It may take close to a five more years before we get there. And when we do, if we do, depending on our specialty, between loan repayment and insurance coverage that is mandatory as providers, we don’t have that much compared to someone who did not spend all these years in school.

Many of us are held to several codes of ethics. The first is written by the governing body of our field, usually an association or governing body that we have to pay to belong to yearly, then another from the State where we are licensed and one written by the powers that be at the facility we work at as well as the moral/legal codes that we hope every decent human being possesses or was raised to follow.

All of these in addition to the patient’s bill of rights have been written to protect you, the patient. So, you are mostly safe under your provider’ scare. Have there been exceptions when people will make mistake or forget the codes? Yes. Have there been times when people voluntarily do the wrong thing at your expense or out of greed or need for recognition? Yes. These, are far and few. From the general practitioner to the sub-specialist, there are fewer who do harm. Why? Because our healthcare system, your healthcare is regulated, overseen by so many people who don’t wish to either lose their license, the insurance contracts and your business.

It is great that you are protected but there are other things that you, the patient needs to learn to make certain you will get the best care possible, especially as an out-patient. I am referring to out-patient services here.

What do you need to learn? The best clinic visit starts from the moment you have your first symptom. It does not start in our office. You the patient have an issue. What do you do? Let me list the ways you could make it easier for us to diagnose or help you as well as make your visit more pleasant and informative.

1- You are having a persistent issue. Please write the date, the time, how long it lasted, what you were doing, what you think may have triggered it. If this is the umpteenth time, try to remember the very first episode.

2- Get on your insurance company’s side and find the list of doctors you are allowed to see. Too many patients come to my office unknowing about their plan. You need to know if your insurance will pay for the visit or not. Research your provider online or with the insurance company about complaints or past issues if any.

3- Call the provider’s office. Inquire about their specialty. Make the appointment on a day and time that best suits your schedule. Write the name of the person you spoke with and the time. If possible, ask them to mail or email registration forms to your house. You can then have plenty of time to read them, review them, call the office for answers if you don’t understand the questions or ask for assistance at home.

4- Most offices will call you to confirm the appointment. Once you confirm, please show up. And show up on time. If you are taking the day off for that appointment, don’t attend to other things that infringe on that appointment. Late patients mess up our schedules. Patients who do not show up, especially after confirming the day before are even worst. Someone else could have had that slot. If we don’t see patients, we can’t pay our bills. Time is money, even in healthcare. Do not show up an hour or two in advance expecting to be seen. It is at the provider’s discretion whether that may occur or not. Understand that. If we squeeze you in between other patients, do not linger in the room. Make it as expedient as possible. Courtesy demands courtesy.

If you are going to be late (a dire emergency), please call the office ASAP. DO NOT say you’re 5 minutes away when you have NOT left your house yet. Give the exact location so we can work you into the schedule. Most appointments have their own set time. Lateness, any lateness messes up the schedule and we are left with angry people who will blame none other than the provider when the patients are 99.98% the cause of a lengthy schedule. Many providers do overbook (mostly due to high rate of no-show patients or simply because they want to keep their “best, aka, nicest or the really sick ones happy” known as good patient care). In some specialties, we can’t do that, especially if we must run some tests on our patients. Certain tests take minutes and others hours.

5- Be courteous with our staff, from the front staff to the back, including your provider. We all deserve to be treated with respect. Just because your insurance (usually a measly amount, trust me on that one) is paying or you are paying gives you no right to be rude or overly demanding. As in everything, the nicest patients will be taken care of in the best way. Most people will go out of their way to help a nice person. Being nasty and demanding may get things done but notes are written in your chart and everyone knows you are a time bomb. No one will try to accommodate you sooner or earlier if you are known to be nasty and rude. That includes cursing. I have had to see patients, per company guidelines who have cursed at me, used foul language and it is not a good situation for anyone involve.

Make sure you use the restroom before you enter the exam room. I’m often left standing waiting on the next patient who is using the restroom (or with a child who is NOt being seen that day) the exact time that I am ready to see them.

6- Take time to clean up. We have spray in every office due to how unclean people can be. Wipe your hands. Do not bring food to the waiting area. Do not be overly loud. Clean up after yourselves. If you bring children who need to be changed, leave with the diaper. Do not leave it in the small restroom we all will share after you leave.

Clean the area that will be examined by your physician. Sometimes I have to wipe and clean them myself before I am able to examine the patient.

If you have an appointment, do not bring more than one person with you. Some people are known to come with their entire family, with greasy food, soda and sit in the waiting area (usually not enough chairs for them all) and scaring the other patients.

7- Do bring a legal piece of identification. Medicaid fraud has occurred where people come under other people’s names for care. Protect yourself. Bring your insurance card with you, an updated one. Make sure the numbers and address match on the card to the one in the system. Co-pays are a MUST. It is illegal for us to see a patient and waive the co-pay. Each visit has its own set of guidelines. Some warrant a co-pay and others don’t.

8- When you enter my office, I MUST go over many questions with you that are MANDATED by any and all these corporations I mentioned earlier. Give your practitioner a chance to ask them all. At certain companies, we are given hell if these questions are left unanswered. They help with your diagnosis.

As an aside, a sign of a good, well-trained provider is one who does go over the questionnaire with you (if a nurse hasn’t) in depth, to cover the timeline of the issue etc. The provider should also inquire whether you had other things to add that were not on the questionnaire (that is when your notes come into play). Once your examination is done, she should explain the findings, tell you what the next step is and why. She must give you a chance to ask questions. If she doesn’t have the answer at least tell you where you can find them.

Every provider does not know everything. Just because someone is a physician doesn’t make him a know-it-all. If you’re there to see your dentist, don’t ask about the pain in your gut. Know the specialty, what the provider can or can’t do in advance.

9 – Do not expect copies of your results the same day. It is at the provider’s discretion or possibly some company’s guidelines as to how and when you cN expect copies of your chart or reports. This is why you must take notes when the provider is reviewing the findings with you. Most offices have a 48 hour turn-around time.

One of THE most time consuming part of my day is having patients come without a family member and wanting for me to call their children or mother or spouse to explain everything I just told them. Sometimes, they stay in the waiting room, calling that person and have me take time from another patient to attend to the phone.

If a family member’s opinion is important in your care, please make sure to have them come to the visit with you. If they can’t, please tell us in advance so we can add extra time to call them for you. This is why many providers are starting to charge for phone and email consultations. Time is money and this for EVERYONE.

Also, YOU are our patient, not the third party. If they are going to be rude and disrespectful, we can deny them access to our staff.

10- Do not bring cookies or whatever goods you want to give. We are left at a loss as to what to do. Most companies don’t want us to accept anything from our patients. Many will end up throwing them away. Many may feel that you are bribing them as well and you may expect preferential treatment.

There are probably more, but these are the key points that my co-workers and I experience often at the office. You want a great visit and to be treated with care. So do we. We want you to leave our office and rave about the care you receive from us and hope you’d send more referrals our way as well. But, as in many relationships, each side has to play their part.

Be patient. Be understanding, your provider, the front staff, they are people just like you. And if you can’t remember any of this, remember what my mother told me when I decided to “help” people. “Honey, whenever a patient is getting to you, look at them and think that I could be them. Treat all your patients as you would treat me,”

Toodles!!! And happy hump day!

Dear atheist friend,

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I call you friend because of all that you are. I love you, not solely because the God I serve that you don’t believe in tells me I must but because I know the power of love and how important it is to each and everyone of us.

I don’t see you as an atheist which you make sure to tell me each time we talk, but as the sum of who you are. I sat at your table and we ate together. We shared stories about our children, and spoke for the past couple of years about life and everything it covers.

However, in the past few months you have defined me by one thing, “your hatred” of religious beliefs and your strong disregard for those who believe in God.” You stopped seeing me as a person but have made me responsible for every vile thing, from slavery, to the war in Gaza, for anti-gay sentiments, to women’s rights for abortions. You have taken every headline about Christians and have me carry the cross. I don’t even know these people nor do I embrace every so called religious tenet, but you’ve never asked me about my faith, have you? Isn’t that discrimination? Not one did you ask me why I believe in God, how my faith fulfills me! In one breath you’ll call me one of the smartest women you have known and the next, the stupidest for believing in God. You have on so many occasions wanted to talk “logically” about the existence of God and humanity’s need for “religious” beliefs. Maybe, maybe if my faith in God wasn’t what holds me together I could philosophize with you. Maybe, maybe if the personal experiences I have had through practicing my faith, had not molded me into that “kind, sweet, giving and loving woman” you claimed I am, I could go ad nauseam about my faith with you. If you can’t see how my faith makes me a better person, a different person, you are blinded by hatred. That’s the only testimony I have; the way I am. I have nothing else to say and will not, because there is one answer that logic dictates which is that faith is in things hoped for, yet unseen, that faith, God changes every fiber for the better and the common good of humanity. How can I explain when you can’t comprehend the worldly definition? How can I discuss soul and spirit with you when you live in the physical/material world? Our worlds have different languages and expressions. Until you are able to speak a soul language, we will be lost in translation.

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You may not respect my religious affiliation or belief, you may not respect God as you feel he doesn’t exist, but respecting me enough to not insult me by calling me: stupid, white people lover (because Christianity is white people’s religion), or stating that raising my kids to believe in God is child abuse and that religious people should be sent to mental facilities) is inexcusable. Don’t you think?

You are exactly what you hate. The way you feel Christians, religious folks try to impose their beliefs on others, you are doing the same thing to each of your Christian friends. So my dear, you proved my point. This isn’t about God but about people. We embody the good and bad in this world. Don’t blame God, start with self. In so doing, you will see everyone like yourself. You are no different than the ones you resent. Look into the actions of others, love is what changes things. You want to know if God exists, look where love resides, that is where God lives. God is love! There is one biblical definition of religion and that I follow (if you cared enough to ask) which is to be there for children and widows, visit them and care for them. If you are against that and think it a white man’s religion, I want no part of the black man’s religion and stick with love, kindness.

Your issues aren’t with me but with the concepts you hold about others’ concepts. We are all humans and bound to disagree. You are now a bully, tormenting every single Christian friend you have, insulting them on social media, calling them names and trying to browbeat us all into silence.

I stand in hope that you will learn to treat others the same way that you claim you want to be treated and allow me as well as others (same way you fight for gay rights) to live and believe however suits us and take your issues to the voting booth. We are all entitled to define that one life we do have.

Sincerely and with love,

Your Christian friend!

Shalom!

In turpitude, stand your ground!

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There are dark days and dark nights, what blinds is the darkest plight. There are many, near are far, whether you wish to listen to the stories or not, terror reigns. Children are killed. Atrocities as of days of yore, abound.

First came the pictures from Palestine, bombs that crashed into homes and burned dreams. Parents are crying. Everyone is in the right. Not many are leaving. People point fingers left and right. Who is wrong? What is right? So many years, the same thing. There is no peace, never will there be. That’s the way it’s been and the way it will always be. Humans want to win. People fight to be on top, no matter how many they leave weeping.

But what if it was you? What if you signed into this war because you wanted to serve your country or you must, as the law states, what would you do?

Look, water, water everywhere. Iced water on brown skin, white skin, young and old, rich and poor. This for a good cause. Many are smiling. They are giving. The sick has hope. Then they came, the naysayers, the angry ones arguing, pointing those fingers. What waste!!! Pictures of children in Third world countries are brandished on social media. They need water. Don’t waste water! You are inconsiderate! This from people who probably never donated a dime for clean water. They are upset. Things shouldn’t go that way, only their way.

But, who needs healing? Who gets to be saved? ALS is a white man’s disease, they say. This challenge is to take attention from more important issues, like Ferguson. It is to distract the black community. Who needs saving? ALS patients, about 30000 in this US of A, don’t they matter? Who matters the most? Black people or sick people? Thirsty children or those being bombed? Who, what takes precedence? The ALS challenge started mid July and they had no clue. Kid is shot early August. No one keeps track of facts. It is all about them, their way, their needs, their issues. Self! Self! Self!

But what if it was you? What if you had ALS and no hope? ALS, once diagnosed is usually a death sentence. Your life expectancy averages two to five years. Some are lucky and may last to ten years. But in what state! They are totally incapacitated. Few are even luckier where the disease reverses. ALS has however no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries, a fact unknown to the naysayers. ALS is a wasting disease where you slowly become imprisoned in your body and aren’t able to do anything for yourself, what some at the hospital used to refer to as “vegetable”. You are fully aware but unable to do or communicate. What if it was you?

But, what if it was you in Africa or wherever, needing clean water. Every 21 seconds, a child, in a third world country dies from water related illnesses, not necessarily a lack thereof as so many were obfuscated on.

And around August 9, right after a teenager was shot, unharmed, his hands up in the air, a city imploded. People were taking sides. Enough was enough! Years of slights and injustices that left brown skin, black skin angered citizens steaming exploded. And years of resentment and hatred by brown skin, white skin spewed out. People lining up, not looking for facts, right or wrong, only feeding on bottled up emotions. The media buying witnesses, lighting the fire of hatred. People, black people stopped trusting the system, a system that hardly gave them justice, where a brown, black person is more likely, more readily and harshly judged despite the facts. No one is listening. No one cares to listen but everyone wants to be heard.

What if it was you? Young teen, shot or if it were your child, what would you do? Is death ever justified? And what if you were that cop, transferred from a horrible district where crimes against the citizens, black citizens, by officers were so rampant that they shut down the department and here you are, your name on the internet all over the world, with people filled with so much hatred they want you dead. What would you do? What if it were you?

Palestine is on fire, people are dying. Sick people are looking for hope and others for justice. Everyone wants to be seen. No one is looking. And there, in a desert land, a man, a journalist, who believed in offering the facts no matter the cost. He had water. Circumstance set him on a course where he wouldn’t suffer many of the injustices of the world. He had a passion for truth and justice. He reportedly always felt that people living through atrocities needed a voice. He wanted to be the voice for the voiceless and give hope to the hopeless. Year, 2011 he gets captured and spends 44 days unknowing if he would be free. He was. He gave glory to God, one who seemed absent in these times of troubled waters. But he was troubled. He had to go back, if not the same place but somewhere else, to serve. He gets captured and lost his voice. He was brought forth before the world and had his throat cut off.

According to reports, the beheading took nine minutes.

9 minutes.

I can run more than one mile in 9 minutes. I can cook scrambled eggs, tie my laces, start my car or walk to the mailbox in 9 minutes.

Imagine a knife slicing you raw. If you’ve ever been cut you know how painful that is. Can you imagine having a knife piercing your throat for nine minutes?! What if that was you? I don’t know if it is due to shock but people aren’t saying much about that. What if that was you? He did not shed one tear even though he knew that was his last day. Sheol came calling and God was nowhere near. He followed his passion through the end. He had a look of defiance. I’m unsure whether I should respect the fact he read the statements or be upset that he did. Did he believe what he was saying? One could not tell. What if that was you?

And what if, you were on the other side of that knife? What do you believe in so strongly that you would kill for it, to promote or protect it? What if that was you? Could it be you?

We are living such harsh days but they happened before. The question isn’t why is the world so cruel and filled with injustice but what if these things happened to you or were about you?

We are here to make our mark on this world. Will we leave it better? How far will we go for our beliefs or passion? Would we traipse on others’ rights just because we believe we are right?

I really don’t know. Some may think I’m crazy, but of all these events, my soul is shaken most by James Foley. My mind is in splinters. Racism isn’t going anywhere. I live with it daily and maybe that is why I’m not bothered by it. Somehow, I do understand it. Many blacks are as racists. Given the chance, many may do the same as was done to them. That is human nature. We tend not to respect and appreciate what we don’t understand or resent. I am saddened more than angry by racism. And with Palestine, whether one wants to agree or not, it is written. Atheists may disagree but read the account and you shall see. It is written.

What is becoming clearer through all these events is how strong the impact of one’s beliefs, convictions have on us and those around us. And that can be far reaching. A city is close to civil war due to one man’s act. A president is being blamed due to another man’s convictions and things can get even worse from then on because of them. And from one lone guy on youtube, more than 60 million of dollars was raised in close to one month! We are powerful beyond measure, our choices matter, each and everyone of them and they will affect not only ourselves but many more.

We are the sum of our beliefs. They define us and how we relate to others. They help us float on the waves of troubled waters or at times, they lead us to the mouth of the current. The irony though, inside each one of us, there lives: a perpetrator, a martyr and a hero.

RIP JAMES FOLEY, I hope when time comes for me to stand for what I believe in, I will not bow down, that I would stand my ground and suffer the consequences of my convictions!

Happy Tuesday y’all!

Are you a good catch?

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Are you?

Throughout the years, I had many responses to that question. And that is the thing about living, life; change occurs. For now, my answer has shifted. I used to think the inquisitive person was referring to me and what I had to offer. When really, that is not the case.

Every single person has something to offer. As such, everyone is a good catch. It is about the offering but more so the value of the offering and the needs of the person, the offer is being presented to.

Value is related to need as well as attainment as well as the road the seeker took to it and so on. So, no matter what I or you have to offer, it has to be worth something to the receiver for them to attribute value to it. This, as much as it pertains to relationships.

I’ve learned a few things about relationships. One of which is that the one you’re with must have something to offer that is valuable to you. This is why relationships aren’t truly about love as much as they are about complementing one another. No matter how beautiful or smart or sweet or kind or how in love you are with someone, if they are not getting from you something they value, they won’t appreciate you enough to work hard at keeping you around or the relationship going.

No. It is not selfish to ask and look for someone who gives to us. Maybe it is, but life is about being selfish. Without self in it, living as we know it is nothing. Many of us say we want or are seeking “love”. You know, that one person to love and love us, that “soulmate” (don’t believe in those either if you care to know).

That is not true.

We are not seeking love. We are searching for someone to meet our needs. It is therefore, an imperative to define what they are. Sometimes, we may end up with something that never crossed our minds, either due to unknowing but mainly due to a lack of self-analysis. To have amazing, good, solid working relationships, we must know ourselves, what we want. No. We can’t demand that others give them to us, but we can and should be completely honest with them as to what they are. That will prevent time wasting on both sides. It will also lower the chance of someone getting hurt, feeling unwanted and unloved.

It is really not about me or you. Are you a good catch? Am I? Yes, yes, yes. I can also be a bad catch if you follow my train of thought. But, I am a good catch indeed, for the one who knows what he wants, what he is looking for and can value it when he finds it, in little old me.

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Shabbat shalom!!

Muchos besos a todos!

Sex with me

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Into my womb they wish to rest but within their homes, I lay no steps.

I’ve been telling my friends, well because they know me and all, about my upcoming anniversary. Those who know me understand how liberal I am when it comes to sex. They know that sex to me is a physical need like stretching to stay flexible. I am able and have separated sex from love. Sex is physical and love is more than beads of sweat a few times a week.

My friends are amazed. I’m sure a few are even doubtful. I am celebrating my one year of celibacy since my divorce. When I first got divorced about seven years ago, I read and heard about the “going wild” period. The time when you stay open literally and figuratively, but I didn’t think it applied to me. Whoever does! Most of us often think ourselves to be different and above the rest. From that time hence, I dated and had sex. Some lovely, others not so lovely with a few but not so many and never more than one at a time. The initial years were about meeting new people, learning about intimate differences. Then, it became about learning what I liked. I didn’t marry young but married straight out of a Christian home, a Haitian one at that! It meant: lack of experiences and knowledge, particularly self-knowledge. I followed the path. It was school, church, get married, have kids, buy the house. The end. We didn’t know anyone who was divorced, at least in our close circle. We knew people who had kids by accident, meaning out of wedlock but never a divorcee. What do you do with those? If there were, it wasn’t a topic of conversation.

And now I get divorced! You know, always the weird one, doing some crazy thing. My mother spells the end of me. I am going to hell and my sister says I’m a whore. This translates into having sex with more than one person in a lifetime. What do you do when you’ve been told you’re dead and done with, and are nothing? Well, f you’re me, you live it up. Those years taught me more than I cared to learn about myself, why I got married, why my marriage failed, who he was, what I wanted and how horrible the male specie truly is. I swear, if someone has a good decent man, you better put him in a fort and lock that key. Don’t let anyone near him! A decent guy with decent values, has integrity, is kind, giving, open, honest, supportive, faithful and loyal is nearly inexistent.

There is no better way to know a lot about the male specie than when he knows you’re not looking to tie him down. He is not tip-toeing around you. He tells you the truth.

There are some men, the truth they know not, breathe not and speak not. I was with two men with narcissistic personality disorders. I had no idea this existed and suffered greatly, especially with the first one. By the second one, I had learned the signs. I watched for the way he treated me; hw he never followed up on promises, how he would disappear and keep me at bay, how he made me feel bad about myself, how he would never be there for me, emotionally, physically unless in some way he could benefit from it.

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In all these years, I learned the most important lesson, which is to give of myself to those who show appreciation, who do not only say they appreciate me, but can show signs of affection. They must reliably and consistently be there for me. I was too gullible. Hey! That Christian background again. I was naive. I was honest, too honest and too open, giving intimacy when their doors were locked, opening my home and myself to people who did not know or weren’t willing to give in kind. They had no sense of reciprocity. They were takers. They took of me,  my peace, y heart and my life. They had not a present to invest, but kept on promising tomorrow, which wasn’t theirs to give. They rode on hope and wrung it around my neck ’till it drained the air that I breathed. Yes, I offered but they pleaded and promised. It took two for the lessons to be taught. Credit goes to both, the abusers as well as the abused. I won’t say victim. I’m uncomfortable with that term of late.

Yes, one year! One full year when I said enough of the lies and the games and the tormenting! One full year of peace where I wasn’t being treated by some user like I’m stupid, or foolish, constantly being taken in by some outlandish, made up story with someone who had nothing to give, jumping between the ex, and a few others at once. If you’ve been reading my blog these past few years, you can also attest that it is less sad and less angry than before. Sex can do that, knock you out. Sex is great I assure you but be careful who you share it with. There are emotional vultures out there, not just physical abusers.  Make sure they cherish the gift that you are. They don’t have to love you but they must at least respect, cherish and honor you! It is not for me to change others. I can only change me. And this new me is extremely guarded, with everyone and everything. Maybe it is a bad thing, but I’m better for it. Now, I’m more at peace and happy. Life is after all about happiness and celibacy has given me that and so much more.

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Here’s to once upon a moment!!

Shalom!