Are You Seeking Love Based on The Love Lies?

Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor
Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor

This past week I had the distinct pleasure of attending a teleconference based on the book The Love Lies by Debrena Jackson Gandy.  I had no idea what to expect since I have attended calls on this subject matter in the past and have come away disappointed in them.  I attended this call because it was part of my friend Lougenia Trailblazer Rucker of Divine Diamond Ministries’ Wisdom Speaks Series.  This time I was pleasantly surprised by the information discussed, as I should have expected from this knockout duo!

Debrena Jackson Gandy started out by talking about being a girl vs.being a woman.  I knew immediately what she was talking about.  Although most of us should know better, we tend to buy into the lies told to us by American culture and the media.  We are programmed from a very young age to see relationships and love a certain way, as fed to us by the media.  The problem is, these are but pipe dreams based little on truth.  We are told we need to find love and we need to be worthy of love.  Society tells us things should flow a certain way – and we buy it hook, line and sinker!  We are reacting to our environment and being girls (immature) instead of acting as mature women who have knowledge and truth.

You see, society teaches girls about relationships from a place of fear and scarcity.  Fear that we need to find someone before it’s too late.  Fear that if we don’t we are somehow not good enough or unlovable.  Fear that we won’t find someone.  Scarcity refers to the term soul mate, which I have previously said I do not believe in.  Soul mate implies there is one – one in a world of billions!! It implies we had better start “looking” because we have a lot of work to do if we are to find that needle in a haystack!  This was exactly my argument for not believing in a soul mate.  There is NOT just one – plain and simple.  Who created this term and who decided there was just one person for each of us in this world of billions of people?  To a logical mind, this does not make any sense.  Yet many people buy into this.

Ms. Jackson Gandy went on to say that relationships are built on love and truth.  Well, yeah, but whose truth? Her answer to that is God’s truth.  Her book The Love Lies is based on truths she found in the Bible.  The truth about how God sees relationships and love, not how we as humans degrade it to be something so much less than what it should be or what we deserve.

The next point that hit home with me was that many women feel incomplete without a man, or are told by society they are incomplete without a man.  I know this one all too well.  I must have been asked hundreds of times in my life when I am going to find a guy and get married.  My answer has always been the same.  I will get married when I find a man worthy of marrying, and that hasn’t happened yet.  The thing is, I do not need a man to complete me, to feel okay with me, or to make me feel like a woman.  Sure, I would love to get married, but ONLY to the right man.  Ms. Jackson Gandy took it even farther by saying that women were a gift to man from God.  If this is the case, why do so many women devalue this fact?  We settle, give in to men’s desires, and compromise our own values for men!  Why are we not treating ourselves like the true gift we are?  If we dig deep and really look at how God created us, we would know we are a true gift.  My big take from this part of the discussion is that we should never, ever allow men to not treat us as a gift.  So many of us do.  We need to stop!

Since I have always taken the stance of courtship and respect, I was thrilled to hear someone else agree with my position on these things.  I have been ridiculed many times over my position on relationships and marriage.  That is okay, though, because these are all personal decisions based on what we decide is a real truth.  Compromise should never be an option. Having a relationship that is not what it should be should not be an option either.  I hold my position not to settle or compromise my values just to have a husband.

If you have been “searching” for love and have not “found” it, or you just want to throw your hands up when it comes to relationships, reading The Love Lies may give you a different perspective.  Love starts with YOU.  Give yourself a fresh perspective and start getting rid of all those lies society has told us.  While we all form our own opinions based on our realities, it never hurts to look at another way of thinking.  Decide for yourself.  Get a preview of the book on the next teleconference call on April 16, 2015.  I have included links below for the book, the teleconference and Divine Diamond Ministries.

Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor
Photo Courtesy of Debrena Jackson Gandy, Million Dollar Mentor

Get your copy of The Love Lies: http://www.amazon.com/Debrena-Jackson-Gandy/e/B000APHO9U

Follow Debrena Jackson Gandy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Debrena-Jackson-Gandy/141807847439

To learn more about Lougenia Trailblazer Rucker and Divine Diamond Ministries, join her community and/or attend the next FREE teleconference on April 16, 2015: http://divinediamondsministries.ning.com/

Join Divine Diamond Ministries on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/243382975782600/

The Marriage Dilemma

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I recently attended a singles networking event and discussion.  The topic was interesting enough, but as we went around the room I came to realize that the way I feel about relationships and marriage was quite different than others in the room.  This could be partly because I was probably the youngest person in the room.  But as I listened to others speak, I became saddened by the state of being single today.

You see, as I listened, it became abundantly clear that everyone in the room except me would be perfectly happy to either find someone to date and get along with, have a long-term relationship with, or live with.  None of these options are acceptable to me.  I want to get married.  Of course, one must go through some of the above to get there, but the singles in this room made it very clear that they had no desire to get married (again).  I left feeling very disenchanted with even the thought of dating.  Were my expectations unrealistic for someone of a certain age?  While I was younger than those present, I am considered what is solidly middle-aged.  Could someone like me find love again?  I will say, I still hold out that God has someone for me.

Listening to the conversations, most in the room have been in marriages that lasted for some length of time or were recently back in the dating scene.  As for me, I have been looking for marriage for well over 20 years, with little success.  Over the years, I have met many wonderful men and been in relationships with several.  However, it seems as though finding the RIGHT one for me has proven more challenging than I could have ever imagined.

Friends have told me things like my standards are too high, or that I should give someone a chance that clearly has qualities I would never want in my life.  So as the topic turned to things we look for in the opposite sex, this brought me back to all of those conversations with my friends.  So, are my expectations unrealistic?  As I listened to others talk about what they are looking for, I came to realize that their expectations were different because they were not looking at it from a marriage standpoint, and I was.  Since most of my friends hold the same view on marriage as those in the room, their expectations would be that of those present, also.

So why is it that most people my age want marriage?  I have asked many, and most state they have been through the wringer with their exes and don’t want to do that again.  Others state that they “don’t need a piece of paper to justify their relationship.”  Again, I disagree.  If someone truly loves me and does want to spend his life with me, he should not hesitate at that piece of paper.  If he does, I would question his commitment to me.  Now I realize some would argue this point, but I stand firmly on my belief.  It is okay if you disagree.  You see, to me marriage is sacred.  It is far more than a piece of paper and a level of commitment.  While others may not see it this way, I do.  So I will trust in my belief that the right man is out there for me.  I cannot and will not settle for less than I deserve.  I am not asking for unrealistic expectations, but simply for love and a man who is okay with making the commitment of “I do.”

For those who have said to me that marriage is not all its cracked up to be.  Well, maybe that was your marriage.  Allow me to have my own and make my own judgment on that.

Love is Like a Butterfly

The Metamorphosis of Love

I found this little guy earlier this morning eating all my parsley and got to thinking about the metamorphosis the caterpillar will go through to be the beautiful butterfly.  The simple little caterpillar is gorgeous by its own right.  Nature has adorned it with a beautiful pattern and beautiful colors, and also camouflage.

In many ways this reminded me of love and relationships,  When we first meet someone, there is a certain beauty there that fascinates us and we want to learn more.  Just as this little guy totally intrigued me and made me want to take multiple photos of it.    It is the initial beauty that attracts us – and not necessarily physical beauty, either.

As with the caterpillar here, there is also a lot of camouflage that exists when we meet someone new.  We can see the physical and we interpret the other things, many times in ways that benefit our own wants and desires.  If we want to get to know that person, we may gloss over the red flags, or maybe not even see them at all at first.  On the other hand, if we are not interested in them, we may blow things that they do or say out of proportion to suit our own line of thinking.

While we all want to believe we are open-minded, are we really?  Do we make snap decisions about others before we have all of the information?  Let’s face it, we have all done this at one time or another.  While there needs to be at least a certain level of attraction, the ideal partner for you may not be that “hot” man or woman you have fantasies about.  This is the real world.  People do not walk around looking like that.  The other side of this is when we see someone we think is attractive, but we base our decision on that, not knowing they are camouflaging potentially very negative things about their lives.  Are you missing really wonderful men (or women) who could be perfect for you because you have prejudged?  Are you going only for the ones who look good physically?  I think this happens more often than we would like to think it does.  We may be missing the one we could have a wonderful and happy life with.

Chrysalis, or pupa, stage of a butterfly. This is where the real change takes place!

Once the caterpillar matures to a certain level, it turns into a chrysalis of brown or green, and not usually very attractive.  This is what happens in new relationships, also.  Everything starts out pretty, then as we get to know each other better, we find there are things that are maybe not as pretty as we thought they were.  And sometimes things can turn ugly as we try to work through them.  And here is where it ends for many and what I believe is a societal problem today.  Ending relationships, even marriages, is much too easy on our society.   Many people are not willing to go through the metamorphosis, that every relationship will have at some point, to get to the real beauty that awaits on the other side.

I have a really good friend who went through so much in her marriage, but yet she also has one of the strongest, happiest marriages I know of.   She has told me many time it is because of what they went through that made them strong.  This, and her faith in God, has brought her to this point of having such a wonderfully happy life.  Life is full of ups and downs, but when it comes to relationships, most people seem to want to give up when the going gets tough.  Her family is living proof that everyone has hardships, but when the couple works together and communicates with each other, the future is much better than anything we could dream of when we are going through it.  The beauty in her marriage is something we can all hope to aspire to.

This can also be applied to relationships that are not yet marriage.  Do we give up too soon?  As soon as there are red flags, do we just give up?  Maybe some of us are really missing that diamond in the rough because he/she is still rough and we have not get polished the stone to find the gem that lies within.  So many people in their 40’s and beyond date, and date, and date, and never seem to find that right one.  Are we giving up on people too soon?  Did the relationship have the time to metamorphosize into all that it can be?  Or are we ending at the pupa stage?  Are we giving people the time to be that beautiful butterfly they were meant to be?

One of the reasons I question this is because there are so many times I would love to get to know men I date better, but never hear from them again.  I was willing to give them a chance, but they were unwilling to give me one.  I am a firm believer that unless you are absolutely repulsed by the person, and have not a thing in common, everyone deserves a few dates in order to really understand who they are.  While there are some things you can conclude on a first date, most things need to develop in relationships.  True love is not about how much you want to sleep with someone, but it has everything to do with connecting in your minds.  Real love connects people in the head and heart, not the groin.  When you are connected in the mind, the person is automatically attractive to you, because you are connected on a deep and real level, and that needs time to develop.  You will not know that on a first date.

My suggestion here is merely to think about how you date and if you really give yourself a chance to get to know the person you are on a date with.  From what I have seen, few do.  Since we are all looking for the same thing, and so few are actually finding it, don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least consider this?  I think we do.  We all want to be happy, and if we need to re-evaluate ourselves along the way, so be it.  The next time you find yourself on a date and you do find yourself not wanting to see the person again, ask yourself why.  Rethink it right there.  Are you even giving them a chance?  You may be pleasantly surprised if you do!  They may be that butterfly you have been looking for in the garden of life!

Non-Negotiables: Our Must-Haves

While we should have many things we will compromise on, there are also many things that we do not want to, or should not compromise on.  These things are the core of who we are as individuals.  These items are non-negotiable, we must have them in our Mr. Maybe.  These items range anywhere from core value items to lifestyle items.  While everyone will have a different set of items, it is important to understand exactly what yours are, which is why I say you must start with you before you bring another into the picture.

Today, our society is very diverse and we should accept everyone for who they are.  However, that doesn’t mean everyone is a good match as a significant other.  There are some very fundamental differences that could cause serious issues in relationships, and could cause a lot of pain and heartache if not properly thought out and looked at totally honestly.  We may think some things are not a problem if we meet someone who we really connect with, only to find out later this very thing is a major source of conflict in the relationship.

To give you an example, I will briefly touch on one that has come up several times in my own life: Religion.  While I am very open-minded, accept and respect all people for what they believe, my Mr. Maybe MUST believe in God, have a relationship with God and attend church.  Since I tend to love all people and accept others as they are, it took me many years to come to this realization.  I have dealt with a lot of heartache because I didn’t honestly look into myself, and tried to fit other people’s belief systems into my life without realizing just how important this was to me.  I spent 10 years of my life trying to make 2 separate relationships work, without realizing they could never work for me.  Had I spent time with myself, as I suggest here, I would have realized just how much this means to me.  While this is only one example of what a non-negotiable could be, it does demonstrate how much time could potentially be spent on a relationship that is going nowhere.  Those are 10 years of my life I will never get back!

Many people with children will have a different set of non-negotiables because there are other people they must think about – their children!  When children are present in a relationship, it is particularly important to consider core values, how you want your children raised and what environment you want them living in.  This is tough!  You not only have you, but you have precious young impressionable lives you need to consider, also.

Another area to consider is lifestyle.  Are you active?  How active are you?  Is it important for your Mr. Maybe to be active, too?  For instance, if you like to participate in activities such as hiking or other outdoor activities and you would like your partner to enjoy them with you, you would not want to consider someone who does not enjoy these activities.  While there are times you may want to do things with friends and apart from each other, if this is a big part of your life, it is also a big part of your life your Mr. Maybe would not be enjoying with you.  Only you can decide how important these things are to you.  Your friends may tell you to compromise if you are not finding the right partner.  However, only YOU can decide if compromising a non-negotiable will make you unhappy and unsatisfied with your relationship.  If it will, then follow what only you can decide for yourself.

The goal for most is to find the right person and to be happy.  This is not something to take lightly.  Your life and future are at stake.  Take the time to make it the one you dream of having, not the one someone else thinks you should have.  Most of all, enjoy the road you travel to find Mr. Maybe.  Just because he may not be for you does not mean he is not a very special person.  Always acknowledge that in the men you meet.  There really are a lot of good ones out there, they just may not be the right one for you.  Keep looking, he is sure to arrive on your doorstep when you least expect it!