Don’t Tell…

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Shhh… don`t tell anyone what I`m about to tell you.

There’s no doubt that secrets are destructive – what  matters is when and how you reveal them. If it is necessary to tell the secret resist the temptation to handle them at transition times such as weddings, funerals and new beginnings.

Secrets have an awesome if not a paradoxical power to unite people they also have a fierce way of dividing them. From mothers keeping quiet about their child’s paternity to couples having affairs, secrets permeate in every part of life.

Life is made up of secrets but the nature of secrets has recently changed in our society. Today’s families and marriages face special dilemmas about secrecy, privacy, silence, and openness. We live in a culture whose messages about secrecy are truly confounding. The questions we need to concern ourselves with are: When should I keep a secret? How do I tell a secret without hurting anyone? How do I know the time is right?

Secrets are kept or opened for many for different and complicated reasons – from blackmail to altruistic protection of others. Understanding the weight of the secret will give direction to the best ways and situations in which to reveal that secret and it’ll help you decide when and how to do so.

Although we encounter secrets in every area of life, secrets are most destructive when kept in the home. Families are our identity where we develop the ability to form close relationships with the outside world depending upon the trust and communication we feel with loved ones. If family members keep secrets from each other the emotional fallout can last a lifetime. Secrets in a family can divide family members permanently – they can discourage individuals from sharing information with anyone outside the family, inhibiting formation of intimate relationships, they can also freeze development at crucial points in life, preventing the growth of self and identity and they can even lead to painful miscommunication within a family causing unnecessary guilt and doubt.

The suspicion a person draws that something important is being kept from them can make them pursue the content of the secret in ways that violate privacy.- relationships corrode with suspicion. Some people respond to a secret with silence and distance, which affect areas of life that have nothing to do with the secret. Either way secret wedges a gap between those who know it and those who don’t.

Taking the risk of opening a long-held secret may seem like an act of betrayal with the anticipation of catastrophe of exclusion but breaking the rules of secrecy is necessary to attain freedom of mind, body and soul. Honesty is also crucial to making and sustaining authentic relationships. One of the best ways to ease your conscience into revealing a long-hidden secret is to tell an objective listener like a therapist, minister, priest, or rabbi. It can be an excellent avenue to dissolve shame, find acceptance & absolution and empathy and also seek new resources for support and strength but at the same time, sharing secrets only with professionals may negatively impact a marriage and other relationships. Paramount issues may be discussed in depth in therapy than with a spouse and that inhibits the growth of the marriage.

People just want a receptive environment in which to unpack a secret initially, room to explore the consequences of telling others, then the help to do it well, that’s how people end up on the couch or in a priest’s office praying the Hail Mary.

While there is no such thing as the perfect moment to open a secret, there are better occasions than a life-cycle ritual, such as a wedding or funeral because at that point relationships are already shifting, the excitement or bereavement of a major life change will prevent resolution of the secret. Either the importance of the secret will be lost in the event, or the secret will destroy the importance of the event. For people to have the strength to handle a life altering secret, it should be told during a normal time in everyday life, otherwise if the secret breaks out at the wrong place and time it could be an unguided missile.

Secrets are as much a part of our lives as birthdays are, it may seem impossible to extricate them from the daily routine but it can be done, even though some things are better left unsaid.

Everything in life has a good and bad side to it including secrets. Not all secrets are destructive, some are necessary to cultivate bonds between two people as long as no one gets hurt in the process. If your friend reveals to you that she was a sex worker in the past there’s no need for you to go around telling people, it stays between the two of you – that’s how trust develops and that’s how secrets.

“Secrets tend to get revealed when you’re feeling most loved and when you’re feeling most betrayed” – Unknown

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His Wiring

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Ladies, do you really know how your man is wired?

Men don`t like being nagged, they don`t want to be ordered around, they don`t want to be talked at and they definitely don`t  want to be yelled at. They go from the calm sea they are to a tsunami – all the yelling and talking literally makes them feel like they`re on the brink of having a nervous breakdown, and because of that, whatever you`re hurling at them will be bounce off the wall of defense they’ve emotionally build in their head – resulting in the well known notion that men don`t listen. If you want him to listen talk to him at a time when he’s less distracted – you can always turn the bedroom into the boardroom when the need arises.

Men are like infants, a mother knows that when a child cries like this they`re hungry or when they cry like that they`re sleepy – it`s the same with men, they have their own way of communicating with the woman in his life, he just needs her to get in touch with her “maternal instincts”. Men want a woman who processes his preverbal anxieties and will return them in a tolerable form to make him feel more secure, cared for and loved – that’s what builds the relationship.

Some women have a tendency of putting on make-up, not on their face but on their personality – a man falls in love with that and when the time comes for her to wipe off the make-up, the man starts getting confused as to who did he really fall in love with. Men love originality and they are in touch with reality – that`s why they sometimes come across as loving sport or cars more than they love their women. In sport e.g. soccer, a goal is a goal and the way in which the goal was scored will be highlighted over and over again so that no suspicions are drawn – and with cars, the leather finish of the interior is indeed leather and not plastic.

They always say absence makes the heart grow fonder – give him time with the boys, they’re networking the men’s way but he’ll eventually miss you. Show him that you’ve got confidence in him that he won’t do anything that’s out of line, if he knows he’s got your trust breaking it even if you don’t see him will make him feel guilty so he’ll refrain from the monkey tricks.

As much as men want their women to be in touch with their “maternal instincts”, they don`t want to be mollycoddled – they`re grown men with egos, don`t do anything to bruise the ego. Just feed him in and out of the bedroom and make sure that he`s well groomed.

Lastly ladies, a man may want to keep his position as the sole provider but he appreciates his woman to independent, his woman should want him not need him – she must have her own trade, after all behind every successful man stands a successful woman.

This isn`t about women turning men into gods, it`s only about acting like a lady and thinking like a man. Try it, it works like a charm!

Verdict

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Traci Lea Larussa said “Judge tenderly, if you may. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight.”

How often are we put on trial by other people for the way we choose to live our lives and the decisions we make, be it big or small? We are brought before a bench of judges, these judges are oftentimes our family, friends or a partner and society becomes the jury who deliberate on if we’re guilty or not. Very often we will be representing ourselves because it’s either no one is willing to represent us or we simply can’t find a representative who will do us justice and give us our freedom back. 

The question is, why should we be put on trial by the wrong judge and who gives them the authority to rule on what’s right and what’s wrong in our lives?

As much as judgement might be a natural instinct we must catch ourselves before we talk because we can`t get our words back we will only get reactions. When a person does something we don`t like it is better to refrain from saying or doing anything negative, just accept that we all solve problems differently. The Dalai Lama says “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness, just because they`re not on your road doesn`t mean they`ve gotten lost.”

Some people judge others just to make themselves feel good so that they can sleep better at night – it`s a case of “I sin less compared to you.” We forget that we are more alike than we are different – we`re all alike because we`re all human and every human being makes mistakes, which means that if you judge another person you too are to be judged. The best we can do for one another is give each other the benefit of the doubt to avoid underestimating another person`s pain – sometimes pain can lead us into temptation and deliver us to evil. Just believe that a person is right in what they`re doing until you`re proven otherwise. Please, don`t go snooping around in their life to seek for what you believe is the truth, just choose to look for the basic goodness in that person.

The Ten Commandments are there to guide us but remember, God doesn`t judge the action, He judges the intention. Just make sure that your intentions are unquestionable.

Please don’t judge me and I won’t judge you…

Without You

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We`ve all at some point in our lives have experienced the sinister effect of death and no matter how many times we encounter death grieving is never easy. Every day that dawns someone somewhere in the world loses a close loved one and how they respond to the pain is anyone`s guess – from those who`ve been through the grieving process, how have you somehow conquered the pain and managed to live with the loss?

I lost my father 17 years ago but every time I visit his grave I still shed a tear or two. I think the only thing that made things a bit better for me in dealing with my father`s death was that when I lost him I was young and couldn`t fully understand the concept of death. I`m somehow grateful that he passed away at that point in my life because if it had happened later in my life I fear that I would`ve broke under the bent of grief.

After some many years of grappling with the fact that my father wasn`t there to instill fear in my first boyfriend and he won`t be there to walk me down the aisle, I earlier this year was confronted with the death of friend – a friend who we saw as someone who was larger than life. I have lost schoolmates, colleagues, and relatives but for some weird reason when this death was announced I felt like this was my very first encounter with death. It`s been six months since we buried him and I only visited his grave once, I couldn`t even bring myself to see his coffin go into the ground on the day of his burial. The whole experience of this death felt unnatural and taboo to me. What made things even more unbearable was that his death was like those Shakespearean love story that end tragedly – he died while he was in the process of fixing things with the love of his life who is also my friend. They had separated for little over three years but they had recently found their way back to each other, we were all looking forward to their reunion but unfortunately death struck before questions were answered and words were spoken. Seeing the pain in his lover`s eyes as she kept on asking the question “Why now?” made dealing with this loss even more harder – the more we tried coming up with answers to her question the more reality kept on chewing on the raw reality and tasting the bitterness.

So how are we expected to deal with the pain – de we suppress it or do we ignore it? And what are we suppose to do with the feelings we felt for the person who has passed away – should we give them to someone else or should we bury them with the person?

We are born knowing that we do not have forever in this life that is why we shouldn`t procrastinate in doing things for people, doing things with them and loving them.

When a person still has blood coursing through their veins when the words “I love you” are said they open up doors of affection, when the words “Thank you” are said they soften the heart and when the words “I`m sorry” are said they give you a second chance.

The pain we feel when we lose someone shouldn`t be about the regrets we feel it should show that the love we had for them was real.

Shel Silverstein in A Light in the Attic says “There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, so just give me a happy middle and a very happy start.”

Eve

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Woman, when the world sees you what do they see, your sexuality or your femininity – is it only about your appearance as a woman or is it about your power as a woman? 

When a woman makes her looks to be her only centre of attraction then she is objectifying herself thus attracting bad attention, like men who are only after sex . If a woman only concentrates on a small dimension of herself of hair, make-up, the big bum etc. she`s limiting herself and simply robbing herself of a deeper meaning of her existence. Don`t teach people to only love you for how you look – anything can happen to you, you could wake up with a skin eating bacteria, should people stop loving you because you`ll no longer be able to pout?

Femininity is an exquisite quality ALL women posses. Some feel the power of their femininity and are afraid to embrace because they feel it is a weakness or it renders them vulnerable. Such a mentality isn`t surprising because the modern world does not help women in tapping into their feminine essence – the world is still too masculine, it doesn`t create a safe place for women to embrace their femininity. This though, doesn`t mean that women should kill their nature and reincarnate into a foreign body rather women should use their intuition to navigate around life, so that they fear the gripping effects of vulnerability just like a blind person who uses their intuition to see into life. 

The world knows a woman to be intensely empathetic, immensely charming, nurturing, utterly unselfish, she excels  in the difficult arts of family life and she possesses great grace. A woman is the softer side of life.  Biblically we believe that we were made out of Adam`s rib – why the rib? The ribs are bones that are delicate and fragile yet can protect the heart – women are protectors of the core of humanity, they`re protectors of life. This is what femininity is naturally about, sexuality is part of femininity but femininity is not necessarily part of sexuality.

So woman another question to you again – are you a sex-bomb or are you an irresistible body of feminine energy?

Maya Angelou hailed us woman when she wrote, Phenomenal Woman:

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size but when I start to tell them they think I’m telling lies. I say, it’s in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips, the stride of my step, the curl of my lips. I’m a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.
I walk into a room just as cool as you please and to a man, the fellows stand or fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, a hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes and the flash of my teeth, the swing in my waist and the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.
Men themselves have wondered what they see in me. They try so much but they can’t touch my inner mystery. When I try to show them they say they still can’t see. I say, it’s in the arch of my back, the sun of my smile, the ride of my breasts, the grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.
Now you understand just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing it ought to make you proud. I say, it’s in the click of my heels, the bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, the need of my care. ‘Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”                                      
                                   Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Phantom

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From what we know and from what we`ve experienced, apart from being pleasurable, sex for all men is about validation, power and sex is also the Holy Grail of their manhood. For men who are racked with doubt, those men who cover up their bad habits with obnoxious bravado and those men with feelings of inadequacy, sex is the iron fist by which they rule over women with. For such men sex can be dangerous – falling in love, obsession, rejection, abandonment, loss of self, fear of annihilation, psychosis and the manic madness of ecstasy are all potential psychological side-effects of sex. One passionate, spontaneous sexual encounter can change the course of a life, for better or worse.

What kind of a man forces himself on a woman – a woman he sometimes knows and at times doesn`t know? Such a man is the one who feels emasculated and can smell vulnerability in a woman from a mile away. These man think that raping a woman will reinstate their manhood – the nest of such a mentality is made out of distorted ideologies of “distance oneself from femininity”, “restrict emotions”, “be tough and aggressive”, “be seen as highly sexual with women” and “prove one`s heterosexuality”. Some men were taught that a woman who says ‘NO’ to him is defiant and should be punished for saying that. Some men also believe that they have unearned masculine rights towards women – like touching her bum without her permission and expecting her not to mind it.

I think it`s safe to say that rapists are men who psychologically don`t like women who own themselves and own the space they operate in and prey on those women who can`t balance their femininity and sexuality.

Men with such corrupt minds should learn to respect a woman`s body, whether they see it in magazines or in real life – a woman`s body is a sanctuary of life and should be taken care of at all times. Raping a woman is like breaking a glass into tiny sharp pieces, the next person who`ll be picking up those pieces will have to be careful not to cut themselves.

As Joseph Campbell says in The Hero with a Thousand Faces: “It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world”.

PhD in Sisterhood

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Sisterhood is a bond that goes beyond a blood relation; it is the coming together of two or more women who have a lot in common. Sisterhood is about staying during times of sickness, in dark edges of mourning, during a divorce etc; sisterhood is about being responsible about a friend`s feelings even when the foundation of the friendship is crumbling. Sisterhood is about accepting a girlfriend`s flaws and taking in your differences in a pursuit to create something beautiful; sisterhood is about being present in a friend`s life through deed and words in good times and bad. Sisterhood is respect – NO should mean NO and YES should be YES between sisters; sisterhood survives on peace, love and laughter – conflicts between girlfriends are resolved politely. Sisterhood is about having standard and class, friends are mature towards each other. Sisterhood is eternal, the friendship between girlfriends is something that should be enshrined deep inside – it`s a soul to soul thing between sisters.; sisterhood is to fight and be a voice for a sister in situations that leave her without a voice. Sisterhood is about being able to shape-shift and be able to walk a distance in a another sister`s shoes with understanding and not complain.

A lot of women’s souls bear the sisterhood scars, things that were done to them by other women – these are the scars:
GOSSIP – a girlfriend will confide in another things that run very deep within her soul; her fears, her dark past, her mistakes, her erratic ways etc. and what the other sister is suppose to do is just listen and keep those secrets to herself. Some so-called friends will go behind a sister`s back and sell those secrets at the corner of the street, and they`ll call themselves your friend.
JUDGMENT – some friends who have a bucket loads of low self-esteem will become a girlfriend`s judge, jury and executor instead of being her support structure.
BULLYING – some women who are insecure will turn their friends into minions and will not allow them to express themselves in the best way they know how.
JEALOUSY – some friends who aren`t ambitious enough cannot stand seeing another girlfriend conquer the world and instead of singing her praises they`d rather disfigure her image with lies.
HYPOCRISY – the “preacher’s wife” friend who lives two lives will tell her other friends how to live their lives, this just being a ploy to destroy other people’s lives just that they become lost like she is.
HATRED – such a person is a “frienemy”, they’re a wolf that waltzes in a sheep skin, she considers a sister’s existence as a curse in her life – she can’t accept that no two are the same.
BETRAYAL – there’s no greater stabber in the back like a deceitful  friend who sleeps with your man, in her mind she thinks that your man is best suited for her, she’s a user. She’d help carry out an assassination on who she pretends to be friends with.
SELFISHNESS – this friend is the one who never shares anything worth sharing with her sister circle, everything has to be about her, she`d do anything to another woman just to get her out of her way if she poses any kind of  threat that might outshine her.

This redefinition is caused by the unhealthy competition that happens between women – they compete on things like their level of independence, their careers and even the type of men they date/are married to. Women forget to build meaningful friendships with other women so that if money leaves her coffers overnight she has a girlfriend who`ll bail her out or if she loses her job and gets her professional reputation tarnished she can has a sister who`ll hire her at her company or if her man sleeps tonight loving her and wakes up the following morning no longer loving her she`ll have a friend who`ll help her to pick up the pieces and move on.

One of the problems women have with each other is that most in their lives are pretenders, they present a fake self to the world, and they wear masks and hardly ever let the world see the real self. There`ll be Jessica the mom who`s nothing compared to Jessica the wife and Jessica the colleague is a complete stranger to Jessica the friend and so the list goes on. The fight breaks out between women when the woman who knows that the other is pretends blows her cover.

The other problem women have is that they seek approval from other women – no one gives approval in your life except yourself, so forget about another`s opinion and live like there’s no tomorrow.

Let’s not allow anyone to punch holes in the sisterhood, the sisterhood is what makes us women.