Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What I know about: Getting Advice

As I have mentioned before I am one of the people that many of my friends call for advice. I expect it is because I generally shoot from the hip. I am not as concerned with sparing feelings as I am with sparing my friends from pain.

Recently I spoke with a good friend who called me in a panic. She was sure that her boyfriend was on the way out the door. She recounted to me the story. If her version is correct, his words were harsh, and inappropriate given the situation. But I told her to "hold steady because people sometimes freak out and have moments of bad judgment when faced with a number of difficult situations at the same time. Keep it in mind but keep it in perspective."

She was relived to hear my advice, because the person she called for advice before she could get a hold of me had another story to tell. I asked her "Why did you call her for advice on this subject, has she ever been in this situation before?" Look at how she deals with similar issues, and then decide if you think her way is the best way for you.

Be cautious in who you seek advice from.

I can tell you what I know about lots of things. But there are plenty of things that I know nothing about. I have never adopted a child, I have never flown a plane, I have never run a farm. I could not tell you anything about those topics. If a friend came to me for advice in these subject areas, or many others, I would not even TRY and advise them beyond...Why don't you go look it up, or find someone who had done this and ask them.

Advice from friends is a wonderful thing. These are the people that love you and know you, sometimes better than you know yourself. The outside perspective they have is a benefit when you cannot see clearly from the inside. Just know who your friends are and what their areas of competency are before you rely on their every word.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Battle is Not Ours

The Battle is Not Ours
By Shelly Johnson

If for every conflict we had our own solution, then there would be no need for summoning the advice of friends. Friends bring experience to our newly found conflicts. They bring a new sense of self worth to a situation. They allow the blinders to come off of our eyes, so that we can see who we really are, when we face danger. Friends let us hide behind their situations and play a back stage role to their drama. With friends, drama is viewed through the eyes of all. No one stands alone when they have friends. The battle comes to the individual, but is conquered with the wisdom of the collective knowledge and experience of our friends.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Think: The Battle is Yours

The Battle is Yours

By: Mia Black

When faced with an adverse situation, how do you let the chips fall where they may? Are you a person that welcomes conflict? Do you avoid it at all costs? Are you ever the cause? I've learned that in life we will have controversial situations on all levels, personal, professional, financial, spiritual...but in the end it comes down to how you resolve the conflicts facing you...or someone else?

I come at you today with a sense of peace that has long been missed by me. I have not felt so at peace with my life in probably over a year. And now within the past month, I don't know what to do with myself. Because I fall into the category of welcoming conflict. I get so caught up in it, that peace becomes awkward for me. And right now my home is at peace, my job is at peace, and I feel closer to God than I ever have. So now I'm diving into my friends' controversies and taking on the emotions as if the events are personally happening to me. You can see from my previous post how upset I am with my friend's mother. How dare I. Who am I?

Now I find myself becoming angry with this heffa that is trying to catch and attitude with my girl. That's right, I am name calling'. Why? I have no idea or right, but he acted in a manner that hurt my friend's feelings and has her second guessing her decisions. How dare he....okay and me again. I think it is just the fact that my friends mean so much to me that I don't want to see them get hurt and take it personally when someone has the nerve to hurt them.

So now I guess my self-controversy is, how do I embrace peace and and not make it my personal mission to tackle every adverse situation that has nothing to do with me? Answer is: I'm working on it. I'm trying to just listen and be the shoulder to cry on, rather than taking offense for grown-ass women that can handle themselves. I have resovled the conflicts that have faced me, with their help and the grace of God, but ultimately they have been true friends and alllowed me to live me life...fall when I've needed to, but they have allowed me to fight my own battles.

I Think: It's Time to Step into Your Womanhood

It's Time to Step into Your Womanhood

By: Mia L. Black

Can your mother still make you cry? I ask this question after listening to one of my friends this weekend and realizing what her real problem was. It wasn't what her mother was saying to her, but the fact that she didn't feel she could stand up to her. How can you truly become an adult and truly call yourself a woman if you can't stand up for yourself in the face of anybody, even your mother?

Now don't get me wrong, I am not walking around cussing my mother out and speaking with no fear; because I am only two years into being a true adult. My "wow" moment came when I was actually scared to call my mother and tell her I was pregnant with my second daughter. I had our first daughter out of wedlock and telling her about that pregnancy is not a moment I want to relive. With our second daughter, we were married, financially stable, both working and had wonderful benefits...oh yeah, and I was a grown-ass woman. But because of my fear of somehow disappointing her, I held off on telling her immediately. When I did finally work up the nerve to tell her, I received a forced "congratulations".

Well I dwelled on that moment for days and was pissed. Finally it just hit me, I am a grown-ass woman that is about to have our second child and I am allowing this woman to steal all of my joy. At that point I created a mental shit list. It was made for people that were not going to be happy for me. Not just about my pregnancy and not just for my mother, but for all people that felt like they had a right to put in their two cents about my life. I've been living that way ever since and now I am able to "talk to" my mother, rather than "ask for" her approval, about the things that are going on in my life.

Now one of my friends allowed herself to be cursed at, spoken down to, and her mother got so elementary as to name call. Now my friend is the perkiest person you could ever meet. She even sounds happy when she is cursing you out. But I could tell when she called me, that her spirit had been broken. She had called me after she had finished crying and was able to relay her story to me. After hearing her story, I realized that it was none of her mother's damn business. Not only was it none of her damn business, but how dare she become so aggressive with her reaction. All I could do is share the experience I had with my mother when becoming pregnant with our second daughter. Letting her know that she could still be respectful of her mother, while letting her know she will not be spoken to in any inappropriate manner. Telling her she now had to embrace equal opportunity. Meaning if you would hang up on your co-worker or friend for cursing at you, you need to hang up on your mother too. Respect comes when boundaries are set.

My friend sent me a copy of the apology her mother sent her. It was an e-mail that showed her mother's lack of faith in herself, rather than in her daughter. And I think this is a key as to why many mothers act as they do, they don't know how to pat themselves on the back and trust that they have raised us right. Her mother still views her as a child and we all know a mother is supposed to protect her child. But it will be up to my friend to set the boundaries so her mother will begin to view her as a woman, and it may be at that point her mother will be able to see what a truly amazing, strong, intelligent, genunine, kind, woman her daughter has become.