Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Long Haul

The Long Haul
By: Mia L. Black

When you first meet someone, the game is on. You say everything they want to hear and they do everything you want them to do. You spend hours on the phone and all of your free time with this person. Everything is going great, until….WHAMMO!....your first fight. Then everything bad that has ever happened to you in a relationship comes gushing forward and you have to make that decision if you are going to continue with this person. If you decide to split… you split. But if you decide to stick it out and go for the long haul, when will you truly meet that person you have chosen to stick with?

I ask this question almost ten years into a relationship and four years into a marriage. My husband and I are at another rough point, but I think for the first time in ten years we have taken off the gloves, taken off the masks, taken off the front, and stopped playing the game. Over the past few weeks we have come to see each other for who we truly are. And the thing about it is we aren’t bad people, we are different people. We are people that are so opposite that we are trying to figure out if we have what it takes to fulfill our vows. We have discussed separation and being out of each other’s lives, but deep down inside I don’t think it is what either one of us want. It just simply comes down to, when you’ve been with someone for ten years, how do you live with the new them?

I am speaking about both of us as I ask these questions, because we are to be blamed equally. When I say new person, I don’t mean there has been a drastic changes. But that person that gave you all the warning signs for all this time, has finally become one person. All the warning signs added up to make a whole and now the pressing question is; is this person the one I want to be with? Do we have to bite the bullet because we said “I do” and brought two children into our lives? Or do we cut our losses now before we hate each other?

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions, but I know that God is flicking both of us in the heads right now. I truly think He is laughing at the both of us and saying, “I told you so.” Because the warning signs are what warrants, “I told you so” down the line. Just because we chose to ignore the signs, doesn’t mean they were there for us to read. He has shaken us with a traumatic loss and made us both reflect on the words that we speak. Whether we stay or part, I feel after almost ten years in the long haul called marriage; I have had the first glimpse at my husband. And for better of for worse, I love him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What I Know: About Following my Own Advice

By: Jennifer Texada
As you all are so painfully aware I dish out tons of advice. I have been through lots of stuff in my life and have learned some tough lessons, it would be wrong for me to not share what I know. Right? However in the last few days I have been faced with the ghosts of my own advice. Right in the midst of trying to get people to hear me, and follow God, and not make the same mistakes, I am now being forced to walk what I talk.

First, I always talk about how you are only treated the way that you allow people to treat you. If you are going to stand there and let people insult and berate you then you get what you get. So I "had" a "friend" I think you might have read about him in an earlier post who was negative, condescending and careless with the feelings of others. I kept answering the phone when he called, or entertaining his conversations when he stopped by my office. The more I did so, the more my feelings got hurt. Is he really to blame for having these opinions and expressing them unapologetically? No, that is who he is and who he has the right to be.

I did not like that channel, so I turned it off.

Another one of of my friends has been going through struggles in her marriage. As many of us do, in the arguments she was holding the present issues next to the issues of the past. I told her that it was not fair to throw the things that he did in the past in his face, especially since you claim to have forgiven and forgotten those issues. Stick to the issues today, and work forward. We do not like it at all when our parents, and bosses and enemies bring up our failures to discredit or demean us, why would you purposefully do that to the man you claim to love? Neither of you are perfect.

That sounded like great advice, until I was faced with the same challenge. A man from my past asked me to lunch. A simple meal, in the middle of the day, no more than an hour long. I did not want to go, because of his past mistakes, things that I could not let go of. Then on Sunday, my pastor started talking about how God has forgotten your mistakes and he only sees your potential for growth. He can forgive anything, but I am so good that I cannot? Great, more self reflection.

So I have agreed to go to lunch.

I am frustrated with having to look inward right now. I really feel like shutting up with the advice. It seems like the more I share the more I am challenged to hold myself to a higher standard. That requires personal growth, which is uncomfortable. But I truly believe that God can only bless you where you are. If I want bigger blessings and a better relationship with him, then I am going to have to step up. Unfortunately for you, this means that I will continue to dish it out for a now. (Sorry)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What I know about: Pooing or Getting off the Pot

By Jennifer Texada

I would like to tell you the story of the little wifey who cried fowl! Every 6 months her hubby would do something that was so much fun for him but she did not like it at all. When she found out what he did she began to shot "FOWL" you are a bad bad man and I don't like you. If you do that again I will go away and never ever come back. She yelled so loud that the children and the dog, and her mom and dad and all of the village could hear her shouts. All of the people said "He had better never do that again or she will for sure keep her promise and never return". So he said "So sorry my dear I will never do it again".

So 6 months would come and go and he did it again and she yelled "FOWL!" You are a very very bad guy and I don't like what you have done. If you you do it again I will go far far away and never come back. So...6 more months would come and go and he would do it again and then...I am sure you know how the next part of this story goes.

So this went on for years and years. Neither the hubby nor wife ever got happiness or satisfaction the children were confused and the village just stopped listening.

The empty promise maker is as guilty in this story as the promise breaker. The more empty promises you make the further you degrade your own credibility. If you do not feel you are getting respect from the folks closest to you perhaps you should retrace your steps to find out where you may have lost that respect.

These are basic "street sense" rules... Don't make threats you can't deliver on. That does not mean that you should not stand up for yourself, it just means that in the heat of anger choose your words carefully.