Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Man or Woman in the Mirror

I come from a family well-endowed in co-dependency, common for the alcoholic family.  Although my parents aren't alcoholics, the patterns they learned in their life-time continued.  I am grateful for it.  I learned a lot about codependency, how I play into it, how it effects me/my relationships, how it supports the opposite of what I want in my life.  The pattern itself has taught me, much like Jesus, to look at myself before going buck wild putting all the blame on someone else.  It has also taught me to recognize where responsibility lies. I am not responsible for how someone reacts or responds to my truth; I am, however, responsible for sharing my truth.  Both parts are important in dating.  Knowing yourself and knowing the individual you are dating is necessary, as is being willing to look at your self through that person's eyes.  Relationships flourish when we are willing to do this.... to communicate, to share our experience of the other person with them.  No one is perfect.  Maybe something I am doing appears "normal" or "okay" to me, yet to that person, it comes across completely different.  Their perspective matters.  I can learn something in these situations, so the talking, albeit uncomfortable, is a gift. How the conversation is delivered can make a huge difference too!  We all have feelings. We all deserve to be honored, loved & respected.

I find that speaking from the first person perspective when sharing my feelings is helpful, because i want people to hear me without all their defenses going up. I am looking to amend a situation, not burn a bridge. Example: when you hung up the phone without saying good bye, I felt sad and unloved.  I wish you would say good bye, then I would feel loved.  - leave room open for conversation.  He or she may not know how to do whatever it is that feels like love to you.  We can teach each other how to love each other. The humility in looking at myself, allows me to hear someone.. and when I love someone, I want to honor them. I don't want to hurt them.... The truth is, most of us are the same.  Granted, there are people whose minds won't allow them to relate in a relationship; they are unable to have a healthy relationship (example: drug addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, some mentally ill people).  I am not speaking on such things.... Although there are ways to have relationships with people in that station as well.

Humility, is that space of looking at myself in the mirror..... what did I do to create this situation?  How am I being in this relationship that he is defensive?  Is it his life experiences (which it could be - many people build walls after being hurt and not dealing with the wounds)?   Am I being loving here?

I know in dating, it is not always easy to say, let me look at what I'm doing here, or more importantly how I am "BEING" in the relationship.  Am I being defensive?  Am I being disrespectful? What's his, what's mine and how do we come to the middle?

Well, the truth is.... the only one I can work ME.  I can be loving. If baby isn't supposed to be part of my story, it will become apparent. I can be kind, gentle, honest, loving, forgiving, etc.  I can admit my wrongs and make amends, when possible.  I can grow and be different.  All that to say, we can create the relationships of our dreams.  We can also aid the folks that come into our lives in becoming the best version of them possible. It just might be that he or she isn't your future, yet your relationship is the situation GOD sees fit in sharpening him/her for his/her future.  What an honor!!!  Be true to yourself. Honor yourself. Love sincerely.  Pray for one another. Be humble.  Be love.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts, your stories, and the like.

much love & aloha.

Feminine Energy

I went to a workshop two (2) years ago called 'Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women' through PAX Programs. I heard an intro to the workshop prior to that, so I had an idea what I was getting into... this woman, who was the epitome of femininity and goddess(ness)....broke down the differences between masculine and feminine energy and why we don't get each other, why we have so many problems communicating and getting along. We talked about all the relationships we have with them men in our lives, our fathers, our brothers, our co-workers, our business partners, our lovers, our friends, our husbands, our boyfriends. I was in awe... I saw the essence of who I want to be, how I want to love a man. I didn't realize before this just how much I sat in masculine energy...that space where I get **** done... I didn't realize the gift in my femininity.  I always thought competing against boys and men was what we do. I have an older brother, older male cousins, I was inundated early on with the idea that "men only want sex", making men predators versus partners.... only to find, these are but partial truths.  In fact, universally, men and women create a balance.... rather, masculine and feminine energies create balance... the world operates in balance "sunshine/rain, joy/pain, birth/death, love/hate....masculine/feminine"  The balance thereof creates wholeness.  We are whole beings.  All of which is intended to say that what the masculine energy will not supply (vulnerability, grace, eternal time frames, softness and the like) the feminine energy will.  We need each other, for different reasons.  I propose we as women, seek to embrace our femininity, to understand it and then bless the world with it.  We are beautifully created in such a way, that our presence shifts our partners from one station to the next, and that for their benefit.  Thank you.

Funky Sunshine (poetry) <-----  look for the piece title 'Her Love is Intentional'.....   it's that feminine space.

much love & aloha

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cross-Culture and "Inter-racial" Dating

Cross-Culture and "Inter-racial" Dating......appear to be similar, if not the same, yet globally, I am not sure.  When I hear Cross-Culture Dating....I think of my cousin CP (American) and his lovely wife MP (Dutch). He moved abroad for business, they met, fell in-love and voila #CrossCulture dating, that obviously led to marriage.  The Dutch way of life may bear a few similarities, however, the culture is different from that of American culture (yes, we have a culture.).  Culture shock to my cousin who was accustomed to celebrating Thanksgiving, with all the cooking revelry we experience here (for the most part) here in the States.  Yet, that "holiday" or "tradition" is irrelevant to the Dutch historically.  Only when my cousin offers to share his culture with his expanded family does it hold any meaning.  And so it is with Cross-Culture dating.  It happens in the US all the time.  Our customs, traditions, celebrations, meanings may differ, yet when we meet someone who captures our hearts, the differences become less visible (as obstacles), and more beautiful as the unique qualities about the person we are into.  I mention "Inter-racial" Dating merely because it is frequently used here in the U.S. and often comes with we're are separate races, one is better than the other, crossing that line is suspect, etc.  As it were, I fall into the category of a "white girl".  If I date a man that is a "non-white" person, then we are "inter-racial". I find the stigma to be negative, creating tension instead of curiosity.  If I were to date a man that was "Italian" or "Spanish".. it would be Cross-Cultural Dating. I don't think anyone would EVER say that's "Inter-racial" Dating, although if race has something to do with national origin or ethnicity (<----that word = questionable)... than, it could be.  No one in my family descends from either country.  I was born and raised in America, this is true, yet my ancestry is so much more than that.  So is yours, whether you know it or not.  On my mother's side of the family, we are dutch, Irish, Scottish, French, Swedish and/or Norwegian, and possibly Ute Indian.  On my father's side of the family, we are German, Scottish, English (that's what I know).  Do you know Scots are different than Brits?  Germans have a special character and charm all their own (yes, imagine beyond Nazi Germany).  Very different cultures.  Although Africa is one continent, the countries and cultures within those countries vary.  Even if a someone from South Africa dated someone from the Congo, it would remain Cross-Culture dating, not inter-racial.  Perhaps the concept and labeling of "inter-racial" is waters I need to dive deeper into.  I suppose that's a bigger topic than I wish to address in one blog posting. I prefer to expand the idea of Cross-Culture dating. Cross-Culture dating focusses on the culture, not race, which leaves so much room to explore and combine, share and appreciate. I find it inspiring, interesting, amazing, challenging and beautiful.  Acknowledging differences and then cherishing them.  Either way, either terminology, whatever the situation... I believe LOVE always wins...  We all have culture. West Coast, East Coast, beach culture, city culture, our home country and the like.  All of which matters, all of which makes up who we are, how we communicate, what we celebrate, what we shy away from... so it makes more sense to seek understanding, find similarities, and all the aspects of that person that we love and appreciate.  Whatever dating situation you find yourself in, love it; love you, love the person, love the moment.

Here is a beautiful article that speaks to what I'm talking about perfectly.....from one of the lovely Ladies at #BeyondBlackAndWhite:  Swirling Marriage - Sola Coats

As always, please share your thoughts, comments and your experiences.

much love & aloha

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Red Flags

You know you've felt them, seen them, denied them.  The little red flags, sometimes huge blazing red flags that signal for your attention in hopes to deter you from the direction your taking.  I liken them to the "yellow" in a signal light.... "caution" "you're about to run off a cliff".... not to say all is a loss if you do go the distance.... you may just end up a bit battered, bruised, perhaps bitter, but nothing love, acceptance, truth and healing won't cure.  Sometimes we need to deny them, avoid them, hide them, for whatever reason. Like, I still need that reason to prove that lie "I'm not enough" . . . see how that relationship gives me that evidence?  Deep sighs.  If this is your first time reading this blog, let me let you in on my life story. I was part of a church, amazing family whom I still adore, just no longer worship with.  There was a spoken and unspoken teaching that this one church is the only church and so, if you are single and part of this church then you must date within this church and none other. Not only did I find this limiting as far as pools of fish, I found it to limit God's omnipotence and omnipresence.  After building friendships that were awesome and led nowhere, and going to a number of workshops on understanding men, dating, etc. I realized its okay to trust myself. Its okay to fall down and skin my knees, because I can get back up and give it another shot.  And so it is with dating.  I started "dating" about two years ago. Completely uncomfortable at first, because I wasn't completely comfortable with me.  I was definitely empowered and growing in confidence, yet there were things I knew so little of, or had not experienced in 15years of "male sobriety".  I felt like a teenager in a grown woman's body. I had a journey to take; one of exploration.. myself, my boundaries, my likes, my dislikes, my DEAL BREAKERS (very important y'all). If you cannot fathom the thought of dating a man with hair all over his back, its imperative to be clear about that.  (just an example, and no worries, there really is someone for everyone).  In February, 2012, I met this tall, delicious looking, caramel chocolate man. Did I mention that he stood 6'2?  Yeah, right up my alley.  Upon meeting him, I remember how he reacted to the hostess at the establishment where we met. I thought it odd. He was, in fact, a grown *** man.  I overlooked it.  Only to find a few months into dating him, that oh yeah, you did show yourself upon first meeting.  Like a child.  Was it his wounds unhealed? Possibly. I lean more into his marijuana habit, but that's another story.  He lived in another city, and he wanted me to drive out to see him, but would not drive out here.  (RED FLAG)  Was he secretly married?  (NO) but my sleuth skills found that he was indeed keeping something important from me.  One of my deal breakers is not having a valid driver license (like your driving without one).  Ahhhhh, it all makes sense now.  The behavior, etc.  Substance abuse is another deal breaker for me.  I say all this to say its important to know yourself, what you want, what matters, etc.  Alcoholics surrounded my life, my sibling its close to home for me...its created a lot of challenging and painful situations. I deserve to be in relationship with a man that I can melt into as equally as he can melt into me.  Hence my deal breakers.  The RED FLAGS alerted me of those things and led me to STOP seeing that man.  Was that easy?  NO.  I really care about people and I genuinely care about this man. My reality today: I also care about HP.  I honor me.  I needed to go through that though. I grew so much.  I have found that as I pay attention to the red flags, acknowledge them, and trust that still small voice within - I win.  I am empowered. I can choose love.  It also encourages me to TRUST that GOD (my higher power) is working good in all things for me, which I believe He is.  So i don't need to settle and neither do you.  It doesn't make it wrong or right or good or bad.  I want that guy I dated to be loved.  What I know is that has to begin with him.  I wish him that.  I digress, mind the RED FLAGS.....its the universe communicating to you....  because YOU are loved.  Wishing you love and aloha. ~ hp

(Today's post was inspired by an article in another blog: Daters and Haters - Red Flags in on-line dating

As always, please feel free to share your comments, your experiences, your stories, your feedback.  Its always good to hear from you.  :)