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Have you kissed dating good-bye?

27 Jan

According to a recent national survey by researchers at Rutgers University, 94 percent of singles stated that they want to marry their soul mate.  However, many of them acknowledged a lack of confidence in being able to achieve this goal. Below are two stories from individuals who obviously followed their hearts but forgot to consult their head in their relationships.

Listen to Marks’ story, he’s thirty-eight, and at the end of a three-year relationship:

I felt sorry for Jenell the first time we talked. She was going through a divorce from a real jerk who cheated on her. I wondered how any guy could do something like that to her; she was so beautiful and nice. She told me she had never been treated or loved in the ways that I took care of her. When I heard about her screwed-up family, I realized why she seemed to feel so “at home” with jerks. It felt great to give her love, something she said she really never had.  Around the fourth month of dating, however, Jenell became moody and picked fights with me, as if she wanted to be mad. I kept trying to make things better, and they were, for a while, but then she would go back into her shell. I should not have stayed with her so long. Why do I always get into the relationships where I am the giver?

Now, let’s listen to Tasha, twenty-eight, at the end of a five-year relationship:

The thing that impressed me most when I met Duane (thirty-one) was that he was so good with my six-year old son. He always talked to him, horsed around and played with him, and would even bring him surprises when he came to my apartment to see me. Being a single mother, I easily fell in love with the father my son never had. I was bothered by the way Duane became harsh sometimes with me, but I wrote if off as just a bad mood. And anyway, you’ve got to take the bad with the good. We married on our first anniversary of going out, but from that time on he was never the same. He had frequent rages and treated me just like his father had treated his mother. I never thought he would act like that; he had been so different before we married. How do I miss the signs of what he was going to be like in marriage?

Do these stories sound familiar? Do you know someone making the same mistakes? Is there really a way to follow your heart and include your head when it comes down to relationships? Yes, there is. I teach a singles class which is comprised of both male and female with ages ranging from 22 to 70 something.

A few months ago our discussion was fun, thought provoking and interactive. Everyone brought a unique perspective to the table.  The one thing we had in common was that we agreed that it is insanity to keep doing same thing and expecting different results. Everyone confessed that we really didn’t  know as much about relationships that we thought we did. Many people have learned about relationships from watching their parents or older siblings,  televison shows, reading novels and friends. Even with that, what made have worked for others, may not necessarily be right for you. To thine own self be true.
Grant it, we’ve all dated before, right? But that doesn’t mean that we knew what we were doing. If the truth be told just like Marc and Tasha many of us had no clue about dating. How many times have we chosen to date  people for all the wrong reasons.? For some of us it’s too many to count.

But does that mean that we have to kiss dating good-bye? No, it does not. It means that single adults need new information to get the kind of results they want. When you are exposing yourself to  information to help you establish a  foundation for healthy, balanced relationships you are preparing yourself with the tools need for a fulfilling marriage.

During our singles class with pen and paper in hand some of questions we answered and discussed ranged from: Do you enjoy being single? How have you chosen the people you’ve dated in the past? Would you do it that same way today? On a scale of 1 to 10 do you feel that you are prepared for marriage? to questions like How would you know if you are ready to date? Do you feel whole without a mate? Have you resolved past relationships hurts?

The answers to these questions were very interesting.  Questions like these makes you think. And while we haven’t touched the tip of the iceberg, everyone went away excited and looking forward to coming together again for more relationship empowerment.


Will 2011 be your year of breakthrough?

27 Jan

Do you need a breakthrough? A breakthrough is a type of release. It’s being able to remove yourself from that which has kept you in bondage. It’s seeing the strongholds in your life break loose. Breakthrough is a process. It’s normally not seen with the natural eyes. But you can feel it happening.

At times you may feel like you’ve moved two steps forward, and at the same time ten steps backwards. But when you’re in the process of breakthrough you see it as part of process. When it’s your season of breakthgough there is feeling of uneasiness. You start asking questions, ” “Why am I here” “What is my purpose” Why did I survive all that I’ve been through”.

There is a sense of discontentment, which is different from complaining and murmuring. There are some people who complain about where they are in life. They complain about this and they complain about that. They talk about what this person isn’t doing or that person isn’t doing. Yet, they want a breakthrough but won’t lift a finger to help themselves.

Neither are they willing to do anything about what they are complaining about. Do you know this kind of person? Being in relationships with people who murmur or who live in the sea of complaints can be very toxic. People like this will drain your spirit. And when it’s time for you to give birth to your destiny, you may not have the strength to P.U.S.H.

On the other hand when you have greatness inside of you there is no way that you can be content with mediocrity. Mediocrity is living below your known true potential. It’s allowing oneself to accept the norm. It’s never going beyond, but doing just enough to get by. It’s pleasing the status quo. Doing what everybody is doing, because it looks like the right thing to do. Mediocrity is the failure to do your best, live your best and be your best. It’s blaming other people for holding you down.

But when you are discontent that means that you want clarity. You desire to know the steps you need to take to make things happen. It means that you are willing to allow your steps to be divinely ordered. Anytime you say to yourself, “There has to me more to life than this”, that means more is looking for you.  It’s your wake up call to the potential for greatness on the inside of you.

What’s tugging at your heart?  When you are ready to answer that call you ask, seek and knock. Unfortunately, we can’t find that which we are not looking for. Doors that we don’t knock on won’t just open. We can’t obtain that which we don’t open our mouths and ask for.

I know that 2010 has been a rough year for all us. Job losses, lay-offs, foreclosures, illnesses and untimely accidents and deaths have taken a toll on many families in this community. But I am of the belief that 2011 can be one of the greatest years of your life. This is the year that you can go from the pit to the palace. 2011 can be your year of financial transition and breakthrough.

Do you remember Joseph in the Bible? Like Joseph, this could be your season of breakthrough. Joseph was only 17 years old when he was sold into slavery. He was 30 years old when he was promoted by Pharaoh. And he was in prison before that. This means that Joseph was in Potiphar’s house for 11 years prior to being falsely accused and thrown in prison.

What seemed like injustice was the very thing that caused Joseph to rise from the pit to the palace. He had to go through the process and make the transition in order to receive his promotion.

What have you gone through in 2010? What pit have you found yourself in? Was it the pit of unemployment, the pit of divorce, the pit of prison, the pit of addiction, sickness or death?

Whatever place you found yourself in last year was part of your process to greatness. If you desire breakthrough, prepare for the promise. You may have been through a lot but you are still here. As long as there is life in you, you can possess the promise.

How bad do you want it? Do not let what happened in 2010 keep you from what’s already yours in 2011. Refuse to allow anger or bitterness to stop the flow of your breakthrough. Forgive those who hurt you. In life people will hurt, betray, or disappoint you. What you do with your hurt is what matters.

Hurt people, hurt people. Wounded people leak issues. They bleed. They hurt. They damage others. But healthy people heal. Deal with the pits of 2010, and prepare for the palace of 2011.

Expect 2011 to be your year of BREAKTHROUGH!

You are not your story

27 Jan

I am writing today to encourage those who have experienced a traumatic event in their lives whether be it childhood abuse, sexual molestation, rape, family violence, abandonment or rejection. Regardless of  the inner turmoil and pain, sleepless nights, depression, fear, anxiety and stress, isolation, addiction, low-self-esteem, guilt and shame there is more to you than what you see. You are not your story.

In fact, what’s your story? We all have a story to tell. But you’re still not the sum of your past. You story will always be part of your history. You will always remember what you went through. But it will not always hurt.

Many of us are allowing the past to impact the present. We’ve survived, but we’re still suffering from an identity crisis. We’re afraid to move forward. Afraid to forgive. Afraid to become successful. Afraid to want more out of life, and expect more from people.  I’ve found that people will treat you the way that you allow them to treat you. If you don’t love yourself. Don’t expect people to love you. If you don’t honor and respect yourself. Guess what, neither will people. We attract to us what we are. When you truly love who you are with all of your shortcomings, flaws and weaknesses the world will have to adjust to who you are becoming.

What’s keeping you from coming into the full understanding of who you really are? We are all champions, born with “seeds of greatness”.

In just a few more days all the pain that you’ve been through won’t hurt anymore. You will live again. Laugh again. Love again. Dream again.

Reality is we’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been broken. We’ve all been wounded. We’ve all experienced some bleeding. But it’s time for the blood to dry up. Some of us have even been betrayed by those we love. Some of us have been used and abused. Some of us have been rejected by men. But the truth of the matter is, whenever you have been rejected by men, you have been CHOSEN by God.

He looks for those who would dare to say, “I’m hurting. I’m broken. I’m wounded”. So He can give you fresh start. He wants to help you begin again. He wants to wipe your slate clean and help you start over. He wants to prepare a table for you right in the presence of your enemies. Your enemies are watching and waiting for you to fall. But guess what? Those who didn’t want you to rise will have to see you rise once again. You’re coming out on top! Give your self a high-five and say, “See you at the top”.

When you don’t have anyone to encourage you, you have to learn how to encourage yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “I still got it going on”.

It’s time for you to choose to get rid of the junk in your trunk, and finally become the whole woman soul, body and spirit you were meant to me. It’s time for you to close some chapters in your life and rewrite your story. What will be your new beginning?

It’s time for the QUEEEN in you to arise and take her rightful place. It’s time to break the cycle and reposition your soul (mind, will, emotions) to thrive.

Expecting to see you at the TOP!

I Refuse to Be Discouraged

12 Nov

I refuse to be discouraged, to be sad or to cry; I refuse to be downhearted, and here’s the reason why: I have a God who’s mighty, who’s Sovereign and supreme; I have God who loves me, and I am on His team. He is all-wise and powerful. Jesus is His name; Though everything is changeable, My God remains the same.

My God knows ALL that’s happening; Beginning to the end; His presence is my comfort; He is my dearest Friend. When sickness comes to weaken me, to bring my head down low, I call upon my mighty God; Into His arms I go. When circumstances threaten to rob me of my peace; He draws me close unto His breast, where all my strivings cease. When my heart melts within me, and weakness takes control;  He gathers me into his arms, He soothes my heart and soul. The great “I AM” is with me. My life is in His hand. The “Son of the Lord” is my hope. It’s in His strength I stand. I refuse to be DEFEATED. My eyes are on my God; He has promised to be with me, as through this life I trod. I’m looking past all my circumstances, to Heaven’s throne above.

My prayers have reached the Heart of God, I’m RESTING in HIS LOVE. I give God thanks in everything. My eyes are on His face. The battle is His, the victory mine. he’ll help me WIN the race. I can do ALL things through Christ who STRENGTHENS ME!!!

Another “Truth” About Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

1 Nov

Many of us are aware of the devastating impact domestic violence has on women and children physically, emotionally, financially, socially, spiritually and psychologically. But I wonder how many people realize that child sexual abuse increases the risk of adult victimization. Did you know:

Experts estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday; 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited while on the Internet; Nearly 70% of reported sexual assaults occur to children ages 17 and under;  The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old; Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under age eight; 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are under age twelve;  Most victims never report the abuse; Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who “tell” and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems, often lasting into ADULTHOOD.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence women who are abused as children are LIKELY to become VICTIMS of abuse as adults. I believe that if we can help reduce the risk of child sexual abuse, we can break the cycle of domestic violence before it even starts.

How do we do this?

Step 1. Learn the facts. Understand the risks. Realities- not-trusts-should influence your decisions regarding children. In more that 90% of child sexual abuse cases the child and the child’s family know and trust the abuser.

Step 2. Minimize opportunity. If you eliminate or reduce one-adult /one-child situations, you’ll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.

Step 3. Talk about it. Children often keep abuse secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.

Step 4. Stay alert. Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abuses.

Step 5. Make a plan. Learn where to go, whom to call and how to react.

Step 6. Act on suspicions. The future well-being of a child is at stake.

Step 7. Get involved. Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse,  rape and domestic violence I am passionate about this issue and making a difference in the lives of children and women who have experienced abuse.

I also realize that my childhood victimization is the “root cause” of why I became a victim again and again. Due to fear these traumatic events became my “childhood secret” for over 20 years. After suffering in silence, I eventually hit rock bottom. How could I not? For over 20 years I carried the burdens of feeling dirty, distant and ashamed.  I was broken in mind, body and spirit. I wore a  “mask” but I was slowly dying on the inside.

I struggled with anger, depression, anxiety, self-hatred, low self-esteem, addiction , dysfunctional relationships and suicidal attempts.  I was tormented day in and day out. But one day I came to the end of myself to find myself. I cried out for deliverance to the only One who could save me from a  broken spirit and heal my wounded soul.  My Creator came to my rescue. He brought me from a place of shame to a place of grace. From being a victim to a victor. He lifted me out of a bottomless pit of darkness when I could not lift myself.  He loved me when I did not love myself.  He healed me, when I could not heal myself. He gave me a passion and a purpose to stand in the gap for innocent children.

Children have a right to grow up healthy, happy and whole. Proverbs 21.13 tells us, “To meet the needs of the poor and protect their rights”- it doesn’t matter what the income level of an innocent child is, they need you and I to stand in the gap for them. If we don’t stand for safety, protection, righteousness and justice we will fall for anything.

Today my organization Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc. is a non-profit charitable child protection and child sexual abuse prevention training organization whose mission is to engage adults and communities in the movement to end child sexual abuse.

For more information visit, I am always looking to establish partnerships with individuals or groups passionate about protecting the innocence of children and ending the cycle of domestic violence before is starts through prevention education.

Perhaps you are looking for an empowerment speaker for your next event. If  so, please feel free to reach me by email or phone (910) 234-3092. If there is a tugging at your heart to support the cause please consider sending a donation to Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc. P.O. Box 1781, Whiteville, North Carolina 28472.


Thank you in advance for your prayers and support!

I’ve Learned

27 Sep

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them. I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back. I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it. I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do. I’ve learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life. I’ve learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person that I want to be. These are some things that I’ve learned….

Women in recovery

4 Sep

When you hear the word “recovery” what comes to your mind? For most people,  recovery brings with it a thought of AA meetings, co-dependency or support groups for adult children of alcoholics. However, anyone who has ever experienced  painful events, childhood hurts, loss and betrayal can benefit from recovery.  This is something  very important for victims of domestic violence and survivors to journey towards.

But before the journey  can begin, let’s take a look at what recovery is. Because if you can change your mind, you can change your life. Recovery about freedom, liberation, justice, compassion, mercy. Becoming the person you always wanted to be. Donna Newman gives an excellent picture of freedom in the following. What is Recovery?

Rebuilding our lives, Restoring ourselves, Picking up the pieces, Healing from past wounds, Regaining our hope, Obtaining self-respect, Building our self-esteem, Mending broken spirits, Making amends for the spirits we’ve broken, Reclaiming our right to be, Releasing what doesn’t belong to us, Raising up what does without fear, Repossessing our minds and our hearts, Repairing broken thoughts and faulty behaviors, Renewing our faith, our minds, our bodies, Reviving life within and around us, Realizing that there is good within us, Growing in our ability to feel and express that good, Renovating our broken dreams and broken hearts, Increasing our ability to own our light, Reaching out to lovingly share that light with others.

This my friend is what journeying to recovery is all about. It’s a journey worth taking. Recovery is about healing of spirit, soul and body. Total health and wellness in every area of your life. Recovery opens the door to understanding and wisdom. Without which there can be no personal growth and development. Recovery is about change. Anything that’s not changing, is not growing. Do not fear the unknown. Recovery leads to peace with ourselves, others and with our Creator, God. Recovery is greater than wealth and prosperity. As your soul prospers, so it will be with everything else. Above all things, seek prosperity of the soul and you will find life. Until next time, be well.