Being Saved, Being Single, Uncategorized

Thirsting

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She was a Samaritan.

She was promiscuous.

She was churchy.

 

This poor woman has been lambasted in pulpits everywhere. She is considered to be nothing more than a loose and undignified woman, yet we overlook the most vital elements of the story.

 

She was thirsty.

 

And all of us are thirsty for something.

 

It’s a fact that humans can live for weeks without food, but only three to five days without water. How much more will spiritual thirst drive us to seek relief from these so-called “tall drinks of water”?

 

I won’t go as far to say that I admire the Samaritan woman, but I do understand her. Five times married. Sixth man shacking up… She hoped in love, couldn’t find it, yet kept on trying.

 

I’ve been there. Well, only married once… But countless times I’ve sought for love.

 

Back at the well, a place where only single and unattached women were to be found, she met Jesus. Think back to when Abraham’s servant sought a wife for Isaac… where did he go? To the well, and there he found Rebekah. Where did Jacob first see Rachel? Again, at the well. Where do you go when you want some attention at work? To the proverbial water cooler…

 

So why would a woman who lived with a man be at the well if she was already “involved”?

 

For the same reason many of us run to the club. Or wear revealing clothing.  Or take new photos for Facebook and Instagram everyday. Or lay ourselves down in hopes that he or she will love us. Or tell someone we love them knowing we do not.

 

Many of us are unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and disappointed. We’re thirsty.

 

We have a deep desire to be loved and deeply cherished, not just “chose”. (Chose is twitter terminology for being good enough to be picked by someone to be in a relationship yet the term does not communicate anything about the quality of the relationship. It simply means you’ve got somebody which, to me, means very little.)

 

And here comes Jesus, with his smooth line…

 

“If you knew who is speaking to you right now, you’d ask me to give you water. And if you ask me, I’ll give it you and you’ll never thirst again.”

 

In hood vernacular, “You ain’t never met nobody like Me.”

 

Every time I read that line I smirk. Say what you want about my Lord, but He knows how to talk to a woman.  You can’t tell me that sister from Samaria didn’t melt. No wonder she had to come up with all that crap about where and how to worship. She was nervous!

 

But back to the story. Place yourself at that well for just a moment. Look deep down and consider whether the thing you’re desiring is at the bottom. You already know what’s there. You’ve been drinking from it for how long?

 

Now look at the bucket. Can such a small vessel possibly hold the fullness of what you desire? Certainly not!

 

Now turn your eyes to Jesus… He is the seventh man in the story. He is offering exactly what you need. He will fill YOU so that you need not come back to the well for something that temporarily satisfies! He will fill complete you, perfect you, and mature you so that you can help someone else.

 

I must leave the well. Single and unattached, I may be but there’s nothing at the well for me.

 

Your well may not be the same as mine. But consider… the lilies… and your secret longings. God is faithful to give you those desires, but not until we have turned to Him and allowed ourselves to be filled by His love and grace.

 

With sincerity, love, and hope for the future,

 

Alana

 

Scripture references: John 4, Genesis 24, Genesis 29

Photo by Kashif Mardani from Flickr

Being Single, Dating & Relationships, The Best Of CTheLily, Uncategorized

Dying, He Saved Me

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I don’t think it’s strange that the anniversary of my first blog post is on Good Friday, the day they crucified Your son. I was so discouraged this time last year and needed an outlet. For some reason Good Friday has always been full of sorrow and grief in my personal life. But, Lord, to write this… to tell THIS story almost seems You’re asking too much.

 

I don’t understand it, but I will obey. Because when I consider where I was two years ago today and four years ago today, I can’t help but thank You for keeping me.

 

Four years ago April 6, I made the choice to end my marriage. I knew things weren’t right. I wasn’t even emotional about it because I’d done so much crying before. Divorce was the only option because I didn’t want hate him. Even now, I know I made the right choice, but the journey from that place to where I am now has been…

 

Indescribable… but I will obey.

 

Two years ago, another promised that he loved me. I didn’t believe him. He was one of those guys that just played games. He wanted to do right, but his arrogance and jacked up experiences with women wouldn’t let him. Yet he pressed and pushed his way into my soul. And because I was lonely, I let him.

 

I remember going to church and hoping that the pastor would preach something profound and powerful enough to keep me from dating this guy again. We’d been at it before. I didn’t want to go back down that path, but I was still entangled. And that damned loneliness…

 

His tall and statuesque frame intrigued me. Straight lust… might as well call it what it is. His face… ehhh. Not particularly my type of guy, but all the other ladies loved him. So surely I should be glad he wanted me. By the world’s standards he was a good man, but something just wasn’t right for me.

 

Lord, I didn’t know my worth. I couldn’t comprehend that Your love for me exceeded what he could ever offer. He made me feel good. I can understand how David felt with Bathsheba. I think all of us have chosen someone or something over You at some point. The fact that I had grown so much, yet I still turned my back on You frightens me. I could mess up again… but I trust Your grace to cover me.

 

That night… he didn’t call. We’d made plans. He asked me to move with him. I’d said no, but he insisted that I must love him. He insisted that he loved me. I could’ve made it work with him. I certainly wouldn’t have had any concern for money. Do you remember my prayer that morning? I asked if he were the one for me. And if not, then show me.

 

You told me to get dressed. And I did. I got in the car and drove. You led me to drive and…

 

There it was.

 

His bright blue, tricked-out Chevy Malibu. At a hotel. I couldn’t have missed it if I tried.

 

I had a choice. To take the Jasmine Sullivan route, or to be patient and wait for answers. Either way it would be crazy. But I knew I had to stay. Because this would be the LAST time he’d force his way into my life. He needed to see that I was done. I prayed that whatever woman he was with had already left because I couldn’t handle a two against one battle. I was already weak.

 

So I called… cleverly left a message that I was headed to the gym which was conveniently located right next to the hotel where he’d lodged. And like roaches scatter in the light, he came scurrying out.

 

He saw my frustration. Saw my pain. Dropped his head. He refused to respond to my questions. Instead of listening to those raging voices in my head, I drove away.

 

I died that day. I was crucified by my own choices. My soul was cast down. I could not hope in You because I had turned my back on You.

 

And, Lord, I couldn’t hear You, feel You, discern You. My faith took a fatal blow and my spirit man had been all but torn asunder. Satan’s minion had taken his sharpest sword and nearly sliced my soul in two. His demons tormented me and consulted me to plunge from my bedroom window to the ground below.

 

I searched for You. You were there, but I couldn’t find you.

 

And, therein lies the problem with sin. I didn’t consider that when I got up from the bed of sin that Your presence had departed from my life. It didn’t occur to me that my faith had been so damaged that I wouldn’t be able to approach Your throne.

 

I watched the window for a good 20 minutes, even looked down. Lord, it must’ve been you that said “It won’t do the job.” I’d just end up with a broken bone or two… definitely not comparable to the death I felt inside. So I got back in the car and drove…

 

It was Sunday and usually I wouldn’t miss church, but the night before I had been tormented. Even more so now…

 

I was consumed with grief, self-hate, anger. You led me there, and Your people consoled me. They loved me and dried my tears. Oh, God! I remember how so many ran to my rescue. Some said it would be ok…I knew that wasn’t true. Lord, I knew that if I didn’t get this right in my life, I’d be condemned to hell here on earth and in the afterlife. Yet, I was thankful for their kindness and consolation.

 

I made it back home in pieces and rested. I did not eat for days. I read my Bible and listened to one song over and over. My soul, God, was thirsty for You. I could only fight to regain my peace in hopes that my faith would be restored. I needed to be in Your presence.

 

Your Word came. It was heavy and hard to receive. It discouraged me emotionally, but my spirit cleaved to it. Anyone who knows You understands that a rebuke from the Lord is like a feast compared to never hearing Your word at all. Just the fact that You spoke… I thank You.

 

How unsightly I must have been… to have known You and chosen something lesser that only intended to destroy me.

I’m sorry. 

To have given myself to someone so undeserving. He didn’t even know You.

I’m sorry.

To presume that he could offer me a portion of what Your presence provides.

I’m sorry.

 

But looking back, Lord. I understand now that the rebuke you sent gave me a choice. The scripture says that You will not put on us more than we can bear. But I had put this on myself, and it was certainly more than I could carry. You gave me a choice, at that point, to face my brokenness and transform my own suffering into Your suffering. One would work a brighter future for me, while the other would render me helpless and hopeless.

 

…For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

 

I chose Your suffering. Because if I suffer with You, I’ll reign with You. That’s Your promise, and You’ve never lied.

 

And, so today, Good Friday, April 6, 2012, I can confidently say that I stood against each of his three advances since that time. I can say that I’m no longer on life support, but I’m living and loving. I can say that 2011 was the last year that April 6 would destroy me because I’ve discovered Your resurrection power. No longer am I entangled or even enticed by these lusts… My heart belongs to You.

 

I cannot imagine surviving this life without You. So many, Lord, are heart-broken and tormented daily. They cannot hear Your voice. And, it is my prayer that as I share my shame, someone who identifies with my pain will turn to You because You are surely there with them. Some have stories much worse than my own, and some feel there is no forgiveness for what they’ve done. I pray that they would come to know the truth!

 

With great joy and victory, I thank You! No longer am I heartbroken, sad, or lonely. You’ve filled my heart with promises, and my faith and peace in You grow everyday. I ask, Lord, that You do the same for my brothers and sisters, and for those who don’t yet know You.

 

Let this story, as unpleasant as it may be, bring glory to Your name because You are faithful…. You saved me. Thank You!

 

In Jesus’ name,

 

Amen

 

Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized

A Woman Would Rather Be Single than to Date…


You.


Yep. I said it. This might hurt a little, but I’ll offer you a cyberhug when you’re through reading.


I see so many good-looking, single, well-paid brothers living the same type of life year after year. Some of you want to get married soon, but you’ve yet to find a good woman that will take you seriously. You keep meeting the same super needy, whiny, self-deprecating, manic-depressive nutcase with a cute face, small waist and booty that almost makes you forget her aforementioned flaws… until, of course, she opens her mouth.


That specimen is far cry from a good woman, and the only reason you’ve attracted her is because there are little tidbits in you that keep the good ones away. 


I hate to tell you this, but good women– we turn our heads away when we see you coming. You’re handsome, intelligent, well-dressed, have some promise of a great future, a good man… but there’s that one little nagging thing you do that screams “Stay away from me. I’m just going to play with your emotions.”


Don’t believe me? I invite you to take a look into the cybermirror of introspection. Go somewhere private and grab a tissue… 

  1. You have unrealistic expectations. There is NO SUCH THING as a party girl that dresses to show off her 36-24-46, cooks and cleans like your momma, pays all her bills on time, makes your toes pop three times a week, AND serves the Lord faithfully on Sunday mornings but let’s you stay home to watch TV. If you want that party girl, then go get one, but if you want a wife you’ve got to look a little deeper than her Facebook photos.
  2. You have feminine energy. Nah, dog… don’t skip past this one just because you’re not effeminate. Feminine energy is something TOTALLY different. If you’ve ever found yourself saying “I just want a woman to take care of me, chase me, sweat me, make ME happy” that’s feminine energy. A man is supposed to cover, protect, and care for the woman, not the other way around. Yes, there are some things we tend to as women, but those things are benefits of committed relationships… not dinner and a movie. And to be totally honest, it’s downright girly of you… Man up.
  3. Everything is about sex! Are we really still doing this? Fellas, you’re in your 30’s now. There is no need to EVER say “I’ll have you addicted to me.” That’s the fastest way to lose a good woman. We don’t care to be addicted to anything, and if it’s soooo good (*rolls eyes*) shouldn’t you have someone already? Oh wait… you still have that crazy chick calling and texting you everyday that’s two days away from busting out your car windows. No thanks! If a woman tells you that you can’t have her cookies, but you know you want some cookies, don’t try to change her mind. Get your cookies elsewhere and lose our numbers on the way.
  4. Your interest is feigned, and/or you’re inconsistent. I really think this comes from insecurity issues. Bless your broken heart, brother. But don’t lead a woman on just for your ego’s sake. A good woman will quickly forget the inconsistent caller. 
  5. BIG OL’ EGO! Tiny little huevos. If you find yourself crafting your words very carefully, chances are you’re afraid of rejection. You don’t want to make a woman say “yes”, but you don’t want to hear a “Heck-no-negro-get-out-my-face” either. Understood. We all hate rejection. But sometimes you all get a little too goofy. If you don’t have the confidence to ask a question directly, then don’t ask until you do.    
  6. You are bossy, critical, or judgmental. Do you want a woman like that? No?! But you just said I should go out more, take more pictures, wear my hair up, paint my living room red, not buy my kids those toys but pay extra on my credit card instead, AND eat a salad for dinner. Stop it. If a woman doesn’t interest you, it’s not her responsibility to change for you. Accept her, or choose to part ways. 
  7. And here’s the big one…. YOU LACK DISCRETION!!! Many of you are starting to want a wife which is so beautiful and precious. So when you ask a woman out on a date, do it privately. And when you ask another woman out on a date that same week, do it privately. These activities are NOT for social networking sites because said women seeeeee them! We are not blind. We are not going to take you seriously if you click “like” on every half-naked woman’s photo (the FB ticker tells all) and subtweet another woman about how wonderful last night’s conversation was. We can tell the difference between the comments that are just for fun and those that are real.  And most of you have realized that checking in on FourSquare while on a date is a BIG no-no.
Now ease yourself out of that cybermirror of introspection and inquire within… Would you have a relationship with a woman who participated in all this foolishness? I’ll wait… because one person said “It wouldn’t bother me… She can do whatever she wants.” You, sir, should not be dating anybody.

I wish you all well. There will be wonderful love stories in Spring 2012 from at least a few of you, so choose wisely, protect the love you foster, and leave the aforementioned foolishness behind.

I’m hoping and praying for your best!



With love, sincerity and hope for the future,

Alana
Being Single, Being Smart, Uncategorized

Single Lady Law

It took a while for me to reach this point, but I’m truly enjoying my singleness. There are times when I wish I had a little companionship, but if you’ve ever been in a relationship you know that those needs aren’t always met. So I press onward… and in the meantime, I try to abide by a few simple laws to keep myself fabulously feminine and devastatingly desirable. (Ok… I embellished there a little. I do get caught in the mom-teacher frump, but I fight that battle daily.)

 

  1. Shaving is not season-specific. Just because it’s getting chilly and we aren’t showing skin, doesn’t mean we can neglect shaving our legs and underarms. I like to reference Queen Esther. Every day she bathed in myrrh to prepare for her one night with the king, and this was BEFORE he even chose her! I’m not saying shave your legs in hopes someone will one day rub on them, but if that’s your hope… keep’em smooth and shiny even when they’re tucked away.
  2. When undergoing face-altering activities, trust God but pray for the technician. You walk into the shop and spot your favorite eyebrow-waxing technician. But when they seat you, a lady who barely speaks English with drawn-on brows comes to your service. Oh-em-egee! This is SCARY! Yeah, whisper a prayer. One bad stroke, and you’ll be penciling in your brows like your auntie did in the 70’s.
  3. When in doubt, play coy. Unfortunately, people lie. Our girlfriends lie. Guys that pursue us lie. Our bosses lie. Nothing will disarm them and empower you better than a good lash batting. What am I saying exactly? Play dumb!!! You learn so much more when you just close your mouth, listen, and pretend to be the idiot that liars think you are. Confrontation can wait until you’ve gathered all your facts and cooled your jets.
  4. Walk softly, and carry pink lipstick. Remember that Eric Benet song, Femininity? You are a woman for a reason! Be soft, gentle, and sweet. Pray for a quiet spirit and practice meekness. Your strength is in prayer, beauty, the ability to give life, and your submission to God! In short, you never have to be masculine, hard, or overbearing to get things done. Do what you have to do, but be pretty and feminine doing it.
  5. Subtract to multiply. As single women, we tend to invite too many people into our lives. We have so much to give and share, but many of the people in our circle are no good for us. We have to remove those people, so that others who are much more worthy of our time and energy can come into our lives. A few months ago I had to remove a few people from my life, but since then I’ve had deeper, more meaningful relationships with those who are genuine and full of purpose.
  6. Eat your fruit. Yeah, we should all eat healthy foods, but I’m talking about fruits of the spirit. Remember those from Sunday School? Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Life gives us plenty of opportunities to react with harsh words and bad attitudes. But when I encounter those situations, I feel the Holy Spirit handing me a piece of fruit.
  7. Be seasoned, not salty. No one likes a bad attitude. If you’re still popping your lips, rolling your eyes, and making negative comments about everything, you need to grow up. Develop your personal interests. Read. Write. Take a class. Do something to expand your life experiences. Understanding and wisdom are attractive. Speaking everything that comes to mind is not.
  8. Keep a stash of Tylenol PM. I’ve been singing that old song, “When it’s cold outsiiiide, who are you holding?” Ummm… let me pop a Tylenol PM, hold my pillow, and take my butt to bed. It’s just not worth it!
  9. Single ain’t so bad! Few people realize that being in a bad relationship and lonely is a thousand times worse than being single and lonely. Many married women wish for the freedom that we enjoy. To go shopping and NOT have to hide my new dress in the trunk?! To eat that extra slice of chocolate cake without someone glaring at me sideways?! To not have to cook meatloaf and other manly foods?! Life is GOOD!

 

I’d love to hear what single lady laws abide by. Leave your comments below, and please share, post, email, tweet…

 

 

Enjoy your week, good people!

 

 

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized

Letter to the One that Got Away

It ain’t you, so just read the blog and don’t worry. LOL!

(Truth be told, he’ll never see this unless I send it to him.)

Dear Sir, 

I remember the first time we met. You were charming, and somewhat handsome… I was quite taken by your inner swag though I could’ve passed on your sense of style. No one, and I mean NO ONE, should’ve been wearing their hats two sizes too big. But just the same, you were very smart and very much a gentleman, and what woman isn’t drawn to confidence?


I don’t recall what we did on our first or second dates. If I did I probably still wouldn’t write about it. Those days…sheesh! (My readers are judgmental. Don’t mind them. Thank God for the blood of Jesus!) We had so much in common… both having passion for faith, family, and business. You were much further along in life than I was. We attended different colleges, so that drive up and down 64 was a killer. You had a good family background which was rare, and I held you in such high regard. We never made a relationship of it, and part of that is my fault… but it would’ve helped tremendously if you made it clear how you truly felt about me in a timely manner.


I remember sitting beside you on your sofa. We had just finished dinner. I rubbed your chest (always a sucker for a big chest), and you told me about your future goals. I thought for a bit that I could be happy settling down with you, but there was always something nagging at me. Most of the time you were gentle and kind, but sprinkled in were moments of insensitivity, almost to the point of cruelty.


In short, you reminded me of my father.


I remember the last time we went out. Another guy that was competing for my attention called while you and I were together. You urged me to answer the phone, so I did. You must have thought I was going to end it with him and choose you. 


Honestly, between the two of you he was better looking. And between the two of you, he was funnier. And between the two of you, I knew how he felt about me. But one thing you both had in common… You both were jerks! LOL… But I didn’t end it with him that night. I didn’t end it with him until four years ago. So that night, you left in a fit of rage which surprised me to NO END! And by no end, I mean I regretted that night for YEARS! But I eventually let go… Well, you got away.


No one should ever find out a person’s true feelings that way. Things could’ve been different. 


But I’m so glad they aren’t.


You are married.. happily… finally. Your wife is gorgeous. Honestly, if you didn’t have all that swag there’s no way you could’ve gotten her. I hope you keep her. I can’t imagine any other woman putting up with your biting sarcasm. For the year you two were separated, I pray our conversations helped you realize how blessed you are. Your children are beautiful and smart. Your business goals will come to pass.


I had fun seeing you from time to time… just friends checking in. Whenever we walked into a place, people treated us like we were made to be together. It was the strangest thing… But God kept us from doing anything shameful. I’m grateful.


The fact of the matter is I love you like a brother. I don’t miss you, and I don’t wish we had stayed together. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated you.


You see, some men today don’t respect a woman’s choice. Despite the fact that you were the better man, you walked away with your dignity and left me with mine. I learned a lot about a man’s heart that night all of which I had forgotten until a few moments ago.


You love just as hard as we do. You hurt just as much as we do. 


And if… for some reason… any unforeseeable reason at all… I mean it’s very unlikely… but just in case the ish don’t work out between you and your wife….




You need to find somebody else! Because when I let go, it’s for good…




“Platonically” loving you from a distance,


Alana

 

Photo Credit:

Harry Rowed. National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque. Library and Archives Canada, PA-112824 /

 




Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Dating Site “Whoa’s”

…what I really mean is woes, but to be totally honest, I’m shocked at the foolishness!!

Yeah, I joined one… even paid some money. (It’s not one of those big, commercial sites that advertises on television. Don’t ask because I won’t tell.) Apparently those sites have few men of color on them, and since I prefer color, I decided to go elsewhere.

Why did I do it? Sheer, freakin’ boredom! I guess I felt like I wanted to talk to someone instead of going to bed at the moment. So on the advice of a close family member, I input my credit card number (should’ve used hers) and started browsing right away.

Here’s what I found…

  1. Gross misspellings of names that are being passed off as creativity…. If you’re from Houston and you want to express that, then the proper name would be HoustonBred not HoustonBread.
  2. Sexual references in names…. I thought this was a CHRISTIAN site. Yeah, I’m sure Christians love handling lots of chocolate and 69’s as much as everyone else, but should we advertise that? Ewww… You’re not the man you claim to be.
  3. Old and gold… Any person from a metro area knows exactly what I mean! My preferences are set for gentlemen between 27 and 40. Dude, you’re 50 with a gold tooth messaging me daily and responding angrily because I haven’t expressed interest in you. Go back and read my profile again… thanks! (Perhaps I should include a “no gold teeth” clause.)
  4. Then there’s the ever-present income question. Yes, it’s important, but should it be public knowledge? Not in my opinion… And, sir, if you only make $25k-$35k, you should NOT be comfortable publishing that. And Mr. Big Money… you’re just asking for a gold digger by posting your six figures. Then again, maybe that’s what you want.
  5. The PICTURES! In the words of a good girlfriend, OH MY! LOL… Bathroom mirror shots don’t bother me so much… but the pics with the mess and clutter in the background? And the ones with a former significantchopped off? And the flexing photo sans muscle? And then there’s the fella who’s boldly cheesing in the camera laying on his stomach with his hands under his chin and his feet cocked up in the air like a teenage girl… Sir, are you sure it’s a lady you’re looking for?
  6. The ego bruise… I have to admit that it kinda ticks me off when an ugly fella views my profile (yes, I can see the viewers), and he then DOESN’T send me a flirt. Dude, who do you think you are? I am fine! You should be honored to flirt with me! But then I realize he may think I’m too good-looking for him in which case he’s probably right. Then, I’m not so bothered. (Don’t take me seriously… just joking here!)
  7. After a week, you’ve exhausted all the profiles. Seriously, there are very few people on this site. Folks have viewed and re-viewed my profile, and I have done likewise. You start looking at their pics sideways saying things like “Well I guess his eyes aren’t tooooo far apart…”
  8. And my BIGGEST qualm… You mean I can’t cancel? What if i meet the right guy and get married? The only account settings I have control what’s sent to my email. As far as cancelling goes, there’s no 1-800 number. No “deactivate account” button. Nothing… guess I’ll be cutting up my credit card at the end of the month and requesting a new one.
Sorry for the silliness… but I had to let it out. Perhaps there’s a silver lining in this cloud even if it’s nothing more than wisdom gained.
Love ya lots… and off to bed I go.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
Alana
Photo credit: 
Attribution
 Some rights reserved by Don Hankins
Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

The past week, I’ve been dreaming like crazy. More often than not, my dreams have significant meanings… usually something I must pray for or against, as needed. But a few slipped past my prayer radar, and I mistook them as the aftermath of eating way too late at night. At the risk of opening a window for you to peek into my soul, I will share one with you… hopefully to your benefit.

So I walked into one of my favorite lunch spots thinking I’d order my usual. I didn’t even bother to look at the menu when I confidently announced that I wanted Japanese Pan Noodles with Shrimp and extra veggies. The cashier looked at me with a scowl and said “We don’t serve that anymore. Our whole menu has changed.” Naturally, I considered leaving the restaurant, but since I was hungry and I believed in the quality of food the place served, I decided to at least look over the new menu. NOTHING seemed to be the same. I consider myself to be an adventurous eater, but most of the items on the list seemed… well, out of my tastes or bland. The cashier glared at me and said, “Well… are you gonna try something new?”



For YEARS I’ve been eating from the same menu. I love a big, juicy beefsteak kinda guy with bulky muscles, high testosterone, and a ego that stretches to the sky. Typically I prefer brown to dark-skinned fellas, but I wouldn’t pass up a cutie with a lighter hue. Before long, I realized one thing. No matter how different they seem to be, the guys I chose were all the same.


The conversations were the same. They spent hours talking about themselves in the most shallow contexts… parties, favorite models and celebrities, and high school sporting events.


The silly games were the same. They would pursue me tirelessly, and despite my reservations, I’d give in… Then of course, their interest waned.


The results were the same. I could accurately predict the next move a fella would make. I knew when the confession of love would come, and the imminent disappearing act. 


They really were all the same!


That’s not to say that all men are the same. I would never make such a heartless and foolish generalization. I am saying, however, that my lack of self-worth and fear of being alone rendered me a repeat offender in bad date selection.


And doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result is called… say it with me… INSANITY!



So, really who’s to blame? Those cocky fellas whose egos are still in tact, OR me? Put your hands down! That was a rhetorical question… Don’t be so quick to exonerate them. 🙂


I’m not going to delve into the steps needed to change your tastes because I don’t have them. What I do know is that there is another type of man out there that is confident, humble, and faithful at heart…. That’s the type of guy that will earn my affections. As it stands today, my tastes have changed enough for me to recognize that these men come in different packages. Unless I’m totally repulsed by that package, why not give someone who’s honorable an hour or two of my time simply to discover?


One more thing… all the dating books say that we should write a list of the qualities we want in a mate. I totally agree with that, but I’m going to “one up” the books. The list should be a living document. Revisit and edit it every so often. I’m a fairly quiet person, and after a date with a guy who talked for 3 hours straight, I prefer to be with someone who’s a little less chatty (read “insecure”). When I do, I plan to organize those qualities into two different categories: non-negotiable and negotiable.


The non-negotiable things have little to do with my appetite for a muscle-y man, but EVERYTHING to do with his character. I must be with a man that loves and hears from God. His belief system must be similar to my own… That, for me, is non-negotiable.


Now that I’m a little older and much wiser (I have the gray hairs to prove it), I don’t feel so drawn to the man with JERK written across his t-shirt. I’ve set myself free to enjoy some new, more satisfying personalities. This is the area in which my appetite needs some changing. But like I said before… this journey has only begun. 


So sorry… no satisfying written conclusion here, but maybe a reader or two will have a story to share?? But in the meantime….


Are you going to try something new??? 




Your cybersister,


Alana

Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Entangled: The Reason You Can’t Let Go

 

Notice that in the title I used the word can’t… not won’t…. because one literally lacks the power to break free.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine a beautiful, colorful butterfly floating freely in a meadow. It dances across the tops of lilies and violets fulfilling its purpose in life without any care or concern in the world, but one… the search of love. In its course of duty the butterfly crosses the path of a dark, mysterious spider who weaves a silken web of words and deeds to win the butterfly’s heart. Butterfly, naive as it may be, is still cautious of getting too close to the spider… after all flies get trapped with those things. Not beautiful butterflies! Nonetheless, butterfly is intrigued by spider’s enticing and glistening web. What’s more is that spider has eight arms with which to hold our floating friend…. and many eyes to see the need in butterfly’s longing soul.

Spider entices butterfly to lean in for a kiss, and weakened by the words and gentle caresses of our savvy antagonist, butterfly finds itself trapped in spider’s web. For a while, it seems nice to have another close by… But as spider closes the space between them, butterfly finds itself even more stuck in spider’s web. Butterfly enjoys the feeling of security. I mean, who wants to fly freely when you can be so deeply and passionately loved and appreciated? Relishing the feeling of being wanted, butterfly spreads its wings to embrace spider and finds itself completely and overwhelmingly entangled… 

Butterfly croons “This must be love.”



Notice in the tale above there are no “he’s” or “she’s”. I realize that most of us will associate butterfly with a female, but I’m just using it to illustrate the well-meaning, but weak character who longs for love and will settle. Guys, if it makes you feel better, you can be a dragonfly.

Spider, well… you get that! Spider is the charmer that reels you, tells you all the things you want to hear, and gets you trapped! What’s more is that a spider will leave you stuck in the web, build a web elsewhere, trap some other well-meaning insects, then come back to feast on your self-esteem when it’s hungry.

So are you a trapped member of the lepidoptera phylum? (Nerd speak… sorry.) This entry is for those entangled and unable to let go of someone who only creates hurt and shame. Am I speaking of romantic love? Possibly… but I feel that entanglements can happen in ANY relationship. At the moment, I can say that I have female friends with which I’ve become far too entangled in their affairs of life. Instead of being a support system, I’ve become the source of life… They suck me dry!

But romantic relationships are, by far, the trickiest. How can you tell whether there’s real love in place versus an unhealthy attachment of souls? Let’s go back to our characters and study their habits.

  1. It feels like it’s meant to be even when everything goes wrong. It can feels so good to be attached that we nurture the feeling instead of the relationship. Butterfly and spider have a natural and powerful connection in nature, but theirs is a predator-prey relationship… not a partnership. Discern your purpose in spider’s life. It’s never to get caught in the web.
  2. You think spider’s trapped in the web too, but you realize he/she is much more adept at handling sticky situations than you are. Remember that spider weaved the web. While you may think he or she is as in deep in love as you are, take note to how easily they side step when you need them. I knew a guy who would tell me a thousand times over the phone and text that he loved me, but would NEVER say it to my face. Talk about a side-stepping somebody…
  3. Spider won’t leave you alone… for long. I asked this same person to leave me alone SEVERAL times. For months I didn’t contact him or respond to any of his advances. He persisted all the more. I gave in for a short time, then quickly came to my senses. When I told him where he could go with all his crap, he sent me back a polite “No.” LOL… Took some time but I think he’s gotten trapped in his own web. What matters most is that I’m not in it with him!
  4. You think of them, and they contact you. You can feel the stringy web start to vibrate your wings as spider stealthily approaches the web. ]You can literally feel the person thinking about you. Your soul knows it, and your body knows it.  Usually these kinds of connections come from sexual contact, but if you’ve ever made a promise to “love forever” you’ve opened yourself to that soul tie. Then, at times, that still small  voice may warn you to prepare yourself… because that still small voice knows that you’re entangled.
  5. You start weaving a web of your own. Quite possibly the most convincing evidence anyone may have of entanglement is that you become like your predator. You learn their tricks and start trapping a few empty souls of your own to feast upon. Natural animal response, right? But you’re not an animal. God has equipped you with a conscience and sensibilities. Your broken heart does not permit you to break others’…
  6. You miss your floating freedom, but you don’t want to let go. A true loving relationship won’t stifle your inner peace and freedom. I remember sitting beside a guy and watching a movie and thinking “I wish we would just end this.” I felt so boxed-in, but not because of anything he did in particular. We had just moved too fast (and this was without sex), and I felt forced to keep up the charade. When we did part ways, it was UGLY! But at least I’m free… at least I think I am. (I really am pondering this…)

I doubt that anyone who’s read this can honestly say they’re free from ANY entanglements. Naturally, some are good, but we must relieve ourselves of relationships that leave us empty and unsatisfied. Some of us are entangled in more than one web which truly explains why we have no inner peace or confidence.

 

I didn’t write all of this just to leave you dazed in your circumstances… but the first step to freedom is acknowledging that you are, indeed, entangled, and not in love. Love gives, not takes away.

 

So how do we become free? Well… I need more time to think about that. Until then, let’s all investigate those closest to us and figure out who’s got the wrong kinds of strings attached to our wings.

 

 

Love you all… and with that, I bid you goodnight.

 

 

 

Your cybersister,

 

 

Alana

 

 

P.S. Special thanks to my Jiminy Cricket who gave me an idea of the butterfly and spider relationship…

 

Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

It seems many of you are reading on the sly, but I’m proud to say I have almost 1000 hits! AND I’ve made it to Pakistan. Hi, Naila! And Australia… What’s up, Sean? And to a few other places in Europe. I don’t know who’s reading there, but I’m hoping you ALL stay with me. And would you be so kind as to pass me on? 🙂
I have one more piece of business before I carry on with today’s controversial title. I just want to make it perfectly clear that I am NOT in any way searching for romantic love. Yes, I want it, but looking for it is not the way to obtain it. Having said that, I know it’s close by… I keep looking at my left ring finger expecting a big, shiny rock to blind me. Soon enough… it will happen.
So why am I writing all this kraziness? Well for one, it’s therapeutic for me. Two, it may be therapeutic for you. At the very least you’ll discover that you’re not the only nutty person on the planet. And three, to help somebody else with my personal experiences… I didn’t go through all this crap for nothing!
But I’ve delayed long enough. On to the topic at hand!
I think it is EXTREMELY important to find the best in people. I try to always let a person know what I think is great about them. If he’s handsome, I’ll tell him. If he’s smart, I’ll let him know. If I’ve got to dig really deep to find something good to say to a person, I give them a compliment on faith. Faith kind of works like credit… you tell them what they could become to move them forward. People need to feel valued, and even though you may not be around long, it’s best that you treat the other person with the utmost dignity and respect.
But!! Oh my goodness… what a big BUT (and I’m not talking about Serena’s) we have to discuss!
Every person, regardless of how much good they have, has some bad. Most of us just let it hang out, while a few who want to do right try to keep it tucked away. So yes, when you spend time with someone you’ll find both good and bad. But where should the line be drawn?
These are the pieces I’ve found in men & women that indicate there WILL be trouble up ahead. And a wise man sees trouble from a long distance and HIDES himself. You got that? Yeah, that’s Bible for ya!
  1. There are TOO many friends of the opposite sex. Now if the person is active in a community like church or work, you may see this trend, but that’s not what I’m discussing. But if you’re seeing crazy FB posts and tweets, don’t ignore them. If that person is sitting beside you and trying to sneak text, don’t ignore that either! (Had to get that out!) You’re just one of the bunch. I guess being one of many is okay if you’re not serious about settling down. But knowing how ladies can be, most of us do want that security. So if he’s a good man with too many female friends (and the converse), and you can’t meet those friends in a reasonable time, said person is not the one for you! In the sweetest kindest manner possible, walk away and don’t look back.
  2. Her or his recent past is jacked up. I know a REALLY sweet guy whose last two years have been laced with one bad decision after another. I’m in NO position to judge, and he gets the utmost respect from me because he keeps his head held high. However, just because I’m intent on remaining nonjudgmental does NOT mean that I should ignore what’s going in his life. The bottom line is this. We all pay for the bad choices we make, and if you know a person consistently makes bad choices, they won’t start making good ones just because you’re in the picture. And unfortunately consequences can last a lifetime. How willing are you to help someone else pay the price for their wrong-doing? That’s a rhetorical question that you really should take the time to answer. (Ow!)
  3. He or she is seething with anger and bitterness. I know men say that women are bitter, but if you’ve ever met a divorced man, you’ll quickly discover that they take bitterness to a whole new level. I mean… they want you to be mad at the ex-wife who cheated on them years ago. I ain’t mad at her! You still love her. Go back and deal with that!
  4. She or he has low self-esteem. It’s easy to tell a woman with low self-esteem in most cases. I think it’s safe to say 90% of us suffer from it at one time or another. But a man with low self-esteem is often very hard to identify. Here’s how to tell for both sexes…. they can’t accept compliments, they don’t give any compliments, they don’t call when they say they will, they bring up sex when it has nothing to do with anything, they claim you’ll become addicted, they fall too fast and too hard, they entertain others with low self-esteem, they are a control freak, they run through several boyfriends or girlfriends in a short period of time, they do a disappearing act. Anything that exerts unnecessary power in the relationship or boosts their ego is a definite sign someone is struggling with his or her self-worth. People with self-esteem issues need to work through those problems ON THEIR OWN. Plus low self-esteem is also the leading cause of infidelity in relationships. Do I have a statistic back that up? No, I have personal experience. Good enough for you?
  5. You’re being blamed for issues that belong to them. This has happened to me twice today, quite possibly because I knew I needed to write about it. People play this game to manipulate. I HATE manipulation. Don’t give in to this foolishness. Like I said in another post… speak the truth and end the conversation. If you can’t do that, just end the conversation and don’t look back. This person’s feelings are not worth sparing.
I’m sure you can come up with many more negative qualities that may outweigh the good ones, but I bet they’ll fall into these categories… with the exception of one. “He’s a good man, but he’s gay.” This is quite possibly THE most disappointing of all the statements but there really isn’t a darn thing you can do about any, now is there? Lol…
My hope is that you found this entry balanced and informative. This is, by no means, male or female-bashing, but is an investigation as to why we ignore the most obvious signs of future demise. Turning a blind eye won’t make the problem go away. Honor what’s good in a person, but don’t get caught up in what could be.
Share your thoughts…
Your cybersister,
Alana
Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

A Sh*tty Situation: Quite Possibly my Most Embarrassing Date Ever

Why? Because it’s too funny not to tell and enough time has passed that I can laugh about it without being too embarrassed. Don’t worry… precautions were taken to protect the feelings of the gentleman who will be utterly shamed and embarrassed in the story I’m about to tell. He’s a nice guy, and I really don’t want him to see this.

So I met this fella online via a very sketchy site introduced to me by a close family member who also had no business on the site. If I told you who the family member was, I’d be dead by morning. (Mama, NO!)

Back to the guy… He was super tall, handsome, and gentle-natured, but dumb as rocks. Normally, I find some sort of intelligence in a person and honor that, but this guy wasn’t working with much at all. To put it simply, he was a muscle head. But after chatting, texting, talking, and inappropriately flirting for months, I decided to meet him anyway.

Anyone who’s ever done online dating will tell you that there is a MAJOR difference between what you see and hear via electronic devices and what you see and hear in person. Well… I could say I was pretty lucky. Mr. Man was just as kind in person as he was on the phone. Unfortunately, he was twice as dense. I remember asking him a few questions and getting blank looks instead of answers. Every few minutes he’d giggle and say “Yeah, girl…” I’d just giggle back.

We ordered our lunch and ate between a few more failed attempts at intelligent conversation. He enjoyed a dish that was covered with tons of melted cheese, onions, and peppers. (Bad date food if you ask me…) I’m sure I ordered some kind of salad pretending to be health-conscious. He paid the bill, and we left… hand in hand.

On our way out of the restaurant, my date stopped to admire our reflection in the glass.

“Don’t we look good together?”

I’m not sure what he saw, but my head reached a little over the top of his belly button and I thought “He’s got to be kidding.” My second thought was that our heights were inversely proportional to our intelligence quotients…. and I just can’t be with a dumb man. (Let me qualify… there are many different ways to be intelligent, all of which are praiseworthy. Everybody has something; but if you have little to nothing, I can’t work with you.) So I could see us going no where fast, yet I remained agreeable and continued to smile. There really was no reason to be ugly…

Our next stop was a movie… something action-oriented, loud, and exciting. The title? I don’t remember. What I do remember, however, was his giant self squirming in the minuscule seat. We tried the cuddling thing… didn’t work. I would lay my head on his shoulder, rest it a few seconds, and then he’d push me up. Not long after, I started hearing tummy gurgles so loud that they made the movie’s surround sound seem a mile away. I wondered why my stomach was so active. Even if I didn’t like him all that much, how embarrassing would that be for me? Then it dawned on me… squirming and gurgling… It wasn’t me! It was him! (You know how it is when you’re sitting close to someone, and you can’t really tell whose stomach it is…) Lucky me…

Right? I mean I am lucky that it’s not MY stomach gurgling. It’s his… Wait a minute. This could turn into something very bad at any moment. Ain’t it funny how luck turns on you?

So the movie ends, and we hop in his super clean car. He heads for the highway. I inquire as to where we’re going next. He says “Just relax, and enjoy the ride.”

He types into his TomTom and heads for 95 north which happened to be seriously backed up. My sensibilities kick in (kinda late, right?) and I insist to know where he’s taking me and why, all of a sudden, he’s acting so strange. I pushed until he answered.

“I need to use the restroom. All that cheese got to me…”

“Are you lactose intolerant?”

“Heh heh… yeah, girl.”

Now I can’t type what I really said to him at that moment… but here’s the censored and listed version.


*Bleep*, are you serious? Why would you order something with all that cheese if you know your body can’t digest it? And if it looked so good and you had to have it, why would you have it on a date? Here’s a McDonald’s you can go there. Why’d you pass the McDonald’s? The Hardee’s? Target’s right around the corner. Where the heck are you going? Don’t you see this traffic!

He wasn’t hearing it. We crept at a mere 25 miles per hour for about 20 minutes passing several exits with blue signs showing places with available RESTROOMS. Dude was stubborn, and I was BEYOND ticked!

All I could do was plan my route of escape just in case noxious gas leaked from my date. Because is this really an IF situation? No… said person has gas, so it’s not about IF he lets it out, but WHEN! The only results from a planned escape would land me stranded outside his car or half-dead inside. I started praying…

A few miles later, he takes an exit off the highway and heads to a hotel. He runs inside and tells me to wait outside. So I’m waiting… and thinking. Thinking… and waiting.

Is this some kind of game? Did he already have a room booked here? He better not ask me to come in if he does. Is he so desperate to get me inside to pull some crap like this? And since when do you have to use a pristine bathroom to do your dirty business? Why am I here? Maybe I can call a taxi back to my car…

Just as I go into another round of the same questions, my text notification sounds…

“So….you wanna get a room while we’re here? ;-)”

You know what? I can’t tell even anymore of this story… let’s just say he and I haven’t seen each other since.

I will say this… Despite the utter embarrassment and shame I felt up to that point, the rest of the date wasn’t a total waste. I just had to redirect his “romantic inquiry” *gags* to a sensible, yet riveting game of UNO at a local park. We did have fun with that.

Moral of the story? Heck if I know… if you’re creative, daring, and punny enough, leave one in the comment box below.

How about this? Don’t lead a brotha on and think ANYTHING will stop him from trying to get the cookies… no matter how sh*tty the situation.

That’s enough foolishness for tonight… I’m looking forward to hearing back from my readers.

Your cybersister,

Alana

 

Photo by  nate steiner
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