Archive for Relationships

Ego

Six Components of Ego (according to Wayne Dyer)

1. I AM what I have

2. I AM what I do

3. I AM what other people think of me

4. I AM separate from everybody else

5. I AM separate from what’s missing in my life

6. I AM separate from God

In my 20’s, I was never aware of my Ego. I always called it self-confidence. It wasn’t until Eckert Tole’s “The New Earth” that I became aware of not only the power of the Ego, but the unconditional power I had given mine. Over the last few years, the different components of the Ego have been revealed to me and I think Wayne Dyer’s list is a great guide to discovering your Ego. Throughout my 20’s, I filled my mind to capacity of what I should have, where I should be, why I should have, and who I should be. These thoughts and expectations have blocked my creativity, my judgement, and my greatness. Since coming to terms with my Ego, I now call it out when it appears by just making a mental acknowledgement of, “That’s my Ego!” This simple action has decreased its presence in my life.  At 35+, I’m no longer defending my Ego… I’m living empty.

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Time

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. And every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up you’d better be running.” – Unknown

In my 20’s, I always thought I had time. Time to travel… Time to start my writing… Time to make a difference… time to succeed… time to achieve my greatness…

However, as I’ve aged to a wiser 35+, I now know that time isn’t mine to claim. Within the last few weeks, the handful of unexpected deaths that I’ve come across in the media and in the personal lives of Facebook friends, have really got me to think about time and my toxic dependency to it.

One word that I’ve always used to describe myself is “procrastinator”. And I’ve always justified it by claiming that I work my best under pressure. But now I recognize it as just another excuse added to the many that I’ve planted in my head and have faithfully watered over the years.  “I can’t because of my job”; I can’t because I have writer’s block”; ” I can’t because I’m not ready.” These excuses have all been created and justified because I always thought, “I had time.”

But last week it hit me… I have to stop abusing time.  I have to stop using valuable time visualizing what will happen when I finally decide to begin running. I have to stop using costly energy whining about bad knees or why I can’t run. Every morning, I have to get up and start running to capture my greatness.  Every day I have to dedicate myself to live my best life today instead of depending on it to happen “one day”.  And every night, my movements of the day should afford me the opportunity to appreciate every second of the time granted to me.

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Daddy (issues)

“It is from her father that she begins to infer messages that will linger a lifetime— I am, or am not, considered by men to be pretty, desirable, valuable, dependent, weak, strong, dim-witted, brilliant; Men are, or are not, trustworthy, loving, predatory, dependable, available, dangerous.” – Victoria Secunda

As I celebrated my 35+ birthday last week, I started to answer some important life questions. One question being, “Why am I still Single?” When I’ve pondered over this question in my 20’s and early 30’s, my immediate response would often place the blame on the other side:“I can’t find a good man”; “Black men don’t know how to be real men”; “Men can’t accept my independence and strength.”; “Men make it hard to date in LA.”

But today, I’m ready to answer the question — At 35+, I’m still single because I have “Daddy” issues.

My parents separated when I was eight years old. Although my father was mostly absent from my life when my parents were together and became practically non-existent afterwards, I loved my father and constantly blamed my mother for the separation. It wasn’t until high school that I accepted the truth. I began to regret my ill feelings towards my mother for all of those years and the resentment against my father multiplied.  I finally confronted him in my 20’s; however, after I released the anger that festered in me during my childhood years, I invited it back in because I thought it had a right to return to the place it called home for so many years.

Over the years, I’ve held a tight hold on all of the issues that created the resentment and have found delight in the fact that I’ve been strong enough to recognize and hold on to the promise that, “I will never allow a man to treat me like my father treated my mother.” This hold has allowed my negative feelings for father to spill over in my personal relationships with men. Because of my issues with my father, I have never fully warmed my heart to depend on and trust a man. I created a list of expectations that I placed on my father and have passed on to men in my life. My strong grip of my unresolved past with the only man I once adored and trusted  have caused the reach to an optimistic future with a man to constantly move farther away and slip through my fingers.

In September, my father turned 80 and one of my brothers organized a big, birthday bash at my home. Before the party, I was on the fence. I thought, Why are we giving this man a party? Why am I rewarding him for not being a good father? But that day, as all of his eight children celebrated a father who had been absent from all of our lives, I realized it was possible to exist without the anger.  So, I’m finally taking the steps to forgive my father.  

At 35+, I’m taking responsibility in my part of why I am still single. I finally accept my father for the man he is. And I thank him for his role in my independence and strength. My father has taught me how I should be treated by a man and I have to trust that those lessons are enough.  So, today, I am looking forward to releasing all of my “Daddy” issues and I’m finally opening myself up to the possibility of being vulnerable, being understanding, and being loved by a man.

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Celebration

“If you’re not living your life at such a level that pee isn’t running down your leg, then you’re living too small.” – Iyanla Vanzant

Today, I celebrate my 35+ birthday. My past birthdays have always been about the external celebrations: trips, parties, people, Mrs. Beasley’s cake. However, this year, I’m going to try something different.

The past few years have really been a journey of self discovery for me. When I was told I was being let go at my job two years ago, my first thought was, “Yes! I can go to Disneyland on my birthday!” since it was the following Tuesday. After that initial thought, my mind immediately told me it was finally time to pursue my passion, so I went into double-speed, action mode and it turned out to be the best year of my life. However, I didn’t realize how devastated I would later become, not because I was happy and/or passionate about the job, but because 1.) I had never been let go from a job and 2.) It was a place where I had become comfortable.  So, after the positive and productive year, my ego remained bruised. Even though my mind didn’t want to care about anything attached to the job, I was still angry and didn’t understand why I couldn’t let it go.

I have been dreading and dodging the hard work it takes to actively participate in the journey since my 20’s. I pretended to want to put in the work by buying self-help books that I never completed and doing soul-searching without even opening myself up to allow the digging to begin. I even went as far as thinking that I could maybe speak it into existence. For the past couple of years, God has been trying to get my attention to let me know it was time. It started with small taps that I ignored, then hits that I procrastinated to acknowledge, and finally a push that literally knocked me off the pedestal. Thanks to Oprah’s Lifeclass, I’ve learned that when you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. And all of this time, I had been ignoring all the signs around me because I had settled in a cozy, over-sized chair on the pedestal with a  snugly blanket – I was so comfortable.

Since I am now walking on this journey instead of speeding my way through like I’ve attempted to do in the past, I can now see why I had to be let go from that job. And at 35+, I no longer want to be comfortable. I want to live with pee running down my leg at all times! So, today, I’m celebrating Kim! I’m celebrating the journey! I’m celebrating living big!

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Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.” – Oprah Winfrey

In my 20’s, if you did me wrong, you were forever on the “List”. Now, I could always continue to be cordial, but forget about enjoying the full benefits of my friendship.  I always equated forgiving someone with weakness or accepting the wrong that was done. Yesterday, a dear friend provided a different definition and of course, it was defined by Oprah. As I let the definition penetrate my mind all night, I realized that there are a few things in my past that I would want to change. And the things I would change have nothing to do with the names on the list. In fact, many highlights of my life have resulted from the “wrongs.”

Is it possible that at 35+, I could have yet another major breakthrough? All of these years, I have allowed the wrongs to consume me at times causing inefficiency, anger, and  depression.  I realize that this has blocked the flow of positive and creative energy and have stifled the growth of becoming the being I desire and am destined to be. So, it’s time to start forgiving and forgetting! I’m so looking forward to this new journey. I’m still not sure how I’m going to get there but I’m ready to take the wheel and start driving.

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Lists

“And I had this big, long list of what I wanted in a guy, but I realized I didn’t stack up to the list myself.” – Star Jones

I’ve never been good at lists.  I usually start them and never come back to view or strikethrough. Grocery, Things to Do, Bucket. They’ve all been victim to my incompleteness. Only one list has survived from my 20’s: “The Perfect Guy” List. I created this list after breaking up with my college sweetheart to avoid future tears, pain, and disappointment that I now know to be growing experiences. But at the time of 24, I thought wisdom was avoiding the bad stuff and the list was a perfect alternative.

  • Passionate
  • Funny
  • Confident
  • Manly
  • Creative
  • Spiritual 
  • Childless
  • Worldly
  • Non-Military
  • African-American
  • Have Siblings
  • Sports Fan (of at least one sport)
  • Non-Vegetarian (hey, I’m from Texas)

… just some of the items on my infamous list.

Over the years, I thought I was doing myself a favor by editing. When I turned 35, I figured it was time to start folding the list – you know, turn some of the items into preferences instead of deal breakers. Now at a single 35+, I’ve decided that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” guy and I definitely wouldn’t measure up to anyone’s “Perfect Woman” List (ie. the blog, “Everything I Did Wrong in My 20’s…”).  I’ve realized that the military, race, and football have nothing to do with love. So, this year, I ripped the foolish list into little bitty pieces and gave up my finicky control on finding Mr. Right. Today, I’m completely open to love and happiness even if he doesn’t eat meat…

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Rhythm

It all started 5+ years ago… I turned that freakin’ knob! I knew the day would come and I even thought I was ready to embrace it with open arms (by that point in my life, I needed a hug), but the moment I realized what I had done, I felt… different.  I always promised myself I would never, ever do it and yet there I was sitting in traffic, craving a change, and turning the radio right dab in the middle of a cool, hip, rap song to a hot, nostalgic, soulful tune. That moment was definitely the first sign of 30.

How could I not have a desire to go back to the place I had known for so long? Why didn’t I enjoy singing with the masses anymore?  I knew the answer but I wasn’t sure that I was ready to become… different. The once hip beats and raunchy lyrics all seem to be one song that I just didn’t want to move to anymore.

Since that life-changing moment, I’ve struggled to not only learning a new dance, but becoming comfortable with the movement. Through each lesson, I have found myself reflecting and sometimes regretting (for a minute or two before realizing you can’t live life with regrets) my moves of my 20’s. During that era, I had so many great things to look forward to, high goals to reach, and dreams to conquer. I woke up to 20 with goals of a successful career; wishes of meeting the man I would spend the rest of my life with; and hopes of becoming a complete spiritual being. And after years of  dancing and tired feet, I’m still dreaming of a successful career; I’m still waiting for Mr. Right; and I’m still working on that spiritual woman at 35+.

Even though it took me ten years to turn the station, I have no regrets to the dances that I’ve danced, the songs that I’ve sung, or the music that I’ve played — I can now close my eyes and actually feel the rhythm instead of just hearing the music.  I can now look back and celebrate everything I did wrong in my 20’s and I’m learning to find the happiness within myself, missteps and all.

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