As I sit here and consider life and its meaning, I wonder why so many women walk around dead. Of course, they are living in the physical sense; but everything else about some women, or I’ll say her, just appears to be deceased. Her spiritual life is run amuck, anything goes. She’s experiencing emotions that are all over the map. Her physical health is declining and her mental health is being ignored. She gives up the “I” and “me” for “we” and “us” when she’s married and/or decided to have children. She’s currently traveling on a journey in life that will ultimately lead to physical death. Is she really living? She carries burdens heavier than anyone should ever have to bear and it always seems as if every time she takes one step forward she is forced to take ten steps back. She walks in fear and bondage, yet she pretends to live. Yes, she has a pulse; but I believe she is dead. Why is she dead? She’s dead because she walks in fear and has lost hope for her tomorrow.
I would take the risk in saying many of us love music. When we listen to certain songs, there is something that seems to connect with us emotionally. Some of the songs make us laugh, cry or remind us of something or someone from our past. A few days ago, I stumbled upon this song by Miranda Brooke called “Hater”. She details out how she’s hating on this woman because she appears to be able to get all the things out of her male companion that she wanted. “You’re in love, I’m alone; it’s not fair. She gets the good guy; I get the player” are some of the lyrics that stuck out like a sore thumb with me. I didn’t connect to the song because I feel like I’m a hater, but the perception about the relationship this man is having with this other woman is what caught my attention.
As a little girl, I remember getting a card and some chocolate candy from my parents every year for Valentine’s Day. In school, we would exchange cards and candy with our friends. And if we were lucky enough to have a “boyfriend” around February 14th, we would exchange little gifts with them. I have always been somewhat “romantic” so it does not surprise me that I have grown into a romantic woman. I love romantic movies, love stories, soft music, love songs, candles, chocolate, etc. I love being in love and I love showing people that I love them.
So unlike many people who criticize Valentine’s Day as a commercialized, man-made “holiday” for greeting card companies to make money, I look at it a little differently. I look at it as a day to celebrate the love we have for family, friends and significant others.
Is there a difference in being alone and being lonely? For me, there is a distinct difference. Being alone means spending quality time with myself. During this time, I can reflect on my life, treat myself to a movie, read a book, or pursue some other passion of mine. Being lonely is more of an emotional state. It is an overwhelming feeling of sadness, feeling like no one cares, feeling that there is a void in my life that is not being fulfilled, or a feeling of discomfort.
Your heart feels as if it’s been split in two. The betrayal was deep and the wounds appeared to be a little more than you could bear. You question yourself, “Why in the world is this happening to me?”, and you question the betrayer with hopes that their answers will set you free. You kick and scream as if the atmosphere should give in to your requests for knowledge and understanding, but it doesn’t. You paint your face and go out wearing a smile even though it feels as if it kills you to breathe. Days have passed and the dust settled and before you know it the reconciliation process begins. Your participation in the conversation in that moment requires you to listen. While you listened, you heard the words “Trust Me Again”. Yes, your betrayer had the audacity to ask you to trust him/her again as if you could start trusting in that moment.
_ “CHANGE” is such a powerful word. Often when people hear the word Change, there is a high level of anxiety associated with it. People are often afraid of the unknown. What is the change? How will the change affect me? Why do I have to change?These are some of the questions that are often asked when the time for change arises. Whether it is at work, at church, at school, or in our personal lives, change is inevitable.
_ As 2011 comes to a close and the dawn of a new year comes upon us, many people are taking this time to reflect on their lives; the good, the bad, and the ugly. They begin to ask themselves, “What did I accomplish this year?”, “What goals did I fail to reach?”, “What am I going to change about myself next year?”, “What can I do to make my life better in the coming year?”
On Christmas Eve night, having dinner with my mom, sister and brother…everyone opening their gifts. Then on Christmas morning, having breakfast together, and the three siblings spending Christmas day with my dad and his side of the family exchanging gifts, playing games and eating lots of food. Those are the memories I have of my Christmases as a teen. I looked forward to those things each year and loved the stability of knowing that they would take place. We did not have a whole lot of money growing up, but we had a whole lot of love. Christmas traditions do not have to take a lot of time nor money.
_ Today was a long day. I went to work, took my daughter to her afterschool program, went to a meeting at church, came home and cooked dinner, folded the laundry, helped my daughter with her homework, checked my email, and returned all of the phone calls that I missed. Whew! I’m beat. By the time I sat down to relax, it was time to go to bed and repeat the cycle all over again. Do you also find yourself on this same rollercoaster ride? Do you sometimes think that the ride could be easier if there were someone else around?
As women, our desire to have love in our lives tends to be very strong. When we feel lonely, we try to find a ton of things to do to keep ourselves busy and take our minds off the loneliness that we feel. We fill up our calendars with events for the kids, birthday celebrations with friends, community service, church events, and anything else we can think of to keep ourselves busy; but at the end of the day, we are still lonely. We still long for that other person to love us, to show us some affection, and to make us feel like a woman.
Is it possible that the life that we created for ourselves has caused us to be too busy to love? Think about it. If the man of your dreams were to come into your life today, where will he “fit” in your busy schedule? After all, you have to work, you have to run the kids here and there, the house needs to be cleaned, you need to be available to family and friends, and you have to fulfill your commitment to your church and community. When could you possibly have time for “Mr. Right”?
Before we can make time for “Mr. Right”, we must first make time for ourselves. It’s time we take inventory of our lives and get rid of the things that are time wasters. It’s time to get off the rollercoaster and take a stroll on the beach. Ladies, take time to get to really know yourself, find out who you really are, and appreciate the woman that you have come to be. Once you do that, you will be ready for everything that love has to offer.
Ladies, don’t you think it’s time for you to stop trying to “fit” love into your busy schedule? How can you alter your schedule so that you can have time for the love that you deserve? Are there some things in your life that you are using to merely pass the time until “Mr. Right” comes along? When he does come, will you have time to love?
Tonya D. Zeigler
I fought through harsh winter storms, all in an effort to give birth to you. Your season was approaching swiftly and everything within the atmosphere came together to promote our growth together. The rain showers and the warmth from the sun ensured your future with me would be bright. I feel naked without you; and as much as I enjoy your presence, our season together will come to an end. We will have both fulfilled our purpose together in this life and my experience with you will promote growth, provide me with the things I need to promote growth in others and, of course, you will always be a part of me.
Yours Truly the Tree…
I don’t know about you but my favorite season of the year is fall. I’ve come to enjoy the cool breeze after a harsh hot summer. My husband and I shop heavier during this season in an effort to prepare ourselves for the season to come. The thing I enjoy most about the fall is watching the transition that takes place with the trees. In my opinion, the beauty that the earth reveals in this season is unbelievable. It is for this season I compel you all to take a lesson from the trees.
One of the most challenging things in my life has been my inability to recognize the seasons changing in my life. It seems that we all have trouble accepting the fact that some people have been designated to us for only a season. We have girlfriends that are not beneficial to our lives, yet we hold on to them for reasons for which we are unsure. We’ve done all we can to provide them with resources and direction, but they simply latch on as leaches and bleed us dry. We come to believe that God himself placed them in our lives for a reason but are never willing to let them go when their season in our life has gone.
I know that in today’s economy most of us are thankful to have jobs, even though we hate the jobs that we have. What if I told you, your season to leave that job or position came years ago but you ignored it. Now you feel trapped in a place that is not for you and because of your current state of being, you have no other choice but to stick it out and force yourself to be thankful. Your employer knows that your season is gone and treats you as such. They know that jobs are hard to come by and suggest that they’re doing you a favor by keeping you employed in that dead end job. No raise, no promotions, more work, just an unhappy you!
What if I told you that you married a man that was only supposed to be in your life for a season? You wanted to be married and you felt that your biological clock was ticking. It’s “now or never” and “now” has turned into a divorce a few years later. Some of you managed to hang on a few more years because of possessions or for the sake of your children, but ultimately you had to let go. Your hands and your heart worn from trying to hold on to your marriage with a firm grip, but the season proved to be stronger than your grip.
Now the lesson from the trees! During the transition in the fall season, we see a mixture of two types of trees: the Evergreen & Deciduous trees. The deciduous trees are the trees that we watch turn the beautiful shades of yellow, orange, purple and red during the fall months. At the peak of their beauty, the leaves are preparing to die. The tree knows that winter season is fast approaching and it must do everything it can to gather strength to survive the winter storms. The trees know that they can’t continue to provide the leaves with the nutrients they need because the tree needs to preserve its nutrients in order to remain strong during the winter months. Once the tree releases the leaves and they fall to the ground, they provide cover and nutrients to the roots as they decompose. If winter storms come prematurely, before the tree has had the opportunity to shed its leaves, they are weighted down and ultimately break, lose branches and, in some cases, fall and die.
Don’t ever get so caught up in the whirl wind of life that you forget to notice the seasons in your life. In other words don’t get caught in the winter storm with leaves (people and/or things) that you should have released years ago! Once you've released people and/ or things from your life you may feel naked, vulnerable and unsure of your ability to move on. These feelings are natural and are just that, "feelings". Don't allow your feelings to discourage you from going through this much needed process. Learn from your experiences and allow them - negative or positive, to promote growth in your life.
We must learn to do as the tree:
Release and allow the experience to enhance and strengthen who we are, so that we may provide the proper love and guidance to the next generation of women.
Are there friends or other people in your life whose season has come to an end but you have been afraid to let go? What is compelling you to keep them around?
Is there an area in your life where you know the season has come and gone? If so, what is keeping you from letting go and moving forward?
A Lesson From The Trees... MMB