As a kid, the thing that I yearned to do so badly was to drive a car. Looking back I can’t understand the fascination behind it. You have to wait in bad traffic, there’s the risk of accidents, and you have to be mindful of other drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road. But as a 12 yr old kid being behind the wheel was a dream come true. I remember going with my step dad to wash his car one Saturday when his phone rang. At the time, we had just left McDonald’s and he was eating a burger. I figured since he was eating with one hand and he was driving with the other, he would simply sit his burger down and answer his phone or he would check his phone later. But to my surprise, he started driving the car with his knees and answered his phone. At the time, I thought that was amazing! He looked over at me and said “son I don’t ever want you to try this”. That particular incident was a “gateway drug” for me. It made me realize that you can get away with certain things as long as you are in control of the situation (no foul no play). The dictionary defines Gateway Drugs as: any mood-altering drug, as a stimulant or tranquilizer, that does not cause physical dependence, but may lead to the use of addictive drugs. We, as people, tend to do things in our relationships that lead towards other negative events taking place within our relationship. Three things that I’ve noticed throughout the course of time in my travels with this life are: negative mind frames, the acceptance factor, and a lack of foundation within our relationship. Our particular mind frames are definitive when it comes to: trusting someone, becoming jealous, or even understanding someone. We usually self create predetermined red flags or warning signs that alert us when trouble comes knocking. The only problem with that is who’s to say that the red flags that applied to our past dwellings are the same ones that constitute our present ones? Think about it, after you believe someone is in the midst of telling you a lie, the first thing you do is stop trusting that individual. That one thought just led to another situation presenting itself in your mind. Now not only do you not believe that person, you don’t trust that person either. You begin to question that individual on their whereabouts, which could potentially cause you to become jealous of that individuals’ interactions outside of yourself. Another gateway drug is the Acceptance Factor. The Acceptance factor is when someone makes up excuses because of a certain quality or characteristic in which someone bestows. For example, bending or flexing when it comes to your morals or values for someone, simply because they are your type or because they have a certain amount of wealth. Sure that’s where the bending starts, but there are many more exercises to come. With men or women, usually whenever we show any ounce of vulnerability there’s always a chance of it becoming exploited. People often fall victim to the acceptance factor when it comes to sex or even a quick fix (whatever that may mean when it pertains to you). Not only do gateway drugs affect the user, they also effect the counterpart. Foundations not only support whatever the system is, but it also secures it. Therefore a lack there of can cause shakiness, not only on the top floor but also on the bottom. Sometimes we set up communication walls, which is something I’ve never understood. Don’t get me wrong, I know that you can’t just lay everything out on the table all of the time. I tried that once and my niece ate her cake before she touched her food. But I guess that would also have something to do with the individual you’re attempting to communicate with. Nevertheless, setting the tempo and coming up with guidelines and regulations goes along way when it comes to securing your relationship. Think of it this way: if talking everyday is the most important thing to me and you’re more of a texter, we need to come to some type of compromise before misunderstandings take place. Another thing that has always bothered me are the people that “time” when they are going to show emotions or let you in. I have a problem with this because I actually get accustomed to things (maybe its the TAURUS in me- who knows). Either way if I’m dealing with someone who’s portraying to be an emotionally impotent individual, then my feelings automatically adjust to that situation. If that individual decides to show something else later on down the line, I’m already tuned in to this particular setting, which makes me look like the bad guy that’s refusing to open up, which can start a plethora of problems. If the foundation was solid, that could’ve been alleviated from jump street. When it comes to relationships we have to be able to visualize one another in the mirror and remove each other’s scars while accepting them at the same time. I got my license two months after I turned 16 and the first thing I did once I received it was drive down the streets using my knees. By the time I turned 20 I was doing it while texting, thanks dad.
I can remember my freshman year at South Oak Cliff high school like it was yesterday. A new school district, a new area I’ve never been in, and of course, new people I’ve never met before. There were two teachers that made my transition flow smoothly and they were Ms. Givens and Ms. Scott. Both of them made me feel as if I had two mothers away from home. Ms. Givens taught my English class and one of the first books we were assigned to read was “The Scarlett Letter”. Now, The Scarlett Letter was a book that was a grand insight on how intense high school would be versus middle school. It pointed out how people can become outcast in there own communities and how hatred / sin incorporates itself in this world. This particular book was set in the 17th century during the Salem Witch trials. At the time, people made accusations against one another for various reasons. The witch hunts in Salem between 1642 and 1649 led to many people being: imprisoned, hung and persecuted to the extreme with little or no evidence supporting their accusations. In a certain twisted way, I believe that book was meant to prepare us for life after high school. I can recall thinking to myself back then “I’m glad we no longer go on witch hunts”, but to my surprise we still do. Usually we ‘witch hunt’ because we’re afraid of love, past demons, stuck in our own ways or we’ve come up with a predetermined happiness in our minds. I first noticed witch hunting within myself. After my great grandma died, I felt lost in this world. I felt like I didn’t know of or understand love outside of her. So basically anytime I ran across a good woman, I would subconsciously create a problem with her. So that I can exit that particular situation. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was doing this because i happened to be afraid of love. Ironically as it sounds, the very thing that I was longing for was the exact same thing I wasn’t prepared for. The pain of her leaving me was still embedded in my heart. That same pain occupied my entire heart therefore I didn’t have enough room to receive anyone in it. The thought of me being vulnerable or of me dealing with someone that could overtake me emotionally was too much for me to bare. I’ve always thought getting to know someone new was one reason behind people staying in bad relationships or not moving on, seeing as though there is nothing new under the sun. We tend to discover familiar characteristics in people that reminds us of our past (past demons). Whenever this incident occurs we naturally think to ourselves here we go again. We feel as if we traded away a sprite for a 7-up. I believe that is when the hunt begins. One familiarity is a coincidence and we view two or more as warning signs. The truth is people do the same actions with different things in mind or different motives. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the same result is going to take place. Sometimes we can become stuck in our own ways the “my way or the highway mentality”. This approach is taken when people want to control every aspect of their relationship. The type of person that chooses this outlet is usually one who has been hurt in the past and they often fall hard. Thus the reasoning behind them wanting to control everything. Seeing as though that gives them the option of regulating the due process of how the emotions are dispersed out. The final reason behind us witch hunting would be a predetermined happiness that we’ve drawn up in our minds. In my eyes, this one is very detrimental to the growth of our emotions. I say that because we often have a type of individual that we see ourselves with even before we’ve seen that particular individual. Who’s to say your physical type is going to match up with the type of person you’re searching for characteristic wise or even spiritually? I believe we should have an open heart and mind when it comes to love and that placing an image on it just further hurts us in the end. The witch trials in Salem only lasted seven years. How long will we allow it to go on in our lives?
My great grandmother has been deceased for over 11yrs now. Throughout my life experiences with her, there were many lessons being taught day in and day out. Some of which I really wasn’t ready to understand because of my tender age. One incident that comes to mind is her baking cakes and pies for the holidays. I can recall her baking a couple of chocolate cakes on a particular thanksgiving. One cake was made with her secret recipe and the other she forgot to add a few ingredients to it. On the outside looking in, the cakes looked exactly the same. But the inside was were the difference took place. Don’t get me wrong the cake wasn’t awful but it wasn’t up to par with the usual desserts my granny made.
As I grew wiser through the years that particular cake incident dawned on me. We as humans often see: movies, couples at picnics or just people that seem to be in love out in the public and we want and yearn for that. But what we fail to realize is the heavy burdens of the heart. Which includes: internal struggles, pain and stress. They weigh a lot more emotionally than holding hands and kissing in public. Happiness and success are both viewed from the outside and that’s something that I’ve never understood. Seeing that happiness is an internal trait and that success is based off of that particular individuals assessment of themselves. Internal struggles are in a league of their own. I say that because we usually face them on our own. External struggles can be seen by others and if we’re lucky enough. There are always love ones or family members that are there to help tackle some of those issues. Internal struggles usually have us in a one man army type of ordeal unless we invite someone in. They wake up with us in the morning and they go to sleep with us at night. Pain on the other hand leaves emotional potholes in our heart’s. Usually whenever we run into these potholes we feel the bumps at its extremes. It effects: judgment, sensibility and our character’s. We often tend to try to manage the pain in which we’re experiencing in our relationships. Whether we’re masking the pain or creating facades for the public eye. The way in which we go about doing this can potentially put us in an emotional vulnerable state. When we are stressed we become less attentive with our relationship. We tend to concentrate more on our own situation and we forget how it affects our partner’s. Soon afterwards there’s a gap in the understanding in the relationship. Leading to a breakdown in the connection that you share. On the outside looking in, a win is always a win. There’s an old cliche that state’s “never judge a book by its cover”. We have to open it up and read page after page. After all, the numbers on the inside is what actually counts.
Knock knock jokes in my opinion have always been corny to me. Although taking a different look at them you may become somewhat enlightened. For ex. Knock knock. Who’s there? Me. Me who? (exactly) Who are we? No really who are we? What do we want out of life? Is the answer: love, prosperity, understanding or is it all of the above? One thing I’ve grown to understand is we’re either seeking or we desire to be loved. With that being said we need to understand the four variations of love. In which they consist of: Agape, Eros, Philia and Storge. Agape is basically an unconditional, sacrificial and a selfless type of love. It’s also the highest of the four. Eros is an erotic love (the physical and sensual side of love that should take place between a man and his wife). Philia is a brotherly love and Storge is the natural love and affection a parent has for their child. While trying to understand who we are individually you will discover many scapegoats and magnetic forces. These forces are sometimes embedded deeply within and sometimes they can be self created. What I’m trying to say is, the lack of any type of love could cause curiosity to take place in your life. The need for something that you don’t even fully understand or recognize could create hunger pains that were knowledgeless to fulfill. The actual appetite that’s created in this process is exactly what gives birth to scapegoating. We often find or come up with ways to move around or search in our emotional lost and found database. Often the reasons we come up with are nothing more than love mirages (something that looks and seems more promising but it only appears that way because we’re basing our love on its current emotional event). Discovering what literally makes you happy will save you a lot of: time, money, and pain. Because usually when you’re wasting too much time with someone, spending too much money on someone (more than you are for yourself) or you’re experiencing too much pain because of someone. Those particular events tend to expedite the moving on phase. With all of that being said knowing and understanding who we are individually should be every ones pride and joy. Regardless to whether you’re single or not. You’ll never discover something in someone that you haven’t found within yourself. Being patient in understanding ourselves is our main source of help.
Have you ever felt like something was missing but you really couldn’t put your finger on it? The definitive search to find yourself alone is such a journey within itself. Its even more difficult to find the counter balance of who you are within someone. I’ve always looked at the pre-relationship stages (the time prior to you dating or courting someone) as the time in life in which we should be on the job training so to speak. At this particular time in our lives we should be: modifying, criticing and improving ourselves in all categories of life. On the opposite end your potential should be doing the same. Basically if this were to take place. The only true task at hand would be co-existing in the same work environment. As long as the potential couple can manage to do each individual assignment and the quote on quote group assignments together with some sort of cohesiveness, everything should be ok. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always gonna be trouble beyond the horizon but we shouldn’t expect it. We should always have a “Promising Happiness” mindset so to speak. Doubt is like a yeast that makes its way though your emotional batch of dough. It can target your heart while shooting directly at your mind. The question of whether you’re actually questioning your situation or if this is who you really want will constantly linger. We as a people will always have: likes, dislikes, dreams and fears. But the reality of the situation in my eyes, is the fear of losing control. To me that’s the biggest challenge when it comes to falling in love. I believe that the act of falling in love involves not only sacrifice but also you losing control. Since we go through each and everyday of our lives trying to control every aspect of it. We often forget how to allow faith to guide us. Love is faith within itself, because you never know how long its gonna last or what’s gonna happen during the process of it. In the end, all you really have is a feeling that you don’t wanna let go of and that particular feeling can either manifest or digress. According to your effort / belief and time that you’re willing to invest in it. Throughout the span of a lifetime our hearts will run many races in which it will come in: second, third or even last place. But there’s always a gold medal with your name inscribed on it. We just have to be willing to train well before each track meet.
I’ve always found it funny that a lot of people have a lack of understanding for the cliche, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. Even though a lot of people have that misconception of the cliche and they expect things to go about in a tune of their own particular liking. Usually people that wanna be tolerated or claim they’re different. Those are the same people that’s unwilling to accept the same trait in others. The maturation process should coerce us to become less selfish. We should always look forward to the future with high expectations not hesitation. Don’t get me wrong, I do realize that there are a few different reasons why we as a people do some of those things. One main reasoning is pain. To me, pain can be broken down into two different categories. In which I view as clean pain and dirty pain. Clean pain is a normal pain which comes with living an ordinary life (losing a love one, humiliation, depression, etc.). Then there is a dirty pain. I consider dirty pain to be an unnecessary pain (mostly pathological, damaging thoughts brought forward from past experiences, self inflicted, etc.). We need to work on unraveling our emotions when it has our heart in a bind. Especially when it comes to getting to know someone new. There’s no point in wanting to get more than what you’re willing to give. I’ve also heard of theories that there are different methods of love and I will say I agree to a certain extent. But I will also like to add that I believe there is only one way to love and that’s with all of your heart. In fact God commands us to Love. Real Love should always constrain us. No matter what our: moods, feelings or attitudes may be. Love will always ground us and pull us back into fold. We also need to learn how to convey our emotions in a way that’s not confusing or misinterpreted. A lot of people have different ways and things that they respond to or they’re more susceptible to. We need to realize that some people are or they respond better to: givers, receivers, talkative people, touchy feely people, comforters, etc. We just have to be better prepared understanding wise towards our counterpart or potential counterpart. Just so we can understand their particular emotional revenues or outlets. Don’t focus on not cheating, focus on loving me instead. If someone is focusing on loving you, you’d have no reason to urge them not to cheat. At the end of the day, there are no rule books on how to love or receive love. But there is a God that’s willing to guide us through loving: him, ourselves and everyone else.
I have always been fascinated with the fact that babies recognize their mother’s voice and the way their mother’s feel (even in the dark). One of my friends told me that his son would rub his chest to see if he was the mother or not. The baby boy was only 5mths at the time but he still realized which parent was willing to rock him to sleep all night. While I toiled over these events and a few more, a light bulb in my brain lit up. A lot of people have certain criteria or characteristics in which someone must fall into to become a potential mate. Its almost as if we have designed a love prototype in our minds and if the person that’s trying to draw our attention doesn’t meet the schematic. They basically get waived from the trial process of our heart’s. I can recall many of the cartoon movies that reached out to the young girls of my generation. (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) My point is, a lot of people have predetermined qualities based on: other people relationships, things they’ve heard from family / friends or even things they’ve seen on TV. The only blueprint that we have on what love really is, is the way Christ walked this earth. In fact we as a people didn’t realize his worth or what he meant to us in the process of him dwelling with us. So how can we determine the exact description of what love is suppose to look like? Love is a conglomerate of emotions that evolve with: vulnerability, experiences and faith. There’s no way to put a picture to it or rationalize that particular way of thinking when it comes to meeting it head on. Hypothetically speaking, if the same babies were born and the parents were switched after the birthing process. The babies would grow up loving their new parents as if they were the original ones. Love isn’t prerecorded in our minds, its a reality tv series starring our heart’s.