He has a desire to please everyone….

blackman

Last night I was able to spend some time alone time with my father. The hours we spent talking covered a few different topics on life. We both were fully candid about our thoughts and ideas. It was wonderful. Dad was able to speak some significant truth and understand into my life. I left feeling inspired, and quite emotional. I took out my journal and begin to jot down some questions. “Why do men have an inapt desire to want to please everyone that is in their lives?” Especially the women in their lives. I know most of you are probably thinking, “Well what is wrong with that?” Good men have a desire and unbelievable amount of pressure to meet the needs of everyone. Its drives them and gives them purpose. “It’s a man world”. Men are ruled by their life script of gender roles, masculinity, and the patriarchal model within our society. Consequently, because of this construct they have an unbelievable amount of pressure from those around them. From their mothers, wives, children, girlfriends. If they work in a prominent female profession, they are the leaders in the workplace. Even amongst their peers… Especially if you are a man who has obtained a significant amount of success, you feel obligated to take care of everyone that you are doing better than. But let’s focus on women. Women inherently need men. There is a collection of demands that we long for from our men. We want to be led, to be desired, protected, important, and provided for. A good woman sees the potential laying doormat inside of that man. Putting pressure on that demand is wonderful, but it also can cause a man to no longer follow his heart or dreams. It can cause him to miss Gods purpose for his life. These expectations on him can become a distraction and problematic. In certain situations, these expectations can cause a man to become miserable, unhappy, and live with regrets. He is no longer living a life of his own, but he is now living a life to please others. This kind of lifestyle can cheat him out of complete fulfillment and happiness. Some men will allow commitment to stretch them too thin, by pleasing others. No one wants to live with regrets and disappointments. But some regrets lead to un- fulfillment. Life presents us with opportunities and choices. When we make the wrongs choices, we live our lives with regrets that pierce our hearts.

My ex-boyfriend sent me an email recently. It read “Biggest mistake… ever losing Ambria” I didn’t respond for several days. My response to him, out of fully not understanding and to console him. “There are no mistakes. Just lessons and maturity” He then responded a few days later with these exact words…… “I disagree. As a man, I have matured and reflected.  I have to be honest with myself… and there is definitely a difference between lessons and making a mistake. When there’s a choice and u make, that choice based on the wrong reasons… it’s a mistake”. These words begin to resonate with me. Because I know that he struggled greatly with the fear of disapproval and rejection throughout our relationship.I have heard countless examples from people who have made life decisions based on the wrong reasons. Rather it be out of comfort,money, fear, children, a false sense of obligation, pride, or miscommunication. The list goes on.

We have to be careful not to allow guilt and fear to grip the behaviors of our men. Women realize your power. Men inherently fear disapproval. Guilt and fear can cause someone to say yes, when they want to say no. And to say no when you really want to say yes. Men are validated by approval of those who they love. We say things to them like “do what is right”, “be a man”. And if they do anything outside of this framework, it is considered “wrong”. When a man makes sacrifices for the needs and wants of someone else, without considering his own wants and needs. These core beliefs are wrong. But we call it “being strong”. He walks around unknowingly wearing his “selflessness” as a badge of honor. But we never take into consideration the burden or internal struggle he made with that sacrifice. What is truly driving his decisions? Is it his heart, or wanting someone else to be happy?

When a man is not validated he associates those feelings with weakness, and it can even tap into feelings of rejection. Example; Think of a man who is unable to produce or provide for his family. It triggers feelings of “less than”, insignificance, and lack of manhood. This taps into his masculinity. All humans need approval, but there is a thin line between approval, and the ideas and thoughts of others dominating your decisions. The need of approval can be misused and abused. Which is unhealthy.

I had 6 pages of thoughts on this topic, but I will bring this entry to a close. Men, it is important to live a life that is free and directed by God. A life that allows you to make decisions that you desire and want without regrets. Proverbs 29:25. When you live up to the expectations of others you can miss Gods purpose. Ask yourself, where has God placed me? Who does he have for me? What does God want me to be doing in this season of my life? Whose opinion matters to me the most?

We have to make peace with the stakes of not meeting the expectations of others. You will disappoint those in whom you love. Think about all of the people who Jesus disappointed. Are you any better than him? If you try to please everyone but yourself, you will fail. Do not allow your life to be controlled by others. Do not allow fear to control your life and the disapproval of others to sabotage your relationships and your happiness. Be led by God and be confident in every decision that you make. Anything outside of this displeases God, it stunts your growth and opportunities. Trust your decisions. You deserve Gods best. God is waiting for you to walk into his purpose, and happiness. He has great plans for your future. Jeremiah 29:11

“I’d rather fail at doing what my hearts wants, than succeed at doing what others expect of me.”  Ambria Willis

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This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in a long time.

Thanks for all the emails and encouraging messages from you everyone. In response I will be writing for my blog again

No framework

Grad school taught me how to reflect…. How to reflect on my emotions, what I am feeling and why.Reflection has taught me the good and the ugly about myself. My driving desires, my preconceived notions, my ungodly motives, defense mechanisms, and my selfish passions. It has also taught me that I am extremely tolerant of others, very selfless, and think more like Christ then I’d often give myself credit for.  This framework tends to keep you on your toes about sin and character flaws. While often reminding me of how much I have grown. How I am no longer a person that I am ashamed of.

Yeah I guess I am the overly rational one. You know, the girl who takes pen and paper and write down the pros and cons before life’s decisions.  The girl who thinks of every possible outcome of a situation, just to try to prepare my heart for whatever God will allow to happen to me. I replay different scenarios. Think of others that have been in similar or common situations. I go through the archives of my brain of previous conversations, advice, and wise counsel from those who have made mistakes before me. Often times being selfish and not including God while all this ranting and thinking is going on. Who do I think I am not to include him? That’s foolish. Wow, this is really the essence of who I am, who I have become. This is engrained vs. ingrained in my makeup. I really have a love/ hate relationship for this part of who I am.I mean that’s why I started this blog in the first place.

Sometimes I just sit back and imagine how it would be just to let go…. To just float, I have been testing the waters a little lately. No pens, no paper, no post it notes locked in my phone, No “there’s no possible way because”. To maybe undo this psychological framework and “just be”.What would that be like? Probably a mess I tell myself. I like to think that this brings me structure but sometimes it is so much more about control. We like to have control over our lives, over who we love, over our future, and even how we die and who dies..lol. Its silly!!  Because of so many reasons that I don’t feel like going into right now. My framework feels so right. It feels safe, easy, warm and comfortable like my favorite brown throw blanket. Or like my favorite running sneakers I examined today with the torn flapping sole. I love those sneakers they make me feel so light on my feet.

 

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Growing Pains

Growing Pains, forced to grow after being ripped out of your fantasy into reality

After a wound there is still a scar. A scar to remind you of that painful experience 

Growing changes your perspective, your reality, your character, your outlook. But sometimes the pain shadows the growth that has taken forth. Or that will progressively transform you.

Always remember, the most significant thing in growing pain is the growth not the pain.

I want to be loved and accepted

This is her amazing story of  hope  in her relationship with her mother. Feel free to comment, share, and ask Tanya questions. This is a open forum. This story is true but the names in the story has been changed for confidentiality purposes.          Ladybria

As far back as I can remember I had issues in every relationship that I was engaged in. Whether it was parental, romantic, spiritual, familial, marital or even friendly, there was some type of dysfunction. My earliest memory of my first formed relationship was with my mother which is typical. That first relationship was also the one that had the greatest impact on my life and helped shape me negatively and positively.
My mother had me when she was 21 years “young” which is probably the reason I spent a lot of time with my aunt. I had so much fun with my aunt that I really didn’t notice my mother’s absence. Wherever Auntie went there I was. The Gallery Mall, Seafood Shanty, the movies; you name it, we were there. We spent so much time together that people in the neighborhood thought she was my mom and that was okay with me! As my Auntie got older and began establishing relationships of her own, I was left home with my grandmother. Although I loved my Grandma, she was not really fun filled. She always kept all the house lights off in the house and sat on the phone in the kitchen cackling with her girlfriends with the television on mute. I guess that’s when I began to notice my mother’s absence. The absence continued on for years. When I was about 12 years old, my Mom met someone, fell in love, and moved into a place together all within three months. The man that she married, I grew to love especially due to the absence of my biological father. When we moved into our new home I thought it was the beginning of a new era for me. I saw my mom more and I was excited about building a relationship with her. I had my own room and I didn’t have to share one with my mom anymore, and a family that consisted of a mother and father. Wow….this is the life… so I thought. In this new era of my life I really got to know my Mom and the relationship that I desired, I know longer wanted. I began to see that she was a very controlling woman who wanted things her way and if she didn’t get it the entire house would be absolutely chaotic and unsettling. Nothing I did in her eyesight was right especially if it wasn’t her way. Why was she like this? Why did she have to be this way? I looked at other mother and daughter relationships and wondered why we couldn’t have that. The shopping together, spa days, talking, just simply hanging out; I longed for and desired that but it seemed the more I wanted it the further we were from achieving that. I found myself living my life to please her and to gain her acceptance but it never happened. I used to cry to my family and for years they would tell me the same thing, “you know how your mother is”. I got so tired of hearing that! Yeah, I knew how she was but it didn’t make it right. No one said anything to her. No one ever told her she was wrong. When I tried to tell her, I was deemed disrespectful so I never said anything to her again. It was useless anyway because she accepted correction from no one. She was always right and everyone else was wrong. I remember getting condoms from my high school health class during our Sex Education segment and she found them in my room. Instead of her talking to me about it she slapped me and called my every name not in God’s book and I wasn’t even sexually active at the time. I tried to tell her but she didn’t want to hear it.
Due to the lack in the nurturing and expressed love from my mother and the absence my natural father, I began to look outside of my family for love and acceptance. At 16 I was showed some interest from the neighborhood drug dealer, Jay, and we immediately began dating. He was 21 and everything to me. Jay gave me money; bought me sneakers and everyone knew that I was his girl. I lost myself in him. I would sneak him in my bedroom at night when everyone was asleep and he would leave just before the break of dawn. He was my every dream. One night I was sitting on the back step of my house waiting for Jay to come back from New York and his friend Bobby came and sat with me. We were just chillin’ and kicking it. He asked me for some water and I thought nothing of it so I went and got him some. When I got back with the water Bobby was in the house. He began to touch me inappropriately and I told him to stop and leave or else I was going to tell Jay. He said if I tell then he would tell my parents that I have been sneaking Jay into the house at night. I got scared about how my Mom would react so I let him continue what he was doing. He raped me for 30 minutes while telling me the entire time that I wanted it and he see why Jay always sneaking in my house at night. That was the last time I sat on the back steps. I never told Jay or anyone for that matter.
The relationship between my mom and I had gotten worst. I continued on this destructive path of looking for acceptance and love outside of her. Several more failed relationships of all types and even a failed marriage. I tried to change my ways and press pass my issues but I continued to fail.
I, like my mother, met, fell in love, and married a man all within three months. Our relationship was great in the beginning however; my deep rooted issues with rejection and abandonment from my early childhood began to surface. Our relationship began to deteriorate and we divorced within a year of marriage. My ex- husband told me one day during an argument that I was just like my mother. I was crushed, distraught, dismayed, and downtrodden. I never wanted to be like her. My worst nightmare became a reality. At that time I had no one else to turn to. No family member, no friend…no one, so I thought. I decided to turn to God and truly give every hurt, pain, and disappointment over to him. I drowned myself in him and sought to perfect my relationship. I was saved but my relationship with God was not as it should have been. I began to really seek Him and prayed for him to reveal to me, myself. God did just that. He began to show me that I was a lot like my mother. He showed me that I was controlling, stubborn, manipulative, and deceitful amongst other things. He also showed me my generational curses, continued cycles of sin, my imperfections and my emotional roller coaster. I was grateful to him for showing me all of me but I was more grateful to him for giving me the antidote for my healing, restoration and wholeness. The antidote was Him. The more I prayed the more I was able to deal with my past hurts, the more I lost myself in him the more he cleansed me, the closer I got to Him the more He strengthened me to overcome my issues. Because of the deepening of my relationship with Christ I can now love my mother in spite of her flaws and imperfections, love my husband like I should have when we first became husband and wife, and most of all, have freedom and perfect peace in every area of my life because I keep my mind stayed on him. No longer do I try to figure out someone’s actions or do I dwell on being the victim, instead, I try to identify with the root cause of their actions and pray for them. Later on in life God revealed that my mom witnessed infidelity, verbal, physical and emotional abuse of her mother at the hand of her father. She also suffered abuse, rejection, and abandonment by her father as well. These sufferings that she never realized or sought healing from became a part of her and caused her to treat me the way that she did. It was all she knew. Knowing this, the anger that I used to have towards my mother has transitioned into sadness along with a longing for her healing and true deliverance. I now have patience and love for her that I never had before, agape love. Although I am not currently in the place where I desire to be with my mother, we have definitely come out of the valley. I was only able to do this through strengthening my relationship with God. By God loving me, teaching me how to love myself through my imperfections, and showing me how to love people through their flaws and their faults, am I now able to have healthier relationships in my life.

True strength

This year I found myself pulling strength from within that I didn’t know exist. Giving up when time gets rough should never be an option. Believe in yourself, have patience and persevere though.

“Anyone can give up. Its the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that is true strength” Anonymous