All Articles Tagged "life"

The Three Words That Will Heal You

March 14th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango 

For all intents and purposes, I had a great childhood. There was always food on the table, I had nice clothes, and though I was spanked, I was never beaten. I took dance lessons as a little girl, always had books to read, and graduated sixth in my high school class.

I had an all-American, Middle-Class upbringing. I know that I was more fortunate than many.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I moved from childhood to adulthood unscathed.

My mother was 5 feet tall, weighed 102 pounds, and was nicknamed “Aunt Meanie” by my older cousins. They all knew not to cross my mother. She had a fun side and many people loved her. She had loyal girlfriends that remained close for more than forty years. She was also mentally ill, suffering from severe depression. I grew up on a diet of grudges fueled by her insomnia and addiction to nicotine.

My father had what I’d call a firecracker temper. He didn’t anger easily, and when he did, he’d blow up and it was over. My mother did not. Yes, she was capable of flying off the handle at a moment’s notice, but she had this slow burn about her, like hot coals. And just when you believed that something had been forgotten, she would bring it up again and hash through every painful detail of a perceived betrayal.

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, there were many hours of conversation in the hospital about how terribly she had been treated during her life. She would tell me that she was good with her relationship with God and ready to go Meet Him. And moments later, she would bring up an old story, detailing who had wronged her and being clear that she was unable to forgive them.

Read more about forgiveness at YourTango.com  

Who Would You Be If Fear And Disapointment Did Not Exist?

February 14th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango

There is something universally inspiring about the Olympics: It brings us together as a country to cheer for our team, and as a world community to celebrate our best athletes. We celebrate those who step onto the podium and our hearts break with those who don’t.

Our own lives mimic the events played out in Sochi. Whether it’s pulling together at work, celebrating when we achieve our goal or feeling the agony of a lost love, we are living the Olympic experience every day. All too often, though, we focus on what went wrong and we forget what went right. All too often, we beat ourselves up for “just” receiving a bronze medal — when that’s really something to cheer about.

When was the last time you celebrated feeling good when you crawled out of bed in the morning?  Have you given thanks for having a job or finishing a task you’d been dreading? We view these everyday activities as part of life and not worthy of our time or attention; instead we wait around for the big promotion, the grand love or the acquisition of the big symbol as proof of our value. In the meantime we feel less than our best and happiness seems to elude us.

As I’ve watched the Olympics this week I gained monumental inspiration from watching the athletes … not in their performances (which are, of course, amazing) but in their attitude about their performance. It is through these role models we can learn to raise our spirits right now regardless of our results.

Read more about living your best life  at YourTango.com

The Price Of Patience: Slow Down, Create A Plan, & Meet Your Goals

January 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From ESSENCE

For many of us, the missing ingredient to achieving our goals and making our dreams come true isn’t that we lack the ability, capacity or the opportunity. Many times, the problem is a lack of patience.

Here are ways we can actively work to build patience into our lives:

1. Count the Costs: Impatience has a price—and most times, it’s not worth what we pay. Until we examine the impact of our past actions, we won’t change.

2. Practice Daily Quiet Time: Practicing daily quiet time will produce results, clarity and focus. When we slow ourselves down, we actually speed up the process of holistic success. Sometimes we go hard, because we don’t want to hear what our hearts and lives are telling us. We have to pump the brakes if we want to slow overwhelm and get to real living!

3. Get Manual: Patience has to be built into our personal culture—especially since we lean so heavily on technology for convenience and speed. Try doing small things like actually learning a phone number and dialing it rather than relying on speed dial. Pull out a cookbook and make a meal that takes time. These are small, but important things that help us slow down and actually be present with our actions. Take time to think and enjoy!

Coach Felicia continues to break our lives down to help us build them back up and you can read more over on ESSENCE.com.

Be The Change You Want To See: Don’t Wait On Life To Change For You

December 15th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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From ESSENCE

I don’t know where you are in life, but believe me—life will change. How it changes will be determined by your thoughts and perspective. Great things are happening… so let’s position ourselves for success. Our New Year begins today! If you don’t want to miss it, start by:

1. Choosing Your Focus: We have to think on a higher level than our current experience if we want to see change. A famine mentality focuses on lack. If you focus on your hunger, your desperation will be your undoing.

2. Honoring Your Instincts: …Radical change requires radical action. All around me—even from complete strangers—the same message keeps coming… be ready! I can ignore it and stay the same. Or, I can heed it and believe for a difference. I choose to believe.

3. Walking in Integrity: When we compromise our integrity, we trade pieces of our soul for something temporal. We can’t even enjoy the trade, because what we lose is far more than what we gain. There are no short cuts to greatness—anyone who tells us differently is milking our pain for their own gain.

You’ve got to read the rest of Coach Felicia’s word over on ESSENCE.com.  Her tips could be the exact boost you need to jumpstart  a new life!

Oh Kill ‘Em! How I Learned To Live My Best Life

December 10th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango 

I believe that there is a reason and season for everything and every person that we meet. I know that this is a saying that is very prevalent, but I think that we really have to reflect on what this means, especially as it pertains to relationship and our lives. The first thing is that everyone that enters your life is not going to be there in a positive way. Some people are not going to like you, some are going to talk bad about you, and there are times that you will be treated unfairly. It’s just the ways of the world. However, I think that we have to bring these ways into a new understanding. Often times, these ways are not to bring us down, but to build us up. And even though it feels like we are being pulled to the brink or insanity, when we are going through these things, like a lump of coal that has been through heat and pressure, its meant to make us come out like a diamond in the end.

I think the best Bible verse that can explains this is “but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

You see the thing is that if the world was the way we wanted it to be 100% of the time, or if people treated us the way that we wanted to be treated 100% of the time, then what type of person would we be. If we never had a problem, if no one was ever rude to us, if things always went right in our lives, then how our strength as a person ever be tested, and if our strength is never tested then how can we know how high we can jump or how far we can reach. You see it is through the bad stuff, that makes us stronger, that makes us want to prove people wrong and make liars out of those when they told us we would not amount to anything. Once we know we are through the tough times and that we can still come out on top, then we know that the next time we cannot be so easily knocked down or swayed. Not only that, but we are able to recognize quicker and faster the people and things that are not good for us, because we would have already “been there and done that” and feel no need to repeat past mistakes.

In my opinion, everyone was born to be great. It is up to them weather they get there or not. I do not care whether you were born poor, molested; raped, beaten… that is the bad stuff that can be turned into a big testimonial to someone one day. Look at Joyce Myers. It’s no secret that she was molested and raped by her father for years. Yes it was a terrible thing, but look at her now. Could she be any stronger in the father that she had in Christ had she not endured the bad stuff. Or even more so, that she forgave her father and lead him to Christ!

Read on for tips on perfecting your life at YourTango.com 

Conrad Murray Stands His Ground: “I Didn’t Kill Michael Jackson. MJ Killed MJ”

November 24th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Conrad Murray

Source: WENN

There is really something to be said for knowing when to humble yourself and be quiet. It is clear, however, that Conrad Murray has not learned that lesson.

In his first interview since being released from prison, Conrad Murray opens up to The Daily Mail about life with Michael Jackson. He says things got very crazy towards the end, but he was not responsible:

“He was in crisis at the end of his life, filled with panic and misery … By the end, Michael Jackson was a broken man. I tried to protect him but instead I was brought down with him.”

Murray says MJ was so paranoid that he wouldn’t allow housekeepers to clean his underwear because he thought they would sell them. Yes, well, drugs will make you think a lot of things that would rarely cross your mind if you were sober.

Murray says that he was only trying to protect Michael but was taken down with him. In fact, he says they were very close friends. How close, ask?

I held his private part every night to fit a catheter because he was incontinent at night.”

Yeah. Moving on.

In the end, Conrad Murray says he didn’t kill Michael Jackson but rather, Michael accidentally killed himself.

You know, the only real truth is that no one will ever know what really happened. It’s no secret that Michael had bouts of paranoia. But we also know that Conrad Murray isn’t the most trustworthy person.

No matter the “truth,” it is about time for everyone to stop doing interviews about this and keep whatever they know to themselves.

Pass Or Play: Full Audio of Beyonce’s Ode To Blue Ivy, “God Made You Beautiful”

November 23rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Well, this was the moment all of the Beyoncé fans and stans had been waiting on for months. The moment when another full song would be released. It finally happened on Friday and now the question is, does it live up to the hype?

We gave you a short clip of Beyoncé’s “God Made You Beautiful” last month and from that sneak peek, many of you weren’t too impressed.  But with the Life is But A Dream documentary set to be released in days, it seems her team decided it was okay to let the one new song featured on the dvd “leak” to the masses.

In “God Made You Beautiful,” Bey talks not only about the moment Blue was born, but also what life has been like and how she’s changed Beyoncé since being born”

You were bought into my life

I kiss those little feet and watch for your perfect smile

and when it comes the world stops in your eyes

I found love, I found peace of the purest kind

It is alleged that Bey wrote the song herself because, hey, who knows this particular experience better than her? The lyrics are nice and there are some nice harmonies, but overall, it seems like it’s missing that special “something.” Maybe it’s just me.

As a matter of fact, who cares what I think! The bigger question is to you…pass or play?

Appreciating Life’s Mistakes

November 12th, 2013 - By Liz Lampkin
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Mistakes are defined as mishaps, failures, blunders or carelessness. Mistakes are also seen as regrets for something said or done that is often looked upon in a negative light. They are often looked upon in a negative light because when a mistake is made people believe that the actions taken or the thought process in which a mishap occurred was or is due to a lack of knowledge concerning a particular situation. While many people may believe that mistakes are something to be viewed through a negative lens, I for one believe that mistakes should be valued and appreciated. Why? For a number of reasons.

For one, you learn from them. The knowledge you lacked before making a particular decision or going in a certain direction is the knowledge you gain after making a wrong choice, turn, etc. How do you gain that knowledge? By reevaluating your decision, examining what you did wrong, and remembering what not to do in the future. The only way you can learn from your mistakes and learn to appreciate them is if you learn from them and apply the lessons throughout your life.

They should also be appreciated because as you are making your mistakes and learning from them, you are growing as a person. Everyone aspires to be a better person in some way, shape, form or fashion, and the only way a person can improve themselves is by experiencing a learning process. What better learning process is there to experience than making mistakes to improve your knowledge in life and decision making?

The last reason life’s mistakes should be appreciated is because you can share your experience with someone else to help them learn and grow in the direction in which they should. We don’t go through life just to live and make mistakes to keep them to ourselves, but we go through life making the mistakes we make to improve ourselves and to help someone else along the way. How many times have you been in a situation where you made a bad decision and you felt as though you were the only person who had done so? And when you discovered that someone else went through the same or similar thing you went through, how did that make you feel?  Sharing the mistakes you made/make in life with someone else will help them see and know that they are not alone and will empower them to do better.

As you continue to live the life you were blessed to live, you will continue to make mistakes. However, you should remember that making mistakes is a part of who you are, and the lessons you learn from them is a part of the journey that makes you the person you were meant to be. Many people say that you shouldn’t dwell on life’s mistakes, which is true, but you shouldn’t ignore them either. Don’t go through life making mistakes, shrugging them off and not taking knowledge away from them, for every mistake you make is not a foolish one and even then the mistakes you may deem foolish have a lesson behind them. You need your mistakes and someone else needs you to make them. Appreciate and embrace each misstep you make, for it is a closer step you take to being the best person you can be.

 

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.

Married Writer Seth Adam Smith Says Marriage Isn’t For Him…And It Isn’t About You Either!

November 9th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Seth and wife Kim (Source: Sethadamsmith.com)

Writer Seth Adam Smith has published one of the most controversial blog posts to hit the internet in months and he’s likely about to become really famous because of it.

Smith published “Marriage Isn’t For You” on his blog six days ago and in that time, the post has received over 24 million views. In his piece, Seth, who has been married for a year and a half, revealed that he’d come to the conclusion that marriage simply wasn’t for him.

Like many other engaged people, Smith started having some doubts about whether or not he was actually ready to take that next step in his relationship with his now wife, Kim. He sat with his father and his dad gave him some shocking advice:

With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

Smith says his wife showed true selflessness a few months ago when they were going through a rough patch. Those hard times made him react in a very selfish way where he ended up withdrawing from his wife and their relationship. But he said instead of Kim reacting to him in the same vain, she reacted in love and “soothed his soul.”  He says Kim continues to show that he chose the right woman to be with and he will remember his dad’s advice that marriage is about the other person because he always wants to see her happy.

Since posting this, Seth Adam Smith’s story has appeared on almost every major news source around the country and on various websites. There’s a good chance that the advice is so compelling and controversial that it could easily be turned into a movie (you know the romantic comedy lovers would eat this right up).

So…what do you think about Seth Adam Smith’s advice?

Why Dating Advice Is No Longer Relevant

November 5th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From YourTango 

I repeat: Most love advice out there is absolute garbage.

If I read or overhear a “one size fits all’ prescription when it comes to love or dating one more time, I swear I am going to throw my laptop across the room.

Okay, not really. (A) This MacBook was not cheap and (B) Dramatic outbursts are not my thing. But playing dramatic definitely is! Busted.

Going back to the issue at hand …

Is there some truth to what magazines or blogs or books might be preaching regardingrelationships? Sure!

There is usually a grain of truth in everything.

Even crazy, out of this world, science fiction or fantasy stories have some percentage of possibility to them.

The situations or scenarios described in relationship scenarios have probably happened at some point for some people.

In my experience though, when it’s your long haul person, all of that Isht goes out the window.

Think about it.

When you are crazy smitten with someone and they are just as equally gaga about you, playing by the ‘rules’ is the last thing on either of your minds.

Where something you did may have been ‘too much’ with other people, this person finds it adorable.

Why do you think the most common thing you hear with people that find ‘the one’ is …

‘I can finally just BE MYSELF!’

I say this not to bash everyone in the love and relationship arena. Some actually do mean well. Besides bashing is not my thing either.

I say all this to emphasize the unpredictability, uniqueness and excitement that is LOVE. Because the same can be said for LIFE!

You cannot predict what is going to happen in any given situation and you definitely cannot foretell who you are going to fall in love with!

I am a fan of case by case scenarios and making up your own freaking rules.

Who wants someone that is ‘playing a game’ or ‘acting XYZ’ anyway?! I know I sure as hell don’t!

I want someone that is being themselves, being honest, being respectful, being imaginative, being spontaneous. You get the drift.

We spend soooooo much time and energy trying to figure out what our prospective partners are thinking or feeling.

It’s insane!

From YourTango.com