Category Archives: Relationships

Review: R&B Divas LA – Mental Health

I was scouring the internet for a competent review of this week's episode of R&B Divas LA. Finding none, I decided to write one.

I am loving the new addition to the show – Chrisette Michele and Leela James. These two are eclectic artists with good spirits. They add fresh air and new perspective to the show.

Rnb

This episode focused on the mental health of one of the veteran stars – Michel'le Toussant.

Recap:

Chrisette's boo is out as producer of the Puerto Rico project and Warryn Campbell is in.

Michel'le is performing at the Crenshaw MLK Day Parade. She is told last minute that her 15 minute set (for which she practiced) is now a 30 minute set. She is very upset and seems to spiral out of control. She starts 'babbling' as Leelah James put it. It does not help that the sound is totally wack during the performance. michel'le even walks off stage at one point until the sound engineers can get it together. Needless to say, all of the ladies are concerned about her health.

Leelah and Lil' Mo visit Michel'le as home. Michel'le is surprisingly candid about her feelings and current emotional challenges. She shares her feelings of abandonment which arise from being displaced as a child from her mother and later her father.

The episode concludes with Michel'le visiting a psychologist. This psychologist is professional, concerned and firm about the seriousness of Michel'le's current condition.

I have written on Talulazoeapple before on mental health issues, specifically, the suicide death of a very good friend of mine. I am excited that such a popular show has decided to shine a light on such a serious issue. Mental illness is such a taboo subject in the African American community. We blame the victim. We blame the devil. Where is the help?

I briefly worked as a case manager. There was a woman who threatened suicide – once over the phone and once in person. As she sat at my desk, I searched for resources to provide her with the care she needed. How ironic - I am working in a social services agency with no resources for suicide prevention. I called a doctor's offices and one kind gentleman gae me the number to a mobile crisis hot line.

These people took care of this woman – sick, no insurance in a dark place. They drove to her home, diagnosed her and provided medication. When I saw her again, she looked like sunshine.

Kudos to the people who volunteer and service those suffering from mental illness. Kudos to TV One and R&B Divas for shedding a light on this serious issue.

 

If you know of someone in crisis, here are some numbers to give them:

 

Need help? Text “CTL” to 741741.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255

On Seeing You Again

I can honestly say that I had a great week. Seriously.

I went home and saw my lovely family. I saw my nephew who I had not seen in nearly 6 0r 7 years. He was shot in the lung a few months ago. By the grace of God he survived and is healthy and strong. We laughed and talked about totally unimportant things but to have him there talking and laughing was the most important thing. You can talk on the phone all day but when you see someone and hold someone, love becomes real. You must be present to do this. Life happens when you are present.

I also saw a good friend (of whom I have written on here in the past) who I had not seen in nearly 16 years. It is wonderful to connect with someone via social media, texting or phone conversations. There is another level of intimacy that occurs when you are able to see, touch, smell and hold someone. It becomes real.

Being present, however, adds another dimension to communication – the all-telling body language.

Why are you so distant? You are acting like we are strangers.

Continue reading On Seeing You Again

A Room with a View

Today is a sunny, beautifully clear Friday. I am sitting at my cubicle doing what I love – writing.

Of course, I am at the j-o-b on my lunch break cranking out a post before time to start again. Is not the intro a better opening – more positive? It is all about perspective.

I was at the Kimbell Art Museum with a good friend during the Matisse and Picasso exhibit. I saw the painting below:

 

    

If you look at the photo. It may seem skewed or even crooked. That is, until you think of perspective. I relayed my own narrative of this painting to my companion. I explained that the image is from someone – possible a beau – reclining on the bed in the room. He is watching his lady sitting on the balcony. From his perspective, his world is in balance.

I think of this picture sometimes when I assess my view of people, things and situations in my life. My viewpoint is limited. Position, location, emotions, time – all limitations.

I was trying to understand the behavior of someone towards me. I was talking it out with a friend who stated, "God forbid, Felicia, that someone would have a life with priorities and you not be the center of them."

It took a moment for the initial shock to wear off. I took the statement to mean that someone ele's behavior (even when it concerns you) is about them – their perspective in that room. Of course the image looks out of place to me because I thought I was the focal point. In my relationships, I am actively trying to view the world from the other person's perspective. The image is getting clearer.

Someone I love dearly was treating me unkind. Let us call her Belle. I initially started interacting with Belle from a place of defense. This was getting me nowhere except into daily sparring matches.  I started to really considered things from Belle's perspective. I realized the behavior was not about me at all. I was the object of her frustration due to proximity. I was not the cause of it. This epiphany changed my daily interactions. Belle and I started to actually have fun times together instead of the usual battle of wills. My world became balanced.

Ten Things I Have Learned About Relationships Since Starting This Blog

I was re-reading some of my posts in 2008. Back then I wrote a lot more about relationships. I came across a post entitled, "What Do Good Black Men Want in a Relationship?" It was a topic on the Tyra Banks Show and I expounded upon it. I got some really good comments on the post. CLICK HERE to read it.

I love reading my old posts. I reflect upon that hopeful, dream-filled young woman who wrote back in 2008. I can appreciate the journey that has led me to be the woman I am today. I just am not wowed by what I used to be wowed by.

I have learned a few lessons in these six years of writing this blog. On relationships, specifically:

 

1. Behavior never lies. What someone shows you in his/her actions – believe.

2. Real men want to provide, protect, and cover. If you are always providing and covering – something is wrong.

3. A man taking charge is like the sexiest thing ever.

4. An honest no that is hard to hear is better than a fraudulent yes.

5. Real men tell the truth.

6. It is okay to wait on Mr. Right and not settle for Mr. Right Now. By Mr. Right, I mean God.

7. Don't let others pressure you into a relationship.

8. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, SOMETHING IS WRONG!

9. Be open to new experiences.

10. Be willing to learn. You (I), don't know everything.

 

Heart of a Woman

A woman’s heart is the most powerful force on the planet. For love, a mother will charge a lion, lift an SUV off of a child. That is the love of a mother. There is another kind of emotion – the love between a man and woman. This, too, is quite powerful. I know of a woman who moved across the country to be with the man of her dreams. A mother’s love is eternal. The love a woman holds for a man has a shelf life.

Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use or consumption. (Source) What happens to things deemed unfit for consumption? To the left, to the left. lol

I am not simply writing about my experiences. I know so many women who, once they have moved on, get bombarded with tearful apologies and begging all to no avail. So, I am writing this to help a brother out.

Dear men:

You do not hold a woman’s heart captive forever. There is a window of time in which she will make herself available to be wooed. When she has closed that window, it remains closed. You can stand outside tapping on it, throwing pebbles or whatever. You have, in her eyes, become unfit for consumption. In other words – EXPIRED.

It is not about hate or dislike. It is indifference. I liken it to the moment I realized WWF wrestling was staged. It was still the same cast and show but the passion for it had dissipated. I would have to willfully suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the fantasy. As a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

This year’s forecast is looking quite nice. I am open for a ‘no limits, no boundaries’ kind of year. There is no room for nostalgia of something that never was. There is no room for expired goods on my shelf.

The moral of this post is to value the people in your life, now. Never take them for granted. You never know when your time will be up.

 

Felicia

Has Marriage Become A Dirty Word?

Sooooooo, I am over at Brown Sista and there is a post entitled, "Why Are Women So Pressed to be Married?"

Talk about loaded words, ma. You have got marriage and pressed and why all in one sentence?? lol

I will summarize it for you, if you do not have time to read it. The author is at a social function when women start discussing men and their desire for marriage. The author seems rather annoyed at these women and points out how she is so not one of them -how she is so independent, fulfilled and happy. These women were by default – not.

What the what?

One upon a time, marriage was the rule not the exception. Is it now the figurative pariah? Does wanting to be married and have a lifetime partner someone make you weak, lonely, or that dreaded word – desperate? *insert audible gasp* Are you one of those backward, mentally oppressed women who has not realized her freedom to be single?

I am having a conversation with a guy about the same topic. He is also expressing reservations about marriage. He asks, is that why you are always discussing relationships? Do you want to be married or something?

YESSSSSSS!!!!!!  DUHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

What is so wrong with that? I have set many hard to reach goals in life – education, moving to a new city, my book, and my weight loss. I have many restarts and setbacks. I have decided to make marriage an actual goal. I am not ashamed to admit that.I am very independent, happy, fulfilled and all that good stuff. I will admit this; each and every single time I take out the garbage, I am like – This sucks! I need a husband!

REAL TALK!

You can draw any conclusion you like. It is your brain not mine. My mind tells me that I must conceive a thing first before it is birthed into reality.

I am.

I do.

I wrote a really thoughtful response on the post. I do behave myself on other people's blogs, BUT, what I really wanted to say was girl, boo. You ain't fooling nobody. You know you want to be married, too. Maybe not now but eventually. lol

Who wants to be 60 talking 'bout, me an my boyfriend about to go the movies? Chile, the devil is a liar!

I Have Been Thinking of You, Too

Why is there pretense? This ever shielding wall that protects and keeps out the very thing you really want to let in.

Too deep? It's Sunday night. There is a cool breeze blowing through my open balcony as I type. Dang it, I'm just deep! lol

I am so guilty of this so I cannot point the finger but men are so much guiltier of it. Ego can be a stubborn roadblock. A man's ego, sheesh! Without it, I really do believe we would have world peace.

HeartNo one wants to be vulnerable, no one wants to get hurt. I get it, really I do. I earnestly believe that if two people first love God and are fundamentally good at heart, then no one should be out to willfully hurt the other. Right?

This hurt that no wants to receive is always present when pretense is allowed to mask true feelings. Withholding the truth from someone who you know cares about you is the hurt.

If you are not that into me, believe me, I would much rather know. If you really want my attention, pursue me like a man is supposed to. But if your intentions are not pure, the kindest thing that you can do is to keep it moving. 

I have written it before, behavior never lies. Your actions show that you have been thinking of me. Although a little strong, my words here show that I have been thinking of you, too.

Truth Moment

Prior to me revealing my identity on Talulazoeapple, I used to write about everything my heart desired. I have been muted ever since. I have come to the conclusion that I will write what my heart desires and to the wind with the rest.

Finishline

I was supposed to meet this guy in Chicago over my vacation. Long story less long, it did not happen. I think once I made it clear that my meeting him would not end up in sex, he lost interest. Intellectually, I know that if that is the case, it is better that he move on. Emotionally, I am really kinda of sad about it.

It is difficult to know that I have wasted months talking for hours on end with someone about everything and that it came to nothing. I guess the good part about it is that I almost gave up my heart but none of my parts. lol

Men!

More frustrating is that this is supposed to be a Christian, God-fearing. . .let me stop. A man is a man.

It is funny because all of the gut-feelings I had about him turned out to be true. My gut is never wrong. But I, listening to friends, gave it a chance.

I do not know if we can even be friends. Maya Angelou stated that only equals can be friends. So, if I am painfully and embarrassingly truthful with you and you are dishonest or withholding, we cannot be friends.This is the truly sad part.

I struck out this time, in a big way, but I am not out of the game. I have a goal in mind. Winnings do not come to women who watch from the bleachers.

 On to the next one.

With God, Are You All In?

This is the question in a new series we are tackling with the young adult ministry at church. It is really coming at a pivotal time in my life when I am considering the next stage – relationship, marriage and kids. No, I am not exclusively dating anyone but the thought has crossed my mind on a few occasions.

The major problem with single Christians dating is the issue of celibacy. Please believe me it is an issue. It is not a requirement for a lot of people who say they are Christian, in fact, it is not even expected.

In this series, we are using Chip Ingram's, "Living in the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality." The book is accompanied by video lessons and includes questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and thoughts to ponder throughout the week. This week's thought – in Christ, are you all in? If not, what is holding you back?

I am sitting in service feeling extra transparent. lol Truth be told, I thought I was all in. When you are a single Christian woman and a man enters the picture, you are faced with this whole celibacy issue.It does not help, if the guy of interest, is not that dedicated to his celibacy. I know that I am an attractive girl but I also want to be clear about expectations.We – both he and I – are human.

This series is a bitter pill to swallow but correct and necessary. I already know this. The only issue that arises for me is the fear of being rejected and single for an extended period of time. Am I always afraid? No. Most times I am straight chillin'. The fear tends to creep up around the same time as my birthday. It does not help when family and friends start to question your singleness – meaning your choices and standards.

I get it all of the time. Your standards are too high. "At your age" *insert lowered expectations*. This
is equates to pressure. I am not looking for perfection because I am not perfect but can you try, really try, to be what you are claiming to be?

Another prayer this week in the series is, "Lord help me to see you as you really are."

Who is God? He is someone who loves you unconditionally and wants the very best for your life. If I truly believe that God loves me and wants what is best for me, then I have no need to fear. Fear makes you accept the 'good enough' instead of 'the best'. Celibacy while single is God's best. The hard truth is a man who does not respect that is not God's best.

 Another lesson learned.

 

Fear and Love: The Push and the Pull

In marketing (and logistics) there is a phenomenon known as the push and pull system. It describes the movement of product between two subjects. In push demand, suppliers can predict demand and supplies product accordingly. In pull demand, the consumers have a need and demand the products and services to fulfill that need.

Bored yet?

Well guys, I am talking about love – the demand or need for it. A poignant line in the movie, "The Color Purple," the character Shug Avery states, "Us sing and dance and holler just trying to be loved."

So true Shug, so true.

Sometimes the more you do to be loved, the more love alludes you. I have seen this push/pull effect in so many relationships.

The Push – I see that you are in need of love and I determine that I am going to be that for you, regardless, of your affections/behavior toward me.

The Pull – I want this but I am fearful that time or some other factor will keep me from it. In fear, I try to force the relationship to go where I want it to go.

What is driving these processes? What causes otherwise rational beings to behave so irrationally when it comes to relationships? It is fear. Fear is the saboteur of love. The Bible declares that:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I John 4:18

 

The Pull/Push system assumes love to be the product exchanged between
two people. Love is the process itself. It is the continuous exchange. I
heard it described by Pastor Tony Evans as passionately and righteously
pursuing the well-being of another. W.O.W.

Love is not the reward or goal. It is the pursuit.