Posted on

Your Man is NOT your Dad

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking with Life Coach, Judith Rapley. We discussed Perfect Daddy Syndrome, which leads many women tobe disappointed when the men the date or marry don’t live up to the foundations that their Dads have laid for them. One of the greatest take-a-ways I gained from this conversation was “We often forget the nature of the father-daughter relationship was never intended to mirror that of a romantic partnership” You should not be looking for a man to replicate the relationship you have with your Dad because a king rules alongside his QUEEN, not his princess. It’s ok to want your mate to share certain qualities with your Dad, but partnerships and parenthood are not synonymous. Take a glance at our conversation and learn not only about “Perfect Daddy Syndrome” but also about seasonal depression and family ties. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

 

Posted on

Step Parenting Ain’t Easy…but Sherelle has a Secret to Share

Whether you’ve dated a Daddy like I did, became a bonus mom like Jada when she married Will, or find yourself caught up in Baby Mama drama like some of the ladies on your favorite reality tv series, Sherelle Avery has a tip for you. A proud stepmother, learning through LOVE everyday Sherelle decided to be a resource to other blended families by sharing her story. She started The Secret Behind the Step a year ago, to share the lessons she learned as a mother in a blended family, not just about parenting but about all the complexities that come along with it. She’s organized a brunch with panelists from all fields of life to support the needs of blended families still figuring it out. To learn more about the Blended, Beautiful & Blessed Brunch, WHY she started The Secret Behind the Step, WHERE she’s taking it next, WHAT her Secret to being a Dope Step Mom, is watch our discussion “Step Up & Blend” below. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

Posted on

What You Missed about the Color Purple

I saw a Twitter thread a awhile back about black people laughing at things that shouldn’t be funny. Someone in the thread mentioned one of my all time favorite  movies; The Color Purple. I could probably quote this movie word for word, ad-lib for ad-lib & I swear I notice something new every time. But seeing it mentioned in that thread made me think not only about the comedians and music artists who’ve referenced it over time, but also all the inside jokes between me and my family that derived from the movie.

I watched a show called American Masters on PBS that featured Alice Walker, the author of the book the movie brought to life. She talked about how much pushback she received when the book was released. How it was called perverted and how black southerners and church leaders found fault with it, but Alice saw truth. She sought to tell the story of the black experience from the voiceless. If you think about it, much of the movie we hear Celie’s THOUGHTS more than she ever really uses her voice.

Of all the things to protest or laugh at about this Alice Walker book turned Steven Spielberg film, I never found anything funny about Celie’s sexual trauma. From the time she was touched until the time of his death, she spent her life thinking her FATHER violated her. Which caused her to have unhealthy and unsatisfying ideas around sex. She described sex with her “husband” Albert to Shug as follows “I just let him get on top of me and do his business.” Sex was an act she had no say in. No RIGHT to the use of her own body. She was conditioned to believe that her body was for the use of men’s pleasure, and labor.

Statistics show that 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape under the age of 18 were between the ages of 12 and 17. Between 2009 and 2013 80% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse were a parent. 4% were an unmarried partner of a parent. That means 84% of the 63,000 children a YEAR that evidence supports were sexually abused between 2009 and 2013 lived a life like Celie. Where they may have kept sexual trauma by a parent a secret from the other parent. Where they bare children for a parental figure, where they don’t understand the autonomy of their bodies, even if they DO know what’s happening to them is wrong.

RAINN Day may have come and gone, but Domestic Violence Awareness Month is right around the corner. The color Purple is the color chosen to call attention to Intimate Partner Violence each October. The US Department of Justice includes victims as young as 12 years old in their reportings on Intimate Partner Violence. As September comes to an end, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins, don’t just remember The Color Purple as a classic curated by Steven Spielberg; remember it as the documentary Alice Walker intended it to be, and recognize that sexual assault at the hands of a parent or parental figure is very real. It’s not a scene to be laughed at or ignored, rather a punishable offense, and only 6 in 1,000 perpetrators end up in prison. #DaaamnDaddy

Posted on

Survivor’s Remorse

Imagine not knowing who your father is. At All. Not even a name, not even a theory. For 27 years. TWENT-TY SEV-EN YEARS!

Think about what questions you’d ask your mother. Do I look like him? Did he like the same stuff that I like? WHAT IS HIS NAME?

WHAT IS HIS NAME?

Now imagine being the mother of that child. Not only unwilling, but UNABLE to answer those questions. Spending 27 years trying to block out your child’s conception. Being reminded of the worst night of your life with every question.

That’s the story of Mary-Charles and her mother Cassie. Cassie was a girl from Boston in her early teens when she and some friends rode down to a party on Long Island. It was there she was sexually taken advantage of by not one, not two, but THREE fellow party-goers. It was on that night Mary-Charles was conceived. And for TWENTY SEVEN years she managed to bury that incident deep inside. Scolding and chastising Mary-Charles for every expressed desire to know who else’s DNA made her who she was.

Cassie telling Cam her truth

It took for Cassie’s son, whose father had been incarcerated since he was six weeks old, to guilt her into giving Mary-Charles a lead. I couldn’t imagine having to explain to my son at any age that I had been violated by three men and that his sister was a living, breathing, TALKING reminder of possibly the worst night of my life.

This may be the fictional tale of a scripted drama family, but for so many this is real life.

I watched in awe as Mary-Charles addressed the three tombstones as “Rape Father #1”, “Rape Daddy #2” and “Rape Dad #3”

Having the moment to get out all the “In spite of you, I Am” statements that so many of us need to say, some to fathers still living and breathing.

Every 98 seconds an American is Sexually Assaulted. September 21st is Rape, Assault, Incest National Network Day.

I’ve never been a victim of rape, but I could think of no Survivor’s Remorse worse than raising my unknown rapists’ baby. #DaaamnDaddy

Posted on

Looking for Love in All the wrong Places

Ok yall, I apologize. I started this blog to talk about my Daddy Issues and shed light on how Daddy Issues create other problems in our lives. Recently however, I’ve misused this platform to vent about my “Thought I Found A Friend” relationship drama. Not only is that not fair to you as readers, it’s not fair to him, nor myself.

Truth is however that writing helps me heal. It’s hurt how I talk to myself. Where I gain clarity and has brought about the most progress for me in identifying and finally facing some of my Daddy Issues.

The problem lies in this. When I was in high school I began writing in notebooks because I had come to the realization that people were not to be trusted. Before then, my notebooks were exclusively for poems and short stories.

I created this blog essentially as an exercise in trust. Could telling my story help others? Could others be trusted to know my story and not judge me? I did here what I often do in real life.

Look for love in all the wrong places.

My mother loves me, my monster loves me,  my uncles love me, my aunts love me, my grandfather reminds me EVERY chance he gets that he loves me, My grandmother loves me in ways her own children wish she had shown them and believe it or not all three of my Daddies tell me they love me all the time, well when I actually speak to them.

My problem has never been not being told “I love you” My problem is not feeling that people mean it.

When I was 12-13 years old I had my first boyfriend.

He was my 3rd-5th grade nemesis, but in 7th grade he became the “Love of my Life” My first Intellectual Asshole. I enveloped myself in him. Doing his homework AND mine (if mine even got done) Staying up late on the phone with him. Kissing him in the school courtyard, not caring who saw. I wanted to be loved.

At this time, Buddha was at peak failure. Living with some woman 5 blocks away, dropping off and picking up her kids at MY school that I lived right next to EVERY DAY. I would see him at the flag pole, roll my eyes and keep walking.

Step Dad #1 had seemingly fallen off the face of the earth. With his new baby and her mother that had a daughter the same age as me. I later learned that my sister’s father had demanded he back off not only from my mother’s life, but from mine as well. He had it in his mind that Step Dad #1 was using me as a pawn to lure my mother back in.

Speaking of my mother, she was acting very weird at this time. For 10 years I had been EVERYONE’s favorite person. Or at least it felt that way. Then my mother had my sister and I watched her create a new family I didn’t fell part of. My sister looks more like my mother, she’s as rebellious as her, and more importantly, at that time, she had a more loving, engaged and supportive father than I did. It was as if I was the little sister my mother never wanted and my sister was the daughter she always dreamed of. Any thing her father did to make me feel included always felt fake and forced to me.

To make matters worse, we had all just learned that my uncle’s girlfriend we didn’t care for was actually his wife. And she began speaking up more, putting a huge strain on my relationship with the one person I felt was always there and constant.

So, of course I fell in love with my nemesis. I wasn’t feeling very loved at home.

He listened to me. I learned from him.(He knew so much about so much the teachers loved his intellect but hated his attitude) And like most adolescent girls, my hormones made me want to be as close to him as I could whenever I could. Even if that meant listening to him watch The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen on the phone while I watched Nick @ Nite with my sister, 3 cousins and 57 stuffed animals laying in the bed with me.

When he started lying to me about other girls my famous line to them was, “I don’t care  what he told you. Until he tells ME that we broke up, it doesn’t matter.”

Emmelie said it best, I think I always knew that I was attracting these dudes, because that’s what I was seeing.”

Except, it wasn’t necessarily what I was seeing. it’s what I was experiencing I was watching all three, four including my uncle of the men directly involved in my upbringing, raise everyone else but me.

So the cycle continued from there. I kept looking for the love I didn’t feel I was getting from my family in other ways.

Though my relationships have been few and far between, they always seem to come at times where I’m feeling empty. Be it neglect at home, failed friendships, unfulfilled in the workplace. And they always help me refill in the beginning, and once I’m full again, I start to see their flaws, I take more notice of the half-truths and lies by omissions and my trust issues are back. And every canceled plan takes me back to that flag pole, watching my father take somebody else’s kids to school.

I can’t rewind time & make my Daddies be more attentive to me in my critical adolescent years, but now that I’ve acknowledged this pattern, I can stop looking for love in all the wrong places.

Posted on

Why You’re Out Here Being Bad & Boujee By Ya Damnself

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post called The Myth of an Independent Woman.  I was in a place where I realized people thought I was doing it alone but they didn’t see me struggling. And thanks to the “safety net” of my family, I’ve rarely been alone. But I felt I had to be.

Last week I sat in a training here in Baltimore with 46  other bodies in a classroom space seated for 20. It was poorly ventilated, especially for the humidity on that particular day. My head dipped back, and I jerked it forward. SEVERAL TIMES. Sandwiched in and unable to take a walk to keep my blood pumping I drank my bottled water carefully hoping the river on my tongue would replenish my mind from inside out. I struggled.

Then a new face entered the room. Tailored corduroy denim, kind of a tierra clay hue. Classic denim button up & curly hair like Corey from Boy Meets World, but more of it, like a Robin Thicke cut, with a lumberjack beard. We’d seen him before. A stand out among the bodies of  seasoned educators who in that moment, mirrored the Baltimore Youth. We were cramped, hot disinterested in another presenter, until he opened his mouth.

The training was on “Trauma Informed Care” and how to keep in mind that some of what we’ll witness are rational responses to irrational life circumstances. He shared an anecdote of a youth arriving to work improperly dressed. Then saying i’d get robbed if I come outside dressed in a suit or nice clothes.” They supported that youth by allowing him to change into work clothes after arriving to work. But that young man developed a habit of  not dressing for success because his survival instinct taught him “dressing nice in this neighborhood will get you robbed.”

This made me want to check my own trauma led habits. I’m almost certain I’ve shared that I’m a hoarder and I believe I hold onto things because unlike people, they can’t abandon me.

I live alone, because I know my moods don’t always support me having or wanting to share  my space with others. But even that stems from me being the only child for 10 years and constantly having to give up my room for guests. I’m also fairly Independent I still struggle to ask for the help that I need and I’ve been told I push me away. I don’t allow them to do for me. But WHY?

The men in my life TAUGHT me to be independent. I can check my own oil, pump my own gas, I have a tool kit for small repairs & building projects. I can cook, I’m not much a fan of cleaning, but I really don’t have much NEED for a man.

My brother and my cousin, who oddly share the same birthday, were the first men I remember treating me like a “lady”. When they visited, I wasn’t allowed to do things I had to do in their absence, like take out the trash. But I was a teenager by the time they came along. I had already survived the abandonment of Buddha and Step Dad #1 by then. I watched my mother not ask for help and get things done. My uncle had taught me to lay tile and put up dry wall. I don’t think he meant to teach me NOT to need help. He probably just wanted me to stop asking him three million questions. Have you ever had a child in your presence hit you with “but why?” or “how’d you do that?” on repeat? We’ve all been at that crossroads where we can say “stop being annoying!” or just answer them. My uncle answered me with action.

Twelve year old me sitting on a stoop of three concrete steps watching Mr. Softee ride by as I waited for Buddha; wanting to slide my tongue diagonally against a soft mountain of sweet cocoa & vanilla flavored dairy chomping the chocolate rocks that adorned them; Learned not to wait for people to do anything with or for me. I buy my own ice cream now. I hop in my car and go where I want to go and most of the time I go alone.

My mother suggested that maybe I traveled too much without my ex. That my get up and go lifestyle may have intimidated him. I invited him to join me. Most times times he chose not to come along. Work or family obligations often trumped my invitations. I never saw those as reasons for me not to go. My grandmother always encourages me to go. She just celebrated 50 years of marriage. Which means she was about 5 years younger than me when she married. Unlike tv/movie grandma’s she’s never pressured me to settle down. Always to “GO”. Go to college. Go to China. Go to the Kingdom Hall. “Don’t worry about a husband. Just go live life. He’ll find you.”

“Never a borrower nor a lender be.” This one-liner from my Granpa is like a boulder atop the mountain of debt I’m currently chipping away at. I remember the Daddy I was dating asking me why I hadn’t asked him for help. And I simply responded “I didn’t want any more debt.” Watching my mother do it alone I had no real example of partnership. I watched my sister’s father embody all those “Petty things to take after a break up” memes long before Instagram was a thing. And I decided I never wanted anyone to have the right to claim batteries from my remote. Tents for the cookout. Lawn furniture from MY backyard. So I struggle. I struggle to make it alone. I struggle to accept gifts without suspecting ulterior motives. I struggle because I adopted all of these rational responses to my irrational circumstances. And I learned all these independent attributes, but I never learned the art of partnership. Being an only child made me a loner. Having young parents may have made me mature sooner. But I learned to be an Independent woman by accident. Now I just need someone to teach me how to love.

Posted on

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating a Dad

This isn’t for the woman seeking to date a man her momma’s age. More so for young independent women who’ve never dated a man with kids before. About a year ago I posted a video on my YOUTUBE channel about how Dating & Daddies had intersected for me and for the first time, I wasn’t the child in the situation. At that time I was all rainbows and optimism, but I learned so much about myself through the experience of Dating a Dad. So I want to share some things I think women should ask themselves to determine if Dating a Dad is something they’re ready for.

  1. Are you cool with NOT coming first?

     Often times as women, we feel the desire to be a priority in our mate’s life. At a certain point we expect to be a priority in their lives. If Friday night is our designated date night, we’re not Tryna hear “Oh, my homeboy and them going” NOWHERE! But when you date a Dad you have to be prepared for the reality that no matter what nigh is “Date Night” if an emergency arises concerning their child, you drop down a peg on that list. So before you enter a relationship with that man, honestly ask yourself if you can handle getting all dressed up to go out and THEN getting that “Heeyy, can you take a rain check?” phone call when the child swallows a LEGO or has some other sort of emergency.”

  2. Can you handle HEARING about a child you may never meet?   

    Let’s be real. Everybody that’s dating ain’t courting. And if you’re dating a man that’s a decent parent, he isn’t introducing every woman he gets familiar with to his child. However, again, if he’s a decent parent, he’ll be active in his child’s life and may share details of his day with you that includes information about his child. Is that something you’re ok with? Be honest with yourself on whether or not you’re the type of person who can know a child’s favorite color, zodiac sign, the story behind the “boo-boo” on their left knee, what they sound like saying “Daaaddy” but never meet them face-to-face. Understand that not meeting the child doesn’t denote the seriousness of the relationship. Some men just want to appropriately feel you out before exposing you to their child. And that’s exactly what a protective parent SHOULD DO.

  3. Are you ready for child centered vacations and activities?

    If you pass whatever test the man lays before you and you meet his child, can you put Paw Patrol before your Netflix and Chill session? Are you cool with Sesame Place as opposed to Caesar’s Palace? Do dates to the Discovery Zone top Dinner & Dancing? Can you accept that a baecation to the Bahamas might actually become a family field trip to Florida?

    If you answer “No” to any of those questions, Dating A Dad ain’t for you sis. Yes baby sitters and grandparents exist, and YES every couple needs grown up time, but you CAIN’T always get what you want. And in the moments when your man ain’t BK and you can’t have it your way how are you gonna act?

  4. How will you react to their parenting from the outside looking in?

    When your partner trusts you, they’ll often share scenarios with you or come to you for advice. Sometimes even if they do trust you, they’ll try to keep their parenting life separate from their dating life. Either way, you’ll have a fish tank view of their parenting. Are you the type to offer unsolicited advice? If your man blows off his child’s parent-teacher conference to do a favor for a friend will you speak  up or stay in your lane? Will you know what that lane is? It’s important that you understand boundaries. Establish how much you want to know, find out how much input they’re comfortable with you giving. Know your stance on parenting and decide if you’re the type of woman that can keep a man encouraged through a custody battle or call him on his bull if he falls short of meeting his child’s needs.

  5. What are your views on parenting/being a step-parent?

    Some women KNOW without a doubt that they want to bare their man’s first (only) child/ren. Those women don’t entertain men who have children. And that’s their prerogative.

Some women are cool with dating a dad as long as she never has to meet their children. They like men who can compartmentalize. They don’t want to be invited to talent shows. They’re unavailable to hear & heal his baby momma drama. They want to be arm and bedroom candy and NOBODY’s stepmother.

Some women are ready and willing to be a plus mom. They accept their man’s venting sessions with open ears & arms. When he needs help making a decision, she offers suggestions on choices in the best interest of the child. And if & when the time comes she’s down to be the best step-mom ever.

Other women just get in where they fit in and kind of figure it out along the way. Know which one you are before you decide to Date a Dad.

*BONUS Question*

How much interaction can you handle  with the child’s mom? From Baby Momma Drama to Blended Family Bliss. Where on the spectrum are you comfortable with?

 

Men with kids are often off limits to childless women. We don’t want to deal with their baggage. Yet we call foul when men steer clear of single mothers. I think it’s important to be reflective. I could have decided not to continue having lunch with my “friend” once I learned that he had a child. By the time I learned about that I was already interested in him as an individual, and his life as a Dad was another layer of him I got to learn & love. It’s definitely been a learning experience, and I created this list because I learned so much about myself in this process. I just want to present the learning curve to you so you can get ahead of the game & do what’s best for you.

Posted on

Advice

 

Sunday was Mother’s Day and I fought back tears as I attempted to end my current situationship. He treats me well, doesn’t yell at me or hit me; because I don’t allow that shit; but there seems to be some break-down in communication that we’re having the ultimate struggle getting over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My mom; single parent with 2 children by men that she’ll “always love but doesn’t like”; told me I over analyze everything. I shared with her some of my communication frustrations and she said “You give up too easily. Relationships have hurdles sometimes.”

 

I wanna be married.

 

I’m not looking to get married today tomorrow or this time next year, but I know I want to be married to someone I can trust. Someone  who communicates well with me. Someone not only on the same page but also in the same book as me. My mother isn’t married. Her partners have all loved her; but they’ve never in my opinion been in the same book. And despite proposals & rings and 7 or 13 year relationships; she’s never made it to the altar or even the courthouse. My mother doesn’t have the life I want. I hear her advice anyway, because, my mother.

Me hearing, my mother’s advice

Sunday I listened as he expressed his love for me. His fear of losing me. His declaration that I’m his lady and his THIRD confession that he is not ready for a relationship. I don’t want to lose him either, but I’m not in the habit of staying at the table when I feel my flavor of love is no longer being served.

It’s been more than a year since we became physically intimate. Even longer that we’ve been entertaining each other’s company. He stayed when he learned I was depressed. When he realized, my apartment is a constant mess. I don’t always use kind words. He stayed.

One day I asked if we should have joint goals, since we support each other’s individual goals. I think it scared him.

After nearly six months (because the six months before October 29th are questionable) I hear him for the first time tell me he’s not ready for a relationship. It makes wonder *Well what the hell is this then?*

I don’t like uncertainty.

 

I say this to him, but I don’t DO anything with his confession. I let it marinate in my mind & fester into a fungus that tells me I deserve more. I examine myself. Am I giving the type of love I expect in return? Am I making my expectations clear? Am I refusing to accept less than his best? I fail this exam.

 

I ask myself is this worth walking away: List all the reasons I should stay. Call my mom. She taught me to list the pros and cons. She doesn’t answer. It’s ok, she doesn’t have the life I want. But do any of the women in my life?

 clair huxtable GIF

On Mother’s Day morning, I tried to end my current situationship. Even handwrote a letter of all the points I wanted to address. I told him I didn’t want to give up, but I didn’t want to fight to be with someone who didn’t want to be with me. He detailed all the ways he’s shown me that I’m who he wants. He isn’t ready to give in.

He’s been hurt before. His mother is also a single mother. His dad with a similar past as Buddha. We both have trust issues. We don’t want to be hurt again. But it hurts me to sit in uncertainty.

I tried to call my mother again. Sent to voicemail after it rang twice. If I don’t know any women with the life I want. Then who should I look to for advice?

Posted on

Pack Light

Soo I just filed my taxes this morning and I cried. I filled out all the paperwork in January, saw how much I owed and said “Nah”. Now it’s 2 days past the deadline & 30 mins before I need to be at work & I’m full snot crying as I hit submit & pay to file taxes with money I don’t have.

                But it didn’t have to be this way. Last month when I was pushing for responses to my “What’s the Deal with Your Dad?” Questionnaire, I found Buddha in my Facebook inbox. Asking if there was anything he could do for me. I just asked him to fill out the questionnaire. (YOU can fill it out here while I’m on the subject) He replied “Done” and told me to let him know if I needed anything else.

I spent all month wondering if I should ask for the financial help I needed. The last time I asked him for money, ($50 for a trip to Boston in High School), He stole it from my uncle. So, I didn’t want to ask him for anything only to find out later it was ill-gotten. I thought maybe I’d ask him to pay his brother back some money I borrowed to cover my car Insurance. I didn’t ask though.

So here I am, damn near 8 weeks later; a list of debts growing daily; 7lbs down because I haven’t been eating just to ensure my bills are covered; Credit Card one McPick 2 away from being maxed out; Bank of Mom has insufficient funds cause she’s repaying a loan to her Bank of Mom & I’m watching Resurrection Sunday Service from my laptop. That’s when I heard a sermon that touched my heart.

Rev. Watley shared an anecdote about bringing in the groceries with his young daughter. She reaches for a bag that’s too heavy for her and gets frustrated. He hands her a bag with paper towels and items more manageable, then sends her inside. She doesn’t notice he’s right behind her with the heavier bag. Once inside, she drops off the paper towels and rushes around to go back for the rest & runs into her Dad with a confused look on her face. He says to her “That’s what you have a Daddy for, to carry the things that are too heavy for you.”

Image result for mind blown gif

 

Now even though I know he used that anecdote as an analogy to illustrate how we should bring our burdens to God, I took it a little more personally. I’m drowning in debt, working for a company that mispays me at least once per quarter and Buddha had thrown me a life raft I was too afraid to take. *simmer on that*

I drove home from a friend’s house early that next morning still thinking about the last line of that sermon. “That’s what you have a Daddy for, to carry the things that are too heavy for you.” And I realized that I hadn’t asked him for help because I’m not a user. I firmly believe in treating people how you want to be treated, and I damn sure wouldn’t want someone asking me for money after they shut me out for years. Its 4:27am and I’m on the highway driving, praying I make it home awake thinking *I’m ready to listen to him now*

Image result for driving tired gif

 

I got about two and a half hours of sleep, woke up and opened my computer to check some questionnaire responses and saw a message in my inbox on Facebook. It was Buddha. “Shamiko, you’ve been on my mind lately and would really like to talk with you.”

Not even EIGHT hours after I had made up my mind that I was ready to hear him out, he reached out to me! My grandfather always talks about the power of your thoughts, but this was the first time in a LONG time that I felt and saw the effects of it so immediately.

My current gentleman friend has been a strong advocate for giving Buddha another chance. My relationship with him thus far has been a true testament to me learning to trust again. Most of which involved me changing my thinking. Who knew that packing lighter thoughts would be the beginning of bringing more peace? #DaaamnDaddy

Posted on

Building Healthy Habits

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Last month I participated in a Forgiveness Challenge. Turns out I didn’t have as long a list of people to forgive as I thought. The Challenge however did highlight to me the importance of building healthy habits.

I’m not the “New Year, New Me” type of person, but I have come to realize the key to feeling new starts with intentionally changed behavior.

Most people spent last Saturday “reflecting.” That was a buzzword when I was teaching. Means examining the things you do and looking for ways to improve them. So I did some research and came across a list of 5 steps on Chopra.com for creating healthy habits and I intend to implement them this year.

Forgiveness was a recurring theme in 2016. I was encouraged to write a letter of Forgiveness to Buddha. I was encouraged to be open to communicate with him. I did that and I have to say, I feel so much lighter since trying what I’ve been encouraged to do.

So in light of the New Year providing new beginnings, I’m sharing the 5 steps I learned on Chopra.com and how they can be applied to Dealing with Daddy Issues.

The First is to Set Goals:

  • My Goals are to not carry Daddy Issues into any future relationships.
  • To help others deal with Daddy Issues through teaching expressive writing.

I find mental to health to be of utmost importance so those goals are part of my bigger picture.

The Second is to Set Priorities, identify your weaknesses and strengths. Not all bad patterns can be attacked at once; so having small victories to celebrate along the way can be helpful. (Sunday my mom showed up with a new tv. She waited until it was inside my apartment to tell me Buddha helped purchase it. My boyfriend made it imperative that I call to say “Thank You” verbally as opposed to through Facebook message. Direct communication is one of my weaknesses. Tackling that is one of my priorities, and it will be something to celebrate along the way.

Once you set goals and priorities the Third Step is to Identify Harmful Patterns. The first line on Chopra.com in this section is “To change your negative habits you have to know what they are.” Some of my negative habits include shutting people out and not directly addressing things that bother me. I’ve done better at addressing things directly with the people who bother me.

Forming a new habit takes repetition and focus which brings us to Step Four, Making Steady Changes. Those priorities you set should be small and attainable, making them easy to implement and increase over time. Saying “Thank You” to Buddha on my  was a small step to me. I followed that up by wishing him a Happy Birthday three weeks later. Small steady changes to help me reach my goals.

And in order to reach those goals I have to complete Step Five; Reinforce Good Decisions.

I’m looking to build so much in 2017, Healthy Habits are just first on the List!