Charlie Marcol 

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Influence. Inspired and Italy

Posted on July 5, 2019 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s been a week since I have returned from Italy. I am still riding high on a cloud. The jet lag has finally left my bones but my mind is 5,686 miles away. I must admit, I am bored. I needed something to do so I decided to blog and podcast about this beautiful place. Italy was filled with rolling hills, quaint towns tucked away in the Earth’s surface, cobblestone streets with remnants of history, and mountains that touched the sky. I can’t put this experience into words but I will try my best. All I can say is, this trip is one for the books. From Rome to Florence, I believe we left an impression in Italy and Italy left an impression on us. Shout out to my personal travel cultivator, Detra Alton and Almeda Travel for believing in my brand to put a trip of this magnitude together. The vision came to life on June 17 as we invaded airports with big hopes and dreams. Twenty-one women traveled safely across the globe and back without any major issues. Nobody ended up in the infirmary, Roman jail, or captive in a medieval castle in a dungeon in the Tuscany hills. That’s huge. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and prayed with us as we traveled to foreign lands. God’s hand was definitely upon us.

I toured Italy with 21 phenomenal women from different walks of life. Girl’s trips scare me because women can be catty, but these women were mature and professional. Many of us didn’t know each other, but we meshed well together. Our lives, situations and circumstances bonded us together. We laughed a little, cried a lot, shared stories and toured foreign lands until our feet were swollen. Simply put, for seven days we ate, drank and lived in merriment. We started with fellowship and ended as a sisterhood. Strangers were now friends built on organic encounters and experiences. At first, people were skeptical and didn’t have a clue how a trip with 21 women with unexplainable personalities with diverse needs was going to unfold. Guess what, it worked! This trip was planned with free time built in so you can do you! Some women shopped until they dropped, went on private excursions, and ate real Italian cuisine.

It will be an exaggeration to say, I immensely enjoyed myself in the country of Italy. This trip was more than a passport stamp, it was filled with purpose. I learned some new Italian words and saw sights and monuments that were once a dream. The Vatican, the Coliseum, and St. Peter's Basilica. Now, in Pompeii I learned that Basilica means the place of judgment where others believe Basilica means a church. I had the opportunity to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece in The Sistine chapel along with the statue of David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Forum and the Holy road. There were many more but the sites are too numerous to list them all. Just know I saw a lot, walked a lot and learned a lot.

Through it all with every sight and every ruin, I looked at everything as a lesson. I constantly asked myself, “What is the take away?” What is it that God wants me to learn? What is it he wants me to see? There was so much to digest on a spiritual and emotional level. To be honest, I’m still processing it all.

Here are my thoughts. Some are deep. Some are funny and some are on the surface but none the less, I wanted to share them with you.

  • God is real- Duh! I knew that already but I could feel the presence of God as I walked the cobbled stone streets. As I stepped back through time and history, I couldn’t help but to think of my faith and my religion. Knowing that the Romans crucified my Lord had me spellbound. Then to know two of his faithful disciples were executed in Rome while spreading the gospel made me realize how my religion has stood the test of time. At one point it was illegal to be a Christian and here I was walking freely while singing songs of Zion in Rome and in Apollo’s sanctuary. My take away... The word of God will never come back void and shall stand forever more.
  • It's good to be missed sometimes- People don't realize the importance of your existence in their lives until you are not readily available to them. Meaningless conversations were almost nonexistent because I was seven hours ahead of those back home in America. My favorite text message was from my mom asking when will I return home because she missed talking to me. That made me smile! Love is shown in action and the smallest gestures can go a long way. My take away... Know that you add value to your love ones lives rather they tell you or not.  
  • Family is everything- One thing Europe hasn’t lost is the sense of family. It’s truly a unit that is meant to connect and empower. Maybe I noticed that more because I desire a true family unit deep within. It gives me great joy to see a husband leading, the wife serving, the children laughing and playing while the grandmother looks on in silence. That scene warms my heart. The family (la famiglia) is the most important aspect of an Italian’s life. Actually, it is a crucial necessity. They believe the family unit is important because it provides love, support and a framework of values to each of its members. Italians have stronger feelings of loyalty to their family than they have to their country. My take away... Blood IS thicker than water.
  • Sharing is caring- A famous Italian saying goes “the appetite comes while you are eating.” Therefore, there is a structure to Italian dining. Much of Italian life revolves around the family dinner table. Meals are often ordered in family style. People pass food to one another from serving dishes over a bottle of wine and stimulating conversation. Conversation is just as important as the meal. I didn’t see cellphones on the table or people texting while dining. They were engaged in conversation over a good meal. What does that say to me... Put my phone down and be present in the moment. If I’m not interested, stay at home.

Here is the structure of Italian dining.

• The antipasto: A traditional Italian meal starts with something to nibble on, called an antipasto, which translates into English as “before the meal.”

• The primo: In Italy, pasta is a first course, or primo, served as an appetizer, not as the main event. Soup, rice, and polenta are the other options for the primo.

• The secondo: The main course is called il secondo, or the second course. Chicken, meat, or fish are the usual choices, and portions are generally small. These main courses are usually fairly simple, especially if a rich pasta or rice dish precedes them.

• The contorno: A platter of vegetables usually accompanies the main course. This side dish highlights the simple goodness of the vegetable. The word contorno loosely translates as “contours” and refers to the fact that the vegetable course helps shape and define the meal.

• The dolce: A dolce (or sweet) ends a traditional Italian meal.

  • Olive Garden has us fooled- Our palate is truly Americanized. Day one, I had to wrap my mind around the cuisine in Italy. My first encounter with real Italian food made me come to one conclusion… That Olive Garden is not real Italian food. It didn’t even resemble what I was accustomed too. First of all, the pasta is served al dente. “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth” in Italian. That means that well-cooked pasta must have a soft bite, a “snap” that you can feel when you chew. Pasta that is cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than pasta that is cooked soft. So basically, al dente pasta is better for you. We overcook our pasta, vegetables and meat in America. Our pizza isn’t even authentic. I ordered a ham, mushroom and mozzarella pizza. The crust was so thin, crispy and flakey. It reminded me of pita bread. The tomato sauce was made from grilled tomatoes that was pureed by somebody’s grandma in the back and the ham came in thin slices. It was actually prosciutto and I was looking for Canadian Bacon. We even eat Mozzarella wrong here in America. When freshly made, you’ll often find it served in restaurants and at the family table as an antipasto, or appetizer, to enjoy with sliced prosciutto, bresaola or salami. I learned that mozzarella is not stored in the refrigerator, unless you are going to using it for cooking. The proper way to store it is at room temperature in the liquid it is packaged in when you buy it. Who knew!!! I was like yeah… this is very different but different can be good because it broadens our perspective. Another plus was the food was fresh and my body appreciates that. It didn’t stay in my digestive track long. My happy point... I ate gelato every single day. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. It starts out with a similar custard base as ice cream, but has a higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or no eggs at all). It is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air and leaving the gelato denser than ice cream. Talk about delicious! 
  • It doesn’t take all that- We do the most while doing the absolute least at the same damn time. We are caught up in our day to day operations that we forget to live. Take time and smell the roses.
  • Rome really wasn’t built in a day- I know its cliché’ but there’s truth behind this statement. Rome wasn't built in a day is a proverb attesting to the need for time to create great things. What does that say to me? As I am building this brand, take my time and build it brick by brick, one layer at a time. I want a brand that will last like the Roman Coliseum and leave an impression on each person that I encounter. These buildings and monuments are STILL standing centuries later. Why? Because it was constructed with purpose and designed with every possible mishap in mind. We learned majority of the buildings in Rome were once covered in marble. Today, there is not a trace of marble due to time and greed but here’s the take away. The removal of the marble didn’t strip the edifices of its beauty. It was still an awesome wonder to behold. We weren’t concerned with the outside. We wanted to tour what was on the inside. So what’s the lesson? Glad you asked. People will try to strip your purpose, tell you what you are doing wrong, attempt to take what rightly belongs to you but it doesn’t affect who you are. People are attracted to what’s on the inside. You are still a site to behold.
  • Get a tour guide- Often we try to tackle unknown places and foreign lands by ourselves. I am queen of that. That’s how I toured Paris, but Italy was a different story. There are many benefits to traveling with tour companies. They really do suit the needs of a lot of travelers. Traveling with a tour company is safer, faster and efficient. We skipped the line at many museums and walked through like we were VIP, which was a bonus. Another added perk is they provide insightful information that adds value to each and every sight. They know the history. Also, guided tours with tour companies can prove to be a great choice for those who want to see as much as they can in a small space of time. Shout out to my two favorite tour guides: Patricia in Rome and Andrea in Florence. 
  • Invest more in your flight- We've all been there. Long flight, cramped in coach. To fly overseas it is a minimum of 10 hours. I’m telling you, after a flight like that, you are weary and looking for rest as soon as you touch ground. Upgrade your seat to an emergency aisle or an aisle seat so you can stretch out and move around the cabin. Our bodies are not meant to be cooped up like chickens. If your pocket book says it’s ok, opt for one of those fancy pods that allows your seat to recline with the gourmet food. It’s worth it! They look like they had a good night’s rest upon arrival. I looked into the first class section like you lucky son of a guns! One day Lord, one day!
  • Compression socks- You finally land and discover your ankles have swollen to twice the normal size and maybe it even hurts to walk to baggage claim. Traveling is so rewarding but can take a toll on your circulation. While the risk of developing blood clots on a flight is low, it goes up as travel time increases. Get you some compression socks. Yes, really! The first time I noticed that I was swelling was on the plane and I didn't have on any socks. I was miserable because I was in the middle section in the middle seat. Getting up was not an easy option. So add compression socks to your traveling list of must haves. These stockings help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or worse deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and clotting on a long flight.
  • Fun Fact I learned- The Margherita pizza was designed after the Italian flag. Red is represented by the tomatoes, Green is represented by the basil, and the mozzarella cheese represents the color white.

Prepare: Before, During and After

  • Call your bank prior to your departure. Inform them of the dates of travel so when you swipe your card you are not greeted with a nice decline message.
  • Get your exercise and water intake on. That goes without saying. There is a lot of walking involved when visiting foreign lands. We drive everywhere in America and that’s an unrealistic expectation for continents like Europe. Be prepared to get your walk on so prepare your cardiovascular system early.
  • Also, get some calling cards so you can call home without putting a dent in your phone bill. I am not ready to look at my cell phone bill at all even though I had a global day pass. AT&T charge $10 a day and they are wrong for that.
  • Download the WhatsApp so you stay connected to those back home. You can call and text using this app. While in Rome, my phone worked perfectly but other cities infrastructure was not as advanced as Rome. You never want to lose connection with your love ones. GroupMe is a good app to have as well. That's how the Mr. and I stayed connected.

After you return home

  • Rest! I thought I was ready to continue to take of the world. Oh, was I wrong. Jet lag is not fictious and your body must get used to being back home on a different time zone. Proper rest is important.
  • Wash your dirty clothes immediately. Don't bring those germy clothes into your home.

That’s all for now… Ciao Bella!





Want to learn more... Listen to the Bellissma podcast available on every podcast platform.

https://anchor.fm/charlie-marcol/episodes/BELLISSIMA-The-Breakthrough-With-Ariel-Shirley-e4fg40

Turn down the noise... My social media fast

Posted on August 4, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

When we break, we break- Ced the Entertainer

Whoa! I’m back from my social media fast. Did you miss me? I sure hope so, because I've missed you! Without warning, I fasted from all things social media for 30 whole days. God knows I am a self-professed selfie social media queen. Since coming back from my Myspace hiatus in 2011, I’ve spent countless hours uploading, checking in, and updating my statuses sharing the good, the better and the best parts of my life. (Never the ugly) Being on this fast gave me a revelation though. If you’re not careful, social media can be a parasite that will eat away at your insecurities. It can make you question your self-worth, your marriage, and your complete existence in life if you get caught up in noise.

Time is of the essence…

Social media can be full of superficial appearances. We greet each morning with a scroll instead of a prayer and nod off each night looking at the display screen. We live by it, like it, share it, quote it like it’s the Bible, screen shot it and send it to friends to get a reaction. Here’s my reality. I wake up daily at 5:30 AM but struggle to get anywhere on time. Why? I had to come to grips with my truth. My phone and I made passionate love every morning before my feet struck the ground. Before I knew it, a 5 minute quick check lasted longer than 30 minutes. Precious time wasted that I’ll will never see again. Now, I’m rushing to get to work, doing my make up in the car, hollering at my son and mad at traffic on the freeway because it’s not moving fast enough. Yeah, yeah, yeah! I know you get it. That's been my narrative for a few months. Something had to change. I had to put the phone down and focus on what matters.

Effective immediately…

On July 1, my pastor made the announcement at the end of service after a soul stirring sermon. This fast was a part of a congregational commitment. He challenged us to be more Christ like and centered with our lives. I sat there in a daze of confusion as I scanned the audience. Surely, I couldn’t have been the only one feeling like “What the hell” in church. I looked at members of the congregation, my social media friends, who I knew loved social media just as much as I did. They too wore the haze of confusion on their face. At first, I didn’t want to participate because I was worried about my brand. Then I remembered, obedience is greater than sacrifice. Fasting helps us realize just how fragile we are and how much we depend on things beyond ourselves. 30 days was not going to kill me and needed to do this for myself. How things were unfolding in my life I really needed God to bless me in a mighty and miraculous way. More often than not, we subject ourselves to “look” happy when we are broken with the weight of the world on our shoulders. Truth be told, I wasn’t happy. Life was kicking my ass. I struggled to keep my head up. I needed a break that included some personal and spiritual growth.

Too much of anything is never good for you…

Fasting is a religious exercise that requires you to abstain from something that you love. It’s a meaningful gesture of self-denial out of your love of God. Never in my wildest dream did I think that I was going to partake in a fast of this magnitude. Food fast, I’ve tried and failed. No radio fast, tried and failed. No alcohol, tried and failed. No sex until I am married, tried and failed. This fast seemed simple enough to commit to. I’m not going to lie, the first few days were a challenge. I didn’t realize how much time and energy I spent on social media. As hours turned into days, I craved that 4 by 7 display screen in my hand that connected me to the inside scoop of my favorite celebrities, friends and family. My scroll game grew weak as I disconnected from the world. No Twitter, Facebook, IG, or Snapchat. Instead, I busied myself with my life. I put my face in books and articles, chatted with my friends over dinner and drinks, spent quality time with my son, snapped pictures and videos thus creating new memories that I will laugh at for weeks to come.

The last of the real ones…

There were some lessons in the break. Sometimes we think that our lives cannot fully function without the help of social media. Then, I remembered I was a 1980s kid where the essence of the human spirit was alive and well. There were no cell phones (unless you could afford air time) so you called and checked on your friends instead of liking their status, everybody didn’t have computers to Skype so you actually communicated and engaged with people in person or by letter, and your pictures weren’t shared until you had them developed at Eckerd’s. (Remember that!)

Here’s some powerful points that has changed my life in the last 30 days.

1. Everybody doesn’t need to know your every move- Everybody business is no body's business. (Let that statement marinate.) I’ve traveled, fallen in love, met Cynthia Bailey, and attended events without sharing my every move. Not being able to upload and share did not take away from my experience. I was present in the moment and enjoyed every minute of it. Sometimes we can share too much and give people an invitation to ridicule and judge our lives. Save some for yourself and let others wonder what’s going on with you. Move in silence and make announcements later.


2. Comparison is the thief of joy - The overused sentence that irks me the most on social media, “My husband/bestie/Momma is better than yours.” Guess what! They should be. That’s your connection and if your connection is not electrifying you, that’s a problem. Social media has tainted our views on what our lives should look like. Perfect has started to be the new normal. So much so, it has clouded our view on what our reality is. We wake up flawless and everybody is the perfect size with the perfect family. NOT! It’s all stunts and shows. You will find yourself comparing your life to others if you are not careful and that’s unhealthy.

3. Time is valuable- Time is the most expensive treasure that we cannot afford to lose. How many times have you said when deadline was near, “I wish there were more hours in the day.” Do not waste your time worrying about somebody who is not worried about you. Get the job done and play later. My goal from now is to get on and get off. I am reclaiming my time! I have better things to do.

4. Likes doesn’t validate you and your friendship- “You didn’t like my picture.” Friendships have a different meaning now. Sad to say, our life is now being defined by likes. Because I didn’t like your post, doesn’t mean I’m not your friend. Listen up when I say this… Friendships don’t trend. Trending on social media doesn't make you popular it means your picture was cute. The truth of the matter is, I didn’t like your picture because I probably didn’t see it. The more “friends” you have on social media the more people show up on your newsfeed. Social media runs on analytics not friendships.

5. My productivity level increased- I have planned my 40th birthday party, someone else’s 40th, booked travel, designed a new brand, cleaned up, and uncluttered my life. Being off social media freed up some time. An extra hour in the morning and evening made a difference.

6. Obedience is sacrifice- It gets greater later. Right now, I desire a spiritual breakthrough. Our spirit and soul experiences joy because of fasting. It’s a decision to momentarily die to our flesh to fulfill the greater things of a mighty God who seeks us. When we deny our carnal nature in order to fulfill the desires of God, he is pleased. What He wills for our lives can be found through fasting and prayer.

7. Very busy but are you a blessing- When is the last time you blessed someone’s life and didn’t want anything in return. We are so busy looking the part but not playing the part. I cleaned out my closet, gave bags of clothes and food to the homeless, and helped friends in need without making an announcement. Talk without action is merely nothing. Be a blessing instead of a scroll troll. Your time and service is needed.

8. Be in the moment- We barely want to talk to each other anymore. Learn to be present mentally and physically. Put your phone down and interact instead of scrolling. Ask your children or significant other “How was their day,” to begin a meaningful and engaging conversation. People want to know that you really care. We scroll to pass the time or because we feel bored. Ask yourself this, “Why go and if you can think of better things to do?” If you can think of better things to do, then do that. Don’t waste their time or yours.

9. Use social media for what it intended for- There are benefits of using social media. You can connect, network, engage, and build a brand. Social media allows us the ability to communicate with each other on the level that I never foresaw. You literally can run your life from the comfort of your home, video chat with friends and family in far places and have friends all over the world. The connection can be powerful if it is utilized properly.

10. It’s all in our mind- It’s truly mind over matter. What I thought was impossible turned into possibility. You can do whatever you want to do. It’s all in your mind. Turn down the noise and find your center.

Guess what! I survived. All because someone is silent, doesn’t mean that they are asleep. Even though the fast is over, I will continue to monitor what I feed my soul. (I discovered a new love for podcast too.) I am adopting a healthier lifestyle for my mental state. I want to feed my body content of substance that will allow me to grow and develop into the person I desire to be. We all want emotional and mental well-being. But are we practicing conscious mental consumption? Don’t get caught feeding your mind with junk food that has no nutritional value. We have a choice about how we take care of our mind—we can feed it junk food or wholesome fuel. Wholesome food fuels our mind with positivity while junk food feeds our mind with limiting thoughts and behavior and we are so much better than that.



#fastingandpraying #socialmediafast #charliemarcol #myrealtruth #myjourney

Lessons from the storm

Posted on August 31, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (7)

Class is in session. The bell didn’t ring. We didn’t have recess, P.E. or lunch. There was nothing particular about this classroom. One teacher represented the faculty and staff. This wasn’t a traditional lesson with an engaging PowerPoint presentation and handout notes. It didn’t involve a pen, paper, textbooks or higher order thinking question stems accompanied with a read aloud. Instead, the curriculum called for interactive learning, faith, and your best judgment. There were no lesson plans because He was the lesson plan. One grade was given; Category 4. Our fate was in his hands.

Sometimes you learn valuable life lessons without stepping into an academic setting. A true learning experience should reform you and shape your perspective. Those encounters undoubtedly change us forever, never to return to our original way of thinking. God multiplied with Harvey equaled a lesson that I will never forget. He and his wrath earned my respect.

This storm was unfathomable. But I remembered that God is my present help in the time of trouble and boy were we in trouble. Our only option was to hunker down and ride it out. From Corpus to Houston, disastrous flooding, winds gusts and constant torrential rains left one to ask, “Will I come out of this alive?” I wish I could make you understand the magnitude of this storm and its aftermath. Houston, the 4th largest city in the country with a population over two million people was covered in water leaving it in a helpless estate. Both airports were closed, the start of school was postponed and the rain kept falling. Every street, outlet, shortcut and freeway was closed due to high water. With every news update and text alert, anxiety filled my body with tension and fear. All I could do is pray and hope for the best.

I made it through! Hallelujah.

As an educator, this Harvey encounter reminds me of the instructional 5 E model. The 5 E's describes a phase of learning, and each phase begins with the letter "E": Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. This experience drew off of my existing knowledge, beliefs, and skills. Here’s what I learned from Harvey.

Engage-

1. Adhere to warnings- The National Weather Service warned us all week but many of us didn’t listen only doing the bare minimum. Warning comes before destruction. A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a hurricane in the Gulf) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent. Next time, I will have an evacuation plan.

2. Have a rainy day fund- The most basic purpose of a rainy day fund is to provide a source of funds when you find yourself in the middle of a financial thunderstorm. Having a rainy day fund can help reduce your financial-related stress, helping you get a better night's sleep because you're not concerned about the "what ifs" of life: if an emergency does arise, you have it covered. Harvey has affected many of our jobs and sources of income and for some of us that leaves us up the creek without a paddle.

Explore-

3. Water is powerful- Water means life—it can kill you, but it can cleanse you. It is a preserving element that we need in order to survive. For without it, one will surely die. Many of us were baptized from the waters of Harvey by the renewing of our mind. For once, we cleansed ourselves from the negativity and hatred that we have embedded in our hearts about politics, the President and the social class of people. First responders, rescuers and volunteers didn’t care about color, creed or race. They wanted to save lives. That’s all that mattered. In this case, the flood waters united us in a weird but necessary way. A big shout out to the civilians that rolled up their sleeves, traveled from distant places and brought in their boats to help. You are the real MVP.

4. The sun is important- The sun didn’t shine for five days. FIVE! It was depressing to look out the window to see gray skies. Nothing is more important to us on Earth than the Sun. Without the Sun's heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth. I was begging for the sun to make an appearance and looking for a dove with an olive branch in its beak. (Read the story of Noah and the Ark) When it peeked through the clouds, I smiled. I think it missed us as much as we missed it.

Explain-

5. Stop taking little things for granted- It is human nature to complain. We want a bigger house, the traffic is horrible, our children are unruly, the humidity is messing up our hair and our families get on our last nerve. We are all so much more fortunate than we give ourselves credit for. We constantly preoccupy ourselves with thoughts of things we don't have and experiences we are missing out on. We need to learn to be appreciative and grateful for everything we have and everything we are going to receive. If we all stopped for a moment and looked around us, we would find endless things we have that others are not as fortunate to have. Kiss your children, say I’m sorry and love your family, even when they get on every nerve in your body. Harvey helped me realize how fast you can lose everything in a second. Count your blessings and be thankful instead of complaining.

6. There is no perfect plan in life- You can never prepare for uncertainty. No matter how you prepare yourself in every possible way imaginable. However, if you live in a coastal region create an emergency kit just in case. (Especially during hurricane season) A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water -one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • A Ziploc bag with essential documents

Elaborate

7. You need a village- the African proverb tells us it takes a village. I would like to elaborate and say, “It takes a village to survive.” When social media is being utilize properly it can bring awareness to dire situations. The village came through calling, texting, sharing, forwarding, and DM’ing information for others to be rescued while others checked on your well-being. Their tenacity and willingness to help, helped others in their desperate time of need. The power of connection is real and it showed. No one could have navigated this ordeal alone. We must learn how to depend on each other.

8. What’s in a name- Harvey means “Blazing.” This storm was given the perfect name. Harvey came out the Gulf taking names with guns blazing. He is one of two Category 4 hurricanes on record that have made landfall in the Texas Coastal Bend region with destructive winds that reached 130 miles per hour. He dumped 49.76 of rain at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport within two days. Harvey left a lasting impression on Texas for years to come.

Evaluate-

9. Even when things are out of control, God is in control- Let go and know that God is in control. I like to be in total control of every aspect of my life. Not so much this time. God showed me the true definition of sovereignty. Once I wrapped my mind around what was happening, He became my refugee and protected me from the storm.

10. Get acquainted with you- CABIN FEVER! Not me. There was a time in my life where I felt like I needed people to entertain me or I had to be doing something. We do that because we are afraid to be alone. At the end of the day, you have to be alright with you. I enjoyed the quiet space with limited interruptions, aside from the alerts, wind and rain. I learned some more about myself during this period of stillness. I learned I don’t have to be tough and strong, especially during the storm. I don't know if it was the weather, or the aftermath that followed but nonetheless, I had a good soul releasing cry that was long overdue. That was such a powerful cathartic moment for me. I cried for those affected, the city and those that were blessed to make it through without any damage or loss.

There are so many words to express how I feel at this very moment. I am still processing it all. Although the storm is over, we have only just begun. Houston has a long way to go. We will rebuild, even stronger than before. That’s what I love about this city. Just continue to pray for us & with us.

In everything that you go through, don’t forget to learn the lesson. If not your experience will be pointless. Class is dismissed.

Thank you to all my friends and family (my village near and far) that prayed and checked on me daily during the storm. I am grateful for you and your loving kindness toward me. YOU ROCK!



With the devastation of our city, let’s make a conscious effort to give back. Please know that I will be reaching out to you for your help and support for donations and volunteers to address the immediate needs of those that were affected by Harvey. If you or anyone you know were affected, please let me know. I want to help. Details will follow.

For monetary donations:

HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF FUND: Visit ghcf.org | Checks/Money Orders can be mailed to the address below:

Greater Houston Community Foundation

5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000

Houston, Texas 77056

#hurricaneharvey #thatstormthatwould #houstonstrong #thatwashouston


The Fabulous South

Posted on July 20, 2017 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (1)

The stars shine bright big at night… (clap, clap, clap, clap) Deep in the heart of Texas. Whoever believes Texas is full of tumbleweeds, cacti and cows haven’t visited since the oil boom of 1901. Opulence, fashion and fun is the new moniker we wear proudly, but one thing remains. The stars still shine bright on this great state.

Who was the latest star to grace the Lone Star state with its presence? Glad you asked. None other than Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily and celebrity stylist Ty Hunter. (Yes! Beyonce’s former stylist) I had the opportunity to attend a private brunch hosted by them at the chic Sorrento Italian restaurant in the famous Montrose area of Houston. As the mimosas poured, we shared our business brands, advice on work/life balance and networked with some of the finest in the business.

This was an out of body experience and I was thankful to sit at the table with them as they imparted wisdom on how to get ahead of the industry. The whole time I was thinking...

Pinch me! This can’t be real.

“If you are in the room with Oprah and you don’t take your chance, that’s on you!” I can still hear the words out of Ty Hunter’s mouth as he candidly spoke to the guest. Those words stabbed my heart like a double edge sword. How many times are we close to “our change” but we are afraid to make the step or say hello.

I am taking pages from their book and sharing some of the information with you. (You can thank me later)

  • It’s Ok to take a different path- Claire is a Harvard graduate and worked a 9 to 5 after graduation. She knew there was something better out there for her. She made a conscious decision to quit her job, MOVED TO PARIS to follow her dreams. Look at her now! It doesn’t matter how you get there, just get there!
  • If you don’t see it, create it- As a child growing up in the 80’s, you did not see a plus size model nowhere. Now, we are represented by different brands all because of innovators like Claire. She created the way for the fashion industry to be more inclusive by creating a safe space for plus size models to be seen.
  • Know yourself- Be confident in who you are and embrace it. Understand what you have to offer and accept nothing less. If they tell you “No,” ask in a different way and knock on a different door. Don’t give up.
  • Don’t be afraid to move- “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy Claire is not new to moving, change and growth. She’s leaving the concrete jungle (home) and planting herself in the City of Angels to take her empire to a new level. When growth is necessary, you must be willing to move out of your comfort zone. If you haven't done it, you should try it.

The room was filled with likeminded creatives who cheered you on. We liked and followed each other on every social media platform immediately. Why? Because that’s what collaboration looks like. A wise poet once said, “Smart women don’t compete, we collaborate.” There’s a seat at the table for all of us, but we must be willing to pull up the chair.

Want to see more footage from the day, Click here… https://youtu.be/RtEWJ31ff5s




For more on Claire check out http://fashionbombdaily.com/about/

#charliemarcol 

Single at Christmas time... What to do?

Posted on November 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

After we cut up the turkey and stuff our mouths with dressing, it's officially Christmas season. Oh how I love the Christmas season. Not because it's my birth month but usually spirits are high and generally everyone is festive and bright. Carolers are out, light are strung from limb to limb and children's eyes are lit with pure excitement of the season. Everywhere you go they're playing "What do the lonely do at Christmas..." The dreadful song that no one has the answer too. I feverishly searched for the answer after my divorce only to find that the answer was in me. So, what do the lonely do at Christmas time? This rhetorical question leaves room to ponder. For the single person, this season can put you on an emotional roller coaster if you’re not emotionally capable to drown the noise. The noise of engagements happening, birth announcements, new lives, and other's new beginnings can cause one to feel manic instead of miraculous. Well, there's hope. Instead of dreaming of a white Christmas make the magic happen in your life. Here are some helpful tips to help you maneuver through the holiday season.

1. Serve, serve, serve... Devote your free time to those less fortunate. Serve in a soup kitchen to feed the homeless on Christmas Day. Lend a listening ear to the cries of the homeless and you will quickly learn the difference between alone and lonely.

2. Give, give, give! Your time, energy, and love. Adopt a family to love. Remember the elderly or those that have lost a loved one during the year. This will be the first holiday season without them. I'm pretty sure their spirits can use a picker upper. Be the joy instead of looking for it. Offer to cook dinner, buy gifts, or spend quality time with them.

3. Read a good book- I would suggest that you pick up a copy of From the Florist to the Forest so when Mr. Right comes along you will be ready and equipped with the knowledge you need to have the relationship that you want.

4. Count your blessings- Sometimes we're so busy looking at others that we forget how blessed we really are. A place to live, a car to drive, sources of income, friends to call and most importantly we are still breathing to see another holiday season. Millions didn’t make it, but You did. We are blessed beyond measure and don't realize it.

5. Have a gathering- Invite over your closest friends and be the hostest with the mostest. White elephant exchange, an ugly sweater party, or a trim the tree soirée will keep your mind busy from thinking about your singleness.

6. Be the comfort & joy factor- Embrace the joy factor and greet people with a smile, a warm handshake, or a loving hug. Your thoughtfulness may brighten up someone's day like a Christmas tree.

7. Go, go, go! Fill your weekends with social functions. A Holiday party here, a mixer there, throw in a brunch with your girls and viola before you know it the Holiday season will be over. Plus, you never know, all that mixing and mingling may lead you to some potential longevity if you play your cards right. Oh yeah, have fun and dance the night away.

8. Bedazzle your wardrobe- A little sparkle has never hurt anybody. Add a little bling and shine like the diamond you are. When you look good, you feel good about yourself and it shows.

9. Remember the reason for the season- It's not about gifts under the tree, it's our right to the Tree of Life. We may not know the date officially of his birth, but we know HE came to be our savior to save us and that's the real reason for the season.

 

Remember to serve, give, go and bling this holiday. It will give you the peace you need to embrace the season. Stay merry and bright my friends.


 

Untie my soul... Set me free

Posted on November 11, 2015 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Almost flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone but you're not. You’re not even married. It feels good to your soul! The connection is deep, intimate and it feels right. You can’t help but to wonder, “Is this person my soul mate?” Suddenly it ends, and you are devastated. You ponder pensively on the relationship and what happened. Yet and still, it’s hard to get over them. I know the feeling. I only write from my own personal experiences. This feeling can last long after the relationship ends. This is why it is so common for a person to still have 'feelings' towards an ex-lover that they have no right to be attracted to in any way. You want to fight the urge and get over them but it's hard, depressing, and heart wrenching. Do you know why? Your soul is tied together. A soul tie can serve many functions, but in its simplest form, it ties two souls together in the spiritual realm. Soul ties between married couples draw them together like magnets, while soul ties between non-married people can have a negative effect on your spirit. There are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual effects that come along with a soul tie causing you to feel unwholesome, as if you've given up a piece of your soul.

Let's discuss more in detail.

How soul ties are formed

1. Sexual relationships- It’s nothing like sex that you not shouldn’t have sex. It feels so right but yet it’s so wrong. It’s all connected and attached to consequences. Your sexual organs are connected to you heart, spirit and mind. If you say it’s not, you’re lying to yourself. Be Careful!

2. Close relationships- A soul tie can serve as bridges between two people to help through hard times. At first it will start off as casual and before you know it, you’re caught up with them and their mess.

3. Vows, commitments and agreements- The tongue has the ability to bring the soul great troubles and bondage. Be mindful of empty “I love you’s” Love is an action. Choose your words wisely.

 

Time to make a change…

By nature, women are the emotional gender. Our actions and thoughts are sometimes lead with our emotions. While, the male species tend to think with a different type of head. Men are more physical thinkers. He may not understand the reason why you have to make a change, but you know the purpose.

 

1. DIY- Do it yourself. Don’t wait for them to end the connection. You know the difference between right and wrong.

2. Free yourself- If any sins were committed to cause this soul tie, repent of them! Fornication is perhaps one of the most common ways to create soul ties. Forgive that person if you have anything against them but most of all forgive yourself. There is freedom in forgiveness!!!

3. Pictures and selfie photos- If our phones could talk, what would it say. Next to God, our phones see it all and hold so many secrets plus selfies. Get rid of those photos of your secret rendezvous. If not, your will find yourself going back reliving in the moment of yesteryear and when.

4. Wash your hands of the nouns- The people, places and ALL of the things. If gifts were given to you by the other person in connection with the sin or unholy relationship, such as rings, flowers, cards, clothes, etc. I would get rid of them! Here is another issue I witness with soul ties. When you choose to remain friends with “their” friends and family. You are not fooling anyone but yourself. This helps you stay in touch with “them.” Such things and relationships symbolize the ungodly relationship, and can hold a soul tie in place.

5. I do’s and do you’s- Are you married? You shouldn’t make any promises of anything. The power of life and death is in the tongue. Don’t say things you don’t mean. Save that for the individual that is worthy of fully committing to. Any rash vows or commitments made that played a part in forming the soul tie should be renounced and repented of.

6. Renounce the soul tie- Tell them but most of all show them. Actions speak louder than words. Do this verbally, spiritually, physically and mentally! Not even if that person was good to you, good in bed and fun to hang around. You can’t return to the situation once you have cut the soul tie.

 

*Remember I write from an honest place. As I created this blog, it spoke to my life as well. I truly believe that having soul ties will not allow you to reach your point of destiny. A soul tie will and can hold you back from God’s blessings. More than anything, you want to live a purpose driven life and your destiny to be fulfilled.


 

I'm single and ready to mingle.. Dating with children

Posted on October 31, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

So many thoughts about myself flooded my mind after my divorced was finalized. Damaged goods? Single mom? divorcee?... "Yeah, this is great. Who is going to want me?" After going through the healing process, I wanted to give love a try again. I am in love with the idea of love. In my mind, there IS someone for me that can love my imperfect self perfectly. I knew, I had to take it slow and be cognizant of any decision I made. There are two people involved; my son and myself. Believe it or not, our precious children suffer the most during our love shenanigans. It impacts their lives just as much if not more. They too get attached, love, create bonds and reap the benefits of someone being around. It creates a pseudo family unit that we all desire. Dating for one is difficult but dating while considering your children can be stressful. My focus shifted from looks, style and swag to beliefs, morals and future plans with children involved. When the relationship ends for us, it ends for them as well. The game of love is so abstract but when you have children you have to make sure the foundation is as strong as concrete by creating some rules.

Here are some best practices that I follow in the game of dating with children.

1. Ask the appropriate questions- Engage in “what if” conversations and do you see yourself dating someone with children questions early on. You need to know their thoughts about children before moving into a commitment. There’s no need to get involved if that’s not what that individual wants for their future. Spare yourself and save yourself the heartache later.

2. Timing- Make sure the timing is right. Create a time and space where the initial meeting is none threatening as possible. A family setting will be ideal, such as an entertainment complex, a sports game, or a family function. You don’t want the meeting to be awkward. This will force your child and love interest to shut down, putting you at odds in the middle. You will find yourself torn trying to mend fences and feelings.

3. Who- Before introducing your child, get to know them first. Date them for months before a formal introduction to the kids is made. Make sure you are not dating a serial killer, sex offender, the Spawn, or a master manipulator prying on a single woman to fulfill his needs.

4. Abandonment- Don’t get so caught up that you abandon your children. Don’t spend every free moment that you have on your new love interest. You have to remember the ones that were there loving you unconditionally in your single days. I know it feels good to have a new boo, but pace yourself and balance it out.

5. Meet your daddy- Negative! Introduce your love interest as your friend first not someone there to replace their father. Make sure roles are defined and everyone involved know the position they play on the team. Reassure your child, there is only ONE father.

6. Everyone isn’t privileged enough to meet your kid- This is your most prized possession so treat it as such. You may have a revolving door policy but don’t allow your children to see that about you. You set the tone of their relationships later on in life.

7. Listen to your children- Out of the mouth of babes speak the truth. Kids say it best. If your child and your significant other does not get along, take heed. You want to make sure that your children are just as comfortable in this relationship as you are.

8. Your children know when it is right-They have the ability to see things that you ignore. I remember the day I got married, my son wasn’t happy at all. People tried to coax him to smile, take pictures and be in the moment. No matter what we did or said, he wasn’t a happy. When asked he said, “This is a mistake.” Sad to say, he was true. He could see it, way before I could.

9. Let nature take its course. The universe tends to unfold the way it should. Don’t give disclaimers to your children such as, “Be nice” or force feed your new love on them. Let it happen naturally and allow them to form their own opinions. Remember your children are little people with feelings.


 

Dating after Divorce.. Time for reflection

Posted on October 25, 2015 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Now that you've gone from the Florist into the Forest, you are probably ready to come out of the darkness and begin putting the pieces together from your broken life. The divorce process can damage your mental and emotional psyche. (I don't wish that on my worst enemy) None of the less, you ready to start dating again. Looking for love after divorce can be daunting. I know the feeling all too well. From my own personal experience, use your judgement. If it doesn't feel right, it's probably not. That's why self-love is so important when beginning this process again. Love yourself so much that you will have an eagle's eye vision to discern those people & things that try to bring harm to your life. Everyone doesn't have your best interest at heart. Remember, there's levels to this dating game so don't get lost in the shuttle. Here's some helpful tips to help you navigate this process. Good luck!

1. Know your status- Get tested for everything. Make sure before you start dating again to know ALL of your statuses. Go see your physician to get your regular check-ups & physicals. Knowing this information helps you to make responsible decisions about your sexual health and your future. It’s good information to know.

2. You are divorced not desperate- Take people at face value until they prove themselves otherwise. If you see a flag on the play, don’t ignore the red flags. Ask all of the rigid questions up front. If you don't agree, move on. No love will be lost.

3. Dignity and Purpose- If that person being in your life is not serving a purpose, what's the point. Stop wasting your time in your prime. That’s dead weight and it will hold you back from reaching your fullest potential. After going through a divorce your purpose should be redefined and aligned to what God wants for your life.

4. Ladies, you are NOT a hunter- You don't have to hunt a man down to date you. If he can't make time for you, he's not for you. Remember, you are divorced, not desperate! Stop pursuing, let him chase you. Remember, HE that finds a wife finds a good thing. At the end of the day, you need to know that you are the answer to his prayers.

5. Wait a while- Make sure you are emotionally ready to start dating again. Go see a counselor to do the self-work. It’s important to work through your unsolved issues. You don’t want to carry a scared or a hardened heart into a new relationship. Work on the issues from your past.

6. Look for someone that wants to be your friend. Established a strong friendship first before undertaking a relationship status. This will allow you to establish a foundation and focus on those things that matter to you and your potential partner.

7. Be careful of the 9 to 5 lover- This is the lover that is not emotionally available so he will not invest in you. He has office hours for his dating career because he's living a double life. He is only available Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. After 6 pm he is as cold as a dead body in the morgue.

8. Go at your own pace- Don't make a decision or rush into any situation that you are not ready for. You walk by faith and not by sight. Ask the Heavenly Father to lead you on every decision for your life.

9. Don’t talk about “Them”- Leave your ex in the past. It’s over for a reason. You’re desiring a new start so stop lingering on your past. It’s a turn-off and tells the person your dating it’s still some meat left on that bone.


 

 

God's gonna trouble the waters...

Posted on September 15, 2015 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Once in our lives we have the opportunity to encounter an out of body experience that we will never forget. If you are mature enough, that one experience changes your perspective. Sometimes the experience can be so powerful that it becomes rapidly clear through your emotional barriers or that one experience can sabotage you. Recently, I posted your troubles are a part of your training. Little did I know I would have a close brush with trouble sooner than later. I try to avoid trouble at all cost, yet it hunts me down like I am prey. I didn't see trouble coming. Boy, did it hit me like a car accident. It came out of nowhere and in a split second I was fighting for my life. We were looking for fun in the sun, but what I received was a supernatural ass whooping. God troubled the waters for a reason. I realized in the mist of this unforeseen circumstance, there was a valuable lesson to learn. God speaks clearly to me at the most inopportune times. He is the teacher and I am his student. I truly believe God does things to get our attention and that he did. As I rolled on the river like Ike and Tina, I had no choice but to reflect on the whole situation. This ordeal became a spiritual cleansing. TD Jakes once said, “Even a skillful swimmer can drown in shallow waters.” Spiritually, water represents revelation. Even though, I didn’t physically drown this experience had a purpose. The water was shallow but the knowledge that I gained fighting for my life was deep. Through this revelation he revealed his Devine wisdom that I had been wrestling with internally. This was a much needed awakening. At first what seemed like sure maddness, gave me enlightment for my journey.

1. Life is precious. We take life for granted thinking our next breath is our own. In a split second, my life flashed before my eyes. Do not ignore its value; do not squander it in trivial pursuits; do not let it slip away and leave you unprepared.

2. Get rid of your dead weight. Sometimes the load that we carry is too heavy that it pulls us down. We carry each other's burdens and stress when in the end it has nothing to do with us. Cut the strings and let it go. With dead weight you can't travel light.

3. Everybody can't go! We want to carry everyone on the journey, but it's not for everyone to experience or see.

4. Follow your gut instinct. It will never lead you wrong. Other people think they know what's best for you when they don't. They are operating from their vantage point and not your reality. Trust yourself and nobody else.

5. Panic leads to paranoia. Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically leads to a pandemonium. It's hard to find solace in this state of mind.

6. You can never prepare for uncertainty. No matter how you prepare yourself in every possible way imaginable, God is in control.

7. Continue to fight even when it seem like the end is near. Easy goals don’t exist. Easy dreams don’t exist. Easy relationships don’t exist. A goal is a point of achievement that requires effort and sacrifice. Fight for your dreams. Anything worth having is worth working for.


 

 

Long distance relationships: Commit it or quit it

Posted on August 14, 2015 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (2)

It’s not going to work out! What are you doing? Are you serious? Your family and friends don’t see the point, but you see the purpose. This person is different. To you it is worth the effort no matter how many miles may stand in between the two of you. Ahhh… Long distance relationships! Something that I am too familiar with. It is said, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” but the real question is does it make the heart grow stronger? Some people find it hard to commit when you reside within the same city. Adding distance to the equation can wreak havoc on an individual’s soul; especially when you really like that person. Questions often run marathons in your head when you don’t have the usual face to face relationship all access pass, such as, are they fully committed to the process? Are they entertaining anyone else? What are they doing? Why wasn’t my call returned? Long distance relationships are catch 22. When it’s good, it’s amazing, but the moment things shift it’s hard to save. Here is the craziest part of all. When it’s over, it’s over. You never have to see that person again because distance is a factor. Crazy huh? One can really fall off the face of the earth never to resurface again if it ends on a sour note. Consistency is key when your relationship is geographically challenged. Without consistency being present insecurities will begin to fester like a sore making it harder for the relationship to thrive. No relationship is fun when it is full of insecurities, doubt and tears. Talk about a recipe for disaster. It takes creativity, effort and sacrifice to keep those home fires burning and your spirit churning when there are more miles than minutes that separate you. If not, the distance will not work for you, but against you.

Today, I dedicate my blog to my long distance lovers. I have worn those shoes proudly a time or two. I get it and understand. This is not going to be easy, but ultimately you will choose what’s best for you. Here are a few tidbits to help you in the quest of a successful long distance relationship.

1. Face It or Fake It- Ask yourself, “Is being in this long distance relationship worth my time and effort.” You have to be honest with yourself. We are settled in our ways, cities, and age. If you know there is not a possibility of either one of you considering a move, why stay? Don’t waste your good years trying to convince someone you are worth the chance. Someone will eventually have to make a move. Hopefully it’s a beneficial one for both parties. Face the reality sooner than later.

2. You need a strong support system. I know your family and friends may find it strange that you want to commit to someone that lives on the other side of the world. Tell them to save the ridicule and join forces with you. How? By encouraging you, keeping you busy and their prayers. You will need their support when things become uncertain in your relationship. Yes! You may make a fool of yourself, but tell them to get on board until you get off the train. Now, if the lack of support is because they believe he is not right for you, that’s a different story. Other people see things that we tend to overlook. You may want to take heed on that. Don’t completely ignore it.

3. Technology is your friend. Skype, Snapchat and FaceTime are an absolute must. Turn those miles into seconds by being one click away. Don’t overkill it though with outlandish expectations. Every conversation cannot take place through social media accounts because life must go on. But a few sprinkles of FaceTime will do your soul wonders and keep you grounded.

4. Everything matters. The small things and the big things. Include them in everything so they can feel like they are a part of your life. What that says is that you care and you wish they were there to share those precious moments together. Remember sharing is caring.

5. Seek every opportunity to see each other. Live for the weekends, and holidays. I truly believe that people will make time for things that are of importance to them. Plan those visits out accordingly, so by the time the separation anxiety kicks in the visit is right around the corner.

6. Expectations are a must. Lay the foundation and have clear expectations from the beginning. When you are dating long distance you need to know if the both of you desire the same outcome. For instance, will you be exclusive or will you see other people?

7. Communicate, communicate, communicate- Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Being in a long distance relationship is complicated, so save the attitudes, drama and antics. I can’t stress that enough. You have to build bridges and remove those guarded walls of your heart. Let them in! It’s pretty pointless to be in a one way relationship. Learn to be open and communicate effectively.

8. Mutually agree to make the commitment. In order for anything to work, you must be committed to the process. FULLY committed. 100% on both individuals. The moment that commitment waivers the relationship will too. Stick to it, especially if you know that this relationship has potential.

9. Avoid temptation- Tell yourself that you refuse to entertain anyone that can sway or temp you. If I think the guy at work is super fine, I will not accept his invitation to lunch or happy hour unless it is work related. Don’t put yourself in compromising positions that you will regret later. Run far away and don’t even give it a second thought. Keep the long term goal in mind.

10. Use your own judgement- Trust your gut instinct. No need to be suspicious, jealous, or asking belligerent questions smudging your lipstick. What happens in the dark will definitely come to the light. No need to go searching for what you “think” has happened. Eventually, lies can’t replace the truth. It will come to the forefront.

This blog comes from an honest place. At one point in my life, I actually preferred being in a long distance relationship. I loved that my heart was isolated from the dating madness. I had somebody to fill the void but he wasn’t physically here. No long walks in the park every Sunday, intimate touches or weekend dates. When he was here, it was explosive and meaningful. Moreover I relished in the opportunity to truly miss someone and someone missing me. The anticipated countdowns, long hours on the phone, cute text during the day, and waiting on plane tickets to go on sale were a part of my regimen. Despite the discouragement, I pressed on when it came to “him.” He was special to me but he wasn’t here. Then something changed. It ended suddenly and I was left with unanswered question and a bruised heart. Maybe he was tired of the distance, met somebody new or no longer interested in the pursuit. I don’t know. He disappeared like a vapor in the wind. The realization that it was over was realer than real. As I reflect I can’t help to ask myself, did we fully commit or did we flat out quit. We quit! Instead of growing stronger, we became weak and gave way. We quit trying. We quit caring. We quit making an effort. The distance couldn’t sustain the need any longer. His need to be fulfilled as a man and mine to have defining boundaries that I didn’t establish in the very beginning. Looking back, he was not a complete waste of my time. He served a purpose. He gave me hope.

People complain that long distance relationships don’t work. As far as I can see, relationships within the same geographic confinement struggle as well. Why? Because no one is willing to commit fully to the process. One foot is in this door and the other one is where it wants to be. In order for it to work, one must be fully committed to the process. The moment there is a change of heart, please share it with the other partner who’s keeping their heart stored away from the irresistible temptation.


 


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