|Posted on September 15, 2015 at 6:50 AM||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.
|Posted on August 14, 2015 at 3:50 AM||comments (1)|
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.
|Posted on July 31, 2015 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Where oh where has Ms. Charlie gone. Oh where oh where was she... About a week ago, for 5 consecutive days I was away unplugged, unattached and unbothered with the hustle and bustle of life. That hustle and bustle stresses my nerves to the max, literally. Besides, I needed this break. Touring, book signings and speaking engagements has kept me busy this summer. I'm not complaining just thankful for the experience. With my plate being full I needed to unwind for a moment to take in the blessings he's bestowed upon me. Not in Dallas, or a spa day in Austin but away from every worry or matter of business that keeps me going.
Wheels up and I was off... To an island in the middle of the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic was absolutely beautiful, but they are light years behind in infrastructure. There was hardly any excess to technology, cellphone service or social media. Telephone calls were $2.85 a minute and internet access was only in the hotel lobby. Wouldn't you know it, my bungalow was near the beach about a half a mile away from the lobby. This resort was massive. To get around easier on the resort one caught the tram. Yep, have you figured it out yet? In order to use the internet, I had to leave my bungalow near the beach, get on a tram and to go to the lobby. Well, that decision was rather easy to make. To keep people updated or save my cellphone bill from roaming charges? I think not! In hindsight, it wasn't that serious to me. No one needs an all access pass to every step or one’s whereabouts anyway. I forewent technology and relaxed. That’s what I came here for anyway.
Now, I can't lie. That first day nearly drove me crazy not being able to plug in. I'm so used to updating tweeting, posting and texting that the simple joys of life have started to pass me by. The beauty of God’s craftsmanship, a peacock perched on a branch, a flamingo in a lagoon and a hibiscus flower budding for the first time are the few things that amazed me. While unplugged, I had to get reacquainted with me; not Charlie or Charlie Marcol but CMJ. I get lost in the shuffle trying to juggle it all that I forget to make time for me. I learned some important lessons that weren't taught in school, tried new things, detoxed on an ocean, had an experience with Mamajuana, (Mamajuana needs a blog all by herself) let fish feast on my feet, and I moved at my pace. Time was not a factor on this vacation. Thank God because it's never on my side. More importantly, I remembered why the best things in life are free.
A smile, laughter, a good soul cleansing cry became the theme early on. I didn’t have to act tough or have it all together in the Caribbean. These people didn’t know me or my story. They could hardly say my name, instead they embraced me and was happy that I came. Watching these people work tirelessly day in and day out, singing a song from their heart without complaining, I rediscovered what it means to be in a peaceful place in your spirit. They were thankful to see a new day, tips we left and things we take for granted such as family, being alive and the facilities of our body. A peace of mind is priceless and it is nothing in the world like it. We are so busy chasing unrealistic dreams, impressing others with wealth that we don’t’ have and putting on airs that we too forget about that real peace. Peace that allows one to sleep at night and productivity throughout the day. Finding it didn't cost me one red cent, a credit card swipe, or a check cashed. It is that peace of mind to be free, to love and accept me for who I am, and to release those things in life that don't matter that cause stress. Many long for sweet peace that passes all understanding. As I walked along the fluffy white sandy beaches, lined with crystal clear waters deep in my thoughts, I made a choice not to let others control my emotions or their thoughts of me. On that beach I freed myself, and forgave myself for some mistakes that I brought upon myself. One of them being my failed marriage. I made peace with that decision as I walked those blissful shores. I released my disappointments on the sea to study war no more within myself. It was important and necessary that I did so. I have a testimony to share and I didn’t want that weight to keep me in bondage anymore. As I reflected, I have the peace of knowing God has me and this was a part of the journey to get me here. I even made peace with cutting ties that bring stress into my life. Being unplugged from the world, wasn’t so bad after all. It actually set my soul free.