Single or Childless and Free to Roam


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Free to Roam – You Choose

“Don’t you want to get married?” “Don’t you want to have children?” Those who are single and childless arrive at that status by different means. No matter how you got to that point, there is a stigma and social isolation. However, God gave you one life to live so brush of the Debbie-downers and enjoy it.

The stigma is that there is something shamefully wrong with you for being in either of those categories. If you are single, then there is a defect in your personality why a man or woman did not want to be with you. If you are childless, then you must be selfish for not wanting kids or you are having fertility issues.  The Reality is there is NO SHAME in being single or childless. It is your business and no one else’s. By now, you have ran out of reasons to tell people because no matter what you say that reason is not good enough. So, here is a solution – stop providing an answer, let people think whatever they want because they always do. People choose not to understand because they feel uncomfortable with your status. Plus,  they will always think their lives are better than yours no matter how screwed up things are in theirs.  Quit worrying about other’s opinion and do your own thing.

The stigma that you are unfulfilled in your life and you will never be happy. The reality is some singles will feel unfulfilled and sad while other singles will go out and live – it is all a choice. You can stay cooped up at home and throw one long pity party or you can see what the world around you has to offer and get involved. The other reality is there are married with family people who are unfulfilled and unhappy. So, this is not a single problem but an individual choice problem. Singles have an advantage because they are not tied down and are free to change things with little impact on others.

The social isolation from friends and family who intentionally leave you out of family oriented activities. The reality is relationships change due to life changes. The married person has other priorities which is how things should be for them. The single person need to accept that and find like-minded people who share their status. It does not mean that the connection ends but it has to change. Find other singles or childless people your age and plan activities with them. If you do a simple internet search, you will find lots of groups or try Meetup.com

The presumption that you do not like children and feel sad or jealous around couples or families. The reality is some singles or childless do feel jealousy particularly if this is something they wanted-that’s life! However, not everyone is envious of someone who is  married or a parent. Some childless people like kids and do well with them for short periods but do not want children. Some singles like being single (this does not require additional explanation). The other reality is some people’s kids are demon-children and no one wants to be around them, some people are shitty parents and no one wants to be around them either, some marriages are relationships made in hell which will make anyone want to ran further away. Solution: Get together with people who respect your choices.

The assumption that you are desperate to get out of the role of single and childless. The reality is that can be true for some. However, it never occurred to others that some people do not make good partners or parents. It takes a lot of work to be in a good relationship or be a good parent and not everyone wants to rush into that role or even want that role. Solution: Avoid people who keep bringing the pity-party to you. They are just mean-spirited people who cannot see beyond their idealized world.

The assumption that you are not allowed to or can give sensible relationship and parenting advice based off your experiences with kids, relationship or observations. The reality is most often, common sense is common sense and it does not take being married or a parent to see certain things. If all it took was a change in status to be an expert, then divorce, therapists, DV shelters and CPS would be nonexistent. Yes, there are some situations that require previous experiences to have a much clearer insight; however, those are few and far between. Often times you will need both to help – the person who has been there in order to have a shared experience and the person who sees a bigger picture because they haven’t been there.

The blatant truth: Many married and family couples live very boring, mundane and monotonous lives and events they consider to be interesting is in essence not . While Johnny’s poop story is funny and Mike ‘s mowing mishap is hair raising, it is usually the most excitement they experienced in a long time. Marriage and family comes with certain responsibilities which does not scream excitement for most couples; It’s just life. A single and childless person have the freedom to roam and do more because there are limited barriers. The single and childless who take advantage of this are the ones who are more fulfilled.

The bottom line is people will judge because you are outside the norm. Relationships will change and some people will treat you like a leper. Solution: Develop the I-don’t-give-a-**** attitude and build your life the way it suits you. When you periodically look back at your life, you will either have major regrets or a wealth of experience that were enjoyable and interesting.

Anti-Pity Party Exercise: If you still use a calendar, look over your last few months and upcoming months to track how often you made a date to do something you enjoyed. If it is blank, then get off your butt and find something to do.  Not sure where to start?? E.g. My activity calendar in the past  4 weeks: 1 overnight beach trip, 1 local town street fair with a walk in the park afterwards, 1 hike with a social group, (missed event: a car show). Upcoming events: 1 Air show, a paint nite and I will add as I go. So what are you planning to do?

 

 

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Who Loves You Baby?


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Love, feeling needed, important, appreciated and respected to someone are universal wants for most people. We get into relationships in search of those things and when we find them, then those are the best moments in our lives. For those who have not experienced any of those feelings, then there is an emptiness. A strong emptiness that needs to be filled.

The fortunate group will find this with friends, family and/or a partner. There is nothing more hopeful than listening to someone who has experienced or is still experiencing such a profound connection to someone. It radiates, it seeps out, it is contagious. It is how God intended the world to be and how we should relate to others.

The unfortunate group who have either never had this or have loss this connection to others are plentiful and recognizable through sadness, anger, anxiety, withdrawal, depression, and feels broken. Perpetual disconnection and feeling unloved or unimportant changes people into a shadow of what God intended them to be. Some will give up and others will look for that connection in all the wrong places. We are fallible humans!

Who loves you baby? How do you know when someone has your best interest at heart versus their own interest? How do you know someone is good for you or are you good for them?

1  Growth – Is that person helping you to improve your character? Are you being encouraged to be the best you possible? Does the person help you to feel good or bad about yourself?

2. Boundaries – Does the person respect your rules and not push you do things that may hurt emotionally, spiritually, psychologically or physically? Do they value what is important to you?

3. Listen – Are you being heard? Are your requests and wishes being ignored? Your words falling on ‘deaf ears’? Can you express yourself openly without being made to feel stupid?

4. Honor & Respect – Is that person’s behavior towards you and people you care about honorable? Are you valued as someone important in his/her life? Or are you just the convenient available person or a ‘piece of meat?’ For singles: Are you kept in the shadows, strung along or you are someone’s quiet ‘dirty secret’?

5. Actions – Does that person’s decisions and behaviors lead to hurting you emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually while benefiting him/herself?

6. Evasive – Are there things about this person that remains a mystery and s/he does not feel the need to share with you? Are there things that the person avoids? Are you always left wondering?

7. Support – If you need that person, can s/he be there for you when things are going good or bad?

In our search for connection and belonging, we forget that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and it is our responsibility to value ourselves and teach others to do the same.

 

While You are Waiting


IMG_2535[1]Wait on the Lord’ is a very well-known phrase that most Christian singles have heard or say to themselves or others. Here are some Bible verses (Psalms 27: 14; 62:1; Isaiah 40: 31; 64:4) to support that idea. I have no contradictions when it comes to waiting on God; however, I do have some suggestions while  you are waiting.

  1. Be comfortable in your skin. Too often singles are waiting for someone to come into their lives and make them whole (ie. not God). No one else can accomplish such a feat except for the individual. If you recognize that you are missing something in your life then go find it. Get to know yourself intimately. A confident person is an attractive person.
  2. Enjoy life because tomorrow is not promised. Have fun! There are so many things out there to see, discover, experience and explore. When was the last time you went to a museum? Ate at a new restaurant? Take a vacation or staycation? Go to a free outdoor concert? Or even take a walk in the park?
  3. Listen to your own voice. Singles can become consumed with what everyone else thinks, is doing, and saying versus listening to their inner person. You are an adult capable of independent thoughts so use them.
  4. Get up and out. Sitting around day after day moping about being single makes you a pathetic dull person. What do you have to offer to someone else besides whining? If you made your home a prison, then you can free yourself.
  5. Explore. You are responsible for making your life interesting or boring. The internet is a great place to start looking for what’s going on in your area. Be a tourist in your city or state and you will find lots of things to do.
  6. Be adventurous. Choose something that’s on your bucket list. Don’t have a bucket list? Then create one.
  7. Be interesting. The most interesting people are the ones who live their God-given lives not the ones who sit around on social media all day every day. Plus, if you are out doing something and taking pictures of your adventures, then you will actually have something useful to share on social media.
  8. Volunteer. There are so many good causes that could use a helping hand. Volunteer on occasion and see life through someone else’s life.
  9. Become the person with whom you want to be in a relationship. If you would not date yourself, then why would you offer that to someone else?? Be proud of who are and the good things you have done with the time God has granted you. Build your character.
  10. Take charge. Change and growth is your responsibility
  11. Be kind to yourself. Take care of your mind, body and spirit. Too often we carry regrets, we eat poorly, worry and engage in things that break the soul.
  12. Love yourself the way you believe God loves you

 

When Religion Brings Out the Worst


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Religions are so diverse there is a flavor for everyone. The universal idealism of religion is that it is supposed to be a guide in how to live a good life, how to treat others and ultimately getting a good reward in the end. One can extrapolate that this goes for majority of the world religions. While this idea is wonderful, the reality can be a stark contrast.

Who is right? Every religious entity will tell you it is the right one. It is the one true path for life and the afterlife. There is so much conflict and fighting for who has the truth that it has pitted man against man from the inception of religion.

Man’s interpretation. The Bible, the Torah, the Koran and countless other manuscripts have been written ‘by God’ or God-inspired but always with a male cultural twist. The things that were the norm 1000 years ago is not the same as those 10 years ago or today. Religion is struggling to keep up with the changing norms that it requires interpretation after interpretation in order to be relevant. The problem with these interpretations or extrapolations is that they are usually reflective of the person’s own experiences and convictions. i.e. It was heretic to suggest that the earth was round and not the center of the universe, women were burnt at the stake for being witches, menstruating women were shunned and considered unclean, and many illness were  consequences for someone’s sin.

Ignorance of culture. A die-hard believer will tell you culture has no place in religion. However, they read from interpretations of old manuscripts with references that do not always apply today or they have no reference for things today that were previously unimaginable-heart transplant, airplanes, nuclear bombs. Think about it-the working women of the old days were prostitutes, if the elderly or women had no families or men to care for them (Ruth and Naomi), then their lives would be destitute. Girls were married as young as 13y/o and it was almost impossible for a man to transition out of the station of life in which he was born. Christian practices differ depending on where you live or from differing households.

Religion breeds anger and hatred. The quickest way to create animosity is to put two people with differing religious beliefs in the same room. Due to each person’s interpretation, even those who claim to belong to the same denomination cannot always agree. The religious zealots can be so dogmatic that if you do not agree, then you are automatically sinful and going to hell. If you want to see how easily a Christian can sin, then challenge his or her beliefs.

Happy Christian? When someone drill in your head all the don’ts, you spend your life being very conscious of every boundaries or rules you should not cross. This can make Christian life very miserable. Look at the 10 commandments Exodus 20 and even the Love chapter 1 Corin 13 and make note of all the don’ts. What if they were written in the positives? Your God is the only God you should love and service. There is no need for graven images because he is always with you. You should always honor life which is a blessing from God. You should be respectful of things that belong to others, you should give God praise when your neighbor is blessed etc. What would happen if Christians speak that way to others?

Getting Caught Up. The highly religious are so quick to write you off when you are “doing something wrong” in their eyes. They are quick to judge very harshly, they are quick to condemn, they are quick to slap you with the ‘good book’ than share, they are quick to shut you down than listen, they are quick to be right and therefore be righteous.  We keep forgetting that there are so many ways to worship: John the Baptist did things differently from Peter, who was different from Paul, who was different from Mother Theresa who was different from the Chaplain on the battlefield of Afghanistan or the lay woman in Uganda.  We constantly put God in our own narrow box and call that truth.

God’s Agenda. God did NOT promise everyone that they would get all the desires of their hearts no matter how good it sounds. King David wanted to build the temple but it was taken away from him and given to his son King Solomon. The only guarantee that the New Testament made was about an afterlife which is either good or bad (most people cannot agree on what those will truly look like); however, for everything before that, life is either choices or predestined (depends on your interpretation).  So, telling others that they are putting things out of God’s order or trying to rush his agenda makes no sense if you believe that God is always in control no matter what. Believe it or not, sometimes good things can come out of bad choices, situations or mistakes. Sometimes you do everything right and it all turns out poorly. Who is to say that was not God’s plan? After all, Christians believe Judas’ betrayal which played a part in Jesus’ suffering and death was the catalyst for something good.

Religion is not all bad or all good. It is usually the way we interpret it and implement it in our lives. One person uses religion to chop off someone’s head while someone else uses it to feed the poor. One person uses it to uplift someone while the other person uses it to cast judgment. One person finds freedom while someone uses to restrict and confine. I was taught to be dogmatic in my beliefs and take the interpretation of others as gospel. The moment I broke away from such rigidity, I realized there was more freedom to understand God, conflict, doubt and also more relevant and real life applicable questions that does not have clear Biblical answers.

 

 

Things that Irritate Singles


If you have been single past the age of 25 and Christian,  people will always make certain comments particularly to women. There are a few pet peeves that just irritates the daylights out of me.

  1. You are preparing to be someone’s wife. Wrong! I am not preparing or have ever prepared myself to be anyone’s wife. My parents did an amazing job teaching me how to be a decent self-sufficient person and when I took over the responsibility, I kept learning more about me and my place in the world. If I happen to meet a person who loves what I have done with myself, then so be it. However, I did not create some arbitrary set of characteristics for an imaginary man I may or may not meet in the future.
    1. It would better to say. What have you been doing with yourself? I like what you have been doing with your life. I pray God blesses you with someone who can share your life. So, ladies, go find yourself because marriage will never give you an identity.
  2. I know God will send him to you. No you don’t. The last time I checked you did not have a direct line to God’s plans. You may or may not be blessed with someone in your life. Not every man or woman on the this earth is in a healthy long-lasting relationship.
    1. It would be better to say. I pray God brings someone suitable in your life and give you companionship that is best for you. This is assuming the person wants a relationship.
  3. Let me set you up with…. Why is it that everyone wants to set you up with the least desirable and most incompatible of people? This ‘set up’ scheme is as helpful as swiping left or right based off of one criteria the person is single. There is more to having a connection that being single.
    1. It would be better to do your research ie. likes, dislikes, do they have ANYTHING in common, about the people you plan to set up and ‘sell’ their qualities to the other person. If there is an interest, then ask if it would be okay to arrange a meeting in a friendly no pressure setting or provide the contact information to the other person.
  4. When you get married, then you will understand. One of the reasons why most marriages fall apart is because they did not take the time to understand the basic requirements of marriage before getting married. There is no great mystery to marriage. No two marriages are ever alike because the two people in the relationship are not the same as every other married couple. For example, one husband spends time with his children while another husband spends time and money on video games and leaves most of the parenting to the wife. So, do you have to be married to know which is more important in having a healthy relationship with your children?
    1. It would be better to say. This is what or how things work in our house and you might be looking for this or maybe you would be okay with something different.
  5. You are single so you can do… for me. It is amazing how many people try to take advantage of singles and their time because you are single. If someone is asking you to do something unreasonable, ask the person if she would be willing to do the same thing for you? People who are in a family unit assume that your single free time is available for their use while their free time is for their family. There is an absurd expectation that the single person should always make accommodations for others.
    1. It would be better to recognize that you are being an unreasonable a**hole. It would be polite and appropriate to ask for help and if the single can, then so be it. If the single person cannot, then do not keep badgering. FYI- other people’s constant expectations can cause stress and burn out. It is fair to say that the person in the relationship will not give enough of his/her spare time to the single man or woman in order to be a support when the person needs it.
  6. You need to get out more. How about you need to get out more! It is perfectly okay for the couple or family to rarely go out because they have lots to do at home but it is forbidden that the single wants to hibernate every now and then. There is almost a ridiculous expectation that a single person needs to be out and about every waking moment in order to meet Mr/Ms Right.
    1. It would be better to ask what activities do the person have an interest in and are doing. How about offering to be a wingman on occasion?
  7. You can fix him/her. The single person didn’t know s/he is a handy wo/man. So, did you start with a fixer upper? How do you know the single wants to ‘fix’ anyone? How do you know the person can be fixed? This concept of fixing people is a ludicrous notion that almost every couple knows too well.
    1. It would be better to keep your mouth closed and not show your ignorance. Carrying someone else’s burden is a cross Jesus borne. Each person has his own cross to bear and problems to fix. When people know you and care for you, then they will have your best interest at heart and that will reflect in the person they suggest who could be suitable for you. Enough said!
  8. The point. If you are one of those people, then please think before you become a nuisance. Couples are in such a hurry to see singles married or in a relationship that they unintentionally create a ridiculous fairytale (not even they are living) and  forget they are interfering in a person’s life. Most often, a single person truly needs your support, time and knowing that you give a sh*t instead of some half crazed match making scheme that’s more than likely NOT on God’s agenda.

 

Riding the Edge


I’m on the edge’ that nebulous edge that is unique for different people. It can be scary, exhilarating, experimental, depressing,  or even dark. It is that edge most people tell themselves they will never cross. It is the ‘it will never happen to me’ place. Well, that is until you find yourself in a state of mind in which you have not only crossed the line but have gone deep beyond it and is at risk of losing one’s self.

It is the edge in which life is out of control and suicide seems like a good option. It is the edge when a good girl from a good upbringing stays with an abusive husband. It is when a faithful church-going Christian loses his strong faith. It is when a marriage is shaky and the grass looks greener some place else. It is when a smart man makes bad decisions and compromises his integrity. It is when someone has loss his/her perspective; loss his/her way.

People cross that edge when they have loss sight of or is missing something important in their lives.  A man who is desperate for love, a family in financial difficulties, or a Christian whose desperate  prayers are not answered.  You have created dreams and expectations for your lives, you have an image as to what you need and what will make you happy. However, for many people, their dreams and their reality are never the same. The stark truth can be overwhelming which pushes them into an unfamiliar place that was never imagined or intended. The place of bad compromise, lying, cheating, stealing, deception, anger and disappointed with God, the place of rebellion, defiance, doubt, shame and a slow erosion of one’s identity, self-esteem, strength, values, confidence, integrity and one’s self.

A desperate man will grasp at anything. So, the problem with riding and crossing the edge is that people are frantically searching for anything to put that dream back together, to find meaning and purpose in their lives. They are desperate for that happy ending and the ideal life that was never promised.

How do you move back from the edge? Slowly, prayerfully and carefully. People’s lives and dreams did not just fall apart in a day. It took time and accumulation of little things to get you to that edge so, it will take time, STRENGTH, dedication, and small steps to get you back on track. It is easier to fall into a hole than to climb out of it so expect moments of fear, weakness, setbacks, and self-doubt. It is all a part of the learning process.

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Is It Time To Move?


 

We sit and wait then sit and wait some more because we are waiting for a ‘sign’ or the right time. The problem that comes with always sitting and waiting is that we miss many opportunities to start goals, pursue a dream, follow God’s plan, get ourselves together and live life. While there is a time and place for everything, most people become complacent in wanting things to be handed to them in order to make a move.

Failure does not only come from trying but it also comes from sitting still. It comes from being quiet when watching a spouse self-destruct, it comes from being afraid, it comes from being set in our comfort zone, it comes from allowing others to hold us back. We fail to grow.

Just as a church body can become stagnant  and ineffective from closing themselves off and keeping the status quo, so can the Christian or any one become dead to self. Jesus was never in one place. He moved about doing his thing. What he had was his beliefs and determination of self. He also took the time to sit quietly for reflection and understanding.

Christian singles are told to wait on the Lord. Well, waiting on the lord does not mean locked in the house praying. A mother who needs a break does not get it by keeping the regular schedule day plan. The person who wants to finally go after his/her dreams does not do so by still dreaming and talking about it. I am guilty of delaying a childhood dream.

A good friend of mine is in a different place in her life than she was one year ago. She took a detour from a lucrative career to help her new husband start his business. I am sure the picture of her life a year ago has no resemblance to what it is now which is putting her on a different path. The point is moving is not all bad and while there will be some hurdles and scary stuff to face, it is definitely a step worth taking.

Get off your butt and take the first step to move. https://www.facebook.com/singlechristianwomen/

 

Men Need Love (too)


The concept that men are emotionally constructed so differently in which they do not experience the same feelings as women is a destructive but pervasive thought which is passed from one woman to the next.

I cannot place any greater emphasis on the importance of communication. Within the last week, I became personally aware of how much women take men’s feelings and emotional needs for granted.

Men need love too. If I substituted women for men, then this statement would get a ‘duh’ reaction. However, there is an expectation that women should be showered with love but they are not expected to give as much back to men. Women use ‘I’ quite a bit such as ‘I need my man to do (x, y, z) to show that he loves me.’ Well, when was the last time you did x, y or z for your man to show him that you love him. Women want to hear men say “I love you” but how often do they say the same thing? Women should know what makes their men feel loved so do or say more of it because anything less is being selfish.

Men need to feel important too. Yes, women get it! Men have egos. News flash so do women and we at times need it to be fed. This is especially important with kids in the mix. Women become singularly focused on being mothers from birth to the child moving out which can be at the expense of ignoring the men’s value. His roles are not just to provide and protect the family and take out the trash. Women want to hear that they look beautiful and are good mothers but how many women tell their husbands they are good fathers (besides father’s day) and they look especially handsome that day? How many women brag about their men versus finding fault constantly?

Men’s self-esteem can be deeply impacted by your words too. Women can be very harsh and nasty with words. Imagine living in a household in which the person who is supposed to love you keeps cutting you down with mean words. Women be mindful of your words because they can build someone or destroy him. The more you chip away at a man’s self-esteem the less connected he will feel towards you. Men are cognizant and sensitive to how they look in the eyes of the women they love and your words reflect your feelings.

Men find the value in sex and intimacy. There is research evidence to show that men, on average, desire more sex than women. On the other hand, women want more intimacy. Let’s think about this logically. Sex was created for multiple purposes (not just during the honeymoon phase and for making babies) and when women just stop, it creates an imbalance and frustration for men. Let’s put this in an analogous perspective, you and your husband work to maintain the household and  suddenly he stops working or intermittently goes and find a job which he does not maintain without taking to you about what is going on with him. His lack of dependent financial contribution to the family funds and silence will create a significant source of stress and frustration for you. Sex can have such a high value for men because it is not just about the mechanics. Men also want to feel some connection (intimacy) with their women and that can be through sex and other things. So, denying sex without talking about it and not initiating intimacy can be interpreted to a man that he is not loved.

Men need to be given the opportunity to communicate their feelings in their own way. The popular concept of people having different love languages has merit. We are not all the same and therefore we express ourselves differently. Women can be bullies in communication-nagging, badgering, insulting, ego busting, passive-aggressive and excessive talking without listening. Many women have the gift of gab but they have to learn to shut up and listen. The woman is NOT always right – this is counter productive and damaging to good communication. Ask your man about his feelings and thoughts and let him tell you in his own way. Do not assume or assign your thoughts and feelings to him.

Men need someone to be their rock at times. Many women want a strong, tough, take charge guy. There is nothing wrong with those traits; however, women expect that he should be in rock mode all the time without having someone to lean on when he needs help. A lot of men will not show their vulnerability if they do not trust that the women will treat them with kindness when they need it. No one is always strong all the time and men cannot operate in that mode constantly. It is necessary for the woman to create that safe space for when her man needs someone else to be his rock.

Men can use your help. Just because ‘he’s got this’ does not mean that a woman cannot offer her help. Just because he is good at fixing the leaking sink, does not mean he cannot appreciate her handing him the wrench when he needs it. Even if he does not need her help, the act of asking may be a simple gesture but it shows care.

Men should not be hit PERIOD. This highly insane idea that a woman can slap a man in his face or hit him at all because she is angry is ridiculous. If a woman does not want a man to raise his hand at her, then a woman should NEVER engage in such an abusive behavior. While I do not believe in any sort of physical aggression, if a woman is disrespectful to slap a man, he should hit her back.

Men are equal partners in a relationship. If you are blessed to find a good and decent man, then follow the golden rule to do unto the man in your life as you would like him to do unto you.

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Accepting Death: Finding Comfort in a Belief in God


I am awake at an unreasonable hour due to a rare bad dream. The dream was unrealistic and something out of an exorcist episode; however, when I woke up, my first thought was towards a video that was forwarded to me. The video captured the death of some people in a car who were trapped in rushing flood waters. It was not the most appropriate video to forward and I deleted the message. I hate feeling like a spectator to such things.

The video resurfaced some death and dying issues I have been occasionally dealing with particularly after the sudden death of my young niece. Like most people, I am not unfamiliar with death and funerals but her passing was more bothersome due to her age and how sudden the body can go into distress without much forewarning. I thought I had made peace with the fear and accepted the inevitable of death but apparently not so well.

If you are a Christian, then you are familiar with the Bible’s occasional and scant details about life after death. For the faithful people,  they go to heaven where everything is rosy and the bad people get something else. As she laid lifeless, my thoughts were not about heaven or hell. The thing I remembered about the body of my niece was how empty she looked. There was no life and her body was just a stuffed shell. It is almost like a beautiful house that is vacant- it is no longer a home but a structure. I could not connect the person to the body. In my denomination, we interpret the Bible’s comparison of death to a person sleeping but the spirit is no longer there, the person is unaware of the happenings in the world and the spirit is at rest until the official judgment and resurrection day as talked about in Revelations.

The fear of death is prevalent in some cultures while in others, it is seen as a journey to embrace. I have to embrace some kind of positive belief about the afterlife in order to be at full peace with death.  For someone with Christian beliefs, that positive belief is in God. With the one year anniversary of her death about a month away and the terminal illness of my mother, the subject of death is very prominent and so is the subject of faith. I am not implying that I will be one of those who makes it through the Pearly Gates because my many sins are always before me. However, so is the ability to pray and I use it frequently. This is God’s show and I am just the player. Whatever the final judgment for my life, I cannot go through life with a fear of what is on the other side. It can become overwhelming particularly knowing that life is a gift that can be taken away at a moment. Plus, it is disturbing my sleep.

When someone is dying, he typically enjoys or cherishes the moments he has left. For those of us who do not have specific timelines, we freak and stress at the slightest things. I am very guilty. It has become standard practice that we cherish something more when we know we will lose it. I have never been afraid of living and I know that I have to restart my life and death  reconciliation. It is not an easy process being comfortable with the unknown, trusting the words of an age-old manuscript and having no eyewitness who can come back and give full details about life on the other side. It is just something I need to do by trusting in God. Everyone needs to have faith in something and God is my choice.

A quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi “Live as if you know you were to die tomorrow; Learn as if you were to live forever”

Spring Cleaning the Mind


The sun is shining; the temperature is getting warmer (to my liking above 70 degrees) and I have resumed my warm weather goal which is to be outside on every nice weekend. Usually, this is the time of year when people start to reassess and declutter,  for me, that is a must-do with my mind.

Winter has always been my most disliked season, I hate the cold and could never seem to get warm, the early sunset affects my sleeping habits negatively and I am very sedentary. I literally do the human hibernation with the exception for work and grocery shopping, I am inside under the covers. If I should do a self- diagnosis, I would say this winter I was struggling with seasonal affect disorder or exhibiting mild depressive symptoms.

My mood was taking a severe beating these past couple months and it was an immense struggle to use the cognitive interventions i.e. doing therapy on myself 🙂 . So here are my issues: I tend to ruminate on everything. I am solution oriented so when I see problems, then my mind goes to town on finding the solutions. I was ruminating on health issues in my family, being a good daughter, work, finances, my relationship/connectedness with the people in my life and feeling way too involved in people’s lives made extremely easy through Facebook. Coupled with the winter season, the struggle was real!

In the pursuit of practicing good mental hygiene, I decided to make some changes by spring cleaning my mind. Two weeks ago, I decided to cut back on Facebook. This is my only social media connection and over time, I noticed how much time I would spend going through my news feed to see what’s new – marriage, pregnancies, family moments, travel, bitter politics etc. It was all there being absorbed every time I logged on. Frankly, I am happy for other people’s happy moments but I started to notice how much I would compare me and my life even for things I never wanted or in which I have limited interest. Travel has always been a big thing for me so when I see old friends (people with whom I have no real connection besides social media) on vacations, I find myself being a little jealous “I should be doing that.”

After my cutback, I definitely noticed a mood change for the better. Two weeks of not being bombarded by people’s lives-fake or real-felt really good. Sadly, last night, I intended to do a quick Facebook check but it lasted over 1hr and the moment I was off, I noticed how much that clutter of seeing everyone’s stuff put me one step back. Behavior modification: I will not close my account right now but I will restrict how often and how much I view. If someone has something important to tell me, then they have my phone number or can messenger me; so everything else is irrelevant because that information was not intended for me.

Mind Spring Cleaning: I want to help fix things or give good guidance to the people who are closest in my life; hence, the reason why mental health was a draw. I will always be a good listener and I have ridged boundaries when it comes to work but not so much for friends and family. I take on their stuff as I perceive it to be an issue and want to reach out to help as much as I can. It is the desire to make sure I am doing my part as a good friend or family member or coworker when the person expresses a problem. However, it is very draining and extremely tiresome because I have my own stuff that I am also addressing but I am not getting that level of investment from others into me. Sure! so I tend to be the listener than the sharer which makes things lopsided. Sure! so I tend to have a barrier in place that limits my desire to share. Sure! so I think it is my responsibility to fix my own stuff. Behavior Modification: I can listen and be in the moment for the person but I will limit how much I take on mentally. Everyone has their own lives and it is not my job to carry their issues with me to the extent it is too much for me. If God is still listening, then I hand it over in prayer and put their stuff on the shelf.

Mind Spring Cleaning: I have certain expectations of myself and I transition them to the people around me. I wrongly expect certain things from others and when they do not come through then it leads to a sense of disappointment and often times feelings of hurt which leads to increasing my relationship barriers. Behavior Modification: I only have control over me. I have decided to adjust my expectations to whatever the person chooses to give. This will improve the relationship I have with the people closest to me. I need to be more aware of when I am starting to ruminate on the situation that led to feeling disappointment, hurt and frustration and redirect.

That is as much as I can work on right now. I am only one person and as a single, I am taking care of everything by myself which includes everything related to me and some issues related to other family members and my aging and ill parents. The reality is I do not have the mental closet space to fit other people’s stuff. It is my responsibility to take care of me in the best way possible. This is not to say that I will neglect my role as friend or family member but I need to limit how much I choose to carry with me.