Singles: Know That You Are Enough

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I’m sure a single person or two is thinking…”Dagnabit…another year with the same last name, or no one sporting my name!” I feel ya!

One of the biggest lies the single life tries to sell so many is that single people are incomplete alone. Through Christ Jesus all are whole, whether single, divorce, widowed, just dating, courting or otherwise. The ability to know that you are enough in whatever stage of singlehood you may find yourself is truly a blessing if you allow it. (And yes, I admit, that whole “allowing it” part is not always easy.)
Have you ever thought about what it must be like to be single and full of all the joy life at this moment intends you to have? Have you ever thought about how good it would feel to still have aspirations for life to transform, if marriage is your heart’s desire, but be absolutely focused on, and content with where God has you right now?

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If you don’t know that you are enough “as is” then certainly no man or woman will be able to add to, enhance or improve you. So often singles spend so much time looking for someone to fall in love with when they’ve not fallen in love with God and definitely haven’t fallen in love with themselves. I speak that as my truth in my various forms of singleness. Often when you have fallen in love before and that love has left or was lost people tend to shy away from the one Man who’s been there all along…our Father.
So on Valentine’s Day why don’t you go ahead and embrace where you are, even if it’s not where you want to be, where you used to be or where you desire to end up?

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  • If you don’t have a boo or babe (I shan’t say bae!) take yourself out to eat.
  • Go to the movies alone and laugh out loud if you want to (at least no one will be sitting next to you nudging you to be quiet).
  • Spend time with good girl or guy friends. On a day like V’Day, the funnier the people the better.
  • Send yourself flowers or an Edible Arrangement “just because”.
  • If you do have someone special and you all aren’t united in holy matrimony just yet, enjoy where you are together in a way that shows God you’re serious about being trusted for more together. I know it’s hard, but do something fun and “risk-free” instead of risque.
  • If you’re divorced, especially with children, use this day of love to reflect on the beautiful things that were birthed out of your union whether they be spiritual, natural or tangible.
  • Start some new “Love Day” traditions. Gather for dinner or bowling or skating with others who are single, widowed, in divorced or separated circumstances (Not your angry, bitter, “girl if I was you I would…” friends though. Pray for them and leave them at the house…alone).
  •  If you’re widowed, use this day to allow others to shower you with the love you deserve. Reflect on fond and fun memories and let today be a launching pad to create more with the loved ones that remain.
  • If it’s truly difficult for you to embrace where you are as a single person, especially on Valentine’s Day, do know that that’s absolutely okay especially if life’s challenges with your relationship status are recent or still hurtful. But whatever you do, don’t let this day be one of wallowing, self-pity and self-degradation. Surround yourself with those with cups of joy and love overflowing on your behalf.
  • And regardless of what state of singlehood you’re in tell yourself “I love you”. (over and over if necessary.)

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Being single is not the pits. In fact, it’s preparation for greater however that may come. Singles should all strive to use the state of being single as just the right setting to get to know who you are, and always know that you are enough!

@AngelaMichele316

Why I Celebrate the Life of Whitney Houston

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As we reflect tonight on the life of Whitney Houston, sparked by the release of the Lifetime Movie Whitney I recall this post from 2012. My thoughts of the movie will not be mentioned. I’ll simply say rest in peace Whitney Houston.

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February 18, 2012

I remember being a young girl at Homewood Middle School in the 1980’s. I was tall, lanky, awkwardly poised, secretly shy, different, uncertain of myself and I never really fit in. I grew up in Birmingham’s West End, an urban oasis that was home, but I never really fit in. Then I heard a voice, and saw a video that put my life at that point in perspective. In retrospect, I should not have been listening to songs like “Saving All My Love” and “You Give Good Love”, but I did and I loved them! Even more, I loved seeing a woman who reminded me of the me I wanted to be. She was tall, graceful, and poised. But underneath, I could see a bit of urban, street edge that radiated through her captivating voice. I knew she was from Newark, NJ, another urban oasis, but something about her didn’t feel urban. That was me. I knew she sang pop, but something about her didn’t feel pop. That was me. To me, at that age, she was the perfect combination of two worlds having to come together, just as my world of black and white had to come together in my own little teenage life. In that regard I related to Whitney.

Fastforward to her love life, particularly with Bobby Brown and again I felt a connection. Let me just be real, my choice in boyfriends was probably not what some who thought they knew me would have expected, starting right with my first love and carrying on from there. But I understood her love for him and realize the courage it must take to love when others don’t understand. In that regard I related, and STILL relate to Whitney.

I remember “Waiting to Exhale” and thinking of how absolutely close I felt to her character Savannah. My friends and I LOVED that movie and each had a character. No, I didn’t date married men like Savannah, but, I was in television at the time like she was, and boy-oh-boy, did I feel like I would never find the right one, and part of that was because I was always finding the wrong one. I remember “Cinderella”, “The Preacher’s Wife”, “The Bodyguard” and her movies that spoke to me of the importance of the end being better than the start, and definitely the middle of a thing. In that regard, I related to Whitney.

I’ve never drank or done any drugs in my life, but loved ones of mine have dealt with drug/alcohol addiction in major ways. I too have overcome troubles like overeating, overspending, and over-shopping. Did my loved ones purpose to have their lives take the road of destruction it took? Absolutely not! Thank GOD my loved ones have overcome their addictions and are daily healing. Did I purpose to have my struggles take me down the road I went? Absolutely not! Thank God I overcame and I’m healthy and whole! Do I believe Whitney Houston purposed to go the winding path she journeyed? Absolutely not!!!!!!!! But hurt, pain, peer influences, personal and public pressures, people who love you one day and hate you the other, genetics, generational issues, bad choices, lack of reliance on God or not truly loving who we are can take all of us down roads we don’t mean to travel if we aren’t careful. In that regard, I related to Whitney.

So here I am thinking of her life on the day of her homegoing, typing feverishly (I’m sure with all kinds of errors) before I go to watch her funeral with my sister eating Chinese Food, Coca-Cola and peach cobbler.

I choose to think of her music, because I remember the times when her music (and God) was all my little mind thought I had, especially when she belted out a Gospel song like only a testimony like hers could do. I remember singing and dancing to her songs during times of celebration. I remember crying over loss(es) while her album played on my record player and finally my boom box in my room.

I choose to pray for her family, staff, management, and mourners alike who are dealing with incredible loss. I stop to think of the times I might have laughed at a joke about her or repeated a famous “unfortunate” quote she made to Diane Sawyer not understanding the hurt that was behind it all…. and I repent.

But most importantly, I choose to remember the last visual and vocal message she left the world in her impromptu rendition with Kelly Price of “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”…because certainly HE does!!!!!! Whitney is proof that regardless of what we do or have done, HE loves us, and we have a right to love Him! In that regard, I relate to Whitney!

@AngelaMMoore316

I’m Thinking About Going Back

“Are you ever going back” is a question I’ve been asked a time or two over the last several years. The answers to questions regarding the professional are still yet to be seen. The personal? That’s concretely concluded. But there’s one question that lingers regarding my mane that stumps even me from time to time.

My journey with hair, my own and that from others, has been an unpredictable one. As I reflected back to the many looks of my hair and other’s hair on my crown it dawned on me that I’m thinking about going back. I’m thinking about giving the wigs a vacation and seeing what lies beneath:) 

I’m the most avid fan of hair accessories. I’ve tried weaves, wigs, and braids over the years and have truly appreciated them all being there for me during my time of need. Not just for cosmetic purposes, but hair accessories have certainly been my “go to girls” for times of trouble that have come too many times to matter at this point. I’ve lost hair to Graves Disease and anesthesia. I’ve lost it to “at home in the kitchen do it yourself perm and color on the same day kits”. I’ve had to take a hair hiatus to recuperate from a couple of surgeries and in dealing with what they say will be a life-long battle with lymphedema (As Sweet Brown says…Ain’t nobody got time for that!) 

I’ll be the first to admit that I was anti-other’s hair in the beginning. I remember secretly thinking “I’ll never do that” as my sister sported a black, Lil Kim-style, bob wig one summer in the 90s. She looked cute, but I just couldn’t see it for me. I’ve since grown to love the bit of “spice” changing hair can give. I’ve grown accustomed to not having to curl my hair in the mornings and saving my arm with lymphedema a great deal of pain. I’ve appreciated the weave being there for me during special occasions and how tree braids came to my rescue just before surgery, stayed with me for years and granted my lavish locks down my back. I’ve relished in the notion of “giving my hair a break” and not having to display my all-natural coif. I’ve even been empowered by the questions and comments from people who have known my health struggles and the help my hair accessories have offered me. Regardless of what’s been on my head, I’ve always wanted women to know that they can be as fabulous as they want to be with a little help if needed…and when you’re at your worst it’s okay to look your best.

With that all said, I’m still thinking about going back. Taking a trip down memory lane I saw pictures that reminded me of the precision, unmovable layers cut with a custom-created Honey Auburn color by Patrice Ethridge. I remembered how I missed the healthy, long locks and the “gone with the wind, but not blown by the wind curls” only expertly styled by Toya Long. I thought about what kind of message I might send if I decided (if only for a while) to take it all off. Let’s be clear. I’m 40. I have Scott and Johnson in my blood which brings along with it a great deal of wisdom and gradually thinning hair. My hair and I have been through a lot. I don’t expect to uncover a resurrection of the old, but I’m thinking about giving the new a try and being fine with whatever that may be. Who knows what I might discover? I may just like what I see. And as an ode to India Arie, I’m always mindful that “I am not my hair” and I’m not anybody else’s either. Regardless of what’s on my head what’s in my heart is what matters most.

-Angela Moore

Gaining and Maintaining Talk That Matters

You may not play games, but you’re definitely on a team. Building relationships, friendships, families, and healthy co-worker associations is all about teamwork. Often, lack of communication can be the downfall of a great, productive relationship. Ask me. I know. In the past, my mouth has gotten me into some mess that’s too much for blogging.

Through my own trial and error, and honestly through some of the actions of others, I’ve learned that there are a few ways to make sure communication doesn’t keep us from successful associations. However, taking a note from Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, “It takes two to make a thing go right.”

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So how do you gain and maintain talk that matters?

1.    Determine the best way to communicate based on each person’s preference. Ask the other person which method of communication is preferred. Mornings? Nights? Email? Phone? Face-to-face? Thirty minutes after coming into the house from work, or arriving at work? An hour after putting the kids to bed?

2.    Be upfront, honest and respectful in communicating. Be willing to adjust, where needed, based on what is shared.

3.    Avoid “You” statements, accusatory tones, and defensive responses, especially during tough talks.

4.    Clearly define roles, making sure each person understands what is expected regarding roles, projects and performance.

5.    Open your mouth. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

6.    Open your heart and ears. Don’t be opposed to truly listening, thoroughly and without pre-determining the direction or outcome of the conversation.

7.    Have an “I’m sorry”, “I apologize”,  “My bad” or “Oops” always in reserve.

8.    Include each other on communication with others when it relates to shared responsibilities.

9.    Be mindful of the other person’s way of processing thoughts, ideas and feedback.

10.  Be specific and thorough in your communication with others including as much detail as possible prior to approaching a matter. Don’t do a detail overload though.

11.  Meet and talk often to stay abreast of goings on and coming up.

12.  Keep excellent records of communications with others (and each other) regarding shared duties.

13.  Make sure respect of the role of the other person is at the forefront.

14.  Address tough issues as early as possible as to not allow time to fester and to come to a quicker resolve.

15.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the experts to keep communication flowing. Talk is like plumbing. Sometimes we need an expert to come in and get rid of the, shall we say, sewage.

At the end of the day, always remember that a good talk (and some even better listening) can go a long way. 

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@AngelaMMoore316

We Don’t Have a Patent on Problems

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Problems can be interesting instruments.  Many of the greatest businesses, solutions and associations have been birthed after the demise of other businesses, solutions and associations. On the flipside, many of the greatest businesses, solutions and associations have died after the demise other businesses, solutions and associations. Problems are like an electrical socket. If you come in contact with it the wrong way it can hurt, but like an electrical socket, problems can give us power if we use it. The key is to plug in and use it!

Years ago I watched my now nearly five-year-old niece develop, I was amazed at how the process of learning had taken on a tremendously different approach for her. Whether through learning how to walk, how to dance or how to say her name, each time she tried, whether she had difficulty doing it or even failed at her attempt, there was nothing within her that told her not to try again.  Instantly, almost instinctively she would try again.  Even more, when she did fall while trying to run or leave out a few syllables while saying her name we would rally around her telling her how proud of her we were, how she could do it, and we always encouraged her to try again. And like second nature, she tried again, and again, and again. Now she’s a singing, dancing, modeling, actress-in-the-making that’s just waiting on a call from Oprah. She’s also a big sister of a precious little sister that she loves to encourage to “be a big girl like her”.

So let me pose a question.  Why is it the older we get the more problems seem to have a hold on some of us?  It’s like we’ve bought stocks and shares in the “too little, too late” system.  All that we’ve ever done was once never done until someone did it. We just had to do it.  At some point we have to try, and try again allowing problems and failure to be the fuel to our success. The message of the world is that problems are permanent and failure is final. Newsflash, honey…the devil is a lie (or liar, as some say in the grammatically correct form.)

We don’t have the patent on problems, people! Our mistakes are nothing new to the person who’s already made it so we owe it to ourselves to move on.  What we’ve done, didn’t do or need to do over should never, ever define or deter us. They should be fuel to an ever-burning fire that always takes us further. It’s about time we put our problems on our payroll and make them pay off.

@AngelaMMoore316

Who Do You Love?

Ladies,

Nearly 45 years on this earth, with more than 30 years of it devoted to loving men, and mostly the wrong ones, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that looks are great, but they can fade. Money is important, but not of most importance. Swag, sex and smooth words are wonderful, but can wane in one moment. Clothes, cars, and popularity are popular, but can change like the seasons. It’s all about who you love.

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Love a man who loves and likes you, and a man who you like and love. Love a man who you still love even when you don’t like his actions. Give your heart to the one that will help you as you help him. Delight in the man who is not perfect, but is perfect for you. Choose the man who consistently works on his weaknesses, helps you with yours and celebrates your strengths while sharing his at the same time. Love the man who is open to learn and able to teach. Be with the one whose spiritual fortitude shines even if the physical or financial waiver. Love the man not afraid to work and make things work for the sake of his family. Trust your heart to the one whose history propels your destiny. Choose the one who prays for, and has LOTS OF patience with you. Love a man who’s shown he can come back from personal setbacks and not step back from personal responsibilitie­s. Be with the one who makes you smile, makes you feel special, makes you feel safe, makes you crack up with laughter from things only the two of you can appreciate. Love the man who steps up to change tires, diapers, atmospheres and generations (for the better). Love the man who isn’t afraid of saying “sorry”. Love a man who ushers in forgiveness even when you don’t want to. Love the man who knows the worst about you and still sees and calls forth the best (even in times when you can’t do it for yourself.) Love the man who is willing to cook or dance in the kitchen or paint your toenails or oil your scalp (even the part hiding under the weave.) Mostly, and more importantly, love the man who, through his faults, flaws and all sincerely seeks to please God through his love for you.

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@AngelaMichele316