Divorce 101: Look Ahead, Honey

Divorce has a dastardly way of trying to cause you to keep looking back and around, rather than forward.

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torn piece of paper with divorce text and paper couple figures

Some look back wondering why. Others look back questioning what if. Many look back full of regrets. While some get consumed with looking at what’s going on around wondering what the “ex” is doing, how well he or she is doing, waiting on their demise, being concerned with what people are thinking or caught up with what people are saying.

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Words from the Wise: Look ahead, honey. Be so unshakably focused on what’s ahead that you can’t be bothered with who or what is behind or around. Set your sights firmly on the newness awaiting and like a good HBCU marching band hurrying into formation just before the “break it all the way down” interlude or a perfectly perfected military regime know that FORWARD is the order of the day. #lookahead #marchon

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@AngelaMMoore316

Ladies, We Can’t Become That Girl

Hearing of a former spouse of a superstar who is now engaged to another superstar share a bit of “shade” regarding her exes engagement brought a point home. Breakups are hard. Ask me how I know. Seeing the one you broke up with or who broke up with you build a new relationship can be harder, especially if it’s public, even in our own little worlds. BUT, Ladies, we can’t be that girl. What girl you ask?

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We can’t become that girl who:

  • Talks about what happened ALL THE TIME.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the next boo, bae, wife or hunni of our ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Loses our identity when we lose a relationship.
  • Gets consumed with the goings-on of a person who is gone.
  • Engages our friends in the tomfoolery that is our newfound passion for being a part-time, unpaid private eye.
  • Compares our ex relationship with his next relationship.
  • Compares our next relationship with our ex relationship.
  • Doesn’t believe that the BEST is still yet to come, regardless.

We can’t become that girl, but we can be a better woman.

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@AngelaMMoore316

I Owe You, Girl

A funny thing happened to my Hotmail account. It flashed back to 2008 and is permanently stuck there on my phone, totally disregarding all other correspondence from then until now. While deleting several dozen emails representing My Life: Phase 1 I found some old pictures from way back in the 90s.

Let me just say, the Lord has a sense of humor. The few pictures which stuck out most were ones of me at some of my career highs and personal lows in My Life: Phase 1. I looked at them with an equal amount of overwhelming proudness from the woman I saw, as if she wasn’t me. I looked at them also as a reminder of who I really am, what I’m made of, from where I’ve come and Who’s in control. (Not to mention I LOVE the spark of sass I saw even through the grainy-ness of those forgotten photos.)

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To the high heels everyday, blue suit and fierce, precision, layered red hair wearing go-getter, who would get up at 3:30am drive to one part-time job clear across town from her Highway 280 apartment, then burn rubber in her champagne gold Nissan Maxima to her head her full-time news gig at 9am, work until the news demanded no more, and still make time to take time for herself, her friends, a bustling social life, lots of community service, active work in the church and of course, time for family I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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To the naïve, young woman full of hopes and dreams and love and expectations at her engagement party beaming on the stairwell with thoughts of what God desires for her and of her, excitedly posing at the exact place which would ultimately end up being her place of employment after the elaborate engagement party hosted for the wonderful wedding which led to a short-lived marriage ending in divorce (and the desperate need for employment in My Life: Phase 2) I say “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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To the woman who endured the PAINFUL, experimental, super long steroid shots in the eye covered by an itchy, irritating as the dickens patch to keep her eye from popping out, taking 17 pills a day, who gained 50 pounds in one month after a fight with Graves Disease and Thyroid Storm tried to send her home to sweet Jesus, but couldn’t (BOOM!), yet still monitors and deals with it to this day I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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Here’s what I know. Nothing happens without reason. Today, for some reason, as I sat in delightful solitude at home enjoying my peace and quiet God wanted me to take a look back knowing it was what I needed to help propel me forward. I know he knew that not only could I handle those TONS of emails and pictures representing My Life: Phase 1 without a smidgen of anger, sadness or regret, but that I would view them with lots of smiles and giggles. And, because I know He knows His daughter, I know He knew I needed to be reminded, even through a grainy old photo, of how fly I looked nestled up on that television production board like a boss, so that I could prepare to be one in whatever new and blog-worthy ways He desires in My Life: Phase 2. So to those three versions of me in My Life: Phase 1, I say I owe you, girl. Your struggle, sass and sense of survival was not in vain. I hope to make you proud.

@AngelaMMoore316

 

Divorce 101: Hush Up, Please

Recently two well-known stars have been in the news following events surrounding their divorces to their spouses. I made the mistake of reading comments in the various social media posts about their individual situations. In the words of Denise Williams, “silly of me.” People were BRUTAL, with a capital B! Boy, you would have thought they were the ones who said “I do” and “I don’t” and lived through whatever these two and their spouses experienced. People were flat out arguing with one another on thread upon thread, stating their “opinions” as if they were the God-almighty facts. It made me angry. Then it made me feel even more silly for entertaining that kind of banter with my eyes. Bless my heart.

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I’ll be honest, I was drawn in to the conversations because I know how the masses can misinterpret, mess up, make up and make even more messy something, which by design, does not need anyone’s help to be any more hurtful or, well, messy. My antennas go up now like an umbrella in a rainstorm when it comes to divorce and how people who experience the awfulness of divorce are treated. They are humans. Point. Blank. Period. So when I read the litany of “I heard she did this”, “I think she should pay that”, “I heard he said this”, “You know they say blanket, blank was involved”, “Somebody told me he took all her money”, “She need (no “s” added) to get a job”, “I heard he bought her a house and she took his money”, “I found out he did that to the kids”, “I know she didn’t want his baby”, “You know she (no “s” added) crazy”, and so on and so on and so on I was fired up like they were talking about me.

Listen here, please ma’am and sir. The worse thing you can do for someone who is already going through something as bad as divorce is to put your two cents in, even on social media, when you otherwise had no investment. I don’t care if they’re your blood relative, best friend, church member, leader, coolest co-worker, favorite star, political figure, or the likes you DO NOT know all that happened and shouldn’t care to comment whether you know facts or not. I don’t care what the vocal one tells you and what the silent one doesn’t say. You don’t know what happened, why, when and what’s next. Okay? Okay. People tell you and show you what they want you to know. Please believe that. Also, they are humans with children and families and lives to live after starting over. Don’t let your hurtful (and often non-factual) speculative words add more fuel to the fire. Some people, stars included, are literally on the brink of giving up after their loss and one wrong word at the wrong time could send them over the edge. Don’t do that to them simply because you can’t squash the gossip bug brewing in your spirit which tells you to talk about someone else’s tragedy (especially if you’re doing it to make yourself feel better).

What you should do is pray, and pray like nobody’s business that you never find yourself on the prickly side of that proverbial fence. So please hush with the “I heards…” of the world. You never know who your words hurt.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Marriage Takes More Than a Ring and a Prayer (Remix)

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Marriage is one of those amazing things ordained by God, but often messed up by His children. I remember vividly preparing for my first wedding more than a decade ago.

After a less than ideal proposal and courtship, I recall eagerly meeting with florists, vendors, caterers, bridesmaids and the likes. I remember the excitement about the wedding, and not much excitement or focus on the marriage as my busy groom-to-be was foreshadowing his continual busyness, and I was entranced tending to “girl stuff” with our mothers.  I remember a trusted girlfriend asking if I was “sure” this was what I wanted to do. I remember thinking, “things will get better”. I even remember the jilted ex (he wasn’t really jilted, I just like that word), declaring his last-ditch-effort love the day before my nuptials. I’ll admit now that I didn’t know if I was sure. I didn’t know if things would get better, and I could have virtually smacked that ex for pulling a Dewayne Wayne (Google it) so late in the game.

Anywho, my first wedding was one I’ll never forget. News of its approach was broadcast on local radio. More than a thousand squeezed in the sanctuary for a seat decked in lilac and silver. I remember sashaying down the aisle smiling as my recorded voice filled the walls with poetic declarations. I recall stirring songs “tearing down the house”. I remember the ministers praying and declaring blessings. I remember the rings and I remember the doves released to the air in a beautiful swirl of white wings flapping. I remember all of that, but still feeling “some kind of way” as the modern day youth say.

I’ve learned in retrospect that by design, marriages are key targets for the enemy to fire his best shot. Afterall, he’s jealous, and can never have what’s been promised to man! That makes it crucial for couples to be centered in Christ, committed to one another, and sure they’re down for the cause, especially when inconvenient. I’ve also come to know that there are subtle caution signs and blaring warning signs prior to the I Do, which can be used to help if heeded to, or can lead to the total opposite if ignored.

Marriage is a beautiful thing. However, it takes more than a ring and a prayer. It takes work from the beginning, in the middle and until the end, regardless of the outcome.

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Aside from the spiritual mandates, physical connection, and honoring of God’s united purpose marriage takes:

• Two people committed to God first.

• Two people devoted to each other above all else other than God.

• Two people with hopes, dreams and goals that don’t have to match, but certainly have to mesh.

• Two people who love each other even when they don’t like each other’s actions.

• Two people who respect and support each other’s specific role in the marriage. It must be mutual.

 • Two people who respect and support each other’s specific role in life.

• Two people willing to submit to growth and change for the greater good of the union.

• Two people who are aware of, and accept that marriage is really not about the wedding.

• Two people who have an ear to hear and heart to receive from the other.

• Two people willing to let the other “in” even if their natural tendency is to block out and shut down.

Spiritual counseling prior to the marriage (My first husband and I didn’t have this, even though he was a pastor. I guess no one thought it was needed. Yikes!)

• Spiritual counseling and encouragement after the “honeymoon” has ended.

• Spiritual counseling throughout the marriage to prevent trials, and certainly when trouble like unexpected sickness, job woes, financial struggles, generational issues, children or the lack there of have entered the house.

• A strong network of mature, Godly supporters who are open to be totally honest with both parties, and who are not afraid to tell the truth in love for the greater good of the union. (I’m not talking about the “Girl, If I ‘was’ you I would” group, or “Man, you need to” crew, but true God-sent helpers.)

• Individual lives (friends, family, circles of influence and ministry) that support the marriage and don’t suffocate it.

• A healthy, committed way to openly communicate things that are pleasant, and not so pleasant, especially when it’s not so pleasant.

• Scheduled family prayer time.

• Scheduled time to discuss and handle family business

• Scheduled fun time.

• Spontaneous “FUN” time. (If you know what I mean.:)

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@AngelaMMoore316

Divorce 101: Get the Last Laugh

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Divorce is no laughing matter. Ask me how I know. But, what is funny are the little humorous nuggets which often come out of nowhere as one tends to deal with divorce, which often comes out of nowhere. I was talking to an old acquaintance recently about a rumor which must have been spread about my ex and me that I had no idea was floating around the mean streets of Birmingham. After all this time, I had no idea this was even one of the many things on the gossip radar. At first I was as hot as an outdoor fish fry in Arizona. After talking to some others about the “made up matter” I began to reflect on some of the hilarity which has ensued as a result of the repeal of an “I do”.  I even chuckled about the rumor and the absurdity of it all.

I remember a dear friend experienced her divorce a few years before mine. She was at her breaking point with the unwanted separation and actions of her ex and was about to go “Lifetime Made-for-TV-Movie” in a very public place. The repercussions would have been TMZ worthy I’m sure, but she was fed up and you know what R. Kelly said about a fed up woman. (There ain’t nothing you can do about it.) Thankfully, she called me on the phone as she was literally about to go all in. I did my best to talk her out of it.  Actually, I begged through her screams and tears, assuring her that one day she would look back at that day and laugh. She did. She eventually laughed hard, really hard. This was especially so when she sashayed all the way down the aisle with a great, new man a few years later.

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I shan’t go into the juicy deets, especially about the time a loved one had to be dragged out of the double doors of Best Buy when he/she saw my ex for the first time after he left or the time I drafted a five page letter to “tell on him” to the masses, (bless my heart). But let’s just say, there have been avoided incidents, initial reactions, and reconsidered actions, which are absolutely natural, but thank God, through his supernatural intervention were not to be so. Thank God. While, at the time of the pain they might not have seemed funny at all, they proved to become some of the most gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, snort-inducing, head-bobbing laughs of all. That’s the beauty of life. There are little gifts of unexpected goodness sprinkled in even the most difficult of packages if we only heal enough to make it through the process.

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So hang in there wherever you are. You will get the last laugh, even if it’s laughing at yourself.

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@AngelaMichele316

Who Were You Before Hurt Happened?

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Have you ever wondered who you were before whatever happened happened that hurt you enough to change who you were? A recent conversation with a friend prompted that thought as I saw how this person clawed through the damages of the tragedies of past hurts to try to cling for dear life to the progress she’d made in an effort to hold on to that progress rather than revert back to her natural response from the past. We talked about her fears of facing the person responsible for that pain and how much that one single individual’s presence had alter her life in a way no man or woman deserved. We also talked about how we wondered what must have happened to the person who hurt her to allow that person to be so hurt that transferring hurt was the solution. We talked and talked and talked. I wondered aloud and internally. Who was my friend before this happened? How could she have been had this not happened? And more importantly we talked candidly about who she could STILL be in spite of what happened and because of what happened so she would be in a position to help others.

I don’t know what you’ve been through. I’ve been through a few things in my young age of 43. Just read a few of my blog posts to find out about my unwanted trysts with sickness, death of loved ones, divorce, loss of opportunity, betrayal and all that not-so-good stuff. Sharing that time of talk with my friend made me wonder how much of the sting of those things I’d carried, and for how long, and didn’t even know it was along for the ride of my life shaping me into some simulation of who I once was, but robbing me of the beauty of who I should have been had I not received the bad brunt of its unwelcomed delivery. I wondered if I am carrying any of it remotely still allowing it to alter things like my subtle response to situations, my trust of others, or my apprehension moving forward in circumstances similar to those which might have caught me off guard or got me caught up.

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I pray I’ve been able to successfully heal from the pains of the past, not forgetting them, but certainly no longer feeling them or forcing them on others. My chat with my friend made me more reflective, doing a self-check, to see if my prayer had been answered. I even asked another friend to check me, boo. This person did. I’m glad. I’m no where near perfect but I’m bound to not be bound by my past. Regardless of where we are in life, and what has happened, we all have the God-given ability to be who we were meant to be. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pretty. It won’t be fast, but it will be worth it. So I ask. Who were you before hurt happened, and what are you willing to do to be that person and better? You owe it to yourself and the world awaiting your life as a beautiful testimony.

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@AngelaMMoore316