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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Lesson From Mommy: Live

I thought that things like this get better with time
But I still need you, why is that?
You're the only image in my mind
So I still see you... around 

- I Miss You by Beyonce 

Tomorrow my mother would have turned 54 years old. Sometimes, I try to image how life would be if she was still here. I know during my darkest hours is when I miss her the most. The times when I feel like no one understands me, I know she would. Times where I feel that the world has turned against me, I know she wouldn't have. After 6 years of not having her around, I still feel as if I need her. When I see my friends with there mothers, it’s a constant reminder of what I don’t have. But I try to stay positive. I had her in my life for a good 19 years... and for that, I am grateful. Some people never got the chance to meet their mother

Now that I am beginning womanhood, I find myself repeating many sayings that my mother would often quote. When going through difficult times, I wonder what advice she would give me. I think about what other memories we could have shared. I do thank God for placing wonderful women in my life... My Grandmother, Aunt Carol, Tante Choupette, Tante Phoebe, Tante Gisele, Claudette, Tante Junie and Mrs. Inge... and these woman have helped fill a void in my life.

The funny thing is, the greatest lesson my mother thought me was not when she was alive but after her passing. After my mother died I felt like I had to grow up over night. I became more family oriented, appreciated things that I took for guaranteed before and I strived for a closer relationship with God. Sometimes it takes great sorrow and heartbreak to teach you how to truly love. Life is a gift. Life is short. If people didn't die, people wouldn’t appreciate life. 

This is a cliché saying but if you really sit and think about it, you see that it has profund meaning: You only have one life to live. So how will you spend it? With only one life to live, you might as well be confident… be brave… be happy… be loving… be patient… be kind. I am sure if my mother could come back she would tell me to live.

I am pursing happiness.




Monday, August 20, 2012

Limerence

Updated 12/3/2014 
If you haven't contemplated murder, you ain't been in love. If you haven't seriously thought about killing a motherfucker, you ain't been in love. If you haven't had a can of rat poison in your hand and looked at it for forty-five minutes straight, you ain't been in love. If you haven't bought a shovel and a bag and a rug to roll their ass up in, you ain't been in love. If you haven't practiced your alibi in front of the mirror, you ain't been in love. And the only thing that's stopped you from killing this motherfucker was a episode of CSI: "Oh man, they thorough. I better make up. They might catch my ass."
- Chris Rock
UNREQUITED LOVE... 

Love by itself can cause people to do crazy things [and in some cases... people actually go CRAZY]. Now, try adding rejection in the mix of love... Oh... What a tangled web we weave. To love someone and not have the feeling reciprocated; the feeling of unrequited love is unavoidable, and the feeling is quite devastating. So what’s wrong with experiencing unrequited love other than the fact that it leads to depression, anxiety, and insecurities? Why is it that in order to truly love someone, the feeling must be mutual? You would look a bit psycho cathecting someone who has made it clear that they do not share the same feelings. How about when the feeling is mutual... if you could measure love, how likely is it that you would find two individuals that are in love with each other share the exact amount of love for one another? Love is selfish, is it not? Love is also needy. For one to say love isn't needy, well… that would be specious because love needs love in return. Love needs expressions of love and words of love in return. And without the indication that the love you have for someone is requited, one would either fall out of love or be encouraged to do so.

Limerence, a term coined by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov, is considered as a cognitive and emotional state of being emotionally attached or even obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one's feelings - a near-obsessive form of romantic love (Wikipedia 2012). So when you are up late night creeping on Facebook, looking through his/her photos, rereading old text messages or emails, checking your phone to make sure it’s ‘working’ just in case the person tries to call, constantly replaying a scene in your head from your last encounter with the person… or even fantasizing about your next rendezvous... well... Those actions can be associated with limerence. This is a form of obsessing. It may not be quite the fatal attraction but nonetheless, it’s an [mild] obsession. 

The main concept of limerence is that the love is unrequited. You are infatuated with someone who does not want you in return. And being as dysfunctional as humans are, we tend to want something more when we can’t have it. In my humble opinion, limerence reveals more than just your desire to be with someone who doesn't want you. It also reveals the way you feel about yourself. I have been there... consistently day dreaming about someone that I knew I could never have (and its unhealthy to say the least). But what limerence really reveals is the way you feel about yourself. During those times in my life where I found myself infatuated with someone who had shown little interest in me, I would have had to say that I was lonely. I lacked self-confidence. I allowed myself to fall into this land of self-pity where my only rescue from the troubles of my life would come from this single person... this single person that did not want me. 

First and foremost Limerence is, a condition of cognitive obsession. Someone experiencing limerence tends to emphasize what is admirable in their desired partner and tend to avoid any negative or problematic attributes that the person may have. Limerence develops and is sustained when there is a certain balance of hope and uncertainty. The base for limerent hope is not in objective reality but reality as it is perceived. The inclination is to sift through nuances of speech and subtleties of behavior for evidence of limerent hope. The components of limerence include intrusive thinking and fantasy, fear of rejection, hope, physical side effects, and sexuality.
"Little things" are noticed and endlessly analyzed for meaning. Such excessive concern over trivia may not be entirely unfounded, however. Body language can indicate a return of feeling. What the limerent object said and did is recalled with vividness. Alternative meanings of those behaviors recalled are searched out. Each word and gesture is permanently available for review, especially those interpreted as evidence in favor of "return of feeling." When objects, people, places or situations are encountered with the limerent object, they are vividly remembered, especially if the limerent object 'interacted' with them in some way.

[Side note: Tennov suggested that the only cure for being in love is to get indisputable evidence that the target of one's love is not interested.]

I think it's very important to reevaluate yourself, your state of mind, and the person you are infatuated with when experiencing limerence. You could be lonely and longing for someone to be in your life... this person may possess a few qualities that you would ideally want to have in your significant other which may cause you to put this person on a pedestal. You are more caught up with the 'idea of having this person' rather than the reality of things. You get caught up in qualities that this person possess, rather than the person himself/herself. 

I over looked many of his 'bad qualities' because I was so wrapped up in the idea of 'us'.

Regardless if the person’s behavior demonstrates that they do not want to be with you... you begin to filter through their words and actions and cling on to any subtle gesture that would suggest that they may be romantically interested. As aforementioned, it's important to exam yourself during this time and to better understand what state of mind you are in when this is going on. Self-love, self-confidence and your self-respect may need to be fine-tuned. You’re worth it, and if that person can't see it, why continue to waste your time?

Even when dealing with uncertainty [rather than unrequited love], remember that love isn't uncertain. So if someone is sending you mix singles, it would be best to walk away from the situation until the person can determine what they want. If someone loves you, it shouldn't be a feeling of uncertainty in the mist of things. From my own experiences, I've learned to not 'read between the lines' when dating (or attempting to date someone). Things should be straight forward. Things should happen naturally. I've always left relationships with a broken heart when I tried to force the feeling of LOVE. Love is not forced, coerced, or confusing, but rather crystal clear.


I must admit, I experience limerence from time to time when I meet someone that appears to be TO GOOD TO BE TRUE [which they usually are]. However, the first step is admitting you have a problem!

Monday, August 13, 2012

When someone shows you who they are... believe them!



It’s easy to get caught up in the game. The whisperings of sweet nothings in your ear. This guy seems too good to be true. And he is coming on so strong… but why shouldn’t he? You’re worth it! He is giving you the attention that you need and everything looks good on paper. You didn’t want to like him, and eventually you fall… and you fall hard. Sometimes the guy is who he says he is and other times... well... let's just say he could be blowing smoke.


People can only hide their true colors for so long. And if the guy your messing with is flaky... Eventually his actions won’t back his words up. And this is when you need to separate potential from reality. Yeah, he has the potential to be the man he claimed to be, but reality is… he isn’t.


My friend, who I will call Tiffany, was set-up with a guy through one of her co-workers. Before they meet in person, they talked on the phone for several days. Tiffany was really feeling this guy. Tiffany always knew how she wanted to be treated and he fell right into place as 'Mr. Charming'. He appeared to be supportive, non-judgmental and willing to communicate any difference they may or could possible have in the future. They talked everyday and she was getting use to him being a part of her daily routine. Before Tiffany went to meet him, she said to me ‘This is too good to be true. This guy is a bit older, established in his career, financial secure, and never been married,’ Tiffany and him shared similar cultures, valued the same ideologies and had many other things in common.


Well, I coached Tiffany before her first date… ‘Be you! Be confident!’ and that’s what Tiffany tried to do. Unfortunately, the guy seemed to be the opposite of what he made himself out to be. Before the initial date, he stressed how important ‘respect’ was to him and how he valued being able to communicate in order to work out differences. On the contrary, he was quite disrespectful to Tiffany. Tiffany, being a non-confrontational person, tried to look over his rude remarks… she felt as if maybe she was reading too much into the things he was saying. But as the night progressed, it was clear… this guy was not who he claimed to be. She kept wondering what happened to the guy on the phone? The guy who she had so much in common with? The one who valued the same things she did?


Well, Tiffany… that guy was just a front. A cover-up. Yep, Tiffany was bamboozled. And although she realized that this guy was a bi-polar, narcissus, pervert… she was waiting for the night to get better. She was waiting for him to be the guy she thought he would be. But that never happened.


Anyway, after meeting him, Tiff was ready to drop him like a bad habit. After being in many dysfunctional relationships, Tiff wanted nothing more to do with him. And that’s when the mind games started. He called Tiff explaining to her that he did nothing wrong and that she was over thinking things and that she needed to loosen up a bit. And when that didn’t work he started pointing the finger at Tiffany saying that she was spoiled and high maintenance, and that she thought that it was all about her.


Tiffany, being ingenuous, questioned her own reasoning…. But her friends came back with damaging details about what happened on the date to remind her of why she should never talk to him again. After a week of debating on whether or not she should eliminate this guy (or not) from her life, Tiff decided it was a wrap! Throw a bow on it. When someone show’s you who they are believe them. Anyone can tell you that they are kind, loving, God fearing, gentle, and so forth. But what you need to do is listen to the actions and not their words.


Although, I have never met the guy, from what I hear, he may just be a psychopath. A master of disguise to the people he is closest to. But Tiff got a rare glimpse of who he truly is and that should be enough for her to run in the opposite direction… FAST! Track & Flied Olympian Gold Metal Fast!