Waiting for Captain Save ‘Em: 5 Ways Gold Diggers Play Themselves

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Thought for the Day:

“A man is not a financial plan.”

Question for the Day:

Are you looking for a man to save you?

Alright, so how many of you are looking forward to Valentine’s Day because it represents an opportunity to cash in on an expensive dinner or a gift that can hopefully be featured in your next well-crafted social media post?  I can see my timeline now.  Endless pics of open jewelry boxes and dew-kissed bouquets of flowers complete with sticky sweet hashtags like #someonelovesme or #frombae. I can hardly wait. (deadpan)  Don’t get me wrong y’all, I enjoy nice things too and would love to have a little something extra to add to my jewelry box this year.  Yet, with me and my husband’s current budgetary constraints, I’ll be satisfied with some form of extravagant dessert and a foot massage.  I’ve never been a materialistic person, but when you’re raising three kids and have experienced real financial hardship, stuff that is often purchased to represent love becomes far less valuable than the respect, trust, and loyalty that actually IS true love.  What matters most to me now after almost fifteen years of marriage is that my husband continues to go to work, be a good father, stay faithful, and support me.  As long as he does these things, I don’t really need an expensive token of affection because a man’s “act right” is worth infinitely more.  However, many women still believe that “love” is all about the dollars and cents and have lost sight of what makes a healthy relationship truly precious.  Strangely enough, a West Coast hip hop icon was one of the first to teach me this lesson.

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If you were anywhere near Cali around 1993-1994 you couldn’t go far without hearing E-40’s “Captain Save a ‘Em” bumping out someone’s subwoofers.  I was about twenty at the time and remember going home on summer break from Howard University and being introduced to it by my boyfriend at the time.  This underground classic is still to this day, one of my jams.  If you’ve never heard it, it basically suggests that women who have expensive tastes or children in need of support should be on the look out for “Captain Save ‘Em,” a man who might be eager to offer financial support in exchange for sexual favors.  I’m being really politically correct here because I realize that my super spiritual sisters may take offense to me admitting that this is my song, but it is what it is.  E-40 has a unique cadence and way of dismantling vocabulary that is not only profoundly original but often, flat out funny!  Not only is this song’s beat off the chain, but I laughed out loud the first time I heard it.  I actually still own the single on tape and found myself playing it while taking a trip down memory lane, courtesy of the most awesome cassette tape collection this side of heaven.  Yes, I still bump cassettes.  You can take the girl out of the 90’s but you can’t take the 90’s out of the girl!  I think my favorite line is:

“Make that man take care of your kids, make that man call your kids his, make is butt get out there and work, make him buy you a Dooney and Bourke.  It’s all part of that brother take care of me, sex-whipped man come save me!  Girls out there be on the lookout for Captain Save ‘Em  yo, cause he’s saving those.” 

Classic!  Of course, I had to do the church lady edit here because there were quite a few curse words in that excerpt but I respect y’all enough to keep it clean.  (Google it on You Tube though if you want to hear the original, but consider yourself warned)  Anyway, though not for children, the song is appropriately provocative in its ability to paint a clear picture of the quintessential “gold digger.”  We all know women like the ones described in the song.  There are indeed women who see men as their own personal ATM machines and infinite lines of credit.  Like American Express, they’re accepted everywhere and typically have no limits.  You’ll find them trolling the VIP section at the club or sniffing around music video sets, hopeful that one day a brother with sufficient ends will come along and save them from themselves.  As a counselor, I’ve talked to women who are quick to give me the screwface when I suggest a second job or returning to school in response to their financial hardships.  Yet more often than not, they are perfectly content to keep using men and compromising themselves if it means regular access to someone’s paycheck.

An inconvenient truth is that many women will spend more money, time and energy on looking attractive enough to hook the big fish rather than on becoming the big fish.  Some ladies could easily put themselves through college for all the money they spend on lace fronts, red bottoms, gel manicures, boob jobs, and butt enhancements.  If you’re willing to pay layaway accounts all over town for over-priced clothing or pay for your Brazilian hair in convenient monthly installments, then you can certainly make a student loan payment.  (ijs)  Ironically, many women are much more willing to invest in the external, though internal beauty is the only thing that will keep a man of substance engaged long-term.  Materialism in and of itself is issue enough, but using a man to feed this unhealthy need to self-validate takes this dysfuntion to a whole new level.  I believe men shouldn’t be automatically expected to do for a woman what she refuses to do for herself. Yes, it is a man’s responsibility to provide for and protect his woman, but women are also called to be help meets for their men.  I don’t think the entire burden of a woman’s financial security should fall solely on a man’s shoulders.  In fact, I suspect that a man would take greater pride in taking care of a woman because he wants to rather than because he has to.  If you can’t eat unless your man gets paid, then you’re a child, not a partner.  I personally don’t believe this is ultimately what men look for in a mate.

In this age of “The Real Housewives,” the sacrifice of female dignity in exchange for the latest handbag is par for the course.  Nothing seems to matter so long as you have a man that can afford to satisfy your need to keep up with the Joneses.  We women have gotten way too comfortable with letting our own personal growth and development go so long as there’s a man with deep pockets prepared to pick up the slack.  If you are a woman who is refusing to invest in your own financial future because you are banking on being “saved,” here are 5 reasons why you’re ultimately playing yourself.

  1. If the relationship fails, you fail. – I am a big believer in fighting for relationships and making marriage work, but the reality is, many just don’t.  Add to that the fact that a gold digger and her financier’s relationship was likely rooted in a money for sex exchange as opposed to true love, and it’s fair to assume the relationship won’t have legs.  If you had no education, no career, and no savings when you entered the relationship, you are essentially one “deuces” away from skid row!
  2. It’s too much pressure – If the only cards you’re holding are your looks and bedroom skills, then maintaining those advantages becomes your full-time job.  Age will become an ever-looming enemy that threatens to take you out at any moment.  There’s always going to be someone younger, tighter, and freakier willing to step in the minute you’re caught slipping.  One too many nights in your bonnet or  ill-timed “headaches” and you may find yourself replaced.
  3. You are no longer your priority – When you’re indebted to a man for everything you have, he has to be your priority.  Your plans and desires will have to take a back seat, because keeping your man happy will always be the first order of business.  You don’t have time to “do you” because “you” ain’t paying no bills!  Isn’t that what we tell are kids when they start insisting on their own way?
  4. You’re self-esteem will eventually suffer – Gold digging may be cute in your twenties and might make you the envy of all your hard-working girlfriends who must fight their way up the corporate ladder. Yet if you’re a forty plus woman who can’t even go to Wal-Mart without asking your man for gas money, it’s no longer a good look. Self-sufficiency is one of the best ways to develop a sense of competency.  It’s easy to boast about how strong you are as a woman, but genuinely high self-esteem requires that you prove it.
  5. It sends the wrong message – As the mother of a daughter, I would never want my little girl to believe she is limited in the level of success she can achieve independently.  It will always be important for women to model for their daughters that the right man will be an asset to your life but not its entire value.  I want her to know that she can be as rich as she decides because she was born with God-given treasures that pay immeasurable dividends.  A gold-digging mentality sends the message that we women are not enough on our own and need to be upgraded to any relevant level of worth.  If you’re not willing to tell your daughter as much, don’t live it before her either.

Real talk ladies.  It’s time to close our legs, open our minds, and cut the gold digging out.  Trying to build upon a foundation of men, money, and designer heels might give you a temporary sense of accomplishment, but it’ll eventually lead you into spiritual bankruptcy.  If you find yourself broke, busted, and disgusted at the end of every relationship, then it may be time to pursue a relationship with Jesus, the only one who truly saves.

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Hall Pass Revoked


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Thought for the Day:

“A relationship is built for two.  But apparently, some people don’t know how to count.”

Question for the Day:

Are you accepting infidelity?

Well, we’re approaching Valentine’s Day so the season of balloons, teddy bears, five extra pounds in Walgreen’s chocolate, heartache, piles of snot rags and forlornly chick flicks is upon us.  Whether you’re in a committed relationship or not, this is the time of year when we all give greater consideration to our relationships (or the lack thereof) and the happiness of those relationships (or the lack thereof).  We’ve all read enough self-help books by now to know that relationships, in general, are complicated. Yet if many of us would just stop betraying the God in us by acting a donkey in the name of love, our relationships wouldn’t be nearly as complicated as we make them.  I thought I’d focus the next few weeks on trying to address a few of the more controversial relationship issues and how they impact our sense of self-worth as women.

I’ve written previously on singlehood and marraige and am convinced that tomfoolery in relationships has no regard for marital status.  Single women tend to get a bum rap and are made out to be desperate and irrational in their relationship pursuits.  This is not only stereotypical and biased but it lets all the crazed and delusional married women off the hook. Jumping the broom has never been the cure for relationship insanity.  If you were boo obsessed as a single, your poor husband won’t stand a chance.   If your self esteem is on life support, your nuptials won’t revive it.  If anything, you’ll flatline in marriage if you’re not healthy going in.  Far too many women are willing to compromise their values in exchange for a relationship status upgrade on their social media pages.  Don’t be confused, dealing with all manner of foolishness is a game married women play (with skill) everyday.  Tolerating abuse, disrespect, and infidelity is often heralded as “standing by your man” but if you ask me, it’s more like you’re standing under him while he wipes his feet on the doormat formally known as your soul. Being a “ride or die chick” doesn’t make you special if you’re mate is doing all the riding and you’re doing all the dying, but recognizing this is often difficult.

Exhibit A: Monique

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Several weeks ago, I came across an article about actress and comedienne Monique and I almost strained my optic nerve giving her the side eye.  In the article, Monique asserts that she allows her husband to cheat with her permission.  She then went on to proudly proclaim that it was her idea as if she was going to earn some extra cool points for this illegitimate brain child.   According to Monique, she and her husband are “open to the world” and “open to being honest with each other all the way through.”   I agree so long as you are honest about opening the flood gates to all manner of bacterial crud and outside babies.  She’s not alone either.  I also heard about Toya Wright, ex-wife of Lil Wayne and soon to be ex-wife of producer Mickey “Memphis” Wright. Apparently, Mrs. Wright allowed her husband something like eight “hall passes” per year.  Shockingly, that approach to keeping your man satisfied still wasn’t enough for Mr. Wrong, I mean Mr. Wright, and the two are headed for divorce court.  Just about every ratchet reality show would have you believe that man sharing and threesomes are the new normal or that one can borrow someone’s spouse as easily as taking a neighbor’s new lawnmower for a spin.  Well, if you’re going to try to pass open marriage off as the thing “cool” couples do then fine, but let’s  not act like making this kind of choice has no deeper implications.  And sorry Monique, but saying it was “your idea” does not erase those implications.  Allowing your mate to fertilize the grass in everyone else’s yard will mean it’s ALWAYS going to be greener on the other side of the fence.  Most millenials love bragging about how evolved they are.  Traditional marriage is archaic and limiting.  Monogomy isn’t “natural” and the result of conforming to European standards. Everyone’s on that “new new” and proud of it until a stranger approaches you and wants to spill the tea over your man’s special move when you didn’t even know he was that flexible!  Knowing that the most intimate experiences shared in a marriage are not sacred has got to hurt on some level.  And if it doesn’t, I’d question what kind of love you really have.

Now, I don’t mean to throw Monique any shade like most of her critics who say that her weight issues have damaged her self-esteem and are likely contributing to this decision.  As a woman who is also BMI challenged, I know that being heavier doesn’t necessarily mean you have poor self-esteem.  However, I’m not sure why a woman who is rich, famous, talented, and holding basically ALL the cards in her relationship is even putting open marriage on the table as an option.  In my opinion, all women deserve monogamy, but when you’re rich and accomplished to boot, how hard should it really be for your man to keep it zipped?   If you love your wife, should it be difficult to commit to her when she not only loves you back, but can also make life easy for you?  From what I can see, he must feel like the luckiest man on Earth.  He has access to all the privileges of his wife’s success without any of the hard work it took to earn it.  She runs around pampering him and proclaiming in every interview that she is happy to leave her success at the door and serve him as her king when she gets home.  All this and a hall pass to sweeten the deal?  What man wouldn’t commit to this situation whether he truly loved his wife or not?  If you ask me, Monique has made it very easy for this man to stay with her which makes the therapist in me wonder if she is afraid that if she expects more, she might not get it.  A woman with low self-esteem might try to preemptively eliminate all of her man’s struggles to make remaining committed to her as easy as possible.  If I just let EVERYTHING be okay, he will never do anything that will force me to have to consider leaving him.  Or better yet, he’ll never feel uncomfortable enough to leave on his own accord.  A woman as gifted as Monique has the right to expect fidelity from her husband.  Did she offer the “hall pass” because she wanted the freedom for herself (as she claimed) or because she was trying to circumvent the pain she might suffer if he cheated on her unknowingly.  Maybe it isn’t about her self-esteem and she really thinks it will make for a stronger marriage.  Well, let me think. If my husband allowed me a hall pass, I would wonder what that says about his feelings for me.  If he’s willing to share me with “the world” then perhaps he’s just not feeling me anymore.  In general, folks never lend out what’s valuable.  It’s the raggedy stuff you no longer care about that’s easiest to let others borrow.  Knowing that my man doesn’t value me any more than a cup of sugar, wouldn’t exactly scream STRONG MARRIAGE OVER HERE!

 I don’t know a married woman alive who wants a marriage that is “open to the world.”  The world is full of viruses, scorned lovers, keyed up cars, baby mamas in need of child support, and other women who might gladly snatch up your husband and value him enough to officially take him off the market.  If you truly love your man, there is no way in the world that the thought of him spooning with another woman after a roll in the sack doesn’t bother you!  If you claim to be okay with that then you either don’t love him anymore and are shopping him around to the highest bidder or you’re a glutton for pain and punishment.  But trying to pawn the “hall pass” off as the key to contentment in a marriage is anything but honest.  You tried it Monique, but apparently you still have some learning to do.  It’s time to get back to class ma’am, you’re hall pass has been revoked.

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“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.”

Hebrews 13:4

A New Life’s Resolution

 

 

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Thought For The Day:

“Character is being able to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.”

Cavett Robert

Question For The Day:

Will you keep this year’s resolutions?

Well, it’s the start of 2016!!!  Hallelujah and thank you Jesus because there were times in 2015, even just last week (lol), that I didn’t think I would make it!   Yet, just like God, He saw me through anyhow and I’m grateful. The awesome thing about New Year’s Day is that it presents an opportunity to hit the refresh button on our lives and be conscious about the fact that change is upon us.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day grind and forget that the days of our lives are ticking by.  We blame hectic schedules for continued procrastination on our goals.  We delay making changes that we know are in our best interest because, after all, who has the time?  We’ll do it later, when things calm down, when the kids are out of school, or when we pay off that debt.  Life has a way of making us forget that every second we wait is a second we’ll never get back.  Sure the occasional rogue gray hair and the increased need for regular dosages of Tylenol would suggest that we are aging.  Yet, there’s nothing like throwing away an entire calendar’s worth of appointments to remind you that the Earth has completed 365 whole rotations and time is indeed marching on.  When it finally hits us that another year is in the can, it’s natural to reflect upon it and try to identify areas in which we have progressed as well as the ways we’ve remained stagnant.  If after this assessment, we recognize more flounder than flourish, a valid question to ask is, what happened?  Realizing that you’ve been stuck for twelve months has a way of making poor excuses a bit more obvious.  Some harsh realities have hit me over the last few days as I reflect on 2015 because so much went undone.  Was I really THAT busy?  Surely, I could have found more time to relax and take care of myself.  Heck, if I had spent as much time working on my writing as I did piddling around on social media, I might have been submitting a manuscript to publishers by now.  The truth is, most of us can attest to the fact that we could have done more. Enter, the handy, dandy….New Year’s Resolution!

A solid New Year’s resolution can serve as a life raft over the seas of guilt and regret as we come to terms with last year’s shortcomings.  They are our declarations to the world that we have recommitted ourselves to greatness (again).  We’re ready to heed Oprah’s call to live our best life.  We can almost feel Iyanla’s breath on our neck as she beckons us to “do the work, Beloved.” With the new year, we can finally get it right.  There will be no more late night cookie dough binges or cigarette breaks at work. We’ll treat people better, renew our gym memberships, start reading the Bible again, and call those relatives we have all but written off.  According to our elaborate Facebook posts, this is the time and this is the year!    We want everybody to anticipate changes in us while giving ourselves a 365 day window to follow through.  Sounds like a plan, right?  However my question is this.  Do we make all these lofty resolutions because we want people to think we’re changing or do we really, really, want to?  I’ll wait……

I wonder sometimes myself as I look at the graveyard of New Year’s  resolutions that I have personally left in the dust.  Y’all can give me the side eye if you want to, but I know I’m not alone.  What if all our “go get ’em” proclamations are just false promises we tell ourselves to feel less crappy about all that went unaccomplished last year?  It’s easy to come up with fancy words this time of year, but the lack of follow through is kind of why my 2016 resolutions look pretty similar to 2012’s.  Keeping it real, my New Year’s fire tends to fizzle sometime around the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  I’ve been trying to lose 50 pounds for ten years and finishing my novel for fifteen.  Life always seems to get in my way or at least that’s what I tell myself.  I really have been pondering why derailed resolutions continue to be an issue for me and this is what I have discovered.

I propose that part of the issue is in trying to cram an entire new perspective, outlook, lifestyle, and pinnacle life achievements into a 365 day package.  By putting so much emphasis on the “new year,” a deadline is implied which means if I make the mistake of not completing everything on my checklist, I’ll have another reason to feel as if I’ve missed the mark and failed.   A sense of failure can’t be good for my self-esteem so I doubt it’ll ever help me keep resolutions that require a pretty hefty dose of it.  The more I fall short, the worse I feel about my competency, and the less likely I’ll be to ever make this “my year.”  Anybody feel me?  So, what if this year, I focus on my vision for the future rather than what I need to accomplish this year.  Instead of emphasizing time-sensitive goals, I’ll try my best to live everyday in a manner that is in line with this vision I have for myself.  By focusing on becoming more and more of who I ultimately want to be and weighing my daily choices accordingly, I move from making New Year’s resolutions to implementing a New Life’s resolution.  The changes I need to make are ongoing and will need to remain in effect long after the close of 2016.  I may no longer be in pursuit of change because change is inevitable whether I force it or not.  As I start this new year, transformation is more what I desire.  True transformation can never be limited to a year and will require consistent action steps, daily renewal of the mind, conscious decision making, and repetitive healthy behaviors from here on out.  If you are like me and recognize that another New Year’s resolution may not be enough, here are some tips that might help us all move beyond the point of temporary change to the reality of permanent transformation.

Do away with deadlines – Some people work well under pressure, others can’t handle it and end up on medication.  So instead of saying things like, I’ll lose 30 pounds by Valentine’s Day or I’ll pay off my bills by summer, make the decision to take positive steps in that direction daily without pinning yourself down to an ending. This means you’ll always have something to feel good about as long as you make a little progress each day.  Daily progress will eventually get you to your destination.  Even if you don’t get there today, you can rest assured that there’s always tomorrow.

Break down larger goals into bite-sized chunks– It can be quite overwhelming to list everything you hope to accomplish in a year’s time.  You may want to get a promotion, buy a house, have a baby, travel, and start a business but the reality is, you may only have a couple of free hours each day to dedicate to anything apart from work and family responsibilities.  There’s only so much time in a day and that’s okay!  Today is all we have anyway so stressing over a whole year’s worth of obligations is pointless.  Yes, there are bigger fish to fry, but if we try to focus on what can reasonably be accomplished today and commit to doing that, before long, we will have accomplished something great.

Stop saying what you’ll NEVER do again – First of all, you know you’re lying, so stop it.  (lmbo)  It’s never wise to run around boasting about what you’re not going to do anymore.  If you have struggled with an issue you’re whole life, you know full well that you’re going to struggle with it in 2016 too.  So renouncing all you bad habits as if you’ve discovered the magic potion is a set up for secrecy, shame, and fakeness that’s going to get you caught up eventually.  Personally, I am not about to tell people I will never hit another donut shop on the way home or that I will NEVER make another excuse to not exercise.  I probably will, but bad days don’t have to mean I’ve blown it.  It just means that today I chose to indulge the wrong things and tomorrow I can make another choice.  I’m therefore not a failure, but simply a work in progress.  It’s a lot less pressure to strive for improvement as opposed to perfection.

I pray that 2016 be a pivotal year for myself and everyone reading.  May we all have the courage to embrace the better life that is waiting for us right now.  Let us utilize the measure of power and grace we are granted each day to its fullest potential, knowing that our new life’s resolution can begin today.  Thank you to all of you for visiting Get Lifted Girl in 2015, its inaugural year.  I appreciate you for reading and for the support.  It’s only going to get better, so get ready.  Happy New Year!

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

Feeling the Holiday Spirit… Depression

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Thought For The Day:

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”

Robin Williams

Question For The Day:

Are the holidays getting you down?

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I generally like to cut up and make people laugh while serving up food for thought.  However, depression isn’t an easy issue to make light of so I hope you’ll allow me to treat this topic with the respect it deserves.  It’s much easier to joke through a serious problem than to deal with it straight up. This irony is evident in how many people choose to deal with depression.  Folks will frequently use humor, fun, and festivities to cope with severe emotional pain even though the potential consequences of depression are deadly and far from a laughing matter.  I was touched to come across today’s quote from Robin Williams, famed comedian who indeed spent an entire career making people laugh with his silly, over-the-top antics.  To look at how he would throw himself so completely into his comedy, often sweating profusely while flinging himself from one side of the stage to the other just to make those in the audience smile would seem to indicate an organically jovial and child-like spirit.  One would assume that the joy we often saw on stage and in movies translated into his personal life.  Yet instead, the world was shocked to learn that Robin Williams had been suffering with clinical depression for years and decided to end his life in the home he shared with his wife and children in a moment of pure desperation.  How could a man who seemed so happy be living in that much pain?  Well, he’s not alone.  Most of us can relate on some level to Robin Williams. We all try hard, even to our own detriment at times, to put on a brave face so that the world is not turned off by the less celebratory aspects of our reality. In Paul Laurence Dunbar’s famous poem We Wear the Mask  he eloquently captures what many of us go through:

We wear the mask that grins and lies

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes

This debt we pay to human guile

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile

And mouth with myriad subtleties

Why should the world be over-wise

in counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us while

We wear the mask

I personally relate to this as well.  I have struggled with periodic bouts of depression and discouragement for most of my life.  Even in the face of outward success and tremendous blessing, I often feel forgotten, discounted, and not good enough.  I’ve always put too much pressure on myself to do my best in every endeavor.  Yet this pursuit of excellence makes it difficult for me to accept my mistakes and not judge myself for missing the mark.  I’m sure this is part of the reason I felt called to become a social worker.  As a therapist, I can help other people recognize their redeeming qualities and learn to appreciate themselves for who they are, which, in turn, helps me do the same.  I am like Robin Williams in this way.  Giving other people what I often need the most, is therapy.  Thankfully, I believe in God and have learned that there is healing in  trusting in His power, plan and purpose for my life.  My faith is what keeps me alive and reminds me that I must keep trying and never give up hope.  I’m not sure what type of spiritual practice, if any, Robin Williams had, but I imagine he had lost sight of any sense of hope and protection in his final hours.

Why am I talking about all this now?  Well, it’s the holiday season and it has become clear to me that despite the expectation that we all be merry, many people are struggling more than ever.  This is apparent in the mental health professions, but it’s much more subtle in other aspects of society.  Your typical Wal-Mart television advertisement, the bustling energy of the malls, all the lights and colorful decorations, and warm greetings at church all send the message that this is the time to be with your family, give your best, and revel in the spirit of love and connection.  But where does that leave the people who’ve recently lost loved ones?  What about the mother who’s lost a child or the father who’s been laid off and can’t afford presents for his children?  What about the person who’s sick or has a child in trouble?  What about the person serving life in prison who will never spend another holiday with family?  What about the person who’s lost their home or who is struggling with a mental health disorder?  What about the person who’s battled a substance addiction and is finally on the right track but has lost their family support?  What about the single mother who has to work through Christmas or the person who is wrestling with their sexual identity  and doesn’t feel welcomed at church?  There are many people whose lives defy the expectations of the season, yet they don’t feel free to express their pain or ask for help for fear it will damper everyone else’s mood.  No one wants to feel like they’re the kill joy.  Depressed individuals often feel as if they are the only ones not feeling the holiday spirit and it becomes more of a burden to reach out for help because they assume the guilt of ruining everyone else’s good time.  The result is a person who hides and pretends.  They may attend the Christmas party and laugh all night, only to go home and cry themselves to sleep.  They may gut it out all day at work, spreading cheer to all their co-workers, and then go home and drink themselves into a stupor.  If they’re anything like Robin Williams, they may decide to stop wearing the mask all together and choose to go to their grave, the only place they believe they can finally stop pretending.

I’ll tell you a story.  When I was about 23 or 24, before I was married and had my kids, I was a single young woman living in Inglewood, CA.  I had my own apartment and was working in the entertainment industry.  I think I was a Writers’ Assistant for the Jamie Foxx Show at that time.  It wasn’t really a glamorous job, but because it was within a glamorous industry, I was seen as being highly successful.  People would sweat me because I worked in Hollywood. This was probably around the time I was also trying my hand at stand-up comedy and was being heralded for making all of these impressive moves.   I was still a young tenderoni then also, so I had a small selection of men vying for my affection.  By the world’s standards,  I had it going on but what no one knew was that I was also deeply depressed.  I felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled and felt that most of the relationships I was making were superficial and that very few people truly cared about me as a person.  I remember a Christmas that I had around that time.  I had gotten sick with the flu.  I couldn’t afford to fly to Mississippi to visit my parents who had moved back to the South, and I was alone.  All of my friends had families of their own to be with and I didn’t feel close enough to anyone to ask for refuge. It was Christmas Eve and  I remember being sick as a dog and having to drag myself to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine.  I then went back to my apartment and turned off all the lights because on top of being sick and depressed, I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know that I was by myself on Christmas Eve.  It was a long and painful night in more ways that one.  I was in total misery but didn’t feel able to reach out to anyone for fear of losing their admiration once they knew my life was actually lonely, isolated, and anything but glamorous.  I felt an obligation to hide so that no one would have to be bothered with my pain.

This is the same thing I believe many people do around this time of year.  We often compound feelings of depression with guilt and judgment of ourselves for how we feel.  We succumb to the pressure of needing to feel and show the “holiday spirit” while denying ourselves the support we need most.  Wearing the mask will never be a healthy way to manage depression and it denies loved ones the opportunity to assist us in our darkest moments.  I’m sure Robin Williams’ family wishes he would’ve told them what he needed most the night he died.  Despite all his success and comedic talent,  I know they would rather he had tried harder to make himself smile as opposed to amusing everyone else.  We can all learn from his life and death.   Robin Williams taught us the importance of ‘reaching out’ rather than ‘hiding out’ behind a fake smile and false sense of holiday cheer. Here are some strategies for coping with the holiday blues in a way that honors your genuine emotional experience without breaking anyone else’s Christmas spirit.

Spend time with the Lord

Submitting to your Higher Power and giving all your cares and concerns to Him is the most appropriate release for any negative emotions you’re dealing with this holiday season.  It also doesn’t make other people responsible for shouldering pain they are not able to relieve.   Spending time in prayer, meditation, or in your place of worship is liberating and healing.  Our houses of worship should be safe places where we are free to show our vulnerabilities and seek support from people who care.  Attending holiday services or participating in special meals and events can boost your sense of connectedness and remind you  of all the reasons you have to be grateful. Personally, I follow Jesus Christ, and His unconditional love and support has made all the difference in my life.

Confide in a loved one you trust

If you are lucky enough to have a close friend who knows you and understands your struggles, don’t be afraid to talk through some of your most difficult emotions with him or her.  A long, heart-felt conversation with a true friend is highly therapeutic.  Friends can remind you of who you are and all you have accomplished.  It’s good to hear that you matter and a trusted friend, even if they’re far away, is always good for that reassurance.  I am thankful for the confidants I have in my life who I know I can always reach out to when things get rough.

Go against tradition

Maybe getting away from it all and establishing a new tradition in a new setting is what you need to shake the holiday blues.  If you don’t have a large family or live in a studio apartment with no chimney in sight, perhaps an impromptu road trip to the beach or a day at the spa is in order.  Maybe treating yourself to a nice meal in a restaurant or a Christmas Day movie binge would be enjoyable.  If you can afford it, I imagine that Christmas Day alone in Jamaica is a lot less depressing than here in the states.  A little research and planning ahead and you may be able to discover an entirely new and exciting way to spend your holidays.  It’s okay to buck the system every once in awhile and do what makes you happy rather than what’s expected.

Volunteer

I’ve found that it’s very difficult to obsess over your own negative feelings when serving those who are less fortunate than you.  We all tend to think our problems trump everyone else’s, but the reality is, there are plenty of people who are praying for what you have right now.  Spending time feeding the homeless or making holiday gift baskets for the poor not only gives you something positive to do with your time, but can put your current situation into proper perspective.  Personally, when I see people who have far less than me overcome with joy over the smallest gift someone offers them, it’s a swift reminder that every single thing is a gift and perhaps I should spend more time appreciating  what I have instead of lamenting over what I don’t.

Talk to a professional

If the holiday season always presents a significant challenge for you emotionally, then consider working with a professional who can help you process your feelings and strategize for how you will cope in a positive manner.  Christmas is difficult for many people and there is never shame in reaching out to someone who is trained to offer you the support and guidance you may not be comfortable requesting of anyone else.

I am praying for anyone who may read this article and relate to its content.  Please know that you are not alone and that it’s time to come out of the shadows and deal with your emotions honestly and productively this holiday season.  Life is not about pretending to be okay, but being okay enough to stop pretending.  Until we chat again, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life!

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9.

 

A Debi Downer

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Thought for the Day:

“Failing is not a disgrace, unless you make it the last chapter of your book.”

Jack Hyles

Question for the Day:

Have you let a “fall from grace” define you?

I was working on another piece this week and didn’t plan on starting something new.  But, I happened to tune into the most recent episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life last weekend and I’m still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor after her interview with former world-class ice skater and Stanford educated Orthopedic Surgeon, Debi Thomas.  Despite rising to heights most only dream of, particularly as an African American woman, Debi has given new meaning to the term “fall from grace.” In fact, going  from an Olympic stage to being hold up in a bug infested mobile home in Virginia with an alcoholic hillbilly who beats her on the regular, is more like an avalanche-style freefall that slammed her face down onto rock bottom.  Ms. Debi has managed to lose her medical career, her practice, every job she’s held, and custody of her only child.  Things at the trailer park have gotten so  bad, that the local sheriff is frequently called to their home because she and her fiancé Jamie can’t seem to settle on who threw the winning punch and deserves the championship belt.  Debi Thomas should be somewhere enjoying a prestigious career and a beautiful home.  I imagine she could be coaching young, aspiring ice skaters or teaching a course on molecular biology at an HBCU or an Ivy League school.  Yet instead, life for her looks more like a scene from 8 Mile….. Where they do that at?

As I watched the episode, a couple of critical issues struck me.  First,  Ms. Thomas is almost certainly suffering from some type of mental illness and/or personality disorder.  Throughout the interview with Iyanla she came off as emotionally detached, confused, and displayed significant cognitive distortions that seemed to bar her from gaining insight.  People who suffer from mental illness are not always able to draw reasonable conclusions about how their choices impact current outcomes.  People with Bipolar Disorder, which it seems Debi has been diagnosed with, struggle to reign in emotional extremes and can be quite impulsive and irrational when manic and/or completely devoid of hope and self esteem when depressed.  Either side of the spectrum can lead an otherwise competent person to make rash and unhealthy choices rooted primarily in emotion.  This is why taking care of one’s mental health is imperative.  If you are bipolar, clinically depressed or have a psychotic disorder, it will be difficult for you to make healthy decisions without mood stability.  I’ve written about this before and believe as a mental health professional myself that many women are living far below their potential because they refuse to get treatment for mental disorders.   (See: Sick in the Head)  https://getliftedgirl.org/2015/03/12/sick-in-the-head/

I’m sure everyone who watched Debi Thomas’ interview initially felt like shaking the scrunchie out her head and slapping that flat look off her face while yelling “Wake up girl! Your life is in the toilet, it stinks, and your boyfriend is getting ready to flush!”  Yet it’s important to remember that if she is mentally ill, she may not be able to draw those obvious conclusions so we must have empathy.  People don’t usually intend to throw their lives away to the degree that Debi did.  Most folks’ luck is generally not that bad without significant deficits in perception, emotion, and self awareness, all signs of mental illness.

The next thing that made me want to hire the Drop Squad to kidnap Debi was this irrational, blind loyalty she has for her low life fiance’, Jamie.  Almost every time Iyanla tried to get her to accept personal responsibility for her choices, Debi was quick to bring up Jamie’s name and discuss his personal struggles instead.  Iyanla had to literally tell her, “Don’t talk to me about Jamie” and told her flat out that she used the relationship to distract herself from the hot mess that is her life.

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Lol!  But seriously, Debi and Jamie may turn into the new poster children for codependent relationships, where Bobby and Whitney used to hold the title.  I’ve discussed codependency before also.  (See: The Thirst is Real) https://getliftedgirl.org/2015/04/09/the-thirst-is-real/

It is critical for us women to stop defining ourselves by our relationships to other people.  In codependency, both parties enter the relationship from a position of lack so they expect that attaching themselves to someone else will fill internal voids.  However, what you typically end up with is a catastrophic clash of resentment, manipulation, anger, abuse and addiction.  Those involved in codependent relationships are perpetually empty and pissed off because their loved ones don’t seem capable of making their poor self-image any better.  It’s not someone else’s job to make our lives better!   Happiness and personal satisfaction will always be an inside job, but the codependent has yet to realize this.  Iyanla was spot on when she told Debi that Jamie was addicted to alcohol, and that she was addicted to Jamie.  Women who latch on to unhealthy situations can become addicted to the constant push and pull of being rejected and hurt so they can repeatedly experience the “high” of being validated once again by the person they ultimately fear will abandon them.  It all stems from a core sense of unworthiness which only God-inspired self-love and acceptance can heal.

As much as we’re all tempted to judge Debi for her downfall, we have to be honest enough to admit that most of us have experienced some sort of personal fall from grace.  You may have woken up next to the gold-tooth thug you met at the club, or been fired from your dream job.  Maybe you had the fairy tale wedding only to divorce a couple of years later or tested positive during a random drug screening at work.  Maybe your business failed, you’ve gone bankrupt (is it hot in here?) or you have a mugshot out there that you curse Google for making so easily accessible.  None of us are immune from embarrassment and disgrace.  Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about our lowest moments being broadcasted in the media so internet trolls can drag us  in the Huffington Post comment section.  Personally, I don’t believe it’s our failures that are ultimately problematic.  Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes.  However, if you let those failures define you and become your reason for staying stuck then you miss what the mistakes came to teach you.  Failures can always make us better if we recognize the cause, heal the wounds, and learn the valuable lessons they offer.  If you learn you are in an unhealthy relationship, get out.  If you discover you have a mental illness, seek treatment.  If there is a problem, be brave enough to accept personal responsibility for your errors in judgment and make amends to yourself and others.  Unfortunately for Debi Thomas, I’m not sure she will learn from all of this.  Iyanla offered her a free apartment away from Jamie and a life coach to help her regain proper perspective and strategize for her future.  She did not commit to the help and returned to the trailer park after a couple of months.  Jamie was also offered alcohol rehab, but quit his program and returned to their dysfunctional situation as well.  It would be great to see one of my childhood role models back on top again, yet it seems she is letting this most recent chapter change her entire story.  Watching someone neglect their propensity for excellence and make a conscious decision to live a life of squalor is a travesty and makes this new Debi Thomas a “Debi Downer” for sure.

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Romans 3:23-24


Hey Single Ladies, One is a Whole Number!

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Thought For The Day:

“I’ve been single for awhile and I have to say… I think I’m the one.”

Emily Heller

Question For The Day:

Will you live fully with or without a family?

This post was written at the urging of a dear friend who was one of my aces while an undergrad at Howard University.  Twenty years later she is still my sister from another mister and she (like most Bison women) is still doing her thing.  One of the most amazing things about her is that she made the decision to become a doctor in her thirties after realizing that life was calling her higher.  While many others  would have just chalked such an intimidating ambition up to a pipe dream and kept plugging along in mediocrity, my beautiful and brilliant sister friend, went after that dream and achieved it.  She recently completed medical school and is currently working on building her practice.   She is everything we women should strive to be: successful, accomplished, and living on purpose all while making the forties look fabulous!  She also happens to be a single woman with no children.

Now as you read that, let me ask you to be honest with me.  How many of you were intrigued and inspired as I told my friend’s story, up until the point where I informed you that she was unmarried with no kids? Was there any part of you that went from being impressed to feeling sorry for her because your mental reflex was to judge the fact that she is a single woman in her forties?  Of course, I know people who read Get Lifted Girl,  would never be that petty (sips tea), but we all know those less enlightened sisters “out there” who keep Steve Harvey books loaded on their Kindle and live for scouting out their Mr. Right and watching their biological clocks. These women might look at my friend much like they probably look at themselves.  Yes, they may have a couple of degrees, be the head of their department at work, or be a successful entrepreneur all of which is “cute,” but for them there’s still not really much to brag about unless they can prove themselves capable of locking down a husband and a baby to seal the deal.  If you are backwards enough to read my friend’s story and still furrow your eyebrows and pout your lips to say “aww, poor thing” then allow me to challenge your perspective.   Why are men seen as whole people with or without a family, while women are generally reduced down to a ring finger and a uterus and the occupancy of either seems to determine if the whole being is worth anyone’s time?   Why do we herald the mother of four in the trailer park as a strong example of womanhood, but dismiss the single CEO as bitchy and not in touch with real emotions?  Why is the burned out, suburban soccer mom the standard for achieving the American dream over the financially independent, single businesswoman who is killing it in the board room but somehow still considered flawed because she remains “unluckly in love.”

This post is for women like my friend who’ve spent many nights studying, rehearsing, working, praying, and putting one foot in front of the other despite an arduous uphill climb. Though their efforts to finally secure that PhD, breakout role, medical degree, or pass the bar exam are unquestionably meritorious, they’re still forced to dodge countless inquiries from ‘mama and nem’ who are proud of their baby but wonder when they’ll get down to the real issue of finding a husband and  having a baby already!  Sad or nah?

Here’s the thing, as a wife and mother I can attest that being married is cool (most of the time)  and having children is a wonderful experience (most of the time), but what if it simply ain’t for every woman?  I can remember some pretty cool things about being a single woman with no kids also.  I’m frequently envious of women who have the freedom to travel or change cities if they are so inclined.  It would be awesome to get aggravated with your man and opt to just ignore his texts but in a marriage you still may be responsible for washing his dirty drawers no matter how pissed you are.  I miss dancing until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping in on weekends.  There is beauty in not having to answer to anyone or be responsible for anyone else’s behavior or choices.  When you’re unattached, you not only have the right but the ability to put yourself first and you don’t have to wrestle with the guilt of deciding to indulge yourself in the face of other’s needs.  Truth be told, though we wives and moms like to gush about how fulfilled we are, most of us long for more because contrary to what’s politically correct to admit, there are indeed limits to what you can do with your time, energy, and money when you have a family to support.  (See: The Struggle is Real)  https://getliftedgirl.org/2015/03/03/the-struggle-is-real/

I know most of us were programmed to expect marriage and motherhood to be the pinnacle of the female experience.   Why else would our well-meaning mothers and aunties buy us all those baby dolls and encourage us to ‘take good care of them’ while little boys were chastised for even looking too hard at a doll.  We women were supposed to go away to college and come back with not just a degree but hopefully a suitable husband where men were encouraged to focus on their studies and sow their wild oats while supplies lasted.  If a man decides that he does not want a wife and children, he is seen as the illusive mystery man who’s the ultimate challenge for a woman on the prowl.   Yet if a woman decides she’d rather go it alone and keep a variety of companions on deck, she’s given the side eye and assumed to be promiscuous, defective, and apparently not worth the effort of pursuit. Women who may have grown up as children of divorce or who are naturally introverted and independent, may not see the need to attach themselves to anyone else and may be fully capable of enjoying their own company. Other women like Oprah may be aware of a high calling on her life and can accept that they will not likely reach their highest career potential if distracted by a husband and family.  Men choose excellence in their profession over a half-hearted attempt at being a family man all the time, yet somehow it’s against the woman code for us to do the same.

Another double standard is that men opt out of parenthood every day.  I wish more wouldn’t wait until after they already have kids to do so, but I’m not talking about the Maury Show deadbeats today.  I’m talking about grown, gainfully-employed, established men who make the conscious decision not to become fathers.  We women might not like that, but we have to respect a man who knows what he wants and doesn’t want and is upfront about it.   Yet when a woman decides she is not interested in motherhood, she will often receive dumbfounded looks like she’s morphed into some kind of two-headed monster.  What’s up with that?  As a social worker, I can appreciate and respect any woman who recognizes they don’t have what it takes to be the best mother possible and chooses to save an innocent child the heartache.  In fact, I actually worked in adoption at one point and was a birth mother counselor.  I would offer support and counseling to women who voluntarily placed their newborn child for adoption.  The choice was not easy for any of them but it seems understandable for a woman with limited financial resources to choose adoption.  However, I did run across a few women who probably could have supported their child financially but were honest enough to admit that they were too busy, too focused on their career, or just flat out too selfish to give a baby what it deserves.  I know the motherly instinct we’re all supposed to have might have been riled up as you read that, as mine was when I first started in that position.  However, as my time in that job continued, I learned to develop a deep appreciation for those women.  To decide that someone else is better equipped emotionally and mentally to parent your baby takes a tremendous amount of self-awareness and self-acceptance.  The tragedy would be in recognizing those deficits but still moving forward with motherhood knowing the child will pay the cost for those limitations.  Maybe you are a woman who wasn’t able to enjoy your childhood or you had responsibilities placed on you early in life and now that you are able, you want to enjoy your life, have fun and celebrate your freedom.  Or maybe you’re just not a kid person.  You ain’t for all that crying and sleep deprivation and don’t want to come in contact with anyone else’s bowel movements but your own.  Who am I to judge?  Heck, there’s a reason nannies are in such high demand though all of us can’t afford them.  So, if a woman knows she is not likely to enjoy the often tedious, sometimes gross, and mostly chaotic underbelly of motherhood, wouldn’t it be better for her to just own it?  If for you the sacrifice to your lifestyle wouldn’t prove worth it, then invest in some birth control and press on with your journey.   Life can be fulfilling without children and you can go in peace knowing that you are not loading unhappy children into your life’s baggage and making them responsible for weighing you down.

The bottom line is this.  Please stop judging single women “of a certain age” who are not married and don’t have kids.  Moreover, if you are this woman, please stop judging yourself.  There is no rule that says you have to get married and have kids!  If you insist on imposing this standard on yourself then the quality of your life will always hinge on whether or not it comes to pass.  Don’t waste your life minimizing your successes and delaying your progression because you are waiting for a family to complete you.   We all tend to obsess over what we want added to our lives and live in fear of what might be taken away, yet there’s something critical to remember.  Who we were born to be is valuable and that value remains constant no matter what else is added or subtracted from the equation.  God lives in all of us which means we lack nothing.   I encourage all women to stop running from singlehood and recognize that one is as whole a number as any.

Assed Out

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Thought For The Day:

“Girls want attention.  Women want respect.”

Question For The Day:

Do you respect yourself?

untitledLadies, are you tired of all those uncomfortable neck strains and off-centered rear end portraits taken in the bathroom mirror?  Are you fed up with the perfect butt shot being ruined by the toilet in the background or your kids bath toys cluttering up your set?  Now, getting the perfect angle of your plump posterior is easier than ever with the rearview selfie’s new best friend, the Belfie Stick!  Imagine having no limits to the amount of ass shots you can post on Instagram.  People will be amazed at just how up close and personal they can get with your assets.  All your friends will be jealous of just how many unsolicited friend requests and “pokes” you get from pervy strangers because your high quality booty pics will be as close to the real thing as one can get!  LOL!  This would be even funnier if it wasn’t actually a real product.

Despite the images on the box, I have a feeling the Belfie Stick creators aren’t trying to market to Greg and Marsha Brady as the package suggests.  No ma’am, such an item could only be for the true butt selfie connoisseur, the Kim Kardashians and Nick Minajs of the world.  The person the Belfie speaks to, lives for friend requests, and is thirsty for the kind of immediate attention that only a cold-blooded butt shot can achieve.  Now, if you are one of the women who is excited by this product and might pre-order your Belfie Stick while supplies last, then this post is for you.

I’ve previously written about the dangerous effects that an obsessive quest for the perfect donkey booty can have on a woman’s health.  It’s even potentially deadly for those willing to inject toxins into their body to achieve ultimate bootiliciousness. (See: “No Butts About It”)  https://getliftedgirl.org/2015/03/26/no-butts-about-it/

As I consider the apparent demand for the Belfie Stick, I have to wonder just how far down the rabbit hole female self-respect will go.  Personally, if someone is googling me or even searching for me on Facebook, what do I expect them to make of me if the first introduction I offer is a perfectly photographed ass?  It’s quite sad to think that despite all the uniquely beautiful qualities of  womanhood like quiet strength, love, nurturance, and intelligence, it is reasonable for some to push those characteristics aside and let a butt represent them instead.  Our society has become so overly-sexualized that many women no longer see the value in using the mind to achieve the good life.  We’re constantly reminded that “sex sells” and it would seem that if women want the world’s acknowledgement, they’d better back that thang up and show everyone what they’re working with because a woman with modesty is wasting everyone’s time.

Using your body or images of your body is an easy way to get attention but will never work for getting the respect I believe all women secretly desire, and frankly, deserve.  In fact, I’m not convinced that today’s female generation even knows how to recognize true respect.  They have learned by watching women get rich and famous for nothing more than getting naked on the internet or working the pole that a “good life” is possible for those who tailor their values around making sure men find them f…. “dateable.”  These women know nothing about being asked for their intellectual opinion, being wined and dined, or having a man work an honest living to ensure their needs are met, all signs of respectful appreciation.  Unfortunately, the only sort of respect many of today’s young women understand are likes on Facebook, offers to “smash” or possibly the promise of a date night if you’re willing to put truffle butter on your… you know the rest.  Just in case you are confused, here’s how to tell the difference between a thirst for attention and self-respect.

Team Thirsty

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  1. You have more than 1,000 selfies on social media and half of them are butt shots.
  2. When someone asks you to describe yourself, you start with your measurements.
  3. You spend more time updating your social media profiles than you do working or going to school.
  4. You wish you had been born into the Kardashian family.
  5. You wait for others to buy things for you rather than planning to get them on your own.
  6. You have no goals and are not actively working on developing any.
  7. You are on every possible social media site and you are NEVER logged off.
  8. You don’t read anything other than magazines or websites focusing on hair, make-up, or fashion.
  9. You’re looking for a man to save you and your kids.
  10. You feel too cute to work or go to school.
  11. You think someone telling you they want to “hit it” is a compliment.
  12. You are willing to have sex on a first date AND might post about it on Instagram.
  13. You have been known to brag about your skills in the bedroom even to your 2,000 plus Facebook friends that you don’t personally know.
  14. You think women who work or who suggest you tone it down are “haters.”
  15. You are miserable when your online posts don’t get an acceptable amount of “likes.”  Truth be told, you are miserable most of the time.

Team Self Respect

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  1. You use social media to keep in touch with family and friends and are conscious about how your posts reflect on you.
  2. You would never buy the Belfie Stick.
  3. You are too busy working, going to school, or taking care of your children to spend significant time on social media sites.
  4. You block people who send you inappropriate messages or make crude comments about your physique online.  You don’t return phone calls or offer second dates to people who do it in real life.
  5. You don’t believe in sleeping with people you don’t know well.
  6. You read actual books.
  7. You don’t accept unsolicited friend requests on Facebook and try to limit friends to people you actually know.
  8. You post pictures that reflect various aspects of your life other than your appearance.
  9. You are not threatened by other women’s beauty or success.  In fact, you have a “no hate” philosophy and believe in celebrating other women.
  10. You have goals, dreams, and aspirations that you are actively working towards.
  11. You anticipate owning a home, car, and other nice things whether you have a man or not.
  12. You are trusting God to send the right man your way.
  13. You have more to talk about than your looks.
  14. You believe in leaving something to the imagination.
  15. You like who you are and how you look, even if others don’t.

I’m sure that with this post, I run the risk of being called a “hater.”  After all, I don’t have the kind of butt that one would willingly capture with a Belfie Stick and post online.  But even if I did, I wouldn’t want people to appreciate my backside more than they appreciated my mind or my spirit. I don’t believe any female should be reduced down to a body part when we are incomprehensibly so much more.  If you are a woman who craves attention to the point of sacrificing your self-respect then let me remind you of something.  You are a child of the Most High God!  Until you can learn to appreciate the value in that, you’ll always be assed out.