Tag Archives: Love & Romance

Broken Cycles

Broken CyclesLife has a funny way of making certain things cyclical until we finally get the message. What we equate to bad luck, a rut or even a terrible life is really nothing more than an internal cycle of events designed to teach us a lesson. I like to call this “The Process.” My definition of process is a series of operations that produce a finished product. I actually find it comforting to go through the process. Why? Well, I’m not crazy, that’s for sure. But below the surface you begin to realize that cheap things don’t go through a process. So if you are finding yourself in this state, it is only because you carry extreme value.

Think about expensive furniture or a well-constructed piece of clothing. If it came from quality, it has to go through the process. Fine leathers, exotic woods or precious metals aren’t just taken from their source and handed to a consumer. There are several steps it must go through. Items that last long enough to pass on to your grandchildren have gone through a process to ensure their value will remain high. But on the other hand, that bag or pair of shoes that you grabbed for next to nothing will barely last the season. What’s even funnier is when you go the cheaper route, you end up paying more in the long run. Life, love and dealing with ourselves can be a lot like this.

I’ve heard it said, “When you truly know your worth you will stop giving everyone discounts.” I fell in love with this quote years ago as I began expanding my field as an empowerment coach to women. It rang true day in and day out as I sat and heard women from all walks of life and backgrounds “self” diagnosis themselves as “broken.” Broken? Really? Who told you that? Most had been beaten down emotionally by someone so selfish that they began to echo what they heard. Calling yourself broken by another’s definition is probably the highest form of sabotage you can perform on yourself. That would mean that the person or situation was so strong it had the ability to alter your process. And that’s just not true! I believe no one or thing can break us from the inside out. Don’t get me wrong, circumstances can and will affect us. At times, they may even injure us. But nothing can cause us to deteriorate from an external point of view.

Let’s look at it like this. Every woman is a seed waiting to explode with potential. And just like a seed, when the time comes there is a process that begins at its core. While covered with dirt, far beneath the surface great work is happening. In the dark places where no one can view, internal shifts create momentum. What no one knows is that you’re giving birth to all that lives within. From the outside it may seem like a breakdown. But it is really the necessary steps to get you to your greatness!

In Latin, the word germinate comes from “germinare” and gives the idea of something coming from a deep place and sprouting forward. Interestingly it does not mean to make something become that never was. But more of a revealing of what was hidden. That should lend hope and empowerment to every woman reading this. Stop trying to become what you’re not. You were designed and taken through the process to have a sort of coming out party for the world to see who and what you’ve always been. You were made perfect, don’t waste time being a cheap imitation.

The seed then sacrifices looking pretty and well put together to move from potential to production. And it all started with a process. How many ladies have been misjudged because they processed their journey publicly? Society can be relentless in its stereotypes. From reality TV, magazines and social media, we’ve been brainwashed to believe you should live a pristine life with no hiccups. That’s an absolute lie. Your journey gets messy. You miss the mark. You blow it. And so what! If you could ask a seed how the experience of growth was, it would tell you it was hell. But it was all worth it. When you know that what’s in you is bigger than the place you’ve been planted, you learn to embrace every step of the process.

Maybe we’ve looked at being broken the wrong way this whole time. We have spent millions and wasted countless hours striving to fit into a label that was flawed. Instead of hiding mistakes and the rough patches of our journey, I say celebrate them. Perhaps broken was simply the vehicle intended to reveal the best parts of you. The parts that no ex-lover, no abuser or critic could ever imagine. I love the way poet Dee Rees puts it in the closing lines of one of her poems:

Running is not a choice from the breaking
Breaking is freeing
Broken is freedom
I am not broken
I’m free.

Changing relationships one princess at a time!!!

Early Jackson

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3 Things Guys Should Never Do To Get A Date

Early Jackson 2013At 42 I look back on my past behaviors as it relates to dating and shake my head. There’s no cute way to put it, I was definitely a jerk. I shudder at the conversations I left in my wake. This all came back to my remembrance after a recent conversation with three women in an eye glass store. One of the three women was my wife Cherese. We’d wandered into the store just looking for some cool frames and such. As we stood at the counter discussing prices, in walks a guy with shades on. He’s actually significant in this context because we obviously missed our cue to be impressed as he whipped off his glasses in Hollywood fashion. He stood there for a second in the door way, as if to say, “I’m here!” Right out of the gate I’m sure ladies are reading this and can imagine some guy in their past. You remember, He’s the one who knows you should feel privileged he’s even directing his attention your way. So he comes over to the counter in front of the first young lady, takes a seat and boldly asks “I’m sure you remember me right?” To which she responded, “Should I?” This always crushes guy’s feelings. Here’s when I leaned over to my wife and kind of laughed. She knew exactly what was going on. For the next 10 minutes we listened and laughed as he made every feeble attempt to put the moves on this poor lady. He even mentioned the fact that she should really remember him because of his striking height and features. I still don’t know how I managed to keep my lunch down. When he finally left, feeling a bit deflated, I was privy to a high level top secret conversation between women. I mean, some classified stuff. I immediately mentioned my new relationship book, “The Modern Princess,” which outlines three princesses with serious men issues. I asked if they’d break down both what he did wrong and what was going through their heads. As it turns out, his epic fail serves as a great object lesson in the ever confusing interactions of men and women. (1) He walked in but they never met “him”: So I’m learning more and more how important authenticity is to ladies. If you’re looking for more than a flashy line and a few one night stands, those cheesy lines are the pits. It took me well into my twenties to value and appreciate my true self. Ladies, when a man refuses to show you who he really is, he’s obviously hiding something. Anyone can impress within the context of a Vine video, 120 characters or a retouched Facebook photo. But real, lasting relationships are born out of authentic, in-person interaction. (2) He assumed she not only remembered him, but somehow was impressed: Big mistake! A guy that seeks to superficially impress will have issues with long term relationships. I can relate because that was me. Once the shine or newness of the relationship wore off, so did my attention. Impressing is for boys. Men seek to connect on a much deeper level. And please remember ladies, if he has to tell you he’s a ‘boss’, he’s NOT! (3) He tried to connect with her through material things: As she struggled through his advances to make an eye exam appointment, he politely dropped the fact that he drove a luxury car; it wouldn’t be an issue with day appointments because he was the “boss.” He even managed to work in that he lived in an affluent area of the city. When will we learn that a real women isn’t a gold digger, she’s a goal digger? So what we have doesn’t move their hearts anymore. At the end of it all, we parted ways with them looking up my website to order a couple of books and us with a much welcomed laugh. But at the core, all of life is teaching a lesson. In a few moments I was able to look back at my own development and look forward to the cause in which I hope to spread through “Tiara Talk.” I want to cultivate a conversation about relationships, love and all the other B.S. so dating will be safe for my granddaughter. See you at the TOP! Early

How to Bounce Back After Divorce

tiara 2We live in a world fascinated with consignment. Everyone loves to get a bargain on something they consider a luxury. Some however view this same situation as ‘used’ or second-hand. No matter how you slice it, just because something or someone has a history is no reason their next days can’t be their best days.

I often share candidly the fact that I was married before. I spent nearly 10 full years with the same woman while actively participating in raising three awesome children. To some, most of those years were spent in marital bliss, but quite often we were at each other’s throats. Add in the pressures apparent in our church organization and you have a dangerous cocktail. We realized mutually that the children were to be the main factor and we were thrust into a status as divorced. This was a transition in my life I had no point of reference to go by. But ready or not, this was my reality.

Many are concerned and even bewildered with how to navigate through the explosive field of divorce. The reality is, every situation is different and must be viewed as such. What you can find is a point of reference that helps guide you along the way. For example, here are a few things I learned that may empower you if this is the season you’re in:

  • Remember no matter what, this is the person you chose to marry: Things may not be coming up roses at the moment, but at some point you professed your love to them. There is no need to go ‘Rambo’ now! This is just another evolution of yourself so go with the flow and prepare to move forward.
  • Live for today, plan for a better tomorrow: You don’t want to speak words of hurt that you cannot retract and will be forced to live with later. Many throw caution to the wind and devastate someone, only to have to come back and ask forgiveness.
  • If you have children, it’s ALL about the children now: That person that you feel you can’t stand is still your partner in parenting for the rest of your children’s lives. This means, no matter what happens, keep it civil for their sake. Nothing destroys your credibility with kids quicker than hearing the poisonous words from your broken relationship.
  • Get your own friends to vent with: It may be very tempting to share ‘grown up’ stuff with your kids. Especially if the other parent is not living up to their end of agreements, but you must not leak this into the ears of the kids. Get your own support group, go vent with adults who can separate facts from feelings and offer assistance. But DO NOT use your kids as a sounding board.

Fast forward three years and I decided to take the plunge again. This is uncharted territory for my new wife, no kids and never married. Many questioned did she really know what she was getting into? Could she handle the ‘baby momma’ drama?

These were all questions we discussed together, and along our journey we began to see a pattern for both our successes and failures. We learned that our discussions and even arguments were leaving clues of what to do, and not do. If we could simply identify these markers, we could live a life of peace, on purpose! Here are a few things we found helpful:

  • The lines of communication have to be clearly open: We found that the bulk of our disagreements came when either of us was not clear on a particular thing. It sounds simple, but it can be very difficult to remember that what you mean and what you say have to line up. If not, you leave your partner confused.
  • Make sure that outside influences do not ruin the relationship: This was a big one for me. There were times where my actions sent the signal that someone else’s opinion was great than my wife’s. I totally missed that the leading language of love is “affirmation.” And without it, she felt unsafe. When your partner doesn’t feel safe, the foundation of the union is shaky.
  • Make the investment in new customs and traditions: When my wife and I began our new relationship, we realized we both came from different family dynamics. Even the locations of our families were on opposite ends of the states. We decided very quickly that we would develop our own holiday rituals and celebrate our own way. Instead of wrestling with where are we going, and who we would spend time with, we planned fun things for us to do. This allowed us the time needed to really bond as a “blending family.”

There are many obstacles ahead of anyone who has had the misfortune of divorce. No matter how mutual, divorce is a tremendous thing. It affects both families, and children if present. If not handled, and time allotted to properly process the event, it can leave deep scars. I am grateful I sought coaching and guidance from qualified individuals to help me navigate. Although I experienced a divorce, I never lost hope in the institution of marriage. I still believe there is life, after any loss.

See you at the TOP!

Early Jackson