The Act of Forgiveness-Leads to Self-Fulfillment

Forgiveness, what is it really?

Forgiveness is immense!

Throughout time and through the journey of our distinct lives, forgiveness can be seen or referred to as a gift, a gift that some of us hate giving. It can be a choice or an emotion that is a replica of our inner selves, however, trying to forget something a person has done is not an easy and simple thing to ‘put six feet under’. For some, it may take hours, days or even years to let go of grievances and bitterness and for others, well… they simply cannot wipe out the situation, especially serious incidents or regular occurrences. 

Forgiveness is a virtue but the way people perceive it is quite relative. Some people think that certain actions are explicable, hence forgiveness is warranted; ‘I didn’t mean to do it or say it, so forgive me’. While in some cases it can be so, others….. not so much.

 

 

Forgiveness is a commitment to an individual that he or she has been pardoned, where a process of change and a new start is ensued. Is it significant to give a soul another chance, since everyone make mistakes?

Nobody is perfect!

But what if their actions were intentional, where the main focus was to inflict pain and hurt, just to soothe their bruised ego, do we forgive them then?

Do we say, ‘They didn’t mean it’ when we are left with our tails tucked between our legs?

Forgiveness is personal and the act can and may have various meanings. Acceptance of apology may be forgiveness for some, while helping the other who hurt us to get out of the habit of ill-treatment may be a way for others.

 

 

Re-iterating, everyone makes mistakes, there is no perfect person. Therefore, forgiving others allows us to forgive ourselves when we commit our own follies and the act also grants us a sense of peace within ourselves.

We tend to lean on people who are close to us, people that we have opened our heart’s gates to; but what if those said people who are close to us betray or hurt us?

What do we do then?

Do we find it most difficult to forgive them?

The extent to which our trust is breached determines the ease or difficulty in forgiving. It is however; true that the more easily we forgive the other person, the less likely we shall smother ourselves by keeping bad intentions for the offender. We need to feed it into our system to let go, so that we do not stay annoyed and hurt for long (refers to self).

So all this talk about forgiveness, what do we actually do after we have made up our minds and hearts to forgive the offender?

Do we forgive and forget?

Do we forgive and carry-on as if nothing happened?

Or do we entertain and occupy the same space as such person/s? (A major struggle)

Learning to accept other’s flaws can/may create healthy relationships. Forgiving someone takes a vast ability and willingness before we can totally say that we have forgiven a person. It sometimes is a conflicting process between the soul and mind, because at the end of the day, while some people may think water runs through other’s veins and not blood, we all ‘FEEL’ and that ‘FEEL’ can manifest itself in so many ways, both positive and negative and let’s be real; when we hurt, the human side kicks in instantly and we may/will retaliate. This at times will do more bad than good, as we trying to make ourselves feel better about the hurt that we are experiencing. We don’t necessarily think, ‘Oh golly! I am going to forgive the culprit right away!’

 

 

While forgiving someone  for the bad things that they have done to us may take years (is there a limit or time frame to forgive?), it is a progression that will, over time help our soul heal from all the hatred that we have developed towards the person (Or towards ourselves).

Forgiveness is a divine act and should be granted (Within means?). Within our souls and minds, there will always be a space for people’s mistakes or wrong doings; therefore, there will always be a chance to forgive them.

At the end of it all, having compassion and tolerance, helps us feel light and aids us in getting rid of hard feelings that occupy our mind and heart and infect our peace of mind. Forgiveness is a way to self-fulfillment. People who can readily forgive others are much more responsible and satisfied inside than those who hold on to grudges against others and develop feelings of animosity. But while forgiveness is granted, it doesn’t give you instant backstage access to being apart the person’s life. There is no obligation present there. And while we sit and eat away at ourselves (While the offender/s are going about their lives quite happily), the feeling of anguish will only result in arguments, fights, mistreatment and sometimes a horrible outcome, war. Those who forgive help create positive energy which in turn leads to a better world.

 

Forgive not for the offender, but for yourself!

A ‘Nostalgic’ Vacation? (Part 1)

Times are tough and for some of us, we spend our lives trying to make a living; for some trying to survive.

On a recent trip back home, of which I was excited about, mostly to see my family and close friends, I experienced a rather bittersweet time. My land of birth, my little rock in the sea, was certainly not like I had imagined it to be. Yes, things have changed and everyone have moved on to another point in their life, but I was hoping for a little nostalgia.

The minute I stepped foot in the airport, the expecting feeling of nostalgia was quickly evaporated. Every single face that I looked upon was seriously sour. I get it, we all have our bad days, but a place where you come in contact with people on a daily basis should not be a place where you take your personal problems and lash out on others.

“If you are Jamaican, join this line”, said the customer care personnel, as she pointed to the line. She was trying very hard to speak Standard English, but the dialect chipped in, in every other word.

“Passport numba missing, guh over there and fill it in!” she then said to us as soon as she looked at our custom declaration forms.We obliged and proceeded to the next step of the ridiculously long line.

I mean, it was not so bad up until we got to the actual line for declaration. This is when we realize that everyone seriously wanted to ‘eat a food’.

We had nothing to declare, the extra item was an electronic item, that did not require any form of declaration, but once it was seen, we were horridly and aggressively directed to the red line. Other individuals were complaining as well. One particular individual was emptying the contents of his suitcase and all I could see was his clothing and other personal items all out on display for everyone’s eyes. In the end there was nothing for him to declare and the custom agent/officer was quite upset and aggressively told him to pack back his items in his suitcase and hurry and move out of the line.

It was our turn and we had the receipt for the item that was to be ‘declared’. We showed it to the custom officer. He looked at it and with a very angry look on his face said,

“Write wah else unuh have in a unuh suitcase and push it tru di scanner.” My spouse wrote clothes and shoes, which is exactly what we had in our suitcases. We once again obliged and proceeded through the line. Upon exiting the declaration area, there was nothing to pay for or confiscate, so our very ‘kind’ custom officer simply grabbed the forms from my hand and looked the other way. I gather she was upset that she didn’t get to ‘eat a food’ from us.

<<Rewind… two months back.

We made reservations for a car from Budget Car Rentals for the duration of our time there. We got our confirmation and the price for the rental.

Fast Forward >>

We approach Budget Car Rental’s desk and stated that we made a reservation for a car. The representative asked for the last name it was reserved under and looked up the information.

“Its $1000 deposit and $738 for the car.” said the rep.

We showed her the email with the reservation and the price that we were given for the rental and told her that we will be using our Discover card to pay, since it covers insurance for car rentals internationally.

She looked up, with a changed facial expression and said “We nuh have nuh cyar!”

Imagine the shocked expression on our faces.

Panicked stricken and trying to go to plan B (there was no plan B!), we asked,

“What do you mean you do not have any cars, we made a reservation?”

According to her, all the cars are out and the one that we were to get was extended and wasn’t back.

How can you make a reservation for something, you didn’t cancel it and when you go to get it, it is not there?

She then stated that she was going to try and source a car, from where I don’t know, and if we would wait. What choice did we have really? In the meantime, we were asking around other car rental agencies if they had cars, they said they didn’t. We were so naïve to what was actually going on.

Another employee came out and thank God he did, because we would have probably had it worse than we did. He checked to see if we were getting through and I explained to him the issue we were having (This was 1 hour later after talking with the first rep). He went and checked, came back and said there is a car; however, we have to wait about an hour to an hour and a half to get it. We agreed to wait.

“Jus leave unuh bags dem deh suh and wait on the outside by the restaurant” he said to us.

Ah… NO! We are not leaving our luggage unattended!

We proceeded outside with our luggage to wait.

It’s getting dark, we are tired, and we have a far way to go and no car.

A gentle man came over to check if we were ok. We relayed the situation with him and he said hold one. He came back with another gentle man and said he has a car he can rent us.

We told him we made a reservation with Budget and they have no cars. He looked at the reservation and said,

“Den a how unuh get dat deh low price deh, a peak season now?”

We said we booked it two months ago. He goes on to say, that Budget has cars and showed us the cars neatly parked in the parking lot and said that because we are getting it for the price we showed him, they are holding out to the highest bidder.

We asked him how much for the car he was renting and he said $850 plus we have to pay deposit and insurance. We told him we are not going to pay $850 to rent a car, he went down to $650, and we refused. We said we are using a Discover card and it covers deposit and insurance internationally. He went on to say that it doesn’t work in Jamaica only in the United States. I said to him that it does, there is an international clause that states that it covers car rental insurance and deposit.

Hear him nuh, “Is only Visa and MasterCard work a Jamaica.”

My spouse then said to him, “It is a MasterCard!” X_X

To show you how he has no clue as to what he is talking about, he kindly closed his mouth and said nothing more. He obviously didn’t know the different types of cards and was just running on pure air!

“Mi kno wey a gwaan dung yah enuh, suh nuh bodda wid it” I said to him. Apparently he was not hearing the patois in my voice and was coming with some exorbitant prices to rent a car.

We then asked how much it is to just take us into Kingston; he went away and came back with another guy and stated that it would be $200. Kiss mi neck back, $200 just to go into Kingston?! Once more we refused.

By this time an hour had passed and I saw the Budget Rep coming over. To our surprise, she went directly to the man who wanted to rent us the car for $850. He blatantly, with no regards that we are standing there said,

“Den a how yuh manage fi mek dem get it at dat deh price deh?”

We didn’t pay it much mind, as the other rep was directing us towards a shuttle to go and get the now available car.

We were shuttled to another location, which is a completely different car rental company to get ‘the car that we reserved with Budget’.

In the end we didn’t quite put two and two together yet, we were just happy (well… my spouse was fuming!) we got a car that was functioning and could take us into Kingston.

Its rough out there, but it’s absurd to see what lengths people will go to, to get more money from others. No one is better than the other; however, it is opportunities that allow some of us to stand a better chance at surviving. I love my country, but trying to swindle others out of their hard earned money is past ridiculous. I can’t imagine what an actual tourist goes through.

 

 

P.S. The car had no back brake!

———–> part two to come!

One is the loneliest number

An elderly couple that I knew, who only had each other in this great big wonderful world, was hit with the sad reality that one had to go without the other. The husband had a series of illnesses, which was quite clear that the inevitable was quickly approaching. He died a few weeks ago and I started reflecting on the thought of being alone and of the wife and what she must be going through.
He has left this earth and now the wife stands by herself, all alone in the world. The one person that completely understood her and had spent the last thirty years of her life with, is now gone, never to return.

So I ask the questions, do we fully understand being alone versus loneliness? Is it ok to go through life singing the ‘I can do bad all by myself anthem?’

Many people enjoy being alone. I do sometimes, but we are not wired to be alone, we crave companionship. We readily welcome any form of human contact within our lives.

For some the line between being alone and lonely is a very thin one that is crossed ever too often. We squeeze the two together into one and chalk it up to ‘finding ourselves.’ Nothing is wrong with that, as many people are introverts and find it difficult to be around people and have to figure out who they are as an individual.

An astonishing amount of individuals has a significant fear of being alone (myself included), to an extent. This doesn’t mean that some of us do not know how to be or function by ourselves. It just means that we enjoy a steady human contact (No! not sex, it’s not always about sex). My spouse and I can just sit in each other’s presence, not say a word and be content with the knowledge that we are physically present in the moment.

It’s a scary yet exciting world out there and it’s even scarier to travel and explore it alone.

We may fear being without our families, our friends or our significant others. This is a natural feeling and we have all felt it at some point in time in our lives and we may even try desperately to avoid dealing with it, which can lead to immense misery within us.

We all desire the need for that one person who knows our scariest secrets (you don’t? Well… I do) and who will always be there no matter the circumstances to catch us when we fall; that one person that we can rely on at all times.
But with this desire comes an enormous liability towards others as well as towards ourselves in that, we first have to learn to be by ourselves and enjoy it; without this a relationship can become primarily flawed, because there is a great dependent on one person, which can become quite overbearing.

We must learn to find a sense of freedom in isolation, where we can stand on our own and be content with ourselves first, before we can join in union with another human being (#selfLove).

Some individuals are so into themselves that they over compensate loneliness. I have heard where persons state that they are not afraid of being alone, yet they ‘monkey bar’ their way through life from one partner to another, not taking the time to really get to know who they are as a person and being true to who they are. Now I am not judging, if that works for you, then hats off to you.

Being lonely in my opinion is never a good thing.

1. Loneliness is the seclusion that comes with an unmet expectation, results… such feeling      are not returned.
2. Loneliness is screaming within and no one is there to calm the storm.
3. It is the sense of emotional abandonment.
4. Loneliness leads to you blaming yourself for everything in your life.
5. You become so disconnected from everyone and everything.
6. You become dependent on others for your happiness.
7. You become so restless to the point where you become so rooted in fear.

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Now imagine going through life dealing with some if not all the above?
Is that a healthy way to live?

Loneliness is a state of mind and it doesn’t depend on other people, it simply means that there is something empty within us. It can even be portrayed as a chronic illness.

Some may even say you could be surrounded by lots of friends and families and still be lonely, but atleast there is someone there to ‘pass yuh a cup of wata and two pill if yuh head a hurt yuh.

While it’s great and dandy to be in tune with ourselves and be caught up in your own world, it remains that in order to function effectively around another individual, we have to try and keep our thoughts positive and our minds clear. This will then allow us to intertwine ourselves with another individual and function for the betterment of the two of you.
I am not saying to go find someone and dump your entire burden on them and even settle for someone who doesn’t make you happy, but you stay in fear of being alone, however, it’s necessary to try and deal with such issues before they move from an ant hill to a mountain and spiral out of control.

Companionship is an essential part of life. I take pleasure in the fact that I have that one person who knows my inner most thoughts, who has seen me at my worst, who has cheered me on my best and who has been there through thick and thin and while I have close family members and friends, everyone is off doing their own thing, building their own lives, some even, trying to keep their heads above water, some…. just simply going through life.

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It’s an amazing feeling, knowing well that you will always have that one person who will always be there for you, who if life prolongs or allows it, will sit together and read the paper (well… there might not be tangible reading materials then) and who you will soak your dentures in a glass of water with, in essence, that one person you will grow old with.

And when the inevitable comes, that one person will be by your side, heart wrenching, tears rolling down but holding your hand as you depart this world.

Just like the elderly couple, who only had each other even up to the end. I am sure that while it’s scary for the wife to be left standing alone, she took great comfort in knowing that she had fond memories of her husband, she was with him every step of the way, right up to the end. #truelove

Has chivalry evolved or is it merely put… dead?

I am a pretty modern individual, but I have a lot of old fashion ways core values in me (Yes! I grew up with my grandmother). While I appreciate every aspects of ‘girl power’ certain core roles are still important within a relationship, be it intimate or social.

Being independent is an awesome feeling and it is super attractive, however, is it an excuse that we kill the code of conduct within a relationship? Chivalry is an elegant and attractive character one could have. Does this mean that the relationship have to be intimate and serious before, you can hold the door? And when I say intimate, I don’t mean a ‘slam-bam, thank you madam’ kind of intimacy.

Most modern women are very independent in life and in love, but I would gather that they want someone who will still treat them like ladies, like a delicate flower; however, chivalry has become increasingly rare.

But who is to be blamed for this untimely passing? Is it dead or has it evolved? Is it in a coma somewhere, waiting to take its last breath, due to the rise of feminism? Even so, does being a feminist dictates that chivalry should take a back seat?

 

 

Relationships now-a-days are built solely on social stigma and every details of such relationship is plastered all over social media for all to see. No one courts anymore. The idea is that, if money is spending, then the ‘goods’ should be running, otherwise it’s a waste of time and of course money. Spending money on a nice dinner does not automatically means you will be getting anything in return. It may guarantee you a second date, at least. ‘Oh, you bought a $24 meal at Olive Garden, well there goes the under garments.’ Gone are the days, when a guy would have to court a girl a few months before getting a ‘chups’ on the lips. Now as soon as the date has started, the expectation of intimacy is significantly high.

Chivalry in my opinion is very important in relationships (and I am strong feminist). It shows character and it shows that the person is not just solely into you for a ‘quick meal’.

 

 

A few pointers to consider:

  1. Simply holding the door – You step out or into a building and someone is behind you, do you let the door go and perhaps let it hit them or do you hold it to let whomever through? Do you expect something in return for such a kind gesture? Is it going to be the death of you if you do?
  2. Getting the car when it’s raining – my spouse and I went out and it was raining real hard. I was in heels and obviously it would have taken me a longer time to get to the car. She walked in the rain, got the car and parked as close as possible to the side walk, just so I could get as little wet as possible. Enough said.
  3. Avoiding games – A relationship isn’t a game! Say what you want and mean it. Don’t beat around the bush, climb the mountain, cross the river and the valley before saying clearly what is it that you want. This doesn’t mean you are going to force what you want down someone’s throat. Show your interest with small gestures, even large ones and mean it. Playing around is very old and tired.
  4. Little here and there public gestures – holding hands are a big deal for a lot of individuals, especially women. It shows that you are not afraid to show the world that he/she is yours and you are proud. A little peck is a big plus too, but don’t go over board to the point where a room is required.
  5. Being respectful – Now this is a major deal, better yet it is the most important thing there is. Respect goes a long way and if your significant other does not respect you, then honey, hit the road. Not having respect in any form of relationship is a recipe for disaster.
  6. Stepping up/in during awkward situations – Offer your seat to the elderly lady who just got on the bus and has to stand or to the pregnant lady who is holding on for dear life as the bus turns and bounced about around the corner. Even though you are freezing, offer up your jacket.

We have become so self-satisfied that we have forgotten the little gestures that help our relationships grow into better ones.

We have fallen prey to the independent anthem of ‘not needing anyone’s help’ but then when ‘a come bang’ text is sent the feeling of being used for only sex arises. what gives?

Some individual like the ‘no strings attached mentality ‘where a ride home in the morning and a crois-sandwich is needed and we will just carry on on our merry way as if nothing happened last night.

There is no ‘right’ way to court someone these days, because it has now become abnormal to do so. It’s not a one-size fits all approach. Most women like to be wined, dined and romanced, be a knight is shining armor, just the like the good ole fashion days. The rest… well…may think that the other person is trying too hard or he hasn’t ask for sex, so he is not into me. In other words, what one woman may see as courtly, the other may see it as offensive or pitiful (I wonder what is that they seek out of a relationship?).

We live in a society where the hookup culture is now customary , where some women are willing participants. We blame feminism for our lack of understanding the simple code of conduct in how to act. Being a feminist should not hinder chivalry. Embrace a woman’s independence and at the same time show her that you can take care of her, if needs be. For the most part, the majority of women does enjoy a chivalrous relationship where they are the ones that hold the cards, however, it is up to them to act accordingly (act lady-like), and when they do, the first dinner will not be from a takeout menu.

 

 

 

 

Are you being ‘TRUTHFUL’ to yourself?

Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

How do you view yourself on a daily basis? Now-a-days I see a lot of persons promoting self love and self praise and to an extent promoting a high self esteem. In all fairness, that is a good way to boost yourself and not caring how others see you or feel about you, but are you being true to yourself or is it just a facade?

Have you ever wondered about what having a good self-esteem is and how to get more of it or if you do, how to maintain it?

Do you think your self-esteem is low? Do you know how to tell? Do you know what to do about it?

So it begs the question, what really is self esteem and what can we learn from having it?

Self-esteem is plainly “How do you feel about who you are as an individual?”

It can be classified as:

  • Situational  self esteem, which tends to be dependent on our various environment, circumstances, where it fluctuates between high and low or sometimes just… ‘meh’
  • Global self esteem, this tends to be a constant factor, that affects individuals differently.

Back in high school, my self esteem fluctuated on a daily basis. As kids we can be beyond cruel towards each other and we would do and say things that would pack a serious punch to the other individual’s emotions and not care, because we care more about what we feel personally than what the other individual is feeling and as long as our self esteem is intact that is all that matters. This however, can and will give rise to low self esteem in others and can impact individual/s negatively in the future to come.

Low self-esteem is casting a negative judgement of oneself or even casting it on others to make yourself look and feel good. This usually occurs when some circumstance we encounter in our life touches on our sensitivities and bring us to our ‘lows’. We then personalize these incidents and in turn experience physical and emotional difficulties. With such strong internal feelings we respond in ways that may be defeating and destructive to ourselves and others-in other words, we may lash out. Sometimes because we are so confused our actions are impulse driven and we create chaos and hurt-sometimes not really meaning it. Our thinking and mindset becomes so blocked and tunnel focus that our self care deteriorates and we tend to loose ourselves. Our focus now becomes controlling and self absorbed and with such a mindset we bring others down as well, in an attempt to help us feel better about ourselves.

Some of us who prance around being all high and mighty and thinking that we are better than the average ‘Joe’ are living a life of facades. We are so caught up with making sure that we are ‘OK’ and is ‘doing better’ than the other person, that we spend our time evoking negativity and being ‘bad-mind’. We then overcompensate for our insecurities and  portray a well organized and great life.

Truth sometimes is-We may think that a person with a successful career and life, who seems very productive has good self-esteem. But sometimes, that may not be the case. Sometimes, those individuals who are striving for superiority may be attempting to overcome deep-seated feelings of inferiority. And it can be possible that their success is a way of compensating for their “low” self-esteem. Now, I am not saying that, that is the case and everyone who is successful at their careers are hiding low self esteem issues, but are you truly living your life for you? Is what you are portraying on the outside reflective of what you are truly feeling on the inside? Are you putting other people down just for the sake of success?

Not everyday we are going be ‘all happy go lucky’ however, in the event that our self esteem drops to a low, what is it that we do about it to get back up again?

  • Do we turn to alcohol and drugs?
  • Do we tear down another individual/s
  • Do we lock ourselves away from reality?
  • Do we become overbearing and demanding?
  • Do we become dependent and selfish?
  • Do we sit  and comfortably blame others for our problems?
  • Are we afraid of risk and challenges?
  • Are we easily manipulated?
  • Are we resistant to change and growth?
  • Do we continue to possess a negative attitude on a daily basis?

What is it that we do, to attempt to fix these issues within ourselves?

  1. For starters, if you are an avid drinker, try and get sober. There are many groups to assist with such behaviors. Alcohol makes us feel good for the moment, but if we rely solely on it, we may be heading for a downward spiral from which we may not be able to retrieve ourselves.
  2. Try and make genuine and positive lifestyle choices and stick to them.
  3. Sometimes being too proud can be our own downfall. We internalize and personalize stress, which evokes negativity towards ourselves and/or others. Try to identify any form of triggers that may lead us to this point.
  4. Pay attention to the familiarity of the impulse, stop and take a breather and take notice of the present. 
  5. Try to choose calm and positive responses. Act or react in a self-caring and effective way. 
  6. Develop skills where we can provide for our own safety and others, try to give hope, try tolerate confusion, and most of all raise self-esteem. 
  7. Take each actions, step by step and day by day.

The higher our self-esteem is, the less likely we seek the need to be validated by others. Because we know our value and self-worth, we realize that it can only really come from within our own selves. In return we allow for our self-esteem not to be easily influenced and manipulated by others.

On the other hand, individuals with low self-esteem believe that they can and need to  ‘win’ someone’s approval or permission, thereby establishing their self-worth. In the end, the rewards never last for very long and those who give their approval and validation can easily take it away, because they see that they are in control and if they say “jump” the response would be “How high?”. This will further weaken a person’s sense of personal power and control over their lives, which can then yield resentments, frustrations, anger, depression, and a negative attitude in general.

Bottom line is to always be true to oneself and know your self worth. Don’t watch what the other person has/have, every individual’s path to success is different. And if you falter along the way, because we are all not perfect, take a minute and breath, but don’t ‘wallow ‘ in it. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep it moving. Always try to strive for a positive frame of mind and surround yourself with positive thinking individuals.

In the end…. You will be ‘OK’.

What happen to good manners?

<< Rewind…

Going home from the supermarket and you pass Mr. Jones on the way.

“Good Afternoon Mr. Jones!”

Fast Forward >>…

Going home from the supermarket and you pass Mr. Jones on the way.

*Looks at Mr. Jones and keep on walking*

The difference is quite obvious, manners is lacking greatly.

Growing up and spending quite an amount of time with my grandmother, I was taught to respect my elders at all times, be kind and most of all, have manners to whomever I come in contact with.

“Manners carry yuh trough di worl.” — That’s a favorite saying that my grandmother would repeatedly say to me growing up and I would literally try to see how that would be possible. I suppose I was thinking about the physicality of it actually carrying you through the world, you know, like a car carrying you around. Now as an adult, I fully understand what that saying means.

I see where children respond to their parents or their elders in ways I would never dare dream of doing, not even now as an adult. First of all I would certainly receive a wonderful box to the face, if I dear fix my mouth to respond to my mother in any way, shape or form that is disrespectful.

I remember I was told to put some washing soap in the machine and start the cycle. I could not find the soap for the life of me, so I went and ask my mother if she had seen the soap. She didn’t know where it was either and I don’t know where my smack mouth got the courage to utter the words ” yuh sure yuh nuh kno wey it deh, because yuh maybe use it and nuh put it back?” I mean, it might not look like something that was bad to say to my mother, however, the tone in which I said it was beyond disrespectful. My mother gave me a look that if looks could kill, I would have rolled over and died! I immediately regretted what I had said and left the room before things got even more serious. She doesn’t play when it comes on to having manners!

Answering people with ‘what’, ‘yes’ and ‘so’ is, in my eyes rude. Yes who? Yes Dumpling! Yes Yam… Yes Whom?? You could be a small child or a grown adult, manners is very important and you are never too old to have good manners.

Say “Thank you!” When someone holds the door for you.

Say “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening!” When you pass someone by or persons that you come in contact with.

Say “Please!”

Apologize sincerely and mean it. “I am sorry” has never killed anyone.

Granted because some of us are/were raised lacking manners, we may not comprehend when someone is showing an act of kindness, worst if it’s random, it would come across as the individual being ‘weird’.

Nowadays, parents are afraid to be strict with their child/children because they are afraid of bruising their personalities. Discipline is lacking greatly, because manners are through the door.

I have witnessed a child literally going back and forth with his mother in public and the mother just allowed it. Ah, hell no! First of all if that child was raised with good values then he would not even think to open his mouth and utter any word/s of disrespect. Mind you, kids will be kids, however, parents needs to know when to nip it in the bud. Don’t have the “spare the rod and spoil the child” mentality.

Its not just children that lack manners these days. As soon as we hit the adult mark, we tend to forget our manners. We think that we are now grown and can do what we please without considering others. Simple etiquette is gone and we become such aggressive and senseless beings. Sometimes over simple things.

Having good manners shows acts of kindness and respect and is super important in our daily lives. We use it to make a good impression on other persons and it makes us feel good about ourselves as well. No matter where you  or who you are, manners are the building blocks of each of us whether it be at home, work, or with friends.

Good manners are more than just opening a door and replying “thank you.” While opening a door and saying thank you is nice, true courtesy goes deeper. Because some of us may do or say it and not mean it. Being polite and courteous means considering how others are feeling as well.

Once we practice good manners, we are showing those around us that we are considerate of their feelings and we are respectful. We are also setting standards for others’ behavior and encouraging them to treat us with the same respect as well.

Every culture and individual may have different protocols and feelings about what is polite from what is not polite. The goal, however, is to review some of the more basic and common rules of polite behavior in our society. No matter how much these rules may differ from person to person or situation to situation, the general and basic rule of good manners—and life, in general, is simple and easy to follow- do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 

Good Manners is priceless!

Family Expectations; dragging you down or uplifting you?

Family is very important to me. I would think it is the same for all or a lot of people. Your family defines your identity and instills certain values in you. They say that your siblings and cousins are your first best friends and they are always there for you no matter what! Its an automatic given.

Family for some people is as the word means, just merely co-existing within a household and sharing financial responsibilities. However, on the other hand, it has many significant meanings to it. But are our expectations of our various family members too high? Are we being dragged down by the ones who we expect to always be there for us?

Lets chat!

Every member of a family lives their own lives how they deem it fit, however, some family expectations are way too high and can become strenuous on individuals who are trying to please a particular family member/s. In some cultures, the eldest sibling is suppose be the one that goes out and set an example for the younger sibling/s and pave the way for them to follow suit. Modern society has gone against that and from it, stems a problem/s.

As soon as a particular family member starts to make some form of progress in their lives, its of the expectation that that particular family member should not be excelling so well. It is understandable to ‘feel a way’ about your younger sibling or cousin or whomever excelling and you feeling like you are not going anywhere; BUT that is not an excuse to ‘bad mind’ the individual.

Family members can become major leeches. You will always be there for your them every single time they are in need, but if you happen to say no one time, then its as if you have never done anything for them.

They just take and take and take some more and then says and wishes the worst for you, because you can not fill the need for them to maintain their nail appointment or buy their Peruvian virgin hair.

Yes, families have their ups and downs and that’s how it is suppose to be as there is no perfect family. Is your family perfect? If so, something is wrong with you! (I am just saying); however, having ups and downs, doesn’t mean that you can’t congratulate me on an accomplishment, a milestone in my life or something that is important to me. Whats even worst is you pretending to be happy for me and then talk smack behind my back! Hypocrite does not look good on a lot of people. If so be the case, just don’t be happy for me… period.

As soon as you make an attempt to make some sort of progress in your life, you are deemed not family oriented and you do not care about your family. Buy a new car or better yet, buy a house and then you will see their true colors, for most it would be green. Funny thing is when you do make something of your life, they are the same ones stretching out a hand or two with high expectations from your success and then sits down expecting hand me outs. How does one’s brain function as such? I just cant figure it out. The pie is big enough for everyone who wants a bite.

I am not saying to turn your back on your family, hell no! but gauge the high expectations and watch out for the snakes in your grass. You know cut your lawn regularly, because you may just get bitten.

So yes family is super important to everyone, but it begs the question, are they dragging you down or are they genuinely wishing you the best and wanting what’s good for you? Shouldn’t they be uplifting you and cheering you along? Isnt that an automatic given? It doesn’t take rocket science to comprehend that.

The ‘crab in a barrel’ mentality within a family has got to stop. Can it be stopped? Is it so etched in our DNA that its the norm?

Many people would argue that it is just the way of life, just deal with it and live a life that is pleasing to yourself. Truth is we all need our family around and without family, we tend to loose our identity, but is it worth the burden of the non well wishers?

 

Living in Jamaica and being gay

Jamaica is known for many reasons; one of which is the country that is extremely homophobic and their intolerance level for gay people is at its highest. It is always “bun a batty boy or bun a sadamite.” I personally find it awfully offensive and hurtful when I hear those words from another individual and I am not being bias. I believe that I was born gay— to some extent. From a tender age I was always attracted to the same sex. I use to go over to my pastor’s granddaughter house to ‘play’ and she would always be coming on to me and even though I was young (eight years old) I found it very comforting and I reciprocated the gestures that I was receiving, mind you I had no clue as to what it is that I was doing and it felt awesome. I wasn’t even question about being there so often, because it was me being at play.

I grew up in church (Pentecostal) and I was always taught that being gay is wrong and is an abomination to God, therefore I have always pushed the feeling of being attracted to the same sex away, besides I didn’t understand what those feelings meant. Liking boys was the norm and I delve into that norm, hoping to feel normal. But even though I was trying to feel ‘normal’ by talking to boys, I felt no form of attraction towards boys, there was simply no chemistry. Also I was more confused than anything because my parents would say “not until you are forty (40)” when a boy would come to the gate, trying to talk to me. Therefore I was scared to even talk to boys. Girls could come over and it would be OK, because it’s considered ‘OK’.

I started dating my first girlfriend at eighteen (18) and it felt like the real me and to me it felt like the norm. Of course I couldn’t tell my parents about it; hence I hid it or was in the closet as what some people call it. My step dad found a letter that I hid and immediately told my mother about it and lets just say it didn’t go down well. I was told that God did not make Adam and Steve and its wrong. It didn’t change my feelings and I didn’t stop seeing her, however it was done in the closet and I would deny it to my parents as well. She couldn’t drop me off at the gate and she was no longer allowed to come to the house.

It was quite easy for me to be out in public with another female, because it was more tolerable. I however did not do anything to offend anyone and I lived by “It’s my life and I live how I want to, however I won’t push it in anyone’s face.”

For the most part being in Jamaica and being gay is rough because persons will get mobbed and to some extent I was scared. I hated walking on the road with my partner especially when she dresses a little less feminine. It was evident that we were together and men would make sly remarks about us wanting a ‘cocky’ instead of tongue in our ‘pussies’. There was no major harassment, however I could not be the real me because it was looked down upon and I was scared of being mobbed. When my partner and I go out, whether to the supermarket or just to have a meal all eyes are on us and you can just see person’s minds turning. We have never really encountered any major issues and that is solely based on us being in the closet. That ‘code of living’ seems to work while living in Jamaica and it makes it easier for us to get around.

Being in another country other than Jamaica has granted me the privilege of being me, it is much easier for me to go about my business and not be judged or looked down upon. It felt so good to be able to walk out in public and hold my partner’s hands and even sneak a kiss or two. No one cares. I still don’t push anything in anyone’s face.

I believe it’s our life and we live it how we deemed it fit. Jamaica, I believe will never accept homosexuality and that in itself is OK; because its just our culture and religion.

Anyone should be able to live their life how they want to and be who they want to without being scared of society. Bottom line, if you are gay and living in Jamaica, you have to live in a closet.

Are you a soldier of Love OR plain stupid?

The heart tends to fall for who it wants, without even considering what the mind wants. It deciphers its own feelings and interprets them on its own free will.

Being in love is one of the greatest and most intense feelings you can ever experience in your life. Love is a powerful emotion. It can drive you crazy, it causes hurt in the most painful and heart wrenching way, but most of all what we seek from the feeling is a creation of happiness and a bond of two souls as one.

When you enter into an intimate relationship, it is an obvious expectation that you will give your all. In my view and my partner’s, you should give your “heart, soul and batty hole”.  That person becomes your everything and you can sit in silence with your partner and still enjoy each other’s company. This is the person you can be as goofy as possible with and at the same time be serious when needed. You expect that it all should be reciprocated, but lo and behold you are the only one giving….immediate red flag!

Just like the game of football, obtaining a red card means you have exceeded your warnings and you have to sit out the current game as well as the next. In a relationship, when a red flag goes up, it means that there is a constant occurrence of a particular issue(s), or an occurrence of a really huge one. Does this mean that it’s time to jump ship? Or are you willing to test your strength to see how much of a true soldier of love you are?

How much are you willing to sacrifice in the name of LOVE? Are you going to just sit, with your hands tied behind your back, while you are being tortured? Are you that foolish to stay while you are constantly being hurt, your feelings are constantly being crushed, your mental and physical health are hanging by a thread and on top of it all you are expected to give a “good whine”? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes sex does solve some of the issues, as a little tension may need to be release to heal the wounds of the relationship. However if the wounds are constantly being opened, then all shops should remain closed.  If this is what you endure, then hats off to you. In my opinion and trust me, you are plain stupid. As my fellow Jamaican women would say, “If him nah beat mi, him nuh love mi”. Need I say more?! It’s pretty clear that you are a soldier of love who needs to go back to basic training.

On the other hand you can be experiencing all the hurt and pain in the relationship, but as soon as you put your foot down and stand firm, your partner (given that this person is a rational human being) will realize that they are indeed hurting you and genuinely step their game up, making the relationship worthwhile and lasting. If that is the case, THEN you can perform the “boom wuk”.

In the end, it’s up to you to know how much you are willing to take and endure. It is better and healthier to be single, than sitting in a hurtful relationship. Do not be scared to be “you” in the relationship and express how you really feel. Love yourself first before you can love others. Go through the struggles and tests, but be sure to check your feelings at the end of each test. Only a true soldier of love will know when to decipher the thin line between love and stupidity.

Tattered-love (TL)

Seeing that I already shared my views, I wanted you guys to have alternative views, so I asked Kerry, a friend of mine to weigh in on the topic. What say you Kerry? 

So, time and again you ask yourself, “Am I really doing this?” “Do I really want this?” Two fundamental questions that are asked in every relationship, but if you find yourself sitting and asking these questions too often, it means that there are some red flags in this partnership that need to be looked at and assessed. Think of all the extremes that you have gone through as a couple, and look at where you are now. Was it worth it? Think of all the times that you played together, laughed, watched the tv, just took the time out to look at each other, and when the hardest of times hit, you could push through, work it out and stand together as soldiers of love. Love is never definite, and so its rare that persons go the extra mile, because no-one wants to put in the extra work, that’s when there’s trouble in the camp. Never be confused though, there is a difference between being a soldier of love, and being naive/foolish in love. Love is great, the down side to it, is that it can be the most painful experience ever in life. Not because you’re loving someone means they are loving you back the way they ought to, trust me, to be in a relationship where you are loving this person and they are doing more harm to you than good with the relationship, means that you’re being naïve for believing this is only what you can get, and foolish for not thinking you deserve better. But because you feel/believe/think you can do no better in finding that someone who is just right for you, you remain in this hurtful situation. Being single and happy, is better than being in a relationship and still feeling alone, there is a fine line between love/hurt/hate and only true Soldiers of Love will be able to differentiate and determine their fate. What it all comes down to is that sometimes you will never know. There are some relationships that have the most rocky beginnings, where one or both partners thought of leaving countless times, and in the end, the problems they were going through get sorted out and they end up having the best of relationships. What this means is that each relationship is different, each person in the relationship has to decide what they are willing to bear. If you find yourself staying in a relationship where the person is putting you through more than you can bear and yet you stay, then you might be a fool for love. My opinion is that you should set some boundaries with your partner and hold firm to them. If you tell your partner that whatever they’re doing is hurting you and the relationship, yet when they continue you stay with them, then they will continue to do what they’re doing, because they realize that you’re not going to leave. You might be thinking that you cannot do without your partner but as I stated earlier, in my opinion it is better to be single and happy. Don’t take this to mean that I’m encouraging everyone experiencing problems in their relationships to pack up and leave, that’s not the case. Every relationship has problems, and many of them can be worked out, but when those problems become a threat to your mental and physical health, then its time to let Houston know you’ve got a problem. In simple terms, every relationship has its own unique problems, you have to decide when they are too much for you to bear and take action like a good soldier of love ought to.

K.M.D.