Tasha finally got it right: Seek help when you need it!

Tasha St. Patrick

I was watching Power today (like the rest of the world) and was so touched by Tasha. While I don’t always agree with her she was my favorite this episode. I love how she acknowledged needing help. So many times, we (especially black women) are supposed to just shoulder shit and keep moving forward. To see Tasha be so open about needing help was EVERYTHING!!! She stated multiple times she was not ok and needed to talk. I was like yes way to be self-aware. What made her my favorite this episode is that not only did she recognize the need, but she did something about it without having to be referred or begged to seek help. She had a game plan to help with her healing and I love her for it. We must be proactive in all aspects of our lives. So, bravo Tasha.

What was also so realistic and heartbreaking to me was the person who should have been her number one cheerleader in getting help because they understood what she was dealing with was shutting her down at every turn. I have been there on multiple occasions. Once when I was 19 with a newborn and had no idea what postpartum was and kept being told I had to get over it because I had done this to myself. Another time was saying I wanted to be a therapist and being told by family my career choice was a joke. But let me get back to Power... James originally did not want to even consider the grief group. He said he wasn’t feeling it. I found myself feeling like I was back at work with my forensic clients asking them what’s not to feel? A safe place to say you are hurt (which clearly, he needed). Unfortunately, the way James was acting is nothing new. Saying “I’m not feeling that” or some other derivative is too common.

What also had me side eyeing James was the fact that he didn’t trust her to grieve and describe her feelings because they are different from the people in the group. Sure, the other people in the group probably were not drug dealing murders, who had an affair with the DA and missed what was happening to their son which lead to all this anyway, but a grieving parent is a grieving parent. After all the secrets (setting up Canaan, providing an alibi for killing Lobos, and whatever else) and shenanigans she has dealt with and handled like the proverbial “ride or die chick” why question her now? Why not give her what she needed? Like she said, she can discuss her feelings without discussing the other stuff.

While I baby clap him for being willing to go he was there again blocking Tasha from getting what she truly needed. Simply showing up to the group is not enough for some people. They need to be able to interact and share their feelings (the point of the group anyway). She felt led to share and he shut her down so smoothly. As he has done in their marriage multiple times (but that’s not even why I’m here). Him stopping her from sharing struck me on several layers and I will try to unpack a few…

On the surface you have a husband shutting down a wife who has said she needs help. When people reach out for help or admit to feeling vulnerable, not right, sad, or whatever listen to them. Shutting them down only ensures the next time they will not be sharing their feelings with you. Telling people to get over it, toughen up, or put their big girl panties on is not always the answer. In fact, if a person is actually feeling something I can almost guarantee it makes their stomach turn to hear their loved one say some insensitive shit like that, and they will think twice before opening up again. Why are we so quick to shut down a person who is expressing vulnerability?

On another layer, we have someone telling another person not to do the very thing they think will help them. Tasha felt lead to the group and simply on the strength that she thought it would help her it would have in some way. We have got to stop shutting people down from getting help their way. Which lead me to religion. The minute someone wants to cleanse their energy someone calls it witchcraft. The negative connotation associated with magic, ancient healing rituals, and being a witch is also not why I am here but needs to be mentioned. The second someone says Allah instead of God they become a terrorist. Everything doesn’t work for everyone. The reason some medicines work for some people and are like skittles to another person, the way some children need timeouts and others need a spanking (yes I said it) or removal of toys, its simple… WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. It is perfectly ok to believe, practice, and grieve differently. We must allow people to choose their own path and then respect when their choice does not match our own.

While Tasha has a few more episodes left to deal with her demons, and her choices, you reading this do not have to wait. I wish I could say do this and the pain will go away, but it is not that simple. You must put the work in and be willing to expose yourself. Being self-aware is not for the faint of heart. When you really trying to change and really trying to heal, it has been my experience personally and professionally that it will hurt worse first. It’s like when you really cleaning up and organizing so you pull stuff out of hiding and it looks a hot mess before it looks clean. Be brave like Tasha and admit you need help, but also seek help. It’s not going to be easy the question is are you willing to stick it through?

3 Reasons why Comparing makes you Lose!

The fastest way to make yourself miserable is to look at what other's are doing. Their life will always look better than yours if you are looking at the phone and they are living their life. We live in a world where people’s lives are literally at our fingertips. Don’t think so? Scroll through anyone’s Facebook Feed. You will know when they met their boo, how and when he proposed when they got married, pregnant, and every fight in between. Of course, there is always an exception I have a friend who waited a year before she “debuted” her daughter on Facebook.

With so much exposure we have a front row seat to anyone's life we want.  We see the bags, trips, cars, and if we are real enough to admit it we want it for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with wanting more the issue starts when you compare and covet what others have. If we are not careful we can start to want their relationship too. We see what their partner is doing for them, what they bought, how they said they were beautiful even though they gained weight then silently and slowly we begin to think their version of the love is the only version.

We get mad at what we have at home believing our love life is supposed to be like what we see on the gram. The sad thing is we never consider any differences. We don't stop to look at how long they have been together, is he taking her on vacation because he got caught with his side chick, the difference in bank accounts, or anything else.

We stop remembering all the things that make our relationship special because we are too busy looking at others. In the past, I shared with a friend that I did not want a man I had to cook Thanksgiving meals every single day so being true to me I got a man who did not require that. On the flip side, one of my friends cooks daily and from scratch. If I were to base my relationship on hers I would be failing as a wife, and my husband would be miserable. Every relationship is different and we have to learn to appreciate what makes our relationship special. When you constantly compare your relationship to others you lose in major ways.

You get stuck so you don’t produce. You are so busy worrying what others are doing and how they are posting on Instagram you are unable to focus on your own relationship. You cannot be a good wife if you are trying to force your man to fit a mold that some other woman made. It doesn’t matter if someone else’s husband has them all over there social media, your husband may not be into that. So by demanding he subscribes to someone else’s standards you will mess up what is working for you and cause unnecessary arguments. If he has never paraded you on his social media why are you asking him to start now? The woman who is on her husband’s social media may be missing something in her relationship that your husband does on a regular.

You are coveting an ending when you have no idea what it took to get there and if you could even handle it. Sure it is all fun and games watching them take trips but what if he choked her right before they took the picture? Everyone is happy on pictures because we smile for the camera not frown for the camera.  What if the couple you are calling your relationship goals have dealt with an affair in their marriage? Do you want that too? So much could be going on behind the scenes that there is really nothing for you to be jealous of. You may want what they have now but could you have survived what they went through to get there? If you are not willing to struggle don’t envy the success.

Finally, you never know the time frame for success. There are no overnight successes. You have to put in the WERK!!!! Think about anyone who you want to be like, pick a blogger (Regina from Byregina has had how many business and blogs), singer (K. Michelle has had how many record deals, and she suffered abuse), actress (Halle Berry is gorgeous and she has had bad luck in love), your friend who got married before you (how many bad relationships did she have). Nothing happens overnight. You can’t start a committed relationship on Monday and expect it to look like your friend’s relationship when she has been married 3 years. Comparing your start to someone else’s middle will have you upset every time.

The more accesses we have to others the more important it becomes to be happy with what you have. This in no way means be complacent we should all be striving for more, however comparing and being jealous is not the way. Always remember social media is a highlight reel. It is supposed to the show the person in the best light. No one is posting their messy house or their arguments. Just because you do not see it doesn’t mean it is not there. Remember to be grateful for what you have and water your own grass to make it better.

 

Change your perception and change your life... PLUS 36 things to do during football season

perception

No matter how hard I tried to avoid this, it seems I was destined to enjoy football. My brother who is eight years older than me FORCED me to watch the movie The Program (starring Omar Epps, and Halle Berry EVERY SINGLE DAY for a year). Then when he was in high school, and college I was forced to attend his games weekly, under the guise of support, although I did enjoy the cheerleaders.

Then I found myself knocked up at age 19 and alone. It was sad, but that is not the point. The point is I spent a large amount of time with my father. I will give you a minute to google “daddy’s girl” and find my picture. I kid, no really. Anyway spending all this time with my father meant watching football.  He is a football FANATIC!!! He watches the draft like I watch How to Get Away with Murder. I mean he knows stats, where people went to college, and in some cases he knows a little about their upbringing. So instead of being even more miserable watching a sport I did not necessarily like or understand, I started asking questions. I begin to learn what the hand signals meant, and why they had so many chances to make a touch down. I started learning player’s name and my love of football and the Steeler Nation began.

Fast forward to the present and depending on who is playing I am happier than my husband to hear “I been waiting all day for Sunday night.” I know everyone will not share my sentiment. Some women refuse to even give the game a try. I don’t understand that because the eye candy is great, oh and part of being in a relationship is taking interest in his interest but I digress. Here we are half way almost done with preseason with 17 more weeks of regular season, playoffs, and then Super Bowl and women are saying good bye to their husbands and they are sad about it.

They need to be jumping for joy. How could they not realize all the free time they have in store during this football season. A lot of life’s issues are all about mindset. We trick ourselves into thinking we are not good enough so we never go after our dreams. We are mad when we don’t get a promotion, but the person who got the promotion is miserable and wants to quit. We struggle with seeing the blessings that surround us.

We look at rejection as a bad thing, when it is really protection. When you are stuck in traffic you are not in the fatal accident ahead. When the guy breaks your heart, you are that much closer to your prince charming. When the car lot tells you no, then the car is recalled, or you lose your job and would not have been able to pay for it anyway. The rejection was really protection. We have to start training our minds to see the good even when the situation seems extra bleak. There is a lesson in everything IF you have the right mindset.

So stop dreading football season and embrace it. I personally recommend attempting to like the game because it really is fun. Still, if hubby is like most men and cannot function when the game is on, you are going to have to occupy your time. In case you need some help with what to do with your time I have created a bucket list for you. A list of 36 things for you to do during football season.

So do you watch the game, or are you totally against it?

4 Things you may be doing that Kills Trust in Your Marriage

trust

What is trust? People say all the time without trust there is no relationship, and I tend to agree. Or they say you have to trust your spouse with your heart, home, finances, body, children, everything, and again I agree, but what is trust? I often feel like it is one of those things we talk about, know it when we feel it, but can’t quite put it in words. It is like an understanding between two people.

But what is it really?  Is it the ability to allow your husband to go on a guy’s trip and you not flip out and call him every five minutes, or maybe it means you know when bill time comes around you are good? Or does trust mean he can now leave his phone in the room and you no longer do an army low crawl to search it and put it back in the exact same place? I think it is all of these things and more.

As I pondered the idea of trust I of course went to Madam Google who led me to Sir Merriam-Webster and I found the following “simple” definition: 

  • Belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc
  • Assured reliance on character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
    • One in which confidence is placed

There were other definitions related to money and banks but that is totally off topic.

Trust, is like security in a relationship. I don’t want to have to wonder about any aspect of my relationship EVER. I want to know whatever our arrangement is that is what it is! If money is tight I shouldn’t come home to a red envelop I need to know before it gets that far.  I need to feel confident when you are out I am your queen and I have nothing to worry about. There will always be someone thinner, thicker, taller, longer hair whatever, but I want to be able to TRUST what we have is bigger and better than what other women may be offering.

Trust is not always about side chicks, although that is where our minds tend to go first. It is about me knowing I can count on you. I need to know in a clutch you got me. When you are in a relationship the other person needs to trust you will do your part, and do what you said you would do. Whether that is pay the bills, pick up the kids. When there is trust in a relationship you are able to let your guard down. You can be emotionally and physically nude. You are able to openly communicate and share who you are.

Think about it this way; when your husband leaves do you immediately think OMG he is cheating, or are you like me and think hey babe have a good time and don’t forget the milk. Trust is an asset like money. You work for your check, and you have to work at making sure your spouse trusts you. This happens over time when you show yourself as reliable and honest.

But what if you were ruining the trust in your relationship and didn’t even know it. What if little mistakes are chipping away at the trust? Here are 4 things you could be doing that will over time kill the trust in your relationship.

  1. Not communicating. When you are not talking (and listening) to your spouse you leave room for error and assumptions. Communication keeps down so much confusion. No one can tell you anything about your relationship or spouse if the two of you are in constant communication.
  2. That dam phone. We are all addicted to our phones. You are probably reading this from your phone now. The issue is how you are with your phone. If you guard your phone with your life, scared to leave it in the same room with your mate, and change your body to shield the screen you look suspect. Sure the sun may have been in your eye and you need to adjust your body but it still looks fraud.
  3. No sex in the champagne room. I don’t care who you are sex is mandatory in a relationship. So unless someone has cancer or some other serious illness you need to be having sex with your mate. Everyone no matter what they tell you assumes if you are not sleeping with them, you are getting it from somewhere else. Sure you may be tired but you still have to put it down.
  4. Not following through. If you say you will do something, do it. Whatever THAT is, pay a bill, pick up the kids, call their mom, whatever you told them you would do, get your Nike on and JUST DO IT.

Trust happens over time. You have to build a track record of showing up, and being a person of your word. Still years of trust can be demolished in a millisecond so we have to be careful without words and actions. What are you doing today to build trust in your marriage?

How I Make My Mr. and Money Machine Make Sense- A guest Post

Today we have the luxury of hearing from someone new. Erica H-Vincent is the Founder/CEO of EHV Consultants and lives at www.ericahvincent.com.  She decided to stop playing with her “side hustle” and walked away from her corporate position 4 years ago to build her coaching and consulting business full time. Erica is passionate about building her business around her life and love showing other moms and wives how to do the same! She is living in her element the most when she’s creating mompreneurs and wifepreneurs customized business strategies to grow their online serviced-base empire all on a shoestring budget! You can find Erica @ericahvincent everywhere but her primary hangout spots are Twitter and her private Lady Boss Levels community! Today Erica is sharing part of her love story with us...

This is the ultimate love month for me! February 14th as you and I both know is the obvious national love day but there are two additional dates in this month that hold very true and dear to my husband and that's February 9th and February 21st!

You see this year, February 9th marks the 4 year anniversary of walking away from my full-time (high paying) Corporate job and February 21st marks our 8 year wedding anniversary! Woot Woot!!! Now you may read this and think "Oh how awesome"! But let me tell something, the road to my "Marriage, Money and Mogul building quest has NOT being all sunshine and unicorns! Let me take you on a little journey of a man I "dissed" time and time again who ended up becoming my biggest cheerleader, business partner, and now husband!

So I was the picky type, you know the type who had to date a man of certain height, build, shade, economic, and education status! Yes! That was me! Preferably over 6feet and caramel complexed-skin if I'm being REALLY picky! My elders would call this being "young and dumb"! Fourteen years ago I was fairly new to my city (Milwaukee) and I was invited to accompany my mom to a party a friend of hers was hosting, so I'm thinking to myself "This is going to be boring as EVER" and my attitude wall went up immediately, but at least it got me out of the house for a bit! So you know the drill; boy meets girl, girl's not interested, boy sweats girl, girl STILL not interested, boy sweats girl more, girl gets flattered, boy and girl are in a trial dating situation! Now this was over the course of a 3 to 4 month time-frame of me playing what some would call "hard to get" before we even went on a date. This was partly due to my stubborn dating type (reference above) and my now husband was 5'8 and "high yellow" because he is bi-racial, mixed with Puerto Rican and African-American. So I gave him the hardest time! (I feel sooo guilty now!)

When my husband and I were "dating" I made it very clear what my goals in life were for both my children and myself. He knew being in a relationship fell dead last in comparison to my kids, job, school, and side business (at the time). I asked why was I self-employed as well and I looked him square in the face and said “because I don’t like to follow the rules”! I really thought my ambitious (and somewhat smart-mouthed) nature would scare him off but it was the COMPLETE opposite! He admired my independent and "gutsy" drive to succeed! I believe it called it "sexy" lol! I remember like it was just yesterday when he said “so what can I do to help”? I stopped and looked at him like a different person. Then I thought to myself “Damn, now THAT’S sexy” When you are a single mother with two little ones like I was carrying the full weight of the world on your shoulders, hearing questions like that gave me a whole new meaning to the words gratitude and respect. He knew I would move Mt Everest to ensure my kids were awarded a life of all things comfort, safety, and peace. So a lot of time had passed (I’m thinking a little over 6 months) before I’d introduce him to my kids, when I finally made the introduction it was more or less “show and prove” time. Without question he would jump right in, help around the house while I was cramming to meet class deadlines, going to business networking events, or taking care of VA contracted work for clients. In the first month or so I was thinking “this is too good to be true” but then I would receive phone calls from people he had referred to me for outsource work I knew something magical was forming right before my eyes. Fast forward seven years later, after living as a “blended family”, I finally got pregnant with my husband’s first son and then 11 months later our first daughter! So how did I make all of this work and still work all these years later you ask?

Simple…. I had hunger, drive, and a plan! I communicated my plan, execute my plan, and showed hubby the results from that plan. The hunger for me to always try, fail, and dominate my best self, paired with my competitive nature makes it really easy for me to share my aspirations with my husband. He can feel the passion and energy in my voice and can see it in my body language! As his wife, I too, must speak his language, a language that a non-entrepreneur can understand and digest as well. A language explaining how all strategic and marketing efforts lead to income and happiness! He could really care less about my list building goals, online-workshops, lead generations and all that jazz, all he really want to know is “how will your business help keep the lights on and food on the table”?. Once I shared my plan of action, I then said "this is what I need from you in order for me to make this happen". Which really boiled down to managing household efforts and running errands from time to time. So now when I say I have a webinar, or need to schedule tweets in buffer, or need to knock out a 1200 word blog post, he understands the potential outcome from these marketing efforts verses him thinking I'm just "playing around" on the internet all day!

We also have "business meetings" twice a month to see where things are financially for both house and business objectives. This will eliminate any money woes of "why didn't you say something before now" kind of talks. This also sparks a conversation of "Hey honey how was your day"? and I’d respond “Canva was down today to I couldn’t create my graphics for my blog post” or “I probably should do another webinar to promote my online course”, he will actually "get" what you're saying. It's all about clarity and communication.  Point blank period! There is no secret magic marriage sauce! When you and your partner are both fighting to accomplish the same goal of wanting to live life in being your truest self and fulfill a higher purpose, it’s soooo much easier to love your mate over and over again. I know my hunk of love has my back and he knows I have his always!

To sum it all up, I have a few take aways/tweetables for you to remember:

  • Know what you want and stand on it FIRMLY!
  • Let nothing and no one detour you from your dreams and goals
  • As long as you have mutual respect for one another, the love will always be there
  • Never settle nor compromise happiness for the sake of a relationship. Your spouse is supposed to heighten your level of happiness not hinder it
  • Your mate doesn't have to "get" what you do, if it's something you're truly passionate about they must respect it or they do not respect you!
  • Marriage is a contracted love business...treat it as such! Financial meetings can be sexy if you do it right!