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?

It really is ok to Level Up!

ciara and russell

So a comment was made by a celebrity (Ciara this week), and folks are all up in arms. I am not 100% sure what the fuss is about. From what I have read she simply expressed her truth. She noted after she leveled up, started to look to God more, and really love herself the right man came along. This is her experience and who are we to take that from her. Before you all start the eye-rolling keep reading... I think the issue is because she said  “level up” and get the love you deserve. People seem to be super in their feelings because of the words level up. Even one of my friends said she took the comment as if you are single you have no standards. So it got me thinking…

Why are we so consumed with every thought a celebrity has? Sure they are in the light and people look to them and they decided to be in the spotlight but we are all responsible for our own actions. Just because she believes in leveling up you don’t have to.They are human just like the rest of us, and if your homegirl disagreed with you would you drag her like some do celebrities? Just my thoughts…

Let’s talk about leveling up. If I am correct it means to get your shit together in all areas of your life. This will look different for everyone. Some will lose weight, start their business, get a deeper relationship with God, carry crystals with you, start reading more books, whatever it is we all can agree it is an improvement on your life. So don’t you want to level up? Or is complacency the new in thing? When we apply for jobs we never say ok I'm entry level and I am good with this for life. I have arrived. No, we get in to learn the ropes and start looking for a raise, promotion, or the next job.

I read some comments saying she is using her marriage as a tool or weapon and I was again confused. #Howsway All she was saying, or how I interpreted it was once you focus on you, and get clear about what you want you can attract it. After you get so into you and realize what it is you actually want you will be able to waste less time with men who mean you no good. I know for me I wasted time and dated losers because I was dating to be dating at one time in my life. I didn’t really know what I wanted so I ended up not getting much of anything if you catch my drift. We can all agree like attracts like so why not improve yourself. The new and improved you will undoubtedly attract more than a man. You will get the bougie girlfriends you wished you had, the promotion you have been dreaming about, or even attract the client to your business because you have now become an improved version of our self. What is wrong with that?

Let me tell you a story… When I met my husband I was a single mom of one, working as a therapist (my previous dream job). I lived on my own and was doing my thing. Admittedly I was more together on paper than I was internally but I was actively working on it. So I guess at the time I met him I was like mid glow up lol (although I am sure that was not the term those years ago). The point is I was in a good place, and working daily to be better. THAT IS WHAT ATTRACTED THE MAN TO ME. For us, regular degular folks life ain't always peaches and cream. So what married minded man wants to marry a girl he has t fix up or who is bringing nothing to the table, not even a plate? Because if the shoe was on the other foot while women are more likely to go for the fixer-upper we are not setting out looking for him. We want a man with his ish together. We want the security that comes with a stable man.

I got off topic...Prior to my self-proclaimed glow up I was attracting broken men, with no jobs, mommy issues, emotional abusers, egos bigger than the Beyonce song, and all other foolery. I was attracting them because I was broken. I was vibrating so low that is what I picked up.  Did I need to level up? Hell yes! Is that the sole reason I got married? Nope, but it damn sure helped. I was happy and whole when I got married. I was not looking for anyone to love me because I loved and still love me. In fact, I was happy to just be me with my child. I had spent so much time dating idiots I decided to date me, and the moment I became ok with me things changed. I walked away from my job (I went back, but with a raise lol making just under what a LCSW makes without a license and in case you are not a counselor and not familiar with non-profits that's a big damn deal!). Nope, life has not been perfect but it has steadily been getting better. I have setbacks but I come out ahead because I glowed up.

So no this is not me using my life as a weapon or shaming tool. This is me telling you if I can do it, the girl who was pregnant at 19 by the way ole boy the sperm donor straight walked away you can too!!!!! I have been through so much and we all have a story to tell but unless you level up in some way your story is going to stay the same and we both know you don’t want that. Leveling up is not all about a man because some of my smartest most successful girlfriends don’t even see marriage as an accomplishment. However to live a life you love whether working a 9-5, being a housewife, having a side hustle, walking the red carpet, whatever it is will require you to level up. How will you level up today?

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.

 

4 Positions to Drive Him Wild

With it being love day and all I know everyone is thinking about the chocolate, wine, steaks and of course some good ole bedroom action, and I am no different. This post however is…

Every woman wants her man to be crazy over her. We want to feel like his life revolves around us, and would kiss the ground we walk on. Ladies, am I right? We want out man to smile at us proudly as we kill whatever goals we have set for ourselves, and simultaneously rip our clothes off like we are Halle Berry’s porn star twin in the bedroom.

This is the reason why #relationshipgoals is a trending hashtag on social media. Not a believer? Look it up and you will see an array of pictures. You will find pics displaying pride, lust, and everything in between. Girlfriends and wives everywhere are drooling over the way Jay Z holds Beyonce’s ankle. While cheering and leaving smiling emojis as we discovered that Tammy took back Wacka. Let us not forget the time Former President Barack Obama cupped his First Lady’s rear end *swoon*

The thing women are forgetting is we have to stimulate his MIND and his body. Sure you can be a gymnast in the bed, and even be the best he ever had, but if that is all you have the relationship will never make it out of the bedroom. How will he brag to his friends if his only memories with you are in the bedroom? Those stories will eventually get old. If he serious about you he will not want to talk about your bedroom behavior instead he will want to talk about your business venture, the time you graduated from college, your new promotion at work, or how loving you are with the children. He will want to talk about a woman who is bringing more to the table than her plate.

 As cliché, as it sounds a man, wants a LADY in the streets and a FREAK in the sheets. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and ask any man. It can be a lot but you are trying to get to those relationship goals right? So here are four positions that are sure to drive him wild in and out of the bedroom.

Ride him, cowgirl. This will allow you to take control while giving him a full view of you and allow his hands to roam free. Men love when the woman takes control so give him what he wants!

Doggie Style. In this position, he is able to go deeper, and move at his own pace. So for the times when he needs to dominate and feel like a king, this is a perfect position.

Standing tall. A woman who is confident, about her business, and takes care of her business is a turn on. If you are truly standing tall you will have no problem stimulating his mind, and showing him things he has never seen before. Remember confidence is the best thing a woman can wear.

On your knees. Instantly you thought about an oral transaction, and those are good too but there is nothing like a praying woman. A lady who knows where her strength comes from will be able to be her man’s backbone when he needs it. Whatever your faith is you have to have a source. God, Universe, Buddha whomever you have to get your strength from somewhere, and faith comes from prayer.

Use these positions and watch him fall in love with you all over again. He will notice the changes and suddenly you are the giggling girl with your man looking lovingly at you. Thank me later ladies, and happy love day.

Which position will you be trying tonight?

 

Don't be the Dead Battery in Your Relationship

batteryandrelationships

I have really been working hard to make sure I am doing all the things I tell others to do. Part of that is sticking to my goal of cleaning the living room nightly. Something about heading out the door in the morning and passing the mess bothers me (it must just be me because the kids don't seem to be in any hurry to pick up after themselves).


Anyway, I was cleaning my living room for the hundredth time this particular day and I heard the familiar noise of a talking toy dying.  Unless you are a parent or have children's battery powered toys in your home you may not recognize the noise. When a toy is dying the voice is fake scary deep and it drags on like it is being chopped and screwed.


Before I get to the point I just want to ask why is it when a battery powered toy is dying the toy talks/makes noise when no one is playing with it. Like it is randomly calling out for help. How is this even happening? Ok back to the point.


As a parent, I can hear a dying toy a mile away. I immediately thought to myself “where are my batteries”.  I went to the battery bag (I am a parent, and there is a bag for everything) I only found one in the size I needed. Since children have some sort of innate alarm that goes off when you are moving or otherwise bothering the toy they have not looked at in months my son comes running in the room. Of course, since I am holding his toy it is now the best things ever and he wants it. As I looked into my son’s beautiful brown eyes I knew what I had to do.


I only changed one of the batteries. I knew when I put the good battery in the toy with the dying battery it wouldn’t last. I really only wanted it to last until he lost interest again, or until I could get to the store for more batteries. No, I couldn't go right then I was cleaning remember. The day went on and I eventually forgot and like clockwork two days later there is the toy sounding like a bad remix again. I knew when I forced the good battery to do all the work the toy would not last.


Now, why would I tell you this story? To set the stage for what is next because the whole post couldn't be about batteries right? As a relationship expert, I see the world and most activities in relationships. Simple things like the battery incident made me think of my clients and some of the relationship issues they are experiencing.


They are having these issues because one if not both of them is the dead battery. In a relationship, you need two whole, happy, healthy people for it to work.  If not the relationship is doomed. Sorry, I aint sorry. If one person is the dying battery the other person ends up doing all the work, and eventually they become drained or sick. Now you have two “dead” people in a dysfunctional “relationship”. Life is hard enough and we all have our issues. The stress of carrying our load, and adding a second load with no help is just too much work.`


What is a “dead” battery in terms of relationships? It is a person who is not pulling their weight for whatever reason. This person has not addressed their own issues, whatever the issues may be. This can be financially, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. To be clear I am not saying a person on a journey is “dead”, as being on the journey indicates life. We all have to grow, and we should allow our loved ones the space to do the same.

I am talking about the people who are deep in their issue and not looking for a way out. For example, a person who may have had a bad relationship in the past and is not making any effort to heal and are also bringing their old baggage into their relationship would be considered a “dead” person.


Think about your last relationship, why did it end? Were one of you giving your all and the other not so much? Who was the dead battery in that relationship, if there was one? Who was not carrying their weight? Who was not growing in the relationship?


Life is about change and growth. When you refuse to grow you die. Do you want your 10-year-old acting as a 5-year-old? Hopefully, the answer is no. You want them to grow, learn and expand their thinking. The same applies to you. When I told you the story of the dying toy it was easy to identify the issue. The dead battery drained the new battery. Why is so hard for people to look at their lives with the same simplicity? If you are not in a good space mentally how do you expect to sustain a relationship? Grow, learn and do not attach yourself to dead batteries. Most importantly don't be the dead battery.


Have you ever had to end a relationship because it was too draining?