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A woman of Virtue

When people look at me sometimes all they see is…
a girl who is happy,
a girl who has everything,
and a girl who has conquered every demon.
 They don’t see me playing a victim.
I have a forgiving and unconditionally loving heart in a world where most people are conditional. A lot of people do not find that normal. I feel like everything we achieve in life we have to work for it through dignity.
 I can’t stand abuse, and I’m not blind to it.  I will always speak up to it to help victims. I think people want to shut that part of me up. I feel like (hopefully) because I speak up people have the courage to walk away from abusive situations. I don’t mind standing alone and being the voice for the voiceless.
 I believe in saving lives and defending and empowering other women and educating them on why things happen. I don’t believe that marriage is always a solution. I’m not one who cares if people disagree with my opinions or the fact I’d rather not write stuff towards having the image life everybody so desperately wants. I’m used to criticism and I am a stronger woman because of it. Society can be cruel when you walk away from toxic situation-ships rather than settle and compromise just for others to like you.
 I often speak up and write about topics that others don’t want to hear because they want to hear the fantasy. I want to share with others reality. I can’t promise that everything I write will make you feel good about yourself. It will help guide you into a better person though when you reflect your own situation through my honesty.
Some people will love me for it, and others will hate me for it.
 I think as young girls and women who are single. We need to stop feeding into society. All those images we see can’t even compare to what we still have to offer a good man. I think every female deserves that long-haul. Both my older sisters waited on GODS timing and are both in happy marriages. I believe it’s so important to stay a woman of value. I once dated a man who tried to degrade me and it was extremely painful.
He would say things like:

“You need to fix your hair!”

“I’m going to pay for you to have brand name clothes.”

“You need a hair cut.”

“If you love me cut your hair like this, so I can take you out in public.”

It was extremely insulting, and I was extremely offended.

He thought that treating me like this was his way of feeling secure in our relationship. If I listened, if I was submissive than I was worth keeping. I decided to take off all my nice clothes and wear clothes from the thrift shop. I decided to take off all my make-up and embrace my natural beauty. He stopped trying to control me once he realized I was confident in my natural self. To me: he was the one not secure in himself and wanted me to be his trophy girlfriend.

Any time a man tries to change you – being a submissive woman is not the solution. He may turn out to be happy, but you won’t be. In the end that man is testing if he can manipulate you or not. Often these men will cheat on you if you listen to them. They want you to be confused stuck in the thought process of: “I did all this for you to like me….why don’t you like me anymore?”

It’s how they gain power over you. The second they have power over you ; they’re free to have their cake and eat it too. This is a red flag.  No woman with value even gives those men the time of day and if she does he will devalue her as someone to cheat on. Don’t even respond to men like that. Not worth it. What will hurt them is the fact you found better and didn’t want them either and that’s exactly what men like this deserve.

It is the fact that I learned to read through games that has stopped me from jumping into relationships.

Finding A Man

I seem to break a lot of hearts. People tend to judge books by covers they haven’t even read.
 When dating a new man. I often see that were mismatched early on. I have a list of reasons for them for why were not good together. There is never any drama involved. I don’t believe in giving men false hope or fake promises. I believe in carrying around the standards of a wife even if I’m not yet a wife. The thing is when you learn to dodge men you know you’ll never see in your future. A lot of times they will try to show you what you lost with the next woman in hopes that will still fight for them. Two years later – they often apologize and realize you were just a woman of standards.
It’s hard to find love when your problems aren’t the problems of most women. You understand that a lot of marriages happened because two people got together because they needed to share bills. Once you understand that you don’t rush into it. A lot of people bluff. A lot of people will tell you how happy they are together, and a lot of people will hate you because you can’t stand the false persona of fake relationships. People who pretend to be happy, but are actually unhappy and wish they would leave their relationships / marriages. It’s offensive when you begin to learn how many married folks lie, and you wish they would give honest advice instead of leading you to their misery.
 My friend told me: “Irene, you had a longer relationship than most peoples marriages. You are qualified to give advice.”
 I don’t think I’m any sort of professional or qualified. I think I am just someone who can empathize with others easily. The only thing actually different between me and married folks is the piece of paper. I was smart about it. I didn’t set myself up to be stuck. There are many people who wonder if I’ll ever fall in love, why I avoid it, and everything else.
 I don’t even have a type of man I’m attracted to. I’ve met so many men from all different races. If it weren’t for the fact that I  have a past with baggage ; I do think that a lot of men I meet deserve a good woman. I’m far from bitter. It’s just that I feel my respect is towards my family. I know that I have to live a lifestyle where I am a role-model. I choose love based on what’s best for my family unit in general, and sometimes that means not making love a priority.
 It has nothing to do with “THE LIST” of most women.
It has to do with:
“Is he compatible with the life I’m already happy in?”
 “Is he gonna try to change me?”
 “Am I willing to meet him half way?”
 “Will he be a good role-model for my children?”
 It’s more like making sure a man balances with who I already am. I meet great men, but the balance with my original life I have before them isn’t there. I love everybody in general. My personality is literally compatible with everyone.

I just don’t think most people like my personality. I’m overly friendly. I don’t compromise much. They like me as long as they don’t fall in love with me. When they realize I won’t change for them ; they hate me! Truly free spirited and fall in love with bettering humanity instead!

People want to know they’re special and I treat everyone as special period! I just can’t see myself with a man who ain’t my friend in the long haul. To me love and best friend are the same thing. You will hurt the person you love, but you won’t hurt your best friend. You’ll work it out. To me respect is everything. Respect and honesty.

 

What Is Love?

“Sometimes you have to be cold to be honest in order to stay firm in your morals. People might not always like the harsh truth, but I wouldn’t be true to myself and to others if I just kept watching without speaking up. It’s called sincerity.

You have to look out for those who you see as family. Sometimes they love you. Sometimes they hate you. My father always told me: “If you know you meant well in your heart. God will take care of the rest. You just make sure you do your part. The truth will reveal itself in time.” 

That was a note I wrote in my journal after a bad break up with a man I spent much time with.

I woke up this morning and I asked myself a question we all ponder from time to time. I asked myself: “What is Love?” Is it what we see in the movies? It is the advice of our parents? Is it how we feel when were with somebody special? I like to create myself this illusion that TRUE LOVE is when you can spend 100 years together like the song: “Hundred More Years,” by singer and songwriter Francesca Battistelli. This is a song that melts my heart and makes me believe in happy endings.

These days I more or less listen to Ed Sheeran and his song “Perfect,” as well as his song “Thinking Out Loud.” I think of meeting my husband well we dance to it at our wedding for our first dance. Oh how it lights up my heart with false hope, but it keeps me hopeful for a happy ending. Artists are truly a gift to us creating fantasy in our empty and broken hearts that we long to share with somebody but sometimes fear takes over and so do other peoples opinions.

People say: “Look at that couple over there. They got it so right.” Behind closed doors that couple fights every day. People say: “Love is to be to be like that couple.” The couple they look at in admiration secretly wishes they never got married. They’re just playing a role manipulating and controlling people and their partners to save the image. People say: “I want that love.” They turn a blind eye to the fact that that love is a facade. A facade to keep power, status, friendship, and careers. It’s a love ruled by ego. It’s a love ruled by pride.

People say LOVE is a place to search for happiness, and some type of fairy-tale ending. People say love is a place to put your guard up. They often create a list of a soul-mate that is unattainable. People say that LOVE is to control your partner and to demand perfection. They often just want to tell their friends / family how perfect you are meanwhile behind closed doors they’re crying so many tears because they can’t add up to you or their ideal list.

People say LOVE is to deserve MR. and Mrs. right – whatever is that? People say love is to find a connection, and somebody that you’re compatible with. They say that you must go on a romantic date and all the stars must align sort of similar to astrology. People say that love is those butterflies you feel in your stomach that offer intense feelings. People say that love is sex to show loyalty and that that’s the only person you’re with because you desire them.

These same people never ever even discusses the future. They just lived in the present, and then the future changed. People chase all types of love languages, and always leave more empty than before. Often times people stay in inward misery playing a role for a marriage just to get praise from others, meanwhile feeling negatively about themselves and making their partners feel negative about themselves.

They even say that love is lying just to protect your partners feelings by speaking only positive things to your spouse or significant other but avoiding true honesty and true intimacy. Every single day we wake up this is the love the world wants us to live up to and find. This is the love were taught to change through things like social media and magazines. It’s almost like they teach women it’s important to be skinny or to have a big booty because those are the models that are put on covers to show beauty. Anything else – we are made to believe that something is wrong with us. Were targeted and body shamed.

When we have standards and want authentic love ; were put down. Were called everything that were not and our vulnerabilities are preyed upon. Our past is brought up. Our flaws are no longer hidden. They’re out in the open and were made to believe that were not lovable and nobody would ever want us.

I could take all those bricks that have been thrown at me over the years. I could take all that advice that I never found genuine too. I could cry me a river. I could play me a victim card. I could settle and do what they tell me to do with my heart. I choose instead to search to GOD for all the answers to life’s mystery and find my own philosophy. I choose to take the hurt, the heartache, the betrayal, and the rejection. It strengthens me into becoming the best version of myself. It is all of this facing of my own demons and conquering them that gives me strength to overcome, to stand-still, and to heal.

When you know and understand that there is a higher power who looks out for you. You don’t need to do like everybody else – not even everybody else in the church. If something doesn’t feel right to me and my conscience. I know it’s not from GOD, and I let it go – so what is LOVE?

To many I’m not qualified to answer such a question due to their perceptions on how they want to live their life. I haven given enough logical reasons why I think they’re not qualified to answer the question despite the fact they often hide behind miserable marriages for years faking happiness that makes them look like they are qualified. To me wanting to live their life is misery too. Misery loves company because it supports poor choices that people have settled in and want to be accepted for. Dare to DREAM BIGGER? Dare to WANT MORE?

The bible definition of love says that Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is LONG-SUFFERING. Love keeps no record of wrongs. You can find the rest in 1 Corinthians 13. I think we all know that verse whether we are christian or not. It is the verse that shows us how Jesus loved us that we desire to live up to but can’t. Jesus is God ; therefore he is perfect. We are only human, and imperfect. I don’t think any of us can ever live up to this standard of love. Were emotional. We have bad experiences in our lives. We’ve all made mistakes. We all need forgiveness. So what’s love?

I ask myself that all the time because I hear all the definitions of others, but they pretty much use the word and throw it around. They throw it around to pretend to be loyal, and to create broken hearts not just to others, but also to themselves. They often lead each-other down heart-breaking paths.

Paths where lies are what begin to keep them together, and then one day they catch each-other and wonder what happened. Fights, quarrels, and escalated circumstances. In reality things went wrong since day one due to polished up pretty paintings. Never the truth. The fights often go like this: ” You cheated on me.” or “You lied to me.” Sex is often in place so it’s easy to know their partners weaknesses enough to turn each story into some white lie version of a story that’s believable. Again in the name of protecting their partners feelings to keep the spark seeming real. I have seen even praised pastors live double lives in all the years I’ve spent in churches. Sad truth. Somehow we look up to these things as love and covet them.

For the answer to what love is – I have no answer. Only lessons learnt in heartache. Lessons taught in betrayal. Lessons taught through resentment. Lesson taught through forgiveness.  The 20 year old me would tell you all those things I mentioned were love. The 20 year old me would fight to save every last marriage in the name of the fairy-tale so that I could believe in the magic of the false personas.

The me now has seen so much of reality. I’m so over it – so over the bullshit. Reality ain’t beautiful. Love is what you make it. Love is how you see yourself. That’s my philosophy. The man or the woman you’re on the inside is always going to shine through on the outside. If you see love for the superficial things such as other peoples outside pictures – you will attract the same superficial love that you’re attracted to. It’s a nice painting on the outside. When it’s you and your lover – it’s one ugly story behind closed doors.

In the end were all like magnets, and we attract back to ourselves exactly what we are. Like attracts to like. If you’re attracting those things that create hurt cycles and heartache – there is something inside of you that you need to heal that makes you feel unworthy of the love you feel you deserve. That’s why even though you find a project in a man or a woman to fix – you’re unable to fix them because the person you haven’t began to fix is yourself.

You can’t change anybody else. You can only fix yourself and fix your attractions to find the right love for you. That’s the harsh reality of why so many are broken and do not find a happy ending in love. Yes, even those who are married with spouses they lack communication skills with and try out counselling multiple times that never seems to fix anything and eventually the counselor says: “Get Divorced. Be happy.”

There’s a reason I take my time because I saw all the pride in my elders. I observed beneath the surface before I ever even dared look at the surface. Many times I was hated for being true to myself, made up, and all the rest. I still stayed true to myself anyway.

Last but not least. If I were to give you my final conclusion on Love. I would tell you that LOVE is to be yourself because in marriage your spouse will learn who you are anyway. Men always believe that the woman will never change. Women always reverse in marriage. Women always believe that a man changed for them. Actually, men always go right back to themselves in marriage.

I would tell you that LOVE is to put your flaws on the table, your standards of what you want in the future in the open. I would tell the the present is the moment. The moment will change. Once you’re stuck in the same house, living under the same roof with nowhere to run – you will have a reputation to protect. I would tell if you if a LOVER can’t accept you for all that you are – FORGET THEM. Just kick them to the curb – better now than later. I would tell you that all these people in your past that played with your emotions, broke you down, broke your heart, or hurt you were a true gift. They taught you how to heal and become a better version of yourself to attract better. Don’t win against them by replacing them. Win against them by being okay with being alone.

I would tell you that until you’ve loved yourself alone. You can’t really give into a relationship what you haven’t already given to yourself. What many people do is jump into stuff, and pray that things stay the same, or get better. In the end their husband is having an affair. In the end their wife is spending all their money. Now they gotta tell the world they’re happy. In reality they’re crying tears behind fake smiles trying to get by hiding their true feelings in – so that their spouse stays by them so they can see another anniversary for the world but not for each-other. They know and feel it their hearts that there is no way out and nobody would understand. They fear happiness. They fear to be judged in a world that stereotypes, and expects them to stay together for religion or whatever.

I would tell you don’t wait until it’s too late to be vulnerable. Be vulnerable before you make that proposal. Be vulnerable before you say yes to that beautiful ring. Make sure that you know in tough times you can still bond because when a honeymoon is over ; there will be tough times.

I would tell you that love is a friendship, and that your lover should never ever be your best friend. Best friends snoop. Best friends quarrel. Best friends compete. Best friends act like alphas. Your lover should only be your friend. You have sisters to vent to. You have brothers to go out with. Friends can be honest and talk through the hard days, and the trials. In marriage there needs to be a balance – some type of harmony.

I would tell you that love is to forgive. If you meet somebody who is vulnerable and your friend – there is nothing you can’t grow through together. Love is to support each-other through the worst days, and to create memories and love each-other through the best days. I would tell you that the best people to marry are the ones who have taken responsibility for their actions before getting married. The ones who can admit their fall in each of their past relationships. If they can’t do that, and they’re still blaming their past. They haven’t matured and in the end you will find out their true colours anyway.

So go out and LOVE YOURSELF. You deserve to find eternal joy and a love that fulfills you not just on the outside, but on the inside too. There is somebody for everyone, but we must put the work into ourselves before we can become attracted to it and attract it from somebody else.

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