Setting My Own Love Rules…

I will be the first to admit that I am no good at relationships, actually recently I have realized I am quite terrible. I used to say it was because I was selfish which is true to some extent but in all actuality it’s because I wasn’t being honest with myself about what I really wanted. Which is a love that surpasses understanding and rationale. People that are close to me already know that I have a tendency to overthink almost everything, especially things that are really personally to me then I panic. I do have some reasons for why I’m this way but that’s another story. (check out my A Good Relationship redbuttaflydiva.com) However, I am still 35 and single and of course I hearing about it.
We all know that when it comes to love and relationships that most people we know are always willing to jump and a chance to give their unrequested advice. For those that would like to see me fix this problem I have told what type of men to date, what my requirements need to be, and what types of monetary compensation I should request. Then you have the miserable Betty’s that have instructed me I should just worry about my career and just fill my time with work, I must admit I did for a number of years. For awhile it kept me busy and mind occupied until it became all I did and all I was. Then I had to take a step back look at myself and acknowledge the fact that I am human and not a work horse. Truth is that no one truly knows all of the answers about love. I have taken classes on love and relationships, conducted couples therapy, and have given sex and relationship advice as a consultant and still struggle when comes to my own love life. For most of us this is true unless you are honest with yourself. This is where I am finally being honest with myself about what my hearts desire really is.
This forced honesty came when all of that hard work I just mentioned started paying off and many of my dreams starting to come true and I felt sad because I don’t have that special someone to share it with. That piece of reality made me realize that in the past when it came to love and relationships I functioned from a place of hurt, fear, and the perception of others. I needed to be confident in my own wants and needs to seek the type of relationship I crave. I don’t need it wrapped in a nice little neat package so others can accept it or even deny myself the opportunity to fit a mold that someone wanted to put me in.
I desire that heart wrenching gut churning love that is built to last and eternity, what movies are made from, the kind of love that I write about. I know that kind of love is will not be easy to find, but I do know that it’s nothing like the fairy tales. I also know that it’s not wrapped in designer labels, expensive meals, fancy cars, Benjamin Franklins, or even a ton of degrees and titles, it’s covered in respect, hard work, vulnerability, tenacity and dedication. I want someone that is willing to hold my hand until the lights go out in my eyes if he had to and an individual I would be willing to do the same for.
Surprisingly, I need what have scared me for years. I remember when my father passed away when I was a teen ager I watched part of my mother struggle just to get up and get dressed for months how she couldn’t even sleep in their bedroom for over a year it scared the hell out of me and I never wanted to need or hurt for somebody that much. Though I was in my own personal hell I my young mind couldn’t comprehend it because I saw their love as a choice not the same as parent and child, but I did understand that I didn’t want to feel that way ever. However, I did end up experiencing a similar feeling in my 20’s when my first love passed away suddenly which just made my initial feelings worse. Thankfully almost 20 years later I now understand that I have been cheating myself out of an amazing bond that I am praying that I didn’t wait to late to discover.

Lou Hargrove
 

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Living Single Life: Taking Good with the Bad

Well it’s Friday I have had a rough week at work and i run out of the office like I’m being chased by lightening. I come home and walk in the house longing for that hug or kiss on the forehead that says, “It’s ok” or “I’t will get better”, but as a stick my key in the door and slam my purse in the kitchen counter the only noises that echoes inside my home are that of my own. So I turned around and reached into fridge for that emergency bottle of wine and then into the cabinet for a glass. With wine in hand I sit on the couch and sigh. This is the moment I hate the most about the single life, those moments that crave to be held and protected when the world around me seems too much. A few glasses of white merlot later an plans of earlier morning shoe shopping all is right in the world I remember what I love about the single life is that I am only accountable to me. There are no raised eyebrows in judgement when I have a few glasses of wine before dark or the fact that I may get a little to excited over the plan of early morning shopping.
Being single has its pros and cons just like anything else in life. There are those moments we may despise about being a single girl but if we take the time to be complete honest with ourselves there are certain things that we are comfortable with that we never want to give up. Now I am recently single and prior to my last relationship I had been single for years and we that complete freedom of being single was gone I had to admit I wasn’t thrilled. I was used to coming and going as I pleased and wasn’t used to sharing that time with a person that didn’t always want to do what I wanted to do. Now don’t get me wrong it was nice not to hear those questions from family member like, “Why don’t you want a boyfriend?” Or that famous reminder “You know your not getting any younger?” I know we heard this all before, and for me every year over thirty it seemed to get worse. Of course there are special occasions and life accomplishments that I would love to share with a significant other, but one one must admit that there is a feeling of liberation when we are able to make some of these accomplishments on our own, like the purchase of a first home for example. For me personally I especially dislike spending my birthdays alone even more so after the age reminders I usually get every year since I turned 30. Then there is also that quiet me time when I able to sit alone and gather my thoughts and catch my breath that I find harder to get when in a serious relationship (for some reason I’ve needed more since age 30). Life and financial responsibilities can feel overwhelming and cumbersome when I look around and realize that I am the only one, but again the feeling of accomplish after the burden is over has a certain special satisfaction. Being single does have its set of pressures and inconveniences as well as its moments and advantages, but the beauty of it is that it is a constant opportunity for self evaluation. I have been able to learn so much about what I want and don’t want, what I can tolerate and what I cannot. Even in those lonely times there is a huge opportunity for self reflection and learning what our need and wants truly are.

Lou Hargrove
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Monday Motivation: Don’t Allow Fear to Hold You Back!!!

OK. I know that this has been said so much that it has almost become a cliche. But it speaks so much volume into the importance of living life on the other side of fear. I for one am a complete scarey cat, and I allowed fear to control my actions for so many years that it is ridiculous. I wasted time and energy that could have used becoming the force in this world that I know I can be. I lost precious time not living the life that I truly deserve and one thing is for sure lost time is something that you can never get back. Life is about taking chances and not taking those chances only leave you with regrets and the never ending shoulda, coulda, wouldas. Which we all know are never cute or cuddly. I remember reading awhile ago that when it comes to realizing your dreams the bigger the fear the larger your reward. Even if things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to no experience is ever lost. I have learned the most about myself during the times that that may have been considered failures to most. Now I realize my only real failures are when I don’t do anything at all. Not acting on the things that I have burning inside of my spirit, not allowing myself to grow into the women that I was meant to be is not only a disservice to myself but also to others. We are not put on this earth only to serve ourselves. God puts us here for a purpose and that purpose will always relate to something that is deep down inside of you. I have found that many times in helping others I have also helped myself. When I started doing stage performs I scared to death, for awhile when a friend of mine asked me to do it I wouldn’t until I realized that the performances weren’t about me. The content and the material being received and the message getting across was what was important and that motivated me to step further outside of myself.
So right now I am currently in the process of writing my first book of poetry about love, passion, and broken hearts. A lot of these poems are about some very personal experiences to me, so it feels like I am putting my soul on paper for the world to see. Many things of these poems are composed of words that I have been too afraid the say in person to those that I am writing about and that resulting in failed relationships and a lot of hurt feelings. So you can see why the concept of actually releasing this book petrifies me. At times it is almost paralyzing, so much so I have been working on this book since 2008. There are a lot of poems that I am not going to include because in the being I was so scared my writings came across as scared, and there were a few years in between that I didn’t write at all. Then I heard a speech about fear and one of the things the speaker said in regards to unrealized dreams is “not to die with that book still inside you.” The truth is I don’t know how this book may sell but if it reaches someone who needs it that’s all I really want. Of course I would like it to be a success but I will be a lot better when I get it on a shelf and know I did not die with this book still inside me.
Whether your fear is of heights and its keeping you from taking that dream vacation or writing your first novel. You will never know what is on the other side of fear until you do it. You will not have what that experience will bring into your life. You have to think positive, listen to your instincts then do the things that are stirring within you. You’ll never know what the outcome will be.
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