Sorry, This is Why You Can’t Be Friends With Your Exes

This topic comes up every now and again, and although I have my strong opinion about being friends with an ex, I always like to do research to see what others say and experience when it comes to compartmentalizing and realigning matters of the heart.

I found numerous articles, but the one that I’m sharing today is a great article to read, especially for those of you who have tried and failed to remain friends with exes. Personally, I choose not to remain friends, that’s a story for another time, but I do know that in rare cases it is possible.

I found Jen Kim’s article “Sorry, But This is Why You Can’t Be Friends with Your Ex” online at Psychology Today.

If you have a healthy, platonic friendship with clear and distinct boundaries, that never or rarely impacts your current love relationship—then this article isn’t for you.

It’s for the 80-plus percent of people out there (that’s my random unproven calculation by the way) who have struggled and failed, or are currently struggling to maintain connections with people they once thought they would love forever (or longer than a season of their favorite tv show).

— Read more on www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/valley-girl-brain/201211/sorry-is-why-you-can-t-be-friends-your-ex?amp

When a Woman Loves a Man

When a woman says how deeply she loves a man, how she feels and believes God’s intent concerning this man in her life, it speaks volumes about how much that man actually loves, and shows her love in return, than does her declaration.

It is not her input into that relationship that she is ecstatic about. It is that man’s input and the resulting output that has her on a spiritual high. It’s his care, concern, support, honor, and view of her privately and publicly that she passionately thrives upon. It’s his loving and valuing of her as he loves and values his own life and body, that’s what she’s feeling and expressing.

This is the 1 Corinthians kind of love so many of us long for.

We don’t see it much nowadays because people are too consumed with ego and all things ‘self’. It’s a gift that should never be discarded because it doesn’t come as frequently as we would think. Maybe twice, but probably only once.

Consider that.

~Natasha Foreman Bryant

Listening and Responding to the Still, Small Voice Within: My Recent Experiences

By Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 I’m not sure what you call the Creator, or even if you believe that you were created by a higher power greater than humans. I call the Creator: God, Father, Father-Mother God, Lord, Love, Light, and Good.
 
 Since I was a small child I can remember my dad telling me to always listen to, answer, and obey the faint voice within me. He used to say, “Tasha you can never go wrong when you obey that voice“. You can call it intuition, your gut feelings, or “something” that told you to do or say something. I believe that all of these things are God speaking to and through us. Now please don’t confuse that with the battle of multiple personality disorder, etc.
 
 Why and what else could have easily swayed me to pull over and rush to the aid of two drivers, and one passenger involved in a car accident Saturday afternoon off I-75 southbound between the exits for Zoo Atlanta and Atlanta Technical College?
 
 I didn’t know any of the individuals involved, but the voice inside said, “pull over and go help“. So I did. I didn’t think twice. I didn’t contemplate that I was in my business wear, coming from the Women 2 Women Conference that just wrapped up at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotel, and that I just wanted to get home and relax. I obeyed and pulled my car over and jumped out.
 
 What I saw moved me. I saw a dark-colored (possibly burgundy) Monte Carlo with damage to the front and rear of the car. I saw the road signs it had ran over, now underneath the car. I saw a young African American girl (maybe 11-years-old) and her father with a look of panic on their faces. I saw another vehicle parked several yards back, a smaller white car, missing the front end, and the driver, a young white woman in the driver’s seat looking frazzled.
 
 I approached the father and daughter and asked them repeatedly if they were okay and if they needed medical attention. The father told me that they were okay, and that his daughter said she was okay. The young girl confirmed that she was okay, but her eyes said something else. I knew that look. It was pure fear. The father was on his cell phone, so I told him I was going to check on the other driver.
 
 As I approached the driver who at first was in the driver’s seat, had gone to the trunk of her car (when I approached the father), then the passenger seat (before I finished speaking with him), and was now quickly approaching me with her hand inside of her purse. She looked infuriated and very focused. That’s when the small voice said, “stop her and calm her down” so I did. I verbally reassured her that I was a concerned driver who wanted to make sure that everyone was okay. I put my hands up slowly and I told her that I knew what she was going through. She then said, “he called the cops and he’s going to lie on me and say this is my fault“. I could see the panic in her eyes and it was coming through clearly in her voice. At that point I knew that I needed to spend more time with her. She was alone with no one to comfort her and tell her it would be okay. The father had reassurance coming from the other end of the phone line, and his daughter got reassurance from him.
 
 I asked the woman had she called anyone, and she said that the other driver called the police. So I asked her again had she called anyone, someone she knew who could console her, and help her through this. She started crying and said, “no“. So I did something without thinking about it. I obeyed the next two words that came to me. I saw her name tag said, “Carrie Ann” and that she worked at Zoo Atlanta, and I said, “Carrie Ann right now you’re in shock and what you need more than anything is a hug. So I’m going to hug you Carrie Ann.” I leaned in and gave this total stranger a hug on the side of the highway. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t contemplate what her reaction would be. I obeyed that voice that said, “hug her, comfort her“.
 
 As I held her in my arms I told her, “I know what you are experiencing and it’s fear and gratitude. Fear in knowing that you just experienced a trauma, and gratitude that you are alive and unharmed. Carrie Ann you survived this and no matter what you are thinking and feeling right now, you will survive the aftermath of this crash. There could have been serious injuries even death, but all is well and right. You are okay Carrie Ann, the father and daughter from the other car are okay….” As I spoke Carrie Ann embraced me tighter and at that very moment I told her it was okay to cry and let it out, so she did, and hugged me tighter. Once we could both sense that small ‘release’ we let our arms down and looked at each other.
 
 A tow truck pulled up and I said, “see, it’s almost over” and as I directed her to sit in the passenger seat of the car or on the guard rail, a fire truck pulled up. Carrie Ann sat on the guard rail, and even though still shaken, she was better than when I first approached her. She was no longer looking like the panic-stricken woman who thought she would be blamed and found guilty of causing an accident. As the first responders approached I thanked them for getting there quickly (lovingly ignoring the rolling eyes of the first guy who approached), and I gave Carrie Ann another hug and told her she would be okay. As I began to walk away she burst out in tears. I think she was having that big ‘release’ we all get when it hits us that we’re being ‘saved’.
 
 I approached the father and the tow truck driver, and asked the father again was he okay. He said yes and thanked me for helping. The tow truck driver asked how was I involved, and I said that I was a concerned citizen who just pulled over to help. He thanked me and said that we need more people willing to stop and help. After checking on the little girl and gaining reassurance that she was okay, I left the drivers with the fire fighters. I asked the tow truck driver to slide the sign that was crushed under the car, off the highway on ramp so that other drivers wouldn’t hit it and possibly cause more damage to the father’s car or to theirs. The tow truck driver agreed and slid the sign out of the pathway.
 
 Even without knowing how things would turn out, or if the drivers would turn their fear and confusion on me, I was filled with such peace the entire time. As I walked to my car I just kept repeating silently, “thank you“. Inside my car I looked through my rear view mirror and saw a second fire truck pulling up. I had done what I was supposed to do. Be there for people in need, and bring some calm during a time of chaos.
 
 I think of the multitude of cars that drove by before I got there, the large number that drove by while I was there, and the countless others that drove by after I had left. There were tons of looky-loos but no one pulled over to help.
 
 How many people considered for a brief second, “should I pull over?” but didn’t. How many people said, “that’s not my problem, it’s not me or a loved one”? How many people saw a black male driver and a white female driver, and thought to themselves, “that may turn into a volatile situation and I don’t want to get caught up in that mess”? How many people were torn with their decision to keep driving even when they saw the little girl with fear all over her face?
 
 I’ve done it before. Matter of fact I couldn’t even tell you how many times over the years when I said a prayer for those involved in car accidents or seemingly stranded on the side of the road or highway, but out of fear, preoccupation, or convincing myself that it really wasn’t my issue, I didn’t stop. I’ve called 911 when I’ve seen accidents, even in real-time, but I haven’t always stopped to check on those involved.
 
 Heck, Saturday evening (maybe 3 hours after helping out the three in the car accident) I didn’t stop to help a man in a black SUV with his hood up. I obeyed the voice that said to check to make sure he was okay, so I visually saw he was and that he had a passenger (although I couldn’t see their face) but I didn’t stop and ask if they were okay. I didn’t verbally confirm that they were okay. Maybe it was the area that I was in and that it was dark outside, that he hadn’t turned on his hazard lights, I was with my mom, and I couldn’t clearly see their faces, so fear and self-preservation overruled everything else. It happens to all of us. But when those variables (of safety) aren’t present, and that faint voice tells you to act, we should act.
 
 No matter what you call God, no matter what you call the voice you hear that tells you to do or say something in love, no matter what your gut tells you, just obey. You could be the very presence someone needs at that very moment. You could be the balance needed to create or maintain calm, peace, and order. You could save someone’s life. Your presence could prevent someone from being victimized. Maybe your act of care and kindness will be returned to you one day. Let’s pay it forward in advance!
 
 Remember your ‘gut’ keeps you out of harms way, it’s ignoring it that draws you in to drama and danger.
 
 Oh, and if anyone knows Carrie Ann from Zoo Atlanta, tell her that Natasha is thinking of her and praying for her. If anyone knows the father and his brave daughter who were involved in the car accident, tell them that I’m thinking of them and praying for them. Tell the father that I commend him for keeping focused on his daughter and getting help, and not feeding off the energy that was trying to grow from the situation.
 
 
 ~Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 

Women it’s Your Time to Act and Woman Up: A Call to Action, Part One

By Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 Teacher. Corrector. Nurturing. Supportive. Caring. Loving. Tender. Warm. Patient. Understanding. Healing. Healer. Fixer. Graceful. Delicate. Strong. Respectful. Kind. Brave. Meek. Humble. Courageous. Lady. Love.
 
 These words and more describe the traditional woman. These are some of the words that we think about when we think of mothers.
 
 Baby Mama. B*tch. Baddest B*itch. Side Chick. Side piece. Breezy. Butter head. Barbie. Chicken head. Dime. Cougar. MILF. Ho. Jump off. Queen Bee. Diva. Gold digger. Vixen. Trick. Slut.
 
 These are some of the words that are being used to describe women today. These are some of the words that women and young girls are using to describe themselves. These are some of the words being used by mothers to describe themselves and other women. The list continues to grow each year.
 
 Something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong. Painfully wrong. Females. Women. Ladies. Mothers. Sisters. It is time that we step up and act.
 
 We must Woman Up!
 
 I wrote a two-part letter to the men (see the links at the end of this post) asking that they step up and do their part to help bring about positive change in our households, schools, churches, and neighborhoods worldwide. I wrote and asked them to do their part to help young men and boys learn what it means to be a real man, a protector, nurturer, teacher, provider, father, husband, son, and friend. I asked men to do their part to help young women and girls learn what a real man is and is not, why they need to shake their fixation on finding the daddy that left them, was never around, or hardly noticed.
 
 But this change requires us too!
 
 Young men and boys learn how to treat a woman by looking at and getting directions from other males, but they also learn by watching and interacting with us. The kind of woman that you want your son, grandson, brother, nephew, or cousin to marry and raise a family with will either be the woman he sees in you, or the image he sees somewhere else—maybe on television, in magazines, or on the streets. You can either help present an honorable image, or you can carelessly allow him to seek out and connect with the next “jump off”.
 
 It is our responsibility to change the image and view of women. It is our responsibility to not sell out for money, affection, fame, or perceived power.
 
 Your Image: Healthy or Destructive?
 
 Here’s the problem. If your model image of womanhood comes from what you see on television or view in magazines, then you yourself have not been exposed to any positive female role models. You have allowed the media, designers, corporations, and airbrushing experts (all mostly men) dictate to you the epitome of beauty, sensuality, and strength. I just watched an amazing video that reveals what Jean Kilbourne and thousands of women have been trying to make clear for over 40 years—the images we see of fashion models, actresses, and female celebrities are mostly altered and airbrushed in an attempt to entice and seduce men, and embed a message in the mind of women and girls, that only leads to our diminished esteem and an increase in eating disorders, suicide, and heightened destructive sexual behavior. Please watch this video and share it with others, males and females, old and young. We have to change the way we see ourselves and other women. We have to change the way men and boys see us. We have to change the way designers and corporations see and depict us.
 
 Eating Disorders
 
 Eating disorders are not just a “white girl” or wealthy girl issue. Eating disorders don’t discriminate. They can reach all of us. Starvation, forcibly vomiting, binge eating, and emotional eating are actions taken by females around the world from every socioeconomic background, race, color, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.You can have a seemingly “perfect” life living in a two-parent household, beautiful home, fenced yard, with one or more cute pets, and still have an eating disorder. You can live in the projects with your grandmother or aunt, and have an eating disorder. You can be a straight A student and star athlete, and have an eating disorder. You can be a soccer mom, juggling your demanding career and back-to-back playdates for your kids—and have an eating disorder.
 
 Either we think we’re too skinny, too fat, too wide, have too much cellulite, don’t have big enough breasts, or have some issue with our butt (too big, small, lumpy, flat, or too wide), whatever it is we aren’t happy. This unhappiness turns into us using exercise, food and other substances to drastically alter our bodies. Someone planted this seed in our minds. Someone told us we’re too fat or too skinny, and that seed rooted and grew quickly. We then fixated on this and it became our reality. Then our pain must be inflicted on others, because hurt people hurt people. So we then see the flaws in other women, and we do our part to share with them and others our opinion of these flaws. There is the chain reaction.
 
 Plastic Surgery
 
 Then there’s plastic surgery and this obsession with becoming a barbie doll—thinner, uplifted always-smiling face; big and even bigger breasts; perfectly sculpted legs and arms; toned and rounded hips and butt; and a teeny tiny waist. Women are spending one to six months of income (theirs or someone else’s) to achieve their ideal barbie doll image, and then when they still aren’t satisfied, they spend another one to six months of income to make corrections.
 
 That is why honorable plastic surgeons inquire in advance your true intent for wanting plastic surgeon, what outside influences may be encouraging this decision, and if you are mentally and emotionally prepared for this change. You can make all of the physical corrections that you want with the help of a surgeon, but if you aren’t spiritually, mentally, and emotionally healthy, happy and satisfied, then you will never ever be happy with yourself or your looks. We must accept this for ourselves and we must explain this to the young girls and teens who are growing into their bodies and ingesting the toxins delivered by magazines and on television. It is our responsibility to have this discussion with friends and family. It is our responsibility to have this discussion with young school-aged girls and those young women ages 18 to 25.
 
 It is our responsibility to tell the media, fashion designers, advertising and marketing companies, and other corporations that we are not inanimate objects, we are not objects. Period. We are women, ladies, girls, daughters, wives, girlfriends, sisters, cousins, teachers, entrepreneurs, and bearers of life. We are not to be dehumanized and exploited. To make this point clear that means that we have to also refuse to audition and interview for roles, assignments, and jobs that negatively portray us as objects of desire, and we have to stop carrying ourselves (and behaving) like mere objects.
 
 Woman up!
 
 Tune in for Part Two coming soon!
 
 
 Your Sista girl,
 
 Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 To read the two-part Call to Action for men visit:
 
 Part One
 http://natashaforeman.com/2013/12/12/a-call-to-action-for-all-men-part-one/
 
 Part Two
 http://natashaforeman.com/2013/12/13/a-call-to-action-for-all-men-part-two/
 
 
 Sources:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWKXit_3rpQ
 
 Jean Kilbourne
 http://www.jeankilbourne.com/
 

Quote of the Day: Male-Female Love & Relationships

The greatest test of godliness in life as a man is whether you learn to serve your woman to a level that she is loved, secure and nurtured so she becomes all that God designed her to be.” – Dwight Hill

Thanks Eric Knoff for sharing this awesome quote on your blog. I want to be all that God has designed me to be. Each day I open myself to all of the possibilities that await me, and all of the ways that I can best be of service. ~Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

“Frankie Leg”: A Fun Image of Grandmothers Shedding their Frail Stereotype, or is this Adding to a More Negative One?

 

I’m really not sure what to say about this video, its message, and the impact (if any). I also am not sure what it says overall about the people it will ultimately reflect upon and clump together into one classification. Is this a fun and possibly healthy image of grandmothers and grandfathers shedding and shaking away the frail stereotype normally associated with getting older? Or is this somehow only adding to the negative stereotypes about Black people?

I start thinking of the buffoonery we once used to fight so hard against, and I wonder if we really have gone full-circle and found ourselves smack-dab in the middle of where we once were; if we have grown to accept not only other nationalities laughing and mocking us, but also embracing it as a reality for ourselves–so we too take part in this…we too find it acceptable; so we laugh, dance, smile, shuck and jive, and roll around comfortably in mediocrity.

Are we really in that much pain that we would rather entertain ourselves in this manner than uplift ourselves out of our pit of shame and despair? What message are our children really getting? Where is our dignity? When is enough truly enough? I believe that music and dance is healthy, healing, and cleansing–but does the “Frankie Leg” fall into those categories?

I am still letting all of this soak into my mind (which may be dangerous). But let’s have a healthy conversation about it shall we?

 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. The Paradigm Life. Paradigm Life. Rights Reserved.
Video provided by YouTube

Natasha’s Thought of the Day: My Definition of a Coward

A coward is a hilarious yet pitiful sight to see and experience. A coward hides behind aliases, anonymity, avatars, masks, lies, and other people. A coward yells loudly behind mommy’s dress and daddy’s coat, but never stands out and speaks up for the world to see. A coward spits venom like a serpent but is too scared to face those they attack. A coward has little to no self-esteem, self-worth, dignity, or grace, so lacking a spine they sneak around trying to drag others to their level. A coward will hide behind a title but never live up to it. A coward is never dependable, reliable, or consistent…except in their cowardice. They simply exist, but never live, and even in their existence they don’t leave much of an impression.

I’m not too sure if I should feel sorry for the cowards of the world, sympathy, or nothing at all. They are a sad group of people. They can never stand on their own, they can never fight their own battles, they can never truly lead, they always make excuses for their inadequacies, and blame others for their shortcomings. Cowards are always the victim, always the damsel in distress, always the ones needing saving, always the ones complaining about what’s wrong and why they can’t do something. The words, ‘can’t’ and ‘impossible’ begin and end their sentences, and sometimes their days.

Cowards live for revenge, wanting to pay back those who hurt them, but they don’t have the courage to actually face this person head on. Cowards like to pick fights, but never stick around for combat, or they find a way for others to join the fight so their weaknesses are never revealed. They are the ones who spread rumors and cause drama, but in a sneaky, cleaver kind of way–that always make them look innocent. They pretend to be someone they aren’t because they don’t have the courage to be who they were created to be. They are weak-minded, weak physically, weak morally, and weak spiritually. They live in constant darkness; for only in light can one find true strength. It’s no wonder why cowards always prefer playing devil’s advocate, because for them it is too great a mountain to climb reaching up towards hope, possibility, and excellence, when they can use less effort kneeling down towards mediocrity.

I have encountered many cowards in my time, some as recently as today, and I am amazed at how much time they have on their hands to focus their energy on doing absolutely nothing of relevance in our world–except in their minds. It is pitiful that these insecure people spend so many hours of their day thinking about me, plotting and planning against me, and envious of what I have that they wish they had. We all have had our run-ins with cowards like this. See, cowards have plenty of time and energy to spread lies and hate, try to destroy other people’s reputations, families and businesses,  yet they don’t invest the time and energy to bring goodness and love into our world. They don’t have the time and energy to make a positive contribution to society, yet they can waste all of their resources trying to drain someone else and destroy their dreams. They don’t have the time and energy to build, create, innovate, inspire, embrace, uplift, and shine. Yet they have the time and energy to tear things apart, destroy, manipulate, deceive, and play childish games. They have time to send stupid messages and make phone calls to others hoping to make them feel as miserable as they do; post idiotic things on the Internet for even the tiniest bit of attention; make claims without supporting evidence; and just take up much-needed space in the world. They eventually leave this world as they entered it and lived it…clueless!

I have more respect for the person who tries and fails, than the one who never tries. I have more respect for the person with bumps, bruises, cuts and burns from falling down in life, because in their walk I see that they found a way to get back up. I have more respect for the person who comes to me directly, without masks, anonymity and code names, and just speaks their mind. I have more respect for the person who comes right out and confronts me with the goal to fight, than sucker-punch me in the dark. I have no respect for a person who isn’t brave enough to stand up and speak their mind. I say what I want to say, and clearly say my name when I’m speaking. I don’t post to my blogs or anywhere else as “anonymous” or with some made up alias, or using a picture not mine, because I have the courage to speak up, speak out, and back up what I say. My parents didn’t raise a punk, so I don’t cower over like one. I’m no bully and I won’t be bullied–never have and never will!

So I have one last thing to say to the cowards of the world…you can say what you want and do what you want, because just like your anonymity, you really don’t exist!

 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.