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).

—

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

In Honor of David Mitchell, His Family, and Yours

By Natasha Foreman Bryant
 I shared these exact words in my Breaking Bread blog a few moments ago, but I know that not everyone who reads this blog also follows my Breaking Bread blog. So I share these with all of you….
 Last night my dear friend, Carman, called me and painfully muttered the words that I knew would come one day, but never knowing when—she told me her father David had just passed away. David had been fighting Alzheimer’s for several years now and it was taking its toll on David, Carman, and their family.
 But in David’s passing I don’t see things as though he ‘lost the battle’ to Alzheimer’s, instead I see things differently. I see that David had the opportunity to spend time with his family and be cared for by his family. During his battle his family was faced with the option of embracing change or resisting it, and they were faced with a reality that they definitely weren’t prepared for or desired. David’s battle challenged his family. David’s battle has strengthened my friend Carman, and their family. They may not see it right now because the reality of him not physically being here is clouding the reality that he will always be here, and that not physically being here means he is no longer suffering, but forever living in and with peace.
 I pray that in their mourning they seek out God and seek to rejoice, pray, and give thanks for God and for Him not only bringing David to them, but allowing them to spend as much physical time as they have with David. I pray that they rejoice, pray, and give thanks for the challenges, the battles, and the pain over the years because with these things they have grown stronger and more resilient. I pray that David’s life brings them closer together, helps them overcome past issues, and prevents future ones.
 I pray that they don’t see David’s passing as a loss, but as a gain, because David has been promoted to his next level of existence. David has gone on to bigger and better things, experiences, and realities. He physically cannot be seen or touched, but through memories and laughter, he will always be felt and seen spiritually. David was a physically fit man who loved to exercise and roller skate, his condition prior to being promoted didn’t allow for him to do the things he loved—but now he can.
 I know what it’s like to ‘lose’ a loved one, I have ‘lost’ many. I know what it’s like to ‘lose’ a parent, my dad was suddenly and without warning promoted by God in 2001. I had so much guilt built up because I didn’t return his phone call ‘in time’ that day, because I didn’t get the chance to say, “I love you dad” and “see you later”, and because I didn’t pay attention to earlier signs of a heart attack. I had nightmares because I would flash back to the moment I found him in his office. I couldn’t shake the image.
 I was torn between embracing his sudden promotion and wanting to disconnect for awhile from the world. So I found a reasonable middle ground. I knew my dad would not want me to mourn him because he lived such an amazing life, flaws and all, and he had such a giving heart, so why wouldn’t I celebrate his life, legacy, and promotion to eternal life?
 My middle ground was living my life, growing comfortable speaking about his, doing everything and anything I could to be a great student of Christ and servant leader, and doing what I could to make him proud and to make myself proud. I have spent the past 13 years growing, healing, and celebrating life—mine and my dad’s. I have failed and succeeded, fallen but always gotten back up. I know dad is proud of me. Yes, there are times I cry because I miss him, because I want to see and hear him experience the great things that are going on in my life, and because I want to ask him for professional, personal, and spiritual advice. Then I eventually smile, thank God, tell my dad I love him, and talk to him anyway, knowing he can’t interrupt me [smile].
 I pray that my friend Carman and her family find a comfortable middle ground that they can eventually grow and mature into a higher ground of acceptance and celebration, because honestly, David wouldn’t want them to be constantly mourning him, depressed that he’s not physically around, and falling short of the greatness that he challenged himself and them to reach each day. David always wanted the best for his family, and flaws and all, David did his best to provide what he could when he could to his family.
 I hope by sharing David and Carman’s life and experience, and by sharing my own, that each of us take this time to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. I hope that we make this a natural habit each day. Life as we know it has a time limit, and we don’t know when that time will end, but what we can do is live our lives to the fullest each and every day, forgiving ourselves and others, shaking off depression and guilt, pushing ourselves to greatness, so that we and our families are better prepared for the day when we too are promoted.
 Carman I love you and your family. You all are a part of my extended family and I want you to know that you can thrive and shine brightly because God has equipped you to do so, and your dad gave you many examples of how to do it here and now. Don’t let the enemy convince you that life can never be good or better because David isn’t physically here. David is in each and every person that he encountered, embraced, and spent quality time with. Just as we are to look for Jesus in others, look for your dad in others—then smile, laugh, and say, “thank You!”
 I share these same words with and for all of you reading this. We must be selfless during change. We must embrace the change in order to grow and see the rainbow after the storm. The longer we resist the longer it takes for us to breathe and be free.

 Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks.
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

Kindness and Respect: A Message for All to Read and Share

Please read and share the post Message to Teens: Kindness and Respect is What You Should Expect written by SecretAngel. It’s title and message is directed to teens but truthfully, this message isn’t just for teens, it’s also for adults! Thank you SecretAngel for posting this original content.

Message to Teens: Kindness and Respect is What You Should Expect.

Source: Message to Teens: Kindness and Respect is What You Should Expect.

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.

Spiritual Quotes of the Day: Hope

“You may be experiencing an extremely painful or difficult moment in your life right now, and you aren’t sure what to do, what to say, where to go, or who to turn to—I encourage you and pray that you would turn to God for strength and restored hope”- Natasha L. Foreman

“In those desperate times when we feel like we don’t have an ounce of strength, He will gently pick up our heads so that our eyes can behold something—something that will keep His hope alive in us.” -Kathy Troccoli

“The choice for me is to either look at all the things I have lost or the things I have. To live in fear or to live in hope…Hope comes from knowing I have a sovereign, loving God who is in every event in my life.”- Lisa Beamer (her husband Todd was killed on flight 93 on September 11, 2001).

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Quote of the Day: Devil’s Advocate 4.23.12

“No longer will I play the ‘devil’s advocate’ in any situation. Why on Earth, in Heaven or even in hell would I want to advocate for the enemy, think or speak like the enemy, or do something that the enemy would want me to do? I am a servant and ambassador for God, period. I serve no other role. I will think and speak no other way. I will do no other thing. I am an advocate for love, peace, joy, happiness, kindness, strength, grace, patience, forgiveness, dignity, truth, and the Light within. All of that negative stuff, the enemy can keep.” – Natasha L. Foreman

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Thought of the Day: Love of Self and Others

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

First you have to know how to identify love and know how to love one’s self, if not you can’t fully or authentically love another person.

Love is not defined by or limited to material possessions, to superficial routines and traditions, or even just saying the words, “I love you.”

Love goes beyond treating someone how you want to be treated. You should treat people the way you would want them to treat the person you love most.

Love is, well heck, love is perfectly defined and described in
1 Corinthians 13:4-13

That IS love. If you aren’t practicing and giving that type of love every single day, then you aren’t experiencing love, you aren’t being loving, and you have your work cut out for you!

Let’s ALL get to work!

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Natasha’s Thought of the Day: Another Perspective on Loss

By Natasha L. Foreman, MB

In life we have loss. Some things lost naturally and some taken away. Now let me be clear this article is not addressing loss due to physical death; that is altogether a separate article. I’m referring to things we buy, trade, apply for or discard, and yes, even possibly (ending) relationships.

We try to protect ourselves from loss by natural disaster and even the disaster of theft, but sometimes we find that what we appreciated, valued and loved is now gone.

It hurts but it happens; how we deal with it can alter our life considerably.

Perceived or actual theft can really chap your hide. There will always be someone who wants what you have.

They’re not willing to work to get there own; they would rather take what they didn’t earn.

It’s easier that way.

No different than someone not being satisfied with what they have and are fixated on getting what they perceive to be better; a quickness to discard old for new.

We do it with phones, gadgets, cars, televisions, clothes, jewelry accessories, jobs, and yes even people.

We’re always looking for better and then trying to find something wrong with what we have so we can swap them out. Sound familiar?

Many people have no commitment to be committed, and feel no obligation to always be dignified and respectful. So people take what they want, use what they want, discard what they no longer want, and the only person who cares is the person who has experienced the loss—the person discarded or blindsided by theft.

But understand that no one can truly take what’s rightfully yours. I know it sounds like a load of hogwash, but it’s true.

If it can be taken to never be returned then it wasn’t meant for you to have for the rest (or most) of your life.

If it’s yours then it won’t be moved; or if taken, then it will be recovered.

Think of a stolen car that is recovered versus one that the owner never sees again. You have the opportunity to reclaim what’s yours or position yourself to get something else, possibly even better.

In the case of love and the people we love, if they leave out of desire for ‘better’ through total pursuit of their own, or by the luring of another–if they leave you then they were only yours for the time you had them. A reason or a season, but not a lifetime.

If they felt you weren’t good enough then guess what? They helped you by leaving because now you are free to have something else– something better, with a greater reward. They have freed you to live the life you are expected to lead.

We should never be dismayed for long, worry too much, or question repeatedly the why or how, for life should be seen as an investment in experiences and lessons learned with a return on the investment being wisdom.

This is how I deal with loss. I break it down as I go through my healing process. I look at it even before its happened.

I ask myself, “if this thing/person is with me for less time than I would hope for, am I okay with that, and what can/will I do to cope with and heal from the loss?” I’ve ‘lost’ enough in life to do an emotional risk assessment for potential ‘loss’. I also ask myself, “if this was damaged, lost or stolen next week, how devastated would I be?” If my answers are negative then I need to reconsider making that purchase.

This emotional-attachment assessment helps on many levels.

In life it shouldn’t be about trying to hold on to anything, it’s valuing it while you have it and knowing you are strong enough to thrive even if it’s gone. Most importantly, you have to remember that you can’t take it with you when you pass away.

So maybe you lost your car, jewelry, business, house, or job, and yes, maybe even the person you thought was the love of your life (but they thought differently) —think of all of the possibilities that can come your way.

As one door closes another one is bound to open. Keep the faith. Keep trusting and believing that as Pastor Bryan Crute says, “your best and brightest days are still ahead!”

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.