Saturday, July 1, 2017

Relationships Grow with Construction, Not Through Destruction

For some reason, when you enter into relationships, you often believe that they will last forever. However, there are many relationships that don’t and won’t last as long as you hoped that they would last. The reality is, how you start your relationships will determine their longevity. And if you aren’t continuously building upon the positives that you and your mate brought into your relationship from the onset, it is guaranteed that your relationship will not grow stronger, and it most certainly will not last through time.

We’ve had some very unpredictable weather for some time now. However, many times your relationships are just as unpredictable as the weather. The difference is, you can’t and you don’t control the weather, but you can control your relationships, without trying to control the people with whom you engage in relationships. It is a given fact that if you and your mate engage in relationship checkups at least every six months, you both will know what is lacking, what is striking, what is positive, and what is negative. If the relationship checkups are completed with honesty and without blame, you and your mate will have the greatest levels of predictability as to the longevity of the relationship.

It’s amazing that we have plans for building houses, plans for the day and the evening, plans for our wardrobes, plans for dinner, as well as plans for vacations, our careers, and our retirement. But we often fall short with no plans to keep the relationships we claim to cherish, growing and flourishing.

Just imagine if you and your mate both entered into your relationship with a plan in mind for love, commitment, longevity, and overall success of your relationship. The plan has to be a written plan that is agreed upon by you and your mate. The plan should include your goals, and your expectations for your individual selves, as well as your relationship, not just for the day, but also for tomorrow and beyond.

You must recognize that the growth and success of your relationship involves WORK! If you believe that you can sit on your laurels and do nothing to build upon and expand your relationship, it will suffer, not thrive, weaken, and eventually die. It is imperative that you don’t allow your relationship to lack the love, commitment, trust, respect, communication, lovemaking, sharing, and caring that it needs. Yes, sometimes you can breathe fresh air into your broken and limp relationship, but if by chance the neglect has gone on for an indefinite period of time, your relationship might need to be placed on life support. And you are aware that many times there is no survival while on life support.

Just as you build your wardrobe, your shoe collection, your memories and other things that matter to you, you must continue to build on your relationship, if it truly matters to you. You cannot engage in destructive behaviors if you desire to stay with the man or the woman with whom you chose to love and engage in a relationship. Having affairs, cheating, lying, cursing, name-calling, physical and emotional attacks, any form of abuse, engaging in addictive behaviors, and other destructive acts will chip and chip at your relationship until it is either rendered helpless, hopeless, or dead.

And the craziness that some of you engage in to make your mate jealous and/or love you more, if at all; is just that…CRAZINESS!! There will be times in your relationship when communication breaks down, times when you feel disrespected, you are angry, or you are fearful about your present and future life direction. However, these times are not the time for you or your mate to engage in destructive behaviors. Warfare is never fair in relationships!

There should never be times in your relationship that you or your mate decide to engage in emotional, psychological, physical, financial, and/or materially destructive behaviors. Why are you keying or breaking the windows of his/her car? Why are you calling his/her job or the IRS with destructive accusations? Why are you calling, his/her phone, or family members to harass them? Why are you stalking him/her? Why would you want to go after him/her with a gun or other weapon? These are all destructive behaviors. If you are engaging in them, STOP THE MADNESS TODAY! Destruction does not build healthy and positive relationships!

And it’s amazing that some of you seem to flourish in situations (that are really not relationships) that are tumultuous and life draining on a daily basis. However, true relationships thrive and survive because they are being fed healthy doses of love, healthy touches or love, healthy comments of love, healthy looks of love, as well as healthy acts of love each and every day. These healthy acts are truly a part of the construction process that keeps your relationship from falling into a coma, needing life support, without the possibility of survival.    

No matter how strong and how long you have been in your relationship, it cannot and will not flourish or grow when it’s under destruction. Your relationship cannot and will not thrive, nor will it survive under the weight of continuous anger, fighting, hatred, lying, animosity, and overall destruction. Further, when your relationship is in destruction mode, too many of you believe one of you has to win and the other has to lose; and you will believe that you must emerge as the winner and your mate must fall as the loser.

During the destruction process in what used to be your relationship, which has become a situation, you and your mate are now in a competition and no longer a part of a coalition. You have abandoned the ‘we’ and  ‘us’ mindset and have taken on the ‘I’ and ‘me’ syndrome. You seem to nurture intense efforts to not only win against your mate, but for you to also waste precious time in ‘getting back’ at him/her, ‘getting over’ on him/her, or taking steps to bring physical, emotional, social, psychological, and/or material harm to him/her. Just because you are hurting, doesn’t mean that everyone has to hurt with you or be hurt by you! These are acts of destruction, not only to your relationship, but also to your mate, your children, your family members, friends, and yourself.

You and your mate must decide whether you will be a part of the construction process in building and expanding your relationship, or whether you all are a part of the destruction process that is and will lead to the demise of your relationship. If the two of you have decided that you want to build your relationship and make it stronger, it is time for the construction process to begin or continue in your relationship. This must start with a solid foundation, which entails what both of you bring into the relationship.

Your attitude about each other and your relationship, as well as your belief that you and your mate are on a winning team TOGETHER, makes the difference as you continue to construct and build on your relationship. It’s having a win-win attitude, living together, while envisioning and speaking positivity each and everyday. It’s thinking positively and expecting positivity. What you think, speak, believe, and expect is what you will get and what you will have in your relationship.

Along with the regular relationship checkups, it is imperative that you all learn to focus on the positive attributes and characteristics that brought the two of you together. One of you has to take a stand for what’s right! Somebody has to be man enough and/or woman enough to admit wrong without shame and take responsibility for the roles played in the relationship. It might as well be you! An honest and sincere apology can be the first step to you and your mate starting or continuing with the construction process. It’s going back to the basics of any healthy relationship, ensuring open, honest, and positive communication, mutual respect, unconditional positive regard, commitment, and dedication, to and with each other. It’s you and your mate also evaluating your spiritual walk and taking responsibility for where it is lacking. It really makes a difference to have spiritual strength in your relationship; it gives you all an anchor when unwanted destruction tries to enter.

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and God can show you and your mate the light to continue to move forward. You must first trust Him, trust yourselves, and trust each other. Always keep your relationship plan with goals and expectations close at hand so that it can be reviewed during your six months relationship check up. It is also important during the construction process of your relationship that you keep inferior situations and people out of the relationship. I call them infiltrators. If they are not assets, they are liabilities. The bottom line is, keep people out of your business, unless the two of you have consented to the involvement of a spiritual guide, a professional relationship therapist, or other trained expert.

Listening is always an important asset to help your relationship grow. You don’t have to have the last say, just hear the last word and move on! Choose your battles wisely and make time for and with each other. And remember, intimacy is more than sexual intercourse. Take time to have intimate conversations, intimate spiritual journeys, intimate walks, intimate projects, etc. A weekly date is always healthy and helpful, as well as allowing individual time with yourself during the construction process of your relationship.

You and your mate must remember that relationships grow with construction, and not through destruction! The two of you already have the blueprint plans for your present and your future relationship. Now its time to gather the tools provided above and get to building. But remember, any construction is a process and not an event. You can never stop the construction process, especially if you want your relationship to continue. Get up, and get going…you have some building to do!


©2017; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745, Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com   

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Asking the Right Questions to Ensure the Right Relationships

Being in relationships with others is a very difficult and daunting task. It’s asking two people from two different backgrounds to coalesce as one; and many times under one roof, with different opinions, different thoughts, different likes, and many times, different values. And one of the strangest aspects of this coming together is that we expect that this union will be a perfect one.

In all actuality, if you are in a true and lasting relationship or if you are seeking a true and lasting relationship, how you get together with your mate in order to form a relationship is much more important than where you get together. The way you start your relationship is the way it will not only exist in the present, but how it will exist in the future. 

When you are involved in a true relationship, it depends more on you and the person you are willing to commit to and with, in order for you to move forward with the relationship. The act of being in love and in a relationship is a process and not an event. Anyone can engage in a situation, which is an act of convenience for the short haul. However, a relationship is different. The root word of relationship is relation. In order to have a relation with someone, you and that person must be able to relate to and with each other. To relate is to communicate. If there is no effective communication, there is no relation, and there is no relationship.

One of the greatest issues in starting and maintaining a healthy and positive relationship is that rarely do you ask the right questions prior to and during your relationships with others; whether plutonic or intimate. You constantly engage in situations with others (for the short haul), expecting a relationship (for the long haul). Do you not ask the questions of your mate for fear of the answers you will or might receive, or maybe you fear the truth that you will have to face? Whatever the truth or the reality that you need to face, the reason you are in the situation you are in with your mate is because you blocked out and/or evaded the truth about you, your mate and the situation in which you find yourself.

Sadly, as women, too many of you find yourselves not only not asking the right questions of your mate, you rarely ask any questions at all. You probably wonder why you have no answers to and in your relationships; you have no answers because you ask no questions. Many women would rather hear a lie as opposed to dealing with the truth. As long as you are willing to continue to avoid the truth and the reality about who you are, who the person is you are trying to engage with in pursuit of a relationship or are already engaged with, by avoiding the questions you need to ask, you will either engage in a situation or remain in the one you’ve been in for sometime.

What if you and your mate asked each other what your goals are, what you each value, where you see yourselves in one year or five years (individually and as a couple), if you want children, what about your sexual orientation, what about your FICO score, what about the state of your mental health, what about your medical status, as well as all of the pertinent and critical things that you should know, that really does matter to the existence and success of your relationship? For some reason, many of you would rather hear a lie to the preceding questions, remain in a fog, or not have answers at all.

Imagine if you could just be who you are, disrobed, and fully exposed with all of your frailties and weaknesses. Imagine if you allowed the person you currently have in your life as your mate or the one you would like to have in your life as your mate to expose him/herself fully in his/her nakedness, mentally, physically, spirituality, emotionally, financially, sexually, etc. Maybe with the truth, you can make the right decisions about the right, best, and healthy relationships for you. And if you are allowed to make such choices for yourself, you are willing to reciprocate the same for your mate. However, it all starts with you asking the right questions.

Have you ever thought about the worst thing to happen if you had the full scope and full disclosure about your mate’s past relationships with the same sex, opposite sex, friends, mother, father, siblings, other family members, colleagues, boss, etc.? The major reason you don't have the full scope and full disclosure from these people and about the issues mentioned above, is because you have not and sometimes you just will not ask the right questions. Without asking the right questions, you will live devoid of having the right answers. Hence, you will not only enter into situations instead of relationships with others, you will remain in the situation you have perpetrated year after year, only fooling yourself. The bottom line is, do you want the freedom of truth or do you want to continue to live in the trap of a trumped up situation?

If you want to maintain the status quo of living a relationship lie, don't ask the right questions. And if you want to keep perpetrating a fraud in engaging in a relationship with someone you are pursuing or someone you are already engaged with, continue avoiding the answers to questions you never ask. You will never have positive and healthy relationships with others for the long haul, extending the test of time, until you are willing to face the truth about you, your background, who you are, where you are, and where you are going. You must ask the right questions of yourself in order to gain the right answers about yourself. Even greater, once you have dealt with you by asking the right questions and accepting the answers you receive, you must be willing to engage with your prospective or current mate in the same question and answer process. And if the answers you receive are not the ones you anticipated, hoped for, or have been looking for, you then have a decision you need to make.

I am aware that many of you wonder why you don’t have or don't receive what you believe you should have in your relationships. And those of you seeking a healthy and positive relationship are probably wondering why you seemingly keep getting and receiving rift raft. Well, you have not, because you ask not! If you are willing to ask for what you need and what you want (within reason) in your relationship, you nine times out of ten will receive it. If you don't receive what you need and want, you then have a decision to make. Either you will accept less or request the best! The questions are left up to you. What you do with the answers is still up to you. Asking the right questions empowers you. Making the right decisions after receiving the answers to the questions you ask, not only empowers you, but also elevates you to a position of authority and control…OVER YOU!                

It is imperative that you recognize and realize that asking the right questions of a potential mate or your current mate doesn’t mean that you browbeat him/her to death, engage in stalking, nagging, or abusive behaviors, demand or force answers to your questions, engage in manipulative tactics, misconstrue the truth, or play games. As a matter of fact, asking the right questions of your current or potential mate should be for positive gain and to ensure the positive and healthy development of being on the horizon of establishing your relationship or your already established relationship. The more you both know the truth about each other and the truth about your relationship, the brighter the outlook for the future of your relationship.

Women, when will you arrive at the point where you stop asking your mate, ‘do you love me?’ If you have to continuously ask your mate if he loves you, there is a problem. It should be borne in the actions shown to you, the respect shown to you and for you, how he treats you, not only in public, but also behind closed doors, the unconditional positive regard, as well as the deep selflessness when it comes to you. Love should be a reciprocated emotion/process; if you have o ask about it and you are the only one giving and displaying it, you are not in a relationship. You already have the answer to the question before you ask it!

Men and women, it’s also time for you to ask the right questions. Don’t be afraid to ask that woman or that man if he/she is married or not. And don’t avoid the answer to the question so that you can make an excuse to get with him/her. Women, sometimes you ask the right questions of the men in your life, but then you don’t want to accept the truth. Too often you wonder why men lie to you; it’s many times because you pose your questions with permission given to them with a lie for an answer. As a matter of fact, you have known that he has not been truthful to you and honest with you all along, so why keep asking the questions?

Here is your opportunity to think about the questions you would like to pose or have posed to your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.  Since you want to ask questions of these people for the advancement of your relationship, you might ant to start by asking the right questions of yourself. What is/are the reason for the question(s) you want to ask your mate or potential mate? What are your expectations regarding the answer(s) that you might receive? Do you already have preconceived answers to the question(s) that you would like to ask? What if you receive an answer to your question(s) that you are not expecting to receive or the answers that you believe are not favorable to you or for you?  If you ask the right questions and you are open minded to receiving the truth, which will be the right answers, you will find the ‘right’ relationships or come to recognize that you are already in the ‘right’ relationship. If not, your questions and the ensuing answers should prompt you to find the ‘right’ relationship.

One of the greatest things about you asking the right question(s) is that you come to recognize that you have a choice in the matter! You can decide to stay in the situation or move to a healthy relationship. If you are currently in the process of dating, before you allow someone to choose you, you must ask the right questions so that you do the choosing based on what you want and need for you. Write your questions down on paper and take them with you on your date. The questions should be related to the characteristics you are looking for in a mate. Excuse yourself at some point during the date and visit the men’s or women’s room to check your list.

Remember, the questions you ask about your relationships start with you first asking the right questions of yourself, and then asking them of your mate:
·      Am I ready for a relationship?
·      Is he/she emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially available for a relationship with me?
·      What about his/her mental, physical, spiritual, psychological & financial stability?
·      Has he/she healed from his/her last & most recent relationship?
·      Is this the right person for me to engage in a relationship?
·      What do we have in common?
·      Does he/she have children?
·      Am I ready for a blended family?
·      What about the baby mama drama or the crazed ex?
·      What are my expectations of him/her & the relationship?
·      Do I have enough background information about him/her?
·      Are we at least in the same book, preferably in the same chapter?
·      How do we relate & communicate with each other?
·      What can I do and what am I willing to do for him/her
·      What can he/she do & what is he/she willing to do for me?
·      What’s the benefit of this relationship to & for me?
·      Is there mutual respect?
·      Is there unconditional positive regard?
·      Do we have a mutual understanding about what a true relationship encompasses?
·      Do we have a mutual understanding of each other’s needs, wants, and expectations?
·      Does he/she show me empathy?
·      Does he/she show & exemplify maturity?
·      Is he/she an asset or a liability?

Remember, there is no perfect relationship, but asking the right questions can help you to find and keep the right relationship, lasting for the long haul. And if you believe that you have already found that RIGHT relationship, you still must evaluate it at least every six months by asking the above questions. If you find yourself either fearful of asking the right questions or unable to ask the right questions, seek the help of a professional to guide you in the process of framing and formulating your relationship questions and model how to ask them. You can do it…YES YOU CAN!!!


©2017 J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745, Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, May 6, 2017

I’m Not Your Enemy; I’m Your Sister

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, whether biological or surrogate! If you have fed a child or an adult, supported a child or an adult, housed a child or an adult, and if you have loved a child or an adult the way you love yourself, you most certainly have earned the label of being called mother. After all, this label is a term of endearment afforded many women!

God most certainly knew what he was doing when he decided that his creations would not be complete without him creating a woman. God decided that women were an important entity, designating completion. If you could only behold yourself in the same vein as the creator, you would come to behold your greatness, your power, your boldness, and your beauty as women.

Unfortunately, as women, too many of you have not come to behold or have been too afraid to behold yourselves as the creator designed you. Many of you are too concerned about how others see you, allowing who you are and whose you are to be defined by men, friends, and society as a whole. It’s amazing that as women, you are willing to pay a high price for your designer shoes, designer handbags, designer clothing, as well as other designer items, but you are not willing to put a high price on some of the greatest designs ever created…you and other women.   

Society places its enormous and sometimes overbearing and guilt-ridden burdens on women to be ‘perfect.’ What usually happens is that as women, you become so caught up in the hype that you fall for the labels, the beliefs, the expectations, and the other myths placed on you by men and other women. You become competitive; sometimes competitive with yourselves, and too often even more competitive with other women. The reality is that womanhood is not an isolated event; it is a comprehensive and collaborative process. It takes many women working together, in order for you to succeed in fulfilling your awesome, God-given role in life.

There should be no competition between women. You have enough to compete with in society, without competing with each other and shutting each other out. Sadly, you have to fight your way into and through relationships, especially those of gaining and maintaining your rightful place in a sea of ‘privileged’ men, who tend to disrespect, misuse and abuse women. And then there are the disparities you have to fight against in the workplace and in society as a whole.

As women, it’s the relationship that you have with each other, that empowers you to be the greatest and most powerful beings created. This greatness is not related to being a ‘perfect’ woman, as much as it is being a great woman, walking in your own shadow, while allowing the company, companionship, and compassion sharing of and with other women, as you strive to walk in the destiny God has appointed you to walk.
Can you imagine a world without women? Some of you probably can, but the reality is that there was a reason God created both sexes. If you can imagine a world without either of the sexes, you are imagining a world without YOU! Your mom and your dad contributed to the awesome wonder of creating YOU! Singer James Brown once sang “This is a man’s world, but it be nothing without a woman or a girl.” Mr. Brown saw your essence as a woman; when will you see it, behold it, and walk in it?

As women, you are each endowed with a designation by the creator, which symbolizes total completion. As a result, you should be closer to other women in spirit and in truth. You can look at other women and see a design meticulously developed, because it is one that mirrors you. Hence, you should see your fellow women as your spiritual sisters. However, because too many of you are so insecure with yourselves, you are even more heightened in your levels of insecurity with other women, especially those that do not look like you and are not as economically powerful as you.

One of the things that women must come to recognize is that no mater how much you dislike other women, they are basically your only hope in standing in the gap when so many men have joined the guy in the white house, encouraging disrespect, and xenophobia for women. Men know how to stick together, but somehow, many of you as women believe that you must forsake your women friends, your biological sisters, and your mother, especially when you are entertained by a man. Further, many of you have been complicit in the mistreatment, maltreatment, and disrespect of your women friends by men and other women. However, you must realize that the average woman in your life is not your enemy; she is your sister!

With the disrespect, mistreatment, and maltreatment of women, a very dangerous precedence has been established. It is time to realize that this is not the time for you, as women to turn your backs on each other or away from each other. It is time for you to recognize the collective strength that you all possess when standing together, link to link. It is time for each of you to stand up and speak up for yourselves and other women. After all, they are not your enemies; they are your sisters!

As a woman, you might have biological sisters, but there are still many other women who have stood in the gap and many more who are still standing in the gap for and with you. Your first true relationship starts with your mother and with your biological sisters. And if you did not or still do not have a relationship with your mother or with your biological sisters and other women within your family, it is going to be difficult for you to have formidable, positive, and long-term relationships with other women.

As a matter of fact, your relationship with the women in your life will also have an impact o your relationships with the men who have attempted to enter into your life. Because of your unrecognized and deniable levels of self-hatred, you have projected this volatile attitude onto the women in your life. You have polarized yourself when it comes to other women. But, guess what? Your mother might not be as bad as you think she is, and your sisters could possibly be tolerated if you gave them a chance.

Have you looked at your role in the situation that has caused a rift between you and your mother? What about the relationship with your biological sisters? What role have you played in the disconnection and angst toward your sisters? Until you are willing to recognize, confront, and admit your role in the dissention with the women in your life, it will be hard for you to connect with the women who are connected by membership and friendships.

It is time for you to recognize that every woman isn’t trying to be like you, be you, is not out to get you, take from you, or take advantage of you. There are many women who love themselves and see themselves in the image of God, recognizing that you or no one else can take anything from them or prohibit them from reaching their destination and full potential in life. They truly want to reach out to you and invite you in. These women can proudly say, ‘I’m not your enemy, I’m your sister!”     

As women, you must also come to understand the links in the chain that connect each of you. The links that exist between women are not just outer links; they are inner, spiritual connections that permeate the very being of who each of you are and what you stand for as women. This chain link started in your mother’s womb. How dare you to not speak to or with your mother! She’s not your enemy; she’s your sister!

It is time for you, as women, to stop shutting other women out of your lives, to stop blocking your blessings, to stop teaching your daughters and modeling for them that other women are the enemies. If you are true friends with other women, it doesn't mean that you ‘dis’ them when you get with a man. It doesn’t mean that you stop speaking to them when they give you positive and constructive feedback. It doesn’t mean that you curse them and start a vendetta against them when they try to help direct you in rearing your children. And it doesn’t mean that you show envy, malice, or spread gossip and rumors against the women around you, when you no longer see their worth or value in your life. However, it does mean that when you have a TRUE female friend, you recognize and treasure her for who she truly is to you and for you. It means that you stand for her and with her, seeing and beholding the designer aspect of her, all because of your own unique design. It’s simply recognizing the benefits of the women it your life, as well as recognizing the fact that they don’t all serve in the role of enemy; many of them are your sisters.

I do recognize that there are some women who don’t have your best interest in mind. They are all about self and what you can do for them, at your expense. As a matter of fact, I have met some of these women. These are the women who perpetrate a fraud, all because they have no real self-identity and they begrudge other women who have an identity. These are the women I will not allow to call me ‘Sister.” If I had a sister like then, I would deny them, decry them, and defy them. Thank goodness, these are the women who are exceptions, rather than the norm.

There is good news! There are many more women who are not your enemies; they are truly your sisters! When you have them in your life, treat them as precious gems, nurture the relationship and hold onto them as long as you can.
Starting today, in honor of Mother’s Day, which should be three-hundred and sixty-five days a year, it is time for you, as women, to rid yourselves of the dissention, contention, apprehension, pretension, and resentment toward other women. Because they choose to operate in wrong, it doesn’t mean you have to join them. It’s time for you to recognize your full value, your full worth, your full potential, as well as your rightful position as a woman in the world, without competing with other women.

It is you striving to reach your destiny as you harmoniously work together with other women to bring forth the next generation of girls into womanhood, along with an interconnectedness for women walking together and supporting each other in meeting their destinies, without fear of each other, without sacrificing each other, or betraying each other, all because you are no longer enemies but sisters.

As a woman, in order for you and other women to recognize your strength and the design afforded you by God the creator, each of you must once again stand on your principles, recognize and stand on your priorities, recognize, stand, and walk in your purpose, stand and walk in your pride, without allowing it to block your path, as you stand and walk in your peace. As long as each of you bold, proud, beautiful, brilliant, and aspiring women stand in the presence and on the promises of God, you will have your peace, your priorities, your principles, and fully walk in your purpose. You will also recognize that the women in your life all aren’t trying to be your enemy, many just want to be your sister!   

It is time for women and men alike, to recognize, respect, and accept the necessity for women to work together, stand together and speak together as collaborative forces, without envy, malice, jealousy, or competition with each other. Women, one of you is not as great as all of you! The reality is, ‘She’s probably not your enemy, she is your sister…let her in!’



©2017; J. Morley Productions, Inc; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; (770) 808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com