Saturday, November 2, 2019

How to Deal with Your Relationship When One of You is More Successful than the Other

As one of the partners in a relationship filled with disparities based on the success of one partner or the lack thereof of the other, it is imperative that at some point, issues related to the identified disparities are dealt with, preferably by both, but most certainly by you. In order for you to have a healthy and positive relationship, feelings and thoughts regarding the disparities surrounding the fact that one of you is more successful than the other must be addressed. In all actuality, the issues of disparity surrounding success in your relationship should have been dealt with prior to your commitment to solidify your relationship with each other. But since it wasn’t dealt with prior to your commitment, it is now the right time for you to do so.

How you deal with the disparities that exist within your relationship, as a result of one-sided success will probably differ based on your maleness or femaleness. The definition of ‘success’ must be factored in when considering the real or imagined disparities you and your mate are currently facing and have been facing for quite sometime. However, the reality is that although one of you in your relationship had already attained a greater level of success than the other, prior to your involvement with each other, you all ignored the red flags that often come with the disparities, hoping and sometimes believing that they would go away. 

As a male, it is promoted, expected, respected, and accepted that you should be more successful than your female partner. However, on the other hand, when your female partner is more successful in the relationship, your male ego sometimes seems to get in the way. Sadly, society still espouses a lack of respect, a lack of acceptance, and a lack of expectations for relationships with successful females to positively exist. 

One of the major problems that usually ends a relationship sooner, rather than later, is the fact that many couples ignore the larger picture containing red flags and focus on the feel good aspects of the relationship, such as sex, outward appearances, and lust. They ignore the fact of the unequal level of accomplishments in the relationship. If the disparities in levels of success are not already prevalent when you enter a relationship, as one of you excels beyond the other, the disparities will eventually rise out of the ashes. Hence, it is important to be proactive. 

When one partner in the relationship is more successful than the other, it is imperative that the two of you sit together and talk honestly and openly with each other about your feelings, thoughts, insecurities, and concerns. It is also important for the two of you to discuss the current and anticipated impacts that the disparities of unequal success are having or might have within the relationship. This conversation will also be a great time for the two of you to clarify your expectations of each other, as well as your expectations of the relationship, and set written goals, especially when one of you is more successful than the other. It is best to have these conversations before you become too involved in the relationship. It is always easier to prevent issues than it is to intervene later, once they have raised their ugly heads.

Positive, healthy, and respectful conversations with each other can relieve a lot of stress and anxiety, as well as possibly save your relationship. And if you cannot discuss and deal with these feelings together, civilly as a couple, it is time to for you and your mate to visit a marriage and family therapist to help you to sort through the divisive feelings and thoughts that exist as a result of one of you being more successful than the other. Destruction of the relationship and destruction of each other are the only outcomes of harboring feelings of insecurity, resentment, anger, and sometimes jealousy.

Discussing the disparities that exist within your relationship of one being more successful than the other is only one of the major steps necessary to allow you and your mate to live happily ever after. And just in case your love grows stale in the relationship and the fire stops burning, and as you anticipate future disparities that might arise in your relationship, it is important to engage in a verbal and written agreement to not allow your differences in accomplishments to interfere with your relationship, as well as the consequences of such. A WRITTENand legally ratified prenuptial agreement is always a great way to bring some stability to your relationship when one of you is more successful than the other. It helps to take a lot of worry out of the way, so that you can focus on loving each other. 

Too often, the non-successful partner takes and takes from the successful partner, without any investment, until he/she takes all and runs to someone else. This doesn’t just happen with very successful people such as Mary J. Blige, Sherrie Shepard, Melba Moore, and Jill Scott; it also happens to successful women that the world has not discovered as of yet. It’s just realizing the fact that there are real opportunists and real vultures waiting to prey on unsuspecting people, especially women looking for love.   

Even in relationships with disparities of levels of success, you must learn to focus on the positive aspects and commonalities that exist within your relationship, instead of focusing on the disparities in your levels of success. In other words, you must focus on what you have in common, rather than your differences. You must allow your commonalities to be connectors and not dividers, using the success of one in the couple to guide the success of the couple as a whole. You must learn to give each other compliments, as well as tell and show each other how proud you are of the accomplishments of each, not just based on levels of success, but on the fact that God has blessed the two of you to have and be with each other.  

Celebrating the accomplishments of each other removes the focus from the disparities associated with your different levels of success, and keeps you from competing with each other. You will come to not worry about or focus on what others might think, believe, or say about your respective roles as the man or woman in the relationship, as well as how your relationship should be, or how it looks, because one of you is more successful than the other. You will come to recognize that external success cannot and will never outlast internal success and eternal love. 
  
The two of you are partners, not competitors. As the successful partner in the relationship, you must learn to see your level of success as an inflator for both of you, instead of seeing it as a deflator for you. Your success should be seen as a compliment and an enhancement to you and your relationship, rather than a disgrace or disparity between you and your mate.  And if you are not considered the successful partner in your relationship, it’s time for you to find your own self-worth through having a life of your own, by identifying and focusing on what makes you “successful” in your own right, without separating yourself from your mate. You must engage with your mate without competing with him/her, and without trying to overshadow his/her level of success. Engage in public activities with him/her without shame or guilt. You have nothing to feel guilty or shameful about. Find your own shadow and walk in it! 

No matter what the level of success and who is considered the ‘successful’ one in your relationship, it’s a matter of loving and respecting each other, no matter how successful or unsuccessful you are…you are in it together! Walk in it, and act like it!   

©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc; P.O. Box 1745, Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Putting Up with Domestic Violence in Your Relationships is Never An Option!

Incidents of domestic violence in America are at an all time high. More and more, violence and abuse against women are occurring at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the CDC, one out of three women are abused in domestic relationships and one out of ten men are abused. Whatever the figures, abuse is NEVER okay in any relationship!

 The air of disrespect for women has grown by mass proportion, perpetuated by so many men in the highest realms of government in this country. I am sure you have heard quite a bit about the admitted abuse by so many athletes and other men in powerful positions. Sadly and unfortunately, many people (including a preponderance of men) believe that the abuse lodged by these men against women was right, appropriate, and ‘the way men should treat women who don’t know when to keep their mouths shut,’ or women who ‘can’t be controlled.’ Ironically, the NFL seems to agree with these supporters of abuse of women by men, with the actions they have taken against these men.

The negative comments made about African-American women have been even more distasteful and downright disgusting. To add insult to injury, African-American men whose mothers and sisters are African-American, have made many of these disparaging comments, viewing African-American women has less worthy than any other group of women. 

There should be no situation that warrants any type of violence or abuse against another. If the relationship is not in your best interest or it becomes toxic, you must recognize that you have a choice and you have options. If you are being abused, you can choose to continue to drink from the abuse bottle with the skull and crossbones, or you can demand changes in how you are being treated. And if you are not being treated the way you believe you should be treated, like the human being, man or woman that you are…you have options, and one of the options is to end the situation. Being abused does not constitute a relationship; violence indicates a situation.

Women, the longer you stay in an abusive and violent situation, the weaker you become. Staying stuck in the mud of abuse does not make your relationship stronger. All you are doing is enabling your abuser and engaging in codependent behaviors with him. If he hit you once, he will hit you again. A shove, doesn’t make it any worse. Many women have lost their lives, believing their abusive and violent mates will change; they don’t!!! IT’S IN HIS DNA!!!

It’s time for you to stop blaming yourself for being abused and stop making excuses for his abusive behaviors. ‘I should have been quiet’; ‘I made him angry’; ‘it’s all my fault’; ‘he was drinking’; ‘the kids were making too much noise’; ‘I made him do it.’ You are in denial…Don’t Even kNowIt’s All ALie! You want him to man up? WHY DON’T YOU WOMAN UP and stop participating in the madness and cancel your membership in the club of insanity! And if you have to try to make a boy into a man, you have greater issues than he has! He won’t and he doesn’t love you any more because you are his punching bag, physically, verbally, mentally, spiritually, financially, etc. As a matter of fact, for a man to engage in abusive and violent behaviors against you is an indication that he doesn’t love you at all; if he ever did! 

As men and women, you must come to recognize that hands are made for holding, helping, and hugging, and they were never made for hitting or hurting! Further, if you expect dignity ad respect from your children, it is time for you to model these characteristics for them. Abuse and violence are learned behaviors, especially against women. You can then throw out the old adage, ‘do as I say and not as I do.’ You should be congruent in what you say and what you do…stop trying to control your mate and others with your abuse and violence. Don’t be afraid to speak out against such destructive behaviors! 

Abuse has been used as a form of control for too long, at home and in the workplace. When you come to realize that the only person you have control over is yourself, you will stop trying to control others. And not having things go your way in your relationship doesn’t give you permission or the right to abuse your mate in any way. Being a man of physical strength doesn’t make you stronger when you abuse women of lesser strength. As a matter of fact, as an abuser, you display your weaknesses. Here is your opportunity to STAND UP and MAN UP! Stop the violence and stop abusing your mate and other women! And if you are not an abuser, take a stand against abuse by calling your boys out when they engage in abusive behaviors. Let them see how big you truly are.

Doormats are made for walking on; not people. Light switches are made for flicking on and off…not people. Doorknobs are made for turning; not people; drums are made for beating on…NOT PEOPLE! Clearly, if you are an abuser or use violence to control your relationships, you have much deeper problems than you know or are willing to admit. And then, if you are constantly submitting yourself to abuse, as a man or woman, you also have deep problems within yourself. For both the abuser and the abused, self-esteem is a serious issue, but it is never an excuse for abuse, as a giver or receiver!

Men, it is time for you to take a stand against abuse of any kind, especially abuse against women. Just as there are men (and a few women) who condone abuse committed by athletes and other men of power, there were many men and women who condemn these behaviors. I commend you! To those men who have stood or stand against abuse and domestic violence against women, kudos to you! Always remember, your mother was/is a woman. When you show disrespect and hatred toward the woman you sleep with (or don’t sleep with), you are showing an extension of disrespect to and for the woman who carried you for nine months and made the decision to bring you into this world. Even if she did not rear you, she gave you life. Either way, whatever happened between you and your mother, it’s not your mate’s fault or her responsibility to take the blame for or to try to fix the situation. Get some professional help and get over it!

To the women who raise your hands against your mates, and hurt with your words, because you feel emotionally bankrupt and don’t believe you can harm with your hands (which is not an option), there is no right in your wrong actions and violence and abuse have never healed hurt or mended a broken heart. Self-love is the start and love toward others is the next step. When you come to love yourself, you will see that you don’t have to fight in order to be loved. Love attracts love! Hurt people hurt! 

Recognize that there are many forms of abuse. Here is your opportunity to become aware of them, gain insight about them, understand them, and take a stand against them!

·     Domestic abuse/violence—Abuse and violence committed against your mate in order for you to control him/her. More often than not, domestic abuse/violence is committed by men against women and children. Domestic violence usually encompasses all of the abuses below, but focuses more on physical abuse. It occurs in cycles. He beats the hell of you and then he wants to have sex, after he has given a false apology, cries, begs for forgiveness, and makes you, as a woman believe everything is alright after the sex…until the next time, the next out break. During domestic abuse/violence, more women are killed by physical violence, including guns.   

·     Economic abuse--Stripping your mate of financial means for her to effectively care for herself and the children. Withholding credit cards, taking money from accounts to deny her access; forcing her and children out of the home, especially after a divorce; depriving your mate of the basic needs for daily survival, causing her to struggle to stay afloat and to get ahead in life through financial and material means and needs

·     Emotional abuse—Saying or doing things to and/or against your mate, which affect his/her mood; deflating him/her, causing low emotions, depressed moods, stress, and distraught. Usually coupled with other forms of abuse, physical, verbal, spiritual, etc.

·     Financial abuse—Withholding money in order to deflate and/or control your mate. Forcing your mate to give you money or forcibly taking money from your mate, rending her financially impaired or devastated.

·      Physical abuse—Violence and abuse on your mate’s body by beating, hitting, shoving, slapping, cutting, scratching, or any other form of physical harm. This harm can be done with your hand, fist, or other material instrument or weapon.

·     Psychological abuse—Affecting the mind of your mate through physical, emotional, spiritual, and other forms of abuse. Your mate begins to believe she is ‘going crazy,’ with erratic thinking, confusion, forgetfulness, distress, etc.

·     Social abuse—Using verbal, physical and/or spiritual forms of abuse to embarrass your mate in front of others, in public, or through social media; denigrating her in public; putting her down in front of others, especially at parties or other social engagements.

·     Spiritual abuse—Using the Bible and spiritual approaches to control your mate. Making him/her believe that he/she is headed for damnation; quoting scriptures to embarrass your mate, embarrassing in front of church members, having a Bible in your hands with horns on your hand and a tail sticking out of your behind. Making yourself seem self-righteous, while condemning your mate.  

·     Verbal abuse —Using your words to hurt your mate; entails name-calling, yelling & screaming, cursing, abusive language, denigrating, and embarrassing in front of others with words; using put downs, deflating your mate as you inflate yourself. Public humiliation with your words.

For your sake and the sake of your children, remember, abuse and violence kills! Women, if there was a way into the situation, there is always a way out…you must be ready to see it. You also must begin to love yourself, accept yourself, and above all respect yourself. And don’t be afraid to get psychotherapy to help yourself. When the situation is too rough and too toxic, don’t feel embarrassed about the abuse, reach out to family and friends to help you to get out of the situation. 

Never stay in an abusive and violent situation ‘for the children.’ This is an unhealthy situation. Your children are better off in a healthy home with one parent than they are in an unhealthy, abusive, and violent house with two parents; one abusive and violent and the other afraid. Men, you are more likely to kill your mate, your children, other family members, and yourself, in order to control and seek revenge or because you believe you lost control some where along the way. And guess what? You blame everyone except you for your problems, especially your mate and your children!  

Women, you are more likely to kill yourself and sometimes your children in order to escape the control, the abuse, and the violence. You see no way out and you have often lost hope. There is hope, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Run…and run as fast as you can to save YOU and your children.

WHEN PEOPLE SHOW YOU WHO THEY ARE, BELIEVE THEM!! You can live with someone and still not truly know him/her. It is better to live with embarrassment than it is to not live at all!! There is help for you; GO GET IT!

Resources:
The Women’s Resource Center reads the names of women in Georgia who have died since 1990 due to domestic violence in October in the Decatur Square—over 100

Women’s Resource Center Crisis Line—404-688-9436

Men Stopping Violence—404-270-9894

National Domestic Violence Hotline—1-800-79-SAFE (1-800-797-7233—1-800-787-3224-TTY)


©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com



Saturday, August 31, 2019

Being a Single Parent is Not a Crime

So you’re all alone, without a partner, and you have one or more children. You’re not married,; you have never been married or you are divorced and there doesn’t seem to be the possibility of a potential mate on the horizon for you to eventually link with and tie the knot, for the first time or once again. 

Society has for far too long made single parents feel as if they are criminals, especially single mothers. The children of single parents have been considered troublemakers, social deviants, and delinquents, especially if there is no father in the home. There has been pity, empathy, and sometimes anger toward women who are single parents. And those women who continue to birth babies without being married, have a hard road to travel in the eyes of society. There has also been much criticism of these women, especially if they are women of color, who struggle to be financially self-sufficient.

It has been a long held fallacy that children coming out of single-parent households, those with only a mother in the home, and more specifically those form African-American families are prone to failure, destruction, and pose a threat to society. Single mothers are many times told that they cannot rear their young sons to be men. And that’s not what they should be doing; they should be rearing them and preparing them to be strong, positive, and successful contributors to and in society, as they allow positive male role models to help mold their sons into strong, positive, and healthy men. Mothers can most certainly help teach their sons how to treat and respect females as boys and as men, and they can prepare them to be the type of man suitable for marriage and procreating.

The reality is that there are many children, male and female, who emanated from single parent homes, which have become successful and positive contributors to society as a whole. They have contributed to and continue to contribute to the healthcare and medical industry, the field of education, athletics, the arts, the financial industry, the clothing industry, etc. 

Ironically, unmarried men who father children are seen as freely expressing their sexual prowess, sowing their wild oats, boasting their manhood, as well as their machismo. They are hailed and praised for making baby after baby. They are revered as great guys, with their power being in their penis. Their power is also in the number of babies they can produce. And sadly, too many of these men are not taking care of the many children that they help to create. And although many of these men are making many babies, they are rarely single parents; they can walk away at any time, without regret or consequences, whether single or divorced. Now, there are some men who elect to rear their children alone or are forced to do so by default. 


While women are denigrated for birthing baby after baby,they didn’t conceive them all by themselves And for the women who fit the role of the single parent, there are often negative names and many more negative acronyms associated with them, while men are praised and hailed as towers of strength. On the other hand, many of you as women, allow the fathers of your children to abate their responsibilities as fathers and they are not held accountable for their contribution to the conception of their children. Women who have the audacity to abandon their children are scorned, held responsible, and often thrown in jail.

Either way, America has frowned on singlehood, especially when it leads to single motherhood. However, it comes to bear that there are many married women who are still single parents. I am sure that many of you can identify with being in a marriage or a relationship of convenience, without having physical, spiritual, and financial support from your mate. You might be married or in a committed relationship, but as a parent, in all actuality, you are still a single parent. As a matter of fact, you might as well be a single parent; you are doing everything by yourself. You work, you bring home the bacon, put in the pan, cook it, take care of your children, meet with teachers, clean your house, pay bills, etc., etc., etc.; and where is your husband/wife? I would prefer having children living in healthy and positive single-parent households, rather than having them living in unhealthy two-parent households. However, due to much of the ignorance put forth by society regarding single parents, mothers without partners are often treated inferiorly. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a disproportionate number of Black children under the age of 18 live in single parent households.  Only 38.7% of Black children live in two-parent households, as opposed to 74.3% of White children. Instead of single parenthood being considered a crime, it is time for each of us to realistically and honestly examine, develop, and engage in efforts to impact and rectify the economic, social, political, emotional, educational, and health disparities that exist for single parents and single-parent households. The crime isn’t in being a single parent n the United States; the crime is how single parents fair in an industrialized nation, by being at the bottom economically, socially, politically, emotionally, educationally, and health wise. And the greatest crime of being a single parent is that there is an administration that sees nothing wrong in the inequities presented to single parents. Single parents struggle and battle their have not status on a daily basis, as they come against those who have and seem to keep having.

And then there are many more two-parent households who are perpetrating a fraud of wholeness and happiness, when there is a cycle of misuse and abuse of the children, as well as misuse and abuse of their parents. Although these children and their mothers do not have everything they want and sometimes they don’t have everything they need, who’s to say that they don’t have one of the greatest things that can supplant lack…LOVE?! 

As a matter of fact, the single parent household rate in America has increased, even for Whites. There are privileged White woman who have come to realize that single parenthood doesn’t diminish the character, wisdom, knowledge, abilities, integrity, love, and over all value of single mothers or their children. As a matter of fact, these privileged White women have decided that they will now not only accept single parenthood, they will become single parents themselves. 

For the African-American woman, her expertise in single parenthood has span hundreds of years, from the plantation to her apartment. She watched her husband or mate be whipped, stolen, sold, and traded. She held the line through slavery as she carried and reared her children through acts of rape, disparity, cruelty, ignorance, racism, sexism, and many other isms. She weathered the public welfare system in the fifties and sixties as it became a crime for her to receive financial and other assistance if she had the father of her children in her home. She still fights the good fight as she fights a society in which she is the least respected and least protected, but she perseveres, as a woman and as a single parent.

“It is Not a Crime to be a Single Parent!” However, it should be a crime for single parents to be singled out and not supported. We never know who her children might become, because we don’t know who they are currently. There is a plan and a promise for the single mother, as there is a plan and a promise for her children. To ALL single parents; keep your head high, keep your heart lifted, keep praying, and keep believing! You are a strong presence! Neither you, nor your children are mistakes; God doesn’t make mistakes and  He doesn’t make junk! You are awesome!

 ©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; (770) 808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, August 3, 2019

My Heart is Too Small to Carry Anyone In It!

You probably wonder how in the world do some people walk around each and everyday of their lives with anger, pain, and malice toward others. Each day is filled with one big frown and they spend their time trying to ‘do someone in’ or ‘get back at someone,’ often without provocation or cause. These people are often very angry, lack forgiveness, and they live in misery on a daily basis. In all actuality, this has to be a miserable existence, but they don’t even recognize it; this is their norm and their reality!

If you are getting up on a daily basis, worried about what someone has done to you or said to you, while spending your days spewing words and actions of hatred because you can’t get past the hurt, and you can’t turn the page in your life book in order to move forward, you are not really living. Yes, you are getting up each and everyday, but just because you are breathing, it doesn’t mean that you are alive. The second syllabus of the word alive is live. To live doesn’t mean that you just exist; it means that you have life, you engage in lively things, and you love, and live. However, your hurt, your pain, your anger, your malice, and your hatred can’t and won’t allow you to live, and they most certainly won’t allow you to love!

It is hard for you or anyone else to live and love when you have a dark and heavy heart, full of hate and hurts from life’s hills and valleys. If you don’t experience hurts, you won’t be able to experience happiness. As long as you carry hurt, you won’t be able to accept genuine hugs full of love. In all honestly, those people you have allowed to beat you down, drag you about, stump on your heart, and render you hopelessly hurt and angry, will continue to pull you down and hold you down, figuratively and literally.  How do they accomplish this? They do it by living inside your heart and your head. They will squeeze the life and the love out of your heart, while playing tricks with your mind, but only if you allow them.

You should be sick and tired of being sick and tired of allowing people to take up space in your head and your heart, and they are not paying rent. Further, your heart is too small to carry anyone in it. Your heart is a part of your lifeline. Each beat of your heart is a beat of and for life, rendering you whole, happy, and free. Carrying people in your heart based on your unwillingness to forgive renders you helpless and hopeless, deferring and sometimes destroying your dreams. However, today is the day that you will decide to serve an eviction notice on the pain, the hurt, the anger, the malice, and the people who have been living rent-free in your head and in your heart! 

The good thing about life is recognizing that you have choices in your life. You have a choice as to whom you invite and whom you allow in your life, along with the thoughts you carry in your head, as well as the feelings you hold in your heart. When you come to recognize that you have had choices and you have had power over your life throughout your life, you will then come to see you and your life through a different pair of lenses. You will begin to embark upon ladders of forgiveness, roads showing different directions, as well as different life options that you were either too blind to behold or because you couldn’t behold them, due to the negativity you held within your mind and within your heart. 

You have your entire life ahead of you. The only way that you can fulfill your life’s purpose is for you to clean out and clean up you mind and your heart. You must develop a new attitude of hope, positive beliefs, and high expectations. You must clear all of the mess out of your head and your heart, in order for you to begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel of darkness, which you have been stumbling in and through for the majority of your life. You can dream again and you can live again. And if you have never truly lived, due to the blockages in your mind and your heart, it is time for you to do so. And yes, YOU CAN! And if you can’t free yourself completely, seek help from a mental health professional. 

In the meantime, there’re some things that you can do to help you to free your own mind and your own heart. The first thing you must do in order to free your mind and your heart of the hurt, the pain, and the people you have been carrying rent free for far too long, is to admit that what you have been carrying and still are carrying are liabilities and not assets. List them on a blank sheet of paper. Admit that they have been and still are hindrances and not helpful. Admit that they have been and still are blockages and stumbling blocks, instead of building blocks and steppingstones. And finally admit that all of the negative stuff and negative people that you have written on the paper are things and people that you have been and still are carrying. They have been a part of a destructive process, instead of a constructive process. 

Once you have identified and documented the hurt, the pain, and the negative people on a blank sheet of paper, orally speak forgiveness over the people on the list and forgiveness over yourself for the role you played in allowing these rent-free atrocities to enter your mind and your heart. Speak out loud that you are ‘LETTING GO’ of the hurt, the pain, the people, the mess, and the stress that have negatively occupied your mind and your heart. Orally and without shame declare your freedom, recognizing that your mind and your heart are too small to keep carrying the negativity; you are finally moving forward, you are moving on! 

Finally, take your pen and draw a huge ‘X’ across the list of hurt, pain, and negative people who have contributed to your life’s mess and stress. As a matter of fact, to ensure that you have not only given notice to the eviction, but have actually carried out the eviction of these negative elements that have been taking up space in your mind and your heart, you can draw several X’s across your list. Take the list and with both hands you can tear it into small piece or you can shred it in a shredder. The intent is to not only remove the negativity from your mind and your heart, it is to also shred it from your life. You will then take the torn or shredded remnants of your list and place them in a plastic bag, removing them from your sight and from your home, by placing them in a trashcan outside of your home. 

It’s all a matter of letting go and letting God. He can deal with those who have and continue to offend you, hurt and harm you. He can also rid your mind and your heart of the negative hurt and pain of your past. You have to want to be free and want to lift those burdens from within you. Until your mind and heart are free, you are not free. Your forgiveness of yourself, along with your forgiveness of others sets you free, free to be you and to live free. Take the opportunity to once again experience freedom in your mind and your heart or to experience freedom for the first time in your life, recognizing that, ‘Your Heart is Too Small to Carry Anyone In It!’ 

You are now free at last, free at last, thank God, you are finally free at last! Thank God for your newfound freedom. You are free to love again, free to live again, and free to dream again. Now go out and celebrate the freedom of your mind and your heart, deciding that from now on, you will only allow positive, asset-filled, and constructive people, and PPPGs (Positive People Going Places) in your heart. YES YOU CAN!

©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; (770) 808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com\

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Getting Up & Moving Forward After a Fall

Famous gospel singer Donnie McClurkin sang, “we fall down, but we get up.” However, getting back up after a fall is not that simple. It would be awesome if everyone who fell down were able to get back up. Some of you fall and wallow in your pain, misery, and sometimes self-pity. Others of you fall and have difficulty figuring out how to get back up. And still, there are those of you who fall and you bounce back up, bruised and battered, but you are at least up. And there are times when you have to decide whether you fell down because of life’s perils or did someone push you down or knock you down.

Too often, when you fall, others are quickly to state, ‘you need to pull yourself up by your boot straps.’ This statement is inhumane and lacks compassion. If getting back up after a knock down or a fall were as simple as pulling yourself up by some straps, you probably would have used those same boots and the straps to break your fall. In order for you to ‘pick yourself up by your boot straps,’ you would first have to recognize that you have on boots, determine where the straps are located, have straps long enough for you to grasp and hold onto, and have the energy to pull yourself up.

How dare anyone to provide a remedy for how you should get back up and they don’t know the circumstances surrounding your fall. Have they spent time with you before, during, or after your fall? Did they inquire about your emotional, physical, and psychological state after your fall? Did they hold your hand, provide a listening ear, offer a hug, or offer to help you up? If they didn’t engage in any of these actions during or after your fall, why are they offering direction without knowing the circumstances of your fall, and without taking some form of action to help you up and out? Talk is cheap; people need action when they fall! The only time you should look down on anyone who is down, is when you are reaching down to pick him/her up!

A fall that includes loss, devastation, degradation, pain, grief, disappointment, shock, hurt, harm, etc., can often render you incapable of moving at all, let alone getting back up. So often, the perils of life are more like knockdowns, rather than falls. Falls often come with financial, social, emotional, psychological, and/or physical trauma. They are sometimes seen beforehand, but ignored. In many cases, falls come with warnings and are avoidable. Recovery from these perils is not as easy as many might think, because the fall is generally greater than the climb it took for you to get to where you were. And those on the sidelines of criticism and doubt have no idea what you have been through, what you are going through, or how you got to where you are. Often, they haven’t walked in your shoes. As a matter of fact, they have never tried on your shoes, or stood in your shoes. 

When you are down and attempting to get up after your fall, it is imperative that you remain focused, keeping your mind, your eyes, and your spirit on rising again, and not on the words and doubts of the naysayers and unbelievers. And if they are not asking what they can do to help you or how they can help you to get up from your fall, along with helping you with your recovery after your fall, you most certainly don’t need them in your corner. As a matter of fact, they are actually not in your corner. Just because you are down, you most certainly don’t need anyone to hold you down or to keep you down. 

Knockdowns are even more difficult to recover from. They are usually caused by others and are unexpected. Knockdowns include betrayals, being fired unexpectedly, an unexpected relationship breakup, being a victim of a crime, or suffering from a serious illness. Knockdowns are much more difficult to recover from than falls. The great thing is that although you fall, you can get back up and move forward after a fall.

Marvin Gaye once sang, ‘three things are for sure, death, taxes, and trouble.’ As sure as you are born, and as sure as you live, you will have many falls throughout your life. The problem isn’t so much the falls that you will encounter in life; it’s you having the will and the want to get back up after your falls. Your determination to not lie in your fall, but to find a way to get back up and recover from your fall without regrets, guilt, anger, hatred, and lack of forgiveness is essential. Getting up after a fall means that you must recognize that you have a choice…to either stay down or muster the strength and energy to get back up again.

You are not only the determiner of your current life position; you are also the determiner of your future life position. Once you come to recognize that falls in life are a reality and not a fallacy, you can begin to prepare and build a cushion for your falls. Will your cushions prevent your falls? No! However, your built-in cushions can help brace you for your falls, and put people, situations, and things in place that can break your falls as you tumble. These cushions won’t guarantee a soft landing during each fall, but they can and will help you to bounce back much quicker than if you did not have the cushions.

You must decipher the difference between a knockdown and a fall. As a result, you will be able to deal with them accordingly. And if it’s a knockdown, it’s time for you to decide who pushed you down or knocked you down. And then you have a major decision to make in your life; is this person, situation, or circumstance worth holding onto and keeping in your life…probably not! Falls are expected, but remember that knockdowns are mainly unexpected and they put you in a position to not only be knocked own, but to also be stepped on and held down. Whatever your down position, GET UP!    

It is time for you to no longer allow your previous or current falls to prevent you from moving forward in life.  You must believe that you can and will get back up. As a matter of fact, you don’t have a choice in getting back up after your life falls. You are strong and powerful, and you are meant to recover from any adversities in your life. You have a direction and a destiny in life, already mapped out for you by God the creator. And as long as you remember who you are and whose you are, you will be fine.

It is time for you to no longer accept your falls or knockdowns as your destiny. As long as you can look up, reach up, and stay prayed up, you CAN get up! Recovery from life’s falls entail you engaging in a process of discovery; discovering how you fell in the first place. It also entails you learning how to clean up the mess made during your fall, as well as the mess that contributed to your fall. Further, in order for you to completely get up, recover from life’s falls, and move forward with your life, you must also begin to gather the lessons learned from your falls. 

With every fall, there is a lesson or several lessons for you to learn. Not only must you learn the lessons from your life falls, you must apply them to your life, in order to prevent the same falls from occurring again. And if by chance they do occur again, you will be prepared to not only get back up, you will stand up with your head up, after your falls. Also, remember, there is always the opportunity for you to ask for help and seek help during or after your falls. Mental health therapists are also an option to help you as you are in the midst of your falls, as well as after your falls.

Remember, you are NOT your falls, but you are the result of your strength, power, stamina, determination, and self-love that helped you to get back up and move forward after your falls. You passed the fall tests, now get up, go forward, move up, move forward, and be the testimony about your tests! 

©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; (770) 808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Mending Father Relationships: Letting Go of the Past & the Pain

Once again we are in the month of June, preparing to celebrate Father’s Day. Many fathers complain that Father’s Day is often not given the same attention as Mother’s Day. I am sure that many of you as fathers also feel and believe that Mother’s Day is overrated, and that Father’s Day is underrated. If that is the case, you have to begin to ask yourself why?

You really have to come to grips with the fact that in our society, mothers are viewed as and expected to be the primary caretakers and primary educators of their children. Men are socialized to be selfish, while women are socialized to be selfless. Father’s are given permission to abdicate their roles as fathers, abandon their children, and not be held holistically responsible for the health, welfare, safety, and very existence of their children. On the other hand, not only are mothers expected to be with their children, no matter what the situation, they are also expected to first learn to celebrate themselves and take on the responsibility for their relationships with their children, in childhood and in adulthood.  Mothers are also expected to take on the full responsibility and levels of accountability for their children, with or without the father of their children taking the same level of responsibility, and they are punished for not doing so. 

If mothers abandon their children, leave them with others, including their fathers, they are not only vilified, they are criticized, ostracized, and minimized in society. Whereas, fathers are often allowed to celebrate their freedom away from their children, as well as celebrate themselves, while expecting others, including their children, to also celebrate them as males and as fathers. It goes back to the socialization of males compared to that of females. It is this socialization that men are then able to make excuses for developing and maintaining unhealthy relationships, and for not being accountable or responsible for correcting them by simply stating, “It’s A Man’s Thing!” What is, ‘a man’s thing?’

Because of society’s rules and regulations and socializations that are more than often dictated by men, the selfishness of many men often makes it difficult for great men to move from one to two, or from manhood to fatherhood. It is often difficult for them to share of themselves, their time, their love, and other valuable possessions (not just material possessions).  When one doesn’t want to share, doesn’t know how to share, or feels he is forced to share, there is resentment. Resentment doesn’t allow for healthy and positive relationships, especially between fathers and their children. However, as a father, you must realize that you contributed o the creation of your children, therefore you bear equal responsibility for sharing and caring for them, along with establishing healthy and positive relationships with them.  

Not only are mothers expected to start and model healthy relationships with their children, they are also held accountable for mending the relationships with their children when they are broken. However, there seems to be a sense of entitlement put forth by many fathers who have not been in the lives of their children. When there has been no relationship between fathers and their children, it is often because of abandonment issues, parental denial, divorce, irresponsibility, or other acts that can often be controlled. The prevailing sense of entitlement afforded men, allows fathers to hold their children responsible for mending broken or nonexistent relationships with their fathers, or fathers blame everyone else for the brokenness of their relationships, including the mothers of their children.

I am sure that many of you have had some great relationships with your father, and that many of you reading this blog are great fathers. And it’s not because as a child, you had to work and take responsibility for engaging in a healthy relationship with your father, but because of the commitment he had/has with you in order to develop a healthy relationship with you. He showed responsibility and accountability for his role as father, whether biological, adopted, or surrogate. And because he knew how to unselfishly celebrate himself, he celebrated you as his child, even under undue pressure. He chose to do so! His sense of privilege has not been based on his selfish feelings of entitlement, but based on the inner happiness and feelings of being blessed to have you as his child. His role of father and sense of privilege has nothing to do with him, but everything to do with you as his child. He is proud and willing to openly show his feelings, whether he was/is in the home with you or not.  As a result, you have learned the elements of developing and maintaining healthy relationships with your children from the model and role model exemplified through your own father. As a result, because your father had/has no problem celebrating himself, while celebrating you, he in turn can now receive celebration from you on Father’s Day and every other day of the year.     

As fathers, if you are not willing to or if you can’t take care of yourself, it then becomes a daunting task for you to effectively take care of your children. And taking care of your children is much greater than providing monetary and material things that so many men get hung up on. Taking care of your children involves sharing of yourself unselfishly. Yes, there is a monetary contribution, but taking care of your children also involves prioritizing your children, being present whether you live with them or not, showing and expressing unconditional love, being emotionally available, showing emotions, spending quality time with them, providing spiritual guidance, providing direction, as well as correction. 

As a father, taking care of your children also involves you letting go of your painful and negative past. It’s getting professional mental health treatment when needed, instead of avoiding issues and not dealing with your inner pain, because of your pride and your ego. It’s doing as Prince once sang, ‘acting your age and not your shoe size.’ If you are not emotionally healthy, it is difficult for you to be emotionally present for anyone, let alone your children. It’s getting past the issues you have with the mother of your children and taking responsibility for your children.
All in all, it’s you as a man and as a father, taking responsibility and being accountable for the relationships with your children while they are young, which will dictate how those relationships will manifest when they are adults. All relationships must be nurtured with love, sprinkled with respect, covered with attention, and intention, from the onset.  

Fathers, in order to ensure healthy relationships with your children, it is imperative that you get to know and accept yourself as a man, preferably prior to becoming a father, which many times does not take place. But if as a man, you do not avail yourself of the opportunity to get to know you and have an unselfish relationship with yourself as a man, prior to having children, then take some time to work on you as a man, while learning the skills it takes to be a great father. There is no excuse for not being taught or not knowing; it’s up to you to learn!

It's imperative for you as a man and as a father to remember that you are the author and the finisher of how your life and your relationships start and how they are maintained. It is also imperative that you move beyond the blame and shame of your past that has permeated and dominated your present, while negatively encroaching upon your future. In order for you to gain forgiveness, you must also learn to forgive yourself. And sometimes, in order to be forgiven, you have to ask for forgiveness. You are ultimately responsible for not only developing relationships with your children, but also for the maintenance of such relationships until they are adults. If you build those relationships on a solid foundation, when the cracks and turmoil of life interfere in the relationships between you and your children, not only will you be able to pull them back in line, your children will also understand and know what to do to help. After all, you would have already modeled for them and taught them, and they won’t have strayed away from those teachings. Healthy and loving fathers are one of the best teachers children can ever have! I challengeALLmen and ALLfathers to either become the teacher or continue as the teacher for the sake of your children and for the sake of human kind!   

©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; (770) 808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com