Saturday, March 3, 2018

Everybody Plays the Fool Sometime…When Do You Stop?

There is most certainly nothing wrong with giving, caring, and sharing to and with others. However, at some point, there comes a time for someone to give to you, share with you, and care about you. And I am sure that on many occasions it seems as if you give more than you receive. I consider giving an act of planting seeds for you to eventually receive your harvest of a lifetime.

The problem isn’t that you are continuously giving of yourself; it is the fact that on too many occasions you don't seem to know when to establish clear and consistent boundaries related to your giving. You continuously give of your heart, mind, body, and soul, and you sometimes give of your time, talents, and treasures, so much so that you seem to give out, becoming an empty vessel with nothing left for you. And I am also sure that many times you feel used. But guess what? God placed you here to be used. The problem isn’t that you are being used; it is when you allow yourself to be used up or when you allow yourself to be misused.

There are also times when you have felt like a fool for allowing loved ones to misuse you; especially your mate, your children, and other family members. You allow them to get away with behaviors that you would probably never allow anyone else to get away with. They constantly take advantage of your kindness and see you and your kindness as a weakness. They trample on your feelings and your heart, while wreaking havoc in your mind and in your life. But it doesn’t seem to matter, even though you are burdened with hurt and grief. As a result, you often feel confused, but deep down inside, you know that it is time for you to stop the mess and let go of the stress, in order for you to be free to be you, without limitations, chains, shackles, pain, and hurt, as you make a decision to stop being a fool.

The bottom line is that it is time for you to stop allowing others to make a fool out of you. But on the other hand, it is time for you to decide to stop being a fool. Yes, a song once shared the lyrics, “Everybody plays the fool sometime; there is no exception to the rule.” But do you have to play the fool or be a fool all the time? When will you become an exception to the so-called rule? When do you start calling a spade a spade and stop allowing loved ones or others to keep pissing on your head, while they tell you it’s rain? When do you put a time limit on moving past the engagement that you entered into with your mate, which has existed for years, without a ring on your finger, and no wedding date in sight?  Why should he buy the cow when he can get the milk free?

When do you decide to stop being the bank for people who never pay you the ‘borrowed’ money back? When do you stop allowing your children to talk to you any kind of way, and you are still feeding them and paying their way? When do you stop being afraid of and being a fool for your grown children, who live in your house, won’t work, can’t and won’t pay bills, and won’t cut the grass or do anything to help you? And how about your so-called lover, boyfriend or girlfriend, who claims you in the dark, but denies you in the light? Yes, when will you finally stop being a fool?

You might not be a superstar, millionaire, or have a house on the hill, but you still don’t have to be a fool! At some point you will come to recognize your self-worth, your value, and your overall status as a VIP-very important person. Being a very important person has nothing to do with your outside as much as it has to do with your inside. When you value you, respect you, and accept you, you will find that others will do the same. If you keep expecting and accepting less from others, they will continue to give you less or give you nothing at all. It’s amazing that although you expect less and accept less, others look to you to gain all that they can from you, even if it leaves you as an empty vessel.

There are many of you who are afraid to take a stand and a stance and say to your loved ones and so-called friends that you have decided to no longer live on “Fool’s Row” with them, especially if you are playing the role of the fool. Further, you have to let people around you know that you will no longer live or travel down “Insanity Lane,” expecting different results as you engage in the same foolish behaviors. How many times do I have to keep repeating that, ‘people don’t change!’ If she treated you like crap once or twice, she will treat you like crap again. As long as you give her permission to do so and you keep sitting as if you are a toilet bowl, you will continue to receive the ‘Fool Award’ of the year.

You will find that you will feel much better when you stop serving as the doormat, light switch, and doorknob for loved ones and so-called friends. If you believe you have to put on a show and forsake who you are in order to receive love and recognition from others, you are truly a fool. It’s not only time for you to wake up; it’s time for you to wise up, open up, rise up, and speak up!  Take a stand and a stance for YOU! And if others can’t or won’t deal with you after you have surrendered your “Fool’s Card,” it’s their problem, and not yours!

©2018; J. Morley Productions, Inc; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570;

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Understanding he Secrets of Happy & Healthy Relationships

One thing you must recognize is that those who have happy and healthy relationships have no secrets.  The secrets of a happy and healthy relationship only exist for those who don’t have a happy and healthy relationship, those who have difficulty defining happiness, those who have difficulty defining a relationship, those who have never had a happy and healthy relationship, and those who are not in a relationship at all.

If you are one of those people who believe that a happy and healthy relationship is a secret, I have listed below some of the ‘secrets’ people in unhappy and unhealthy relationships or those not in relationships at all will find helpful in them developing, engaging in, and maintaining happy and healthy relationships:

  • The first thing you and your mate must do is to define a relationship. What does a healthy relationship look like for you as an individual and for you and your mate as a couple? Until you all define and identify what a healthy relationship looks like, you all will probably engage in a situation, instead of a relationship. 
  • Just as you and your mate took the time to define a healthy relationship, you all must also identify and define this thing called love. It must be defined from an individual perspective, as well as from a couple’s perspective. The problem with those of you who have unhappy and unhealthy situations is that you view love as a word, a term, and something to utter, instead of action. Love entails action, not reaction. Love should never become a distraction and if it’s definition involves any type of detraction, there is no relationship at all.
  • You and your mate must both define happiness for your individual selves, as well as a couple. What does happiness mean to you as individuals and as a couple? Too often, what makes your mate happy as an individual and in a relationship might be something different for you.  As a couple, the two of you should have a conversation about your individual needs and expectations for a healthy relationship, which includes happiness that is a contribution to the relationship and shared by each of you.
  • You and your mate must bring your own internal happiness to the relationship.  Too often, one or both of you in the relationship are looking for your mate to make you happy.  No one can make you happy!  Happiness is an internal state!  If you depend on external tings and people (including your mate) to make you happy, you will engage in a dependency that is controlled by others and external things.  When the other person doesn’t fit your expectations or those external things no longer exist, your happiness will no longer exist. Therefore, your relationship will no longer exist.
  • You and your mate must at least be in the same book and the same chapter, even if you are not on the same page.  Both of you must have a relationship agenda, which includes the same vision, individual and couple’s goals, the same or similar expectations of each other, the same direction, and an optimistic view of life, love, and healthy relationships.
  • Your couple’s agenda must include short-term and long-term relationship goals, as well as individual goals, as well as how your individual aspirations and expectations will fit with your couple’s goals, aspirations, and expectations.
  •   For you and your mate to engage in a happy and healthy relationship, you all   must also engage in a process of roles clarification. Too often couples get caught up in roles based on gender. Guess what? Both of you can engage in cooking daily meals, cleaning your home, doing laundry, taking care of the children, taking out the trash, etc. However, you must also be realistic as to which of you is the stronger in certain areas, such as handling the bills and other finances, speaking with and/or meeting with contractors, etc. Don’t be afraid to share household and family responsibilities while at the same time, you and your mate take responsibility for those roles where you are stronger.
  • You and your mate must have a sense of humor.  Learn to live and laugh each and everyday.  Share your laughter and good taste, respectful jokes with your mate. Too often, one or both of you take life too seriously.  Don’t sweat the small things! Learn to take life in small chunks instead of big hunks. Live and let live; forgive and forget; learn when to let go!
  • Get to know each other better.  What is it that makes your mate tick and what is it that will tick him/her off?  By paying attention to each other and observing the behaviors as well as the likes and dislikes of each other, you will get to know each other better.
  • Stop trying to change each other.  You were attracted to each other based on some positive characteristics that you felt you just could not live without.  Accept your mate for whom he/she is, and don’t forget to highlight the positive each and everyday! Send your mate positive reminders through text messages, emails, postal mail, telephone calls, etc. Highlight the positive on a daily basis.
  • Take showers together.  Lovemaking is more than having sexual intercourse.  You can have fun and enjoy each other and the bodies of each other in the shower; it’s all a part of being intimate, without intercourse.
  • Remember, intimacy can take place with a touch, a conversation, a connection, an idea, or anything that you all have in common. Spend quality time with each other. Spend time getting into each other’s head and not necessarily in the bed!
  • Both of you must remember that the same thing it took to get your mate, you must keep doing the same thing to keep him/her.  Chivalry is not dead; she still likes her chair pulled out for her and the door opened for her.  He still likes to receive compliments about how well he looks and he likes to see you wearing sexy negligee at night, not your grandmother’s flannel gown. She also likes to see you wearing nice slacks and a nice shirt, not your old raggedy sweats, unshaven and unkempt.  Take the rollers out and let your hair down and get a haircut and shave on a regular basis.
  • Pack a picnic basket and find a nice spot for the two of you to go on a picnic.  Both of you can prepare the picnic items. The more quality time together, the happier and healthier you all will be as a couple.
  • On the other hand, you both need to have a day for your individual selves. A day should be set aside that you and your mate spend time with your individual selves, or with friends and others. Happiness starts with you and ends with you.  You must have time to rejuvenate alone so that you will have more energy to share yourself with your mate. Just remember, there must be boundaries; nothing lasts forever!
  • There should also be a couple’s day that is set-aside just for the two of you to spend time together on a weekly basis. Nothing or no one should interfere or get in the way of you all spending your special day together.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Communication not only entails talking, it also entails listening.  Learn to listen to each other and to respect each other.  You don’t have to have the last word! It is important to share your words and wisdom with each other.  Also, remember to watch your body language when spending time with your mate. Your body language is also a form of communication. And you don't have to be right all the time! No one is right all the time!
  • Remember to compliment each other. You are there to complement your mate.  You are not in a race against each other or to be competitive.  It is important to remember that you should be in a win/win relationship, not a win/lose relationship.  If one of you loses, both of you lose.  On the other hand, if one of you wins, both of you win.
  • Engage in periodic relationship checkups. Sit with your mate and talk about the positive aspects of your relationship.  Look at the negative aspects of your relationship also, but don’t become consumed by them.  Find ways to use the positive aspects of your relationship to overcome the negative aspects.
  • If you both have taken an oath of happiness, you will work hard to maintain a happy relationship.  Write your individual and couples relationship oath for both of you to sign.

Have a happy and healthy relationship! You can do it; YES YOU CAN!

©2018; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745, Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570;;

Saturday, January 6, 2018

It’s Time for You to Get Out of Your Own Way in 2018

Happy New Year! It’s always easy to blame someone else for your misfortunes. You then don’t have to take the fall, the rap, responsibility, or be accountable for your behavior, attitude, actions, or lack thereof. As a matter of fact, this all started in your childhood. You learned that to fall, falter, or fail, could mean dire consequences for you. You feared that you would be punished, isolated, ostracized, alienated, and sometimes castigated. As a result, not only did you learn to avoid owning up to what was wrong and what went wrong, you would also exacerbate the problem on many occasions by either trying to cover up the problem, implement unhealthy actions and behaviors, or you would just keep doing the same things you had been doing all along… what was always wrong.

You are now a grown man or grown woman, the behaviors, thoughts, and actions that you exhibited as a child should now be behind you, especially in 2018. This is clearly stated in I Corinthians 13:11—“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” During your childhood you didn’t know as much as you know now and you kept getting in your own way, creating cycles of repeated nonproductive and time-consuming behaviors that kept you operating in 360-degree repetitive cycles, instead of 180-degree cycles of change and growth. Children are usually the ones to get in their own way; adults should be the ones to clear and pave the way!

In 2017, as well as previous years, I’m sure that you can identify the times you have stood in your own way, wreaking havoc along the way. Remember that man/woman you became involved with, even though you knew he/she was not the person for you? You were so lonely, so fearful of being alone, and so desperate that you were not willing to take the time to get to know him/her, you settled for less, accepted less, and wound up with mess! You were so busy looking for somebody that you settled for anybody, who turned out to be nobody!  It’s time for you to get out of your won way!

How did you get so in debt that you are barely making it? You have been perpetrating a fraud for so long, trying to keep up with the Joneses, who are just as broke as you, and you are living way above your means. Because you want to be accepted by everybody and you often don’t feel worthy, you have found yourself spending out of control, trying to please and fit with people you don’t know, you don’t like, and those who probably don’t know you or like you.

I could go on and on, reminding you of all of the times you have gotten in your own way, but time and space won’t allow me to do so. However, I’m sure that you get the gist of some of the ways that you can get in your own way. The bottom line now comes down to, what are you going to do about it? It is time for you to put on your big girl panties or big boy britches and take a stand for growth and change.

Now that you have entered into a new year, you have an opportunity to leave the old year behind you and start doing some new, constructive, and productive things in your life. One of those new, constructive, and productive things is for you to finally get out of your way! It is time for you to stop crossing up yourself, stepping on yourself, and tripping over yourself by living on ‘Insanity Lane.’ It is time to finally admit that your greatest problems haven’t necessarily been because of others, but often because of you! And I give you permission to admit this without kicking yourself in your behind, beating yourself up, scorning yourself, or getting rid of yourself. The problem isn’t falling, faltering, or failing; it’s not getting back up! I give you permission to finally get back up and then get out of your own way!

When you finally decide to get out of your own way, you will then allow the flood gates of life to open, pushing a steady flow of new, productive, positive opportunities, options, and other possibilities that have been blocked by you getting in your own way. However, one of the first things that you must do is to recognize that you have been standing in your own way, blocking your view, hindering the new, and preventing all that you deserve from coming to and through you, without obstruction.

Now that you’ve admitted that you are in your own way, you must want to get out of your way and work on the areas in your life that need to be strengthened with hard work, perseverance, motivation, and determination. If you are ready to move forward, here is your assignment. Look at the list below of ten critical areas and determine which of them indicate areas that show where you are in your own way, blocking your way and hindering your path for success in 2018. Be honest with yourself! And to make it palatable for you, you don’t have to work on all of your deficient areas at the same time, but you must work on them if you desire growth and positive change in your life in 2018.

You need pen and paper to list your five identified critical areas that you have chosen to work on from the list below, in order for you to get out of your own way in 2018. Once you identify your top five critical areas to work on, set a goal for each of the critical areas. Setting goals will allow you to correct the areas and move out of your own way. Also, document three action steps for each of your five chosen critical areas that you can and will implement during the process of meeting your goals and finally getting out of your way. In addition to the action steps, be sure to include timelines for you to use as a measure for when you expect to implement your action steps and meet your goals. It is also imperative for you to include a contingency plan for each of your five chosen critical areas that you will work on. If one action plan doesn’t work, you will have a backup plan. Finally, keep a journal, documenting your feelings and thoughts, as well as your accomplishments during your ‘getting out of your own way journey.’ Now let’s get started! Get up, get to work, and get out of your own way! 

Ten Critical Areas of Getting in Your Own Way

1.     Your self-esteem-How you see & feel about yourself-Low & negative self-esteem can and will have a detrimental impact on your belief in yourself, your motivation your outlook on life & your overall success. You must work to increase your self-esteem.
2.     Your belief system-You have a negative belief about yourself and your abilities. As a matter of fact, you don’t believe that you deserve anything or anyone positive in your life & you will often sabotage your success. You believe I can’t instead of I CAN! You must learn to trust yourself in order to believe in yourself, using oral positive self-talk, learning to state aloud, ‘I CAN, I WILL & I AM.’ 
3.     Your faith-You don’t seem to have a spiritual connection, a spiritual foundation, or a belief in a higher power-- God. You are very pessimistic and you don’t have an anchor to hold onto when your life is spinning and/or spiraling out of control. Because you have no faith in a higher power, you often feel hopeless & helpless, rendering you unable to see and believe that your life, your life situations & life circumstances CAN & WILL get better & be better!
4.     Your mindset-Your mindset is one of negativity! You think negative & you speak negative on a daily basis. You have a firm hold on Murphy’s Law; if it’s bad & it can happen to anyone, it will probably happen to you. Because you think negative, you feel negative, often times finding yourself psychologically unstable. It’s time for you to engage in mental health treatment.
5.     Your outlook on life-You have a negative outlook on life. If you don’t see it, you can’t behold it!! You see failure as the norm, rather than the exception in your life. You are often depressed, because you see no way out of tough situations & you believe you are a failure & your life mirrors the same. Not only does your future look bleak, you live in bleakness everyday, with a cloud hanging over your head. You must begin to open your blinds of life & let the sunshine in; just stop standing in the rain!
6.     Your lack of forgiveness- You have difficulty forgiving yourself & for others. You are burdened down on a daily basis because you hold onto past hurts, pains & disappointments. Let it go! Let them go! Your heart is too small to carry people in it!
7.     Your selfishness-Everything is about me, my & I; you are always taking and rarely giving or sharing! In some cases you are narcissistic; no one matters but you. You walk around with both hands open when you want something from others, but you stand with closed fists and a closed heart when it comes to sharing & giving to others. You believe everybody owes you something. You can’t hold onto everything; closed fists not only keep things in, they blocks things from coming in! Learn to be more conciliatory & altruistic!
8.     Holding onto dead & lifeless situations-You don’t seem to know when to let go. You hold onto people, situations & circumstances that have no meaning for or in your life and they have no life of their own. These people, situations & things are not only dead weight, they are leeches; sucking everything they can from & out of you! They mean you no good! There is no value or worth to them. They are liabilities instead of assets & they yield no return. However, you hold on to them…they are Toxic! Purge & cleanse yourself of these liabilities; you’ll do much better without them!
9.     Residence on ‘Insanity Lane’ & ‘Fool Street’-You keep doing the same things, you go in the same direction & you follow the same paths that take you nowhere and net you nothing, time after time, expecting a different results. You keep expecting people & situations to change…PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE; THEY MUST GROW! You must stop investing in negative situations & negative people going nowhere. If he/she has crapped on you for the past five years & you have accepted it, he/she will continue to crap on you in the New Year! Wake up, smell the roses & stop sniffing dried weeds!
10.  Your decision making-You make poor decisions or you just don’t make any at all, because you don’t trust yourself. Too often, you make decisions based on the needs and wants of others, on a hunch, or on your feelings, and not on the facts, your beliefs, or your faith! Either you make decisions that are prudent & beneficial for you or someone will keep making them for you! Learn to trust yourself! You are probably just as smart or smarter than the average person!

Go ahead…just GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY in 2018!

©2018; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745, Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570;