Don’t Count On Tomorrow

pamela18_4802greyIf there’s one thing that is certain — life is uncertain. For years we’ve heard the colloquialism, “You can’t count on seeing tomorrow.”  Well, we’ve come to a place in time when that particular colloquialism seems outdated.  You can’t even count on getting past today.  I think about it a lot because I see so much going on around me.  I’m constantly reading tons of news stories about world events that appear to have us in global turmoil.  I’m always hear about things changing minute by minute.  The unforeseeable always seem to be popping up without warning.

Some years ago one of my brothers shared an incident that happened at his workplace. While at lunch, a colleague shared the details of an ugly fight he had with his wife earlier that morning.  The encounter started out with her chastising him for not taking his prescribed medication.  He perceived her wifely concern as “nagging”.  After listening to his colleague’s account of what happened at home earlier in the day, my brother reminded him that she was just trying to look out for him.  Upon hearing his wife’s side of the disagreement from another person’s perspective who wasn’t involved, he saw the light and promised to apologize as soon as he got home that evening.

Just after they finished lunch and stood up to leave, my brother’s colleague collapsed, and unfortunately, the emergency responders couldn’t revive him.  One of them commented to my brother that his colleague had suffered a massive heart attack and was dead as soon as he hit the ground.  Of course my brother was shaken by the tragedy that occurred right in front him.  Who is expecting someone to drop dead at lunch?  Sometimes women (including me) think men aren’t aware of certain things when it comes to emotions, but the conversation that I was having with me brother was one of those times when I was reminded to stop “gender judging”.  What touched my heart was the fact that he couldn’t forget about the conversation he had with his colleague, and was even more concerned that his colleague dropped dead leaving unfinished business at home.  This was unsettling for my brother, who felt he had to do something to at least help his deceased friend to finish his business at home. He couldn’t rest imaging how this man’s wife must have felt having her husband storm out of the house after a heated argument.  It must have been devastating that the next time she heard something, it wasn’t from him, but was about him – his demise.

He made a decision to help relieve her of any feelings of guilt or responsibility.  When he thought she could handle the conversation, he was going to let her know that her husband had every intention of apologizing to her later that evening.   She needed to know that reconciliation was already in the process even though her husband never returned home.

Over the years, I’ve often thought about this story.  At times like this, I’m reminded of how we take so much for granted – especially when it involves loved ones.  We get so comfortable with having them in our lives, we rarely think about life without them until it happens.  As we go about our daily busy lives, we can lose focus and become engrossed in a lot of things that really don’t matter.  We can have arguments, with some of them being real scorchers, without much thought that those moments of disagreement could be the last we have together. It’s not so much about not counting on tomorrow, as it is paramount that we make every effort to stay mindful of the precious moments we share with those whom we profess to love.

We all have our hot buttons, and sometimes we need to blow off steam, just to get it out in the opening and over it.  I am guilty of not getting over it sooner rather than later.  During my youth and as a young adult, if I had a disagreement, I wanted no parts of the other party for days – sometimes weeks.  Actually I could go for months without contact (Ya’ll, my momma was praying for me).  I had little to no consideration about whether the incident would be the last time I saw the other party.  But as I grow older, wiser, mellow, and more conscious of the uncertainty of life, I work like hell to get over things quickly.  In retrospect, I’ve found they’re not worth it.

Our loving relationships are like treasures, and we are to guard them as such. Have your moment; go to your corner; decompress at the mall; hang out with the fellas, but make sure to find your way back to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, or boo and straighten things out.  Don’t count on working it out tomorrow when you have today.  Extend the olive branch if the other person is too proud to.  I’m a realist and aware that all of us don’t bounce back immediately, but here’s an alternative.  State the facts.  “I’m mad at you right now, but I love you.  I need a minute to re-group.”   Just don’t leave them hanging with “I’m mad at you.”  They already know that part, but may be uncertain if “mad” takes the place of “love”.  Most of us can take “mad” as long as we know “love” still abounds. Ladies, sometimes when he’s sitting there steaming mad, just walk up and kiss him without warning.  Men, if you just show up with a single rose (carnation if you’re on a tight budget), I guarantee you she will appreciate it.

If you know you’re the culprit — the party guilty of the offense, be courageous and admit it. Yes, it takes courage to apologize.  It’s the coward who knows he or she is wrong, but blames the other party, or worse, tries to make the other party buy into the lie.  The other person deserves the apology, so don’t let your foolish pride win over fixing a hurt.  Besides, once you apologize, the weight of guilt will be lifted.  Both parties win.

Hope for tomorrow.  Plan for the future, but don’t take either one for granted.  Make sure they know that you love them, even in times of disagreement.  Tell and show them they’re loved.  Celebrate each other – just because.  Don’t wait for holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries.  When it comes to good loving, there’s no time like the present.  You never know what tomorrow will bring or if there will even be a tomorrow.  You have today.  Make it the best day ever for you and your loved ones.

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How To Be Intimate Without Feeling Silly

pamela4_2252

 

As pleasing as the thought of intimacy is; as good as intimacy feels while you’re engaged in it; as wonderful as the afterglow can be, there are those individuals who struggle with feeling silly when it comes to initiating, participating in, or even talking about intimacy. “Silly” is ridiculous, unreasonable, or preposterous.  There is no reason for you to feel any of these things when it comes to something as passionate, wonderful, and fulfilling as intimacy. The uncomfortable feeling of “silly” overwhelming your atmosphere is the wall of frustration that separates your desire to experience optimum pleasure from your reality of enjoying the optimum experience of pleasure.

If you are one of those people who struggle with overcoming these silly feelings, you may or may not be aware that regardless of the desire to be close, most of us, at one time or another, have had to deal with figuring out what to say, do, or how to act during our intimate moments, and have experienced internal battles trying to avoid coming off as silly. Unfortunately, the energy that goes into avoiding “silly” only adds to the pressure and contributes greatly to the very outcome we were trying to avoid.

Stop feeling like you don’t measure up to everyone else because you’re entertaining feelings of silliness when you want to be intimate. The key to learning how to deal with “silly” is to become knowledgeable and comfortable with intimacy. You’ll deal much better when you are acquainted with intimacy because the more you know about it the more comfortable you are with it. The more comfortable you are with intimacy, the better you are at expressing it verbally and/or physically. When you know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about, you feel more confident. Confidence is an aphrodisiac and “silly” – well, it’s not even worth mentioning.

Just take a moment to think about what happens when you feel silly about intimacy. When it comes to intimacy, silly inhibits you from saying what you really feel. Your inhibitions cause you to either say nothing, or say all the wrong things. If you say nothing or the wrong thing, your love interest will be responding to nothing or the wrong thing. Don’t be concerned with fancy words, or try to communicate with a vocabulary you are either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with when it comes to being verbally intimate. The other person isn’t looking for an eloquent speech in the heat of passion. He or she wants to hear something they clearly understand, as well as something that will arouse passion. So just tell them how you are feeling at the moment.

Never try to add more than you’re comfortable with. Sometimes the simplest words hold the most power. For example, at an anniversary celebration, when speaking of his feelings for my mother, my father simply stated, “I’ll take this love with me to my grave.” The whole room was immediately filled with an uproar of applause. That applause was evidence of the passion my father had aroused in the entire crowd – not to mention my mother who was glowing at hearing her man make this declaration in a room of more than 100 guests. Did I mention this was at their 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration? It’s safe to say that expressing love with very basic words was probably one of the ingredients that kept my parents’ marriage passionate for 60 years and eight months.

Since “silly” has no place in our intimate moments, we have to know how to minimize or completely get rid of this distraction or detraction (a reduction or taking away of quality, value, or importance from something). Feeling silly in intimate situations is usually attached to a man or woman who feels awkward, uncomfortable, or incompetent. In order to conquer these feelings of awkwardness, discomfort, or incompetency, the man or woman who is overwhelmed with these barriers must learn how to be comfortable with intimacy. When we think of intimacy, a lot of us immediately fast forward to the act of sex, which is the most intimate act between two people and probably one of the most vulnerable states to be in. If you don’t understand intimacy or are uncomfortable with touching, you are not going to feel comfortable with the type of touch that is expected when it comes to intimacy. If you’re not the touchy-feely type, don’t worry about grand gestures and acrobatic moves that braggers boast about.

There are some men who women love to be around. These men know how to touch a woman in a friendly, loving, or a compassionate manner. The awesome thing about this type of man is that he understands the power of touch, even if it has nothing to do with sex. Women can sense this and respond accordingly. They love being around this type of man because they know he won’t take advantage of a gentle touch that was intended to comfort, say that “I care,” or “I’m here for you.” These ever-so-gentle touches go a long way with a woman. She’s thinking if he’s this sensitive in a platonic situation, he must be awesome when it comes to romance. So the man who learns how to become comfortable with intimacy in ways other than sexual actually has an advantage over the man who identifies touching with sex only.

The woman who is comfortable with intimacy is the woman who is comfortable with herself. The woman who lacks confidence is not in the right frame of mind or physical condition to be intimate. Intimacy is precious and sacred. Therefore, it should be treated as such. In this regard, a woman has to know and be comfortable with what pleases her. This is accomplished by knowing her body; knowing what her expectations are; and having a sound mind in order to make sound decisions.

If a woman is ashamed of her body, doesn’t take care of it, and has little to no knowledge of the female body, then she cannot know what pleases her. Feelings of silliness will come into play because she is awkward, uncomfortable, or believes she is incompetent. If a woman is confident, she will not feel silly – the two do not go hand-in-hand. The confident woman is in the best position to teach the man who wants to be intimate with her how to treat her. This is called empowerment.

When it comes to the body, women should be aware that men like a lot of the things we don’t like about ourselves. You may hate that every hair is not in place, while he loves your tousled look — just may have been thinking about running his hands through it; you may hate the weight you’ve put on, while he feels it’s more of you to love; you may not want him to see you in an old tee shirt and some raggedy jeans with no make-up, while he sees you as fresh-faced and approachable, all ready to be hugged, kissed, and whatever else that leads to. You see, “silly” is just that – ridiculous, uncalled for, and unnecessary when it comes to intimacy.

Pamela Reaves © February 14, 2012

 

 

When Nice Is Not Enough

Relax

One of the most attractive words used to describe the person of interest with whom we want to enjoy an intimate relationship is the word “nice”. When we decide that our love interest is pleasant, good, kind, polite, or fine (yes – I’m talking about good-looking), there is little that can deter us from pursuing the relationship we desire. We believe that “nice” is the affirmation needed in order to proceed to the next level. Once we define him or her as nice, the sense of entitlement enters the picture even when we’re desperately trying to exercise restraint. He or she is “nice”, so we must have this person in our lives. If they are attractive and nice, then we must definitely have them close to us. When they tell us they think we’re nice — Jackpot, it’s a mutual attraction and visions of happily-ever-after burst onto the scene. If for some reason there is the threat of competitors, some of us become panicked and believe nice is good enough to seal the deal before someone else steals Mr. or Ms. Nice. We may make the hasty decision that anything else needed in order to sustain the relationship will come later (big mistake). If someone asks us what this person is like, we’re anxious to lead off with the response, “Oh, he/she is so nice.” The word nice, for some of us, sums it all up. Well, what happens when nice is not enough? This may be a difficult pill to swallow, but nice is not always enough.

Let me point out something very interesting. When you consider the word “nice” in terms of its most basic definition, it can be quite ordinary. If it is pleasant, good, polite, or fine, there is nothing that speaks to passion, extraordinary, awesome, or great. There is nothing that speaks to substance or longevity. “Nice” does not describe the ultimate pleasure. Yet, whenever we’re trying to convince ourselves or others why “nice” is good enough, our reference to the word is used as if it’s interchangeable with passionate, awesome, great, out-of-this-world, or anything else that goes far beyond ordinary. We take the leap from defining someone or something as “nice” to catapulting it into a sphere far beyond the scope of its definition. For some of us, “nice” is the assurance that the relationship will be everything we fantasized about. This notion is contradictory because “nice” is basic and our fantasies are never basic. No one gets excited over a basic fantasy.

So when is “nice” not enough? I can think of a few scenarios: When two people desire a commitment that goes far beyond casual; When you want your love-interest to have no regrets, reservations, or questions about spending the rest of his/her life with you- especially if you’re planning on living a very long life; When you need the comfort, care, and support of the individual to whom you have entrusted your well-being and you are not well; When you need unwavering support during a period of test, trial, or tribulation; When you want the slightest touch from your partner to convey far more than the touch itself – the kind of touch that reaches the soul; or when you want to see a smile on his/her face that matches the wonderful feeling you have inside just thinking about the time the two of you spend together. This level of commitment, depth of love, degree of stamina, soul-stirring touch, and mutual passion calls for far more than “nice”. Be honest with yourself. When you started out by describing him or her as “nice”; when you envisioned where the relationship was going, when you decided to forsake all others and commit solely to this person, you expected much more than “nice”. So don’t hold back. “Nice” is a wonderful attribute to have. It tells you that you at least have something to work with. But when you want much more, “nice” doesn’t hold a candle to an awesome, soul-stirring, passionate, and love-of-my-life kind of experience.

One of the most attractive words used to describe the person of interest with whom we want to enjoy an intimate relationship is the word “nice”. When we decide that our love interest is pleasant, good, kind, polite, or fine (yes – I’m talking about good-looking), there is little that can deter us from pursuing the relationship we desire. We believe that “nice” is the affirmation needed in order to proceed to the next level. Once we define him or her as nice, the sense of entitlement enters the picture even when we’re desperately trying to exercise restraint. He or she is “nice”, so we must have this person in our lives. If they are attractive and nice, then we must definitely have them close to us. When they tell us they think we’re nice — Jackpot, it’s a mutual attraction and visions of happily-ever-after burst onto the scene. If for some reason, there is the threat of competitors, some of us become panicked and believe nice is good enough to seal the deal before someone else steals Mr. or Ms. Nice. We may make the hasty decision that anything else needed in order to sustain the relationship will come later (big mistake). If someone asks us what this person is like, we are anxious to lead off with the response, “Oh, he/she is so nice.” The word nice, for a lot of us, sums it all up. Well, what happens when nice is not enough? This may be a difficult pill to swallow, but nice is not always enough.

Let me point out something very interesting. When you consider the word “nice” in terms of its most basic definition, it can be quite ordinary. If it is pleasant, good, polite, or fine, there is nothing that speaks to passion, extraordinary, awesome, or great. There is nothing that speaks to substance or longevity. “Nice” does not describe the ultimate pleasure. Yet, whenever we’re trying to convince ourselves or others why “nice” is good enough, our reference to the word is used as if it’s interchangeable with passionate, awesome, great, out-of-this-world, or anything else that goes far beyond ordinary. We take the leap from defining someone or something as “nice” to catapulting it into a sphere far beyond the scope of its definition. For some of us, “nice” is the assurance that the relationship will be everything we fantasized about. This notion is contradictory because “nice” is basic and our fantasies are never basic. No one gets excited over a basic fantasy.

So when is “nice” not enough? I can think of a few scenarios: When two people desire a commitment that goes far beyond casual; When you want your love-interest to have no regrets, reservations, or questions about spending the rest of his/her life with you- especially if you’re planning on living a very long life; When you need the comfort, care, and support of the individual to whom you have entrusted your well-being and you are not well; When you need unwavering support during a period of test, trial, or tribulation; When you want the slightest touch from your partner to convey far more than the touch itself – the kind of touch that reaches the soul; or when you want to see a smile on his/her face that matches the wonderful feeling you have inside just thinking about the time the two of you spend together. This level of commitment, depth of love, degree of stamina, soul-stirring touch, and mutual passion calls for far more than “nice”. Be honest with yourself. When you started out by describing him or her as “nice”; when you envisioned where the relationship was going, when you decided to forsake all others and commit solely to this person, you expected much more than “nice”. So don’t hold back. “Nice” is a wonderful attribute to have. It tells you that you at least have something to work with. But when you want much more, “nice” doesn’t hold a candle to an awesome, soul-stirring, passionate, and love-of-my-life kind of experience.