Men + Myself + God

Tag: relationship

Take People For Granted (and hug them).

by P. Braithwaite

PANDA_HUG_by_ComicMasterX

As I write this, I am sitting on the Long Island Railroad. The sun is setting at my shoulder, and outside my window an abstraction of suburbia swirls — colorful mixtures of sunshine, strip-malls, and sky. I’m on my way to give my mother a hug.

Now, just to be clear, my mother doesn’t need a hug. I need one. I’m (more than a little bit) hormonal, and so I’ve decided to travel over an hour because, quite simply, I want my mommy. I’m thirty years old and on the train to Babylon, because I feel better when my mommy gives me hugs.

I want to be ashamed of this, but I’ve decided not to. I want to use this as a way to berate myself — consider myself co-dependent or unhealthy, and maybe all of that is true, but as I was traveling on the familiar road to self-deprecation, I remembered something: Read the rest of this entry »

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Love & Dating Advice from my Friends’ Mothers

by P. Braithwaite

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The other night, I found myself receiving relationship advice (on a relationship I don’t even have) from my friend’s mom. Some of it was spot on: If a man isn’t ready to love you, move on. Sorry Charlie! Party’s over!

Some of it made me uncomfortable: don’t just open the door and take him to the bedroom. Make him work for it.

But receiving the advice and laughing with my friend and her mom made me think more about love and relationship advice we all get from our mothers — women who have faced the same love challenges and heartache that we’ve faced (often to a greater degree). There are untold stories that contribute to the logic of all advice. Whether it resonates with us or not most of us can acknowledge that the advice from our moms comes from a good place. So I decided to ask a few of my friends the following:

What’s the best love/dating advice your mother ever gave you?

Their anonymous answers are below:

“You can’t make somebody love you.”

“Make sure he loves you more than you love him…because a women’s love unleashed is beyond powerful.”

“If a man will curse you out in the streets and disrespect you out loud. He never loved you.”

“Trust is the foundation of every relationship.”

“Make ’em work for it.”

“…It’s nice that he gets you coffee, but the cute romantic sh*t fades. Real love means going to the dentist with you and holding your hand, even if it’s just a cleaning”

“Find a girl who will put up with your shit. My mom knows I’m hard to deal with.”

“Make your own money…have your own bank account.”

“What’s meant to be will be.”

“She always advised us from a young age that we didn’t need a man, this was the best advice ever!!!”

And so it is. ❤

What’s the best love/dating advice your parent ever gave you?

How Do You Love the Slowest Part of Yourself? (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite

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I’ve never felt so definitely at the end of my own personal narrative. If my life is a three (or 12) part series, the first part of my life is ending. Have you ever felt this way? I haven’t.

I feel like a new character is emerging.

Astrologically, I’m almost through my Saturn Return, but metaphorically I feel like there are two very distinct versions of myself separated by a river. Most of me has crossed over – I am an inhabitant of an elsewhere and I am older, wiser, more empowered. There is, however, the smaller tenacious part of me that lingers by the edge of the river, watching my newer self across the distance. I stick my toe in the water, but I cannot cross over yet.

That small part of me is attached to what is.

My core belief is that part of our ultimate journey in life is learning to love the slowest parts of ourselves. This is what it means to love unconditionally. This is what it means to surrender. When I send love to the part of myself that cannot yet cross over, I empower her to take the leap when she’s ready. I convince her that the other side is a safe place to reside. I let her know that what she feels is valid. Conversely, when I force, push, belittle, tug at, or deny that part of myself, she cries, she acts out, and she stays unwilling to meet her ‘better half.’ I have to honor the slowest parts because I promise: a small part of a larger self committed to sabotaging the rest, will make an entire life a living nightmare.

And both selves, the emergent and the stagnant, will suffer.

What does it mean to love the slowest parts of yourself? It means allowing yourself the space to cry or vent or whine. It means sitting with the uncomfortable feelings that come up (instead of pretending they don’t exist). It can mean sitting down and praying – praying for courage, or strength, for wisdom or peace. For me, it’s understanding that my slowest self LOVES support. It’s finding a coach or mentor who can provide loving structure and accountability so I can move forward toward my dreams.

Loving the slowest part of yourself isn’t letting yourself off the hook. It’s holding your own hand and guiding yourself forward…with love.

It is acknowledging your fears, shame, failure, or grief as ONE PART or an infinitely larger picture. It’s accepting the implied: that where there is a slowest part, there’s a part that’s moving quickly. The slowest part of yourself isn’t all you are.

It’s a practice in unconditional self-love.

It’s loving the you that hasn’t yet lost the all weight, the you that’s still in love with self-destructive partners, the you that doesn’t quite know how to achieve her goals, but is bursting with the knowledge that its time to try.

It is trusting and loving what is.

And knowing, wherever it is your going, you are strong enough to get there and trusting that you’ll do it….in perfect time.

And so it is.

How do you love the slowest part of yourself?