Seeking Truth: The 3rd Time is Alarm

Steve Harvey has a book called "Straight Talk, No Chaser" which is a sequel to "Think Like A Man".   In part of the book, Steve gives women advice on how to get the truth from a man. He says you have to ask the same question three times in three different ways.  Seriously?  Who has time for that?

Harvey says the first answer will be the answer that makes him look good. The second answer will be the answer he thinks you want and the third answer will be CLOSE to the truth. Close?  I have to ask you three different times in three different ways to get "close" to the truth?  That's entirely unacceptable.

Relationships between two honest and committed individuals take a lot of work. You must endure money issues, family issues, work issues, etc.  There are stressors outside of the relationship that affect mood and attitude that can cause stress in the relationship.  On top of all of that I have to get the truth out of you in triplicate?  No way!

Here is why that's dangerous:

#1 If a woman knows she can't get close to the truth until the third time she asks, then you train her to ignore your first two responses.  If she makes a habit of ignoring most of what you say, it will be a matter of time before she ignores your voice completely even when the truth is not at stake. Ignoring becomes indifference and indifference can become infidelity so tell the truth the first time.

#2 If a man makes a habit of telling a woman only what she wants to hear then she will expect everything out of his mouth to be completely aligned with her views and wishes. Therefore, when he tells her something she doesn't like, there will undoubtedly be high drama. So "no" will be out of the question.  A woman who is never told "no" may begin to do whatever she likes...which could end up being a "whoever" she likes.  So don't make a habit of telling her what she wants to hear. Tell her the truth-the first time.

There are plenty of good things about the number three. But when truth is at stake, three strikes and you're out! Some say three is the number of completion.  I like that because if it takes you three times to tell me the truth our relationship is sorely finished.

Judge Correctly or Just Don't Judge

"Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."  That's what Jesus said in Judea way back in the day at the festival (John 7:24).   After all these years folks are still judging by what they THINK they see in others.

I cannot count the times that someone has come to me and admitted that upon "seeing" me that they had some erroneous thoughts and negative opinions. Then, after watching a while, talking a while, walking a while with me they finally get it.  There are three lessons in this:

#1  Our "vision" is clouded by our own perspective and experience.  We can't always trust the way we see it. We see it like we have experienced it before and if we've never experienced it then we believe it not to be true.  Truth is subjective and changes with perspective. Facts are not.  Many times we ignore facts because we are an opinionated people. Instead, our truth is based upon our feelings or experience with the facts.  So when we "see" someone who reminds us of someone else we say "I know that type" so we judge them a being a certain way.  When we see someone that may appear strong at the moment, we judge them as being a person of strength. So on and so on...

#2  If you are faking it,  people eventually know who you are on the inside no matter how you might cover it on the outside.   The more time we spend with people and watch, walk, and talk with them, we begin to learn who they are inside.  So it is futile to attempt to go through life with the mask on unless you plan to change relationships/friendships over and over again.  Sure, there are times when you must guard your being, but in building relationships with others - friends, family, romance - you must be authentic and transparent.  You might as well be, because eventually everyone figures it out anyway.  Truth and transparency speeds the process to either break-up or live happily ever after.

#3You need to be certain of who you are on the inside so that no matter what others think or say, you know WHO and WHOSE you are.   People are going to form opinions of you because its human nature. Most times those initial opinions will be inaccurate because they are shaped by past experience and subjective thoughts.  It is important for you to always know exactly who you are at the core so that those opinions do not make you behave in a way contrary to your nature.  Learn not to be put off by the inaccurate opinions of others,.  Try to understand that it is not a personal attack of you but rather a personal experience for them.

It takes a lot of time and interaction to really learn who a person is in order to judge correctly.  It takes years of work. You have to watch, walk, talk, and listen.  If you don't have time for that then I think you should just stop at Matthew 7 before moving on to John 7 and "Judge not".

Stages of Grief After a Lost Relationship

The stages of grief can be related to any loss in your life.  It can be a loss due to death of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a pet or the loss of a relationship due to circumstance.  When we lose relationships we often go through a grieving process.  I've changed a number of relationships in the past year of my life. Most of them I tossed away because I had endured enough of the drama and the relationship was no longer fruitful.  A few relationships I valued enough to let go of and keep moving.  It takes courage to end valued relationships and there is a grieving process involved even when you know it's the right decision.

I'm proud to say I have reached acceptance in my grieving process. It was an enlightening road that provided me with valuable life insights.  Don't fight the emotion that you feel when grieving a relationship.  It's part of the learning for your journey. The stages of grief are:  Denial, Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  I am careful not to list these in any certain order because the grieving process is not a self-controlled plan. You don't go step by step.  These are all the things that you may experience when going through a "break up".  You may not experience all of these and it may be in a completely different order than listed.  In any case, embrace what you feel.

I can vividly recall the "denial" I felt at the loss of my relationship.  Looking back I now see that the relationship had been deteriorating for nearly a year but I was in complete oblivion.  When I realized it was finally over, I was in complete denial. In conversation, I still referred to the person in the same way despite our lack of communication and clear rift. I could not get my head around the truth that this person was no longer apart of my life.

After denial I went through what I think was "depression". It was painful. For weeks I walked around ready to cry at a moments notice.  I tried to ignore the pain I was in.  Unfortunately for me (or fortunately depending on your view), my life is too involved to have an "isolation" stage where I just keep to myself. However my feelings were certainly in isolation. I struggled not to show my pain. Then one day I was standing in the kitchen alone and I finally had the courage to let it go. I said, "It hurts" aloud from my mouth to God's ears. I repeated "It hurts" probably like ten times, each time felt like it was more intense than the other. Finally, after weeks of holding it in, I cried. I cried until my eyes dried. This was the end of my depression/isolation stage.

"Bargaining" was the stage where I realized that I was grieving. The other stages I can tell you about now in hindsight. At the time I was going through them I had no definition for what was happening to me. It was a good thing that I realized it during this stage because you have to be very careful with bargaining because it can lead you to do some really irrational and careless things. If the other person is grieving too, this stage may thrust you back into an unhealthy relationship.  Sometimes you bargain directly with the person or thing that you lost. Many times we bargain with God. "If you do this...I will do that."  Me? I did neither, I bargained with myself. I went into full-blown, maniacal planning and execution mode. It was quick. It was powerful and it turned my life upside down.  Luckily I'm good standing on my feet or my head.

After I realized how silly I was being in my bargaining process I got pissed off.  "Anger" was the stage where I carried around a different pit in my stomach.  I finally removed the person from my phones and email distribution lists. I was done! Throughout the day my mind drifted to aspects of the relationship. These memories made me roll my eyes or sigh. I wanted to slap somebody, anybody.  I went through a mental list of all the things I had done to love and support this individual over the years. For our relationship to end the way it did, made me angry. I felt I deserved better. Gratefully, after a few days,  I put iTunes genius on "gospel", jumped up on the treadmill and ran until I nearly melted to release the toxic emotion in me.  Anger had passed but I was not at acceptance. I went back into denial and started to think that after some time passes, everything will be alright.

Ironically, "Acceptance" sort of snuck up on me.  Like most human process, we give no thought to the steps of progress. How often do you think about blinking or breathing?  That's how my grief process progressed. Once I actually accepted that I was grieving I embraced my emotion daily.  I reconciled in my mind that the relationship was unhealthy for me and to the other person, too.  I wondered if we could ever develop a healthy relationship with so much baggage behind us.  Day in and day out I pondered on the loss.  Then one day, very inconsequentially, I realized that I had not given a thought to the person or the relationship in quite some time.  I was at acceptance and didn't even know it.  I began to smile at the thought of the good times and breathed a sigh of relief that we ended an unhealthy pattern that was not productive for either of us.

In fact, this blog post did not come from thoughts concerning that particular relationship.  I recently ended another unfruitful relationship.  I went straight to acceptance on that one and moved right on along my journey. The comparison in how I dealt with the loss of the two relationships gave me insight into how valuable each was/was not in my life...which gave me the idea for this blog post. I hope it helps.  Miracles and Blessings, Kamryn.