from Charlotte, North Carolina
Since you have been single, what have you learned about yourself? I’ve actually learned just how much I enjoy my own company. I’ve always been a loner and spent time with me, but in my singlehood I’ve taken that “me time” to a whole, new level. It’s taught me the value of my presence and that my time with others is a voluntary gift, not a social obligation.
What are you doing now to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship? The key to having a healthy relationship with another person is first having a healthy relationship with one’s Self, so that’s where my focus is. I spend a lot of time on Self-assessment and meditation, getting in touch with what I feel – about my Self, about life, God, love, etc. – and exploring that. I think it’s important to know not just who you are, but why you are who you are, because that helps you to recognize both areas of strength and of weakness.
What areas do you tend to struggle with most in relationships? I’d say the biggest difficulty for me in a relationship is actually getting one started, lol. I actually think I’m very good at maintaining a healthy relationship because I’m willing to be open and put in the effort needed to make it work. The hard part has been connecting with someone where both the passion and the potential for a fulfilling relationships exists…oftentimes one or the other is missing.
What characteristics and traits do you find most compatible? Which ones are most problematic and why? I’m big on being with someone who is open mentally and emotionally. To me what makes people compatible isn’t simply having the same opinions or likes and dislikes, but having the willingness and desire to explore life outside of their present knowledge and comfort zone. Likewise, we both have to be open emotionally, or willing to grow in emotional openness, in order to truly connect with one another on an authentic level. So it’s problematic for me if that isn’t there because there’s no way for us to grow together.
What do you love about love? I love how love leads to more love! Loving my Self allows me to love others, and loving others leads back to loving me. I believe that true, authentic, pure love is healing, and that is something so many of us need and desire, and yet are afraid or don’t know how to give and receive.
What has being in a relationship taught you about you? I’ve learned how far I’m willing to go to be with the one I desire, as well as how to recognize when I’ve done all I can to keep the relationship alive and have to let it go. I’ve also learned how critical the element of passion is for me, that special level of chemistry and connection that makes a soul bond possible. Without that soul bond, I can only go so far. On the flip side, I’ve learned how to recognize a lustful connection over a loving one. Too often we can get caught up in physical chemistry and think we’ve found a soulmate when all we’ve found is a bedmate. And even good sex gets old after a while if there’s no emotional depth to it, at least for me.
What do you admire about yourself? Hmm…I suppose the thing I appreciate the most about my Self is how far I’ve grown over the years. In the past I’ve dealt with depression, feelings of abandonment, and just general disconnection from others that kept me very isolated and insulated. At this point in my life, however, I’ve “come out” in more ways than just when I accepted and announced that I was gay. Looking back at where I’ve been, I can honestly say I’m proud of where and who I am now, and know that my journey of evolution is nowhere near over.
How would your friends describe you? Ha, I can’t even pretend to be modest…my friends would say that I’m freakin’ awesome! But why I’m awesome? I think they’d say it’s because I’m very caring and attentive as a friend, that they know they can depend on me when they need me and I keep things real. Plus, I’m just a pretty cool person to hang with.
What do you like to do for fun and why? I enjoy new experiences because I think that’s a big part of what life is about, so I like doing stuff I’ve never done before. In line with that is traveling…going to different places and experiencing different cultures. In general, though I usually enjoy anything that engages my mind in some way.
What is our love language and how did you learn that about yourself? I used to say that “quality time” was my primary love language because I love sharing experiences, but I’ve since learned that a balance of all five is pretty instrumental to a successful relationship with me. I’m very affectionate with the one I love so “physical touch” is crucial; and though I’m not a materialistic person I greatly value the thoughtfulness and energy someone puts into a gift. Rather than “words of affirmation” I prefer “words of appreciation” (yes, I made that up)…tell me you recognize and appreciate the time and effort I put into doing something for you, even if I didn’t quite do it right. The least love language for me, though, is “acts of service”. I have an extremely high level of attention to detail so I’m pretty picky about the way I want things done; so unless you can do it exactly the way I want it, just let me do it. Unless I’m sick…I’m a big baby when I’m sick so then you can do everything for me, lol.
Finish this sentence…..before I die I want to have and be a loving wife.
How important is spirituality to you? My spirituality is crucial to me in that it’s the very reason I’m alive today. I said before that I’ve dealt with depression in the past, and there were some extremely dark times that I almost did not make it through. I could say that it was my faith in God that brought me through, but in truth, what really saved my life was God’s faith in me…God never let go, even after I did. It was religion that brought me to the edge of death, but I’ve since released those restrictions, and allowed free-flowing faith and spirit to bring me back to life (back to reality!).
What important lesson did you learn from your mother that has helped you in life and in relationships? What I learned the most from my mother was ways not to be. She and I do not have what I’d call a good relationship, and as both a child and an adult I recognize tendencies in her that I don’t wish for my Self. So the things I think she needs to improve in her life I’ve made a point to work on in my own. The biggest lesson has been forgiveness and not holding grudges, to release the negative energy of being hurt by others, even if that person never acknowledges the pain they’ve caused. I see how she has carried past suffering into her present, by people who are long gone from her life, and I know that’s not how I want to be. So I practice forgiveness as often as I can, starting with forgiving her. I don’t always get it right, but I try.
I admire that at the age of 23, you wrote and published your own book. That's so commendable. What was your motivation and what did that process teach you? Was I 23 when I did that? I can barely keep up with myself! Putting together and publishing Visions of a Cryptic Mystery, Volume One was really just something I did simply because I wanted the experience of doing it. I’ve written poetry and short stories since childhood, and eventually I had enough that I thought were good enough for a book. I self-published because I wanted total control over the process, both for knowledge and expression (I’m also frugal and figured I could save a few dollars if I did all the work, lol!). I wanted to not only learn the publishing process, but I also wanted the satisfaction of producing every single detail myself. There are a lot of services out there that will take care of everything for you but for me that isn’t truly self-publishing, and this was to be a 100% reflection of my Self…I gave birth to that book in every way. The process itself taught me what to not do and what to do better for the next time (like pay a professional for a decent book cover!). I may not have done everything right and it may not be the best book in the world, but that book is the literary expression of who I am (or at least who I was at the time), and that was the entire point. When you read Visions of a Cryptic Mystery you are quite literally looking into my soul….I hope you like what you see.
Tell me about your photography business. So I’ve set down the pen for a while in exchange for the camera. Photography actually wasn’t a life goal of mine; I simply saw a Nikon commercial and figured I could take some decent pictures. I discovered that I was pretty good at it, then randomly decided to start a business…from there I created Soul Art Photography. I’ve been operating since 2010, and have really blossomed as a visual artist. I still have a lot to learn, of course, but it’s another area of birthing creativity that I greatly enjoy.
How can people get in touch with you? I’m everywhere you want to be, lol! Okay, maybe not. But I’m on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Eternity.Philops) and I pretty much connect with anybody so there’s no need to be shy about friend requests. My main site is www.Eternity-Philops.com, and my photography site is www.SoulArtPhoto.com.
We thank you for sharing your journey of happiness in singlehood! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other singles. We wish you continued success and happiness. www.createloveforwomen.com
Create Love -- Founders
Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison
We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2nd annual CREATE LOVE CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN
MARCH 8, 2014
MARCH 8, 2014