Friday, January 31, 2014

What Does Love Require of You?


I want to be in love. I want to feel cherished, treasured, respected, admired and desired. I want it all! And not only do I want it all, I want to give my all to a person who is worthy of my trust, worthy of my energy and worthy of my time. I want a person who is experienced in collaboration, not afraid of confrontation and open to communication.  I want a person who is comfortable with coordination, negotiation, illumination and rumination. I want a person who welcomes growth, enjoys exploration and is allergic to stagnation. I want a queen!

I know that my list is long, and I can imagine that your list is too because we all are hopefully identifying what characteristics and traits make us soar. We all are hopefully learning what supports us, satisfies us and serves us. We all are hopefully realizing what makes us laugh, live and love fully and effortlessly. We all are preparing ourselves, right?

But as you consider love and being in love, the question is…..…..what is required of you?  What are the basic prerequisites and conditions needed for love to be adequately nurtured, cultivated and strengthen?  What are the elements of a love that can weather storms, withstand tragedy, accommodate change and encourage growth?

I don’t know what all of the elements are, but I believe that there are 3 actions that speak to the principle of love. If you are familiar with the Christian faith, these beliefs have been preached for years. Unfortunately, the ideals have not been practiced, promoted or progressed successfully in our lives, in our places of worship, in our communities, in our country or in the world. (Micah 6:8)

So what are the elements? Let’s Review.

1) To do justice. Relationships require justice. Justice may seem like an unusual word to be included in relationship discussions, but I believe that love CAN NOT survive without justice. I believe that love can only grow in environments of fairness, honesty and integrity. Love can only grow/survive when you accept that you partner is divinely and uniquely made, and has her own needs, concerns and perspectives. Justice is important because justice bestows honor.

We don’t have to look too far to see what happens when justice is not practiced. All we have to do is look at our communities and see the pain and degradation caused when some people are denied rights, opportunities, access and a voice. All we have to do is consider our own plight as women who love women to appreciate the poison and pain of injustice. Just think about it. Some of us are not able to marry, adopt children or visit our partners in hospitals. Some of us live together but can’t file taxes together. We all can personally testify that injustice hurts, kills, maims and marginalizes. Injustice injures!

Even though most of us feel and experience the sting of social injustice, we sometimes perpetuate injustice in our relationships. Some of us refuse to listen to our partner’s views, some of us refuse to share our spirits and some of us refuse to allow our partners to be themselves. Some of us are even so
insecure that we attempt to control how our partners function and navigate in the world. We all are not always fair; we all are not always just.

I love a phrase that I learned from Valerie Hall because her phrase epitomizes justice. It goes…. “Just like me, my partner…..” and then she completes the sentence. Valerie says that the phrase helps her remember that her partner has views and needs that are equally as important as hers. Good phrase Val! (There is so much wisdom in the CL group.)

I have started using this phrase more because it challenges me to be open, considerate and more reasonable.  Honestly, it is hard to remain pig-headed when you are reminded that your partner’s views/needs/concerns are equally important, just different.  So the next time when you are locked in your myopia and trapped in your arrogance, say to yourself…”just like me, my partner” and complete the sentence.  Those 5 words can change the tenor of your conversations and help you welcome and celebrate your partner’s feelings and perspectives.  Remember, justice does not require that you agree with everything. Justice requires equality in speech, thought, exploration, access and consideration.
 
2) To Love Mercy – Loving mercy means to be willingly to extend forgiveness, compassion, understanding and generosity to yourself and others. It is honorable thing to do. But even though mercy is a noble concept, it is a principle that challenges us emotionally and spiritually.  Why? Because even though we need lots of mercy, we have trouble consistently extending it, especially when we feel that a person does not deserve it. For example, when we make mistakes we have trouble extending mercy to ourselves. We berate and criticize ourselves so harshly that we chip away at our own self-esteem. We equally have difficulty forgiving others so we sometimes walk around full of resentment, bitterness or thoughts of revenge that damage our connections.

We all are sometimes challenged to show compassion and consideration too. In fact, many times we don't even attempt to understand someone’s plight or position before we judge, assume or prognosticate.  We just close our minds, close our hearts and consequently close our capacity to love. We become cruel, callous, arrogant and condescending. You don’t have to admit it, but it is true☺.
    

Let’s face it. Mercy is more than an emotion; it is an effort and an intention. It is an intention and willingness to accept that the world does not revolve around you. It is a commitment to listening, hearing and considering the perspectives of others. It is a desire to forgive and to be forgiven.

Just so we all are clear. Loving mercy does not mean that you don’t hold yourself or your partner accountable for bad behavior. It does not mean that you allow abuse, exploit kindness, minimize concern, accept misconduct or entertain stupidity. Absolutely not. Everyone  must always be responsible for their choices and the consequences of their choices. But, loving mercy means that even in the midst of bad choices, crazy decisions or negative outcomes, you consider, but not necessarily condone, your partner’s actions. And in some extreme cases, loving mercy may require you to walk away.

If you desire a relationship that can stand the test of time, you will need to offer and accept mercy and lots of it.  Why? Because you will make mistakes and so will your partner because NONE of us are fully equipped to deal with every experience or situation that we may face in life.  We will sometimes get it wrong and we may not get it right, right away. So strive to be merciful because as we say in the Christian faith, “mercy suits your case”.
 
3) Walk humbly.  I must stay that walking humbly in our world requires a certain degree of restraint and modesty, especially in a culture that celebrates arrogance, competition, individuality and superiority. In a culture that applauds pride and praises self-aggrandizement, humility gets pushed aside and often times ignored.  America’s inability to embrace and enforce justice, equality and equal opportunity are indications of its reluctance and our downright failure to embrace humility. But, I digress. 

Walking humbly is an important virtue that will enrich your life and enhance your relationships.  Walking humbly requires 3 things:
  1. Accept your limitations. You may not want to believe it but you are not the best at everything. And even if you are good at one thing, there are other things that you can not do. Recognizing and accepting your own limitations will keep you grounded in your humanness. It will also remind you to reach out to your partner and to others for assistance, guidance and support. So, remain teachable, ask for help and sometimes defer to others. I know reaching out is hard because I struggle to reach out myself. 
  2. Recognize your own faults and flaws. You are not perfect! Your way is not the only way. You are not the judge or jury; other opinions exist. So, stop judging others and concentrate on improving, knowing and loving yourself. Believe me, that’s a full time job.  Always remember that the biggest room in your life is the room for self-improvement.  By recognizing your own need for improvement, you will have less time to tear down and torment your partner. Yes, torment…..picking a person apart and constantly highlighting their flaws is torment. Try affirming, accepting and apologizing instead.
  3. Be grateful.  Show and express appreciation for what you have. Even though you have achieved much in life, there is someone who is just as intelligent and hardworking as you are but has less. There are people who pray and love more but may have not had the same support, guidance and opportunities. Maybe they made a bad choice that changed the trajectory of their lives. Who knows? So don’t brag, compete or compare yourself with your partner. Just be grateful that God saw fit to bless you.
    Humility is a good thing but it does not mean that you should be a doormat or a pushover. It does not mean that you should be totally selfless or self-sacrificing either. No way!  It means that you know who you are and you know who you are not.  It also means that you understand that there is a Higher Power, a Source and/or God that guides, directs and intervenes for you. Yes, you are blessed. And yes, there is a Blessing- giver. Humility acknowledges both.

    Relationships, good relationships, require that you do justice, love mercy and walk humbly. If you are able to do all 3 for you and your partner, you can CREATE LOVE that is full of intimacy, empathy and  joy. 

     I look forward to addressing all 3 concepts in greater detail at the 2014 CREATE LOVE Conference!  Are you registered? If not, please do. Imani and I are looking forward to seeing you.

    Blessings!

    SharRon Jamison   
    www.createloveforwomen.com
    www.icandependonme-sharronjamison.com

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Happy Single Highlight: Shelly

     
    M. Shelly Conner 

    from Chicago, Illinois. 

    Since you have been single, what have you learned about yourself? I've tended to be a serial monogamist, moving from one relationship to the other with little time in between for focus and reflection.  I think there are certain things about ourselves that we learn in relationships and other things that only show up when we are unattached.  Since I've been single, I've been reminded of things most important to me as an individual. Most of all, I've learned that I really enjoy the pleasure of my own company.  I've learned self-worth. 

    For women who are trying to understand their own self-worth, what did you do to learn about and appreciate you?   I practice self-forgiveness and have developed a friendship with myself.  It is important to have a friendship with yourself. Think about how you are with your best friend.  If she was having a hard time you would tell to take it easy and not to be so hard on herself. We do that for our friends but not for ourselves. We should talk to ourselves as we would talk to our best friends. I am working on being a best friend to myself. 
     
    What are you doing now to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship? The same things that I am doing to prepare myself for a healthy life... completing my degree, seeing the final manifestation of long term goals (career, publishing, etc.).  What I do for myself will only benefit a relationship. 
     
    What areas do you tend to struggle with most in relationships? I'm a bit of a leech. I latch on hard and fast sometimes.  I think people get swept into it but then it can be overwhelming. I think I try to make partners of those who aren't ready for partnerships.  Or at least, I have in the past. I have a tendency to date a person's potential as opposed to their reality.  I've also felt compelled to convince people of my own worthiness. But as previously mentioned, I learned to appreciate my own self-worth since being single. 
     
    What characteristics and traits do you find most compatible? Which ones are most problematic and why? Creativity and intelligence (usually academic).  Free-spirited. You have to be fairly open to connect with me.  As such, close-mindedness and stubbornness are problematic.  People who aren't good communicators also are incompatible.  There must be a sense of humor and an appreciation for my type of sarcastic, dry witted, sometimes raunchy, basic assholery.  Jealousy, mean-spirited, and spitefulness have no place near me. 

    What are the qualities of your perfect mate?  Honesty, honest communication, sense of self – spiritual as well as physical. I know that unconditional love is hard but I want a person who will strive for it. I want a person who will aspire to do more, be more and see more for self or anything that she is a part of. I have dated a vast range of women but I prefer women of color with natural hair. 
     
    What do you love about love? It's absoluteness.  It is complete if you allow it to be. Everything we do is about love... in search of it, in denial of it, distrust of it, and fear of it. 
     
    What has being in a relationship taught you about you? That I love being in relationships.  A large part of me loves to share and discover with another. 
     
    What do you admire about yourself? My perseverance.  Resilience. I push past fear and move towards my goals. 
     
    How would your friends describe you? Many call me a dirty old man...affectionately, of course.  They'd say I'm funny, smart, entertaining and generous. 
     
    What do you like to do for fun and why? I like to throw parties. I enjoy having my friends around me in safe environment.  I cook.  I love karaoke.  I have a setup in my basement (The Fun Salon) and my friends have fun singing, dancing, drinking, eating... 
     
    What is our love language and how did you learn that about yourself? If I recall, I respond to words of affirmation and acts of service.  I think I give acts of service.  I read the book with an ex.  It didn't help us though.  
     
    Finish this sentence…..before I die I want to have a successful writing career and family. 

    I love writing too. When did you start writing? I was always a writer. It started as a hobby but I realized that if I wanted others to invest in me that I had to invest in myself. I had to make it a priority; I had to make it my job. I was a teacher for 10 years and I felt that I was “planning B” it without even trying to do Plan A. I had to give it a try. 

    What inspires you to write and when people read your books what do you want them to feel, know, say, do, etc?  Life inspires me to write. It's how I process, learn, grow, relate...it's my output. I believe that we have things to learn in this life and we have things to give that reflected our learning. My writing is what I have to give...my expression. 

    My novel has yet to find a publisher, but I want people to feel whatever it is I am expressing in the character, the tone, etc. at the time.  For example in my novel everyman, there is someone that I consider a truly deplorable character. Yet what happens to him is a travesty of justice and I expect for the reader to actually feel sorry for him in the moment it occurs. I would like for people to be entertained by the narratives, engaged by the characters, educated by the themes, and moved by the language. 

    How important is spirituality to you? Extremely.  I am spiritual but not religious.  I find most religious dogma insufferable and usually don't have much tolerance for those who use it to oppress others. 
     
    What important lesson did you learn from your mother that has helped you in life and in relationships? It's ok that there are different types of relationships, friendships.  Not everyone can be a best friend. But it doesn't mean that they can't be any friend.

    You can connect with Shelly at:
    website: http://mshellyconner.com/
    blog: http://mshellyconner.blogspot.com/
    Short story "Passing" available in Skin to Skin Magazine (issue 4)  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/674612
     

    (Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)
    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

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Are we REALLY ready for marriage equality?

    We can no longer use the failing heterosexual model as our guide for healthy lesbian relationships. We must build our own template for success.

    Since the 70's we have been in an active battle for marriage equality.  The great news is that we are on the precipice of realizing our dream in full.  As of January 2014 we can legal marry in 17 states (California,  Connecticut,  Delaware,  Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), as well as the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, although the Illinois law will not become effective until June 1, 2014. And we will be successful with the rest of the country…I truly believe that marriage equality is inevitable.  

    So the question is, are we really ready for the great responsibility? For clarity, my question is not regarding the right to parity. Of course, without question, we are deserving of the same civil rights that the rest of the country enjoys.  But rather my query is about our readiness for this vast responsibility on an intimate level. See, being denied equality has afforded some of us the room to play house In other words, we get the emotional benefits of referring to someone as “wife” without all of the duties and responsibilities for what that means. Conversely, some of us have done a fabulous job at crafting a marriage, legal or otherwise.  But if we are family, and I believe that we are, we have to be honest with each other for the sake of our growth. There are those in our family who have not done a great job; and they have been able to hide behind the fact that our marriages have been illegal, until recently. 


    It is imperative to ask yourself some very serious questions about your readiness to step into the world of marriage. We know that anywhere from 40 to 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce. And second and third marriages have an even higher failure rate. So the template for same gender marriages must be crafted by us for us. That is our only hope to long-lasting unions. Ask yourself are you ready for “until death do you part?” Are you ready to forsake all others? Are you ready to share half of your acquisitions? Are you ready to have your wife make decisions about your health care in the event that you are incapacitated? Of course there are no guarantees in anything, but if you answered yes to most of these questions then you just may be ready to take on marital bliss!
    Below are some suggested steps to consider before walking down the aisle:


    1) Don’t be afraid to have the hard conversations: Romance and passion has a unique way of anesthetizing those things that can later become quite frustrating in a marriage. The hard conversations include, but are not limited to, some of the categories below.

    • --Finances – how will bills be paid? Will it be based on income equity, or will it be half of everything? Will you share bank accounts, or will you have independent accounts, or some combination they are of? What is your fiancĂ©’s credit score and how will it impact marital goals?
    • --Parenting – if you have children how will you co-parent? Who will be the disciplinarian, if there are minor children? If there are no children will you adopt or pursue artificial insemination?
    • --Coping skills – this is one not often explored enough, but I believe it is critical in a relationship of any kind. How do you deal with life’s challenges? How do you solve arguments? What do you need to feel emotionally, financially and physically safe in the marriage? Do you retreat when life gets hard or do you need to rely on your mate?
    2) Premarital counseling-- I strongly recommend this step. If you do nothing else, contribute to the success of your marriage by seeking premarital counseling before taking the plunge. Seek out the support of a counselor or spiritual leader to help you have the hard conversations, explore core values and say all that needs to be said. You might be surprised at how much we assume about our partners, which can be uncovered with professional help.

    3) Identify your village -- according to an African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” But it also takes a village to support a marriage. These are not people who will cosign destruction but rather they will encourage, embrace and celebrate your union with love and sometimes even tough love. However they never seek to divide, destroy or dismantle your relationship unless you are facing abuse and/or violence. Your village supports your relationship unless the two of you have adamantly decided that your marriage should meet its demise. Sometimes the village will not include people you might expect. Choosing your village should be done meticulously, intentionally and most of all TOGETHER!

    It is my greatest hope that we all forge toward a future wherein marriage equality is commonplace. So we must do everything possible to prepare for our success.  Equality is not a gift that this country gives to us--It is a right to which we are worthy by simply being human without discrimination.  We must be willing to make proud all of those advocates and activists who have fought, and continue to fight, on our behalf.

    I honor you for taking the steps toward this LOVE REVOLUTION…Nya Akoma!

    Imani Evans, MA
    www.createloveforwomen.com
    imani@surviving2thriving.org
    www.surviving2thriving.org


    We hope to see you on January 18, 2014

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

    Rules of Reconciliation: Part 4


    “We decided to give it another try”. That’s an announcement that many couples who were previously in crisis are relieved to say and broadcast. When they have successfully weathered the storms of betrayal and rebuilt the foundation of trust, they are happy to be back in their safety and comfort of their unions.  Trust me.  Their reconciliation didn’t come easy.  It was a process filled tears, trials and tribulations. It was a journey filled with pain, purpose and promise. Reconciliation was a trip down memory lane and a giant step into the future. It was a journey to understand the truth and a lesson on how to tell the truth. The process required each partner to give, and at the same time, required each partner to take. Reconciliation required the use of abilities that the couple had already mastered, and a few abilities that they had to learn (responsibility, vulnerability, respectability, culpability, accountability and teachability). Reconciliation required all the energy that they had to give, and even some energy that they had to find. If you ever experienced the process/journey of reconciliation, you know what a blessing and relief it is to say “WE MADE IT!!! 


    Now that you have completed your relationship rehabilitation, what do you do?  Since you have resuscitated and revived your union, what are the next steps? Yes, you have learned a few things, said a few things, tried a few things, compromised on a few things and prayed about a few things. So what are the Relationship Rules now needed to strengthen the connection? In other words, how do partners now connect the proverbial dots to ensure continued relationship satisfaction, fulfillment and longevity? All are good questions but unfortunately there are no universal answers. Every situation and every relationship is different; there is not one right way to do anything when it comes to love. 
      
    But despite the variability in circumstances and the differences in partner personalities, I want to offer a few suggestions to consider that may provide some guidance to support and strengthen your recommitment. None of the ideas are novel or earth shattering; you have probably heard many of them before. But I have learned that the best advice and the most helpful hints are usually simple concepts that are often overlooked and/or underutilized. Let’s review a few.

    Tip 1: Realize that everybody will not be happy that you and your partner have reconciled. 

    You will have haters who will not agree with your decision to reunite. Know who they are! You don’t have to avoid them but don’t expect positivity, support and affirmation from them either. Many times the naysayers are our family members and our friends who are attempting to show support for us, but are having difficulty endorsing our commitment to our union/marriage.
      
    However, don’t get or be angry at them. You invited them into your relationship when you shared aspects of your marriage that should have NEVER been made public. In the future, remember to only share with those who are also invested in the maintenance of your union. Friends who have their own successful relationships, counselors, therapists, clergy and other people with some expertise should be your “go-to” people when you need advice or when you need to vent. Lil’Man, Pokie, June Bug, TT, Ray-Ray, Momma, Daddy, Granny, Aunt Mae, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives or others who don’t have the ability to be objective, who don’t support both of you, and who are not able to keep their own relationships together don’t need/deserve to pour and speak into your relationship. Always seek help; that’s good. But choose your help wisely. The health of your relationship depends on it.

    Tip 2: Realize that the changes in awareness, actions and attitudes that helped you reconcile, will need to be continued to keep you reconciled. 

    When people are in crisis, they tend to do and say whatever needs to be done and said to survive. They are open to change, open to grow, open to learn and open to listen. They are OPEN.  But many times after the emotional storm is over and the breaks-up has been averted, inertia sets in.  For some reason, many couples who do the hard, emotional work to rebuild their relationship don’t always exert the same energy and consistency to maintain the relationship.
      
    For example, when partners are in crisis, they were affirming. After the crisis, you can’t pay them to give each other compliments or give positive feedback. When they are in crisis, they are at the gym working on their bodies to regain their health and sexy physiques. After the crisis, you can’t bribe them to get on a treadmill or even drive past the gym. When they are in crisis, they have great conversations infused with vulnerability and empathy. After the crisis, they somehow stop talking or their conversations are peppered with judgment and impatience. After the storm is over, some partners become complacent and lax and often settle, and sometimes unknowingly, return to their old destructive patterns that initially jeopardized their relationship. They stop doing what they know to do. It is unfortunate, but it more common than you think.
      
    Here is some truth. When you know better, you MUST do better. Nothing breeds more resentment in a relationship than knowing that your partner is emotionally and physically capable of doing something, but refuses or neglects to it. And, refusing to do something that she needs and desires feels intentional and mean. Failure to do something or the failure to even try communicates a lack of concern, a lack of interest and to some, a lack of love. For many, it feels like rejection. 

    Also when you refuse to do something or withhold emotional support, it makes your partner think that you just feigned some changes just to get her back. Now, that cuts deep.  She may feel bamboozled, tricked, hoodwinked, fooled and confused. All are terrible emotions to experience, right? Feeling tricked breaks trust, destroys respect, breeds hostility and poisons love. 

    So what do you do to safeguard against relationship complacencyFirst, agree that you both have permission to lovingly assess each other’s performance. I am not suggesting that you judge each other. I am advocating that you create emotional space in your relationship that allows you to tell your partner that she is getting slack, that you need more attention, that you see some regression in an important area and that you miss the improvements. 
     
     Even though some regression is expected, full relapses are never welcomed. Let’s face it. Everybody sometimes takes his/her foot off the self-improvement accelerator; that’s natural. But to keep your foot off the improvement accelerator ensures stagnation, boredom, resentment, bitterness and disconnection. And unfortunately many relationships that are newly reconciled don’t have the trust bandwidth to recover from these types of emotional set-backs so be careful and prayerful. Complacency is a major relationship killer. 

    Here’s my advice. Honor your hard work. If there are other things happening in your life that prevents you from performing our honoring the commitments made during your reconciliation process, share them. For example, let her know if there are new stressors on your job that are affecting your interest in sex. Let her know that mother’s health diagnosis is affecting your concentration and your ability to be fully present. Let her know your children’s decisions are making you feel unsettled and irritable. If something is preventing you from following through on the promises you made during your reconciliation process, share them with her immediately. Ask for help. Ask for a hug. Ask for time. Ask for massage. Ask Don’t step away. You know better so do better. Apply your new communications skills and relationship knowledge. Don’t let yourself off the hook and don’t expect your partner to let you off the hook either. You both deserve better. 

    Tip 3: Realize that you will still have conflicts.

    Just because you have reconciled does not mean that you will always agree. So, don’t be scared to share your opinions and perspectives. Don’t be reluctant to share your needs, wants and thoughts. Don’t run from conflict; embrace it because conflict is healthy and human. Let’s be honest.  You will still feel, think, behave and believe differently. That’s ok. You are a couple not clones.
      
    Remember this….you must always speak up when something does not feel right in your spirit. Why? Because peace is not given; peace is MADE. Peace is made when two people are willing to be transparent, honest, authentic and vulnerable with each other. If you want to have peace with yourself and peace with your partner, you must always communicate. And not only communicate, but communicate with the BIG 3: an open mind, open heart and open hand. The BIG 3 should always be a part of every interaction if you want to nurture and solidify your bond.
      
    Also, embrace and implement what I call the “A Rule”. If you are wrong, apologize. If you have a change of mind or heart, acknowledge. If your partner sees or believe something differently, accept. If something is not working in the relationship, adjust. If you don’t understand, ask. If you feel powerless, assert. If she asks a question, answer. If she does something loving, appreciate. If she is doing something admirable and wonderful, affirm. If she needs more consideration, allow. If you have a new understanding or skill, apply. If you have an issue, address. One of the only “As” to avoid is the word assume because we all know what assume really means: a ___ of u and me. The “A Rule” when consistently applied works wonders. Try it….your relationship deserves it. 

    Tip 4:  In life and in love, NEVER give up 2 rights: the right to be wrong and the right to change your mind.
      
    We all make mistakes and hopefully we all will grow because of them. If you believe in self-improvement, there will always be times when you are wrong and there will be times when you will realize that changes are needed to support and serve you. Why is that important to remember? When people are in crisis, they are motivated to accept conditions, sometimes any conditions, to maintain their relationship. Some requirements or agreements may work well in the short-term, but some are difficult to emotionally manage and maintain forever There may be times when you are not aware of your inability to maintain a certain behavior or to keep a specific promise until life demonstrates that you can’t.  You are human so it may happen. So what do you do?
      
    What you should not do is ignore the problem or issue; it will not go away. You should not berate yourself because I am sure you reviewed and considered the proposed agreement to the best of your ability. I believe that you should face reality as a couple and look for new opportunities and ways to address the need or solve the problem. Don’t turn away from each other; turn toward each other and stay positive.
      
    So what, you were wrong. It won’t be the last time. So what, you changed your mind. That happens when you gain experience or expertise. When people are committed to learning, their views or perspectives may change and that’s a good thing. Leverage the change and expand your capacity to love, experience and grow personally and with your partner. 

    Never forget that the biggest room in any relationship is the room for improvement. Also remember that mistakes and changes are helpful because both are part of the refinement and development process. So continue to try new ideas and creative ways to love each other. Some ideas will fail and some will work temporarily but never stop trying to improve yourself and your relationship. Failure is always a healthy part of the learning process. 
      
    CREATing Love and CREATing relationships don’t just happen overnight; there are processes. They are journeys filled with detours, distractions, differences and disagreements that when addressed properly can strengthen your resolve to love. If you want a relationship that serves, satisfies and celebrates you, commit to fully engage in the love creation process because being in love is a wonderful and amazing experience. 

    Love is a tremendous gift and we all know that the best gifts are always worth the wait and worth the work. So don’t give up and don’t give in to neglect and complacency. Stay tuned into your own spirit and stay tuned into your partner/spouse/lover. You both deserve it! 

    There are more reconciliation suggestions but I hope these will get you started.  I look forward to discussing more relationship tips at the 2014 CREATE LOVE Conference. Are you registered? If not, what are you waiting for ☺?  I look forward to meeting and seeing you soon.