New From @godsbutterflykw: Relationship VIP

Twitter is all a buzz. Entertainment news shows are reporting. Magazine after magazine is covered with the same headline. Who cheated on whom? Who’s dating whom? Breakup shocker! Are Rihanna and Chris Brown really back together? Jaws dropped at the news of Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman’s split up. And every week we rush to the nearest information source for the latest on Rob Pattison and Kristen Stewart. Why are we so obsessed with the love lives of these people we don’t know? We learn about their lives in sound bites and the scroll of the ticker tape. Surely there is something or another relationship perhaps, we can be concerned with.

It’s been suggested that we get so caught up in the entertainment love news as an escape from our own ‘stuff’. I wonder how much we’d really care if we were busy taking care of ourselves. Oh, I don’t know turning the tube off and spending that time learning more about ourselves; rather than dissecting who and why of which celeb should be with whom. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy star gazing as much as the next person. What if we took the time to love ourselves as much as we spend the time worrying about their love lives maybe we wouldn’t have time to do so? Make sense?

That got me to thinking. What do we, can we do to work on the most important relationship we have – our relationship with our selves. I am the VIP of my life after all! Aren’t you? ABSOLUTELY! No? Let’s look at some ways to o ascend in our personal VIP (PVIP) status.

  1. Window Cleaner. The first step to reaching optimal PVIP status is to get clear about who you ARE and who you are not. One of my favorite lines from the movie, The Color Purple, is “…Harpo who dis woman?”  While the question was being asked of a male, the point is to get in your own face and really look at the person staring back at you. There was a time when I didn’t/couldn’t see myself. I couldn’t see all the wonderful things others were saying about me. The time came to sit with who I thought I was and who I thought I was not. Where did those ideals come from? Were the inherited or self-imposed. Once I got clear about the woman in the mirror (feel free to jam your Michael Jackson in the background), I could move on to the next step.
  2. Permission Granted. Give yourself permission to choose you. Put yourself back at the top of your (never-ending) to-do list. That’s not selfish. It’s necessary. This will be new for some and a reminder to others. You’ve heard the parallel of the in air safety review, that instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first. It truly is just that basic. You can’t be your best in any relationship capacity (personal, romantic or professional), if your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual oxygen level is low. It’s like running a computer that needs more bandwidth – it just doesn’t function at its best. So, how do you add more energetic bandwidth to your life?                 Think things that will simultaneously a) benefit you directly, b) give you peace within and c) cultivate your body, mind, and spirit. Do things that say I LOVE YOU – to you!  Think of it as courting yourself.
  3. Un-Cuffed. All too often we are bound by I should, I have to, and Yeah but. Saying no to what we feel obligated to or pressured by is not a bad thing. No is actually a beautiful word. It only has two letters and rolls smoothly over the tongue. The thing is sometimes we get so used to saying no, we look up years later and realize somewhere along the way we started saying no to ourselves; in addition to saying those things that feel heavy and don’t feed our spirit. You probably won’t come out of the gate shaking your Yay Me! pom poms. It’s a journey. And you may have to remind yourself. That is perfectly okay. Feel free to repeat as needed.
  4. Add Three Cups of Joy and Stir. What makes you happy? What brings you child-like giggle joy? When is the last time you did something that added joy to your life?  If it helps, think back to what you enjoyed as a child. I remember coloring, gold fish and playing in the water. I still love being in water to this day. Every chance I get, I play in the water. Recently I went to the local pet store to learn about fish. I’ll be adding a small fish tank to my office (a tad different from the single gold fish I had as a kid). Every now and then I still color. Yes, in a coloring book! Don’t judge me –lol. Seriously, what things make you smile from the inside out? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it.

Becoming your PVIP is a learned way of life, not taught to everyone. Some of us need a refresher course. Wherever you are on your PVIP journey, you are not alone. There are others on the same journey and luckily for you, you have me (smile) to help you on the way!

Have questions or just want to share part of your journey? I’m an email away at chiefheartwranglerr@whatthelove.org.

Remember, if you don’t define you, someone else will. And that’s too important a job to leave to just anyone.

X’s and O’s

Celebrity Love Note No.3: Oh Jenny!

So..today I am speaking “to” good ol’ Jenny from the Block…check it out!

My Take:
This whole marriage concept is totally out of hand.  It seems as if Jennifer Lopez uses marriage to her advantage.  The first mistake is using it to her advantage.

 I don’t know if many of you know this, but a marriage is supposed to produce something positive in the world.  Not just children, but actually greatness.  Sum of you two, should be greater than your parts.  So, to use it to your advantage, is not the correct use of the institution.

 It is very irresponsible to continue to enter into a union that doesn’t last.  At some point, you have to admit that it’s not all about them.  You have some definitive fault in why these marriages aren’t working and going the distance.  Are you choosing the wrong men?  Is marriage just something you do? Do you love weddings?  What is the problem because clearly, there is one.

 Now that’s not to say that the individuals Jennifer marries are perfect.  But, really did the Latino busboy (AKA Hubby Number One) stand a chance?  That poor man was thrust from plastic runners to red carpets with a short period of time to adapt to the change, and when Jennifer’s career took off, eventually the marriage was left in the dust.

Some would say there is a pattern here.

If she were my client:
We would have to look very closely at these relationships before they were marriages, and explore why she thought this guy was husband material.  After discovering that answer, I am pretty sure that we need to explore her expectations for a husband, and if they are realistic.  We’ve all heard the stories of J-Lo’s outrageous performance riders, and perks for her entourage, it is possible that she asks outlandish things of her mate?  Does she think it’s over if he misses a 10 p.m. curfew?  Or if he doesn’t draw her bath at 81.3 degrees exactly?  Of course, I am over exaggerating (at least I hope that I am), but if anything remotely similar exists then we need to nip these things in the bud.

I also want to explore her vision for a marital relationship.  What are her beliefs about marriage founded upon?  What role does she play in bringing the vision to pass?  I will be whipping out all kinds of tools on Jenny from the Block…from Relationship Wheels to my beloved SWOT Analysis, I am going to work her until I get to the bottom of this nonsense.

 What we can learn from all of this:
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly.  Additionally, it is not something to be taken at all if we are not with someone we can see going old with.  One of my favorite tweets reads, “people are not getting divorced because marriage doesn’t work; they are getting divorced because they never should’ve gotten married.” 

Don’t be yet another person who engages in this new concept of marriage: the hobby.  You have to realize that marriage goes back to the Garden of Eden.  And if Adam can get over Eve talking to that snake and bringing him some bad fruit (with some pretty serious consequences), then we should be able to create marriages that last and overcome the challenges that two people inevitable will face when they say, “I do.”

Then again, maybe you adore Jennifer and see no problem with her getting married and getting divorced.

THIS JUST IN: I just read that it’s speculated that Marc Anthony and Jennifer’s divorce is over the educational plan for their twins—translation: what school the twins should go to?

 Seriously? 

 Well, perhaps the fourth time is the charm.

 Good luck, chica!

What I Told Kris Humphries…

This is the first of five in my “Celebrity Love Note” in the series. I hope that you take my assessment of these high-profile situations and realize that it’s not just star-studded love that is in need of a makeover…we can all do better.

My Take:
Kris, you missed some clues that this wasn’t the union for you. While we overlook many things in the name of love, some things we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to. From the footage that I’ve seen and just a cursory understanding of who Kim is, it’s clear that she isn’t ready for a long-term relationship, let alone a marriage. One key indicator of this was her past relationships, including a marriage that you knew nothing about. My thought is that this isn’t the only thing that shocked you or made you question this relationship, but since the wheels were in motion, you just kept moving forward.

I truly believe that you thought this girl was the one for you, and for that, my heart goes out to you. However, there were too many factors present that had the potential to doom this relationship. From family debates about the validity of this marriage; to unanswered questions about your fiancée; and just way too many cameras chronicling it all. I never saw that Kim was your best friend, and I never saw that this was a union built on a solid foundation, and while it’s easy for me to say these things now, I am sure that in hindsight, you are now probably saying the same things, and more.

When a relationship ends, both people are at fault, so it’s not all about what Kim did or didn’t do. I fault you for not heeding the signs that said this relationship wasn’t viable—at least not in its current state—and for not being wiser in this situation, and doing what was best for you.

If he was my client:
Ok guys, I didn’t actually tell Kris Humphries these things, but I would. Keep reading. If Kris Humphries was my client, we’d have to develop a plan to help him realize the criteria for a healthy relationship. In the midst of this, I wouldn’t let him date for at least the next 6-9 months, because he has to heal from this loss. As I have told you, breakups are like deaths. We have loss someone that we love, and we have to take time to mourn that loss. Additionally, I would like him to set criteria going forward for a life partner.

What we can all learn from this:
First of all, marriage is a serious commitment. I say that it is a magnifier of what is right and wrong in a relationship. It won’t change someone’s behavior for the better and it won’t make the relationship stronger. It will take everything in your relationship and make it more noticeable and more pronounced. If you are ok with having the good and bad in your relationship—just like it is today—multiplied, then perhaps marrying this person is for you.

Now, we don’t know Kris or Kim (if you know Kris Humphries, bring him to me ASAP), but this relationship played out in front of millions on TV—to its detriment. Despite that, the parts that matter were magnified long before they say I do (or perhaps Kim only said she might for the next 72 days). Kris was unaware of key events in Kim’s past, like, err, a previous marriage, and this means something substantial. Regardless of the situations surrounding her first marriage, it should’ve been discussed with Kris privately prior to the family outing, and prior to the revelation of this occurrence being caught on camera for all of the world to see.

The cameras just made things worse. Not only is this debacle immortalized on film, but it makes us witnesses of moments that no one should have seen. Kim wants to blame the cameras for the reason she went through with this, but I think that Kim has some deep issues that must be dealt with before she can be anyone’s soulmate.

My goal as Kris’ relationship coach would be to make sure that he doesn’t become someone who is bitter and closed to the possibility of true love. Additionally, I want him to value himself and not jump into a relationship that doesn’t satisfy him and think, once again, that she is marriage material.

Back to what we can learn…

We can learn that it takes more than a great dress and a million dollar ring to create a lasting marriage. However, what we can also learn is that we have to do our homework on the people that we allow into our lives, and we have to do even more homework when we’re considering marriage.

The best question you can answer before you stroll down the aisle is, “what is the vision for our marriage?” Translation: How do you both see this working? How do we deal with situations? What are your expectations of me as a wife/husband?

We must stop settling for someone—or overlooking major issues in our compatibility quotient—just because they say yes to a proposal, or simply because they proposed. Consider marriage like a business merger, and the cardinal rule of mergers (per Coach Steph) is that we don’t join forces with any company who doesn’t make us stronger, better or richer (leave off the richer when dealing with people).

If you are going to share a life with someone, then they should meet (and exceed) your criteria for a relationship partner. That’s not rocket science…but many people are still failing at recognizing this basic fact.

The story of Kris and Kim should show you exactly what happens when we ignore the signs, and accept someone on the grounds of love alone…both of them should’ve communicated better, and we might’ve been able to avoid all of this. Instead they both seem to have settled, and now hundreds of thousands and a million-dollar ring later, they’re reflecting on the past instead of experiencing an amazing future together.

Last time I checked, forever is longer than 72 days…right?

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