RSS

Tag Archives: Self Help

Lesson Learned #6: Accepting Your Contribution

This lesson is a tough one. No one whole-hardly believes that they shared in the demise of their marriage. Yet,  I’m so blessed to be able to realize this lesson and share this with those who may be struggling with their divorce. Because the truth to the matter is everyone plays a role in their marriage’s demise, whether you choose to accept it or not. I know for certain what things I did or didn’t do that helped cause strain on my marriage and ultimately led us to divorce. I am not in anyway, form or fashion saying to take ownership of the divorce in totality. But it takes a strong person to acknowledge, accept and get help to overcome their weaknesses.

I’ve heard people who have spoken about their marriages and they have went as far as to say, “I didn’t do anything!” Never stopping to think that them “not doing anything” caused just as much of a rift in their marriages as them doing everything, could have caused.

If you’re already divorced or in separation, take a long hard look at ALL of your actions, not just those you CHOOSE to remember. Were you supportive? Did you speak to your mate, or at them? Did you feel the need to point out your mate’s flaws or be overly critical, all in the need to “Be right!”. Did you pay attention to what your spouse communicated to you, or did you rewrite it so that you heard only what you wanted to hear? THINK ABOUT IT!!! There are more things to think about?

Did you make your home a haven of rest for your mate or a den of doom and gloom? Were you eager to be a part of the solution or quick to point out all of the problems? Men, were you considerate of your wives’ feelings and women, did you console them when they came in from the world which had already beat them up? Or did you add more insult to the injuries? Women were you keeping yourself presentable, or did you grow comfortable in your frumpiness! Yes, that’s a contribution too! Men, did you help put the kids to bed or wash the dishes after your wives had prepared a hearty meal? Women were you trying to drive the car, when you should have been willing to be the passenger? Think closely!!!

Still can’t think of anything, what about those things you overlooked in your courting phase of the relationship, knowing that those qualities you didn’t want nor need in your spouse, but you chose to marry that person anyway. Guess what??? That’s your contribution!!! Your lack in judgement! Acknowledge it, learn from it!!! But wait there’s more!

Men did you make quality time for the two of you and women did you make quality time for just your spouse, outside of the time you spent with the children? These are things you have to ask yourself! And don’t be ashamed to admit them!!! Because as in any recovery program you attend, the first step is to admit your problems.And then once you’ve confessed them, ask God to help strengthen you in those areas you’re the most weakest? Don’t allow the same poisons to cause you to make the mistake again or to hold on to unnecessary bitterness towards the other person. You can do it! (Phillipians 4:13). With God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). But you have to acknowledge and believe that he can make you a better person from it.

You can’t imagine how much greater you will feel and heal once you’ve taken responsibility for your contribution. To those who are newly divorced, I know it won’t be easy. This takes time. But you must know that it’s a necessary part of moving on in a healthy manner. You’ll be better in time from it.

It’s my prayer that those of you who have found yourselves in divorce unwillingly, do heal in a healthy and positive manner. Your life isn’t over because your marriage didn’t work out. And just because your marriage didn’t work out with this person, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a better healthy marriage with anyone else in the future. But the work, begins with you!!! It’s your responsibility to acknowledge your weaknesses and short comings (that we ALL have) and strive to overcome them. Work to make it better for the next one!!! And it will be. With God ALL things are possible!

With so much love,

Tanisha Rankins

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Knowing When You’re Healed- Part 2

Regardless of the situation, every one of us must endure the healing process after losing those things we value the most. Yesterday, I started this post about knowing when you’re healed from your divorce.  I will conclude with the following reasons why I know I’m healed from my divorce.

#4. I am comfortable seeing him with someone else. To be honest, a great length of time had passed before I witnessed seeing my ex with someone else. I remember late last year having been thrown into a situation, where I was forced to confront this fear. I didn’t know how I was going to feel. I was thinking to myself, “Will I just break down in tears? Will I run? Will I faint?” Yeah, you’re probably thinking it can’t be that deep. But for me, it was THAT deep. This was the man I had vowed to love and cherish, to be with for better, for worse. And who had made that very same promise to me, but broke it. And so, I pondered over the idea that I wouldn’t even go, because I feared that he may have brought his new lady of his life.

And amazingly God is so awesome to his children. Because when I went to church that morning, the Sunday morning bible lesson was on fear. And how you shouldn’t let it overtake you, that you should be able to approach all of your fears head on and trust that God will see you through it. So that afternoon after church, I went to the place that I had been asked to come and sure enough he was there to with his new lady friend. And as quickly as my fears were up, God removed them and an overwhelming calmness came over me. There wasn’t anything to fear. I remember smiling and thanking God under my breath for the peace that he provided, which surpassed all of my understanding. It was such an amazing feeling. I’m healed because being in his presence with his new lady friend, doesn’t plague me any longer. Like everything else, God has blessed me with the strength and serenity to accept it and move forward positively.

#5. I have never tried to seek revenge on my ex-husband. I believe Madea said it best…another quote from Diary of a Mad Black Woman (I told you I was angry in my past, if you had read the previous post. LOL! This was my life put to the big screen…but I digress:)) “How do you know if you’re not over someone? If you have a chance to get back at someone who’s hurt you, and you take it…you’re not over them. But if you don’t take the chance, you’re over them”

I remember once, one of my ex-husband’s co-worker/friends approached me about dating after we separated. I could have been really spiteful. But I never even considered it. In fact, I told the gentleman that it was completely out-of-place to even ask. It may or may not have stung my husband a little. But I wasn’t willing to compromise the core of who I am, for what may or may not have caused a small amount of pain to my ex-husband.

#6. I continue to pray for and love my ex-husband. Yeah, I made up my mind to pray for him a long time ago. Nearly every time I say my prayers, he’s included in them. Although when I first started praying for him, it always went something similar to this (paraphrasing) “Lord, please bless my husband to come back to me. Bless him to recognize the error of his ways and return to my arms.” LOL!!! I can laugh now….because I’m healed. When I thought I was praying for him, I was still praying selfishly asking for MY will to be done. But because I’m healed, I understand that our marriage, although it may have been short-lived, served it’s purpose. I actually give thanks to my ex-husband for the experience. Because it’s contributed to my growth in a major way. Now my prayers, are indeed unselfish. They go something like this now. “Lord continue to walk with my ex-husband daily. Bless him to grow closer to you. Be long-suffering and forgive him of any short comings. Bless the lady in his life to be an encouragement to his growing even closer to you…”

You see, I will always have a love in my heart for my former spouse. You don’t make that type of commitment to someone and lose your love completely unless you never loved them to begin with.  I have forgiven him for all of those things which transpired during our marriage, those he admitted and those he didn’t. I want nothing more than my ex-husband to grow his relationship with God (not that he may have not). But there’s nothing wrong with anyone praying for someone to grow closer to God. I will solicit those prayers all day, every day. But because of that love for him, I’m more concerned about his soul.

I had a divorced gentleman ask me how I could truly say that I’d hope my ex would find someone to make him happy. And I told him that I simply loved him that much.  I also understood that the gentleman hadn’t been completely healed from his experience. However, I do know that in order to seek God’s forgiveness of our shortcomings, we have to be willing to forgive others’ of theirs too. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past, all I desire is for my husband to have learned from his mistakes, just as I have and to grow spiritually and lovingly with someone else. And just like God answered my prayers of healing. I’m sure he’s answering the prayers that I pray for my ex-husband as well.

#7. I’m able to genuinely smile thinking about the entire experience. This sums it all up for me. My marriage was like the Batman Rollercoaster at Six Flags Atlanta. It’s full of its shares of twists and turns, ups and downs and nausea. But at the end of it all, you’d still ride it again. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. It’s taken me ALL of those hardships with the good to get me to this place right here…right now! Looking back, I smile and laugh when I think about the turmoil and the grief. I chuckle, of course at the really good moments. It’s been a long, tumultuous journey. And the only reason I can laugh and smile is because I know 100%… that I am healed.

Tanisha Marie Rankins, Healed 2011

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Make It Last Forever

 Make It Last Forever

Just last week I was getting out of my truck and preparing to walk into a building when I noticed an older couple giving each other a passionate kiss.  Now when I say an older couple, meaning a couple that looked as if they were in their late 60’s.  The gentleman opened the door for the lady and squeezed her tight while commencing to give her a sweet and gentle kiss on the lips.  As I watched the both of them, I thought to myself,  “Wow”….how nice it is to see sincere love exuding from the both of them and how real love can last after so many years and that old school love still exists.  I did not know this couple or how long they have been married or even if they were married.  However, I will say and can say that I was witnessing true love right there in front of me. 

When we say “I do” before God and man, we are making a commitment to God first and then to one other.  Committing that we are in it until death do us part.  “I do”, doesn’t mean that loving someone is easy but loving them unconditionally!!  So let’s continue to keep Christ “FIRST” in our marriages so that one day, someone will be telling a story about us and how we are making it last forever….until death do us part.

Want to post this to your website or e-zine? Simply include the following blurb with this article and you can…

Nichole Taylor has been married to her husband Malcolm for 12 years. They have three beautiful children. She and her husband are currently the leaders over Family Life Ministry and Couples Ministry. Nichole and Malcolm are a common everyday couple who experience ups and downs as any other married couple.  However,  their passion is to minister to couples, families, and anyone who needs encouragement. God has truly blessed their family in so many ways and they want to share with others the goodness of Christ and by putting Christ first in your life, the many blessings one can receive in their marriages, their families, and most importantly, their lives.

Follow Nichole & Malcolm Taylor

Blog: “Just the 2 of Us”,  http://mntaylors.wordpress.com/

Facebook: Nichole Taylor ://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1020203983

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Starting Over

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?

Ok, this isn’t going to be one of those sappy posts, to encourage you to drown yourselves in your sorrow. Sure it’s Christmas time, a season of abundant commercials filled with sappy stories of husbands giving their wives, big diamonds and luxury cars or wives going out of their way to hide their husbands’ new plasma tvs. (No, I’m not bitter:))) I’m really not, because while we all would love to be showered by the one’s we vowed to spend the rest of our lives with. For many, that’s not a reality.

Having experienced a couple of lonely Christmases, immediately after I separated and later divorced from my now ex-husband. I’d like to share ideas on how to cope during the holiday season.

Let see…

First, go ahead and cry it out! That’s right let it flow. There’s no use in holding it in. Holding in that kind of emotion can kill you. So have a really good cry. But you’re limited to 1 hour on Christmas Day! You can do it all at once or 4 (15) minute sessions throughout the day. But 1 hour is all you’re allowed for that day. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with a cry, which cleanses the soul. But anything more than that will make you sick and exhaust you.

Next, take a really warm shower or bath. If you like, you can even combine your cry with your bath time. Those tears can just flow out of the tub or shower. That’s even better, because now you will have extra time in the day to do those things which are most important and healthy.

Spend time with someone! Now, because we didn’t have children, I woke up completely alone during Christmas. So I decided to spend the day with my mom. See, my dad had passed away a few months prior, so we both were dealing with significant loss. We leaned on each other for the holiday. But if you have children, why not spend it happily with them showing you what Santa (if they still believe) or whomever has gotten them. Either way, keep it positive! If you’re unfortunate to not have children, parents, or close friends to spend the holiday with, find someone in or around your neighborhood to spend it with. Or willingly find a shelter to volunteer to serve. It’s amazing how small our problems become, once we’re assisting someone with theirs. And in my experience, it allows God to work your problems out for you, without your interference, which can serve as detrimental to the situation. (But that’s another topic, for another day)

Next, eat well. Enjoy the meal that is prepared before you, whatever that may be. It’s a day to splurge a bit. Take your time and enjoy that dessert.

Nothing cures loneliness like laughter. Find humor throughout your day. Laugh long and big whenever you can. Watch a funny christmas movie. I had heard about the National Lampoon Christmas vacation. But I’d never watched it. So, I ordered it on Netflix and watched it that evening. It was really what I needed to pass the time in a positive way and filling my soul with joy.

At the end of the evening, journalize (Is that even a word? Oh well, it is now! LOL)your day. Talk about your emotions. Pour it out on paper. It will serve as a guide to your progress. Make sure your entry includes your day’s blessings. Itemize them, specifically. You’ll realize there are more than one blessing of the day. And besides, the greatest blessing is your life. With life, there’s always hope for a better tomorrow, which will come. Speaking of tomorrow, start planning for your new future. 2011 is right around the corner, so consider what you’d like to accomplish in it. It won’t hurt to have a plan b, c, & d. Because you never know what the future will hold.

And lastly, before you turn in, don’t forget to pray. Thank God that you survived the day. It will get better. Although, you’re more than likely going to feel some loneliness, remember you are never alone. God is always with us (Hebrew 13:5). So why not draw nearer to him? Let him penetrate you and ask him to provide you with the peace to handle whatever outcome is reached.

Just like everything else we encounter in life, this too shall pass! But to do it in a healthy manner takes determination and dedication. Dedicate your life to growing in  positive way. Choose not to allow Satan to rob you of your joy! May you be blessed with a very Merry Christmas!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons Learned:#4 – Your Dreams Are Just That…Yours!

Today’s reflection comes on the heels of what would have been my 6th anniversary to my now ex-husband. I’m sure the date 10/16/2004 will always be engrained in my memory and at this point in my life, it’s ok if it does. Looking back, I remember thinking that my marriage would never end in divorce. I envisioned that there would be nothing we wouldn’t be able to talk about and resolve through thoughtful compromise. In my head, we’d grow old (gracefully, of course;-)) together and tell stories to the youth about the power of a loving marriage and mentor to other couples that may be struggling in their marriage. But you see that was MY dream…not his.

 Ironically, our minister spoke at church this past Sunday about having more than one plan, especially if it’s dependant on someone else, which fueled my inspiration for writing this post. You see what he meant is that sometimes, what you plan or dream for yourself doesn’t always go as you’d hope, simply because it’s tied to another human being. With this thought,  I have come to realize that I have an incredibly high tolerance for pain. I always have, probably always will. It takes quite a bit to really get me angry and upset. Whereas I see others, who get mad at the smallest bit of resistance. So just because, I plan for a situation to go smoothly between a colleague or a friend. Doesn’t mean that it always will. B/c, maybe that colleague/friend, has a different disposition than I do. The same applied to your marriage. Maybe your spouse didn’t really plan to see it through to the end, as you thought. Maybe they lied about their plans. Or maybe their plans changed, or they had more than one plan, which suddenly shifted priorities.

So as I write to those who may be in the position I was in, just merely 3 years ago, please try not to beat yourself up when you realized that the dream you had for your marriage did not come to pass. You can not make others cooperate to fulfill the dreams which are your own.

Going forward, I have chosen to dream of things that I can control (with God’s grace). For example, I know how I’d love to look in my gown. And if God continues to give me strength in my body, I can control the other stuff that will make it possible to fit into my perfect gown. (Notice, I said, “My perfect gown!”) I even have an idea of what the wedding will entail. But at this point in my life, the groom in my dreams doesn’t have a face. (At least not a real face, I tend to substitute celebrities from time to time! LOL!!! Hey, who doesn’t??) But truthfully, I want God to fill in that void the next time.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t dream big. But just make sure you have a plan B or C, just in case things don’t go as you planned for your A. It will cushion the blow a little bit. The old adage, never put all your eggs in one basket still rings true. However, the best basket to put your eggs is in God’s hands. Despite the fact that my dreams for my marriage were crushed, I’m still so tremendously blessed because of it. I’ve learned so much (keep reading, there’s more to come!) from it about myself. I’ve been able to minister to so many others who didn’t think they could be delivered from the pain of a divorce. And most importantly, my faith and positivity remains in tact.

Until then, stay positive and learn the lessons that life teaches! They aren’t without reason.

Continued blessings to you,

Tanisha

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Lessons Learned!, Separation & Divorce

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons Learned:#3- Bring Your Own Hot Sauce!

Sometimes, it amazes me what things I can remember from my past. As I grow older, I realize my short term memory isn’t nearly as great. But, my long term memory seems to be better than ever. Some of the most vivid memories of my family make me laugh hysterically. But when I think about it, they could’ve be used to provide so much wisdom for my marriage, if I’d only looked a little deeper sooner.

When I was little my dad used to take me to a local grocery store, known for having amazing chicken. You know, the chicken that they placed in a white paper bag, lined with foil on the inside…the chicken that always came with those super soft rolls. Anyway, I digress because this is really making me hungry. Ok, well back to the story. Sometimes, they’d have the hot sauce packets. But many times when we went, they didn’t. Nonetheless, the day I recall the most is the day, my dad didn’t ask for any hot sauce. He just brought the chicken back to our little green Ford truck and told me to get in. I told my dad, that he forgot to get hot sauce. That’s when he reached across my lap and opened the door to the glove compartment and inside was a bottle of his favorite hot sauce. I remember my dad saying, “You don’t have to worry about it, if you always bring your own.”

Now, looking back on this I thought about things in my marriage. I have always been creative and loved spontaneity. And so, I always assumed that the person I settled down with be able to do the same. So, I’d complain and be disappointed when I mentioned my need for change and creativity. And his idea of creativity was dinner and a movie or the conventional flowers sent to your workplace. But what I failed to realize is that creativity and spontaneity was my talent. It was the hot sauce that I needed and was expecting my spouse to provide.

So, if it’s something that you crave in your marriage. My advise would be if you have it, to provide it. If you want a weekly date night with your spouse, don’t wait for him/her to plan it, you do it. So many people complain about the spark leaving their marriages, but everyone refuses to light the matches they hold hold in their own pockets.

So in my new relationship, I will keep things different and new and fresh. And although, I’m certain that he will think it’s because of my desire to please him (and I will hope that he’s pleased). But it will really be to satisfy myself. That way I won’t have to be disappointed if my hot sauce isn’t available.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 11, 2010 in Lessons Learned!, Separation & Divorce

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lessons Learned:#2 – Pray and Be Patient

Reflecting back on my married life, I think about the many times I prayed to God for change to take place. But grew weary of waiting when it didn’t come at the time I thought it was necessary.

As I reflect, I can honestly say that God has answered favorably nearly every prayer I’ve ever uttered. But it seemed that it was always too late, at least in my eyes. But now I understand that in order to have true faith, you must have amazing patience.

I ran into an older, wiser lady while grocery shopping last week. She mentioned how she had married some nearly 15 years ago. At the time she fell in love and married a man that later started abusing alcohol. Her family had suggested that she leave him and find someone else who was more worthy. But the lady says that she had vowed to be with this man for better and for worse. So faithfully she prayed every day for God to give her the strength to endure and to deliver her husband from his illness. She continued to serve God in the best way she knew how and while others still couldn’t understand what she saw in this man, she continued to pray for him.

It would be twelve years later that her prayers would seemingly be answered. She said her spouse had apologized for all the hurt and pain he had caused and walked away from the alcohol. She says they now have the best relationship and she feels that all the waiting on God was worth it. It was such a beautiful story, because I knew her personally and I knew what she spoke to be true.

Now, I don’t want anyone who is being physically abused to feel that I’m telling them to put their lives in jeopardy. Because, that’s a totally different situation. But what I do see is everyday many people are divorcing over the most senseless of reasons, without trusting that God can change it.

I do know this…that if I should remarry, I vow to be more patient when I pray to God. As the old saying goes, “God may not come when you want him, but he’s always right on time!”  I,for one, am all too familiar with this.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,