Quickie – If You Ever Change Your Mind

Quickie – If You Ever Change Your Mind

Hey, Beloved!

My next release (the spinoff for Just Say You Love Me) goes live 8.15.17! I’m so excited for you to read Lucas and Hali’s story! They are like… the total and complete opposites of Jaxon and Luana! Here’s the synopsis and a quick sneak peek. Hope you’re ready for the rest Tuesday 🙂

Synopsis

Lucas Berry has never been the type to take the traditional route with anything in his life. Even when he considers it, life throws him a curveball that causes him to take an entirely different path. The last curveball, a pregnant friend with benefits, caused Lucas to make an illegal move that led to his sister, Luana, being bound to Jaxon Jeffries. At first meeting Jaxon, Lucas considers him to be a man that will never be worthy of his respect and admiration, but there is one thing that Jaxon shares with Lucas that changes his life forever – the importance of choosing a wife instead of letting something as reckless and irrational as love choose one for you.

Hali Davison has never been the type to step out of the traditional route with anything in her life. Even when she considers it, life throws her a curveball that causes her to return to the safe, predictable path she grew up on. The last curveball, finding out the man she’s loved all of her life practically was getting married to a woman that wasn’t her, has Hali reconsidering her safe and predictable lifestyle. If her last chance at letting Lucas know how she really feels for him is at his wedding… so be it.

Lucas is stuck between doing the right thing and following his heart. His childhood has made it difficult for him to believe that true love exists, which is a great deal of the reason why he’s fought his feelings for Hali over the years.

With his natural hair product line reaching heights he never thought were possible, Lucas is determined to secure his life mate now before his money, power and status make it impossible to choose a woman who wants him for him and not who he is and what he has. There’s just one question he’s faced with on the day of his wedding; is that woman Shanice, the woman responsible for giving him his first child, or Hali, the woman responsible for giving him his first taste of love – no matter how much he thought he didn’t want it.

Quickie sneak peek – (Unedited)

No one else sensed it, but Luana was able to quickly pick up on her brother’s nervous energy. He was minutes away from marrying Shanice, the mother of his firstborn son – Luca Antony Berry. It was immediately after Lucas cut the umbilical cord that he asked Shanice to marry him, but now that they were minutes away from that actually happening… Lucas wasn’t so sure anymore. Dre, Lucas’ cousin, handed him the small, sample sized bottle of Hennessey that he’d carried in his pocket for this very moment.
“You ready, cuz?” Dre asked, squeezing Lucas’ shoulder, “It’s about that time.”
Lucas nodded, meeting Luana’s eyes. She wasn’t just his best friend and sister; she was also his best woman. Taking all three of her roles seriously, Luana whispered something into her husband’s ear and they both began to respectfully and quickly clear the room until only Lucas and Mayor Jaxon Jeffries remained.
Lucas admittedly wasn’t the biggest fan of Jaxon when he first heard of him, but as time progressed and he got to know him and witness the love he had for his sister unfold, both men learned to respect each other. That, and the fact that Jaxon spared Lucas and allowed him to keep his freedom when most others would’ve taken that or his life.
“Luana figured you needed some time to get your mind right,” Jaxon informed him, “Do you need anything before I head out?”
Lucas grabbed the box that held Shanice’s ring and opened it. He had yet to give it to Luana for the ceremony. Did his hesitation mean something that his mind wasn’t allowing him to register? No. That couldn’t have been the case. He was just… waiting.
“I need you to tell me that I’m making the right decision,” Lucas smiled softly and shook his head. He snapped the box shut and placed it back on the table, “That I’m not setting myself up to experience the same tortured life my parents led.”
Jaxon leaned against the table as he sighed heavily. He ran his hand against his freshly shaved head as it shook.
“That’s one thing I can’t tell you,” Jaxon confessed, placing his hands in his pockets, “I don’t want to be responsible for such a huge decision, and that’s something that really only you can answer. What’s causing your doubts?”
Lucas looked around the room that had suit jackets tossed over anything that would hold them. This wasn’t how he thought he would feel minutes before his wedding. Actually, he never thought he would have a wedding. Him or Luana. But love found her and a baby found him. Now Luana was happily married to the man who Lucas undeniably believed complemented her perfectly, while Lucas was about to be married to the first woman to ever snatch his seed.
“I don’t love her,” Lucas confessed as normally as he would tell someone the weather for the day, “I barely like her. We have our good days, but most of what we had was built on lustful nights. I just… don’t want to risk marrying her and not having the strength or courage to leave if things go south.”
“Then why are you marrying her?”


Find out Tuesday! For now, If You Ever Change Your Mind is available for preorder here.

Until next time,

B. Love

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People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

Hardly ever do I hear a quote that follows me over the years. It’s even more of a rarity for that quote to come from someone that I don’t consider a mentor or loved one. And a comedian?? Oh no. Never thought that was possible.

But it was.

Aaallllllll the way back in 2008 I heard something that has resonated within me over the years. I will admit, I have just recently started putting this into play, but it’s been there for years.

Can you guess what it was? Don’t bother. You won’t be able to figure it out. It was Katt Williams talking about the need to be in tune with your star player. And who is your star player? YOU ARE, HONEY!

Now, with me being on my whole self-love journey over the past year or so I have seriously been putting my star player first. Staying in tune with my star player. Why? Because I understand that in order for me to pour into the lives of others I must first be full myself.

With me learning to love myself on a deeper level, I realized the need to celebrate myself more as well. Have you ever noticed when you give women a compliment most times they’re bashful and unwilling to take the compliment? Or if they do, they draw your attention to a flaw? Maybe it’s just me *shrugs* but I used to have a bad habit of accepting a compliment and pushing the attention away from myself, or drawing attention to a flaw. Why? It was hard for me to receive compliments from others because I wasn’t complimenting myself.

Two dangerous habits can form when we don’t celebrate ourselves – 1. We seek to have ourselves validated by others, or 2. We train our brains to filter out the good and only focus on the bad from ourselves and others.

Both of these are horrible because if you seek validation from others you give them the power to lift you up AND pull you down. AND if you focus too much on negativity and your brain starts to think that’s what’s most important to you that will be what it filters in consistently. You will create an extremely toxic habit of being able to only see the negative about yourself, and that will eventually lead to every other area of your life. And what type of life will that be?

With my last release, Just Say You Love Me, it came to my mind that I stopped celebrating myself and my accomplishments. I stopped taking the time to say, “Girl, you’re living your dreams. You just published an amazing novel. Celebrate yoself!” I stopped going to get manicures and pedicures and birthday cake pops on release days. I stopped making those my rest days, and immediately started working on the next project.

I stopped savoring the moment. Appreciating the gift that is within me. Celebrating my creativity. My black girl magic. The fact that gold seeps from the tips of my fingers and enriches every person that reads my masterpiece.

That’s right; I create masterpieces.

And for a second, I forgot that.

I got so caught up in the hustle and the process and the work that I failed to take a moment to appreciate the weight of me accomplishing such an amazing thing.

Do you celebrate yourself? Do you compliment yourself? Do you value the beauty and the beast within you?

Have you ever just taken a moment to stop and say, “Honey, you’re doing an amazing job,” to yourself and mean it???

I dare you to start taking one brief moment a day to celebrate you. It can be something as simple as praising yourself for not exploding into a fit of road rage, completing an important task on time or getting your kids ready to leave out in the morning. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, celebrate your dopeness.

And while you’re at it, celebrate mine too 🙂 Check out my latest novel on Amazon. It’s my best work if I do say so myself 😉

Just Say You Love Me

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Last quickie and look into Just Say You Love Me!

Last quickie and look into Just Say You Love Me!

Hey, Beloved!

Tomorrow is the day! Just Say You Love Me goes live tonight at midnight! You can preorder it here to have it delivered as soon as it goes live.

Here’s one last unedited sneak peek to hold you over 🙂

Snatching his briefcase and phone from his desk, Jaxon sauntered over to his door… powerful swagger in no way affected by the swiftness of his steps. In usual Jaxon manner, he was focused on one thing and one thing only – getting through his interviews as quickly as possible to meet Luana – so when he opened the door and saw his mother and Tiffany standing on the other side of it he was unable to stifle his irritated groan. Faith valued no one’s time but her own. It didn’t matter how many times he told her he had to leave, she wouldn’t release him until she was done saying what she had to say.

“Now’s really not a good time, Ma,” Jaxon informed her as respectfully as he could.

“This will only take a second,” Faith tried to assure him, but Jaxon knew that wouldn’t be the case. Faith stepped in front of Jaxon, waiting for him to move aside and let her enter. When he didn’t, Faith used the back of her hand in the center of his chest to gently guide him out of the way, “Speak to Tiffany,” Faith instructed, sitting in front of Jaxon’s desk.

“Tiffany,” Jaxon spoke with as little enthusiasm as he had patience.

Tiffany smiled widely and stepped into his office, finding her place in the seat next to Faith while Jaxon closed the door. Unbuttoning his suit jacket, Jaxon exhaled a long, deep breath as he prayed silently and walked back over to his desk.

“What’s up, Ma? I have quite a few interviews me and Kingston need to get to before a meeting.”

“I wanted to reintroduce you to Tiffany. Your new wife.”

Waiting for the punchline to her joke, Jaxon continued to stare at his mother silently. She had to be out of her mind if she thought Jaxon was going to spend the next few months attached to Tiffany in any way. Tiffany was the kind of woman normal mothers warned their sons to stay away from. Not Faith. With her, it was all about status, power, position and legacy. It didn’t matter how much of a gold digging leech Tiffany was who spent her days working to secure her next sugar daddy; in Faith’s eyes, she came from good stock. And that mattered more to her than a woman’s morals and values – or her son’s interest and happiness for that matter.

When Faith didn’t continue speaking, Jaxon pulled his phone out and shot Kingston a quick text to let him know he was going to be a few minutes late before speaking.

“I agreed to the whole marriage thing, but I’m picking my own wife, Ma.”

Faith looked at Tiffany and smiled softly, then she sat up in her seat… hanging over Jaxon’s desk.

“You can pick your own wife just as long as Tiffany is your pick.”

“Tiffany,” Jaxon called, “Can you step outside and give us a minute alone please?”

Tiffany stood, smiling when Faith patted her hand softly. They both watched her leave, and as soon as the door closed behind her Faith whispered loudly, “What is wrong with you carrying on like that in front of her? She’s going to think you don’t want to marry her.”

“I don’t!” Jaxon seethed, eyebrows wrinkling and teeth grinding. It wouldn’t do him any good to be upset with his mother. It wouldn’t change anything. She would stand firm behind her desire no matter how horribly matched Jaxon and Tiffany were. If anything, his anger would make Faith calmer and firmer.

“Why not? She comes from good stock. A wealthy and political tree. Do you know how powerful a union the two of you would have? The Jeffries and Russel stock could be the combination that gets us in the white house. Tiffany is perfect for you, Jaxon.”

“No she’s not,” Jaxon argued, standing from his seat and peering down at his mother, “She just got out of one marriage with a seventy-year-old man whose death almost made her a millionaire. I’m not going to let her ride off of me to reach that point. She’s a gold digger whose only concern is the size of a man’s wallet. That’s not the kind of woman I want at my side.”

“Yes, Tiffany has the sense to secure her future financially, but that’s not a bad thing. That should let you know that she’s going to do whatever it takes to satisfy you and help you win. She’s a chameleon. She can be the basketball wife, the politician’s wife, the drug lord’s wife. The woman is ever changing and evolving her men, Jaxon. She can help you, son. Tiffany is the one.”

The only thing Jaxon saw Tiffany changing was the money in his bank account and respect he had from men who valued a higher class of woman.

“Tiffany is not the one. You told me I needed a wife to soften my image. There’s nothing about Tiffany that’s feminine, soft or genuine. She’s a known money chaser. I won’t look like a caring, big hearted family man; I will look like a fool getting played like all the others.”

Faith stood, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. Like Jaxon didn’t get his stubborn streak from her.

“We’re not finished with this conversation. I’m going to go because I have a case this morning, but I want you to let Tiffany ride along with you.”

“Ma,” Jaxon whined, feeling like a seven-year-old all over again.

“Keep her at your side while you handle your business today just to see how it feels.”

“So you want me to rent a wife for the day?”

Faith shrugged before walking over to Jaxon and pulling his pocket square out.

“Call it what you want, son, but I want you to give her a trial run. Give her a genuine chance. I really like her for you. For this.”

Jaxon remained silent as he watched his mother fold the square and return it to his pocket. If Faith liked Tiffany for Jaxon she didn’t know her son at all. What Faith didn’t know was that Jaxon had already tried to secure a future with Tiffany years ago. While he was still in college lending money to other students. Getting a feel for his knack of lending and gaining money in interest in return. Before he started his business and grew a name outside of his family.

She didn’t want him then.

When he was refusing to live off his parents’ money and struggling to make his own.

When he had nothing but his love and affection to offer her.

As if that didn’t hold more weight than any amount of money.

Tiffany didn’t want him when Jaxon had nothing; and he didn’t want her now that he had everything.


I hope you’re as excited to read their story as I am to bless you with it!

Until tomorrow,

Love, B.

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Quickie – Just Say You Love Me

Quickie – Just Say You Love Me

Hey, Beloved!

Here’s an unedited sneak peek into my release for 8.1.17 – Just Say You Love Me

“I don’t know how to say this, son, but it’s not looking good,” Governor Jacob Jeffries confessed.

“They say you’re selfish, hard, uncaring, and passionless,” his wife, Judge Faith Jeffries, agreed.

“Not everyone,” Jacob clarified, “You’re doing really well with our people and other minorities, but if you want to secure the votes of Caucasians, Asians, Japanese…”

“You have to show them that you care about them too,” Faith added, stopping her husband’s rambling, “That you care about the things they care about too. That you value what they value too. We understand your commitment to blacks, but you won’t become Mayor off our votes alone. The election is less than a year away. We have to change your image and secure at minimum another twenty thousand potential voters.”

Jaxon Jeffries sat back in his seat and groaned silently. If he would’ve known this was what his parents wanted to talk about he never would’ve agreed to lunch. Yes, Jaxon was fully aware of his success in the black community and the lack of commitment and belief he was facing with other races, but he didn’t care about that. From the moment he announced his plan to run for Mayor, Jaxon made it perfectly clear that his purpose was to serve his people. In his eyes, they had been ignored and neglected for so long – it was time that changed; with him.

“Three years ago, when I announced my plans to run for Mayor after Truman was elected, I made it perfectly clear that my people were my priority,” Jaxon reminded his parents.

“We understand, but you will not be able to serve your people if you lose,” Jacob countered.

That was true.

There was no way he could serve the African Americans in his community as their Mayor if he wasn’t elected. There was only so much he could do in position one of their city’s council. And he also made it his business to help entrepreneurs with his investment firm. Jaxon needed, however, to be placed into a higher position of power. With his father as Governor and his mother a highly respected Judge, they had the influence to bring great change to their city. Now it was Jaxon’s turn to take on what their hands were too full to carry.

“I hear you,” Jaxon agreed unwillingly, sitting up in his seat and looking over the menu. He didn’t plan on having a drink this early in the afternoon, but now he was sure he would need one to get through this constructive conversation, “I’m sure the both of you have a way to make this right. Have you spoken to Kingston?” Jaxon asked, referring to his campaign manager and one of his father’s closest friends.

“No, Jaxon. For this, we need to speak with you.”

Jaxon’s eyes met his mothers. Her voice was soft and low which meant she knew he wasn’t going to willingly agree to what they had to say.

“Let me get a drink first,” Jaxon requested, sinking back down into his seat.

His parents began to talk amongst themselves, and Jaxon completely tuned them out as he looked across the dimly lit restaurant for their waitress. He couldn’t help but have his spirit dampened by the sight of all the smiling faces involved in what looked to be happy conversations. Jaxon couldn’t recall the last time he smiled and laughed with his parents or anyone else for that matter. The past six months of his life had been filled with nothing but work. His mayoral run. Position on the city council. Investment firm. All of his boards and committee engagements and meetings.

When did happiness and love and joy become things he had to schedule in?

Things he knowingly neglected to take part in?

Finally, his eyes spotted their waitress, but before he could try to get her attention to change his drink order, Jaxon’s attention was drawn to the waitress standing next to her.

It was her smile… like a literal beam of sparkle radiating from her face to the other waitress – getting a reaction out of Jaxon that he didn’t know was possible. Honey brown skin covered a tall, toned frame. A tall, toned, curvy frame. One with enchanting thighs, inviting hips, a flat stomach made for the tips of his fingers and perky breasts. Even her eyes smiled in their darkness. They were covered by long and curly eyelashes that made an already beautiful pair of almond eyes even more captivating. Her hair hung to her shoulders in big, playful curls that framed her heart shaped face perfectly, but it was that smile.

That smile held rays of sunshine on her face.

That smile was the best looking curve on her shapely body.

A tray covered with drinks was placed on top of the bar, and their waitress picked it up. When she did, she began to walk towards their table while the beauty headed in the opposite direction. Jaxon watched the beauty until he couldn’t see her anymore.

“Alright, guys,” their waitress spoke, sitting their drinks on the table one by one, “Are you ready to order appetizers or lunch or do you need a few more minutes?”

“I want her,” Jaxon blurted, gaining stares from his parents and the waitress, “The woman you were talking to; I want her to be our waitress.”


Their full story will be available 8.1.17, but it’s available for preorder here now. Thanks for meeting me here.

Until next time,

Love, B.

 

Introducing… the cast of Just Say You Love Me

Introducing… the cast of Just Say You Love Me

Hey, Beloved!

Welcome back 🙂

Monday you got a little more acquainted with me; now it’s time to meet my next set of characters!

Enter…

Jaxon Jeffries and Luana Berry

Jaxon Jeffries is a 31 year old mayoral hopeful. His main priority right now is to become the Mayor of Memphis, and he’s willing to do just about anything to make that happen – including taking on a temporary wife.

Luana Berry is a 25 year old senior in college. All she’s had for most of her life to rely on is her brother, Lucas, and for the most part she’s been okay with that. When Lucas needs her help, Luana’s natural reaction is to do all she can to help her brother – even if that means being Jaxon’s temporary wife.

When Jaxon and Luana first meet they put up no effort to deny their attraction to each other, but neither of them have any plans of being in a real relationship any time soon. After they are forced into their fake relationship Luana’s attraction for Jaxon quickly turns into disdain while Jaxon’s attraction for Luana deepens. Even still, he refuses to allow love or anything else to pull his focus from his campaign.

As they force themselves to show each other love, they begin to realize their true feelings for each other. Neither of the two deny them, but neither of them want to be inconvenienced by love either.

So, by the end of their journey together it becomes a matter of priority. A matter of trust. A matter of vulnerability. A matter of simply saying, “I love you, and I want to be with you.” A simple statement indeed, but for two people who have sworn off love for the time being that statement is buried deep in the recesses of their hearts and minds – having no intentions of erupting. Ever. Even if their newfound love is on the line.

Synopsis –

Luana Berry’s plate is full. Not only is she juggling two jobs and an internship, but she’s doing so while maintaining a 3.8 GPA at the most expensive private school in Memphis, TN. Just a few months away from being the first college graduate in her family, Luana plans to continue her education and become a Lawyer. There’s just one thing standing in the way of her dreams – her brother, Lucas Berry.

Jaxon Jeffries’ plate is full. Not only does he have his own investment firm, but he’s also on the city council and running for mayor. When his parents suggest that he take a wife to soften his image and show his loving, compassionate side to voters, Jaxon is against it – until he saves Lucas Berry in exchange for the chance to have his sister Luana.

With Lucas being the reason Luana had the opportunity to even attend college, she feels obligated to help her brother during his time of need. So much so that when the choice is his freedom or her singleness she agrees to stand by Jaxon’s side as his wife.

Jaxon and Luana have one goal – to prove to the world that they love each other before election day. Neither desire real love, especially from each other, but the more time they spend together the more they realize love is no respecter of persons, time, deals and enemies made, or hearts that intend to be saved.

Prepare to watch these two fight themselves and their feelings 8.1.17 ❤

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Allow me to introduce myself :)

Allow me to introduce myself :)

Hey, Beloved!

With my rebrand underway I realized I never really introduced myself. Can I do so now? If you don’t mind, I’d like to meet you back here again Wednesday to introduce you to my next set of characters.

First, B.

Where should I begin?

I started writing at the age of 12. Music. Poetry at 14. Back to music at 16. My first novel at 18. When I first started reading for pleasure it was Urban / street lit. As I grew older I switched to AA romance. The first novel I completed was urban. I would switch from urban to drama over the years. I actually didn’t grow to love writing romance until 25.

My first published series was urban romance in 2015. Since then, I’ve dabbled in numerous genres – urban, urban romance, contemporary romance, Christian romance, drama and nonfiction. I guess I started writing romance because it was what I was missing in my life. It was my way of breathing love into my life through my characters.

Now, that’s the only thing I ever want to write.

Feel good soul snatching romance.

Starting in August I will only be writing contemporary romance with nonfiction novels here and there.

I’ve become fully aware of the power I have through my writing, and I want to be known for spreading love and empowerment to everyone that connects to me through my writing.

August 1st I’m dropping the first novel for my rebrand, and it really feels like my first release all over again. There’s so much weight behind this one because it’s the start of my new identity. My new focus in my writing. My new style of writing. I’ve always been known for my messages of self-love, Godly love, unconditional love… just love 🙂 and womanhood! Those themes will still be in my writing of course, but from this point forward there will be less emphasis on plots and storylines and more emphasis on internal conflict and breakthrough.

Does that mean I’m not going to send you on a whirlwind ride with plots that are unique and creative and storylines that keep you engaged? Not at all. That’s simply not going to be my main focus. My main focus is going to be my characters, their love and their growth.

First up will be Jaxon Jeffries and Luana Berry.

Their book comes out 8.1.17.

Meet me back here Wednesday to get a glimpse into their lives 🙂

Until next time,

Love, B.

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People who love themselves know that it’s okay to love others from a distance.

People who love themselves know that it’s okay to love others from a distance.

I already know that this blog is going to ruffle a few feathers because I’m choosing to discuss a topic that involves a great deal of emotion, love, misconceptions of love, lust and trends.

For a while now, I haven’t watched ANY reality shows. Basketball wives. Love and hip hop. Bad girls club. Does that even still come on? Either way, I haven’t watched any of those shows in a good while. The reason why I haven’t watched those things in a while is that I understand that what women see and hear we internalize as reality. We are adapters. We are compassionate creatures for the most part who not only nurture how we feel, but we try to feel how others feel to show them compassion. We are wired to take how others feel deeply into our souls… as our reality in that moment.

It’s how we connect with people.

When I realized this, I understood how much weight I had as an author. I understood that I was feeding the minds of thousands of people. What was I feeding them? Something healthy and life-giving? Something entertaining, good for their taste but bad for their souls? A mixture of both?

With our thoughts shaping our realities, it’s extremely important to focus more on loving, positive images, things, music, movies, and books… because what you focus on MOST your brain feeds you MOST. If you spend a lot of time focusing on negativity and lying and cheating your brain will think that’s a priority to you. It will take that as your reality. It will zero in on those things, and filter out positive, loving and faithful images.

Don’t believe me? Look it up. Look up the reticular activating system.

Now, does this knowledge mean that I don’t occasionally read ratchet books and listen to trap music and things that I know I shouldn’t be indulging in? Nope! I do! But that’s not what I consistently feed myself hours at a time on a daily basis.

Okay, so what does this have to do with anything, B? – Is that what you’re asking me right now? Well, with me being aware of how important it is to monitor what I GIVE AND TAKE from the world with my writing and the shows I watch and books I read, I also realized the same goes for our relationships.

My ( As in this is my personal opinion, not law, and you don’t have to agree 🙂 ) gripe with reality shows these days is that they glorify a lot of unhealthy and toxic things in relationships. Yes, I know that people like to watch these shows because they are entertaining and relatable, but the problem with consistently seeing women being lied to, cheated on, disrespected, and played is that… for a woman who isn’t aware of the power of what she’s feeding her mind… she can think this is reality. She can find herself in a position in HER reality where SHE’S being lied to and cheated on and think THAT’S OKAY.

Beloved, that’s NEVER okay. If you genuinely want love, marriage, babies and happiness it is NOT OKAY to settle for a man that doesn’t value you enough to be faithful to you. If all you want is a casual fling with no commitment do your thing. But for those of you who have a heart for something more… do not set yourself up like that.

You set the standard for how people treat you. Whether or not they love you. Whether or not they respect you.

Now we get to the point of this blog.

A lot of my exes have been popping up randomly lately. Well, I thought it was random, but I soon realized God is showing me what he has kept me from over the years. He’s preparing me for my husband. My future.

With one of my exes, I KNEW that he was seeing someone else, but I was so DESPERATE for love, affection and attention that I LOWERED my standards and ALLOWED him to disrespect me. I couldn’t play the victim or express my hurt because I knew about her. I knew I wasn’t the only one. He was never going to be faithful to me because I accepted his infidelity. He wasn’t respecting me because I wasn’t respecting myself.

And if I am to be totally honest, I didn’t completely love him. I loved a few things about him. I loved the potential of what I could’ve had with him. I loved the idea of being loved by and loving him. So much so that I stayed with him when I found out about her. And that, beloved, was the worst mistake I could’ve made.

If you give a man the world for free he will never pay for it.

When I put myself in that position of accepting his BS, that was all he cared to ever give me. I knew in my mind that I needed to leave, but my heart caused me to stay. Because of that, my heart is what suffered the most pain. I stayed for months… hurting more and more with each passing day. Experiencing more and more paranoia, mistrust, shame. Finally, I grew so empty that I literally had nothing else to give. He was giving me nothing in return, and I was so freaking drained.

And you know the crazy thing that happened? The second I cut all ties with him and started loving and respecting myself HE came back to ME.

I increased his demand of me by limiting his supply of me.

By this point, though, I was so aware of his lack of love and respect for me that I no longer wanted to be involved with him. Did I love him? Yes. Did I want him? Yes. Was it hard letting him go? Yes. But was I WORTH IT? Heck yes. He came back to me. I regained power over my heat and emotions and he came back to me. But when I remembered my worth and what I deserved I no longer wanted him.

Beloved, it’s okay to want to love and be in relationships and all of that. It’s NEVER wrong to want to be loved. What becomes a problem is how we pursue that love, or who we give that chance to.

I would much rather be single and not date while I wait for the man that’s going to treat me right, than to stay with a man who isn’t for me causing me hurt and disappointment for the sake of having a body next to me. ESPECIALLY if we’re not married, in business together or have children together. Like, what are you keeping yourself tied to this man for, sis? Seriously.

It is always when I let a man go and decide to love him from a distance that I see him for who he really is. By the time he realizes what he had in me and wants to ‘do right by me’ I’m back in my right mind enough to cancel that. All I’m saying is, yes, with brotherly love we MUST give it freely expecting nothing in return. But in relationships, if you give freely without receiving anything but lies, disrespect, cheating, abuse, paranoia and insecurity in exchange that’s not healthy, beloved.

People who love themselves know that they must love themselves first. They know that love from the opposite sex is a gift that should be the overflow of love in their lives… not the only source. They know that they should be their first priority. That their well-being needs to be what drives their relational choices. That it’s okay to love someone from a distance if they aren’t loving them and giving them what they need and deserve. That’s it’s okay to be FRIENDS. To give people time to GROW. Remember, while God was working on Eve, Adam was asleep. If you meet your Adam and awaken him before the both of you are ready you may have some problems that could’ve been avoided had you waited. I’m not saving every man is going to love you perfectly, but you know what you want, need and deserve. No man is going to give that to you if he’s not ready or if you settle for less.

Take account of what you’re giving and receiving in that relationship. Is it really him/her that you love… or the idea of them and love? If you don’t remember anything else I say remember this; you set the standard for how people treat you. If you’re constantly being done wrong it’s time to stop placing the blame on them and look at you. Look at the way you treat you. Look at what you’re accepting and settling for. If they aren’t treating you right… they need to be left.

Until next time,

Love, B.

sls0