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  • WRITE – Priority is Not a Bad Word

    When someone tells you they are too “busy” … It’s not a reflection of their schedule; it’s a reflection of YOUR spot on their schedule. – Dr. Steve Maraboli.

    Everyone is so busy these days. We’re all bustling, hustling, and trying to get our piece of the pie. But one of the things that has grown to annoy me is people are constantly talking about how busy they are. And not in a way where there are literally just explaining like “oh this is a busy time in my life,” but they almost spit it in this way that makes you feel stupid for even asking them something or to do something or be a part of something.  

    Bottom line, Dr. Maraboli is over here dealing that truth. Think about scenarios when you tell people you’re too busy for something and evaluate whether you could replace it with, “It’s not a priority right now.” I just recently was asked about hosting a game night and said “Oh yeah we’re just so busy right now.” When in all actuality game night is simply not a priority with the other things I have going on, because I still have some down time that could be utilized for game night if I chose to.

    Prioritizing is not a bad word. Heck it is a method of survival with all that we have going on in our lives these days. It’s an essential tool and I would say that people may be a lot less offended by explaining something is not a priority than we think. Clearly we have to put things in some type of order or else our brains would explode.

    But with that, many people still have trouble figuring out what’s important and what should come first or second. But you have to learn this skill. Often men have trouble prioritizing their personal life with business. And vice versa sometimes women let their personal lives take too much time away from their endeavors.

    We will never be productive in anything, personal or professional by just being busy. It’s a silly word. It’s a filler word. It’s a word that doesn’t really explain or mean anything. To be just busy means you have a lot to do or that you’re occupied. But are you productive? Are you getting anywhere? Are you making your preoccupation count towards your ultimate goals?

    I would encourage many of us to stop being busy and continue prioritizing in a way that will get us to our dreams, goals and aspirations. If you want to start a business, it may help to start by clearing your debt. If you want to get married it may help to put that at the top of the list. If you want a promotion it may help to stop wasting time on social media.

    Life is constantly organizing things so that we can be fruitful and achieve things or it’s NOT. Like there are some people terrible at prioritizing and their lives reflect that. Evaluate what’s important to you and if the steps to cultivate or get to those things that are important to you aren’t at the top of your priorities, my friend you are busy, but getting absolutely nowhere. 

  • Dear Love – When We Can’t Forgive Others for the Same Things We’ve Done

    This was actually brought up in an Instagram post. Why can’t we forgive others for things we ourselves have done? And I honestly couldn’t come up with a better answer other than selfishness. It’s the only answer that even seemingly made sense. When we can’t forgive someone for something we ourselves have done, it’s unreasonable really.

    But that’s the bigger issue with forgiveness and how it really works. The fact of the matter is the whole concept of forgiveness is releasing others so that we ourselves can be released. Well in a God sense. God forgives us constantly for the silly things that we do. Our disobedience, our disbelief, our lack of faith, all of it. So again, he is our example of how we should forgive those that we love as well.

    Now, sometimes forgiving someone doesn’t mean that they continue to hold the same place in our heart. But again, it means being able to treat them as if their initial offense never happened.

    And really when it comes to something we have done before, it’s also our ego that won’t allow us to forgive the other person. We think that it’s okay for us to offend but not for anyone else to do the same. I mean we see it all the time in relationships. We’re angry because the other person didn’t answer our first call. Yet when we leave our phone in the other room and they are calling to no avail, we want them to understand that clearly, we just didn’t have the opportunity to get to their call.

    The fact of the matter is that we always know our own intentions. But we can only trust that we know the intentions of those that we’re in relationship with. The things that we have done that may not have been as favorable, we tend to base on our intent. While the things that others do that are less favorable we base on the actions. And that’s a trip. It’s hard to give others the same benefit of the doubt we give ourselves. It’s almost human nature.

    So really we have to be able to sacrifice our flesh and tap into our spirit in order to keep these types of things in perspective in relationships. The same way that you may not have realized you were being inconsiderate or that you may have seemed flirty in that conversation with someone of the opposite sex, we have to give our significant others that same benefit of the doubt. And it’s scary and it leaves room for us to be taken advantage of or taken for granted at times, but sometimes loving someone, I realize is the biggest risk in life we take. But I continue to believe it’s worth it. 

  • WRITE – Light Girls Documentary

    Although there have been a multitude of opinion pieces covering the Light Girls documentary that recently aired on OWN, I felt the need to indulge. I began my social campaign Bold, Brown & Beautiful with events based on the Dark Girls documentary, so I couldn’t just let this slide I guess. With the BBB Series, I was fueled to create something inclusive as I grew weary of the focus on our differences as opposed to the similarities in the struggles with inadequacy that we all face.

    So here we are again. And before I even saw the documentary, I was just shocked by some of the think pieces that I read about it. There seemed to be a lot of “Woe is me for the light girls” and “Oh they just blamed dark women for picking on them,” etc. All and all just being very telling of the ignorance that still rears its ugly head. Here we are asking the public to be sensitive to the plight of darker skinned women, but a light skinned woman’s experience is trivialized.

    In either case there were just a few things that stuck out to me about the documentary but I first figured I’d mention a little about my experience as a light skin person. First and foremost, most of my family are varying shades of brown, so like one of the young ladies mentioned in the film “You don’t know you’re different until others point out that you are.” I never cared that I was light, it was other people that seemed to be so bent on it. And yes I did always get that I was stuck up or thought I was better when I was just a regular person living in my skin.

    I am not ignorant to the fact that there are some people in this world that are more comfortable with light skin black people, but I’ve never had a man tell me he wanted me because I was light skin. Nor have I ever felt that I was given a particular opportunity because I was light. Not saying it couldn’t have been true, but I have always felt very confident in my intelligence and charisma that I feel has helped me gain a lot of the things that I’ve worked for. I am only responsible for my own ignorance not those of others. Shame on them if that’s what made them pick me because quite frankly, that is stupid.

    But nonetheless, I’m not scarred from being light. I was called names by family and strangers and picked on, but who isn’t? Find me a person light or dark who didn’t have cruel things said about them? Whether it is skin color, or wearing glasses, or being awkward or any other thing else that as a child you really have no control over. And yes there is tons of systematic racism, and plight against black period. Black people. All of us.

    But in either case that’s just my spiel because no one asked me to be in the film. Ha! So what were some things that stuck out to me?

    1. Men on Women Segment – In both of these documentaries they found some of the most ignorant men that can’t possibly exist in real life. Or actually say the things they said out loud in real life. Yes sometimes men have these ideals and sometimes honestly they don’t even know the history behind why they feel that way. But as women, why should we leave them in their ignorance if there is an opportunity to teach about some of the conditioning that may make them feel whatever type of way about dark brown or light women. What about the light women who adore brown men? Sometimes that’s the case too. As I raise my hand. Love brown-chocolate men. J
    2. Violence on Light Women? – What? Like really? There is violence against women period. I never felt like walking down the street it mattered if I was light, dark or indifferent. Men in the hood holler at and harass any and every thing that walks past. I’m not sure why that was made into some type of light issue. That’s a woman issue.
    3. Light Vs. Biracial – It seemed like there was a lot of focus on light women being mixed. Like okay clearly somewhere along the lines blood lines things may have been mixed. But I have two black parents. I’m black. End of story. I felt like the documentary marginalized light women outside of the black community. Like come on bruh, some of us are just light and black.
    4. Can We Just Co-Exist? – So much of the commentary surrounding the film was so angry about light skin women talking about their BLACK experience. How does a light girl’s experience take away from the experience of those that are darker? Why can’t all the stories be told? Why can’t White people talk about their experience with race? See where I’m going with that?
    5. Where do light girls with kinky hair fall? Cause I keep hearing this light with light eyes and wavy hair narrative. Do I get a pass for having nappy hair?
    6. Mixed Girls – Why should someone who is of mixed heritage have to say that they’re black to appease other black people? I am so for people acknowledging both of their parents. Why are we mad about that? Yes if the race war goes down, no one is going to care whose momma was white, but that does not warrant a person denying one of the two people that created them.

    The film was A LOT to try to take in. And the comedic parts felt really awkward with this seemingly serious topic being addressed. But at the end of watching it, I just felt like all this is THEE stupidest stuff EVER. Like wow, they really did a number all these years ago if we still care so much about tearing each other down over skin color. Yes it was different went being lighter meant the difference between possibly life or death, but NOW? JUST STOP IT. We have to come together, we have heal ourselves, and we have to define our own standards of beauty because no one else is going to do it for us.

    I hate to break the news, but women are insecure about a LOT of stuff. Period. We all experience moments of inadequacy, insecurity, lack of images in media, and simply trying to find our place in the world. We are in this together whether you want to hold your Dark Girl or Light Girl picket sign or not. We are all Black, let’s get over ourselves and realize that there are plenty of other races dealing with the light skin and dark skin thing. It’s up to us to decide that when we’ve had enough of letting others dictate our view on ourselves.  

  • WRITE – Hair Apologies

    It’s something I didn’t even realize I was doing. But it seems I’m conditioned. Conditioned to explain my hair to hair stylists. “Well it’s really thick, it's kinky and it takes a really long time to dry.” It wasn’t until my most recent hair salon experience that the stylist said, “You don’t have to explain, you have great hair.”

    But I realized exactly where it was coming from. I’ve been natural since 2008. In my own cocoon of the Chop Shop on Temple’s campus where I first began to cultivate my natural curls, it wasn’t such a big deal. So many girls I knew at the time were going natural and my stylist there, Diane was so patient and understanding of the maintenance of kinky black girl hair. It was going outside of that bubble that I realized I began to feel slightly self-conscious about my hair at salons.

    So many times I have heard “Whew you have a lot of hair,” “Whew this is a lot of work,” or “Man your hair takes a long time to dry.” So I became accustomed to having to say to someone beforehand, “Listen this is what you’re getting into. Ha! And I never thought twice about it. Even making sure to ask, “Is there any prep I need to do? My hair is natural.”

    I normally only go to the hair salon about once every three months to get my hair straightened and trimmed. So it’s not something constantly on my mind, because I am pretty DIY when it comes to my hair. However, it made me wonder, when exactly did black hair salons no longer cater to … black hair? Somewhere along the way, “natural” black hair became this subset where let’s be real, they charge a lot more than most other salons. I think I may have heard someone refer to it as the “black hair tax” before.

    Why exactly does being black with natural hair have to cost so much more and warrant a sense of shame at what used to be a place for us? Now weaves and relaxers are so much the norm, it feels at times like we’re some type of outcasts banished to YouTube tutorials.

    Now I am not trying to cry woe is me, but it was just a very interesting observation. Yes it is my choice to be natural and yes it does take me time to do it, but I figured that was based on me not being a professional, not necessarily because of my hair. The fact of the matter is, I am a versatile natural. I like to get my hair straightened and curled from time to time and I don’t always want to feel like some type of nuisance because of it. No my hair will not be trained straight because I clearly wanted to versatility that natural hair has to offer.

    At the end of the day, cool. If you think it is more work, charge me more. I guess I can accept that, kind of, but please keep any comments to yourself about how thick or tough the task before you is. Yes I am a black girl with a lot of hair and clearly there are many other black girls that want hair like mine because they resort to adding other people’s to make it look that way.

    I think in 2015, I’m deciding not to apologize for my hair to one more stylist. Over it. And how do we get these hair schools to teach students how to deal with hair that grows out of the people’s heads that they are catering to? 

  • Journey of a NB – Chasing After You

    It’s one of my favorite praise and worship songs by Tye Tribbett and G.A. Not only because of Aaron Camper’s amazing voice but also because it accurately describes where I feel like I am at this moment in my relationship with God. I feel like I am so desperately seeking Him and his ways because from the moment that I have gotten to know Him, my life has been so much better. And no not perfect, because if that’s what you expect, you’re delusional.

    But at the moment when you begin to actively seek God, I feel like that’s when things start to change. So often, we are waiting for God to come to us. Waiting for Him to wave the magic wand over our life, but we do nothing to actively seek Him or his word.

    Every January for the last few years, I’ve spent 21 days fasting. This time is always so awesome even though it really is a crazy sacrifice. That’s not to paint myself as this great follower of Christ who sacrifices. Believe me, I am not. But it really always is a challenge for me and forces me to spend more intimate time thinking about God and His ways.

    This time around, I wasn’t focused as much on the food that I was eating as much as putting aside some of the things that definitely take away from me being able to spend time with God. So this time around I was a lot more focused on taking a break from surfing through social media and to stop watching less than wholesome TV like Love and Hip Hop and anything Kardashian.

    What did I notice? That I waste a lot more time doing those things than I may have even realized. I just didn’t think it was that bad. But man, did I spend a good amount of time scrolling through various timelines. And with television, I just notice that those things put certain things in your head that you don’t even really know it does.

    Long story short, I have been a lot more productive over these last few weeks. Replacing those other pastimes with reading a novel, the bible, or listening to a sermon has made a major shift in my atmosphere. Very quickly things that seemed important for me to be in the know about don’t anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of advantages to social media, but sometimes I feel like we lose sight of what’s most important in our lives. And diligently and actively seeking God is one of those things for sure.

    You won’t be disappointed if you put some things aside to be in His presence. There’s no place like it and I believe that God smiles when we do. Don’t be passive about your faith. It takes work and it most certainly takes sacrificing things, friends, and maybe even opportunities. But what will await you on the other side is worth it. God’s peace, provision, and love is more than enough.

     

    Scriptures to Reference:

    “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

    "But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him eiyh sll your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:29

    "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me." Proverbs 8:17 

     

  • A Vow to Love - Love never fails

    People fail all the time. But I am so glad that love never fails. So often we confuse people’s actions with love. You have to be able to separate them. People are just people doing what people do. Sometimes lying, cheating, manipulating and the like. But true love, real love, God’s love will never fail and never end.

    Don’t mistake, we learn lessons in love all the time. We should be learning how to be more forgiving. We learn who to keep close to us and who to keep at bay. We learn what we want and what we don’t want. And sometimes yes that process really hurts and it really sucks. But if I can get you to understand something, it’s that you have to learn how to separate your emotions from the action of love. Not separate like you never feel them. But you can’t depend on them. You can’t react quickly from them. You have to take your time, evaluate your emotions, the origins, etc. and then properly analyze a situation. This is definitely an area I don’t have all the way together, but aren’t we all works in progress?

    Another way to look at this line is that love never ends. Now first and foremost God’s love never ends. Nothing, I repeat nothing can separate you from the love of God. Doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. God will always love you. And well the moment when you repent and turn your heart back towards Him, he’s so much more pleased. There were certain things that I couldn’t forgive myself for. I was having a very hard time. But as I began to get the revelation that God forgives me and that he loves me in spite of myself, I was able to walk in confidence in His love. That doesn’t mean that you go buck-wild and do whatever you want to do. When you love Him, you will want to please Him.

    Even in our regular relationships, there is this lingering love. It’s not so easy to just decide not to love someone anymore. When it is real, when you are invested, when you let down your walls, the feelings that loving that person gave you don’t just dissipate. But what you decide to do with those feelings, how you decide to move, all that is a choice. You can’t be afraid to love someone from afar. Essentially God does it all the time. We’re all His children, but not all of us acknowledge Him and his ways. So sometimes, God has to love us from afar and when we come back under his covering, well he blows the roof off much like the story of the prodigal son.

    Love will not fail. Love stories have been told from the beginning of time and will continue past the end of time. Jesus going to the cross for us is probably the greatest love story ever told. Now that you know so much about love, you can follow His example. What will you do with it? Will you continue to let people misuse you in the name of love? Will you continue to be afraid? Will you give it willingly or continue to make people work to earn it though you never had to and never could from God?

    We have a responsibility, not only to love those close to us or those that make us feel good, but to love everyone. Strangers, enemies, other women, other men. We harden our hearts so much. We judge of who is deserving, when none of us are. This series has been just as much for me as you. Even writing this I thought, wow there are certain people I need to release. But I am right here with you ready to take a vow. Ready to stop living in fear of losing love, ready to believe the best, ready to persevere and ready to be free.

    A Vow to Love

    I vow to love like God loves me. I will not be afraid, I will believe the best, I will hope, and I will persevere. I will love my enemies just like those who love me. I will not be selfish and I will forgive. I will seek truth, always and know that love is my decision, my choice.

  • A Vow to Love - It protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres

    I decided to leave these all together. This is my estimation is such a powerful statement about what love will always do. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

    Protects

    I don’t know about you, but I will go to hell and back for the people that I love. Even though I’m not big as a minute, the last thing you want to do is hurt someone I am close to. I am so sensitive about how other people treat those that I love. From my significant other to my family, I am certainly a protector.

    Love will protect. I will never understand how someone can claim to love you and not be willing to protect you. In protecting, you should have that person’s best interest at heart at all times. Sometimes those that protect us have to make tough decisions that we may not understand at the time. But ultimately when looking back you can see why they did. That goes for our parents, God, and sometimes friends.

    A person that loves you will not leave you to the wolves to be devoured. And they will not be wolves themselves in sheep’s clothing. They won’t abuse you or misuse you or mistreat you. We have to get to a point where alarms go off when people exhibit behavior that is clearly not rooted in God’s love.

    Trusts

    This one is a tough kicker. Even for myself. I am working really hard on being able to trust fully. Some of us are completely distrusting because of our pasts or upbringings and need a lot of work on being able to let someone in. But sometimes what I think can be even more dangerous is those of us who trust on the surface but in our minds will have doubts.

    Love always trusts, because when two people are following in God’s example of love, what would there be not to trust?  Yes we all make mistakes. It’s not to say that we’ll ever be perfect and never hurt someone or do something displeasing. But at the root of it, our partners, our family, our friends should be able to trust that at all times we have their best interest at heart.

    And yes that’s a lot to expect from a person but what really is the other option? The fact of the matter is, that’s kind of the gamble in love. You have to trust that this person’s love for you will be a major factor in the things that they try to do. Even when I think of myself, I am sure there are things I’ve done or said that could be displeasing to my partner. But never anything that would jeopardize what I have. I expect his trust because I know that I am not doing anything to hurt him intentionally. So in return I have to be able to give him that same benefit. And it’s really hard sometimes, but the only way that this thing really works.

    Hopes

    Hope is the evidence of our faith. When we know that God has our best interest at heart, we can hope for things both seen and unseen. That principle applies with love. Love will hope. Love will believe in the best. 

    Sometimes we are always expecting the worst of love. “This isn’t going to work,” “It’s only a matter of time.” But who taught you that? Not God. God has taught to hope in faith for great things. And yes we endure trials and hardships but that all is normally just God’s pruning. (John 15). That is him getting rid of the branches that don’t bear fruit so that the ones that do can prosper.

    We will find love, we will lose love, we will be tested in love, but we have to count it all joy and continue to hope. God knows the desires of our heart. And he wouldn’t have stressed the importance of love if he was never going to give it to you. It’s yours but you truly have to know how to identify it and it starts with knowing and accepting His love first and foremost.

    Perseveres

    To persevere is to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. Now don’t be fooled by the little to no prospect of success. That just means that in a world that tells you that everything is bad, that you have to know how to persevere with God at your side because he is always successful.

    What I want you to focus on is “even in the face of difficulty.” Stop thinking that loving someone, really loving someone is easy. With our selfish nature, it is not. But it is possible and just the possibility is enough. We will go through things with the folks that we love. From family, to boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, to our friends. We will experience things in this life that will bring adversity in our relationships. Get that revelation first. The movies we watch and the TV shows and social media are not depictive of real life situations.

    You have to see how love perseveres to believe it. You have to see couples, friends, family members come through hell and back and still be able to love one another in order to know what that love really means. Would any of us have gone to the cross for our loved ones? Well Jesus did, for us, because he loved us and that my friends is perseverance.

    That’s not to say that you’ll always go through terrible things in love. But you will go through some tough times. And if you have quitter in your blood, then this love thing just may not be for you. And I am never speaking on abusive situations. That is an ultimate deal breaker. But there is so much more that you go through in love that will test your faith. But all I can say is keep God close and in the midst and prepare yourself for battle. We have to fight for the love that we want. It will not always be easy, though there are times where there is no place in the world you’d rather be than in the midst of that love.

    ACTION ITEM: Write down five things that you are afraid of when it comes to loving someone. Pray over them. Face mentally the worst that can happen if those fears come to pass. Then tear up the paper and move with God’s protection over your life. He does not give us the spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) 

  • A Vow to Love - Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth

    Love hurts, I always hear people say. And I always have to take a step back from that and analyze it. This passage here to me tells me that love does not delight in evil so how can it hurt? I try to emphasize that most of us are ill-equipped in love. In that we hurt people because of being uneducated about how to properly love another person. All over. Parents don’t know how to love their children. Friends don’t know how to love their friends. Cycles repeat and the reality about what love encompasses gets distorted.

    In love, what can sometimes feel like hurt is dying to your flesh. That process is involved. That process takes discipline. Your flesh does not want to forgive, or believe the best, or put others before yourself. So we can often feel like that process hurts.

    What also happens is that people hurt other people in the name of love. But when you are well versed in God’s love, you know that’s just a façade. That’s not true love. That is the dirty, humanity of people who are by nature sinful. They may not have any good examples in love and so they move in a way of what they’ve known love to be, instead of what love really is.

    Love rejoices in truth. Goodness, kindness, all those things. And I know that at times it can seem impossible for love to embody all these traits, but again, love takes more than your humanly will. God’s strength in all things, including love is perfected in our weakness. What we don’t have the ability to do in our strength, God gives us the grace to do.

    Don’t let others, the world, television or anything else manipulate you in the name of love. Love believes in righteousness. So anything that people are trying to associate with love that is against God is not real. So it’s not love in God’s image when she is only entertaining you because of what you have. It’s not love when he or she is running around giving everyone the attention they should be giving you. It’s not love in God’s image if you’re supposed to be friends but everything this person says is tearing you down or they are envious of your life. It’s not love in God’s image when someone is physically or emotionally abusing you. It’s not love in God’s image when a person tries to hold you captive to the person that you used to be.

    Love does not delight in our sins. Love delights in our goodness, our transformation, our forgiveness. What can hurt is what the Holy Spirit is convicting us of. Sometimes love is showing us things that we need to change. Sometimes love is showing us whose not for us so that we can find the person that is. We can’t blame love for our bad decisions. Love lives in truth and sometimes we find it easier to lie about what love is because we are afraid of what it really takes to commit to it.

    ACTION ITEM: Take a relationship whether friend, family or significant other and compare it to the scripture. Does it hold up? I’m not asking is it perfect, because no relationship is perfect. But is it even close to what love in God’s image is really like? 

  • A Vow to Love - It keeps no record of wrongs

    It seems this principle is rooted in forgiveness. In order not to keep record of wrongs, you have to be willing to forgive. And with love it’s not always about the obvious things. Really it can sometimes be the small things that add up and turn into really ugly fights or arguments.

    Forgiveness, I think most of us have learned, is not just accepting an apology. When we truly forgive someone, we treat them as if the transgression never happened. That is the only way we know we have truly forgiven them. So I guess it’s fair to say that you have to develop a good dose of amnesia when it comes to healthy relationships as my mother once told me.

    Someone forgot to take out the trash, you were late picking up the kids from school, and she was ungrateful for something you did for her. These things happen constantly in all types of relationships. It’s when we don’t take the time to analyze them and keep piling them up that we begin to resent those that we are in relationship with.

    We can’t keep score. As hard as it is not to do. We can’t constantly think of all we’ve done in a relationship and discredit what the other brings to the table. Again “I, I, I” is a very dangerous mentality to have when it comes to truly loving one another. Yes most of us feel that we contribute the world in our relationships, but there is always more we can do. As dissatisfied as you may think you are maybe your partner is too.

    And this part is not easy. We build up walls, for sure. We can’t let things go, we become untrusting and the like. But in reality where does that get us? It doesn’t mean that you have to just take anything that comes your way in relationships. But it means that when you truly love someone, you’ll have an understanding that they will inevitably do some things that are displeasing to you and vice versa. But you have to continually be able to forgive one another and move on as it never happened.

    It may take time for sure. There are deep issues that reveal themselves in relationships. No one is saying that you will snap your finger and be able to forgive some of the crazy things we face with our partners. But love endures. It is not fragile. It’s tough and being in it for the long haul means humility and lots of forgiveness for each other.

    Throw the scorebook out. And hopefully if the other person in the relationship is just as receiving to the revelation of forgiveness as you are, you will have a long life of happiness ahead of you. Not perfection, but happiness.

    ACTION ITEM: Who have you hardened your heart to? Think about that person, pray for them and ask God for forgiveness. If you do not learn how to forgive others, how can God forgive you? We all fall short and life is too short. Forgive someone today.