Tag Archives: death to self

When Marriage Became More Than Paper to Me – Part 1

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The fairy tales that ended with “and they lived happily ever after,” represented some sort of cruel, sick joke to me once I reached my late teenage years.  All around me, and I mean in the tabloids and media, I was seeing people getting divorced for reasons varying from “falling out of love,” financial gain/loss, just not in agreement, and finally infidelity, that I truly didn’t see the point of why two people would even want to commit themselves to each other.

I saw it as a way to further muffle the woman’s voice, who was supposed to be helpless, unassuming, and a domestic demi-goddess to be able to look good and handle the household without complaining.  And since there were always several kids in this kind of family, she was always ready to have sex because she wanted more and more kids. If she was called “self-sacrificing,” that meant she was a martyr that was everything to everyone, whenever and however they needed her.

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I saw it this way until I wanted a relationship.

In the deep abyss of my mind, I, at least, knew the concept of marriage meant a vow to be with the other person for rest of each other’s lives;  to have each other’s backs, and as much as I opposed marriage, I wanted someone to want to vow to be with me for the rest our lives.

As crazy and as wild as my life was, one thing stood true – as I kept chasing after unconditional love in all the wrong places and the wrong people, I really didn’t know how to give the kind of love I wanted, because I didn’t know how to receive it.

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I don’t mean this in other people, because yes, there were some wrong choices there, but there were also some great people out there who cared deeply for me. (That didn’t mean they were “the one”).

In fact, I remember qualifying candidates as “the one” because we got along great and they seemed nice, but until I realized me own pattern, within 3 months, we hit turmoil and usually quickly it was over.

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No, when I say I didn’t know how to receive it, I mean, in a Higher Power kind of way.  (Now before I lose you, let me explain!)

I knew there existed a Higher Power who ‘loved’ me, but in this world, I felt I had to fend for myself.  I had to make a way for myself, provide for myself (even when I was sleeping in my car and eating mayo/sprouts sandwiches), and I definitely had to figure out who can love and accept me with all my imperfections, and many a night I spent in the arms of a new lover trying to find it.  However, I was still quietly suffering from bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. I was raped several times.  I compromised my own dignity in order to have a relationship, more than once. And although I wanted this ‘imaginary perfect person,’ my own measuring stick of qualifying candidates ranged from making excuses for them (saying things like, ‘who am I to judge?’) to they better love me, warts and all – but be easy for me to love.

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Somewhere in there, in my search, I bypassed all the people who were telling me what I should do and I decided to delve further into my knowledge of God – mind you though, that was by happenstance because really I had just prayed, “Ok, God, I have nothing to show for my life, so you can take it now!” (which, by the way means something totally and wonderfully different to God, I believe!) Without meaning to, after being graced with “cords of human kindness,” who wanted to help me without return of favor but out of sheer joy and even protected my dignity, who extended help without my having to perform or just be “on,” but because it was it was on their hearts, really, it was too much for me during this humbling time.  I even prayed that God stop it because I didn’t know how to handle “so much love,” I prayed.  These were people who first showed a love that was one of respect and integrity.  The romantic love had to be on hold during this time, because honestly, I was a mess and still didn’t understand or recognize a love that meant respect for another being in a selfless way. More than that, I didn’t know why anyone would want to do things for the sheer joy of helping someone else.  I was still doing things for others because 1.) It made me feel good in a way where I was a good person to help someone else, meaning that eventually, I would be thanked or recognized in some way – if even cosmically; 2.) I felt I had to and with everyone being a part of a charity, not only could I get a tax break, but be called a philanthropist and 3.) somewhere in me I felt I should do it.  But more times than not, I never intentionally went out of my way to help or love others. And once I became a Christian, Heaven help those that didn’t ‘agree’ with my understanding of God. Regardless, I had enough problems of my own, and didn’t want to involve myself with others – yet, I still wanted a relationship.

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So, in reflecting how marriage became more to me, I believe it came somewhat in this order:

1.) I had to understand the type of Love I wanted – even more than that, the Source, and who really set the standard of the type of Love I yearned for;

2.) I had to demonstrate that love in a way where I did not expect to have it reciprocal, but because I was willing to do so for the sheer joy of it;

3.) I had to learn about boundaries – mine and others, and learn how to respect those.

4.) I had to be open to the concept of forever be forgiving of others and take responsibility without feeling shame when I asked for forgiveness

5.) I studied again the dictionary definition of the word ‘love’ and what the biblical standard of ‘Love’ if, and than set out to see if I could see it demonstrated on a consistent basis between two people who professed their love for each other.

Let me just add, I DID see it! I saw so many husbands loving their wives, while still being ‘men,’ and fathers to their children. I saw their wives stand majestically beside them, respecting them and encouraging them.  I saw it over and over again. I saw how when they were apart from each other, that wasn’t their time to rip apart their spouse and complain of their spouse’s shortcomings. I saw the mutual respect they had for each other to strengthen each other.  I saw them show respect for the vows they made to each other and before God. I witnessed them growing together in their walks with God to impact and encourage others.  Their children were polite and loving.  Trust me, for a moment I thought I was in a bizarro world, but it was right there in Los Angeles – of all places, and then again in Franklin, Tennessee.  Only because I saw it over and again did I believe it was achievable. So I made up my mind that I was going to have that.

(to be continued) – Forcing My Dreams of Marriage to Match My Vision – Part 2

Hugs, Peace, and truly love,

Arikah, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking (www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking)

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Can you relate to this apology video?

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When You’re All Prayed Out for Finding a Spouse

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Lisa* (name changed), a single woman in her mid- 40s, attends church regularly.  She knows and calls on God being her all.  She attends single’s events and women’s events, gets along well with her co-workers – even known in the office as the “one to ask when you need prayers.”   She’s been on several dates in the past that never worked out but had always prayed for a husband and children that came from her own womb to love and call her own.  She’d been walking the conservative life as a Christian for over 20 years and even though she knows things are in God’s timing, there is a tiny part in her that believes that she has to pray a certain way or learn a certain thing before God gives her the husband she’d been asking for.  All this is done while keeping her distance from being approached for fear of “falling” for the wrong guy or getting involved too quickly. A first time “coffee date” involves an interrogation for why he may not be the one or if he could be one – which she mistakenly and innocently disguises as conversation.

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Peter* (name changed), in his late 40s, has been out with many Christian women and tried many times, without realizing it, to be the guy that could fit each potential woman’s life in case she was “the one.”  He even was engaged a couple of times. He had been telling God repeatedly he was ready for a wife and believed that God answers prayers, but each time he would consider a woman to be even his girlfriend, the woman would usually end it.  He would hear, “You’re too much of a good guy, I guess part of me wants a bit of a bad boy.”  He then believed that the answer, slapping him in the face, was that 1.) he must become a jerk to even get a dating relationship because Christian women want that now, and 2.) God doesn’t answer prayers for a spouse.

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THE NUMBER ONE reason for romantic problems…

Who’s guiding you?

In my business, I come in contact with many people in all walks in life – believers and nonbelievers, and on a grand scale, I try to reach out to all and speak about something everyone wants – unconditional love, acceptance, and to be understood. The most surprising thing is that there are more Christians who truly struggle with the journey of receiving the desires of their heart, especially in regards to finding a spouse.  Many think it has to come in a formula prayer or life-point, while slowly building resentment, or depression and grief, or bitterness and even pride in their hearts towards God and give up on prayers being answered.  Many cry out in deep agony outwardly and internally to God but after months and years they begin to doubt. Pride, at this point, has taken its toll and either the person takes matters into their own hands to make things happen, saying they don’t need God to make things happen in their lives (think Sarah, Abraham’s wife when she was promised a son, and because it was taking too long, took matters into her own hands. A move that still affects today and why there is war in the Middle East) to swinging in the absolute opposite side of the pendulum and subconsciously hide, making it impossible to meet possible candidates (think Moses’ attitude in Exodus 4: 1-24)

I’ve been asked many times what qualifies me in this profession.  How would I know the relationships would last? How would I know the two were meant for each other?

While nothing in this world is guaranteed, there are no apologies for believers yielding humbling themselves to the actual need of the Power, Grace, and Direction of God.  The Proverbs are filled with the importance of wisdom and discernment and even gives important and life-altering information on how to find and keep a spouse.  Many times, it is very easy in the Christian world to intellectualize the need for Jesus’ Power, but our hearts do not believe.

But here is something I want to leave you with: when you are all prayed out, let it go and believe.  The hardest part about prayer is the actually believing that it is being answered.

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And if you don’t know His character perhaps that should be your focus, instead of trying in vain to improve yourself and judge others?

Why would God, who makes no apologies for being vehemently passionate about preserving the sanctity of the marital covenant, why would He be lackadaisical – impasse, even when it comes to ensuring strong marriages are created?  With our vows being committed to HIM, as God being the third cord and glue to bond and hold the marriage, why would He not answer prayers?

“You don’t get because you don’t ask God. When you do ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:2-3.

This can be applied in all circumstances.

“…Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, you words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” – Gabriel to Daniel, Daniel 10:12-13.

Let go and believe.

Humble yourself and active aligned yourself with your Maker so to be a part of His plan.

Repent of the pride that may be subtly building.  Ask God to search your heart and make clear to you any pride that may have taken root.  Ask others around you (the wise has many advisors) who can be honest with you what is apparent about your persona involving your singleness.  And allow a date to just be a date to be encouraged and to encourage another without qualifying the person as a spouse too soon.

I pray with you.  I pray for you.  Part of the matchmaking with my clients, is being an objective party both candidates can confide in and pray.  The goal of the company is NOT simply to matchmake for the sake of doing it, but to do it right, with setting God as the actually compass in connecting the pair.  Clients, if anything, learn about themselves, past choices and why they made the choices, which serve as a break in the walls that had been built up from repeated heartaches.

I want to hear from you.  Go to the facebook page to stay posted and encouraged. Apply for assistance in finding your love here. 

Love and peace,

S. Arikah Baly-Jensen, founder of Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking

Like Attracts Like vs. Opposites Attract

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I wasn’t exactly sure which of the topics to choose as February proved to be a very busy month for me, I think it’s best to continue to talk about developing a healthy relationship.

After speaking with a few clients, a common thread I came across often was being asked the questions about being attracted to an “opposite” person versus finding someone who “too much like them.”

“Should I find someone who is unlike me?”

“Maybe we’re too much alike and won’t get along.”

In all fairness, though, it’s important to know what IS your opposite.

It’s also important to keep in mind that ‘opposites that attract,’ on a deep core level, never guarantee that they will stay together.

I usually answer this question by describing to them, that those that share the same core values – down to how they believe communication between them as a couple should be conducted – is one that promises a lasting, thriving relationship.

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Only on a superficial level. That’s it…
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I know this is Aluna George, I just thought the pic was fitting.

It’s common to find relationships that start with frustration occur because one is ‘healthy’ (in terms of giving and receiving love) and the other is lost, confused, and toxic – but is attractive or alluring enough to convince the healthy person that they are capable of love (which usually only amounts to carnal, erotic lust).

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However, I am seeing more of a trend with singles – Christian and otherwise – who are desperately looking for love, so much so that they don’t even realize they’ve lost the joy of just dating.  I reminded one of my clients that interrogating a date on the first two dates is too soon to put them in the category as a prospect.  Until that person has proven themselves – in the little things you’ve noticed (when they don’t know you’re watching – but not staring) those things that you truly admire, relate to, understand, and allows for a safe, trusting atmosphere where both of you can be vulnerable, open and intimate with before sex is brought into the picture, then and only then will you understand and be grateful that like attracts like.  Does that makes sense?  You will attract the best version of yourself.  If you are attracted to bad boys, and by bad, I mean the philanderer, the one with rage, abusive, disrespectful – if that is your cup of tea, understand what you are reflecting is also toxic, and you will never change him.

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If you’re attracted the women who seem like they are the ‘damsel in distress’ (pretty much victim-minded), you will find that you will be in competition with herself and her reasoning as to why she doesn’t deserve you, how she likes the bad boys, and how not only how she has done many things, but more than that, how many people have tortured her.  I’m not in any way belittling anyone who has been victimized and hurt by the actions of others, I’m simply saying that those same women are not for you because they are not at their best self.  And regardless of what they say, if this describes them, they will never fully reach their best self in a relationship.  Is that the opposite you’re referring to? I had to remind another inquirer that, until she can appreciate the love he was wanting and ready to give, she hasn’t earned the place in his heart to be wondering if she is the one and asking what he should do.

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I know that no one wants to be alone.  I think, however, many times people make up excuses to be with the ‘wrong for them person that they don’t realize at the time’ just to fulfill sexual desires and cover the void they may feel, and so these ‘opposites attract’ sayings give rise.  It’s only after the person is hurt deeply from their choices that they finally understand that maybe they should rethink that saying.

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THIS is the ONLY TRUE time when like does not attract like

Remember these points to find your “like”

  1. RELAX – You’ll never really know if you two are in sync until you realize to just allow a date to just be a date. Don’t be quick to qualify the person.
  2. Smile.
  3. Start small conversation with others
  4. GO OUT.  If it’s to the park, a coffee shop, the library, anywhere there is people,
  5. Be intentional to at least try to converse and compliment two people of the opposite gender (regardless your preference). This will get you out of your shell and go beyond ‘just prowling’ or waiting to be picked up.
  6. Practice asking people out for a quick lunch or coffee
  7. DO NOT SINGLE OUT ANY ONE PERSON as THE one until
    1. You are able to do something that would guard their heart from being hurt from rushing too quickly into a relationship with you, i.e. if you go out on dates and you know the other does not be honest and share in the beginning.
    2. It is absolutely apparent not only to you on a deep gut level but this person has openly shared they want to exclusively be with you.
  8. Before moving on to the exclusivity, it is DIRELY recommended that both of you take a ‘Dating Gauge’ type test.  I offer this service to clients where both take a confidential compatibility date to make sure both of you have the same goals and intentions for the relationship.  I cannot stress enough how much this has helped from potential disasters from happening.   Email anyone on staff at two.hearts2share@gmail.com or me personally at arikahnash@gmail.com.  “Like” us at http://www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking

Happy Dating!!!!

Love and Peace,

S. Arikah Nash Baly-Jensen, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking and Two Ships

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When We Give Up What We Want Most, For What We Want Now

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In the above picture, it could be said that this would an ideal situation.  Some even try to picture themselves as characters in a movie scene and claim if the above scenario happened to them, they would be never have to be single again, because this is how love looks feeding and satisfying the passionate desires felt by both towards each other. The handsome man; the sexy woman – it’s what keeps romance novels and modern day tv show ratings high.

As I was flipping through the tv stations, I happened to catch words from a poignant preacher, Steven Furtick, (#deathtoself) that actually made me reach for my pen to take notes, some as reminders, some as hearing for the first time. I wanted to share them in terms of dating, commitment, and marriages.

  1. What good is it to gain the whole world (in this case – have a serious relationship) just to lose yourself?  –  What good is it to get the blessing of a relationship (or “your prayers” or search efforts answered), just to be in a relationship where you are compromising yourself, pretending to be someone you are not, constantly arguing and disagreeing, being disrespected, or bringing out the worst in you.

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    If you’ve never experienced a type of healthy love where you do not have to “perform” to keep the other person, you won’t be able to recognize, or accept that love when it comes your way.
  2. Have you discovered that you get what you don’t want in a relationship?
  3. God CANNOT bless who you are pretending to be.  If you are not being yourself, but try to emulate other people’s actions to get what you want, that is NOT you – the true you who you were created to be i.e. bed-hopping or premarital sex in dating relationships in search for “love,”  talking, behaving a certain way in order to have a relationship, or (if you are already in a relationship), lying, deceit.
  4. Sometimes we give up what we want the most, just to have what we want now.  –   What we want is true love, to be with someone who “gets” us, someone we can find and call ‘home.’   As that takes time truly getting to know yourself and the standards for defining a healthy relationship (and where you fall in adopting these standards for yourself) and then the other person. Is it possible to tweak your thinking in believing that you truly do attract (and respond to) what you BELIEVE.  If you say you want someone to respect, love and adore you, but you do not carry yourself in a way that is respectful, or you falling for every pretty face or smooth talker out there, how close to finding AND RECOGNIZING that person are you?   537922_4187773408416_137829

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Isn’t it getting tiring filing through superficial “flirts?”  Have you become desensitized yet?  Wouldn’t it be better to actually get what you want, because the relationship was meant for you? images (36)

If you have an online dating account and don’t have time to cut through the clutter, contact us at http://www.twoheartsoffline.com/#!online-cupid/c24rs.  If you choose to have one of our Cupids Help you, you will receive a discount.

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