Tag Archives: depression

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?

The dating app and interactive comedy sitcom, based on a true story – (mine and Bob’s) where you choose the adventures the couple must make, Is coming up and we need your participation! Like and get notifications on our Facebook page  and follow our Youtube channel, Love Support (to see an online dating submission video!).

To see the show previews, click here.

“I’m BAAAAACKK!” The Poltergeist You’re Holding Onto aka, the Ex

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Is your ex or your past attraction, haunting your thoughts with the hopes that they’ll come back?

Here’s some ways to get them back:

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  1. Channel ALL your thoughts on them during your waking moments and even in your dreams – provided that you get any sleep
  2. Allow their lack of contact or apathetic contact make you feel depressed.
  3. Get spiritual – prayer to make them come back you, séance, Ouija board, soothsayer, witchdoctors’ potions, any and everything you can think of
  4. Talk to all his/her friends, casually mentioning that you can’t go on without him/her – or that you’ve moved on, but wait for them to comment on how he/she really misses you.
  5. Look in the mirror and repeat that you are worthless and nothing without them.
  6. Fall into deep depression, with the hope that maybe they will telepathically pick up your feelings and knock on your door

It looks silly out on paper doesn’t it? If “experts” gave these tips for their clients, you’d definitely look for their credentials.  thCCJ0TT0B

But are you doing any of the above with the hopes that the person will “come to their senses” and come back to you?  Or maybe that someday they will realize what they missed when they were mistreating you or playing with your heart and that they will come back?

Here’s the question: would you really want them back? Would you want them to crawl back for the suffering they are putting you through?

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If your answer is anything other than move on, trust me, even if they do come back – it won’t work.  The only kind of change worth trusting comes from a DEEP Spiritual and personal relationship with Jesus, which allows inner growth, to understand that their views affect their actions towards themselves and with others – and that takes time – which is longer than 3 weeks.  Try 9 months to a full three years.  Any sooner will be like taking a cake out of the oven after putting it in the oven for 5 minutes.

Which brings me back to the question, what good is holding out for this person doing for you?

I recently suggested to one of my clients that he rid the number of the woman who clearly affected his emotions with her apathetic and/or lack of communication. The look on his face was equal if I told him he would receive a million dollar check if he were able to extract a live baby from his gut.  Even though this woman has given more than enough signals and flags that she is incapable of returning any type of affection to him, and that she could make or break his day with any form of attention she may or may not give, he made excuses as to why he needed to keep her number.  The root of matter was not that she had proven to him that she was a blessing and gift as a wife who could love him (which, his ultimate goal is to have a wife), he could only say that similar interests during deep conversation was the icing, but he was attracted to her, and (on a subconscious level) maybe she’d get that he is a great guy.

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My passion is that EVERYONE who claims Jesus as Lord (please know I am being inclusive to those who do not, but am specifically focusing on those who profess the goodness and power of God, but carry on as though He ignores their personal lives and hearts desires),

YOUR FAITH and CONFIDENCE in Him, will be MORE Successful than ANY attempts You may make on your own to reach your goal. Your willingness to say, “Lord, you guide my steps today and let me speak to those you want me to speak to, encourage those who need to hear from you, and guard and protect the chosen one you MAY have for me. And should my life not have someone at this time, allow me to be content in your will!”

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“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts

        to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good

        gifts to those who ask him!”  Matthew 7:11

        “Do you believe that I am able to this,” (said Jesus to the blind men who

        asked for healing)…According to your faith will it be done to you.”

Matthew 9: 28-29

By this, you won’t have to worry about saying the right thing to just anyone who may be single.  By doing this, You can actually go out on dates and just enjoy a date for a date.  By this, you can actually ask other singles out for a simple together and encourage others, without being on guard to act like marriage material, or qualifying others as marriage material.

By doing this, you will learn how to go out on dates – which, and this truth may hurt to read, but, you don’t know how to do.  You’ll be able to enjoy yourself.  (Hint, if you are hiding behind these statements, “there aren’t any good people out there;” “I’m just going to focus on _____, since I can’t find anyone to date (yet your not dating, is causing you to be melancholy” – then you haven’t learned how to have fun on dates and be in the moment. And we ALL experience wrong dating techniques!)

My suggestion to you is do it NOW – erase the person from your phone.  Keeping their number is not doing you any good and even when the person you were destined comes around, you won’t recognize them, because you have that back door person who can make or break your day.  Get rid of that poltergeist and make room for the new adventures.

Then, compliment NO LESS than 4 people a day, in various age ranges various genders, WITHOUT expectation that they need to respond. Just compliment and walk away.  You’ll pique MORE people’s interest this way, boost your esteem, and open the door to meet your chosen one.  If the day is almost over, get up, go to the store and make it happen.

You only have the Poltergeist to lose.

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Now, we have A LOT going on with Two Hearts Matchmaking, including an upcoming interactive sitcom, “A Chance for Love” with downloadable apps!  Make sure you follow the progress on our Facebook pages for the teaser promo! YOUR OPINION/VOTE COUNTS!

www.facebook.com/ArikahNASH  and www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking .  And just think, YOU are making it happen!!!

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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

Coming Home – Forgiveness Through the Mad Search of Finding Love

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“A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the inheritance.’ Then the father divided his estate between them. Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living, wild parties, drugs, and loose women. 
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“When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, but I’m starving to death! I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.” ’ So he got up and went to his father.
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“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
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“Now his older son was in the field. Coming in from the field, he approached the house and heard music and dancing.  He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant replied, ‘Your brother has arrived, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he received his son back safe and sound.’ Then the older son was furious and didn’t want to enter in, but his father came out and begged him. He answered his father, ‘Look, I’ve served you all these years, and I never disobeyed your instruction. Yet you’ve never given me as much as a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours returned, after gobbling up your estate on prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’
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 Then his father said, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.’” – Jesus, Luke 15:11-32
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Secrets to Finding YOUR Chosen One.

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My last post was more of a secular nature speaking more to the mindset in finding THE one. Now I want to discuss the diminishing art of quieting our soul and spirit to allow ourselves to recognize our chosen one.

In our mad dash to beat our biological clocks and growing loneliness, it is all too easy to become so distracted and overwhelmed with the non-stop clammer in daily lives, that somehow in all that, we expect to magically find our perfect partner. But realistically, how can we? How can we recognize the difference between that “nice guy/girl” and our chosen life partner?

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I want to encourage everyone reading this post, if you’re single or in a relationship that’s going no where or one that just drains you, I encourage you to begin practice by turning off all media; i.e phones, tv, any social media, computers (start off with 10 minutes and maybe increase to 30 minutes)….

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and imagine yourself in a throne room.

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This isn’t just any throne room – it’s the Higher Power, God’s throne room,  who made you and knows your heartbeat. The One that knows your secret desires, failures, injustices, and accomplishments and loves you with an unchanging, faithful love.  Imagine being in the Presence and asking, “Who is my Love?”

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For those of you who don’t believe in God, I promise trying this exercise, or simply meditating with that question out there, will serve as equalling benefitting.

The point is allowing ourselves to find that answer without distraction and with intentional focus. That’s one where friends, family, media, horoscopes or professionals CAN’T answer for you.  And then answering the question who ever told you you would never find love?

But that’s just the first part.

The second and most important part is sitting patiently, waiting and listening for the answer.

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And knowing and believing that you will get the answer. This is usually the most difficult part because this takes time, and in world of “I wanted it yesterday,” we tend to find ourselves seeking out and settling for the wrong choice for us or doubtful that love will ever come our way, which usually leads to our losing our joy from the heart – despair. The hard lesson we must learn, among many other things, is that when our minds are calm and settled enough, we will receive the answer because now we have trained our inner ears to hear.  At this time, it is also wise to understand that perhaps your chosen one is still prepping for you!  I’ll say until I’m old and gray, if I had met my husband earlier than I did, not only would I not have recognized him to be the one I would devote myself to, but I wouldn’t have appreciated him like I do. Sometimes the waiting isn’t for you to be ready, but that your one is ready.

From there it is up to you to take the next step.

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Our next post will be “Training on Finding Love – ‘The Karate Kid’ Way.”

Love and Peace

Being a Rape Victim – Should I Share or Not?

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This has everything to do with dating and relationships.

Perhaps this explains my past self-diagnosis of manic depression or panic and anxiety attacks.  Perhaps really I had these unresolved issues haunting me that made it difficult to cope with life, much less relationships.

If you have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, having piece of mind in the trusting and security can feel never reaching.  If you have been a victim of date rape, or not so much you dated the violator but instead was preyed upon by a predator, the anguish and doubt in ever being loveable, the lack of interest in being affection when you are dating someone, can lead you in a psychological tormented cycle.  And if you are being domestically abuse, the shame you can feel for thinking the fairy tale romance is lost, that if you just did things better, that you are the only person that can understand your love interest, or that you must put up with it to have the children be protected, can feel as though only death can be your best friend at this point.

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Not true, young boys and men can also fall prey to this.

Notice the above did not have any gender specific details.

I decided to write this in light of the recent scandal surrounding Bill Cosby and the celebrities stepping forward to reveal their personal accounts of rape, molestation, and domestic abuse. (And Hollywood’s own sick and perverse way they choose the stars – victims reaching to children, especially boys, included)

It made me think if I should share my own experience of when I was molested as a child by the young son of my mother’s best friend, or losing my virginity to rape, only to be raped again by a different person in a different scenario two years later, again by another in different scenario (college) two years later, then several times after that resulting in a total of 8 separate times in eight separate scenarios – with only the last one in the form of a dating relationship, 14 years ago.

The question came to my mind because as I was watching the news report on Teri Hatcher’s account, and seeing Joan Collins’ experience only a day earlier, I was wondering why I didn’t have the urge to share. I wanted to, really I did, and share my own tears, but the urgency to do so wasn’t beyond grieving with the people stepping forward, instead of my own experience.

I think it’s because my own cycle of healing was made complete. (This is the only thing I think of as the reason).

I’m not sure this was in any particular order, but I do know everything had to happen to move on.

  • I had to keep telling someone until I felt I was heard.   I remember when I called the police for a rape attempt by a neighbor I knew when I was living in AZ. by this time, I had been attacked 7 times already (from college), but I guessed if I was off the campus and far away, things like that wouldn’t happen again.  I was working at a strip club, too, which didn’t help my cause when the unsympathetic cop arrived and saw my bag that had my outfit in it. He didn’t care to hear that I invited the guy in because he was younger than me and was going to college and because I ‘knew’ him, I invited him in to give him last minute tips of college living, when, as he was leaving and saying good-bye, he attempted to overpower me at the door and wasn’t until I calmly said to him that if he proceeded, I’d sue him and his family name for every penny they had (he was related to some famous athlete, but I don’t remember.)  Anyway, I finally decided to report it and that’s when I realized there is a second violation that occurs many times when a rape victim reports it.  So I just told any and everyone who asked me about my private life, purging the anguish on their shoulders.  It wasn’t until I had to harness that purging by joining groups, “Wounded Heart,” ‘Rejoice Always’ (thank You Claudia Cartier wherever you are!) AND counseling AND a sponsor that I felt I was finally being heard – which meant I was finally being validated for the violation that occurred against me numerous times.
  • I had RAGE against God – and I confronted Him about it.  Things happened before I came to the Lord.  I never questioned whether or not he was there, I just didn’t think He was as involved.  I only humored well-intentioned Christians at that time – my beef was with God. The driving factor after I made the decision was that I was going to give Him a piece of my mind.  ‘Wait, what? you want me to follow You and trust You when You weren’t there for me before? You didn’t get it right the first time!’  Everything I felt came out with an almost demonic force of accusations in my journal that it resulted to my checking myself into the Psych ward on Hollywood Blvd, demanding Prozac, which gave me a horrible allergic reaction and caused me to make the decision to just deal
  • I had to keep going back to God until my anger turned into permission to allow Him to heal me.  If you claim to be a believer, I tell you there is hard fact that is claimed in the Wounded Heart book that has its readers following the workbook hurling it, the book itself, and the Bible across the room. I won’t ruin it for you, but I will say that it caused me to stop doing the next thing.
  • If I was going to be with questionable friends, I ALWAYS had a way to leave early, with my own transportation. Which meant I hydrate before I went out and had NOTHING to eat or drink at the party.  I learned in college, the hard way, and unfortunately, many more are learning or will have to learn this important tip.  If I honestly knew my friends were partiers, I had to make the decision to be friend away from the party and the one they called if they needed someone, instead of my being the helpless lamb in the den of lions with them.
  • I had to Stop making my life be about seeking revenge, but start living it.  I was quickly learning that every time afterwards, I would tell myself it wouldn’t happen again, I learned Krav Magna, walked with pepper sprays and told myself it wouldn’t happen – just to have another situation happen.  I remember wanting to seek revenge on all the attackers and with my new pepper spray I even sprayed someone for just saying hello and I didn’t want to talk to him, and the wind blew back and it ended up in my face! I laugh now about that, but perhaps that was analogy of how my own efforts would be to try and track them down, and do whatever to them. Before coming to the Lord, I had once dated a guy who used to rectify situations when his girl friends from college said they were attacked,  and I wanted him to do that to the last guy I was with. My ex-boyfriend (the attacker) had no idea how close he was to finding his young son’s head on his doorstep – just so I could have my justice. Would that have solve anything? Why would his son have to suffer? (That’s how far I had drifted from living and being my true self.)
  • I had to stop calling myself a “victim.”  I’m a survivor.  When I called myself a ‘victim,’  I was helpless.  I was paralyzed with fear. I had no voice and could do nothing.  When I was paralyzed with fear, that’s when another new situation happened (mind you, I was in the environment, too and I desperately wanted a boyfriend, so many things happened because of that deep desire.) But, I made up my mind to re-define ‘victim’ as dead.  I was a survivor. I am stronger, I have a voice and my life does have worth, meaning, and value and no one on this earth is entitled to an explanation of my existence.
  • I had to forgive – not tolerate and not for them, because as far as I knew, they weren’t the ones losing sleep – I was.  I had to allow myself to melt into my Heavenly Father’s hands to begin forgiveness.  In doing so, He even answered the question I posted earlier, ‘Why?’  Because we all are given free choice and many people’s choices, good and bad, affect others.  My staying in rage, paralyzing fear, and unforgiveness only physically hurt me in the end, and impacted the people around me – which has a butterfly effect.  Although it took years (14) to get here, I decided to live healthy because I wanted to love someone and I wanted that person to love me.
  • I had to start listening to my gut and NOT stay if I felt uncomfortable in anyway. Part of my experiences happened because I leave when my gut said to leave.  I stayed, had a drink, and ignored the little voice giving me the warning.

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If you have been violated by rape, (and unfortunately, the likelihood of a majority of the readers having their own story, or know someone is a definite given) the most important thing you can do, after removing yourself from danger is to get yourself to place where you are a ‘survivor,’ and not ‘victim.’  We need your voice. We need YOUR voice. My daughter needs you to be healthy. The young child near you, the person you work with, needs your compassionate ear.  You getting healthy FOR YOU is more important.

I can’t speak for those who are the violators, the rapists. You, I don’t understand and won’t pretend to understand why you would inflict pain (and here’s the thing, if you are reading this and you have been the cause of pain, the attacker, then perhaps there’s hope for you yet. You still need your own system of finding forgiveness and your healing from childhood events (I guess), which starts with humbling yourself to the Lord.

At any rate, share.  Share when, and if you’re ready.  (Forgive me if this sounds like a PSA,) but as this is your choice, I can promise that when you do, you will be in a place where you can listen sympathetically to others without falling victim to your own experience, dealing with picking up the pieces from the past, to live in the present.

With love and respect,

Shakira Arikah Baly-Jensen

and I think he said it best…

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How to Get Over the Ex

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I remember this time of the year being so difficult on so many levels; the thought and stress of the hustle and bustle of arranging to see family, customers AND co-workers at work, the endless commercials of gifts I could not only not afford, but had no vision in seeing myself out of the chokehold I was in emotionally to picture myself enjoying such gifts, and then the loneliness of the Holidays.  I don’t know, with all the romantic movies, seeing couples cuddling and bundled up, for some crazy reason, it seemed that no matter if I did have a boyfriend earlier in the year, by winter, he was gone. One after a pathetic other – (ughhh!)  Trust me, I was getting better at secretly learning which friend’s parent’s home I could party at who kept the alcohol flowing, just to drown the emptiness, but it never solved the pain.

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But funny, sitting here right now to try to choose who to write this about, it’s laughable that my heartache lasted only as long as the season and I remember the feelings of being hurt INSTEAD of the guy!

But for the sake of the title, and really learning how to get over the Ex, I’ll call my ex “Barry” – a compilation of the past romances

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  1. When Barry #1 and I ended it, I was the last to know – I didn’t know that he actually used me then decided to deny ever being in a relationship with me  – HOW I GOT OVER? At the time, I allowed myself to cry – but I gave myself a time limit.
  2. When Barry #2 and I ended it, it was because I wanted marriage and he wanted to continue living together – HOW I GOT OVER IT? I was getting stronger by this time, and realised I was worth marrying
  3. When Barry #3 and i ended it, he was immature in age and emotions and took the ring back twice – HOW I GOT OVER IT? I became my best fan and stood with my head held high.
  4. When Barry #4 (and …I better stop here) and I ended it, he never told me it was over and he would sleep with other women while we dated and that he would leave town without telling me – only to come back to expect me waiting for him – HOW DID I GET OVER IT? – lol, actually, after praying that he would wise up and come back to me, I wanted him to see how happy I was with my new life, new family – and I did, however, I didn’t see him when I was still in revenge mode.  I saw him (in public, by chance) when I let go and forgave.  And I was laughing and playing with my daughter and husband.

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How did I have to get over the ex?

  • I had to allow myself to grieve, but set a time limit (only after work, while watching Golden Girls or some comedy to keep my feel good hormones flowing freely) for about 2 to 3 hours.
  • NO pictures, gifts, etc. (except if I just liked the gift itself) survived if my heart was attached to it by thinking of him
  • I had to NOT initiate contact (why have them call me psycho?) – so no texting, calling, hanging out at their work, but I did mentally put myself there and knew I’d get the last laugh.  no-contact
  • I had to share with trusted friends and LAUGH!
  • I had to journal what I learned about myself and about the relationship and what I would or would not do in the next one
  • I had to go out and smile knowing that not all (guys/ you can insert girls, too) were jerks and I shouldn’t put the emotions I had from one relationship on the shoulders of a new potential friendship
  • I matured and decided that abusing alcohol was not the answer

I hope this help you.  You’re not alone, regardless what you think.  you will get stronger and over it, and you’re a hero for getting up again and believing your love is out there!

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If you need to talk or want to join the Two Hearts Secret Group Conference Call, just go to http://www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking and post that you’d like to be added to the group.

The call is an interactive accountability call where we are going over the 40-day Love Dare Journey, where singles and couples alike, are preparing themselves and their minds to give the love necessary to maintain a loving and lasting relationship.

If you’d like to join, call at 7am CST/8am EST

Conference dial-in number: (805) 399-1000
Participant access code: 205919
Playback number: (805) 399-1099 (access # above) (though, tomorrow will be more an as requested/needed call)

 

The Two Ships app is still under way is expected to be released in 2015.

Love, Peace, and respect to all,

Shakira Arikah Baly

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How to NOT Make the Holidays Lonely as a Single Person

The Holidays don't have to be lonely with proper planning.
The Holidays don’t have to be lonely with proper planning.

The Holidays; usually a time of peace and love and good-will towards man, but can often be the most loneliest time of the year for some.  However!

(there’s always that Ray of Hope that I intend to always shine on my readers, as my own selfish pleasure!)

With the proper planning, YOU do not have to be caught off-guard feeling that hole in your chest.  The first part is properly managing your SEROTONIN levels.

1.)  Very important, how are your vitamin D levels?  It’s no secret that in the winter, the sun’s hiding has made many people suffer from seasonal depression.  Many times, the difference between smiling and not is just a boost to your levels.  Your physician can check them out.  If you’re like me, who doesn’t really have a physician, per se, I simply only had to monitor my dietary intake to know that I needed an increase in Vitamin D.

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2.)  As your workload/hours increase, plan on a way to have a definitive down time.  Many, many people find that their workload is in crunch time as more consumers are spending in various industries.  It is just as important to have a set and scheduled time to take a deep breath and relax.  Think of it this way, you are only the best YOU you can be when your cortisol levels are lowered (the adrenaline that helps you kick in it into high gear).  Things that I do (being a work from home mother of an active toddler, 2 active businesses, business meetings, serving clients, and then making sure to be the wife I’m need to be);   I have a 20 minute Epsom soak bath for myself once per week, I workout in my living room, and make sure to have a massage session at least once per month.

3.) Sleep PatternsIt’s all about the Serotonin-  Again, for many people during the winter season and holidays, because there is a slight dip in serotonin,  many people find that they are more prone to either sleep more (due to depression from the low serotonin levels), chronic fatigue syndrome or suffer the other extreme – insomnia.  During this time, not only does the correct dietary intake positively affect the levels, but positive mantra-type chants as affirmations prove to be more than just words, but actually changing your thought patterns.

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4.) Extend kindness –  Here’s something worthy of comment: If you deal with the public in your business in any way, planning on quenching the fires of angry customers is the definition of true kindness. Anyone can be nice to someone who is nice to him/her.  And you already know customers will be testy. Planning on “killing them with kindness” will put you at ease and prep you when their heads and fingers wag in your face.

'...I'm lookin' for the book 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'!'

5.) Plan and set appointments for yourself for 15 minutes of laughter DAILY.  Although I don’t think explanation is needed here, just see above at the first 4 reasons why (hint: it starts with a “sero” and ends with “tonin.”)

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6.)  Time with Friends  – Time with NEW friends here, or those who you don’t get the opportunity to hang with, but mean to.  And do different things! Ice skating, skiing, Specialty International food dining, or just hot cocoa and a brisk walk can do wonders for yourself and the other person

7.) Make gifts – don’t buy a thing!  – Whoa, what?  Yep, I said it.  Save your pocketbook and the temptation to overspend and perhaps make candles, soaps, knit, scarves, etc. for gifts and start passing them out.  Just a hint;  Many, million-dollar businesses have started with simply crafts. Just saying..

8.)  Plan on having change for the Salvation Army Bell Ringers- Even seeing these volunteers, we tend to be callous and desensitized to the fact that they are people and they are choosing to stand in the cold for a cause. Having change in your pocket to give when you go out will surprisingly make you feel good to know you are making a difference.

9.) When you are out in public, SMILE! Make eye contact and Smile!  If misery loves company, why on earth would anyone want to share company with a miserable person?  Aren’t you attracted to people who smile (it doesn’t mean that you have to marry the person or ask the person to birth your children), but for someone to actually smile… That’s usually the first way a fulfilling love can happen.

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Now, here’s my heart for you and something I want you to truly take to heart :  You ARE Worthy.  You are Precious. You are Valuable.  Your life DOES matter.  In the good times and when you go through changes or struggles, you STILL matter. Your Overcoming is Inspiring.  You have already been through so much, and yet you keep going.  THAT’s Inspiring.

And though you may not feel worthy, priceless, or inspirational, that doesn’t mean it is true.  With or without your feeling these things, there is a Lord who professes this fact. A Lord of order and Peace and not one to bash, belittle, or demean, but to encourage, strengthen, and show favor upon.  I have been witness to many things; horrible marriages, abusive relationships and the such, even when they mistaken do this in the name of the lord. I used a small “l” because that’s not the Lord.  I have seen the Power of a strong, lasting, loving marriage whose bond, or glue rather, is the Lord the couple made the vows before.  I have seen, and now personally experiencing, how each person in the marriage resolve conflict.

Many times, this enlightened person started with alone times during the Holidays, and fervent prayer not for their Dream Guy/Girl be sent to them randomly, but instead praying over the very person they will be with; praying over his/her day, etc.  This isn’t fantasy.  This is actively preparing yourself to not only be in love and receive it, but to give it.

So on that note,

number 10.) Pray for your unseen mate and the day that he/she may be having, and that wherever in the world you are, you both are able to recognize each other when you do meet.

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Love, Peace, and Smiles to You,

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Shakira ‘Arikah Nash’ Baly-Jensen, Founder Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking

We are taking pre-order subscriptions for the App, Two Ships.  Go to the http://www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking and like the page to be given the invitation and instructions.  Beta-testers wanted.

Also, if you would like to try out our services, give us a call at 615.422.5079 or email us at two.hearts2share@gmail.com.  Trust me – you can afford it!

P.s.  I don’t know much, but I do know this…..th (2)

When You’ve Messed up So Badly, You Think You Can Never Be Loved

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Lydia* (* names changed) was ready planning for hers and Trevor’s* new life until she discovered by chance, his marriage wasn’t over, but in fact very much “loving.”  When she decided to end it and his wife found out, the barrage of hate calls towards her began from the wife, their friends, and his children, leaving her battling stress, depression, and her personal view towards God.

Am I crazy to think she can be forgiven and find true Peace and then her True Love?

Another story is one where Jake*, a young assertive businessman whose success was rapidly growing at exponential speed. He was accumulating many things and was enjoying the attention he was getting from the company’s bigwigs. One night, after a party at the local upscale restaurant, Jake, having a few too many to drink, lost control of his car and hit a mini-van carrying a mother and her two small children.  The impact killed the mother instantly. Jake lives constantly in torment and agony of the accident,  and finds it hard to believe the family would ever forgive him, though at times, he’s wanted to contact them.  He didn’t believe in God, but questioned that if he were real, why would He allow the mother’s death?

Jake can also be forgiven and receive the Peace he seeks.

Although these are two separate stories, the result of shame, guilt, despair, and unforgiveness still tend to stifle individuals when it comes to bonding in romantic relationships, and only those who connect the two prove to have an amazing track record in finding their true love.  Isn’t it true that all anyone wants is to be loved, cherished, and respected; understood and accepted?  A client of mine has many affirmations posted on her walls, which calls for the chanter to pull the strength from within, but if a person’s mind is negating the statements, (such as, “You are worth it,”) the mind has nothing solid to draw from, so it disagrees  – which tend to lead to the destructive choices people make, made ever so clear in matters of the heart.  Where can you draw from?

First off, knowing and understanding that even though you may not believe in God, there is nothing damaging in studying how He is said to describe love, which is actually what we all want:

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I say all this to say that even when you mess up, there is someone who claims to love you – right way – and gives you the freedom to choose to love Him back.

And from that Perfect Love of forgiveness, you will begin to feel from your heart that forgiveness, and that other people follow that same way of life, which leads to the open door of being able to love the right way and receive love the right way. This work is what is necessary in building the HEALTHY foundation for a loving, loyal and committed marriage.

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In short,

You are Worthy to be Loved.

There really is someone out there you were made for.

Allow yourself to accept that Perfect forgiveness, but take the time to admit your mistakes and take responsibility. The circle of influence your actions affect, expand past your immediate field of vision.  Accepting the mercy and forgiveness God gives has the power to positively affect into future generations.   th (2)

Then study the actions of unconditional love, (which is not being a doormat).

The work you do now in planning forever will help you find the one you were made for, instead of wasting time with those who are satisfying emotional and sexual needs, just to end in heartache. Is that what you want?

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If you need advice or a friendly ear, please contact us at Two Hearts.  We are passionate about making sure that every couple matched is done in a way for a loving lifelong commitment in marriage.  Modeled after how Jesus loves, we have witnessed countless success stories, and now, adding daily with our services by matching healthy, stable couples. Beyond that, it’s simply prayer to match the right ones with each other! (That’s the secret)

This blog was much needed and had to be said, so to give those caught in their minds that they are unloveable.

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Peace, Love, and Blessings to you!

And Happy Dating/Companion Building!

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

http://www.twoheartsoffline.com

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The “New” (Damaging) Respect Pt. 2

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                 Okay, perhaps that image is a bit too strong, unladylike.  For those of you are following and reading so far, you know that I am huge into visuals to get the point across. Perhaps the image below is more fitting:

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Somewhere in the movement of appreciating and respecting oneself, and building our own esteem, I believe we went a bit too far and started to go the other extreme and became “entitled.”

It’s easy for me to say the obvious, that it starts somewhere back during childhood, but here’s a hard lesson I had to learn when I ran from home (I was living on my own, but still had the heavy influence of my family that was stifling.) Once I became of age, regardless of the abuse I experienced at times, or the abandonment I felt from my dad; regardless of the feelings of being the black sheep, I had to take responsibility for my own actions.  That became more real for me once I left home. Society didn’t respond as ‘kindly’ to someone who lied or didn’t pay bills or who didn’t practice a sense of virtue.

So in my quest for ‘freedom’ and discovery, I was actually trying to find my sense of worth.  I tried finding it working in strips bars, dressing scantily and drinking – which resulted in waking up other states, staring at the scratched back of the mysterious men lying next to me.  I thought I’d go into the entertainment industry, which as naive as I was, I watched other starlets rise to fame compromising their dignity – just to be liked, adored and considered beautiful and worth talking about.  I just couldn’t bring myself to doing that though.  Many times, as I’d see singers or actresses I knew getting publicity, I’d kick myself for not, at least, shutting my eyes and delving into the cushions of the ‘casting couch.’ Imagine my surprise when I came to Nashville.  I discovered that unless someone reputable knew me, it was the same here. (That wasn’t what Martina ever sang about!) 

By this time, though, I became a believer in Jesus.  Back then, however, I had my own set of ‘nude photos’, (but thankfully BEFORE social media, and who cares now, anyway?), I was tired of dressing like back in the bar days just to be ‘noticed’ (aka : today’s “respect”).  And while I took my own set of pictures, that would be considered modest today, I was noticing that it was borderline my trying to be noticed.  However, you must go through intentional strains to avoid seeing provocative selfies and any mention of nude celebrities photos.

 Self – respect vs. narcissism 

 Men, you are no different. If you have taken selfies of your body in hopes to gain sexually charged ‘compliments,’ perhaps maybe you also are experiencing a sense of low self-esteem?

 

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This attempt to gain self-respect by ‘self-love,’  feeds into the entitlement mindset. Wouldn’t you agree, the person acts as though others must please he or her and do what they can make the person happy?  Would you say that maybe with all the visuals of women and showing their goods, which should be respected enough for the chosen partner to only see, could be one place where that seed of self is fertilized? Do you see how it can be difficult to respect another while we are busy checking off lists of how the other person should be loving us?

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I am reminded of a  35 year-old client I had, who I had to turn down, that wanted me to help her find a boyfriend which would result in a marriage. Although she was a wonderful, talented, and sincere woman, she believed that she was difficult to match because of how high her standards of what she was looking for was set.  However after more research and asking her questions, the real reason came out. 

Client: “I want a musician, or a guy that is artistic. And he has to love the Lord.”

Me: “Ok, I did a bit of searching for you. Are you open a guy that perhaps is artistic but is a businessman or entrepreneur? “

Client: “No! He has to be a musician or someone artistic. He has to be able to get me because I’m creative. And he has to have a thin or athletic frame.”

Me: “Ok, well, where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Client: “Hmm, I’ve never been asked that before.  I think that I want to be able to do my paintings. Yes, in 5 years, I want to be married so that I can stay home and do my paintings.”

Me: “Are you doing paintings now?”

Client: “Well no, I work full time graveyard shift hours.  But once I’m married, I can stay home, and do it.”

Me: ” You do realize that most musicians are broke, right?”

Client: “Well, I’ll work part-time hours if we need money.”

Me: “Well, how are your finances? Do you have savings to be able to so this?”

Client: “Well I can’t afford to save right now.”

 

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My point in sharing this is that she truly was unaware that in her searching, her standards were set where when she did go out on dates, she was quickly (either mentally or verbally) critiquing them. She allowed many past hurts to rule over her judgement of finding a compatible partner. These men didn’t stand a chance.

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Another male client told me that all the women who he asked out, or surrounded him, really wanted “bad boys,” so he deduced that the only way he was going to even have a girlfriend was if he acted like a jerk.  No amount of urging to just remain himself would convince him otherwise, and so he often dealt with bouts of depression and eating binges.

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Are you seeing the connection?

 

What do we have blaring loudly in our faces now? 

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I am a TRUE believer, however, of the sanctity of marriage – now. I didn’t before, falling for the seduction that it was a mere paper that meant nothing.  By the time I reached 28, I truly wanted to believe marriages could work and be loving, so I set out to study successful marriages, in my church, the celebrities, locals, and in the news. And once again, I was shocked, well, actually pleasantly surprised to see many, many displays of mutual respect and love, and complete unity with the married couples.  I witnessed the wife respect her husband in the little nuances she did, mentioning that before taking on any major decision, she wanted to talk it over with her husband.  I saw the husband excuse himself from situations, or making sure he was never alone with a woman, where any tiny sexual foothold could capture him, regardless of how ‘innocent’ his interactions with her seemed.  I was beginning to see respect played out because of the love they both had for each other. 

This was something that gave me hope. It IS possible.

 

However, like the quote in the movie, Fireproof,

“You can’t give what you don’t have.”  If you don’t know what true sacrificial, selfless love is suppose to look like or feel like to receive, you definitely won’t know what it entails to give to another. And so continues the cycle of dysfunction, sadness, and heartache.

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It took me YEARS after I decided to give my life to Jesus to even begin to understand His love.  All I could understand was what was playing out in front of me. What He did years ago,  was too much for me to bare, and I was always humbled to tears at the charitable acts of kindness shown to me from others.  And it was without my having to perform.  The more I focused on my gratitude towards Jesus and not only giving me salvation (which again, I didn’t fully grasp), I was reminded that, in everyday human terms, women had been killed for less, for the situations I had put myself into on my ‘freedom’ journey. As I plugged away at many recovery groups, therapy and counseling hours, I now grasp – a handful portion, of the Love that is given to me from My Heavenly Father, and chose to believe that my perfect-for-me husband was waiting for me.

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And from THAT, I am able to gauge my display of respect and love towards my husband.  Am I being kind to him? Am I forgiving him quickly? Am I asking for forgiveness when I make mistakes? Do I spend time and respect him or is our toddler daughter holding precedence over him?  

Here’s one:

When I see something on the internet or interact with someone in person that may arouse me, do I go in as nothing happened and make love to him?  Respect runs DEEP, and is more than a song that is spelled out at karaoke bars.

And so, 

This is my plight; to assist and encourage others that perhaps their personal definitions of love, respect, husband, and wife, should be studied, meditated, and perhaps corrected before imposing a relationship with another. 

 

Love, Peace, and Respect to you all,

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

www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking

www.twoheartsoffline.com

two.hearts2share@gmail.com

 

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