Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Wolves in Sheep's Clothes

By nature, a man is designed to protect and provide for the female in his life. One of the things I wish I could get across to young women is to look at how a man treats her to determine how he feels about her. A man who loves or cares for a female will never ask her to sell or do drugs for him, serve jail/prison time for him, sell her body, make ‘drops,’ cook drugs, store his illegal ‘stuff’ in or around her home, or any other thing that would endanger her wellbeing or safety, or that would damage her soul, her self-respect, or her self-esteem. A man will work three jobs if he has to, in order to provide for himself and his loved ones, not use some female to come up.
Let’s not forget to mention that a man who cares for her will not ask her to indulge in sexual acts that demean, degrade, or make her feel ashamed or dirty. Too many of our young women are engaging in soul-damaging acts just to have some guy in her life. But predators and opportunists exist on every corner, in every school, in every neighborhood, on every social media site. We’ve got to teach our girls what to look for, so that when some smooth talking guy comes flashing his smile and selling wolf tickets, she’ll see him for the predator that he is and run in the opposite direction, before he ruins her life. We’ve got to do better at building and instilling a sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and appropriate boundaries so that our ladies aren’t so prone to tactics of the enemy who comes posting up with big muscles, a deep voice, and talks of grandeur.

I’m not sure what’s sadder, the fact that so many young ladies get caught up and damaged by these predators, or that the men get on social media or with their friends and brag about what they made some girl do, caring nothing at all for how her life has been affected by the games he plays. After she has served her purpose in his plan, he moves on to the next prey as if it’s no big deal. There are so many men who are not gay, but who just don’t like women. They act out their hatred on the female species with aggression, disrespect, and negative life altering actions. And there are so many love starved females who take any attention shown to them as something positive. But a predator can spot a wounded prey from miles away. He zeroes in on her like a missile and goes in for the kill.
I know that not all men hurt or prey on women. Some men actually chose to use their power for good. We’ve got to be able to spot the difference between the two, so that we can teach our future generations. We’ve got to know that it’s okay to put ourselves first and that it’s okay to say no to that which takes us off of our moral, spiritual, ethical compass, or that makes us not be proud of the person we see in the mirror. We’ve got to know, as females, that we are worth it…even if it means being alone for a little while longer. Having a piece of a man is NOT better than having no man at all…no matter what outside influences say. We’ve got to love ourselves enough to not throw the pearls of our lives before swine. We’ve got to know that we are worth nothing less than the best…and then stand our ground until we get what we deserve.

Changing lives one word at a time…Tumika

Copyright 2016 Tumika Patrice Cain

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality, founder of the Say What?? Book Club, columnist, and CEO of Inkscriptions Publishing & Media Group.  Through her writings she hopes to uplift, encourage and empower others to live their best, most authentic lives. She is the author of When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change (a novel, 2015); When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine (2016); When a Man Loves a Woman 3: Second Changes (Winter 2016); After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014), and The Heart of a Woman (2015).

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Are You a Rider?

Are You A Rider?

Many men throw away the chance of having a real, lasting relationship with a faithful, loyal woman, who would genuinely love and want to be with them, through manipulation and unrealistic expectations.

Too often I see men living in a fantasy world where the woman, or women, in their lives are expected to be led around by the nose blindly doing whatever it is he requires of her. If she asks questions, she’s not submissive. If she speaks her mind, she is too strong and is told to shut up. If she won’t do something that compromises her integrity, self-respect or safety, she is not a rider. These same men who ask, require, demand the woman to do as he says will in the same breath, and without a heartbeat, leave her at the drop of a hat. The moment she doesn’t jump through any of his hoops, there’s the lingering threat of ‘do you want me to cheat on you?’ left over her head. Truth is, if he’s going to cheat, he will do that regardless of what that woman will or will not do for him. He requires a level of servitude and loyalty that he does not return to anyone.  And this is the fantasy….that everyone on earth is here just to meet his needs, wants and desires, despite how or what it may cost another person to do it.

To this, I say, he is not worth it. For someone who cares about you will never ask you to sacrifice who you are, your morals, your self respect, or your values to satisfy some selfish desire that he has.  Love esteems the other person higher than themselves. Love if faithful, it’s ongoing, it’s committed. Love doesn’t bail at the first sign of trouble.  Love seeks not its own.

To all the brilliant, beautiful, kind, sincere women who are waiting on love to find them, don’t be lured into the trap of ‘right now’ just because you may be lonely or alone. Don’t feel like you have no choice but to do whatever some guy says just to have someone filling your bed and taking up space in your life. If you can’t look yourself in the mirror or his words are demeaning, degrading and tear away at your self esteem, truly, you are better left alone. There is someone out there who would never ask you to compromise who you are just to be with him. Wait for that one. Keep working on you. Love yourself enough to walk away from situations that could proof dangerous, deadly even. For a man who wears away at your self esteem and self worth, is a dangerous man, indeed, and you have worked entirely too hard to get where you are to let someone strip you of your worth and your power.  Be wise!

The next time someone asks “are you a rider?” perhaps the answer is not simply a yes or no response, but instead a return question of “where are you trying to take me?”  Every ‘trip’ is not worth the time or expense it takes to travel.

Changing lives one word at a time…Tumika Patrice Cain (copyright 2015)

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality, founder of the Say What?? Book Club and contributing writer for BLOG and PEN'Ashe Magazines.  Through her writings she hopes to uplift, encourage and empower others to live their best, most authentic lives.  She is the author of Season of Change (a novel, 2012), After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014), and On the Pulse of Morning (a novel, 2015), The Heart of a Woman (2015).

You may follow Tumika:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recounting the Journey

Recounting the Journey

Today is my 40th birthday. Normally, I’m not big on birthdays.  But this year was special and I’ve been looking forward to it. For the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a decided shift in my thinking and also in my life practices…and it was done on purpose. People have come and people have gone. Career shifts are in the making. What I tolerate is not the same as it was in my youth.  I’ve felt this post brewing in me for at least a week leading up to this day. There have been lessons and truisms in life that I’ve learned along the journey that I’ll share.

Take a look and see how many of them ring true for you.  It starts with us…so we must become the change we wish to see…

Make today a great day…ON PURPOSE! Tumika

1.      Love is a choice. It’s also an action word. For those who say they can’t love someone, won’t love someone or fell out of love with someone, it’s all a matter of choice. The inability to love or the absence of love didn’t just happen…you made a choice and your actions followed the choice. At any point you can choose to let love reign…

2.      Hurting people hurt people, and they hurt themselves, too. Once their wounds heal, they will have more positive resources inside themselves to share with others.

3.      Not every negative experience we go through at the hands of another is about us…no matter how personal it might feel. The person who lies, cheats, steals, backstabs, etc. simply shows that somewhere inside themselves is a character issue….not a me or you issue.

4.      No matter what life throws your way, being a victim is optional.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the effects nor have our lives altered. It also doesn’t mean that we won’t need to heal. What it does mean is that we do what we have to in order to keep it moving…even if it takes time to get back to a healthy place.

5.      No matter how little money you have, there’s always enough to save. It has to be a choice.  Even putting aside the spare change in your purse or setting aside five dollars adds up over time.

6.      There are people who absolutely do not want your success and will do what they can to exclude you from opportunities or literally put up roadblocks to hinder you. No matter what is done, when your heart is in the right place and you are taking care of your business, God will reroute you to meet up with your success. They can’t stop it.

7.      Making oneself a priority is a decision we have to make each day. When we live on autopilot, accepting whatever comes our way, we get pushed farther and farther back until we have nothing left to give to ourselves.

8.      Despite the images we are fed on a daily basis of what beauty is supposed to look like, I am beautiful, and so are you, just the way we are.

9.      Every person you see is the ‘perfect cup of tea’ for someone. It’s just a matter of being found by the one who is looking for your specific temperature, depth, color, richness and flavor.  So go ahead….be you…unabashedly!

10.  There are some folks who will never ‘get’ you…and it’s okay. We spend far too much time trying to convince others of our worth, our value and make them ‘see’ who we are. Sometimes it’s just not that serious.  The one we are striving to ‘click’ with is taking up space when there could very well be someone on the periphery who doesn’t need that lesson because they already ‘get’ you.

11.  It’s important to learn how to read labels and do research. Many of the foods and medicines we ingest are harmful to us. Just something to think about.

12.  Many times simplest is best. We live fast-paced, action-packed, sleepless lives. However, the answers we seek are in the silence and the rejuvenation our bodies need comes when we slow things down.

13.  You are just as important as the next person. Despite who has what or who doesn’t; who knows who or who doesn’t; who works hard or who doesn’t, in the end it doesn’t matter. You are a valuable person right now, in whatever state you find yourself.  Your importance is not tied to any outside circumstance and having areas of lack does not, in any way, reflect on your importance.

14.  Sometimes the body and the mind need a break. It’s a good idea to fast sometimes and set aside the high fat, highly processed, salty, overly sugared foods, the alcohol, the meat and give the body a chance to heal itself. A week of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, herbal teas and alkaline or distilled water can work miracles in your body and also help renew the mind. In the same way, choosing to cut the off the TV, the devices and shut down the ‘noise’ is cleansing to the mind, body and spirit. Sometimes we just need a break…

15.  Chaos and drama are not necessary prerequisites of living. Do you know you have the ability to attract only what you want to experience? If chaos and drama are coming your way, one of two things has happened: either you bring the drama, and therefore, you reap what you sow, or you just never learned how not to accept the drama.  Simply using the creative power that exists in your mouth to claim a chaos and drama free life does wonders in shutting down the nonsense.

16.  Folks just are where they are. We are obligated to accept them where they are, but we are under no obligation to have to deal with other folks issues. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just give folks all the space they need to be who they are….without us. It’s not personal.

17.  When you are a decent person who does right by others, at some point the seeds you’ve sown will manifest themselves back in your life as others who will treat you the way you’ve treated everyone else.  Accept their goodness and their friendship…you’ve earned it!

18.  We teach others how to treat us. While we may not be responsible for how a person originally steps to us, how we respond tells that person what our tolerance is and quickly sets the pattern for future interactions. If we want to be treated respectfully, lovingly, and kindly, it is necessary to nip any mistreatment in the bud…immediately.

19.  Too much of anything isn’t a good thing. There are numerous things that we love, that we spend time doing, that make us feel good, etc. but the truth is that our lives should be balanced. We need a healthy blend of good and bad, highs and lows, pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, work and play, spending and saving to keep with the gentle ebb and flow that exists in the natural order of things.

20.  Some of the most valuable and precious things don’t cost a dime. We spend money on personal trainers or gym memberships when we could put on a pair of good gym shoes and walk, taking time to breathe in the fresh air. Did you know that the sun is medicinal and helps to ward off depression?  Tiger lilies and cat tails picked alongside the road are just as beautiful and fulfilling as expensive floral bouquets personally delivered to your door. For as much as I love things that bling, some of my favorite pieces of jewelry were made by the hands of my child and my grandfather…and to me they are priceless. I bet you could come up with some of your own to add to the list….

21.  Sometimes saying goodbye is the greatest blessing we can give to someone…and to ourselves.  Not everyone is meant to be in our lives for a lifetime.  Sometimes, it’s for a season, other times it’s for a reason. Reflect on their purpose and time allowed, then thank them for the amazing lessons they taught, then keep it moving.

22.  There are times we NEED to indulge in our guilty pleasures. Not everything can be regimented or perfect all the time. For me, I love luxurious bath products and sink down to my chin comfy, cozy bedding. NIRVANA! Every now and then, we need to do something especially and specifically for ourselves just to remind us that we matter.

23.  It’s a good idea to learn some of those old fashioned basics like gardening, starting a fire and mending clothes. We have become so sophisticated, that we don’t always have the skills to survive should some calamity strike.

24.  Living Abundantly doesn’t just happen. It is a series of steps, some changing, some stationary, that we choose to take each day. It is okay to live a blessed, happy and prosperous life…even if others don’t quite understand.

25.  There are no perfect circumstances. I’ve been guilty of this, and bet many of you have also, of not making any progress in an area of my life because I am waiting on the perfect, or ideal, circumstances. News flash! They don’t exist. All we can do is work with what we have access to right now. He who is faithful over a little shall be ruler over much.  So use what you have and do what you can…right where you are.

26.  We are never too old to reinvent ourselves. Just because we’ve been a certain way, done a certain thing, our family members have done it a certain way, or it’s expected of us, doesn’t mean that the rest of our lives have to drone on by rote. Dare to dream. Dare to explore. Dare to make a change!

27.  In any relationship, both parties are important and they both matter. If only one of you can talk, be heard, voice an opinion, receive pleasure, listen, and get their needs met, then the other person is obsolete. We don’t have to waste our time or energy dealing with folks who don’t see us as equal to themselves.  This goes for any type of relationship. Remember, we determine what we will and will not put up with.

28.  Age is just a number. Just because a person has reached a certain number on their chronological time clock, doesn’t mean that maturity or growth have accompanied them on the journey. Often, people stay stuck in their ‘stuff’ when it works for them and no one is around to challenge them to do better. Be wise who you seek for advice or tell your business to. People can’t give you more than what is in them.

29.  We are more alike than we are different. It’s so easy to focus on what makes us different, when the truth is that there are many more things that make us alike. We may not have the same experiences. Some journeys may be far easier than others. Some folks may have more resources available to them than God, while others struggle to put two pennies together. Yet, where it really matters, we are alike. We want the same things: good health, our family members to be safe and prosperous, happiness, to give and receive love, compassion (even when we forget to give it back to others), to not be judged, and understanding. Focusing on the similarities affords us the distinct advantage of drawing more positivity to ourselves, and thus receiving more of the good that is in the universe waiting on us.

30.  Sexy is an attitude, not a state of undress. Sexy begins with how you see yourself when you look in the mirror, the things that make you feel good about you. There is nothing sexier than a person who is confident (not cocky or arrogant), who knows their worth and who feels good in the skin they are in. So determine to make loving yourself a priority. After all, it starts on the inside and works its way out.

And as a bonus:
31.  Being pro me, doesn’t make me anti-you.  I see this so often, especially in areas pertaining to race relations. There is nothing wrong with loving your own or supporting your own. Other cultures and races do it all the time and no one calls them haters because they do. I love Black people. Love our resiliency. Our creativity. Our scents. Our humor. Our music. Our men. Our specific beauty attributes. I just love us. I root for us. I want to see us ‘make it’ and thrive.  Loving who I’m from doesn’t mean that I don’t love, value or esteem others. Nor should supporting my own be considered a threat against anyone else….and that’s just real.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. It has truly been an interesting journey thus far and I look forward to what greatness lies ahead and for greater ease because of the lessons I’ve learned on this first leg of the journey that I can take with me into the next season.

Changing lives one word at a time…Tumika Patrice Cain (copyright 2015)

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality, founder of the Say What?? Book Club and contributing writer for BLOG and PEN'Ashe Magazines.  Through her writings she hopes to uplift, encourage and empower others to live their best, most authentic lives.  She is the author of Season of Change (a novel, 2012), After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014), and On the Pulse of Morning (a novel, 2015), The Heart of a Woman (2015).

You may follow Tumika:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

After the Rain...a Poetry Collective Book Trailer

After the Rain...a Poetry Collective by Tumika Patrice Cain

After the Rain is a poignant look at life through the eyes of one woman written in poetic voice. After the Rain will titillate your senses, arouse your passion for life and life justice, and touch the barest essence in each of us that exists to love and be loved in return.

Available in paperback and exclusively on Kindle & Kindle Unlimited.  Download your copy today! 

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality, founder of the Say What?? Book Club and contributing writer for BLOG and PEN'Ashe Magazines.  Through her writings she hopes to uplift, encourage and empower others to live their best, most authentic lives.  She is the author of Season of Change (a novel, 2012), After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014), and On the Pulse of Morning (a novel, 2015), The Heart of a Woman (2015).

You may follow Tumika:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grab a Hand and Take One

Grab a Hand and Take One
By Tumika Patrice Cain

There are times when I am just floored by the short-sightedness of individuals.  This is not really a post about Black people, although it does not exclude them either.  I am also not singling out authors/writers, because the message herein applies to any group of people.  For the life of me, I just do not understand the nature of narcissistic and selfish individuals.

I must admit that I am frequently shocked at the level of elitism and narcissism I see in the literary community.  This whole attitude of us-four-and-no-more or worse, the I’ve-got-to-get-mine at the expense of others mentality is problematic on so many levels.  Perhaps it is because I was raised by a mother with a very giving heart.  I seemed to have inherited that from her.  Or maybe it is the teachings of my religious background that tells me to have a “kingdom” mindset and that my Father owns the cattle of a thousand hills.  There is the possibility that what I see reflected in certain cultures positions them to receive greatness and therefore, I feel that it can work for anyone willing to apply it.  Still there is the ideology that says a closed hand receives nothing.

Now to that last statement, I can see those who are always focused on “getting theirs” saying, “I do quite nicely thankyouverymuch!”  And you may very well be correct….people of a certain mindset will always find others to pour into them.  They will make sure that they “make it,” even at the expense and/or detriment of others.

Psalm 133:1-3 reads, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – Life forevermore.”

I realize that some may blow off this message because of the scripture references, however, this is not a religious message.  Even if we are not of the same faith, every religion has some message about unity and togetherness that the followers are supposed to uphold.    To go back to the scripture reference above, it is so clear that when people live, work and play together in unity, there is a blessing there that awaits each person.  This explains why staying in a peaceful, united front is such a challenge – from husbands and wives, to peace between siblings, to unity on the job, in our communities, etc.

The mindset is there that suggests the need to compete with the next person.  There is a fear that someone will have more, obtain more, get it sooner and that you may be left out.  May I remind you that the God who created us is not in lack.  There are more than enough resources to go around for us all to receive what is purposed for us.  It is a poverty spirit that says there is not enough to go around.  It is an envious spirit that says I don’t want you to have more than me.  No matter what’s operating, it’s self-defeating….not just to one, but to everyone whom it touches.

Here is another scripture reference that drives this point home:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. “

Let me start off by saying this…whatever your goal is, whatever you hope to accomplish, there is more than enough for you and the next person to get everything that’s coming to you.

Years ago I was starting a daycare.  It is something I have picked up from my mother, but I seem to get amazing deals on things.  So as I was purchasing items and equipment to get the business going, I acquired a lot of high quality items at a very low cost.  One of my relatives also owned a daycare and had been in business over 15 years, heard from a family member about all the nice materials I had for the children and she became envious, immediately seeing me as her competition instead of rejoicing at my willingness to make my dreams come true.  She lived in a completely different county, more than a half hour away from my home.  Clearly any clients that I would care for would not be looking for her services and vice versa.  Instead of being happy for me and wanting me to prosper (after all we are family, when one makes it, shouldn’t we all feel a modicum of success and pride?) she made a comment about my taking all of her clients.  Um…how exactly do you figure that?  I was hurt and disgusted by her actions.  I remember telling her that even if there was a daycare on every corner of the street where she lived, that no one person or business could meet the needs of every single parent or child who would need care.  In other words, I was saying that even with other companies right next door, she didn’t need to feel like she was in competition with anyone else.  Her job was to provide the best level of care and fair prices and let her gifts make room for her.  The quality of her service would open doors for her.

I see that same sort of dog eat dog, envious spirit within the literary community with authors not supporting each other, or worse, purposely trying to make sure the next person doesn’t succeed.  And as a Black woman, I also see it within my own people group.  I shake my head, saddened and frustrated at our inability to see the whole picture that is right there in front of us. 

For years I have worked in the Jewish community.  Now I know the world has varying opinions about how they view that people group.  I am not here to dispute what anyone thinks.  But I do want to point out that as a people, they are some of the most significant folks on the planet to reckon with.  Even if on a personal level they do not like another Jewish person, they will put all of that aside for the greater good of their community as a whole.  Jews support Jews.  Period.  Their money circulates within their community something like 30 times before it will ever reach the general population.  Just about any industry or field you can find, there is at least one Jewish person who is also situated in that field so that their people have someone of their own to do business with.  They loan each other money to get businesses started. They give each other opportunities, using their power and leverage to make sure that one of their own makes it.  And you know what?  It works…taking me right back to my initial scripture of how unity commands the blessings.

Who cares who gets there first, as long as we all get there?  What do I care what you have, because what’s for me is for me….just like what is for you is for you.  I do not need to compete with you.  And you do not need to compete with me.  There is more than enough for all of us, including in the realm of success.  You will never be as successful as you would like to be trying to function in someone else’s lane. It is only when you get in your lane and commit to being your best where you are positioned that you will grow and prosper.  It is in that place of your assigned land, that everywhere your foot touches and everything your hands touch will begin to grow and increase will come.  In other words, bloom where you are planted.

Selfishness cuts off your flow of blessings. So does narcissism, because narcissistic people view others only as a means to an end.  In other words, they use people to get what they want and once that person can no longer meet the need or desire, then they are discarded like yesterday’s carryouts.  Their actions say “your only purpose in life is to meet my needs and make sure I get what I want.”  People have more value than that.  When we learn to rejoice with other’s accomplishments, care about what happens in the stranger’s life (or our friends, associates, or family members lives) as much as our own, then we will truly see all that has been made available for us. 

My mentor, friend and fellow author, Eartha Watts Hicks says,” grab a hand and take one.”  Meaning there should always be someone more experienced in your life (a mentor) for you to learn from, glean from and who will hold you accountable, even as there should always be someone that you are sowing into who is coming up behind you.

Here is some food for thought, if we stop trying to get in the way of the person who is advancing ahead of us or more than us or before us, then when that person rises to the top and has access to more resources, blessings, connections, etc. how is that not going to help you too, if we all live by the grab a hand and take one mentality? 

Today, let us stop this crabs in a barrel mentality that tries to hold back anyone who wishes to do better.  Instead, let’s adopt the principles of Kwanzaa which start with Umoja (meaning UNITY), (Kujichagulia = determination, Ujima = working together, Ujamaa = supporting each other, NIa = purpose, Kuumba = creativity, and Imani = faith).  Allow a real sense of kingdom-mindedness and sense of community to overtake you.  There are only blessings there waiting on you.  After all, Unity commands the blessing… so grab a hand…and take one.

Changing lives one word at a time…Tumika Patrice Cain 

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality, founder of the Say What?? Book Club and contributing writer for BLOG and PEN'Ashe Magazines.  Through her writings she hopes to uplift, encourage and empower others to live their best, most authentic lives.  She is the author of Season of Change (a novel, 2012), After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014), and On the Pulse of Morning (a novel, 2015), The Heart of a Woman (2015).

You may follow Tumika:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Price We Pay

The Price We Pay 
By Tumika Patrice Cain

At times I have been considered a feminist. I’m here to set the record straight. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a feminist.  To me, a feminist is a woman who wants to be a man.  She says, “Don’t hold the door open for me, I have arms. Don’t pay the check for me, I have money. Don’t clean the snow off the car or gas up my tank. I can do those things on my own.” It seems she shuns traditional roles in order to operate in the realm that most often men occupy.  Nope. I am not a feminist.

What I am is a woman who seeks proper and appropriate treatment from males towards females. I want to see a man function in those traditional roles of opening doors, putting on coats, and pulling out chairs. I love it when I can’t get the jar of whatever I’m trying to open and a man pops that lid like it’s nothing. I like for a man to be “the head” as he was created to be.

What I don’t like is to see how men cheapen, abuse, misuse and disrespect women. It burns something in the deepest core of me to see a male talking to a female any kind of way or slapping her around. Too often, I see females being threatened to ‘keep herself in shape’ or another female will replace her. And I cringe every time I see a young woman trade her self-respect, self-esteem, dignity, morals or freedom just to have a male in her life. 

True manhood does not exploit. It does not lord its power over those who are weaker. It does not abuse just because it can. And it does not create a subtle sense of paranoia to keep a female in line. I realize for generations, maybe even as far back as the beginning of time, there has been a double standard that says men can do what they want to do, but a woman better toe the line. It’s okay for a man to cheat, but a woman better not even think about it. It’s okay for him to have sex with as many women as he wants to, but she’d better be a virgin until marriage. It’s okay for him to hang out in the streets, but she’d better be home tending to the house and kids.  I say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  What is expected of women, should also be expected for men.

I see men making their very flamboyant sexual expectations to women they are at best in a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship with. With the expectation that whoever he decides to allow into his life better be willing to do whatever it takes to keep him until he’s ready to move on. Really?! And the sad this is….we do it. If he were married and making those requests from his wife, that would be one thing, but to think that any random woman he decides to ‘befriend’ in an intimate way better do it or else, is just plain ridiculous. 

The trend seems to be expecting their woman/girl to have the body of a stripper, the moves of a porn star and the overall package that will garner respect and accolades from his male counterparts. Never mind what she wants. Never mind how she feels. To him, it’s all about him. The shirts get more revealing, the pants tighter, the skirts shorter, the dresses more painted on, the heels higher. She looks like a walking, talking call girl and he loves it. What happened to a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets? Men used to want a woman who behaved like a lady.

What is this thing with expecting a woman to have his name tattooed somewhere on her body? He brands her like cattle, letting anyone coming after him know that at one time she was his and can be his again if he decides he wants her. Again, she does it. She pretty much does whatever he says in order to have him. A guy with little moral compass will exploit it every single time and think nothing of it. To which I say, if he would not want a guy to treat his daughter, sister, mother, favorite cousin or best female friend the way he is treating someone else’s daughter, sister, etc., then his behavior is not okay. He needs to stop what he is doing.

The behaviors are affecting future generations. They are affecting people even younger. Now, middle school girls are expected to have sex and give head in school restrooms. You tell me, what is wrong with this picture? Not just from the standpoint of the young girl being expected to be pimped out to whomever wants her, but also to the young men who are growing up seeing their fathers, uncles, older brothers, and neighbors treat females as disdainfully as this. Thus, the cycle continues.

Daily we are immersed in a culture that feeds this disrespect and that glorifies these actions. It’s in the music, the music videos, on sitcoms, in the movies, at the mall, at the school. You name it, there it is.

It takes more than having a penis to be a man. Just as it takes more than having breasts to be a woman. It is time for both parties to step up, clean it up and make some changes. It is time for these females to stop sacrificing who they are and what they truly want just to have a guy in their lives. It is time for females to stop turning on each other and fighting over a man who may or may not be with them a week later. It is time for females to stop trading in their morals and self-respect for a fleeting title and ride in a fancy car she does not own. It is time for women to stop holding men down in their shady dealings and catching the wrap for him so he does not get in trouble. It’s time for women to stop allowing men to abuse them and speak to them any kind of way. It’s time for them to put some boundaries in place and stay firm when a guy tries to overstep that boundary.  And it is time for men to stop asking them to.

Changing lives one word at a time….Tumika Patrice Cain (copyright 2015)

Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, media personality, founder of the Say What?? Book Club and contributing writer for BLOG and PEN'Ashe Magazines.  Through her writings she hopes to uplift, encourage and empower others to live their best, most authentic lives.  She is the author of Season of Change (a novel, 2012), After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014), and On the Pulse of Morning (a novel, 2015), The Heart of a Woman (2015).

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Lover of My Soul

Lover of My Soul

I am not married, yet I have been a bride for eight years and counting…for I am the bride of Christ.  This gentle Lover of my soul who tends so carefully, diligently, succinctly to the daily needs of my person.  All my life I have wanted to be married, but have to laugh when I am barely a wife to the Husband that I already have.  If I cannot give Him everything He requires, how then do I think I’ll be able to give an earthly, flawed human all that he needs when it all comes from my First Love?

Ours is an ongoing love affair beginning before I ever had a conscious thought of Him.  He picked me even before I was born, laying colorful gems and stones in place, setting the stage for our extended courtship.

So many times I looked into the face of my Betrothed, not knowing Who or What I saw, but He smiled and let me discover things my own way.  At times He had to have grown tired, even frustrated, perhaps wounded as I sought love in the arms of another, but He is a patient man.  He tells me He knew I would come…that I was worth the wait.

I am humbled in His presence.  Sometimes realizing exactly what I’ve been blessed with – so awed by His beauty and magnificence I want to run away and hide.  Other times so blessed by that same magnificence I want to run into His arms and never leave.

He looks as me with the gentle eyes of a lover who sees His prize and knows her worth, saying, “Beloved, strip naked in my presence.  Do not hide yourself from me behind titles, fear, feelings of unworthiness, shame.  I see you.  It is you that I want.  Remember that I picked you!”  And I, entranced by the intensity of the look in His eyes begin a slow striptease, taking off layer upon of layer of whatever would dare stand between me and the gentle touch of my Lover.  And for a time I am there, naked in His sight and He smiles, enraptured.  Languishing in my beauty as if seeing me for the first time.  He says He never tires of seeing me.  Says he wishes to share in such sweet communion with me always.  Each time He sees me, He is reminded of how much He loves me, how much I mean to Him, how there is no price too high for Him to pay for me…and already has paid.  Loves me so much that He creates new and tender mercies for me each and every morning.

I awake to the feel of His breath upon my cheek.  It is the soft whisper of my name upon His lips that stirs me into consciousness as I begin yet another day.  He says, “Beloved, do not begin your day without our special time together.  Your prayers rising to me are as sweet as Frankincense.  I relish in our time together.  It is in those moments before you face the day that I want to prepare you, strengthen you for what lies ahead…for I am able to see what you cannot see.  Talk with me, my Beloved.  Let us have the most precious of moments together.  Lift your voice in song to me.  I never feel so close to you as when you are praising me.  Yes, I remember now, why I chose you.  You are beautiful to me.  There are no sweeter words spoken than the sound of My name upon your lips.  You are my beautiful bride.  Tell me how much I mean to you.  Show me how much I mean to you.”

Loving Him isn’t duty and it isn’t a job even though it does require much from me.  It is the greatest desire of my heart.  I have looked for Him all my life and He has always been right here…waiting on me to see Him and to love Him with a fraction of the love He has always had for me.

Sometimes the intensity of His love is too much for me to take.  And me being me, I back away.  Get lax in my time alone with Him.  I never see myself so clearly as when we are alone, face to face.  I am not always ready to see all that there is of me to see.  The more I give of myself to Him, the more of me He wants.  While I know it is best, it is right, it is good…I am not always ready to give what He is asking for when He asks and so I run.  Sometimes a little, other times a lot, until the ugly, reality of life becomes visible and it is revealed to me just why He asked for what I so selfishly held on to.  I miss the protecting, soothing embrace of my Lover, Husband of mine.  Then it is I without reservation, who comes running back, dropping layers along the way – yearning once again to be naked and unashamed in His sight.

The longer we are married, the shorter the separations are between us.  You see, I cannot, will not live without Him.  He completes me and I am whole only in His presence.  I am no longer a skittish, squeamish child bride, but am instead becoming a mature woman in the arms of my Husband who sets the stage for me to be all that He created me to be.  He is my daily bread and protector of all things concerning me.

His unchanging ways comfort me and bring about stability in a world where the only thing that is constant is change.  He has never altered one word that He’s ever spoken to me.  It comforts me to know that He never will.

We are one, becoming one mind as I put aside the things of the world, rising in elevation to meet Him where He is.  We have one purpose – to bring others, joining them in the kingdom, preparing them for their own sacred marriage ceremony with Him until we all become one body.

Changing lives one word at a time...Tumika

Copyright 2005 Tumika Patrice Cain


Tumika Patrice Cain is an award winning author, radio show host, blogger, poet, motivator, founder of the Say What?? Book Club, and contributing writer for B.L.O.G and PEN'Ashe Magazines. Her works center around the complexities of the human experience and in uplifting the spirit. An assignment for a second grade class sparked her interest in writing that would quickly become her raison d'etre. As an educator, she wholeheartedly believes that each one should reach one; each one should teach one. When she is not writing, she may be found teaching writer's workshops, blogging, volunteering, and otherwise beautifying the world around her. She is the author of the award winning novel, Season of Change¸ and After the Rain...a Poetry Collective (2014). Her works have been published in a number of anthologies, magazines and periodicals. You may follow her on Facebook: Tumika Patrice Cain and on Twitter & Instagram: @TumikaPatrice.