Tag Archives: relationships

7 Habits That Prevent Women From Finding Love

7 Habits That  Prevent Women From Finding Love

The secret to finding true love and keeping it may just lie with you. Finding love is one thing, but knowing how to make it grow and last requires that we do certain things. A relationship is hard work and contrary to what some women think, getting a ring on the finger does not mean the relationship will last. Sometimes we sabotage our chances of finding love without actually realizing it until it is too late. Before we go any further, I want to urge you to seriously consider the following questions;

Are you sabotaging your love life?

Is there someone who is willing to love you but you wouldn’t give them the chance?

Love relationships, fear
Don’t over think it, just do it

You see, not all women who are single have difficulty finding a man to love them. Some women just have a fear of being hurt, being rejected, being abandoned. When anyone tries to get close, we start imagining the worse instead of letting things flow naturally. We become so obsessed with what can go wrong that we fail to see all the things that can go right. In the end we push the man away, thus sabotaging our chances of not only finding love, but keeping love.

For my male readers, I promise to let you in on how you may be sabotaging your chance of love by letting you in on how women think. Stay tuned. Today is for the ladies like myself who let our fears push great men away.

Heck, I am 38 going on 39 and I am still single. I bet some of the people who know me are thinking that something is wrong with me…hmm. You know what? They are probably right. Something is wrong with me. But, it is not what you think.   Every day I meet men who look at my fingers as soon as we began to chat and ask me why I am not married.  And I say, I have not found the right one as yet? And, they are like, you are probably looking for a “perfect man.”  Each time I am in one of these conversations I find myself explaining that I am not looking for the perfect man. But, what I do not do is tell the truth…that I am fearful of getting too close, fearful of getting hurt, and fearful of being abandoned.


Through personal experience, observing others, reading relationship articles, and self-reflection I have come up with a few things which may be hindering women like us from finding and keeping love and what we can do to turn this around. Join me ladies, for I am seriously on a mission to ignore my fear and go for it the next time love comes around.

  • We Worry About the Future of the Relationship

    One thing I have realized is that everything comes with a certain amount of risk, yes, even relationships. At the beginning, we may feel right for each other, but there is no guarantee that things will always work out the way we want. This awareness should not stop us from trying though. For if we do not give the relationship a shot, how would we know the outcome. Besides, even if things do not work out, we can always look back at the memories in our old age and smile. You know what they

say…it is better to have loved once than never at all. So, take each moment as it comes and enjoy it to the fullest.

  • We Are  Uncomfortable Talking About Ourselves

    Instead of having meaningful conversations, we stick to superficial conversations and  do not allow others to get the true essence of who we are underneath. When you meet someone who is genuinely interested in you and the feeling is mutual, allow them to get to know the real you. Instead of making superficial jokes and trying to deflect the attention off you, tell that special someone a little more about yourself each time you have the chance to do so. If he never asks about your dreams, how you are doing, your favorite color, or what you enjoy doing for fun may be  indicative that he is not interested in anything serious and you can just move on before things get complicated. But, if he shows interest in things about you, it means that he is genuinely wants the answer to the questions he asks and really wants to get to know you.


  • We Find it Hard to Let go of Our Past and Any Baggage We May Have

    Sometimes we allow past experiences as far back as our childhood to affect how we interact and relate to others. Instead of allowing each new experience to flow and to enjoy the feelings to encompass us, we let our negative experiences take precedence over our present feelings. These negative experiences may trigger fear of abandonment and distrust, thus prevent you from finding true love.

I feel safe enough to tell you about my insecurities
I feel safe enough to tell you about my insecurities

As for me, I have decided to be brave despite my fears and give love a chance. No more running away for me. The only thing I will keep running from are cockroaches. I do not think I can ever face a roach.

  • We Are Afraid  to Show Some Vulnerability 

    I know, we all try to act as if we are strong, but it is okay to let down our guard and let someone else be there for us. Most of us have gone through a painful experience. Most of us, though we act all strong, need a shoulder to lean on at some point. One way to deal with past negative experiences is by talking about them. Talking about your experiences is a sign that you have dealt with the pain, accepted what happened, and is willing to move forward. It shows that you are strong. Sometimes, talking about your experience with another human being can be scary. We want the relationship to work so we do not want to upset the other person and run them off by telling them anything that will show us in a negative light. However, not talking about something that caused us much pain does not mean that the feelings will go away.

Have you ever started a relationship and as soon as you felt as if you were in love you found yourself thinking about negative experiences you’ve had in the past? It’s as if these emotions were waiting until you were happy to pounce their ugly head. When these emotions of fear, anger, pain, or distrust arise, do not bottle them in. If you do not feel it is the right time to talk with the person you are dating, find someone you trust and talk about it.

In order to help me get over the issues I was facing, I had a long talk with my dad. This talk took me all the way back to my mother’s womb. The fact is, my dad left my mom when she was pregnant with me to migrate to another country and marry another woman. I saw my dad for the first time when I was 7 years old. By then he was like a stranger to me. I hated him. We never really had a good relationship for almost all of my life until recently I realized in order to heal I had to let go of the past, forgive, and allow him to be the father I did not have as a child. It has not been easy letting go and trusting him. But, I must say that having this new relationship with him has made me realized that love goes deeper than simply expression of words.

  • We  Call it Quits Every Time We Get in to an Argument or Have a Misunderstanding.

    While I am not advocating anyone to tolerate mistreatment in a relationship, there are some things that we can let slide. So, your partner did something you did not like and you do not handle the situation the proper way. For example, picture a scenario where he looks at or flirt with another woman. What do you do? Do you get all upset about it and curse him out then decided to leave? When you really get to the main issue, ask yourself,  if it is because he looked at another woman that caused you to get upset? Or, consider if you may have felt insecure in the relationship? The way you react in a situation like this is crucial. Chances are, every man you meet is going to stare at another woman at one point or another. And if you plan to sweat it every time, you are going to sweat all of your life. So, whatever you do, do not sweat about the small stuff. Know when to let things slide.

  • We Have a Hard Time Apologizing

    If you have done your partner wrong, apologize. Sometimes we are a little stubborn even when we know we are wrong. Failure to apologize can come off as being uncaring. Personally, if someone does me something wrong, it makes it a little easier for me to forgive them. On the other hand, I will still forgive you if you wronged me and never apologized, but I would never let you near me again.

  • We Find it Challenging to Forgive and Let go of the Little Offences

    While some relationship issues like abuse is unforgivable, others may just be minor offences, like arriving late for a date. Do not let small grudges fester. If you must discuss it do so promptly and forget about it. Too many arguments leave us drained and affects how the other person relates and views us. Not everything you feel offended about might be worth mentioning. Know when to let things go and how to communicate with your partner when something he does or does not do affects you. Communication is key to resolving issues, bottling it up inside will only lead to major arguments later on in the relationship.

  • CLICK HERE FOR :13-toxic-habits-that-can-prevent-you-from-finding-love-how-to-fix-the-problem

Most of us dream of having a happy and fulfilling relationship. But, sometimes we unknowingly get in our own way. If any of these points relate to you, take some time to reflect: see how you can learn from the your past experiences and  make a fresh start. It is never too late to change. Even if your last relationship failed it does not mean that you will fail again. As I tell myself lately, give love a chance before you squish it.

Thank you for stopping by; leave your comments below. I’d really love to hear what has been stopping you from finding true love and keeping it.

Twelve Things To Enhance Your Facebook Experience

Twelve Things To Enhance Your Facebook Experience

Are you tired of social media, specifically Facebook? Then you might just want to read this. I could sit here and think of all the things that can make using Facebook a positive experience; however, I just decided I would only do a minimum of 12 things to enhance your Facebook experience.

  1. If you think someone is throwing words at you on Facebook, that person probably is. However, you have a choice to or not to respond. If they did not call names then you had better learn to reply without calling names. Chances are you will get the message across if the initial word were for you.


  1. Learn to let your silence speak. Not everything you need to have a response for; if someone replies to your comment and it affects you, let it slide. Your silence will definitely speak more than your words. Besides, if you chose to respond there is a high possibility that the person will respond. If you have energy to use up, feel free to entertain them, otherwise save your energy, it is not worth it.


  1. Treat Facebook like you would your home. Lock your doors, open your windows and keep the curtains down. That way you can get to observe while at the same time pretending that you have no clue what is going on. In addition, just in case some unwelcomed visitor stops by, you can always pretend that you are not there.

Click this link to check out this post: Why Do We Blame Facebook


  1. Do not make it a habit of texting people on Facebook unless it is necessary. Every now and again, it is a good thing to check in, privately; however, your best experience on Facebook might be to take part in non-private conversations. That way people do not feel so edgy and skeptical about responding to you.


  1. If the person accepted your friendship request on Facebook, they are not doing so for you to run straight to their inbox and say thank you. While we value good manners, this may not be the best thing. Please beware that some people do not believe in instant contact. Rather, some people prefer to take things slow in getting to know others. With all that is happening around us, please respect the individual‘s right not to engage with you, especially if you are a stranger.


  1. Do not get offended when someone does not respond to your message. The person may not have responded for whatever reason, but it is not about you, it is about them. Outside of Facebook, we all have a life. We also have those with whom we enjoy a good conversation, but there is also timing and the type of conversation.

Five Tips For Keeping Your Social Media Habits Healthy

  1. Realize that people lead other lives outside of social media. Unless it is an emergency, keep conversations short. If the person wishes to have an extended conversation, they will let you know. Some people, like me, do not enjoy long conversations on social media, hence in order to avoid a long conversation I would prefer not to answer in the first place (if I know you habitually love long chats).


  1. Do not let your sole purpose be to find a woman or a man on Facebook. Instead of searching desperately for love, why not join the conversation. Take part in the discussions that resonate with you and share stuff that you love so others can engage with you. Remember, Facebook is whatever you make it.


  1. Learn to entertain yourself on Facebook. Some people complain of boredom or of peop
    le ignoring them on social media. My suggestion to anyone who feels bored on social media is to find and share interesting and positive things. Chances are, the people who resonate with what you share will comment and join the conversation.


  1. If you are a woman, avoid men whose sole intention is to question you about your personal life. Relationships take time to grow. And, while we have heard of people meeting on Facebook and having great relationships, it is important to take things slowly. Get to know the person before getting too involved.


  1. Avoid unnecessary drama. I recall a man who messaged me on Facebook and seeing that he was born on the same date as me I responded to him. We chatted for a while then I said goodbye. Within the same day, the man was messaging me again. After I did not answer him, he proceeded to call me on Facebook messenger, to which I ignored. Then he preceded to text me to inform me that he is not a little boy. I very amazed by the way this man acted. In order to prevent future confrontations such as this I blocked him.


  1. Do not share people’s pictures on Facebook unless the person has some encouraging words attached to the photo. I have seen people who make it a habit to share other people’s photos. I for one feel offended when a man shares my photo, unless I have some positive words attached to the photo. Just last night I saw one Facebook user asking how they could delete her photo that one of her friends had shared. There are two things you can do, either make sure that you set your share settings to friends only, or report the photo to Facebook who will then give you further instructions as to if you want to ask the person to remove the photo, if you want to block the person…etc.

Being Single: What is the Alternative?


Being Single: What is the Alternative?


When I was growing up, I envisioned myself married by the age of 25. I imagined a handsome dude on a horse and all the fairy tale trappings in the mix. Nevertheless, looking back to that time, I realized that the romance books I read in my teen years fooled me. A relationship does not just happen; it takes hard work and commitment from both partners. In addition, even if you love a person, it does not automatically mean that the person will love you back. Today, I am single and like other single people (men and women) I question the alternative to being single.

Being Single: A Single Woman’s Perspective

By the time I hit twenty years of age, I realized that I was living a dream, thinking some prince charming was going

Being single is not a crime
A single person can have an enjoyable life, too

to sweep me off my feet. At first, I felt jealous when I saw couples walking the streets and displaying their affection for each other. I imagined that their life was all happiness and did not even imagine what took place behind closed doors: at least, not until I experienced being in a relationship myself.

I slowly became aware that being in a relationship was not a bed of roses. My personal experiences with being in a relationship were both good and bad. Those times when we did fun things and simply enjoyed each other’s company, even if it was just simply hanging out at home, meant a lot to me. However, the arguments, the jealousy, and having to deal with feelings of insecurity were my reasons for deciding to stay single.

By the time I hit 32 years of age, folks were asking me why I was not married. It occurred to me that they thought something was wrong with me. Heck! They were right! I had issues! After experiencing abandonment as a child and witnessing so many broken relationships, I had this fear that mine would not work out, so I always ended up doing things to mess up my own relationships. It was not that I was intentionally messing up, it was a subconscious action on my path: a destructive pattern that only came to my realization recently.



Marriages: Looking in from the Outside as a Single Woman

As a single woman, I look at other couples to see how they are faring in their marriages. Each time I see a happy couple, I wonder if they are as happy behind closed doors. I look at the few successful marriages of people who I know personally. I look on TV and I watch some of my favorite stars such as Denzel Washington and Boris Kodjoe and their wives; they seem to be in healthy marriages that can withstand the test of time. This gives me hope.

On the other hand, there are more unsuccessful marriages out there: some studies have read  have pointed to this evidence. So many people I looked up to and admired as a couple have gotten divorced or their marriages are on the rocks. This latter phenomenon is what makes me happy to be single. So many marriages fail, some as short as hours! This really makes me shake my head and think twice about wanting to get married. Check out these other blogs on why being single might be the best way to live.

What is the Alternative to Being Single

Hmm. I know not everyone has the same views about any one particular relationship status. For me, I personally love the idea of being in a long-term relationship. I believe in marriage, but only if both partners are truly aware and ready to make things work, despite the challenges which may ensue.

Marriage is good for building strong families. We need healthy marriages in order to nurture our children and set a positive example for them. I believe that if our children live in healthy environments, their chances of emulating what they have learned will be higher.

As a single mother of two, I try my best to teach my children that although I am not married, that getting married and being in a healthy marriage is what I would have chosen for them. I know sometimes, it may be easy for us to get bitter because things did not work out for us, but it is not fair for us to allow our children to see just one side of our story. We still need to take the responsibility of teaching them the alternative to the choices that we made so they can make better decisions when they grow up.

I believe that people, both male and female, should take their time and enjoy their life while building healthy relationships. It seems as if many of us want to get married for the wrong reasons and perhaps, this is the reason why so many marriages fail. Some people feel lonely and always need someone in their lives so they are always changing relationships. Instead, of following this pattern, I prefer to be single and work on the issues I mentioned above. I want to be in a relationship, but not for the money or for the fear of being alone. When I decide to get married, it would be because I am in love with that person and the person feels the same way.

Therefore, the alternative for me is enjoying my life as a single woman until such time that I find the right person who genuinely wants to be with me. Moreover, for those who have the belief that being single means being lonely or that the person has a fault, think again. Some people are single because they refuse to settle.

Any single or married person, male or female, who wants to share their perspective on this issue are welcome to do so by sharing in the comment’s section below. Thanks for stopping by!


Do Not Let Painful Experiences Harden Your Heart


Are you in a painful situation right now? Are you in an environment which causes you much stress? Are you brokenhearted? Are you feeling isolated? . Whatever your situation is, I urge you to read this post and hope that it brings you some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. It does not matter what your situation is, someone out there is worst off and may just need your help. It is important that you take care of yourself so that you can help others. This is a You Tube Video version of this blog. Do not harden your heart because of your painful experiences, instead, use the opportunity to open up yourself to the truth of others. In doing so you might just find the solace you need to revive and let go of the pain and disappointments in your life.

It is Often a Struggle to Focus on Others When You Are in Pain

Our personal struggles can blind us to the suffering of others, especially when we feel that no one cares about us. But today I am here to urge you not to harden your heart, regardless of how many times it gets broken.

Practice Helping Others Through Your Pain

So many times we become hurt, whether it is by broken intimate or social relationships. When this happens, it is easy for us to become angry and withdrawn and thus cause others to suffer. Today, I say to anyone who is hurting because of their experiences with someone else, do not harden your heart.

Do not let the pain harden your heart
I can smile despite the pain

I can recall working in stressful environments and feeling heartbroken, but you know what? I never let it affect the way I dealt with those I serve. Instead of lashing out on my clients and patients in my frustration, I bestowed more love on them. This not only helped my patients, but also helped me in healing. Through my pain I reached out to others, not to complain about my situation, but to inquire about their situations in an effort to help them.

If you have never tried helping others while you are suffering, it may be a difficult task at first; however, trust me, as you practice helping others through your pain it will become easier and you will begin to see the benefits of doing so. You will begin to heal.


Resist the Temptation to Become Bitter and Angry

It is not easy for us to stay soft and be kind when our hearts have been wounded and scarred so many times. But, if we want to fulfill our purpose on this earth, we cannot afford to walk around with the burden of anger and bitterness. Instead of viewing things negatively, accept your situation for what it is and let go. Learn to live your life without looking back and saying to yourself, “I regret.” If anything, smile at the good times, and take away the lessons learned from the bad times.

Through my heart breaks, one thing I have learned is that the longer I stay angry at the people who hurt me, the longer it takes for me to heal and move on. So, instead of being angry, I reflect on the situation and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. I try to see where I may have contributed to the problem that caused the hurt and I take responsibility for the role I played.

In some situations, such as physical or emotional abuse, it may not be as easy to let go and move on. Some wounds are just not that easy to heal. Some people may need to undergo therapy and counseling before they can let go and move on. But, ultimately, always make it your goal to let go of the anger, hatred, bitterness, and move on.


Seek Inner peace When You Are Hurting

When you are going through a painful situation, you may be tempted to dwell on the painful experiences. It is often very difficult not to replay certain scenes in your mind’s eye. It is as if your mind would not let you forget. This may be especially difficult at first, but as time passes, the pain will ease. At times like these, you need to find the right environment in which to rest and regain your energy. Sometimes, this means getting away from the things that cause you to remember. You might need a change of scenery, different people, different music to listen or whatever makes you feel more at ease.

I have known great pain to the point where I felt as if my heart was literally being ripped from my chest. When I am hurting, I usually listen to music that uplifts me. Music that resonates with my pain but at the same time tells me that there is hope for a better tomorrow. For example, a song by “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin. Begins:

There’s a peace I’ve come to know,

though my heart and flesh may fail

There’s an anchor for my soul

l can say “it is well”

Jesus has overcome and

 The grave is overwhelmed

Victory is won

 he is risen from the dead”

I find this song very soothing. It helps me acknowledge my weaknesses while giving me the faith, hope, and encouragement that things will be better for me. It reminds me that I am human and it is okay to make mistakes. It also lifts my spirit and makes me sing. Singing eases my pain and allows me to focus on other things besides myself.

There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of inner peace. A feeling that cannot be affected by any external factor. It does not matter what is happening around you, once you have inner peace you will be fine. You will be able to cope, heal, and help others who need you. Whatever you do, keep that heart of yours soft and open to the truth of others. Do not let your pain prevent you from reaching out and helping others.



Why Do We Blame Facebook ?

Facebook does not discriminate, but we can
Facebook says, “Good morning Tai” What’s on your mind?”

Why do we blame Facebook?

Am I the only one Who finds it ridiculous and sometimes laughable to hear people say that Facebook did this and Facebook did that?

Today I am here to write a little of what I think when I read or hear someone blaming Facebook or any social media website for any of the things which happen.  As far as I know, Facebook is not a person. Only what someone puts on Facebook will be on there.  And, when information about someone gets out on Facebook, why do we attribute the blame to Facebook? Why not lay the blame squarely at the culprit’s feet? Even if there are technical difficulties with the service and something gets posted, it would be the web service provider’s or the Facebook manager’s fault.


Who is Responsible?

As humans we make mistakes; we do and say things which can get us into trouble. Most Facebook users are aware that people lose their jobs, their relationships, parents, lives, birthright, name, identity, money, car, and anything that is possible to lose if we or someone else fail to act responsibly. But, when it happens as a result of something posted on Facebook, why blame Facebook?

The last time I checked, Facebook is an online social networking service. Not a person. Hence blaming Facebook when we or someone else does something is taking it a bit too far. When we decide to post something, Facebook allows us to do so because of the way it is set up. As long as we enable certain features, it will do whatever we want it to do, once it is within its capability.


Only We Can Decide What to Post on Facebook

Also, from all the things I have seen posted on Facebook, it does not discriminate either. Discrimination and free-will are human abilities: it, therefore, behoves us to think wisely before we use these enticing means of expressing ourselves. So that when we log in and we are greeted with “what’s on your mind” we are not tempted to say exactly what is on our mind without taking responsibility for the after blow.  If there are people in our circle who are causing us distress or offending us, let us deal with the issue from a human perspective. At the end of the day, it all boils down to respect, responsibility, discrimination, and personal usefulness.


What is Your Purpose on Facebook?

Facebook was created for many things; it is up to us to make our experiences positive. Personally, I enjoy reading funny or positive posts, watching videos, getting current news, staying in touch with other people, posting my own thoughts and work, and advertising for my websites. Despite the negative things I read on my wall at times, my experiences on Facebook have been mostly positive. Like others, I choose to read and entertain what I want and the rest I ignore. Always remember that we have the power to do or not to do. How we react to any given situation will decide how much it affects us.

What are the things you enjoy doing on Facebook? Please share in the comments section below.



Communicate With Men: Get Him to Respond to You


Pausing for A photo in the heat of our festival, Vincy Carnival, 2016
Get him to respond to you by smiling instead of frowning


Learn how to communicate with men and get him to respond to you by reading on. Have you ever been in a relationship where you were afraid to express how you felt? Are you one of the many women who believe men do not like when we say how the feel?

So many of us, women have bought into the idea that men do not like to communicate, so rather than expressing how we feel, some of us resort to silent treatment or lashing out defensively in hopes of getting our men to do better.

Through my interactions with men, I have discovered that some men actually love when we communicate with them when something is bothering us. What they do not like is the way some of us go about talking to them. Do you have any problems in getting him to respond to you? If so, get him to respond to you by considering the following tips.

Some Men Express Their Views 

A few days ago, two of my men friends and I were in a conversation. After a while, the conversation switched to communication in relationships. I listened while these two men shared their views. One of them said to me “I do not like it when I’m in a relationship with a woman and l do something that she does not like and she just clams up and give me the silent treatment. What l would like is for her to say to me why she is upset and do so in a non-argumentative way, instead of attacking me. My other friend shared similar views, too.

Other men I’ve spoken to have shared similar views on how they’d like women to share their feelings. Neither are they the only ones I know who have issues with how women voice their dissatisfaction. Most of them claimed they feel as if their women are confrontational when communicating about the things which they are not pleased with.

 How Not to Communicate With Men

About two weeks ago I happen to be sitting with a group of women when I heard one of the women shouting at her man who had just joined us. Though I will not repeat what she said to him, I must say that her tone of voice and the fact that she confronted him in our presence left much to be desired. I am a woman and I am all for women. But, at the same time, it is difficult to pretend that some of us do not have a problem in the way we communicate with our men. Often times, we are only aware of our behavior when it is too late and we have pushed our men away.

How Does This Information Help Us Women?

Women love to say what is on their mind. But, we sometimes struggle to express ourselves in ways that make our men want to listen to us. The knowledge that our men love when we communicate brings us to the awareness that we can really solve any problem by using the right language and tone of voice.

For example rather than lashing out and asking “why were you talking to her?” Or, confronting our spouse in the presence others, we can control our emotions until we have a private moment and let him know we felt bad, hurt, angry, or upset because we saw him talking to the woman. Whatever the issue is, speak your truth respectfully and give him time to respond.

Personally, I’ve found that I get a positive response whenever I use a non-confrontational or blaming approach. In the times when I’ve used an attacking approach to our conversation, I either got him to engage in an argument or shut down completely. Either way we are left feeling even more angry or frustrated and the issue is not resolved. I might also mention that some of my male friends actually confided to me that if their spouse speaks to them in a confrontational manner they feel as if they are spoiling for a fight. So, rather than respond, they might either stay quiet, or walk away. I’ve also seen men who responded in the way the woman spoke to him, as in the case of the woman I mentioned earlier on who confronted her man in the presence of all of us.

Practice: Keep Our Anger in Check and Be Mindful

We will find that we get men to respond when we communicate in a way that shows we respect our partners. Even if we are angry, we should try our best to keep the anger in check and express our feelings. If we feel we are too angry to do so, we should take some time to calm down before dealing with the issue.

We should always try to remember to treat people how we want them to treat us. It is only natural that if we lash out the other person will act defensively. The sole aim of expressing our feelings is to stop minor issues from escalating. In order to get him to respond to you, deal with the issue at hand and do not wander off to any other issue which may have occurred in the past. At the end of the conversation, we and our partners should have settled any misunderstandings amicably.

Always remember that the goal is to get him to respond to you. I know this may be harder than it sounds, but if we practice mindfulness, we will be amazed at the results when we speak our truth respectfully.