Saturday, 12 December 2015

Cleaning Out My Closet!

Hi guys, how's your weekend going. I'm having a mental and emotional clear out. Like Eminem I am cleaning out my closets.

It's a really empowering thing to do. Making decisions about what I want and don't want and then making that push to throw out what's no longer needed or wanted.

I'm aiming  to get things done and to make my life clutter-free. Once I've cleared all the clutter, life becomes easier to control.

The more control I have, the more motivated I feel.

It's surprising how many people carry around with them a lot of excess luggage or clutter.  The emotional tensions and regrets make up a big part of this clutter. The  ‘if only' and ‘why did this happen',  and the ‘coulda shoulda' are plenty. 

Well all mine are going in the bin.  Today. Making space for 2016. Which is going to be super fabulous by the way :)

While Ive been clearing out, a couple of old friends come to mind. I'll call them Adrian and Darlene, great couple.  One day, they had an argument over something and they stopped speaking to each other. Within a month, both missed the companionship of the other, and regretted the break up. However, they waited for the other person  to make the first move to start over again. It never happened. They drifted apart, but the feeling of regret stayed with them. Both of them have  confessed to mutual friends that it has affected their lives. What a waste!

I hate hearing things like that. It's so unnecessary and speaks of an unwillingness to admit you may have been wrong.  Even if you are, it's not the end of the world. And isn't a loving happy relationship worth overcoming your pride for?

I see people old and lonely because they always have to be right.  No one is right all the time. What's the harm in a simple apology? Or giving a peace offering? Or just making the first move? Someone has to step up!

A good relationship is worth it. I don't know where that thought came from but perhaps I needed to share it for someone today.

Well back to clearing out my emotional and mental closet -  I've asked myself these questions. The answers are helping me gain clarity. It means I have to be really honest and face up to things. But I'm doing it anyway. I already feel lighter. Motivated. In control. On track.  Maybe you can use them too.  Here you go!

1. Putting up with….

• List 10 things that I am putting up with at home
• List 10 things that I am putting up with in my business
• List 10 things that I am putting up with in my love life
• List 10 things that I am putting up with in my  friendships

Time to weed out or communicate these things that I've  been putting up with

2. Unfinished matters…

• List out all the things in my life that I  feel are unresolved/unfinished

• Create a plan to reduce this number. Write it down.

• Do I need to clear the air with anyone? If so, just do it! Life is too short!

• Is there someone I'm supposed to call or keep in touch with but failed to find time for? If yes, call them or send an email right away!

3. My standards…..

• Write down the standards that I have told myself I have to match. OK, so now  let go of them and create a new list. These should be the standards that I am going to have in my  life from this day onwards.

I hope you like these and find them useful.

Enjoy your weekend :)

Patricia Benjamin
Life and Relationship Coach

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Truth Behind Ruth and Boaz

Sisters I have to write this post today as it won't leave me and I know someone somewhere needs to read it.  Let's talk about Ruth and her beautiful love story.

Well, you know how we are always hearing how Ruth waited for Boaz, her kinsman redeemer.  So, she is the one our single sisters are meant to emulate while they wait on God for their husband. Such scriptures are quoted as 'He that finds a wife finds a good thing and has obtained favour of the Lord.' The Proverbs and 'Wait on The Lord and He will strengthen your heart' or 'Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.' Both from the Psalms of David.

All quoted to encourage women to wait for The Lord to provide them with, or bring, Mr Right to them. When time begins to pass the women are told that they are not ready. That they must get ready. Work on themselves and deal with their stuff. If not this, then they are told God knows best and will bring the right man at the right time. And in the meantime don't go off with any of Boaz' cousins; Broke-Az, Drunk-Az, Cheating-Az, Goodfornothing-Az etc
Fine, we get it!

Okay. I've been in church all my life and have heard this narrative many many times.  But I am someone who likes to question.

I understand that God is a God who hears and answers prayer. I was taught that He will not give us a stone if we ask for bread nor a scorpion if we ask for egg.

I understand that Jesus taught us to pray invoking his name so that our joy would be full.

Now I fully believe God knows how the human body works and that he himself invented it. He understands the female anatomy and knows that a woman is most fertile in her late teens, twenties and into her early thirties.

Now, does God not realise this when He has all these women in the church waiting for 'the right time'?

What is a young woman in church who has been told The Lord will bring her husband at the right time supposed to think when she has been waiting and praying and Boaz hasn't shown his face and even if he has he has made no moves towards her.

Far be it from her to pursue him as that wouldn't be right. The man is the head. He is supposed to pursue her. So she keeps waiting, praying and hoping for Boaz.

Meanwhile experiencing loneliness,  sexual frustration, loss of motherhood opportunity, pity from others, feeling she has failed, feeling disappointed with life and even anger at God himself. All understandable.

Well, let's have a look at what Ruth did . Let's find out what her gameplay was.  The sisters are always being told to look at and follow her example. Let's see......

I have to say on closer examination Ruth isn't quite the passive sister we have been told.

In fact, Ruth (and Naomi) are very deliberate, focused, intentional and purposeful. Some may even say scheming.

It is noted that Ruth goes specifically to Boaz' field to glean. So she set her sights on the wealthy Boaz. Remember she was a widow with no children. Ruth knew she needed security and Boaz fitted the bill. We see no mention that Boaz approached her before that time. She went to his field. She comes home and tells Naomi about it. What do they do next? 

They come up with a plan. Notice, no waiting here. None at all.

And brazen woman that she is, she waits until Boaz has finished eating and drinking and actually lies down at his feet and goes to sleep.  In the morning when he awakes he is concerned for her reputation! What does that tell you about Ruth's actions?

Really! Seriously, I see no waiting here. In fact the more I examine the story I fail to see why Ruth has been used as the example of waiting for your perfect man to turn up. Or if you prefer, waiting for God to send your Boaz.

It seems to me it was a clever plan to capture Boaz and it worked.

Perhaps we should stop telling sisters to simply pray and wait. Sisters should be praying in any case. When it comes to marriage women should recognise they have a part to play.  Please don't think I'm telling you to sleep at the feet of your intended but you can be intentional. You can set out to make him notice you. You can make it plain that you are open to an approach.

I sincerely do not believe that God hasn't heard the countless thousands of prayers of women calling for him to send Boaz. God expects you to seek and find, to understand you must do something too. With prayer of course. But actions must go with the faith otherwise it's dead.

If you want a new job you pray about it but you also take full responsibility in doing your part to seek and obtain that new role. Relationships are the same.

Just ask Ruth. She'll tell you how it's done.

Patricia Benjamin
Life & Relationship Coach
Radio Talk Show Host | The Real Love Show