Both Teacher and Student

Love was a self-educated concept. 

I grew up in a house that was ruled under an iron fist. The motto was ” Do as I say, not as I do”. I guess they meant well but were they role models for learning about love? Not really.

Everything got framed around a warped definition of unconditional love. The screaming, the derogatory comments, the infidelity, the corporal punishment and the heavy manipulation. Yup, these “mere imperfections” could all be ignored because we all love each other. 

This illogical reasoning allowed me to excuse abusive behaviour from both love interests and relatives. It was only after years of advising others of their own self-respect and self-worth that I had a realization:

I should practice what I preach. 

I got into my 20s, after an extremely emotionally abusive relationship, and I chose to reinvent myself. I soul searched, got into a healthier state of mind and took care of myself, encompassing everything that entailed. 

People called me a bad ass, a bitch, a selfless woman who would only intimidate men. I called it empowerment and that was the truth. 

I don’t let things go too easily, which can be my best quality and my worst fault. However, I don’t accept disrespect, even when my defence is not perfect, but can you blame me? I had to be both student and teacher! 

By learning from myself, I achieved responsibility by owning up to my own mistakes and became my own role model. It is through this imperfect learning process that I take pride in my current success. 

Life’s good but I had to work to make it that way.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother 

Why Understanding is More Important than Agreeing

Hello everyone!

 

It has been a while since I have written and I have missed it. Has anyone else experienced the start of 2016 as nothing but go-go-go? I know I have!

I was just reflecting on the past year and speaking with my grandmother about relationships. I remembered an argument my boyfriend and I had at Subway just a few days after Christmas. I couldn’t remember what it was about, which means it probably wasn’t worth arguing over. I remember just telling him that I wasn’t a fan of something but I understood where he was coming from. He thanked me and asked me if it was so difficult for me to understand rather than creating a huge argument over something so petty?

Nowadays, we emphasize compromise in our relationships but remember to compromise and not sacrifice. It’s perfectly okay not to agree. After all, you are different people and if you were the same, you would be dating yourself.

You are going to hear opinions that will challenge your way of thinking and doing things. It’s inevitable. What matters most is that if the topic is particularly sensitive to person with whom you are speaking, it is important to empathize and show understanding. You may not agree with the actions they wish to take but if you agree with their perspective and the goodness of their intentions, understanding is crucial to building the RELATION part of your relationship. It’s not about debating; it’s about listening and giving your attention to the person.

My grandmother is going to be 70 years old next month and has been married for 54 years. She told me that in every marriage, it shouldn’t be 50-50, a man should have 51%, as the result of more financial responsibility, and a woman should have 49%. Although I strongly disagree with this theory, I understand the principle behind it as she explained further: don’t let pride nor anger get in the way of love. In this way, I revise my grandmother’s outdated and traditional theory: it should be 49-49 as there’s is going to be give and take and someone is going to use that extra 1 or 2% at times.

My grandmother says that there are five elements to a good relationship and marriage:

Patience

Cooperation

Trust

Loyalty

and Love.

Those things will never be outdated.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

Is consent shaped by cultural norms?

I read this article the other day and I had to reach out to parents to ask their opinions about it. The article was about the dangers of forcing your child to hug someone. It certainly makes sense as an idea that no one should be forced to do anything. However, the action of hugging has different connotations in various cultures than it may have in North America.

In many cultures, especially European and South Asian-Filipino ones, the act of hugging is a sign of respect among family members, both immediate and extended. Some cultures will go past hugging and enact a double-cheek kiss as a greeting. It is a sign of affection intended to bring loved ones unity and strangers who are close to family a chance to enter their inner circle.

In this way, it could be perceived as an expectation and something that is encouraged. Thus, I believe that the word “force” may not be the most appropriate. I personally have never seen any parent grab their child and force them upon a person so that they can be hugged. I never witnessed not hugging someone being the grounds of a consequence such as taking away electronics or toys.

I have seen parents encourage their children to hug people after they may initially refuse and if they continued to refuse, the behaviour would be excused on behalf of fatigue, illness or temper tantrum.

The author of the mentioned article had an unfortunate case of molestation which coloured this timeless embrace. It is accurate that sexual assault cases occur the most by someone a person knows.

Therefore, is consent truly shaped by cultural norms? I argue that it is not. Hugs are consented by children because even though they are encouraged and recommended, the child gets the ultimate say in the end.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

We are superior because we are equal

With the separation of Hollywood’s hottest couple, Beyonce and Jay-Z, one begins to wonder if power couples can be successful. Is there a need for only one person to wear the pants in the relationship or as Patti Stanger from Millionaire Matchmaker says, “Let the man have the penis!” ? Or should a relationship be in the form of a Fifty Shades of Grey S & M style where one must be dominant, the other submissive?

No, there really isn’t a need for a relationship to be that way.

Certainly, most rappers have affairs with back up dancers and proclaim worldwide of their escapades with women who cater to their every need. Maybe if Beyonce said “Yes, Sir” a little more often, there would be no chances of infidelity, right? Wrong.

I don’t know how many times I have been told that guys are intimidated by my independence. I have been submissive before to the point where I have lost myself. That’s when I realized:

“Act like a lady? No honey, act like a MAN!”

I don’t mean that in a way where I impose gender roles. This statement is about having a MATURE relationship. If both people within the relationship are mature, they can take care of themselves and don’t require the submission nor dominance of the other but rather the mutual respect and admiration that forms a strong bond. That’s why Superman and I work: we appreciate one another’s ambition but do not depend on it and when we treat one another to a nice surprise or a romantic gesture, it is because we value one another, not because we need to be taken care of.

We are superior, stellar and amazing because we are equal. That’s what separates the boys and girls from the men and women.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

“Hearing is with your ears, listening is with your heart”

This quote has always been inspirational for me. I first saw this quote in an agenda I had in the fourth or fifth grade. I thought it would be nice to start off this post.

I have said before that a relationship takes love, communication, appreciation and trust. This expression embodies communication completely. In a relationship, listening to one another is essential. It develops more than communication; it develops understanding. When we listen to one another, we understand the other person’s concerns, doubts, goals, woes and triumphs. A relationship is not about a title, nor should it ever be. It’s about two people and people are complicated. Therefore, time is needed in order to truly understand someone.

Superman and I are different in how we like to keep in contact. I am more of a traditional phone conversationalist where he likes to send me essays via text. After a long day at work, he likes to wind down and watch sports highlights. The first thing to come to anyone’s mind:

“How can sports or television be more important than talking to you?”

The fact of the matter is that even after talking on the phone and while he is enjoying his “me time”, he still makes an effort to text me. Not one word answers but complete well thought out paragraphs that indicate that he is listening to me but doesn’t want me to hear his groggy voice on the phone. I understand that I am a priority but I am not his only one.

From understanding, you learn to respect the person. If you go into a first date saying to yourself that you will change them, you’re doing it wrong. We are all going to have pet peeves but they are a part of the person. Your significant other may not express his affection and commitment in the same ways that you do and you shouldn’t expect them to. Otherwise, you would be dating yourself.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother