I wouldn't be surprised in the least if some of y'all read the title to this and already got a little triggered (check out "Gaslighting, Love Bombing & 5 Other Triggers To Call Out In Your Relationships", if that is indeed the case). Out of all of the past relationship (and situationship) mistakes (or conscious redundant choices) that I've made—and trust me, there have been many—I would have to say that being so unaware of my worth, that I kept trying to prove my value, is right up there in the top three.
What changed me? I won't lie. Spending some time being single (and abstinent) definitely played a huge role. Sometimes, when you're always dealing with some dude, you can find yourself so caught up in their wants and needs that you find yourself tossing yours to the side. Another thing that helped was really letting the definition of the word "prove" sink into my soul and spirit. One is "to establish the truth or genuineness of, as by evidence or argument". Another is "to subject to a test, experiment, comparison, analysis, or the like, to determine quality, amount, acceptability, characteristics, etc.". While I do truly believe that there is something to be said for taking the time to "establish the truth and genuineness" and "test" someone's character, in a healthy dynamic, no one should be out here trying to prove their worth.
You being God's child, you being a woman, you being truly one of a kind and someone who can bring something to this world in a way that no one else ever has or ever will all play a role in you being of extreme value—with absolutely nothing to prove. It's a given. Please let that sink in.
Good men know this. But some guys out here, oftentimes because they don't love themselves enough, they look for women who act like they don't have a clue about what I just said. As a result, they will take advantage of the ignorance. That's why I'm totally down with quotes like, "Know your worth. Know the difference between what you're getting and what you deserve" (Unknown) and "Love yourself so much that when someone treats you wrong, you recognize it" (Rena Rose). They are reminders that while it isn't cool that some people don't treat others with the honor and respect that they should, that's karma's business. What we need to focus on is lifting our mind, body and spirit up enough that folks like that can't reach us even if they tried.
A great starting point is to check out the following six signs; ones that can help you to see if you've got a little more self-esteem work to do in this area when it comes to how you're (currently) rolling with the man in your life.
1. You’re Trying to Convince Him of What He Should Be Striving to Confirm
I've said in other articles that, upon a significant amount of self-reflection (and journaling), when it comes to most of the men that I've been with, there is a one-liner they each left behind that I still apply to my life to this day. When it comes to my fourth "baby daddy", something he once said that truly resonated was, "Shellie, your problem is that you treat compliments like they're revelations when they should actually be confirmations." Indeed…indeed. It took me YEARS (that is capitalized on purpose because I can't emphasize this point enough) before I realized—and then accepted—that a healthy relationship consists of two people who really and truly see each other. Once they do, it becomes natural for both parties to support their partner through their weaknesses while affirming and even celebrating their strengths. If you're with someone who you're doing both of these things for, but you feel as if you're constantly going out of your way to try and get them to do the same for you, that's low-key toxic.
When you're with your right man, you're not gonna have to try and make him take notice of your beauty, your accomplishments or your overall value. Matter of fact, he will oftentimes notice some bomb things about you that you never really thought about before. Why? Because he feels so blessed to have you in his life that he wants to praise your Creator and His creation as much as possible. He won't have to force it either; it will come naturally to him.
If all of what I just said sounds unrealistic or totally unrelatable, you already have the confirmation you need that you are with someone who doesn't see your worth. In my opinion that also means he doesn't really deserve you either; at least, not right now. But that's just me.
2. The More You Do, the Less He Does
I don't know what it is about a lot of us—and by us, I don't mean "women"; I mean, the human race—that makes us want to go above and beyond for people who tend to not do the same for us in return. It's like there is something within our very being that thinks if we give or love enough, it will miraculously make someone want to be all that we need. The real truth? It's a harsh reality so brace yourself. The truth is if they truly cared about us, it would actually bother them if we were doing more work than they were in the relationship. I know women who always pay for dates, who always come out of pocket to spend time with their men (especially if it's a long-distance relationship) and who even spend money they don't have to pay their man's bills, all the while justifying their actions as "loving someone", when really all they are doing is being used. I mean, who wouldn't turn down a free dinner and a movie, sex on the weekends when they don't have to come out of pocket, or assistance from a person who is willing to help out with their cell phone and cable expenses? Don't mistake someone taking what you're offering for someone truly caring about you as a person. The two are very different.
Money isn't everything. I am a firm believer of that. But if you are the only one putting forth the resources to make a relationship work or last, that's a really high price to pay. Whether you realize it or not, what you're saying is you're not worth someone using their own time, effort, energy and ends in order to spend time with you and get to know you better. You are actually paying someone to be with you. That doesn't prove your worth. That only proves that you're being totally taken for granted (ouch). Oh, and that you're allowing it to happen (bigger ouch).
3. You Find Yourself Compromising Morals, Standards and Principles to Keep Him
If you want to wait until marriage to have sex, you should. If you want to date in order to be courted (you can read more about the differences between the two here), you should. If you want to be with someone who is academically, professionally or financially "on your level", you should. These are just three examples off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure you can tell where I am going with this. One of the reasons why it's so important to embrace a season of singleness before getting into anything "deep" with someone is so you can get clear about who you are and what you want—not just in a relationship but out of life, in general (check out "10 Words That'll Make You Totally Rethink The Word 'Single'" and "10 Bona Fide Benefits Of Being Single"). That way, it will be so much easier to spot who will be a good complement for you and your world.
If you don't make doing this a priority, well…let's just say that there are a lot of men and women out here who, since they have no clue who they are and what they truly desire (let alone what they truly deserve), find themselves doing whatever someone else wants in order to keep that person happy; even if that requires them compromising the core of who they are to the point of suffering or even degrading themselves. Nothing about that is healthy, right or beneficial. Absolutely nothing.
4. You Tend to Focus More on What He Brings to Your Life Than What You Bring to His
There is a consistent theme that transpires, whenever I try to get someone to see that they are in a relationship that is toxic or, at least one that is causing them to settle (which, if they stick around long enough, it tends to become one and the same). Whenever I ask them what's good about their dynamic, they go on and on about all of what the individual they are so caught up in brings into their life. Once I listen to them provide about 10 things, I typically interrupt and ask, "So, how do you benefit theirs?" When I tell you that oftentimes they are completely stumped, it's almost tragic. It's like they are sooooo grateful to be with somebody that they haven't even taken out the time to process that the feeling should be 100 percent mutual. This should so much be the case that they should be able to immediately rattle off a dozen ways they are a blessing because the person they are with makes sure that they know it.
Be careful, sis. If you are only focused on how some guy is making you feel or adding to your life that you don't notice what you're doing for him (or you can't recall him bringing how you bless him to your attention), you could find yourself feeling so indebted that you'll tolerate all kinds of BS. And if he's not worthy of you, he'll let you do it.
5. It’s Been For-e-ver Yet It Seems Like Nothing’s Happening
Several months back, I wrote an article about how long a couple should date before getting married (if marriage is what they ultimately desire to do). According to the experts, it should be no longer than around two years or so. While this conclusion may not be an exact "science" (after all, every couple is different), what shouldn't be up for debate is the undeniable fact that stagnation is a sign of true dysfunction in a relationship. You know what else is? Being the only one who is putting forth the effort to move a relationship forward. Humans are designed to live progressively, in every area of their life. That's why, if you are with someone who is beyond comfortable—to the point of pretty much being complacent—with things not really going anywhere while you keep trying to persuade them that they should, this is another telling sign that you are striving to prove your worth.
I know a lot of different men who have all sorts of goals and aspirations. One thing that every single one has in common is, what they want, they are willing to work their asses off to get and to keep. I'm not sharing this so that you'll play mind games and heart trips on a brotha. I'm saying this to simply remind you that when a man sees value in something or someone, when he truly wants it or them to be a part of his life, he's going to figure out how to make it happen. If he's not doing much at all, well, you know what they say—"Indecision is decision."
6. You Are Liking (and Loving) Yourself Less and Less
Let's end here. A very telling—and extremely underrated—way to know if you're in a good thing with someone else is how you feel about yourself while you're in the relationship. Push past the butterflies you might experience whenever you're with them or even how good the sex may be. Instead, focus on your entire sense of being. Does that person make you feel more capable and confident? Have you found yourself taking more life chances and risks? Have you accomplished more as an individual? Are you emotionally maturing and spiritually evolving? Also, can you honestly say that if the relationship ended today, while it might hurt, you know that all of the growth that has transpired will remain because the experience has made you a better person overall? If you can nod your head "yes", I say "kudos" and "bravo" to you.
But if you actually feel like you've lost a sense of who you are, that you are unhappy—or at least, uncomfortable—more than you are delighted and at peace, but you keep talking yourself into staying anyway, I have to ask you if you are not only trying to prove your worth to ole' boy, but to yourself too.
I don't care if it's a man, a friendship or even a job—if it's good for you, it's going to make you feel good about you. If that's not what's going on, what you're in is way too expensive because it is costing you way too much. Let it go, sis. Let it go…so that you can spend time discovering what you deserve…so that next time, you won't put yourself in the position of having to prove a damn thing.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy