My oh my oh my…having the courage to admit our flaws, when we’re wrong, when we don’t know, and that we messed up…oh the agony of forcing that confession out for others to hear and realize. Daggumit it can be a doozy to the tenth power, especially if you’re as stubborn as I am—or more.

This morning I took the time to really pull back some layers and admit some things that I’ve passively admitted in the past, but honestly never took the time and required steps to fix, heal, and make right.

It wasn’t an easy process. It took me about 3 hours to really process and reflect my truths. It can be difficult looking closely in the mirror at self, looking at the things that you don’t like or that you try to mask from others. Unlike those external blemishes many people attempt to conceal, the internal ones are hard to mask and run from. At some point you’re going to have to face your demons, truths, and even your lies. Everything will have to be confronted. Everything will have to be revealed. The truth always comes to light. Nothing can remain in the darkness forever.

The only way to heal is for the yuckiness below the surface to be compressed until it has no choice but to rise up and get plucked, blotted, or drained out. When I had an infected wound from a second degree burn, the doctor had to scrub, scrape, and pull out the infected areas so that healing could take place. It was painful. I don’t have any enemies, but if I did, I wouldn’t wish that pain on them. I felt like I was going to black out and die. The doctor apologized before, during, and after. He kept saying, “please don’t hate me” and I cried and kept repeating, “I don’t hate you. I know that you’re trying to help me!”

Looking at my inner self and how the negative and toxic things that I’ve said and done to myself and others has had a lasting impact, is something that hurts deeply. Today I had to really face some harsh truths so that I could really heal. Not that superficial healing, where the wound is tolerable because it’s better than it was. Nope, I mean that deep healing that is so complete that there’s barely a sign of a previous injury. That’s the kind of healing and wholeness that I want. I don’t want to walk around visibly wounded and clearly wounding others. As the old saying goes, “hurt people, hurt people” and I’ve been hurt through self-infliction and through the actions of others, but I’ve only made it worse by turning around and hurting other people—especially those that I love. How can I genuinely love you if I hurt you? The same is true in reverse. And just because someone hurts you through words or actions, it is our decisions that determine how much more hurt will be inflicted through our desire to retaliate. Are we truly ready to live with the painful consequences? Self-control is easier said than done. It’s far easier to try to control others. It’s also more pitiful.

Over the weekend, someone I love did and said something that hurt me. Yet, my lack of self-control made the wound deeper and far more painful. I lashed out, shut down, and dug my head in the sand to try to block out the internal voice of peace and reason that said, “just shut up, listen, and stop trying to control the narrative and outcome“. The more that I argued the more I hurt myself and this person. It hurts to type that. But it’s the truth and in seeking the truth we have to be willing to pull back layers that are ugly, smelly, painful, and difficult to tolerate.

You gotta go and grow to know.

So if you have a moment, visit my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog post for today. Maybe what I’ve shared can also help you or someone you know begin the deep healing process that we all desperately want and most definitely need. You don’t need to be Christian or even spiritual to connect with today’s message. It’s a message that digs past and beneath the ordinary so that we can reach and embrace the extraordinary.

I share this in and with love!


Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I re-posted the picture (above) on my Instagram page on January 27, 2016. I saw it at @i_amrachelg

This picture and what Rachel G had to say in her caption, speaks volumes about some of today’s relationships. Let me reflect on some things:

When reading the words on the picture I can’t help but to think about myself and how I’ve always viewed my role within a relationship. I was raised to focus on my mission and purpose while making sure that I also stood firmly next to my man to help him with his mission and focus, because guess what? My man should be doing the same for me. Iron sharpens iron.


Hey Queens!

I ran across several videos from Derrick Jaxn that I truly believe can help numerous women who are currently in or seeking to be in a relationship with a man.

I always enjoy listening to Derrick’s perspective on things because he never sugar coats his responses to make them more palatable for viewers; you get him as he is—raw and unfiltered. It’s appreciated.

So earlier this morning I was scrolling through my IG feed to get my fill of the positive and inspiring people that I follow, and I ran across Derrick’s most recent post that was in response to a woman who posted online her anger that her male friend (“best friend”) of seven years has ended their friendship to appease his new girlfriend of two months.


Audio Message

What I’ve shared below can also be heard through this audio message. Click play and enjoy.

I’m sitting here at my desk reflecting.

My reflection is focused upon my life, specifically my love life.

I’m a romantic. I’ve always been. I don’t need the big and grandiose. I love the simple things in life and love. Oftentimes it’s the smallest of gestures that have the biggest impacts, the smallest packages can contain the best of gifts—and that, for me, brings me the greatest joy. A handbag has a price tag and can be damaged, lost, stolen, sold, or given away; sitting by my bedside holding my hand, rubbing my head, kissing me and telling me that all will be well, while I’m in the hospital fighting fear and whatever else—that’s priceless and can never be damaged, lost, stolen, sold, or given away. That time, attention and affection is for me and only me. That is precious and everlasting in my heart and mind.


After watching this brief clip that someone posted on Facebook that shows a recording of an episode where Iyanla Vanzandt has Black men and women openly expressing their hurts, anger, and disappointments, I share in this multi-part reflection and plea that I’ve started below.

I know that it can apply to any ethnicity of people (for internally we all have unique and sometimes even similar struggles), but I can only speak for and directly to the group I share the most commonalities with—Black people—but I encourage all to read this, to get a better understanding of the unique struggles that Black people and specifically African Americans face daily in the US—see the commonalities within your own ethnic group—and consider the ways that even you may have unknowingly perpetuated one or more of the stereotypes that continue to divide one group of people (in this case, African Americans) and reinforce the stigmas that keep nations of people divided:

To Black Women I Say…

Ladies listen to your men. Truly listen. Don’t ignore their complaints. They are crying out and they need us.

Stop allowing the past and what society has forced us to do to survive to be the barrier that prevents us from having a genuine and loving connection with our men.

To Black Men I Say…

Menfolk, you need to come together and give each other the “pass” and approval to be vulnerable, to open up and share your hurt and anger in a way that allows women to fully understand in a healthy way, without us feeling the need to mother you or chastise you as being “weak”. Those are the two extremes that we keep repeating and reinforcing, that further attacks and emasculates you.

To Black Women I Say…

Ladies we can’t say we want a gentleman who possesses qualities of nurturing, tenderness, and compassion—but then call a man a punk when he shows sadness, fear, depression, etc.

He is human just like you.

He has feelings just like you.

He has insecurities just like you.

Just like you, he faces rejection and pressures from the world simply because of the color of his skin.

He wants to be heard and understood, appreciated and celebrated, forgiven and shown compassion—just like you.

You should be more concerned about the man who does not cry than the one who does. The former is boiling and dying from within. The latter is releasing the toxins that could do harm to him, to you, and to others.

I’m guilty of not being empathetic and sympathetic enough to realize that I placed men, especially Black men, on a pedestal of Super Hero status—with expectations that they are to be stronger, braver, and more resilient because they are men—-that they should just “suck it up and get past it” all while forgetting that even super heroes have weaknesses, flaws, areas of vulnerability that leaves them exposed and easy to harm.

I forgot the very important lessons that my Black father taught me about Black men, and how to love, appreciate and support them.

I forgot that just like the burden of being labeled “Wonder Woman” or “Super Woman” is draining on me, the labels placed on men also drain them.

All super heroes need a break— refuge.

Batman went to the bat cave, switched out his gear, took the secret door back to his “normal” life as Bruce Wayne. When Wonder Woman isn’t out there saving the world with her lasso and shields, she’s just a regular person—Diana Prince.

Super heroes can’t always be “on”. They need a break too! And they also need healthy companionship. Look at the super heroes and their love interests. There’s a sense of balance.

As Black people we have shared experiences of slavery (past and present), of injustice, cruelty, and racism. We have shared pain just as we have shared hope.

Just like we need a safe place to rest our head, men do too! They need someone they can let down their guards with and be vulnerable to, and trust that they won’t be attacked when they take off their super hero costume, or simply—just when they turn their backs or close their eyes to rest.

When they turn to us we need to be there for them. Not to mother them—society already says that they are boys and not men. But instead to simply provide refuge from the outside world. A safe place of peace, tucked away from a world of conflict and chaos.

Home is not merely a physical place. It should be what we have in and with each other.

To Black Men I Say…

Men, you need to stop negatively comparing Black women to other women. Stop telling Black women how inferior we are to other women. Stop telling us how ugly we are, inside and out.

Stop reducing us to our bodies as merely sexual props for your pleasure, to be easily discarded—as it reinforces the trauma inflicted on our women when slave masters raped and discarded us.

Please don’t keep opening that wound and torturing us.

It’s one thing to honor and celebrate us, it’s another thing to exploit and pimp us out—to basically say that we’re only as good as our booty is big.

Stop perpetuating the labels and stereotypes of Black women.

These labels and stereotypes are not merely reinforced by the few Black women who proudly or ignorantly display these traits and characteristics.

They are co-signed by your affirmations of their truth.

Others turn to the Black man and ask, “is this true about Black women?” and when you say “yes” it stamps all Black women with a seal.

What you say about Black women is a clear affirmation of what you think and how you see your mother, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, and yes even your daughters.

Are the words that you use to describe Black women the same that you would want someone else to describe the females of your family?

Is that what you want your daughter to hear and respond to?

Are the ways that you treat Black women the ways that you would want your daughter, mother, sister, and grandmother to be treated?

The negative labels devalue and destroy us.

We are not ALL one way or another. Just like Black men are not.


Ladies and gentlemen, please let this sink in and marinate. We have to engage in dialogue and take ownership for our roles and parts in this disconnect.

I cannot possibly dive as deep as I would like because I’m limited by this medium that I’ve selected. So we will go as deep as possible to allow for discussion that can branch off into your own independent discussions.

The first step towards healing is to admit there is a problem.

Tomorrow we will continue with part two of this discussion. I hope that you will join me and share your thoughts and suggestions.


Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant/Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
All footage in the video is owned and protected by Iyanla Vanzandt and the Oprah Winfrey Network. I do not claim any rights to the content.
The image art used with this post is not my creation. It was found at

Those of us who love R&B music and spent the 1980s growing up or growing into our lives remember the song “Just The Way You Like It” by The S.O.S. Band.

Do you recall the lyrics?

You have been single for a long time and I don’t want to cramp your style…as long as I can be your number one you can still have your fun whenever you need love, I can give it to you just the way you like it…you keep your other girls until you settle down, until you get bored, I can give it to you just the way you like it…

Such a catchy song. I remember singing it with so much passion and confidence as a girl. I didn’t know what the lyrics truly meant and I didn’t know that they would in many ways conflict with my beliefs, values, and morals—but that there was also one principle represented in the song that would be the guiding standard I would measure all relationships, and would escape me in most.

Let me explain.

I’m a person who values monogamy, faithfulness, and loyalty in monogamous relationships. I don’t cheat and I don’t tolerate cheating—even though I stayed in relationships where men cheated on me, but that’s for another post.

I’m not going to “share” you with another person if we agreed in the beginning on “no sharing”, just so later on you can decide on your own to break the rules and go dabble in someone else’s yard.

I’m also a person that believes that if we are truly honest about our wants, needs, desires, expectations, and standards then we can maturely engage in a relationship of our shared liking.

If you want to freely date and be intimate (on whatever level) with other people, then that should be clearly articulated at the beginning and throughout the life of every relationship you form. Because I’m also a believer that open relationships are a mutually agreed upon arrangement. So we both have to agree to not be exclusive and monogamous, or to be exclusive in one area of our life but not in another area.

I’ve been involved with men where we made clear, upfront, that we are not dating exclusively, that we are dating other people, so that also means we are intimate on some level with these other people. The clear communication reduces confusion and hurt feelings. You shouldn’t be upset when you see me (or hear that I’m out) with another man because you already know that I’m not exclusively dating you. The same is true in reverse.

Well, let me clarify–I better not, or should I say, “I bet not” see a man I’m dating out on a date with another man (even though I’ve suspected at least one man I used to be involved with of doing so). We never discussed that, I never agreed to it and for me, that’s a deal breaker. For me. Whatever floats your boat, it just doesn’t float mine.

However, if “blended” relationships (in whatever context) are agreed upon between two people then there should be no reason for discord when you see the other person dating another person regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

If you and your partner are into dating and/or having sex with multiple people, multiple genders, or a blend of the two all at the same time—there are rules of engagement that should be clear and mutually agreed upon, and frequently reinforced. I’m not interested in sharing a bed with more than one person, so you can guess my answer to this request.

I strongly believe that people should be honest about their intentions, desires, wants and needs. If you want multiple wives or husbands, have no desire to marry, don’t want children (or you do), you’re bisexual, bicurious, a swinger, love the BDSM life, have fantasies of being a part of the mile high club, or you’re simply against monogamy—tell the person you’re getting to know these things upfront before feelings, emotions, labels, expectations, and roles are set.

If you are extremely conservative and only engage in relationships based on your traditional conservative upbringing, then make this clear in the beginning.

What are your dealbreakers?

State them upfront not when the person has crossed your boundary.

What does all of this have to do with the song “Just The Way You Like It“? Keep reading and you will find out.

We have more issues in relationships because we aren’t being honest and communicating fully and frequently with a depth that is required to put ‘all of our cards on the table’.

It’s not even good enough to say “let’s not complicate our relationship” because what exactly does that mean to you? It may mean something totally different to the other person. What makes something complicated or not? And doesn’t using the term “relationship” already make things feel a little weighted and intense. “Friends with benefits” doesn’t seem as intense as “relationship”. A “relationship” sounds and feels deeper, more connected and intimate. A “hookup” or “booty call” doesn’t. They sound casual.

What is the casual equivalence of “booty call” when sex is not involved? Hmmm….I suppose that would just be a friendship. Then why do we complicate and blur things by calling a sexual relationship a “friendship”?

Can you see how even the things we perceive to be “little” should be discussed and made crystal clear so that there’s no confusion and room for potential future conflict?

Imagine talk shows and “reality tv” shows if everyone was open and honest. We wouldn’t have drama, no “you’re the father” results, no need for the TV show “Cheaters”. If everyone knew where they stood and the predefined boundaries weren’t crossed, there would be no need for some of these shows. Love & Hip Hop and similar shows wouldn’t be half as appealing if no one was being cheated on. Track how much time is being dedicated to drama tied to romantic encounters.

The withholding of information, secrecy, lies, game-playing, and cheating makes for great television, and makes courts and divorce lawyers wealthier.

Keep tracking with me as I’m tying it all back to this song.

I have a personal example that I would like to share. The song made me think about my life and decisions that I’ve made.

I was in the transition phase after ending a long-term relationship and I became casually involved with a man that I met at a friend’s party. Although we sort of discussed the casualness of our interaction and that we didn’t want to “complicate it“, we immediately and over time complicated it by engaging on some levels like a couple, but since we never clearly addressed and identified our roles in each other’s life our lines were always blurred. We spoke in what I can now articulate as coded inferences, but not clear expectations and rules of engagement. Maybe it was the thought of “rules” and “boundaries” that caused us to avoid having genuine conversations about us.

As I started meeting other men I would tell him about these other men and he would give me advice at the same time jokingly make comments that seemed as though he wanted me for himself. I didn’t take serious his comments that stated his desire for what would resemble a (genuine) dating relationship with me. I assumed he was joking or just testing me because it contradicted what he initially stated as his desires to “not complicate our friendship“.

He seemed content being single even though he would sometimes say he wanted more. He even admitted to feeling awkward and jealous about the time and intensity of my relationships with other men. He didn’t feel comfortable feeling like he had to compete for my attention. He even slipped up and admitted a level of love for me, then tried to joke around to lighten its impact. He would try to make light of his declarations that I was his. I would laugh with him but would always silently wonder.

When he and I would spend time together it was passionate and there was a strong chemistry, and I’m not just speaking in sexual terms, I mean in general (but the former is also true) but you could also feel our struggle to “not complicate it” and so to keep us from spiraling I eventually suggested that we part ways. I could feel his energy and I also knew that I was developing strong feelings for him…like, you know…love.

I also knew what he told me from the beginning, he wasn’t interested in getting married again or having any more children (he had two from his previous marriage)—so I knew that there’s no way we could be a couple because I wanted children and possibly even marriage (the latter was a complicated concept at that time in my life).

We thought that these vastly different desires and outlooks would make the casualness of our arrangement easier. We could pretend on a certain level to have some of the benefits of being a couple but without the labels, and with the freedom to date other people. He could put me in a box and take me down when he wanted me. He didn’t have the pressure to bring me around family and friends, and I wasn’t pushing for those introductions and interactions. We didn’t have the pressures of celebrating holidays together because we kept those occasions separate from our world.

I found myself spending more time with another man who was showing me the level of attention that I honestly wanted from “Mr. Uncomplicated”. It was easier, in my mind, to give in to the pursuits of another male suitor (not him) than to put on my grown woman heels and tell this man who was increasingly capturing my heart, that we needed to have a grown folks talk about us and what we truly want. We didn’t want to “complicate” what we had so we were willing to part ways to protect that. It was and is as stupid as it sounds.

Our “relationship” was a walking contradiction filled with inconsistencies and complications. Maybe things would’ve been different had we said upfront “we’re gonna strictly be friends with benefits, contact me when you want to hang out or when you just want a booty call, but we’re not exclusive and are free to date, spend time, and be intimate with other people of the opposite sex“.

But then again, maybe not.

I tried that approach during and after college and each time it backfired. The men always “caught feelings” and couldn’t handle sharing me with other men; they wanted to date me exclusively—although each and every time they were the ones who proposed this “friends with benefits” arrangement.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we all share and exchange energy and the more you engage with a person, the greater the bond that is formed.

That bond now complicates a casual arrangement.

Now it’s like someone trying to play with your G.I. Joe or Barbie without your permission, you’re filled with all kinds of emotions and can’t see straight. You don’t want to share your G.I. Joe or Barbie. It doesn’t matter that you left it outside on the playground, it’s yours and you don’t want anyone else playing with it.

So months later when “Mr. Uncomplicated” contacted me and we reconnected, we further complicated our “arrangement”. My baggage mixed with his and once again we never fully communicated our desires, wants, needs, expectations and standards. We didn’t clearly outline the rules of engagement. We just foolishly restated that we didn’t want to “complicate things between us” which once again translates to two dummies about to complicate things.

Our lack of communication and our mixed signals that we sent led us to create a fence between us. His desire (seemingly) to not blur the lines meant he kept what we had in a “box” that did not mingle with the other “boxes” in his life. He attended events that I would see through pictures but never in person, and he would have to see my separate life through pictures.

My desire to make him feel like I was doing my part to keep it casual meant that I was speaking boldly in absolutes that made clear I had no interest in a relationship, although that was far from the truth. I would joke about my interests in dating other men. I would tell him the types of women he should date, which would always exclude me. I would tell him how he should cut women slack and be more open in his interactions with them, but I positioned myself to never be one of those women.

The crazy thing is we both wanted what the other provided but admitting that mean’t “complicating things”.

I recall the night I slipped and said I loved him, but didn’t think he heard me. He did. He mentioned it the next day. I was dismissive and nervously laughed through it.

Oh my goodness was I now violating our pact to not complicate things?

So what did I do to remedy this? I verbally and on many levels emotionally helped to further separate us and at some point I’m sure that I hurt or offended him, or both. He started pulling away, flaking on dates, called and texted less frequently, and when he did text it didn’t feel like I was speaking to him most of the time. It became clear that the fence between us was too high and he was no longer interested in me. The reality that he could be more interested in someone else was also a pill I had to swallow.

What had we done? How did we get here? Why did we reunite just to damage something that was special to us? To me?

Strange how that can happen with something as casual as “let’s not complicate this”. Now two people are hurt and offended.

I never got the chance to openly and honestly tell him what I wanted, needed, expected, and what I would be willing to give in return. I never got the chance to tell him how I felt about him and how I felt about spending time with him.

I would’ve enjoyed dating him and having the freedom to date others.

I would’ve also enjoyed dating him exclusively.

We wasted so much time sending clues and signals, dropping hints, playing games of avoidance (so not to appear “sprung”)—but never being mature enough to sit down as two adults and have an honest conversation about what mattered most to us.

I enjoyed our friendship. I enjoyed spending time with him, going out to dinner, sampling his food (yes he can cook), watching and talking about sports, planning trips and excursions together (although things ended before we had a chance to travel together). I enjoyed our phone calls and the random text messages.

I enjoyed the steps of falling…


…in love with him….

I loved how I felt when I was with him, how he looked at me, how he held my hand or when he would reach across the table to touch my hand or arm. His energy shot through me. Just like one of his magnetic kisses. So intense. So telling. Yet we said nothing.

I loved how he said my name and how he would call me out for being judgmental. I loved his voice, his eyes, his smile, how he walked, and his laugh. I loved how thoughtful he was and how he would stop by my apartment and bring me food. He would check on me when I wasn’t feeling well. He would also check to make sure I was eating since I can go hours forgetting to eat and then I’m left starving.

I loved that we are both diehard fans of the LA Lakers. I loved that he never genuinely badmouthed my Dallas Cowboys like I would his beloved team. He would even cheer for my team when they weren’t playing his.

I loved how passionate he is about life, his family, his career, and the organizations and activities that he’s involved with. Being a family-person myself, his love of family was what really attracted me to him. Of course his hot looks clearly mesmerized me, but even the sexiest of people can grow to look ugly on the outside if what’s in the inside is ugly. So for me this was a bonus—a man who puts God first, family second, and career third. Oh yeah he’s a winner in my book!

But we messed up because although we thought we clearly communicated what our arrangement was and wasn’t, what our relationship was and wasn’t—we didn’t. We threw gum on the wall and hoped it stuck. We hoped the other knew what we meant when we said or did something. We struggled with honestly expressing our feelings and desires, out of fear that our declaration would “complicate things”. We avoided confronting what was staring us both in the face.

It’s sad because we could have had a healthy relationship on our terms, built the way that we saw fit—as casual or formal as we wanted. We never got to travel together. We missed some of the events, concerts, and venues we planned to attend together. We never danced together. Not once. And we both love to dance.

We made plans but never kept them. We disconnected because what held us together wasn’t meant for “complicated” and we clearly were complicated.

So now FINALLY…back to the song “Just The Way You Like It“…

Do you know what makes this song work for the singer/writer?

Clear and honest communication.

She knows that this man has been single for years and is showing no signs of settling down into a committed and monogamous relationship anytime soon. She also knows that it is his decision, not hers or anyone else’s, as to when he chooses monogamy or not.

You can’t force a person to pick you or to be monogamous to you. It’s their decision. They have to have a desire to be with you and only you. If they don’t, there’s nothing that you can do or say to change that.

The songstress in “Just The Way You Like It” is mature enough to know this fact. She tells the man to keep doing his thing, keep dating and having sex with other women, but she has one request—she wants to be his number one; she wants to be the one he calls when he’s tired of the others; she wants to be the one he chooses when he decides he’s indeed 100% ready to be in a monogamous relationship. For her, she’s okay with the casualness of their interaction, their relationship. She knows what she wants and needs from him and she states it boldly.

Interesting enough she never says that she too will be free to date and be intimate with other men (or women, or both), so we’re left to wonder if she’s the woman that just waits to receive whatever he has left to give (which repulses many women)—or if she’s the woman empowered to say, “you get yours because I’m gonna get mine, and when you’re ready to make this just a you-and-me thing then let me know because I will be ready…” which can freak out a lot of men.

We’re left with questions.

You could always attempt to piece together where she stands by listening to the rest of The S.O.S. Band’s album.

After reading this super long post I leave you with these questions…

1) What are your expectations and standards about love, sex and intimacy, and relationships?

2) To what extent will you go to clearly articulate these things to others?

3) Do you honestly believe it’s possible to have casual relationships without complicating them with the attributes of a more formal, “traditional” relationship? Why?

Honest, open, and full communication is key. Plain and simple. That way you can have things just the way you like it!


Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman/Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s another message that I reflect upon from the past. On April 5, 2016 I wrote this message as a reflection to a Facebook post written by a man who was reflecting over his marriage and the ups and downs that he experienced trying to juggle marriage, career, and family.


I shared the message as I share it today, with hopes that it reaches those single individuals who dream of one day marrying, those married couples who are struggling and contemplating divorce, those married couples who haven’t yet hit any bumps, and to those who are divorced and aren’t quite sure if getting married again is the thing for them.

Please read this message, reflect on it, share your thoughts, and then be sure to forward this message to others. With more and more people waiting to marry, others divorcing in staggering rates, or an increasing number of people opting out and choosing to bypass marriage altogether—it’s refreshing to look through the lens of someone who struggled, recovered, and reclaimed the connection he was losing because his priorities were misaligned. It can be a message that can help others before they cross that bridge, as well as those who have crossed it and are sliding down a collapsing hillside. It can also help those who have reached the bottom of the hillside and wonder if it’s worth taking the journey again.

I look forward to your positive comments.


Original post:

I was on Instagram a few moments ago and I saw a video that a personal fitness trainer posted of her class doing circuit training in the gym. It was awesome seeing these women of all sizes working out and focused. You could see in their efforts that they are determined to reach whatever goals they have set.

I didn’t notice any slackers. I didn’t notice anyone with poor form. They seem in it to win it. I could see the struggle and the sweat. These women weren’t playing.

Do you know how I know this?

It’s simple. They showed up and worked out. They could easily take the lazy route and just talk about how they want to lose weight, get healthy, or gain muscle—and never follow through. These women showed up and they are putting in the work.

Let me be clear about one point, since I’m sure someone is thinking this–I’m not referring to a class of well-trained, muscular women. Nope. Many people would have something negative to say about most of the women in this group. Some of you would even stoop low enough to fat shame them. Hence why I said earlier that they seem in it to win it and weren’t playing around with their work out. These women seem very determined to reach their health and fitness goals. They showed up and put in the work.

The ONLY way to reach your goal is to do the work. The people who want it fast and easy are the same ones who fall fast and hard. There’s no true sweat equity invested so there’s no motivation to keep consistently pushing forward, so you usually fall back to doing things the way you used to—taking on the bad habits that frustrated you to begin with, which leads to the hard thump we hear when you hit the ground face first (figuratively of course).

Do you want to lose weight or get back in shape? 

I’ve gone from a 6-7 day a week actively fit person, to a person I struggle to recognize. I know I love how I feel when I’m consistently working out and active. But I make excuses and then complain about how I look and feel. I’m the ONLY person who can change that, and it won’t happen if I don’t…

Put in the work!

Do you want to start and build a successful business, have a strong relationship with your significant other, or earn a college degree, or all three of these things? 

Put in the work! 

Put in the work! 

Put in the work!

Put in the work! 

We need to break this “microwave mindset” that has caused us to expect results fast with little to no effort. It’s caused us to become lazy. We’re left to always look for something or someone else to quickly fix our problem or fill our need. We jump on every get-rich-quick scheme or diet fad.

We waste more time trying to find the short cut, when we could actually be working towards our goals.

Get your mind centered on PUTTING IN THE WORK. Or you will continue your weak attempts at New Year’s Resolutions, piles of unattained dream boards, and complaining about how you look or what you don’t have.

If you aren’t tired of hearing yourself whine, complain, and wallow in self-pity, I can guarantee you that there’s more than one person out there who is tired of hearing your mouth. Let me say what they can’t or won’t say to you…

Shut up, show up, put in the work, and get the job done!

No one faults the person who tried yet failed. But we roll our eyes in disgust at the lazy person who is shocked and dismayed that their lack of effort didn’t result in a win. Get your butt up and put in the work!


When my husband, John Hope Bryant, and I first started dating, we would play each other songs that expressed how we felt. One of our favorite artists was Alicia Keys. Her songs hit home with us. One being, “Un-thinkable” (“I’m Ready”).

For me, it was a song proclaiming a love, a readiness, and a desire for something more, deeper, and more committed. For me, it was a song declaring that no matter what outsiders thought, said, or did—I was ready to be by my now-husband’s side. I would fight for and protect our love. I would stand by his side and always have his back. I would smash anyone who dared to attack him or us.

Neither of us were looking for the other, but we found each other anyway. It’s amazing how God works, especially when you stay out of His way!

I’m a “ride or die” kinda woman, so hearing lyrics that expressed this sentiment, touched my heart. So much so that I had this same song played at our wedding reception. We danced together, looking into each other’s eyes, knowing exactly what this song meant to us and our relationship….

Us against all others.

Us against everything that would stand in our way.

Us making sure that we put God first and our union second.

Us—two people in love with each other, with life, with the possibilities, and most importantly–with our Creator.

So let me ask YOU some important questions as we near the end of 2016…

What are you ready for? What are you committed to doing right now? In the New Year? What are you willing to fight for against all odds? What goals have you not defined and pursued out of fear? What person are you not committing to out of fear? What cause are you not leading, out of fear?

Claim it and go get it! Watch this video. Listen to the lyrics. Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way!


I read this article written by Amy Morin, that I thought I would share with my readers to engage in a healthy dialogue about love, how we fall in and out of it, and how we can build upon our relationships to keep the spark alive for years to come.

Morin wrote that usually after two years (according to numerous studies) people’s high intensity feelings for each other begin to subside, as they come off the ‘high’ that falling in love produces. This ‘high’ has been compared to the same intensity associated with the hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder. But for whatever reason, usually after two years, people begin to disconnect from that wild ride and begin seeing themselves and the other person differently.

Morin wrote that oftentimes it’s around this time when a person begins to pull away, be less affectionate, think they are bored or lonely, consider life with someone new, begin having wandering eyes, etc.

They think that something is missing in their relationship, and it is—they stopped investing in the relationship so it gradually became less exciting. The veil was removed, and instead of reinvesting in the relationship and the other person, people tend to pull away even more. It’s not as easy and seemingly effortless as it was in the beginning. Now they have to work at it.

What? Work in a relationship, why?

Morin shared some interesting points such as:

Once the romantic, intense “in love” feelings subside, you have a choice to engage in a more mature love that can be even deeper and more meaningful. Mature love offers couples a true life partner. It doesn’t have to be boring or stale. Instead, it’s what you make of it because it’s based more on how you behave, rather than simply how you feel.

She then goes on to share eighteen things that those in mature love relationships do to keep that spark alive and growing, such as, “People who experience mature love don’t indulge themselves in thoughts that aren’t productive to the relationship” and, “They understand that this is the person they’ve chosen in life and that the relationship will be what they make of it“.

To read the entire article and to find out more about the 18 things people can do to stay in love, visit: 18 Ways to Prevent Falling Out of Love

Then after reading the article, share with me your thoughts on the article as a whole, your opinion about the 18 steps, and what you personally do to keep the spark in your relationship, or what you intend to do to reignite the flame.

Maybe something shared can help new couples, honeymooners, or couples who are in the “falling out of love” phase. Maybe something shared can help you in your current relationship, or help you to be mindful in a future relationship. Maybe, just maybe, something shared can help those who have fallen out of love and don’t see any other options but to call it quits.

With all of the cheating, scandals, breakups, separations, and divorces—isn’t it a breath of fresh air to sit back and converse about how to work (positively and passionately) at keeping the love strong?

Love is work. It requires you to invest time and energy even when you don’t feel like you have much of either. We had no problem investing time and energy in the beginning of the relationship. We had no problem staying up late, losing sleep, making love several times per week, spending countless hours talking and getting to know each other, and putting in the effort to look good for the other person.

Why can’t we continue investing the time and energy now and years later? Let’s stop accepting and engaging in the “I/we fell out of love” phase.

You love your spouse/significant other, so speak it, claim it, and put in the work to make your love last!

~ Natasha L. Foreman


Copyright 2013. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved Unless Otherwise Noted.