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confident in my badassness: stripping my shadow for the love of my dreams

Unless we’re coming off an edge from a relationship gone wrong, none of us think about the darkness that can be connected to love. In fact, popular opinion often advises that if any darkness is associated with a love, that it’s not love – not a healthy one, at least – and that if we’re ever in a dark love, that we should run for the hills. How many loves have we discarded solely because shadows kept coming out – theirs or ours – and though we run, we cannot escape these shadows? When true love comes, isn’t it shadow-free???

No.

As I’ve written before, there is a specific quality about romantic love that pierces to the heart of the matters within our souls, matters that need to be revealed and healed. And if we are in divine partnerships, this specific quality is magnified hundreds of times, for divinely destined relationships have a particular goal in mind – to refine both persons, individually and collectively, as much as possible. This destiny requires that some pretty dark, ugly shit rise to the surface for acknowledgement, inspection, sometimes some cleansing, and always – integration.

So, this means that the love of our dreams is not all lovely and sweet or wonderfully fragrant. No one is coming, at least at first, to whisk us away into a horse-drawn carriage down a yellow brick road to live eternally, happily ever after. Therefore we need to expand our definitions and our perspectives of what is healthy and what is required. Everything becomes more grey than black and white. It all shifts and moves around more than it is solid and predictable. It’s all a rather adventurous invitation into vulnerable spaces – places where we’re naked – not because we’re going to fuck, but because we’re being stripped, beyond the bone.

stripping

Everything that we’ve ever known about ourselves is up for grabs to be peeled away, layer by layer, no matter how painful or how closely cemented they are to us. Our comfort and ease are not #goals. The only thing that the universe is after is the end, the end in which we ascend into our true power, in which we BE the very best versions of ourselves to serve the greater good, to help others along the Way. G~d requires that we are confident in our badassness. This requirement necessitates a stripping of our shadows, and for that, we get the loves of our dreams.

During one of our recent weekly oracle readings (view below, cued to the shadow part) on love, intimacy, sex, relationships, etc., i had the most a-mazing revelation by applying as metaphor Yeshua’s (Jesus) journey between his crucifixion and ascension. So, what really (completely) happened when Yeshua descended into the dead and spent some quality time in hell? Have we heard the whole story? Was there any stripping of Yeshua that occurred there before he was completely ready to arise from death and then to ascend? For we know not only did he appear so differently to his closest disciples that they did not recognize him immediately when he returned, but that upon his incarnation, he grew into the man he needed to become to live out G~d’s call on his life.

From these questions and what we know from the Greek writings, I assert and extend that ascension requires stripping, of every single thing that we have. Following Yeshua’s hero journey, stripping of:

  • his status in heaven to become human
  • his ego and other related qualities during his time of testing in the wilderness before launching his ministry
  • his will in order to agree freely to go the cross where his human life would end

Those are all the details that we have. There has to be more. What else had to go for him to rise to his next level?

In other aspects of our lives, we are familiar with this requirement of stripping:

  • bad habits to become more disciplined for a job that requires more multi-tasking
  • self-centered perspectives and behaviors to be available for an expanded family life
  • downsizing and tightening the financial belt to save money for larger investments like real estate

BEing in the love of our dreams is no different. It’s way bigger than the even great task of simply deciding that we’ve found a cool person to share life with for the rest of our days on earth. Dream love is a lofty ambition, literally. It’s a love that lives in the clouds, in the ether; it’s up there. And for us to get up there, we need to be lighter and lighter and lighter … dropping baggage, shedding layers, removing masks, disrobing – allowing all to be revealed and ogled, studied, analyzed, enjoyed, consumed, and relished.

Are you thinking that this is not what you signed up for? LOLOLOL – I get that. But then you also know that you’ll take nothing else for your journey now. 🙂

Here’s to high-flyin’ love!

Looking for clarity, confirmation, answers, guidance regarding love, career, family – or just life? Share your questions with candi for an oracle reading to help you on your way! She is here for you 🙂

(c) 2018 candi dugas, llc

good love

good love

“I wanna know what good love feels like, good love, good love. I want a love that’s sure to stand the test of time. I wanna know what good love feels like, good love, good love.”

The longing for love in our lives can become more pervasive on February 14th of each year, a day many look forward to and as many dread. It can be a day of surprise (i.e., marriage proposals) or a day of disappointment (i.e, the surprise delivery of roses and chocolates never arrives). If we are among the disappointed ones, we may also experience envy on Valentine’s Day, wishing for ourselves the kind of affirmations others receive seemingly so easily.

I like that Anita Baker’s hit song, “Good Love,” qualifies what kind of love she wants – a good love. Too often we just say that we want love in our lives, that we lack love. More often than not, that’s not the case. We do have love, just not “good” love. If we can begin to acknowledge the various kinds of love and then begin to qualify them, we are well on our way to actually having what we desire.

“[O]ur experiences of love, and our loves, take multiple forms. Some thinkers prefer to reserve the name ‘love’ for a love that has normative content – that is, for loves that they consider to be good loves. Yet we know that not all of our loves are good, though they are loves. There are wise loves and foolish, good loves and bad, true loves and mistaken loves. The question ultimately is, what is a right love, a good, just , and true love?” (Margaret Farley, as quoted in Who Told You That You Were Naked? Black Women Reclaiming Sexual and Spiritual Goodness by dr. candi dugas [available on Amazon, $11.68 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle])

Farley suggests 3 criteria for good love:

  1. A clear and true understanding of whom you’re loving
  2. Your interior (i.e., your soul) connects with whom you’re loving (mutuality not necessary)
  3. Affirming whom you’re loving in ways that are honest about the person’s current reality and potential

No. 1 is in play when we do not objectify a person, only loving him for what we believe he can do for our egos, bank accounts, social statuses or careers. We are engaged in No. 2 when what we’re experiencing is more than words or even actions. And No. 3 is at work when we are not having an affair with a man committed to another relationship as if he was not, as if he were free to commit to us.

When any 1 or more of these 3 criteria is not present in our relationships, we have a mistaken love. Mistaken love is not when we think we love someone, but we’re actually feeling something else, like obligation. Rather, mistaken or false love is when we believe we have a love that does not match the nature of the relationship.

Let the love you have be the love that it is. Find out its name and call it out. If it’s not a good love and that’s what you want, end it; let it go. Then make it your business to get the good love you seek. You deserve it. And you can have it. “What you seek is seeking you.” (Rumi)

“If you’re the man I hear you say you are, I don’t quite understand why loving me is so hard. Never have I felt the need to be this close. Words cannot say, heaven only knows: I wanna know what good love feels like, good love, good love. I want a love that’s sure to stand the test of time. I wanna know what good love feels like, good love, good love. Morning, noon and night, forever all my life.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

(c) 2017 candi dugas, llc

ready-made man

ready-made man

There is no such thing.

From time to time I become incredibly irritated by the sanitizing of so-called conventional wisdom. It doesn’t matter to me if the sanitization is of romance or religion – in any context it doesn’t do anyone any good at all.

Too many women live in constant desire of a mate while also living in burdensome fear of the ones that cross their paths regularly. Of course, I am not advocating that we throw all caution to the wind and entertain the affections of any prospective lover. No. As always, however, there is plenty of good middle ground between the extremes.

Too many women, especially women of faith, ascribe to best practices that dictate a man be in a certain place in life before he becomes worthy of her affections. In essence, we are told to prepare ourselves and wait for the ready-made man. Just open the box, add water, and stir.

There is no such thing.

I have learned that life and being human is messy and that we cannot avoid the messiness, no matter how meticulously we try. On our best days, with our best efforts, we cannot sidestep or circumvent the natural flow of things. One certain aspect of life’s process is that there is a kind of assignment that romantic love must carry out. Romantic love has a particularly unique way of getting to the heart of matters to which we must tend in order to grow and heal. That is why when we end relationships before love has completed its work, we continue to meet the same lover over and over again, just in a different body.

May we move into 2017 without the rose-colored glasses? May we approach romantic love as women, pulling up our big-girl panties? May we be/become so secure in ourselves that we can handle the man’s growing edges because we know that together we can simultaneously support and challenge each other, going forward together to unknown adventures. May we stop looking for the ready-made man?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As you reflect and prepare for a new year, check out our 2016 posts:

image: pinterest

(c) 2016 candi dugas, llc

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