Debra Stancil

Rules of Engagement

“Life is what happens while you are busy making plans.” –Allen Sanders

Becoming a card-carrying member of the first and second wives club is not earned without having your heart shredded into an infinite number of pieces or having questions that no one could ever possibly answer to your satisfaction because during this period nothing makes sense. Just when I thought my life couldn’t possibly get any worse, it did, but then it got better. I discovered that crossroads, often appear at the most inopportune moments, at the height of happiness or during the, did I really deserve this moments? If these forks in the road are not approached correctly, they can cause life altering results. Knowing your worth at these critical junctures is an essential ingredient needed to smoothly maneuver past, the life happens to all of us chapters.  It is okay to admit, that you don’t know how you arrived at this unpleasant place and you don’t know what to do next. But what is not okay, is not attempting to find out, thus allowing; you to remain in an unhealthy, unpleasant and unfulfilling situation because it is comfortable and familiar.  Settling is often coupled with fear, fear of the thought of being alone, the fear of never finding true love again or even the fear of never having sex again.  The polarizing thought of never finding Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now; far too often causes us to stay seated at the table where we are no longer being served. My relationship crossroads momentarily, reduced me to someone I didn’t physically, spiritually or emotionally recognize, it was not until I found the courage to develop and employ my relationship rules of engagement, everything I loved about me was restored.

Most women are born with a nurturing spirit. It is the innate nurturer, intertwined with some outside influences that have convinced us that it is unnatural, to allow ourselves to be first. As women, we often place our desires at the bottom of our emotional need chain. I have discovered, when I slow down enough to take a deep cleansing breath and exhale, with a goal to release, all the negative self-talk, that I have been hoarding in my head, it’s at those relaxed times, I allow myself to truly imagine and reminisce what it must feel like to be a VIP (Very Important Person). How VIPs are given first class treatment in word and in deeds. How the limousine with dark tinted windows, along with a driver dressed in a black suit and tie is sent to pick them up for every event, when they arrive at the venue, the red carpet is in place. The words that are used to address them are carefully chosen to ensure not to offend or fracture the relationship. It’s during these moments, I allow the little girl in me to run free, the one who naturally wanted to be the first one in the elementary school lunch line. Be the first one to turn her test in to her favorite teacher or the first one to cross the finish-line in the 50-yard dash. I encourage you to take a moment to rediscover the period in your life when it felt right to be first or what it would feel like, to be treated like a VIP by the people that are supposed to love and honor you the most. Once you embrace or re-experience that moment never let it go again, for she will be the Warrior Princess needed, to help you effectively navigate a life filled with forks, bends, crossroads and intersections.  Knowing your self-worth requires you to first consider what is in your best interest and to be true to yourself.