Does your Destiny include Happiness?

I have strong and coherent beliefs about purpose and meaning of these lives we live. Your happiness in life & love matters and there is purpose in it all. 

I think everything happens for a reason. It may not always be clear but I believe our small day-to-day pieces fit into a larger picture, like a puzzle. My beliefs shape my actions and are a source of comfort to me. 

When I think about how special it is when destiny connects, examples like this come to my mind. Have you ever run into someone you know out of nowhere and it seems like the most random thing and thought, wow what a coincidence? I have moments like that occasionally. Then I think to myself of all the people and moments in time, how did it work out to be in this moment? The only thing I can think is it must not be that random. It totally makes me believe things are connected. 

Funny enough, watching Sleepless in Seattle made me think of writing this post. I love a good Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com. 

In the movie, Meg Ryan’s character is engaged to this plain, boring fellow that she is willing to stay with because they can make it work. They are too familiar and used to one another. He doesn’t excite her or make her feel in love. They happen to be so predictable it becomes clear to her that it isn’t enough. She is willing to settle instead of be truly happy. 

In the magic of Hollywood her search for love and happiness during this movie, things work out even though her path to get there was a little crazy.

Meanwhile, Tom Hanks’ character has just lost his wife to cancer. He has a small son and relocates his life to Seattle for a fresh start away from all the memories of his wife whom he loved madly. His son shares their story on a late night radio show, seeking the right new partner for his dad and ladies all over are smitten.

The movie tells the tale of these two particular strangers across the country eventually finding themselves in love through a series of events. Some random and some not so random. 

About my earlier point on seeing someone you know randomly there is a line from the movie that says, “Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.” I just can’t bring myself to believe that with no doubts. 

I do think we actively play a role. We have to or life just happens to us. I still have to believe things that seem unconnected might also have dotted lines behind the scenes that connect them and make them matter. It may not be clear in that moment but it all matters.

When it comes to your destiny, do you choose happiness?

I hope everyone would but I know some would think they don’t deserve it. I want you to know that you do.

If sacrificing your happiness can come so easily to you it may be just a matter of time before you sacrifice other things that matter to you…your comfort, your peace of mind, etc.

Another great quote from this film, “I love you. But let’s leave that out of this. I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?”

I am grateful to have a love that makes me feel safe and protected, happy and free. When I think of where my life is and where I want it to go, my happiness is sacred.
Life and love is not perfect nor always easy but it should be worth it. Your destiny depends on it.

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Right to R.E.A.L Love: How to Make a Relationship Last, Episode 3

Here it is! The final episode of my series on the Right to R.E.A.L Love radio podcast.

In this episode, Jay and I wrap up our discussion to address the question: What can we do to ensure that our relationships last?

We leave you with these key takeaways:

1. Why our relationships can only be as healthy as we are

2. Ways to make a relationship last

In this episode and episode 2 we talk a little more about resources and books that can be helpful to couples.

Supporting your partner in the relationship you commit to is so important. You should do everything you can to learn about your significant other. You can lean on each other and learn from each other to make your relationship last. I am so happy to have the right kind of support in my relationship. Our great love and friendship for each other keeps our bond strong. It feels amazing to be so confident in what I have and who I share it with. 

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Be sure to also look up these books we mentioned during the series that can help you.

1. A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex, and Conflict by Tiya Cunningham-Sumter

2. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

3. Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage by Dr. Myles Munroe

4. Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men by Dr. Myles Munroe. There is also a counterpart book for Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman.

What other relationship books would you recommend? Please leave a comment below and share with us what has helped you.

Whether married or not, there are key relationship lessons to learn and take with us in life. This podcast was aimed at singles but does not mean married couples cannot gain knowledge or insight. I have heard many times from married people that the best time to prepare for marriage is before you’re married. I’m certain life does not become easier just because you’re married. Same as it’s not necessarily a walk in the park if you are single and dating or in a long-term committed relationship. No matter the stage or time put into a relationship, it takes work.

What are you bringing to the table and what do you need your partner to bring to the table to make your relationship last and your love grow deep and wide?

Hopefully during this series, my first radio podcast, you learned something and gained some insight on how to make your current or future relationships last.

Remember to have fun with each other, show respect, have trust and give each other the space you need to make your love grow over time. May your relationships last for several seasons and develop in its purpose.

The more you communicate with one another about where you are and where you are going, the easier it is to know if the relationship is right for you. Remember everything has its own time.

Listen to episode 3 here:

http://righttoreallove.com/make-a-relationship-last-part3/

Right to R.E.A.L. Love: How to Make a Relationship Last, Episode 2

I’m excited to share part 2 of my 3 part podcast series with the Right to REAL love radio show.

In this episode, the host Jay and I continue our discussion to address the question: How can couples survive the tough times they experience in their relationship?

Press play below to listen:

http://righttoreallove.com/make-a-relationship-last-part2/

The main lessons and takeaways, we wanted to share with our listening audience were all things so incredibly important in relationships.

We discussed how to manage conflict in a relationship and why one person alone is not enough to fight for a relationship.

We also talked about the benefits of having open lines of communication in a relationship and the importance of the foundation a relationship is built upon.

For a couple to be on the same page during easy times and challenging times, it takes work. You want to show solidarity through it all. If you both decide to put in the work together the relationship can be so fulfilling, even if you have tough times.

Don’t forget to listen and share. I want to hear your thoughts!

Episode 2:
http://righttoreallove.com/make-a-relationship-last-part2/

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Right to R.E.A.L. Love: How to Make a Relationship Last, Episode 1

A few weeks ago I shared that I did my first radio podcast on the Right to R.E.A.L Love show, one of the #1 Christian radio podcasts. My topic was to help singles on a big topic in navigating relationships.

My episodes were released this week and now are available online. I will be sharing an episode a week. I will include the links below for you to take a listen and share.

In the first episode, host Jay Mayo and I address the question: What things are required to make a relationship last?

We discussed:

1. Why most people lack what it takes to make a relationship last.

2. The importance of having examples of lasting relationships in our lives.

3. Three things we require in order to make our relationships last.

I explained how important having fun  with my boyfriend has been to making our relationship last. I also shared the lessons I have learned from past relationships that did not last.

When asked about relationships lasting a lifetime or a season, I talked about how to focus on making relationships last in their current season, rather than trying to make every relationship last for a lifetime.

That statement stuck with several people I talked with and at first I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone walking away with the wrong impression of what I was trying to say. Then I started to just own I said it and hopefully it strikes up more conversation so we can unpack it and dive in a little more. That part I love.

I absolutely believe in marriage and relationships lasting long periods of time but when speaking to an audience of unmarried singles, I felt it important to discuss what it takes to make a relationship last but be aware that not every one will end in marriage then last a lifetime. 

I believe when two people choose to enter into a marriage, that is a forever commitment that should not be taken lightly or shift and sway like the wind.

Timing in relationships is everything. In my own relationship, I am confident in our communication and love for each other that we continue to build up. But it takes work, commitment, effort, thoughtfulness, love. We look forward to long-lasting joy and happiness with each other because we are putting in that work and living that love out. I wish the same for you and your relationships.

Relationships don’t just happen because you want them to. They require an intentional decision to choose to share with each other and love each other over and over.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak” – Ecclesiastes 3:1,3,5-7

Next week I’ll tell you more about episode 2. For now a great action step is to make sure that you’re bringing your best to every relationship…especially if you are in a relationship right now.

What things are required to make a relationship last? Episode 1:

Listen Here! http://righttoreallove.com/make-a-relationship-last-part1/

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All My Love

I am so proud to say this week I am celebrating 1 year of my blog being alive! Since Sunday April 26, 2015, I have managed to write a new post every Sunday and what a year it has been. It feels great to have arrived at this blogiversary.

Just this weekend I hit another milestone while achieving another goal on my 2016 vision board. I was interviewed for the Right to R.E.A.L. Love podcast. It was so fun and such a step in the right direction away from my comfort zone.

My podcast topic was “How to make a relationship last.” It was such a fun conversation and not an intimidating interview at all. Host, Jay Mayo really made me feel comfortable and we had such a great discussion on the topic. The episode will be aired in May so I’ll be sure to let you know when you can check it out.

I wanted to write about this topic today though because it is always relevant to discuss love and relationships. It is a topic that affects us all in one way or another.

All of this love stuff can get messy on occasion and might need some untangling.

If you spent anytime this weekend watching Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, you know what I mean.

People want love and relationship so bad but what does it take to make it work? To really make it last?

Jay asked me some brilliant questions during our dialogue together like, “How can couples survive the tough times and remain together?”

Well as I heard Queen Bey say she learned from her grandmother, “Nothing real can be threatened.”

Now even after the recording has been completed, there are more things I wish I would have said. Love is so deep and intricate and needs more time to unpack the layers of what it takes to develop in relationship with another person.

You’ll hear everything I shared when my podcast episode is released but today I wanted to drop a few nuggets we talked about. I would also love to chat further with anyone interested in this topic. We can connect on Skype, Twitter (@dilaunwhite), over a cup of tea or whatever works.

I hate small talk but I could chat for hours about meaningful topics like this. I also fall to pieces with delight at any chance to peek into someone else’s brain about things like this.

Anyhow, to get back to the meat of our discussion, we landed on 4 big things it takes to keep balance in a relationship and make sure it stays strong enough to last.

1. Foundation
2. Communication
3. Fun
4. Space

Many people lack these things and waste a lot of time with the wrong people or building relationships with the right people but in the wrong time.

When the podcast comes out, I will do a follow up post and share even more about the conversation I had with Jay as we took a deep dive into this topic.

I will also explain more about what I mean for each of the four requirements as well as add a few more to the list.

For now, Happy First Birthday Life Untangled! Thanks for transforming my Sundays and getting me energized for a new week, every week. It’s amazing what we can do when we stop saying ‘we can’t’ and actually start making moves.

To wrap up with a Beyoncé quote because I can, “Imma keep running cuz a winner don’t quit on themselves.” This year I am keeping my running shoes at the ready.

What goal are you determined to accomplish this year? I want to hear about it.

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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

In my adult life I always wished for a place to settle in. A neighborhood to know long-term that would in turn know me and fit well.

As a kid, I moved around a bit. It was for a variety of reasons but I never took root in one place for too long. When I started going to school with kids who had been in the same house their whole life, I wanted that. I don’t know why but having a local place to go where people recognize you always seemed fun to me.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate that I moved a lot. In fact with age I have appreciated it more and more. It taught me how to adapt quickly to new environments and new people which I feel quite comfortable with these days. I adjust to change quickly and I love that.

I also learned in a variety of new environments the constant is me. The variables are the people and things around me. That mentality has taught me self-confidence, self-awareness and contentment. It has also taught me to accept others. I am so grateful for who I am and what I have learned from where I came from.

The not so fab thing about it is I am fairly comfortable detaching when I feel like the season has run its course and come to an end. I wrote about this last week if you want some context.

So fast forward to…I moved to Chicago a few years ago and for two and a half years I have been here. I always lived near Chicago, in the suburbs, outside city limits but never quite in the city since I was a baby.

I have been doing my best to enjoy and explore the city especially my neighborhood since moving here. Even if it is something small, usually not more than a couple weeks will pass without me having a city adventure someplace.

One of my goals was to become familiar as a local. When family and friends come visit, I can have the best spots to take them for food, drinks, dessert and entertainment.

My boyfriend has actually managed to master a lot of this already. He goes in some of our favorite places and everyone is thrilled to have him there. People call him out by name, share all the details of their life and really enjoy keeping connected with him. We have had a good share of free perks because of his mayor-like personality.

I actually have found a local bar less than a block from home that feels so much like the show, Cheers to me, it’s crazy. In the past couple years I have invested in learning about the people who work here so I could have a cool place to call my own as a local.

It has been around so long that you can always catch some of the same people on a weekly basis. They serve free food occasionally and always have free popcorn. When you come in, the custom is greeting everyone. I made this place a stop following my last birthday celebration. It’s like family here and once you’re in, you’re in. I love that.

Really it’s about building relationships and friendship with people. I believe we are all much more connected than we act like in our day-to-day life. When we have meaningful encounters and connections with people that are undeniable, that is how we change the world. We change the world by getting to know people and allowing them to know us in return.

In getting to know what else my neighborhood has to offer and keeping up with my Alderman newsletters, I have been setting roots like never before. I’m invested in my future here and overall as a Chicago resident even if I don’t live in this particular neighborhood forever.

I actually just registered for my first Chicago Public Library card on Friday. I just voted in my first Chicago Primary election a few weeks ago. I am shaping a future where I get to know more people and they get to know me. I simply cannot wait until I walk into many more places and everybody knows my name. 

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Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I went to the same junior high and high school with a small group of the same people. A few of us went to the same college together too.

We graduated, entered our career fields, lived our lives. Some got married. Some had kids. Some worked and traveled and played.

Nowadays unless you already do everything to keep in touch with old school friends, we tend to catch up for birthdays, funerals, babies being born and weddings.

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The twins sharing their brother/sister dance

It is a personal shortcoming of mine to not keep in touch with people. With age, my circle keeps pretty small. I have good intentions and mean people well but without a whole lot of action to reach out regularly, I really do a poor job of staying up to date with old friends and loved ones. I am always constantly working on that one.

One of my dear friends got married this weekend and boy I got so many blasts from the past. It was so fun to see, laugh and catch up with old friends. It has honestly been several years since I have seen most of them.

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Laura & Dilaun

We re-lived school memories, talked about all the pieces in our lives that are new and changed. A beautiful day full of flashbacks and yet celebrating my sister friend who looked stunning and blissful on her day of marriage. Another new beginning to keep in touch about.

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With the Beautiful Bride

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I was so glad to be in the same place with her family who I consider my family too. I spent so many nights in their house. We grew up learning from each other. There was a lot of fun and love there. I was overcome with such joy being close to them again, sharing hugs and stories, introducing them to my significant other. Everything felt familiar like the old days and with the exception of a little passed time, we fell back into the same routines.

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Love them! Bride's family

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Distance makes the heart grow fonder but if you can keep the distance from growing, you’ll be better off.

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Congratulations to my loving friend, Diana, and her new husband Joel. I wish  you two all the love and happiness in the world. Enjoy Hawaii and let’s see each other before the next wedding, birthday or funeral to come.

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The Happy Couple