As a married woman of 18 1/2 years and one with decades of Love Gone Right and Love Gone Wrong lived experience; I’ve been referred to on more than one occasion as “The Love Doctor“.

When I first started venting about Love as it relates to this pseudo series, it was almost exactly a month ago today. I woke up on a Sunday morning with much to say in my piece Good Sunday Morning! Let’s Talk About Love! I tried to be mindful of Sunday being a sacred day of worship (for my household) and how hard I would stomp on the subject. But I had a lot to say about it…and still do. 

During a very heated discussion with a loved one this past week, I mentioned their not being an expert in relationships, because of past failures and their immediate counterattack was something along the lines of, “And you’re an expert on Love? You’re not an expert and you write about it!”. They went on further to remind me I’m neither degreed nor certified in Love and the like but yet I write Love Poetry all the time!

True. I’m not licensed in Love; so then what does constitute an expert? I liken it to a Child Psychologist with no children or the Mother or Grandmother who can “out Chef” any top Chef but never went to cooking school a day in her life. Such is the case with Love. Who’s more qualified to talk about Love? One who’s lived it or one who’s studied it? 

What would make me an expert?Though I never said I was. Could one be considered an expert only if they have a high success rate in said matters of the heart? What constitutes success? Years of enduring a miserable relationship or being in an abusive relationship and having the courage to leave it? Multiple sexual partners with no disease or unwanted children or one relationship that is thought to be monogamous until an STD is contracted? The Marriage Counselor who’s never been married or the cousin who’s been divorced twice?

It’s all relative.

In that case the loved one with whom I was “dialoguing” with is just as much of an “expert” as I am; or not.

Thoughts?

e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks with the exception of displayed image. Courtesy of Google Images- No copyright infringement intended.


LOVE

I say that word a lot.

I was taking a gander at Webster’s definition:

love

ləv/

noun

1.

an intense feeling of deep affection.

2. a person or thing that one loves.

verb

1. feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).

And then I read the Biblical definition as recorded in 1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NASB):

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

LOVE. 

Love is stressing me out

Ought not be, right? But it is. I’m an extremely affectionate, passionate, God fearing woman, so I kept reading the Biblical list. Like Santa; I even checked it twice. Found out I was one who’d been both naughty and nice. 

I’m in the mood to fight for LOVE

LOVE. 

The word is overused so much that very few have even looked up the definition. It’s just…a given. Love to them basically equals something they really like. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s no reflection on the ridiculously overlooked component to real love: SACRIFICE!

None. 

I write love poetry constantly. I write about it all…

My content is tastefully done and demonstrates a range of emotions. At times broken vernacular is used and others, the King’s English. It all depends on what I’m feeling at the time. I’d give the content I share, a PG-13 rating with an occasional NC-17 streak. By choice, I do not use profanity, sexually explicit photos or post pieces that would be classified as Erotica. However I find it very interesting that the prudish and “saints” (in this context the reference is applied to “church folk” with short term memory loss of their lives before their God encounter), are uncomfortable with publicly admitting they read and even screenshot my poetry on Instagram. 

Fascinating.

Especially considering the top reasons for divorce among Christians according to studies are:

1. Ongoing adultery/pornography 

2. Lack of communication

3. Drug or alcohol addictions/abuse

4. Physical/emotional abuse

5. Sexual problems


I liken those living vicariously through my transparency to the religious folk of Jesus’ day who couldn’t be seen talking to Him but would go to Him alone at night for help, advice and deliverance (John 3). 

Love. 

There’s nothing new under the sun and true healing ONLY comes from being honest about what’s hurting. 

To be continued. 

e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee
Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks

It’s not as though an invitation to “caption this” was noted beneath him in this hypnotic magnetic field masquerading as any other photo on his Instagram page. Nor were his heterochromia soaked eyes behind Canon lens, looking for anyone to co-sign per sé; and yet his work as a photographer, was potent enough to unlock ancient secrets and woo me to the mic, pen in hand.

This ladies and gentlemen, is photographer Damien Anderson.

Self described on his 500px Photography site as an “Urban Explorer and nature and art lover”, he has consistently demonstrated the oft underrated ability to tell a story without using words. Having only recently stumbled across Mr. Anderson’s work, it was very clear from the onset, all were welcome but one must needs discern the tangible presence carefully interwoven within each post.

If you keep listening to him speak, you’ll hear music but it won’t be the #1 Wu Tang Clan fan in him giving cadence to his beat. Instead his heart’s song has been captured strong and in love again, will make you believe…

  Unashamedly in awe with the work captured on his Instagram page, I asked his permission to use a few of his photos as backgrounds (as is customary with Instagram posts) for my poetry. He was kind enough to oblige and I have since posted the pieces on my Instagram poetry page. However the opening photo pictured above (and below) is the photo that sparked a revolution I cannot deny. As soon as I saw it, I immediately began writing and completed in 18 minutes, what has become one of my most favorite pieces of poetry in my arsenal; a piece entitled SMOKE ALARM.

It was a pleasure introducing you to one of the world’s best kept photography secrets, Mr. Damien Anderson. Here’s the poem I wrote inspired by his work. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as we have in taking it. It is a raw example of how Art begats Art and if one remains humble, teachable and alert, inspiration will find you when least expected.

Out of respect for my poetic dismount, I’ll say my goodbyes now.
Love you to life…stay encouraged & inspired🌹e

SMOKE ALARM 


Your lips full

The sweetest of poisons 

Long before they blew 

Kisses and smoke


I hung on to your every word

Praying that my voice was heard

Above the noise of the construction you were under


I found myself reaching 

for you only to be stopped  

By the nouns you let in

That put asunder


I reach

You retreat

I want more

You ignore

You’re so distant and hard now

Like loving me is a chore


I’m fighting through the smoke 

Though it’s burning my eyes

I still crave your forked tongue 

Though its coated with lies


I’m tired of running after you

Already gone, though still here 

I’m weary

I’m restless

I’m done chasing air 



© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Photo Credits: Damien Anderson. Used with permission. No copyright infringement intended.

Damien Anderson’s Work Can Be Found:

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/societys_introvert

500PX:

https://500px.com/halfadash


  
THREEFOLD CORD

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”.

Often quoted at weddings in reference to the threefold union between husband and wife, implying God is at the helm; Biblical scholars differ on the exegetical context of this scripture. 

Although equipped to discuss said matters theologically, I intentionally refrain from such debates. As a woman who has dedicated the last 22 years of her life to the man holding my hand in the photo above; I can’t help but notice how wide our smiles were the day we exchanged vows 18 years ago, on March 7, 1998. 

Generally speaking, one’s smile can be altered by a myriad of factors. Sabotage from within could include neglect stemming from a self inflicted poor diet, to a lack of daily care and regular checkups. Often smiles are damaged by the impact of unwelcome catastrophic injuries caused by external hits. 

Weddings are big business and Black Love is a great hashtag but there is real life to be done after “I Do”. Yes, being married to a professional musician is a unique life song all its own but incredible sacrifice is required in any relationship, no matter what field the spouse works in. 

In order for a gift, offering or decision to be considered a sacrifice it has to COST the giver something greater than themselves. As it pertains to marriages of faith, ALL components of the THREEFOLD CORD must be selflessly present and working synergistically even when no one is looking. Not the feigned, photo op appearance of putting in the work. Not 50/50 but 100/100. Anything less can cause the ends of the cords to become frayed. If discord arises however, it would be a fair assessment that one or more of the cords is not on one accord with God because He is the immutable cord. 

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s to not speak for anyone but myself. There’s a low key haughtiness that comes with experiencing new love, good love or with what you’re under the impression is, exclusive love. Unforeseen life lessons teach you very quickly to temper the language of “we” and adjust your sails in the realm of humility accordingly. 

I’ve also learned that you have no control over how someone responds to the weight of your love. A savory, mouthwatering, tailor-made meal can be prepared to perfection but if it’s served to one who lacks interest and an appetite for that meal, it will be shunned for empty calories every time.

While Spring cleaning, I came across this picture and other nostalgic items including a copy of the “How Well Do You Know Kevin & Ericka?” Trivia Quiz we played with our guests at our 10th Wedding Anniversary party! About 80 of our closest, many who traveled from out of town, their families, tons of hugs, food, lots of laughter and a banging Live DJ packed an Art gallery back in Philly and it was a night like NO other. 

Tears rolling down my sentimental eyes, falling on the quiz I thought aloud, “I have not surrendered my love to any man more deeply than I have Kevin Arthur”. Not Kevin Arthur the musician, producer or indie artist. Just. Kevin. You see…serving unconditional Love in the trenches with boots on the ground, nose deep in life and perpetually dodging fiery darts at eye level, with no cameras around; is not for the feeble.

I’ve discovered it can be hard for a partner to receive unconditional love in this performance driven society we live in. But that is the type of love I have for him. In sickness, health, richer or poorer, gigs no gigs, onstage, offstage, tour, no tour. Spot date, no spot date, endorsements or not. Whether he was getting paid serious coin a week or in gas money, it mattered not. Whether he was holding my hand on the red carpet at the MTV Awards or holding my hand walking to the corner store in the hood, it mattered not. I just loved him for him. 

Like pain, the thing about LOVE is it demands to be felt. You don’t love someone that deeply without a deep pain to match when things go awry. The amazing thing about LOVE however is it’s an indelible healing entity. The idea of someone not only having your back but standing back to back WITH you conquering ANYTHING is an extraordinary image. But it takes work and both partners working together, giving it their all. 

Grateful for every tender moment we’ve ever shared. Grateful for kisses in the rain without an umbrella. Grateful for him taking me to and from work back in the day. Grateful for how he took care of me during horrible morning sickness with our 6 week early preemie baby girl, rubbed my back when carrying our full term 10lb 7oz baby boy; and wiped my eyes when the Dr. explained our youngest boy wouldn’t seen the light of day. Thank you Kevin Arthur. I’ve learned more about the intricacies of music and nuances of life from you than any class I’ve sat in or stage I’ve performed on. 

Love. Been hurt by it. Love. Been healed by it. God’s love. Absolutely nothing like it. Writing is so therapeutic. I don’t know what tomorrow holds but God holds me and I’ll be holding a pen. 

Love. Yeah. I absolutely still believe🌹e

iWrite 3.14.16 @authenticiteespeaks on Instagram | Meet Me There
iBlog http://www.authenticitee.wordpress.com
iTweet @ IndigoInterlude

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 

Photo Credit Our wedding day captured by Glenn Derricotte. 

Two of my latest pieces of poetry… 

  

He promised strawberries & champagne 

Told him I don’t drink

“You mean this is a natural high I’m feeling?” He leaned in to take a closer peek. 

My bottom sugar coated lip I bit,

Sober minded, straight on shoulders my head I tilt 

Refusing to be hypnotized by his honey drenched eyes

Had to let him know

My natural high was by invitation only & custom built.

@authenticiteespeaks

 
Below is a collaboration with an amazing poet on Instagram named Lyrical Miracle…

 
  

He says…



Subtle hints here and there, allow me to keep my distance/You’re perfect in every way and I’m not just talking about your appearance/I know you’ve been hurt before and my heart is still healing too/For all the right reasons, the stars aligned the day I met you/I fell for you so fast and in denial I’ve been/Wanting to tell you how much I love you, but it seems I just can’t win/So I’ll disappear for a while in dire need of your company/It’s all my fault truth be told, I’m scared to let you love me/
Lyrical Miracle The Poetic Prophet


I respond..

Your world is breathtaking, can’t believe I’m your Special Guest. 

It means everything to me that you got that off your chest. Thank you for letting me in but please don’t disappear. There’s something about your voice vibrating in my ear. Every time you come close I get apprehensive. The air thins, my soul mends, I then become pensive. 

Truth to be told, I’m scared too. 

You absolved me of my past; you’re too good to be true. My heart’s a bit fragile and in some places bruised but it only starts beating when I think of you. 

@authenticiteespeaks

Thank you for your continued support…you’re beyond amazing! Be sure to scroll down & catch up on previous posts. I wanna hear from you💞e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
Photo Credit info and link information found on here on https://www.instagram.com/authenticiteespeaks/?hl=en

Lyrical Miracle’s info found here at  http://instagram.com/poetic_prophet

  

Today, Feb. 3rd is an International Holiday!! It’s Aaron’s Birthday! (Cue music, release doves) Oh, who’s Aaron? He’s my friend from Junior High School (JHS) that I’ve not seen, nor actually talked to since JHS. If you were to compare our bios, and life experiences after JHS, you wouldn’t think we ran in the same circles. Oh wait. That’s ’cause he runs and I don’t. Yeah see. Now that I think about it…maybe that’s why he looks exactly the same as he did in JHS, minus that retainer that kept him from smiling. No. Really. EXACTLY THE SAME.

The man is ageless.

So why the random birthday shoutout to my Zen, Clean Eating, Champagne Drinking, Extreme Passport Stamp World Traveling, Physically Fit, Pine Nut Chewing, Yoga In Time Square, IT Tech Saavy, Motorcycle Riding, Polar Opposite Childhood Friend?

 It’s pretty simple actually. How many people can say they went to JHS with one of their HEROS?  

That’s. Why. Yep. Pretty. Darn. Cool. I’d. Say…

Now wait (insert sarcastic disclaimer here) No I’m Not A Stalker, Nosy. Though We Also Have The Same HBCU In Common (I transferred after a year and we missed each other); Thanks To My BRIEF Stint On Facebook Many Moons Ago We Reconnected. No We Never Dated. No. We Never Liked Each Other Like That. Nope. Nah. He’s What You Would Call One Of My Brooklyn Homeboys! Word Is Bond Son! And we have a serious love for love in common…

I just wrote a piece about (venturing out to) live a limitless life called Potential a couple of days ago. As I live vicariously through Aaron’s insatiable thirst for adventure I see what it’s like for a guy from the same rough JHS and neighborhood we survived in the streets of Brooklyn NY, to travel the world. On his own time. On his own dime. It’s inspirational. It’s encouraging. He inspires me. I share his stories with my family. I’m now sharing with you. 

Here are his actual realtime  Instagram photos from today and yesterday. He’s in Iceland right now for his birthday! How incredibly breathtaking are these shots?!

  

  

Most people are afraid to dream big for whatever reason. Can we be honest? I admit. I am too sometimes. I’m guilty. I love God and I say I trust Him but sometimes I want to help him draw out the blueprint for the next game plan. You know. Cause I can see so much further than He can…considering I’m omni-nothing and all. (Forgot to insert sarcastic disclaimer. Sorry. Not sorry.)

 
Look. Aaron and I, though polar (bear) opposites and thousands of miles apart have found that the common denominator for all humans is still the same, love.  Here I am writing tons of love/lust/longing poetry and inspirational pieces and he’s constantly encouraging people to love and to live in love. He speaks passionately about how life is too short so we should just: LIVE IT

I’m shouting from laptops and he’s shouting from mountaintops; literally. 

Our love for love is strong. We are both on the battlefield for love. As I’ve said on my Instagram poetry page “I’ve been hurt by it, I’ve been healed by it, but….”

 
He’s a soldier of love. May I make a suggestion? I think it’d be pretty cool to give him a birthday present by checking out his new vision and venture of love. Just go to http://www.soldieroflove.clothing/ and maybe a T-Shirt with a simple message of LOVE this season will catch your eye❤️ 

 
Make it wanderlusterly amazing…

(In Aaron’s honor today, won’t cha?)

Love you to life,

✍🏾💋e
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
All Photos Courtesy Of Aaron Watford via @s0ldier0fl0ve 
No Copyright Infringement Intended 
Follow His Adventures 

on Twitter @AaronWatford @SOLoveclothing 
On Instagram: 
http://instagram.com/s0ldier0fl0ve
Website:

home

  
A YEAR AGO TODAY authenticitee WAS BORN…LET THE MUSIC PLAY!

I just wanna dance….FEEL FREE TO POST YOUR BLOG LINKS, INTRODUCE YOURSELF PLEASE! Meet, Greet & most of all, ENJOY🌹

My latest poem on Instagram (@authenticitespeaks) for your reading pleasure…

  
2016 I’m so glad you’re here,

e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

  
From poisoned lips to poisoned tips

Tangled webs to undefiled beds

Pretending it’s not on our minds

While stroking egos and scrolling timelines 

I’m here for it

Every angle of it

Burned from it

Healed by it

Yes. I still believe in

L O V E

@authenticiteespeaks on Instagram   | Meet me there


When reflecting on 2015, has your perception of love changed this year? Love. Let’s talk about it. Would love to hear from YOU!

  
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits: Pinterest No copyright infringement intended. 

  

 

“Enslaved to our uncertainties, help us with our unbeliefs..oh oh God forgive us…” Having family devotion every morning is NOT easy because life isn’t. It’s hard to teach children what you’re still learning. When you’re gifted with alert, spiritually gifted, astute children it’s hard to hide HELL both inside and outside the home. As parents we wipe our children’s tears but I promise you if you pour the Word of God into your children there will come a time when they will wipe yours. 

Our firstborn and I bonding afterwards💞 Praying your tears are only tears of joy today🌺

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credit: Unknown. No copyright infringement intended

#ForKingAndCountry #CCM #Music #MusicFamily #Acapella #Prayer #Video #Hug #Smile #MusicVideo #GoodMorning #Thankful #Grateful #BrandNewDay #Mother #Daughter #God #Faith #Inspiration #MorningGlory #MotherDaughter #TeamNatural #Singer #MusicIsMyLife #trainupachild

 

  
Good Morning authenticitee Family!

I was tagged in an Instagram #WritingChallenge this morning. I had to tell a story in three words. I chose my story: God Still Heals.

People often assume that healing is instant perfection and yes there are times when supernatural miracles happen; but I believe healing is also progressive at times and that it comes in many forms. Though I DEFINITELY believe in divine healing, I’m a firm believer that God also uses us to be His hands and feet in the earth realm. This means you could be the answer to someone else’s breakthrough and prayer request for healing. 

I pray today that you receive evidence of your healing. Maybe through the ability to smile for the first time in months, clarity of mind, laughter, a hug and pain relief that does not contribute to, or encourage maladaptive behaviors. Healing. Even in the “little things”. We musn’t be smug! What’s minor for you can be major to someone else. Be it through finding that $5 dollar bill in a pocket before washing clothes or a much needed parking spot!

Healing is needed in this season. The healing just to have HOPE again. 

I pray that healing comes today for you. Comforting you emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually. I pray that healing manifests today and that you recognize it when it does. 

Love you to life,
e




© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Photo Credit: Ericka Arthur for authenticitee

#GoodMorning #ItsGoingToBeOK #IStillBelieve #God #GodIsGood #GodIsAHealer #Believe #Faith #Hope #Inspiration #smile #hug #Praise #PraiseBreak #Gospel #Worship #MorningMotivation #Healing #encouragement #SuicidePrevention #Depression #Pain #PoetsofInstagram #WritersofInstagram