Thursday, January 16, 2014

Revelations on Relationships {Caution: I am NOT an expert!}

Good Evening, Dear Ones!
 I hope this finds you all warm and cozy and doing well.
It has been bitterly cold here in Central Illinois the last few weeks.
When it's this frigid, I tend to cuddle up with a blanket,
a cup of hot tea, and just write for a while.

Let me just say, that's EXACTLY what I've been doing!

I'm going to be honest with you:
I've been a bit melancholy for the last few weeks
(the first few weeks after Christmas tend to do that to me...).

This post has been stirring around in my heart for a while now
and it's something I need to talk about.
 I actually started working on it back in December
and have edited it numerous times since then.

Today I'd like to talk to you about relationships.

For me, relationships aren't the easiest topics to discuss.
I'll admit...I'm not the greatest at relationships.
I have difficulty trusting people
and therefore have issues trusting the relationship.
I'm not talking about just romantic relationships
although those are included.
I'm talking about relationships in general:
Friends
Siblings
Co-worker
Family (Immediate and Extended)
and, of course, Romantic

I'm going to attempt to this post one point at a time.
Point 1:
Sorry for the poor photo quality. This was a selfie after a particular rough conversation with my sister.
I know I'm not the only person out there that has discovered this.
Sometimes relationships are so hard I wonder if they're even worth it.
Why should I invest my energy, my time, my money, my entire self
into something that could potentially fall apart and crush me?
Sometimes it seems just plain easier to hide behind my walls and go it alone.
But it's not very fulfilling...

And, honestly, as much as I enjoy being loved,
I think I love doing the loving more.
I'm lover not a fighter...always have been.

I enjoy giving to and doing for others.
That's why I continually take a chance at relationships.

Point 2:
Relationships change;
people change and I don't always like that.

Change in and of itself is a not a bad thing,
 I just don't like not being able to predict how something is going to turn out. 
I guess you can say I'm a little bit of a control freak.
(Little bit?...)
But I don't think I'm totally unreasonable in my desire either. 
I actually think a lot of people feel the same way I do.
You have to admit, relationships would be a lot easier
if things just stayed the same all the time.
But things would also get pretty boring pretty fast...

Point 3:
Relationships are a learning process.
No one knows everything there is to know about them.
I don't know everything about relationships...
Lord knows I barely know anything about them...
I AM DEFINITELY NOT AN EXPERT on the subject!
But this is something I know:
relationships are all about getting to know another person.
And getting to know who you are
and what your role in the relationship is.
Occasionally you may be surprised at the role you are called upon to fulfill.
It might not be one you are comfortable fulfilling.
But that's the point:
Relationships are a learning process...
Learning to be who are already are
and growing to become someone better than you are.

As I mentioned a moment ago,
I am not expert on relationships.
But I did have a revelation about them at work the other day.
Wanna hear it?
Good...'cause I'm DYING to share it! :)

I was sitting in the gymnasium at Thomas Jefferson supervising the children
who were running around and playing giddily.
Honestly, it was an odd place and time to have this revelation
as I wasn't even thinking about relationships at the moment.
It just sort of hit me out of nowhere.
(This is sort of a long revelation,
so please bear with me.)

During my Youth Group days,
I heard many adults speaking on the importance
of sexual abstinence before marriage.
One illustration that was given during one of these talks was this:
Imagine you have two pieces of construction paper: one pink and one blue.
Obviously, the pink represents the female soul and the blue the male soul.
Now imagine that the pages have been glued together
(this represents what happens to human souls
when they engage in sexual intercourse).
Then imagine trying to pull the pages apart.
What happens?
Bits and pieces of the pink paper stick
to the blue paper and vice versa.
Neither page is ever quite the same again.
So it is when two people have sex.
They are forever bonded whether they like it or not.

This was the first image/thought that jumped into my head
to initiate the revelation.
Next, in my mind I saw something similar occurring with human hearts.
And the thought came to me:
"When two people willingly enter into a deeper relationship,
be it a close friendship or a romance,
they are intentionally forming bonds with another soul.
They are working toward becoming one blended soul."

To say the least, this hit me like a ton of bricks.
But the revelation didn't stop there.

It continued with a mental moving picture.
I pictured two people joined together
at their hearts with bonds like Spidey webs.
(Yes, I think like this...all the time...)
The two people were actively bonding to each other.
Everyone time one did something for the other,
a piece of the giver's heart would break off
and extend out and attach to the other
person's heart on yet another Spidey web.

What I found odd, however, was:
one of the individuals seemed 
to be doing more of the giving than the other.

And the thought came to me:
"The person who does the most giving in the relationship
is ultimately the person hurt the most when the relationship ends
and/or negatively changes."
Again, this hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have often wondered at the amount pain I experience
when one of my relationships goes south.
The other person (or persons) involved
seems to be handling the situation perfectly fine,
but I'm stuck in a whirlpool of misery and despair
that shakes me to my core.
There is also a fair bit of denial involved.

I believe I tend to do a lot of the giving in my relationships. 
As I mentioned before,
I enjoy it.
Also, I sometimes have a difficult time
receiving from the other person in the relationship.
I guess I feel that I'm being selfish.

But a lot of people I have come across are not like this.
Unfortunately, there are individuals in this world
that are perennial takers.
They will take and take and take and take
as long as you are willing to give.
This a sad situation for both people involved.
The taker may never know the joy of giving unselfishly
and the giver may never experience the happiness of being given to.

It is my personal belief that a relationship such as this
is bound to fail.
UNLESS the taker can learn to give
and the giver can learn to receive.

I'm going to say it one more time.
Just to ensure that I've been heard.
I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON RELATIONSHIPS!
All the "knowledge" and "revelations" that I have shared in this post
have come from the Ultimate Advisor,
the Wonderful Counselor,
Jesus.
I am simply passing on what I have personally learned from Him.

If you are struggling with any of your current relationships,
be it a family member or a co-worker,
a significant other or a just a good friend,
I implore to:
#1. Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you
and #2. Seek His counsel on the situation.
His Word is literally FULL of relationship examples
strategically placed there to guide us in our current circumstances.

If you need someone to listen,
He is there for you...
and so am I.

Thank you for reading!
I pray this post spoke to you
like it did to me as I was writing it.

Blessings!