Most people don’t know this about me, but as a young woman I had my sights set on a powerful professional career after college and not marriage. In fact, I felt marriage was honorable but I had no plans to marry until at least the age of 40 or until well after having established my powerful career. Yet, “plans” don’t always go as you “plan”.
While in college, I entered a very volatile relationship with one of the big guys (athlete) on campus which ended in a “not so pleasant” manner. A few years later, after a few years of entering my professional career, I ended up married; yes, years before then my 40-year-old goal. While married, I was able to accomplish many of the great milestones that we depict that the American dream should be draped with resulting in much success; including three beautiful children. Yet, the ending to my marriage was much more dramatic that I ever envisioned. The marriage lasted 17 years before that “plan” too ended up in well, an entirely uniquely different situation of its own.
You might be asking, “Why is she sharing this?” Well, I’m sharing because I want someone out there to know, that while at times life or relationships may not go the way we desire or expect – it’s going to go – one way or the other, and often times, our relationships get caught in the crossfire. But even when relationships don’t turn out as we expect we must not self-destruct, get depressed, loose hope in others or stop living. In fact, with the help of GOD – It’s the time to really start living – the time to do a self-assessment and truly discover who you are. Time to learn from life experiences and circumstances, whether good or bad. Time to move forward and give yourself permission to learn how to approach life from a different perspective. Time to break the negative cycles in your life that cause you to ignore the signs of unhealthy personal cycles and choices. Time to heal from past wounds and become whole.
Life is mostly about how you respond to things. Relationships are the same. Both can be quite unpredictable. Regardless, of what you experience in life or relationships, you must believe that with the right tools you can maneuver through whatever life throws at you – even relationships matters.
God created us and wired us for relationships. We’re made to go through life together with others. The Bible says in Romans 12:5, “Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.” Learning how to have healthy relationships is vitally important. Many of us want healthy relationships when we are not healthy ourselves.
Unfortunately, we’re not often taught how to have healthy relationships. Did you take a class on this in school? I know I didn’t. But the questions we have about relationships can be endless, and we’re often too ashamed to ask for help. Why do relationships fall apart? Why do relationships go bad? What destroys relationships and how do you rebuild? What causes that disconnect. How can we have healthy relationships? What steps do I need to take to get healthy? Again, this list of questions can be exhaustive. The truth is, we need help – we need to learn how to have healthy relationships… bottom line. Where do we start?
Healthy relationships start with the value you have of yourself. If you think you need a man or a woman to complete you, you are already in trouble. You must see that you are already complete and whole, independent of a relationship. God created you as a unique, complete individual. Now, you may have to do a bit of personal work, break some bad habits, adjust your attitude, work on your character, be open to trying new things, but that’s just enhancing the life you have been given and adds value to who you already are. Building yourself up with positive things, rather than the negative gets you off the rollercoaster and onto something better.
So, if you want better relationships, let’s put you on a new path, starting with changing your perspective. Starting with looking at yourself differently – as whole, complete and valuable! When you begin to know your true value, you won’t compromise and allow yourself to be put in the position to think that you are “less than”. The bottom line is this, spend time valuing who God created you to be!
You must Know who you are. Love yourself. Value who God created you to be!
First, we heal. How? Heal from the past, if needed. This is personal healing that’s needed so you can maintain healthy relationships in general.
Face your life head on, accepting that in life:
- Bad relationships happen
- Breakups can be, even with a best friend
- Divorce Happens and Hurts
If you can’t get over the relationship:
- Seek counsel
- Find a good support system – family, friends – those you can trust!
- Let God heal you in His time in your hidden places
- Know that it takes time to heal
- Be willing to do the work to Work on YOU
- Release your mate (or friend or family members) – this requires forgiveness, and forgiveness is a choice
- Release the bitterness, pain, humiliation and embarrassment of the past
- Reach out to someone else in need – who is hurting. This takes your mind off of you
Next, get to work and develop your true identity! Establish new goals for yourself that won’t allow you to compromise.
Then, give yourself permission to move on to a NEW Future. Your thoughts must embrace that there is something more for you awaiting.
Finally, prepare for a greater future that you deserve with the right perspective!
Whether you decide to be in a dating relationship or not, you must know that it really is okay to be single, or if you desire a mate, that’s an option too, but before you enter into yet another relationship – make sure you are both whole and healthy, and be sure to make sure that the person you are interested in is healthy too!
But whatever you do… learn to be healthy and learn to VALUE YOU!
So, things didn’t turn out the way I planned, but there’s a great future ahead of me and it is for you too!