The Work of Relationships

I used to think that “needing” would always be my plight. I didn’t have confidence in my ability to become. Never a stranger to hard work, but seemingly ever a stranger to consistent progress and continued success – especially in relationships (and weight loss, but that’s a story for another day). I listened to the opinions that said I, the common denominator in my failures, was the problem.

The real problem? The fact that some who are positioned to teach and influence become overwhelmed by what they don’t know. A frequent result: the wrong kind of seed is planted. Unfortunately, almost every relationship after that is affected by those seeds. Why? Because our core beliefs about ourselves are often framed by the actions, words and opinions of people we love and admire most. And too many times, for reasons beyond our control, we are spoken to out of pain, void, or envy, or some other misguided well.

I lived that experience. I had friends who lived that experience. I had relationships with men who’d lived that experience. And many of us failed. We failed ourselves and each other. We engaged each other in relationships that didn’t have the benefit of wholeness of heart, soul and spirit. So, those encounters were often tough…and many of them temporary.

Finally, I understand the dynamics of “work” in relationships. It’s not about working to get someone to understand me better. Nor is it working to get someone to love me. It’s truly not about working to get someone to stay and keep working with me. It’s about partnering with the One who created me and working on the one in the mirror.

Becoming who He designed and destined me to be lessens the work for anyone who stands in front of me or and the one called to lay down beside me. When I work on me, I release others from the job of healing me…or dealing with the pieces of me that aren’t healed. That is how I choose to love.

When I speak, whether in print or in person, I wish to do so from a place of wholeness, emphasizing the personal responsibility we have in all our relationships. I want to be as whole for the elders and children in my sphere of influence as I am for my sister-friends.

I desire that my words flow from the well of who I’m becoming rather than who I was. My objective is to inspire others commit to their own work. As we grow to understand our worth and endeavor to do well by those who love us, insecurity cannot undermine our progress toward great relationships.

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