Wednesday, June 06, 2007
In other news...sort of
It is all the more aggrevating because these experiences came to me in the midst of other very trying experiences. In every respect, this experience of loving and losing had become peripheral to more important things happening in my life, and the entire thing was just an aggrevation. I think it is a good indicator of where you are with a relationship when it feels more like an obligation or a chore than a joy. I am sure that marriage can feel like that sometimes, but the early dating relationship, the time when you should be feeling awash with love and affection, should never feel like drudgery. If it does...RED FLAG!!
And there I go talking about relationships again. Sheesh. I might as well just run with this for awhile.
I think that, when a breakup happens, it is easy to become consumed with analyzing it. I do think it is wise to look at it, see where you made mistakes, see your own role in the pain you are experiencing, and see where you can do better in your next relationship. I think it is far too easy, though, especially for Christian singles who have been told that their single greatest task in this world is to find a mate, get married, and have babies...I think it's easy to become swallowed by the analysis, consumed with trying to figure out why you didn't end up marrying that person. Sure, there may be some huge things that you chose to ignore along the way, causing you to stay with that person longer than you should have, but the simple fact is that it didn't work out because the two of you just weren't meant for each other. It sounds simple, because it is simple.
I was talking with a friend of mine last night about the daunting task of processing the emotions that come with a breakup. There is sadness as you let go of any dreams you once had with that person. There are the feelings of disappointment in that person as you look at who they turned out to be, as opposed to who you thought they were. There are the feelings of anger that come with those realizations, feelings of being manipulated into harboring such hopes to begin with, and so on. A whole laundry list of emotions that come with the ending of a relationship.
So, as I'm talking this out, my friend presented a novel idea...Rather than putting so much energy into nursing the negative feelings toward the person and the memory of the relationship, why not thank God that you saw those things and were spared a lifetime with someone who was not right for you? Hmmm...Of course, I know this. But to really allow the shift in focus from anger to gratitude is really something. Instead of saying mulling over the things I saw in him that disappointed me, hurt me, left me baffled, I can say, "Thank God I saw them when I did, instead of being with him another three months, six months, ten years, and then seeing them. Thank You, God, for letting me see this now, and sparing me the greater pain that would have come if I had made a greater commitment to him."
I do think that Christian singles, probably more than those who did not grow up in the church or are not so influenced by it, do feel a greater pressure to make our relationships work. In Christian circles, when people see a couple start dating, the wedding bells start to ring. Their chime is faint, but certain. I think there is a slow but certain shift to the understanding that it's okay for relationships not to work out, and that does not have to be a devastating tragedy. I think this is slow in coming, though, and it is such a new idea in Christendom that it is difficult to find support in the, "It didn't work out, that's okay. Learn from it, and move forward" type of thinking.
I am not a 31 year old single Christian woman in 1952, who has been already written off as an old maid well past her prime. I am a 31 year old single Christian woman in 2007 who is learning and growing every day, becoming more fabulous with every life experience, and who is going to be a heck of a catch for the right man. The right man...not the man I just settle for because I do not want to be single anymore. On my wedding day, I want my tears to be tears of joy because I get to spend the rest of my life with the most wonderful man to come into my life, and I know without any doubt that he is for me...not tears of sadness because I am marrying the man I settled for because I did not think I could find anything better, so he'll do.
I think it's awesome that we can grow with all of these experiences. I love the richness and depth that the road of suffering can bring to one's life. As I look back on my life, I can certainly see that my journey has been marked with a lot of pain, a lot of heartache. I used to think, "Why me?". Over the last couple of years, though, I have adopted a, "Why not me?" perspective. I am grateful for the journey I have had, and I would not change any of it. I am grateful that God has used all of it to make me who I am, and that He has used these things in my life to reach other people who go through times of suffering in their lives. That makes it all worth it.
Okay, for the other news...
I have been in significant pain over the last week or so. Much more pain than I should be experiencing this far out from surgery. My doctor is ordering a ct scan to see if there is any fluid buildup where my kidney used to be. We'll see what happens.
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