Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hope Floats

Definition of RELATIONSHIP

An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence (an involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction for another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated.); love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences.

 Dependence, alliance, kinship. 2. Affinity, consanguinity. 
To be in relationship with a person, you have to accept all that they are and LIVE with it. You cannot change a person. They are who they are, and if you believe you are going to change them, walk away now. What that sounds like and what it means are two different things. I had an associate who got left on the editing floor in the rewrite of my life story, and her tag line always said “The only person I can change is me.” (It really was just a line, but that is another story for another day).

There are real and defined reasons why we can’t change each other. We have a habit of not looking further than what is in front of us, when we are each a representative of our life experience.

Every single one of us is shaped by our past. We begin our emotional and mental shaping when we come into this world. According to research, the first three (3) years of life is the most critical to the intellectual and emotional development of a child. During these first three years, 75% of brain growth is completed. What happens in those years provide the building blocks for emotional and intellectual growth throughout a child's primary life. Most children learn by experience first, then by instruction. 

Things that happen in our lives affect our personal definition of love, how we learn to give and receive love, and how we communicate and share in all kinds of relationships. 

Every partner I will ever have comes with this package. I can’t alter how they have been socially, emotionally, physically or mentally shaped. If that development was extremely scarred and irreparably marred, I need to determine whether I am going to be what my Pastor calls “a project chic”. Am I going to take on this other person as my full time project that will fail because I am not the maker?

We make the mistake of thinking we can do supernatural work in another persons life, or we don't even consider the fact that this kid was developmentally raped and pillaged and the best spoils were taken by the perpetrator. What is left is this adult who is unable to relate well in interpersonal engagements.

Some of the very things that we are attracted to in a mate are the things that should make us run. In laymen’s term, if he had a bad childhood, reveled in it as a youth, rebelled against it as a teenager and young adult, and then you met him? 

1.    Take the time to know that about him before you get all caught up in planning a life with him.
2.    Take a good hard look at who he is and who you are. If he wears his pants sagging WITH a belt on, goes to church on historical holidays and is reticent about that, leaves you in a heartbeat to go with his friends, and needs a lot of forgiveness over small issues – he is still going to be that way after you apply your love all over him like it is the healing balm of Gilead. It is not.
3.    If you still decide this is the one for you, get your prayer clothe out and keep it on at all times and do not cease to pray for God to send a visitation of the Holy Spirit to him, because that is the only way he is going to change. A popular idiom says that still waters run deep. You might need to get you a piece of steel for when that deep overflows. I’m not advocating violence, I am just saying.

Not a person alive tries to better them self for the sake of another person and finds success. That endeavor has to be taken by an individual for their own sake to result in any permanent change. 

In the relationship with my ex, I also had my mind set. I am the youngest of 7 girls, and a Daddy's girl. Princess like behavior. Spoiled by many, generally adored. My parents were the only one in our huge family with all girls so that gave us all Princess status with the extended family. 

Another of my shaping factors is that being the youngest of all these girls, I had a big easy chair with popcorn front row seat to interpersonal relationships between men and women. I watched intently. I believe you can learn by the mistakes and the successes of others.  

You can become jaded by the mistakes and successes of others, too. I have a high tolerance for b.s. as long as my needs are being met, and I have a tentative love ability. I do not trust easily and never completely any man outside of my God and my Daddy. I find all other men to be capable of idiocies unimaginable which they can justify in their own sphere of being. This doesn't only extend to men, but mostly it does. 

No matter how wonderful a man may be, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. (What the haystackwithaneedleinit

In any event, after the relationship with my husband snuck up on me, I looked at that man (and it took me a long time to gift him with that title…all boys don’t grow to be men, even though they  have the title) and said I didn't want to change him. What I meant was I want him to be changed because he wanted to change. It took me a long time to realize that. We call it loving someone and wanting the best for them. 

I thought I knew him (it was the pheromones); I just didn’t know what it was I should be trying to know about his past. Even when I did see the patterns emerge in his family history, I somehow thought he was different than his ideological make-up. I figured he had made it this far left of the blueprint, he could make it all the way. It wasn’t until well into the marriage when I realized he could no more escape generational curses than he could change himself without an impetus. Even given that, he would have to know what to become in his changing effort. He couldn't change with out personal desire and a lot of hard work. He couldn't change for me - he had to do it for himself.

Some people may hit rock bottom before they seek to change their reality; some may just hit rock bottom and stay there. I found out that there was area for change and improvement in me. Go figure.  I wanted that change so I sought it through God. Though I am still a work in progress, hope floats.

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