I have been single for about a year and a half. I wanted to be single and I needed to be single because I felt incomplete within. I felt when I was in a relationship, I was missing out on something and that something was me. Since I’ve been single, I have had plenty of time to get know self. This included the good, bad, and the ugly. I figured out some of the most annoying, inconsiderate, and the hard things to enjoy about self. Being in any relationship whether it is intimate, working, professional, and platonic requires work.
I grew tired of losing myself, goals, and aspirations to maintain “We”. Of course, I obtain lonely nights, where I craved intimacy; but I knew I needed to complete this journey to find self by being single. Asking myself am I giving out what others need in return, or have I been giving out what I need in return? I have faced a lot of dilemmas within my relationship sectors close to me. This left me in a consistent position to ask myself what I am contributing to all the relationships near me? I found out that each relationship brought out a different side of who I am. This is not a bad thing, but it can be a difficult thing to comprehend based on our societal conditioning.
Society has taught us that we do not need many people around us, in fact, we should fear one another based on our differences. I learned through my conflicts in the relationships near me that I was treating relationships the same or not treating each relationship as the purpose they served in my life. I was treating my intimate boyfriends as my child or little sibling. I was treating my mother like my friend, my father like my enemy, siblings like my associate, my cousins like strangers, my grandparents like my cousins, friends like a sibling, coworkers like clients, clients like confidants, a platonic friend like my boyfriend, and business encounters as friends.
We encounter so many relationships throughout our lives, but we tend to treat each relationship the same. There are too many people in this generation trying to survive rather than to learn how to sustain a healthy and fruitful relationship. The average person worries about how to sustain their necessities like food, clothing, healthcare, and home. In society, we were shown the highs of relationships on television and even in our families.
We feel we all have a point to prove to one another, where most of us are facing the same issues, but it is shown in different situations. There seems to be a limited number of us willing to commit to God’s way. No one showed this generation how to thrive effectively in relationships. We are all products of being constantly exposed to drama, trauma, and abuse lacking the support that we need.
So, we learned from our pain how to survive in relationships rather than to thrive in them. Some people come into your life to teach you the lessons you must learn to appreciate the next best thing God has for you. Many may disagree with this concept, but we must recognize that everyone has their path to walk and lessons to learn to grow spiritually to do God’s work. There are many who will not admit, but God does handle business a lot an unorthodox manner. Here are four ways how I discovered my contribution to my relationships:
1.Develop a Relationship with God
It was through my relationship with God that I began to understand how to contribute to relationships based on the purpose the person was brought in my life. As I spent more time with God through meditation, I began to understand some of my inequalities and the many things I contributed to the relationship around.
God helped me to focus on the bigger picture on why people were brought in my life and how to appreciate those relationships by not taking them for granted as I once did in the past. God taught me how to balance out my past, present and future experiences within my relationship sectors. Since I learned from my past, I was equipped to handle my present moment with hope of manifesting healthy relationships for my future. I realized that the present moments I endure in all sectors of my relationships with others were all product of the change I had made with God and myself.
The more I gave to God, I had more room I had to give to myself and others. In fact, I became more willing to give to others because of the relationship I established with God and Jesus Christ. Having a relationship with God is a wonderful thing to endure if you are willing to step out of your own understanding and allow God to lead you. You may have seen a lot and heard a lot but your understanding does not hold leverage over God’s understanding. You will be in good hands for the rest of your life if you learn to surrender. This is factual and a literal statement coming from my life. I cannot speak for others.
I can admit that I am a sensitive person, so it is best for me to heal and move on than to hold on. I tried to hold on to the pain and I failed at it miserably. Healing can be difficult to endure, but it is a worthy process to embrace. True healing allows you to move forward from the things in your life that once held you back so you can function effectively in your relationships. Many would like to believe that they do not need anyone, but we all need one another.
It is just hard to admit and rely on others when you have been hurt so badly in the relationships around you. Some of the pain I endure was self-inflicted and some were not. I had to own my faults in the way I treated others in all my relationship sectors. It was hard for me to face my faults because I honestly felt I could do no wrong.
There were a lot of lonely, miserable, and crying nights asking God to take the pain I felt from my hurting relationships. I realized that I could not keep blaming others for the pain I felt. I had to take responsibility for the role I allowed others to play in my life, and the role I played in other’s lives. There is a lot of accountability in healing that so many people are not willing to accept because it feels so good and easy to blame others.
Not taking accountability leaves you in a position where you have to wait on the person who hurt you to apologize. That is too much control for me. I decided that I did not want to depend on others to heal me, but I wanted to depend on God to help me heal myself. God saw my pain and gave me an opportunity to heal and grow so I can begin to establish better relationships in my life.
3.Envision How You Would Like Your Relationships to Be
It took for me to endure deep pain for me to begin to evaluate the relationships I was in and to consider my contribution to them. What was in me that needed to given to others? I took note of my negative thinking first, where I felt everyone was against me. I did not trust many, where I know this was a self-inflicted belief.
Each relationship serves a different purpose in your life, but it up to you to figure out what that purpose is. You must sit still and communicate with God about how will each relationship you encounter will serve and fulfill purpose in your life? It is true that some relationships can be either be a blessing or lesson, but they also be both. The dilemma is not how the relationship will end, but are you dedicated to serving the purpose that relationship was supposed to fulfill in your life.
The concept that many tend to believe is that all relationships will be forever. Now, it may be forever in heaven. Unfortunately, expiration dates do exist here on earth. We tend to take advantage of the relationships near us because no one listened to God on how to value the relationships near us effectively way. Notice I did not say the correct way. The “correct way” bring out a negative connotation that the “correct way” is the only.
I advise others to dedicate at least 10 or 15 minutes to meditate to God’s word or sit in silence to begin to envision the way you see your relationships and what it will take to get there? Make a list and work towards the goals you hope to achieve.
I could no longer use my attitude as an excuse. I understand that I cannot control the actions of others, but I can control myself. I envisioned that I wanted most of my relationships to obtain the basic features of God: loving, healthy, respectful, considered, Divine spiritually connected, loyal, honest, trustworthy, and willing to persevere. I learned what I expected in my relationship was also what I was willing to offer.
4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Remember, I am not referring to get in a danger zone. Please recognize the red flags in others that can be harming to your mental and physical health. I decided to get out of my comfort zone to meet new people. I stepped out of my comfort zone with God by focusing on the bigger picture of my life.
2Corinthians 6:14,” Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
You cannot change people only God has the power to do so. Just pray for them. Anywho, I met a guy, I began to recognize that God brought him in my life for a reason I just could not figure out what that reason was. This guy allowed me to open myself up to emotional in ways I never imagined I would have with a male. It was necessary for me to open emotionally so that I can heal and move on. Understanding what I contributed to relationships help me to obtain healthy boundaries and to address the brokenness I carried with men.
The interesting thing is that he did not come in the package I thought he would. He was not your average goody-good shoes, but he was a man who experienced and seen a lot in his life. He still found a way to give unto others in areas, where he had every right and opportunity to be selfish in. What I learned, was that the pain I endured was not an opportunity for me to be more selfish; but it was an opportunity for me recognize how strong I was to bounce back and keep living through Christ.
I have always been the person to give emotionally in all in my relationships, but I never really found anyone who could give to me what I needed emotionally back. I figured out that it was one of the love languages I desperately needed. I needed to connect with others on an emotional level. I was upset at others and felt depleted because I wasn’t receiving what I needed in return. I was encountering others who were unable to express their emotions. This made me feel like I was being used but I wasn’t being used. I was being a blessing to others who never experienced my love language before. We can only give out what we carry within.
There are too many hurts and broken in relationships because they never received what they needed in return. Getting out my comfort zone, gave me the opportunity to grow spiritually and to learn that the relationships in my life were not about what you can get but what are you willing to give and sacrifice to others. At the end of the day, the relationships are meant to be reciprocal. You give what you have and you receive what the other people are willing to offer. It could be exactly what you need rather than what you want. Today ask yourself: how do you contribute to your relationships? If you like what have then continued to move forward, but if you do not like what you have experienced. Recognize that you do have the opportunity to manifest better in your life.