The other day I did something that I don’t usually do. I watched TV. I am not talking about watching a good movie on cable, I mean I watched regular television and all of the commercials. It was interesting.
Anyways, I stumbled on this show about relationships. It was a show that followed three couples as they attempted to “be happy” and “be in love.” As the show progressed, so did the dysfunction that was hidden under the table. As the tangled web of intrigue increased in intensity, the story line became more and more unfolding.
One thing that was for sure during this show. The element of CONTROL was strong between/within each of the couples. What I mean is at least one of the partners from each couple attempted to control the other. That attempt to control led to more and more toxicity, which only heightened the dysfunction.
For one of the couples, it led to total self destruction. You see, “what had happened wuz’ “ an affair had taken place. The affair was the outcome of years of neglect and lack of love being offered to one of the partners of one of the couples. This “lack” created a need for fulfillment – which happened elsewhere – with someone else. I am not condoning this as the right way to deal with “lack” in a relationship, but in this case, it just happened to be an outcome.
One of the most telling components of successful relationships is what each partner brings to the table. In my humble and professional opinion, it is MOST important for one to get to know oneself. Develop a relationship with YOU!!
Some years ago I called a friend in California to see how she was doing. During the conversation, she asked my opinion of the direction she was going with her life. She said she was up for a new management position, but neither she, nor some of her friends, thought she was ready for it. She was bored, because she was not in a relationship, and had no one to occupy her time. She shared that she really wanted to “find a man.” in the meantime, during her down time she was reading philosophical books.
As she continued to share with me her story, I listened intently. Eventually, she asked, “What do you think? Should I take the position or not?”
I asked, “Are you sure you want to hear my honest response to your question?”
“Yes!” she replied.
Rather than to give her advice, I asked her three questions that I thought might help her reflect on her situation:
1. What do you really want to do with your life?
2. What legacy do you want to leave?
3. Do you want to just have fun for the moment or do you want a relational commitment?
4. Does this management position fit with the future vision for – yourself?
“Because you are not involved with anyone,” I continued, “I would spend this time doing some real soul searching, rather than to man hunt”
I gave her the name of some good self-help books and suggested she spend her free time “getting to know herself,” instead of looking for a man.
You’ve got to get to know yourself first, set your goals, and live your dreams. Otherwise, when you meet someone, you will end up following that person and living his/her dreams instead of your own. Develop a relationship with yourself — learn to love you.
Some people are so afraid of getting to know themselves that they live and define their lives through the dreams and goals of others. This can eventually lead to false beliefs about who they are. How can a person be truly happy living the dreams of someone else? My suggestion is to WAKE UP and take the time to know you and to know what you want, and then develop relationships with others.
Understanding yourself is the first and most critical step in understanding God, your spouse/partner, your children, and anyone else with whom you enter into a relationship. Realizing the impact of those around you is the first step to changing your emotional and in some cases physical environments to better support your dreams and goals.
Until next time…