*You do not have to live in the DMV to win!!
Have you ever seen the Tom Cruz and Cameron Diaz movie where he reminds her that she has nothing to worry about as long as she sticks with him? He tells her “With (he holds his hand up) or without me (he lowers his hand down).” Seemed like an easy choice if she wanted to live. That phrase has really stuck with me as I’ve reflected on God’s purpose for my life this week.
As humans, we have a tendency to get comfortable with God and act like he owes us something. What I always remember though is that God’s favor over my life is just that, favor. Meaning, if I ever get so puffed up within my own abilities that he has the option to remove His favor. The very thought of that does something ugly to my stomach!
Ironically, the same could be said for people who come in and out of our lives. Have you ever met a person who just thought that they were so important to your survival that if they left your life, you would fail miserably? I don’t know why people think higher of themselves than they ought to. But, they do! Funny thing is, I’ve learned one valuable thing in my short 35 years of life: God’s will for our life is never contingent on people staying in our life! Meaning, if they decide to walk off and leave, He can still get the glory in you and through you!
So I look at the people who have turned their backs on me, laughed at my failures and setbacks, or walked away from me and quietly say, “With or without you, God’s will for Winter shall be accomplished!” The same applies to you too!
I couldn’t believe it! Sounding like the broken record, “Here I was again on my own!” Heard it all before, done it all before, seen it all before, and I was sick of it. There was not a thing one of my friends could tell me that would ease the blatant truth that slapped the cold hard taste out of my mouth. I don’t apologize to myself unless it’s necessary, but I owed this apology. I failed me. I let me down and I couldn’t point the blame at anyone but myself.
It took some days to let the sting wear off but it did. Oh boy, and when it did, I had a trail of facts that I had tucked away ever so nicely in my pocket of “but we talked about that”. Communication is about clarification and when we fail to clarify, we fail to communicate.
I noticed a shift after a few months. Conversations got more and more difficult and borderline non-existent. I would either be given the silent treatment or I would be fussed at for not understanding. Which infuriated me, because I’m a lot of things, but I’m not stupid. I just wanted to have an honest conversation. What I learned is that this it is very difficult to achieve with a person who avoids conflict and is hypersensitive to words. So I left it alone and watched as the ship of intimacy sailed far away from our grasp. The other reality that I had to face was that he wanted it that way.
When the winds of change hit us and force us to reflect on the direction from which it came, it’s tough. And it’s tough because the answer was always before us. Love is blind and love is sight at the same time. It blinds us to what we should see, and reveals that which we try to cover. There was so much that my magnifying glass of hindsight revealed that it arrested my thoughts. It wasn’t until I had a discussion with my oldest daughter that I had to face the truth of what I allowed.
Kids are amazingly perceptive and wise. We do not give them enough credit. She says to me, “Mom, you can do better than you think you can. I know everything with dad hurt your self esteem but it shouldn’t. You’re a heck of a catch and men should have to work to catch you. You’re too nice. If he doesn’t want to work for you, then he doesn’t deserve you in the first place. Don’t choose trifling men who should be happy to have you on their arm. You can do better.” I just sat there, dumbfounded by her profound insightful dialogue. She was right.
I had to acknowledge that although I had forgiven my ex, my self esteem was still being healed. So I dated at the level of my self esteem. I’ve always dealt with people judging me based off my looks, so again, I dialed down who I was so people didn’t see me as stuck up or unapproachable. I especially did this with men. Many of us do this as a method of self preservation. But it’s not healthy. If at any point you have to sacrifice who you are to accommodate someone else’s insecurities, then they immediately make themselves unqualified to intimately be in your presence.
We can’t always say that someone changed. People for the most part remain the same while certain parts of them evolve. We have to be willing to look at people for who they are and not who we hope they can be. So I sat with who I was and who I had become while trying to save an evaporated relationship. I had to make a decision to resurrect the woman of strength that had been through far worse things than this.
I made a promise to myself that I will always honor because who likes to take a test twice. It’s not that they just turned out to be no good, they weren’t good from the start. We didn’t think we were good enough to deserve better, so we got what we thought we deserved and we deserve better than that!
I know, my title seems senile, but I promise you it’s not, LOL! I’m just honest. We hear so much about dating and relationships these days that it seems like the only cure to the madness is remaining single. Then again, who likes quiet walks in the park or dinner out, ALONE?? Yeah, we all like our solitude, but the hope is to find someone that can interrupt it from time to time. So we date.
I don’t think I realized how jacked up dating really was until after I divorced. It was crystal clear that the tides had turned and I had no life jacket and I sure as heck didn’t know how to surf or swim. It was scary. Every time I thought I had the courage to get back out there, I panicked and renigged.
Don’t even get me started on online dating. Dear lord, the tangled web of deception that whole world weaves would leave anyone considering going into priesthood. As I got my feet wet, I honestly met a ton of interesting people. I enjoyed it. I mean, I enjoyed dating. What I didn’t enjoy was the people.
I think we all can consider an experience enjoyable if the conversation is interesting and engaging, even if there is no romantic outcome. The problem comes in when grown men and women turn dating into a charade of sports that they’ve created to feed their ego of insecurity at the expense of innocent people who just wanted to have a good time. Then it dawned on me. People date for one of two reasons: To truly find love or because they truly love to find. Let me explain.
Romantic love is such a captivating experience that for those who are void of it, finding it seems like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Many of us can imagine the nights at home on the couch snuggled up with a significant other watching a movie or just feeling the rhythm of their heartbeat when you embrace. The thought is so hypnotic that people become addicted to finding love with no intention of accepting the responsibility that love brings. They just like the high. But for those looking to truly find love, the high isn’t good enough. You want the real thing badder than you want Dasani on a hot sunny day. Dating has no restrictions or boundaries. It has no vetting process, so you mix these two groups of people up and it leads me back to my title.
Dating is about finding love. Discovering what you don’t want so you recognize what you do. The tough thing is that no one comes with a sign over their head that helps you determine which dating group they subscribe to. So what can you do about it? NOTHING! Just be brave enough to keep trying. Don’t let people with the wrong motives discourage you. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is love!
I enjoyed this photo shoot so much! Special thanks to Nik Robinson for his creative genius! To book him, please visit his Facebook page: IntuitionPhotos