Today is Officially – THANK AN Ex DAY!

For-someone-else

THE MASH-UP: GOOD RELATIONSHIPS have EX-es TO THANK!

This is going to be a short post so stay focused — :-).

I used to say,

“I’d be pissed if I “fix up” a man for some other sister to get him.”

However, when I reflect on my own “brokenness” that brothers-of-yesterYears fixed/endured so I could be a better woman to men-of-today ——————- THE UNIVERSE SEEMS TO BE BALANCING WELL. In retrospect, I don’t think people “fix” other people anyway. Some relationships just give us the space we need to mess up so we can learn what not to do the next time.

I said this in one of my last posts: I’m not convinced there are ills of relationships so much as there are ills of people in relationships.

So conversely, there are no inherently healthy relationships, simply healthy people in relationships. That being said, I know I’m a better dater today than when I started dating. When I look back at the things that I did then but don’t do now for the most part I have an EX to thank.

For many of my unhealthy personal habits that I just did not see when I was single or first dating there is an EX-boyfriend that suffered through it and complained about it and ultimately I saw “uh ohhh that’s a relationship ending move.”

So to all my EX-es (many ending amicably, one in a stalemate of silence but hopefully not hatred), my husband-to-be and I thank you! For obvious reasons, EX-es get a bad wrap but I am a better person because I worked out some of my -ish with you. Maybe, just maybe, you all can say the same about me.

For kicks, here are some of my bad personal habits that have frustrated EXes:

constantly speaking in metaphors and saying NOTHING because I had a hard time sharing my feelings; going “dark” aka disappearing without warning; not calling to say when I arrived safely to a new state; not liking to answer questions (still working on that); and lately I’ve discovered I was secretly spiteful (at least it was a secret to me – I really didn’t realize that’s what I was being). ~~~ don’t judge me ;-).

Advertisements

Learning to Get Out of Dead End Exchanges with My BF (and everyone else)

THE MASH-UP: The Solutions to the Problems in My Life are related to Two of My Choices: 1. To Drink (Living) Water  and 2. To Get OFF the Hamster Wheel.

The Hamster Wheel is a metaphor for those circular, Dead End exchanges that keep creeping in amidst the good ones with the BF.

Don’t judge me. You know the ones: the conversations where you ask yourself at the end “how’d we even get here?” Conversations where both parties were like drowning non-swimmers – not meaning to pull the BF/GF down into your funk but NOT knowing how NOT to.

But I heard a message that reminded me of the Power of Having (Living) Water, which is a metaphor for letting God into my life so that He waters perpetually the “solution seeds” already planted in me. 

THE MESSAGE

The Kingdom of God is God’s remedy to make right every thing that is wrong in life.

I said to myself, “FIX IT, LORD.” I’ll admit it… I did do the old church lady rock from side to side and said in a preacher’s voice, Glory to God (pronounced Glo-ray da Gawd). That was until I heard the personal accountability part of the message: The Kingdom of God is designed first to happen to you, then through you. God’s remedy for all things that are wrong in and around your life is IN YOU!

What???? I (Sherrie) was how God chose to fix it! God’s personal message to me:

  1. Stop reacting to the rules of that game. The Hamster wheel game was never intended to satisfy you, and never intended for you to win. The rules say that in the heat of a moment you have to keep the rhythm of whatever is happening: Defend/attack if you feel attacked; react ugly if something catches you off guard that makes you uneasy. Get out of that cycle. Let Me (GOD) WATER YOU from the inside so that you have what you need to act differently. You can have a new internal make-up.
  2. Commit & surrender to a new, truer reality. You were not designed to simply RESPOND. You were designed to PRODUCE, CREATE, HEAL… Experiencing perfect, unconditional love, peace, and joy that’s YOUR reality. That is where you will be satisfied, clear, and perpetually watered. The feelings of uncertainty and unsettledness will rest in its proper place – and that is not with you. It’s going to seem out of place and even stump those still operating on the wheel – especially when you choose NOT to. But you’ll have peace in your choice. It won’t seem out of place to you. The more you allow this new reality to overtake you and control you, the more you will have to overflow on others. You have A DESIRE to love, a desire for peace, a desire for joy but without experiencing those things perfectly and completely you could not give it. SELAH.

THE RESULTS: Let’s be real, the BF and I still argue and have dead end exchanges but I am no longer a “victim” of those. I acknowledge my contribution to them. I am becoming more keenly aware of recognizing the dead end hamster wheel exchanges and I’m choosing more often than not TO GET OFF. Every day I am surrendering to the Kingdom of God reality where I PRODUCE, CREATE, HEAL and that is creating a PEACE IN ME…

Part 4: When Doing the Right Thing Causes Tears (like tonight)

THE MASH-UP: TEARS OF SORROW FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING- Restrained vs. Constrained

THE CONCLUSION

Until one learns to love God with ALL their heart, mind, and soul… one will always be trying to love others and oneself without the most important tool. God dictates who we are, how we were created to be loved (perfectly), teaches us what it feels like to receive perfect love, then teaches us how to give it! I love YOU (you know who you are) not how I FEEL loving you; I love YOU how Your Daddy is CONSTANTLY teaching me how to! God sometimes I feel like a fool for love but as I am reminded, “You are at work on our behalf, and we are not forgotten. Prove God, Sherrie!” *tear* My only prayer is that as I go to God for you, Babe, you will do the same for me. SELAH.

SCENARIO 1: RESTRAINED

Someone “did you wrong” in school and you were set to fight them. Just as you were literally inches away from getting a hold of them, some authority figure that could actually restrain you – grabbed you. Being so close yet not  able to take out your aggression raged in the core of your being that you ended up crying out of frustration.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about…hmmm. But if you do, keep reading…

SCENARIO 2: CONSTRAINED

…But do you remember the times when no authority figure needed to step in because it was your OWN internal moral that constrained the rage in you.  You wanted to fight but the cost was too great! You could have lost a scholarship, been expelled from a zero-tolerance school, or whatever … so YOU CHOSE not to! Then you cried, a deeper sorrow, still frustrated.

MY CONSTRAINT CAUSED TEARS (tonight)

Tonight my fight is a figurative fight raging in me but the tears were literal tears. I love my Daddy (Heavenly Father) with everything in me!  What happens when Daddy asks me to steady the course, no rash movements while He does a “work” on my relationship? When waiting feels good, I’m happy to do it. When waiting is “heavy”, I want to do what I WANT TO DO! Literally, nothing stops me from acting rashly, selfishly, grabbing control (from God), being spiteful, walking away from my partner… except my choice! I AM CONSTRAINED BY LOVE! It is my daily choice to LOVE my Daddy above ALL else. The only expression of our love for Him that Daddy accepts is OBEDIENCE! So I have to choose above all emotions to BE OBEDIENT  to GOD… and I am so far from perfect!

THE COMFORT

I neither have all the answers nor do I propose to be happy with ALL God’s requests of me but My Daddy doesn’t require that I LIE or SMILE falsely… he accepts my tears. Don’t believe me??? JESUS DID NOT WANT TO DIE ON THE CROSS, especially not THE WAY HE DID! THE BIBLE says so: St. Luke 22 verses 39-44. He was in so much anguish about what was about to happen that His sweat was described as being “like drops of blood.”

#####

JESUS DID NOT WANT TO DIE… (but He chose to anyway).

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]

Part 3b: Separated for Increase (The Private Conversation)

THE MASH-UP: (Read Part 3a: Separated for Increase (but I miss my boo). It is the prelude to this blog post – a true must read)

If you have every felt a noticeable emotional distance between you and your boyfriend/girlfriend because one of you were on a personal search for “something” more – you’ll enjoy this. (Welcome back to those from Part 3a! If you’re not one of those, I recommend reading “Part 3a: Separated for Increase (but I miss my boo)“)

THE PRIVATE CONVERSATION

“… No matter how many questions you ask me and I answer honestly and truthfully every last one of them, you still will not have the answer for which you’re looking. On a deep level, you avoid asking  me questions because if I answer and you still have that feeling, then where do you go? What do you do? The place (me) to where you had taken that “unspoken” question becomes yet another place of expectations unmet, yet another place where you could not find a resolve- and thus returns the feeling of unsettledness.

Here’s the deal: What you need is not me. I know it sounds crazy – but you don’t need me. I am a gift to you- as you are to me. You don’t need my strong support (well, it’s not the first thing you need). You need your purpose. You need your validation; and you need your validation from your Daddy – the big “D” daddy)! I am a gift. I am a heaven-sent gift. I’ll support you strongly because that’s what I’m designed to do. However, I was never intended to be the reason you wake up in the morning. I’m not designed to be the source of your joy. I am a gift, a resource, an element your Daddy has given to you out of love to help you do what you were created to do. The catch: You have to know your purpose in order to appreciate me and my role in supporting your destiny. The gift can never define you. The gift cannot give you purpose. You need to acknowledge The Giver. You need to ask The Giver what your purpose is so you can appreciate the gift.

Want an example? OK. It’s like someone knowing you are destined to be a writer before you ever discover that. One day they give you a pen & a journal. It feels great to have them but all you ever do is use them to make supermarket lists. Until one day in the passion of a moment- anger or happiness- you find yourself needing to “release” and you grab your pen & journal and write what ends up being the first words of your award-winning books. Then for the first time, you are deeply grateful and appreciative of the gift and it begins to carry a special place in your heart.”

The challenge for me is that not only am I a gift, I am also a sensitive woman already in love with you, God’s gift to me. As a woman I desire to be carried in a special place in your heart, which at this moment is occupied by questions flowing from your mind. Luckily for me, I know my Daddy intimately. He is my source; giving me what I need until you are fully operating in your divine purpose to be God’s gift to others. The other good thing for me is that because of my intimate relationship with my Daddy, just like Abraham and Jesus, He allows me an intimate glimpse into the future … We’re there together. There is love, peace, happiness, and divine purpose! Selah.

So the message to me is the same… “don’t take the distance you feel personally – PROVE GOD, SHERRIE.” (Oh and don’t kill the love of your life for getting on your nerves *shrugs – coy smile*).

### Thanks for reading this 4-part blog series on Love & My Relationship. This has been new for me to speak so personally about any relationship and I found a peace in speaking life and truth to what I am experiencing inside. I’ll be back when he proposes. Until then, Good night… ###

Part 3a: Separated for Increase (but I miss my boo)

THE MASH-UP: Purposed Isolation = Better Individuals = Better Relationships

Emotional distance in a relationship is a pain in the ass. It definitely doesn’t feel good.

If one partner is disconnected while the other is all-in, then for that person the question “is it me?” becomes a dark cloud that just looms over head. I’m experiencing emotional distance in my relationship right now and let’s just say I’m not the one disconnected (this time)… UGH.

The Context Historically, God uses purposed isolation to bring about unparalleled individual growth. Purposed Isolation is what I call it when a person is disconnected from people or things because they are experiencing a yearning from MORE. They can’t exactly express what that “more” is but they are confident what they have is not satisfying them on their deepest level. I think the emotional distance I’m feeling in my relationship right now is actually a purposed isolation occurring within my BF. We love each other (that’s not in question) yet there’s something that he is not finding in this relationship. We went through this before only I was the one disconnected. (Unfortunately for him, I moved cross country & we broke up for a while… *shrugs – don’t judge me.* BTW, I am doing much better now. Thanks for asking.)

The Backstory

When we went through emotional distance before (due to my purposed isolation) it felt like he was constantly reaching out to me but I knew I wasn’t reciprocating emotionally. My “I LOVE YOUs” were honest and yet laced with so many internal questions that I knew he felt the hesitation. He would call me and put out effort but I couldn’t focus on him with a yearning more that great inside of me. For the record, now I know that sucked for him! In the end, it was better for him and US that I grow up into a better Sherrie – closer to God’s original design.

The Truth beyond The Facts

He is my gift from God. I now value him on a much deeper level. I am learning how to express my love, respect, and appreciation in a way that he experiences it (beyond the words). I am eternally grateful that we’re back together. I am committed to him and US as we ride out his purposed isolation. Babe, if you ever read this, I LOVE YOU and I see you in MY future!

More to Come Shhh… don’t tell my BF but I am going to let you in on a private conversation I had with him in my head. (Yes, I said, “in my head”) He hasn’t heard it yet because I don’t know if it’s the right time. But I’m a writer and I had to get it out so shhh (look for it in Part 3B)…

Part 2: How do YOU spell LOVE?

THE MASH-UP: The key to GIVING LOVE is understanding how THE RECIPIENT SPELLS it.

Here’s the deal: We don’t all receive love the same way? Nor do we interpret Love the same? We have a saying in Jamaica that says, “what is a joke for you, is death for me?” If you want to hear it in a Jamaican accent call “1800- Call PAUL” – inside joke :). Oh wait, this is a public forum – that’s like whispering in a group – my apologies I was raised better – I think. Basically, what it means is that we see things differently.
So how do you spell love? Chose a word that captures love for you and when I ask, “how do you spell LOVE” – spell that word. Here’s my poetic expression of my single word spelling/definition of love:

***************

SPELLING BEE

I lost the spelling bee.
They asked me to spell it.
In their ignorance they had eyes and could read – but could not see.
“Miss Gordon, spell ‘love’ please.”
And I answered, “G-O-D”
– Rie Gordon (c) 2006

Part 1: I am Eve but I have no Apple for you…

THE MASH-UP: The standard that I hold for my boyfriend/husband is a direct correlation to the God I see in both he and I.

So those who know me know that I NEVER— and I do mean NEVER- talk about my relationships publicly. Very few people are privy to my relationship status, which means it has never appeared on Facebook. LOL. However, I am in a relationship now (gasp – chest tightens, tummy butterflies, and thoughts go wild). This is the second iteration of this relationship and I joke with him that we are both the 2.0 improved versions of our previous selves.

I really do think this man is wonderful. Even more than that we both are at a place where we can see the potential – not just in the relationship but in each other as individuals. I am a woman of God whose standards for life are set by GOD- whoa!!!! That means any boo – including the current king man – has to commit to not only God’s standard for the relationship but also HIMSELF & Family.

The challenge: LIVING UP TO GOD’S STANDARD CAN FEEL LIKE A LOT – dare I say too much – but oh how the ROI (return on investment) is the HIGHEST. I find myself reminding myself – PROVE GOD! Demonstrate that God delivers the highest returns when we choose God FIRST!

The question is: Will “boo” choose to pay the high cost to invest here or will he choose elsewhere with a slight lesser cost to enter the market? 

(p.s. I’m not currently in danger of choosing ANYTHING over God. I will shed many tears and be crestfallen for a bit if he chooses to walk – after all I am in love (shhhh) – BUT GOD FIRST!)

*********

(untitled poem)

My standards are set by that which is pure and incorruptible.
Yes, you have a lot to live up to –
AND you have a lot to expect!
 
Self-contained standards, Self-centered standards
Dilute and pollute our expectations.
If I seek to love you by the limitations of my own knowledge,
then you will never be loved to your design – as you deserve.
 
If “I” were the highest letter in the alphabet
Where would “YOU” be?
 
I vow never to dethrone you.
Never to lower the standard and praise you for mediocrity;
Never to say, “I love you,” then flower you with flattery.
Never raising your right hand as a “master of minimalism;”
Never applauding you for good – when you chose to stop short of great.
 
I will warn you of your worst enemy:
She is a Chameleon,
mimicking the incorruptible,
Feeding you an apple in her own ignorance.
She ACCEPTS less from you because—
SHE EXPECTS LESS of YOU!
 
But my standards are set by that which is pure and incorruptible.
Yes, you have a lot to live up to –
AND you have a lot to expect!

Rie Gordon (c) 2006