Tag Archives: Health

Love in the face of truth…

If you know me, you know how important love and relationship is to me.  You know that I am someone who loves friends, friendship and quality time spent with someone to whom I am deeply committed and connected.

Many times, love has found me… or was it love?  I know the feeling of love was a part of the relationship, but was it truly love?  You see, I almost always allowed my heart to rule my head.  I let the feeling or perception of my deep feelings guide my willingness to engage and commit to someone.  That’s not a good thing, if you’re not doing a “check up from the neck up”.  So many times, I have hoped for the promise of a great relationship filled with love, but I ignored the signs which indicated that an actual relationship with that person was simply unwise or unavailable because they weren’t ready or we didn’t share the same values and goals.  I’ve been in relationships where the “friendship” and love was undeniable and powerful, but there were mixed values or life goals.  I could go on and on, but the right combination of things seemed to somehow elude… both of us and yet, we carried on in the hope the other would change.

I spent many years wondering… “Who is going to be able to settle on and accept this conundrum called Tim?”, “Who is going to accept me for me?”… and equally importantly, find me accepting the other person too; accepting them for the right reasons and not just because they were amazing and loving!

Choosing a relationship is confusing and scary because it’s such a dynamic process.  Being honest with the other person while “you” are unveiled and vice versa can be dizzying because it sometimes happens at a very rapid pace.   Even if you both choose to start out “slow”, the relationship will dictate the pace at which it will unfold and often, we succumb to it.  If it’s right though, you will find a balance in the pace which will be comfortable for both of you.  You find that comfort because you can be honest with yourself about what you feel and what you see!

The statement about choosing a relationship was once very true for me, but I am grateful to say, I think that is finally a thing of the past for me and for one very important reason.  I think I finally value myself enough to choose wisely and to be honest with myself when I consider being in a healthy relationship, because I’m willing to act in the light of what I see; in both me and the other person.

In the past, I was always ready to set myself aside.  What I mean by that is, I would ignore simple truths that I would see.  I would not rise to question the obvious differences or be willing to make a stand in the light of what I valued.  I was always so concerned about giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, because I saw that they were a good person and deserving of love.  I also, selfishly, wanted the intoxicating feeling of being with someone.  I can recall example after example, but in the end… they were excuses made by me.

At the end of the day, when you’re in a relationship and you’re serious about it, it’s OK and necessary to talk to your partner about your feelings and part in it!  If they don’t value what you value or they’re not in the same place (relatively) and don’t see themselves moving forward in a way similar to you… then it’s time to be honest with yourself and them and then make a decision.    Once you’ve made your decision (which may be to leave), it can be hard to let go and put the relationship behind because it satisfied many things for you.  Unless it satisfies all the important things though, it’s wise to cling to your decision because after all, you saw enough to choose to leave in the first place!  We are who we are which doesn’t make us bad, it just makes us unique.   Two people can be great friends and love each other desperately, but that doesn’t make them right for one another.

I’ve always said “It just shouldn’t be that hard” and that’s the truth when you’re in a healthy relationship unless you’re both really expert at lying to yourselves and each other.  When you meet the right person however, it simply isn’t hard because it’s easy to live with them and the truth at the same time!  Hard questions aren’t that hard to share or face.  This is the rest of your life… so you’d better do your best to be honest, get it right and make sure the person you’re with is the best for you.  It’s great to find someone who makes your heart go pitter pat, but that gets old fast when you can’t count on their commitment when the going gets rough.

What’s worse still is when you find that special someone who understands you utterly, who makes you feel very loved and accepted and they find you the same.  They struggle and simply can’t allow themselves to commit to you no matter how hard they try, because they’re fighting a conflict within themselves that’s obvious, but that they desperately want to deny… you aren’t right for them!  You don’t match THEIR values or goals!  You’re only cheating yourself if you don’t question it and they’re cheating you if they’re not honest about it.  It might be easy to be with them at a love and friendship level, but that lifelong choice thing, that’s another matter entirely.  Choosing to be with someone should be easy because “EVERYTYHING” is obvious.  It’s obvious you’re attracted, it’s obvious you share passion for each other, it’s obvious you share laughter, but it’s also obvious that you both share the same values, goals and honesty too.    Honesty about everything!

There is nothing worse than dancing around an elephant in the room, and lying about it only makes it worse because someday you’re going to have to deal with what the elephant leaves behind.  You see, life brings both good stuff and crap too.  A couple’s willingness to engage in good and bad together, while sharing an abiding respect is what defines the basis of a good and lasting relationship.

If you value a good career and financial stability, choosing someone who is entrepreneurial and frequently lives on the bleeding edge of financial ruin because they’re a risk taker is probably not a good fit; no matter how incredible they are to you.  Sometimes, our partners are completely honest with us… they want or don’t want to have kids.  If raising a family is something important to you and non-negotiable and your partner doesn’t want to have kids, you have little choice no matter how great the rest of the relationship!  Staying is keeping you from being with someone who values the same things you do and it keeps them from achieving their life goal too.  Choosing not to stay doesn’t make the other person bad for you, but does make them a bad CHOICE for you!  If however, your family choices are negotiable, and foregoing a family life is something you can live with… well I guess your choice may not be so difficult.  As long as you’re willing to be honest with yourself about what your partner shares with you, you can make healthy choices.  If you choose to leave, they will respect you because you’re valuing and respecting them too!

If someone pursues you after the relationship has ended, it’s easy to be tempted back because, after all, it wasn’t all bad.  It’s sometimes hard to honour our choices because let’s face it… being alone sucks!  But hanging about and playing with the fire of a past flame keeps you from moving forward and finding the right relationship for you.  I’ve struggled with that too, but I’ve learned my lesson after having been burned by playing with that very fire.  Fortunately though, I was not scarred because I feel I’ve learned from my experience and now have the ability to be honest with myself and make hard choices when necessary.

I’m not saying that you can’t feel completely connected to someone who is different to you, but you have to be certain that difference is something you can live with; because giving and committing your heart to someone should be about a forever choice!    “Every rose has its thorn” might be true, but if you can’t live with the pain you feel from what is otherwise something quite beautiful, it’s better to leave it alone.

Too many times, I held onto hope while waiting on the other person.  I waited and hoped that that the depth of our love would conquer our differences, but each time, that hope found me disappointed and ultimately… alone!  Sometimes, I chose to end the relationship and sometimes it was the other person or a mutual decision.  Thankfully though, it ended because continuing to live in the expectation or hope that I or the other person would change our mind would have resulted in frustration, anger and likely bitterness or resentment.

A very good friend of mine offers “Granny’s” advice.”  “It’s better to be alone than wish you were!”   Damn straight!  It’s scary to choose someone, but it’s worse when you hold onto someone when in the back of your mind, you know you shouldn’t be there.  Because you think the world of them however, or because you don’t want to be alone, you choose to remain in something that’s not right for you.  That’s just the wrong reason to be in a relationship and more… it’s really selfish!

It can be hard to be honest, but when you’re with the right person, they will accept what you have to say, knowing that it’s probably hard for you to share, but because they value integrity and because of their self-respect and integrity too, they listen knowing that you have their best interests in mind.

I have waited a very long time to find someone who sees me as I am, who finds me devilishly handsome, makes their heart go boom, accepts all of the idiosyncrasies that comprise me, who accepts and shares the goals and values we both have and who, in the light of all of those things is willing to talk honestly and openly about our life.  That is someone I can make a commitment to because that is someone within which I can place my trust.

The hardest part of being in a relationship when it first begins and then throughout is being honest.  It can be hard to be honest with yourself and then with your partner because sometimes, the message isn’t easy.  Of course, there are many other parts too, but it all starts with honesty!  Without it, you can never have integrity, honour or respect.  Often, when we find love, it feels easy, but without honesty and respect, it’s shallow and baseless!  Finding a great love, a love in which you share, values, goals, respect and above all, honesty… that’s not so easy, but it’s so worth waiting for!

I’ve spent the last 3 years of my life more or less on my own.  I’ve shut down my small business and joined a large software company, moved my home after 42 years and started another part of my life.   I’ve had to undergo a lot of scary stuff and become very honest with myself about who I am and where I’m at!  I’m not willing to toss all that aside for the first bit of “feel good” that comes along.

When you find the “right” person for you, you’ll know, but only if you’re willing to be honest… with you!  Here’s hoping you find the right person for you!

Soul Pic

a response to “How to understand women”

In my purposeless state this morning, I came across a post on the wall of a friend on Facebook. It was a reference to an article about an 12 year old boy who felt he had figured out “How to understand women”.

http://www.viralnovelty.com/12-year-old-boy-wrote-perfect-advice-understand-women-priceless/

Intrigued, I had a closer look. For a 12 year old, while I was impressed with his willingness to tackle such a potentially difficult and age old subject, I was not so impressed by his penmanship… or his insight for that matter. After the title and question were posed on page one, the entirety of the supporting answer and conclusion were stated on page two. “You can’t!”. Maybe he needs a little healthy guidance.

I personally feel that the person who chose to blog the “perfect wisdom” of this 12 year boy old has missed the point… even if their point is to find humour. Yes… I can see the humour in the statement, but must we always be so sarcastic and cynical? Why not truly ask ourselves and try to understand what is at the heart of the question and even be willing to expand upon it?

First, “how to understand a woman” and then, “how to understand the heart of a woman”

In order to attempt to answer these questions though, they both need to be given one very important consideration and one very important qualification.

First the consideration… the question needs to be considered respectfully.  Why do we feel we need to joke about this? I feel that questions of this nature either emanate from or gravitate toward social stereotypes that needs to die! These are both very worthy and serious questions and need to be considered respectfully!  The second part is the qualification. While respecting both women and the question of understanding them and their hearts, we also need to realize that they’re all so very different. Sure, there are common traits, but those vary because of the woman herself.  Because of her individuality.

I think it is more important to try ask the latter question more than the former one and I also think it’s important not to generalize!

So then, let’s ask the question “how to understand the heart of a woman”? I think this question is important not only for men, but for women as well. What is at the heart of a woman? That’s a simple and complicated question at the same time, because it depends on the woman. It can be a paradox and a conundrum as much as it can be a clearly defined statement.

OK… here goes the bold statement… I’m going to jump into the fiery abyss and try to answer the puzzle that’s seemingly perplexed mankind for millennium…

I truly believe that what lies within the heart of a woman is desire. That can be taken a multitude of ways, but if you’ll permit me, I’ll explain my rather bold and simple statement.

A woman’s desire or heart is no different than that of a man’s. We all long to be understood, valued, cared for and loved. These vary in degree as much the shape of snowflakes and people. Some desires are stronger than others dependent on how we were raised and some are personal or peculiar to the individual. In my circumstance, I believe those desires are placed there by God and shape how we were wired by him. That’s the cool part about God… He makes us all different and yet, He also makes us able to fit into the heart and life of another through our differences. It’s quite beautiful really.

So… back to my bold statement… that desire is at the heart of a woman. Knowing that desire is at the heart of a woman removes a great deal out of the challenge of discovering who she is and how to understand her.  When you seek to know what her desires are, what makes her get out of bed in the morning, what makes her decide whether to spend time preparing her hair and make-up, or to don a hat and put her hair in a ponytail, that will go a long way in making her feel comfortable with sharing her heart with you. You see… at her core, I believe that her desire is to trust. Sure… she also wants to feel that she is valued and loved, but to do those things, she first needs to feel that she can allow herself to trust. To satisfy the yearnings within her heart, she needs to establish trust in order to risk sharing them or even engaging in them if you’re to be a part of them. She needs to know that if she truly reveals herself to you, that she’ll not be betrayed for simply being herself.

If she wants to be a mother, she wants to know that you’ll be there with her. If she wants to be an artist, she wants to know that you’ll support her. If she wants to be a writer, she wants to know you’ll engage with her, to struggle with her to find the truth that she seeks to share (even if it’s fiction). If she wants to be your best friend, she wants to know she can trust you with her heart! She wants to know that you’ll let her be her (without your unsolicited opinion)!

It’s not all that complicated really… it’s all about paying attention and giving her respect. It’s about recognizing and valuing that she has chosen to share her heart with you.  It’s about recognizing and respecting that she has a voice. It’s also about her seeing something in you that has caused her to feel that she wants to share with you what she has to offer. She just needs to know that she’s as safe as she can be when she does. Don’t we all? I don’t necessarily think this desire or need is stronger in woman than it is in men, but I do believe that their willingness and need to be vulnerable and to have it known and recognized is!

There is no enigma wrapped in a puzzle. Women are no more complicated than men are, except that their hormones on occasion can and do betray them because of the wonderful gift that they possess… the wonderful ability to bear children.

To understand a woman, you have to WANT to value and understand what lies within her heart. It’s not too complicated… she’ll let you know, but only if she feels she can trust you. All you have to do to earn that is to act with integrity, pay attention to her and let her know when you’ve heard her. When she senses your understanding, the trust I spoke of will grow. It’s about being willing to respect her heart, her mind and her soul!

So… to the statements made by my 12 year old brother from another mother… Son… you CAN understand a woman, but first, you must be willing to show her respect and to earn her trust! When you do that, she’ll be willing to share the glories of the desires of her heart with you! You’ll also likely find that she’ll also be equally willing to share yours too! When you get to this place, you’ll have a much better chance at understanding her and her heart.

I truly believe that a woman wants nothing more than to feel that she can be truly vulnerable with someone. To be all that she is and to be accepted for it.  Not because of her make-up, not because of her smile, not because of the way she walks or wears her hair, but because of her heart and what she has to offer!  We need to feel attracted and attractive, but once that’s established, we need to feel trust and value. Find that and you’ll be blessed with one of the greatest earthly gifts a man can hope to receive… you may be gifted with the heart of a woman.

What is proper online behaviour?

3 youth in my community have been charged with distribution of pornography, because they allegedly propagated content of an inappropriate nature through electronic media. Believe me, I’m not condoning this behaviour and this post will not be about mitigating or further diluting our cultural or social standards… it’s going to identify the lack of them and how we’ve become desensitized in the process! Fait accompli!

The reaction to the above, presented in the local news media, is to create an awareness program in our schools which will teach what the consequences for this kind of behaviour will be instead of getting to the root truth of the situation… teaching WHY this behaviour is not only inappropriate and wrong, but that it’s damaging and carries with it consequences that reach far beyond the legal ones they create! I’m not saying education in this area isn’t important, but it needs to get to the root of the matter instead of being a reaction to a byproduct.

Folks… we tell our kids that it’s NOT okay to take nude pictures and then share those using cell phones and yet, we tolerate TV or take them to Miley Cyrus concerts. I’m not condemning Miley Cyrus, but some of her behaviour is simply unacceptable! Teaching awareness of socially acceptable behaviour should not begin in our schools, it should begin in our homes and within our families! It’s about awareness, understanding and then choice! Just because “Sex Sells” doesn’t mean we have to buy into it! Teaching (not preaching) and leading by example about what reasonable social conduct (including the use of technology) looks like is where this should begin. We need to think about the kinds of emails we share and the kind of TV we watch, because it says something about us! Most importantly, it says it to our kids!

Our society’s cultural standards have eroded and we seem oblivious! We’re becoming a sad group of technologically dependent introverts who are losing our grasp on reality and our concept of morality! Television and Internet media is teaching or creating a new social paradigm and the future doesn’t look good. Our societal values are coming through mass media and we’re slowly becoming desensitized to good old values. “Good old fashioned values”… they’re not old fashioned… they’re just good values! You don’t look up Sally’s skirt! You don’t disrespect your elders! You don’t disrespect your parents! You don’t disrespect yourself, your neighbours or your friends!

I’m far from being a prude and consider myself to be very progressive and open minded, but things are getting way too far out of hand. We cry for social justice, equality, choice and freedom of expression. We rally and fight for the voice of media to remain free but where has that gotten us? Media is a business and that business is to sell us more of what we tell them we want! I get it… that’s OK to a degree, but I’m here to tell you, what they’re also doing is to sell this stuff to us in a way that is eroding our social values! They have an incredible responsibility but clearly they’re not being responsible! Who is holding them accountable? At the end of the day, does it matter if there is a body to impose proper conduct for the media? We have a very powerful filter in our grasp… it’s called our finger and it can be used to turn off the TV, or not consume some of the garbage we do.

Our minds are like our bodies… if we eat too much junk food and don’t exercise, we get out of shape and lethargic. The same is true for our minds! If we pollute our minds with so much of the banal drivel we see in the form of “entertainment media”, we’ll become a product of what we consume. It’s time to make a choice for ourselves and then, to let our kids see us do that and then explain to them why we’ve made the choices we have. Telling someone that something is wrong is incorrect is a fraction as effective as actually showing them and then being an example of it!

I was a child of the 60 & 70s (call it 4-10 years old). I watched Bugs Bunny & the Road Runner constantly and I’m doing just fine! I’ve noticed that the same cartoons of today have been edited for content (violence) and yet… what about the rest of television? Have you seen Ren & Stimpy or South Park?

What’s with our society’s current fascination with vampires and werewolves? I like a good vampire movie as much as the next guy, but it’s come to a point where if it doesn’t include soft core porn, it’s not a movie! The same is true and more so for television and if you don’t believe me, just watch an episode of “True Blood”. What are we consuming? Why do we seem to need more and more of this sort of stimulation? Are our lives that unfulfilled or without reward? Where will it end or what will be enough?

I’m not at all saying that people can’t figure out that vampires aren’t real (It’s not about the vampires), but it’s the values we’re ingesting through watching that sort of programming that serve to change our views on morality or what is socially acceptable from a moral perspective.

This then trickles down to our kids. It does so because it changes what we’re willing to tolerate, what we will allow them to see and what we won’t. What’s worse though is what’s available to them when they’re not in our home and the choices they’ll make in our absence. It’s also about how we treat one another in front of them! Our kids are mimics. They learn their values from us! I for one do not want to teach kids that disrespecting women is cool. I do not want to teach them that uninhibited sexual conduct is OK.

I want to help them learn and make them aware what this “stuff” is and why it’s all around them. Think about that statement for a minute. Imagine yourself explaining what is available on TV to your child and how difficult that would be. I’m not talking sports, but reality TV, game shows, soap operas, prime time television and the content within many commercials. While we’re at it, why not explain what we see in the news. Do any of us take the time to have these kinds of discussions with our kids?

I want children to understand for themselves (not because I TOLD them) the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviour because because those are the kinds of adults I hope to interact with in society!  I also want to teach them how to interact with a person directly instead of through a keyboard, mouse and monitor!

This is not up to our teachers, nor should it ever be! It should start in our own homes, within our own families! We should be identifying this and talking about it openly instead of just consuming it…. I was going to say “consuming it together”, but that’s not necessarily true either considering most kids have their own computers, cell phones and access to a television in an isolated area of the home.

I personally don’t want a teacher having the responsibility for educating my child on what is right and wrong! That’s asinine and it’s not their responsibility! It’s completely unfair to expect a teacher to show my child the difference between what is right and wrong. Of course, they need to offer supervision while I’m not around, but my child’s value set should come from within my home and family. It should not be learned in school! PERIOD!

What I’m saying isn’t intended to impede social growth or progress. It’s not at all intended to rail against individual freedom of expression or choice. It’s intended to encourage us to identify what is healthy vs. unhealthy and then to teach and encourage that value set in our families so that our kids will be equipped to deal with stuff when they encounter it. They’ll know the difference and then, they’ll have the ability to make an informed decision based on a solid foundation of understanding and awareness.

This is not about promoting blind innocence or an over simplified perspective like that which was portrayed in “Leaver it to Beaver”. I’m not suggesting that a “Cleaver” society is what we need, but the family values presented in that show were very valid! We’re not simpletons and we have the ability and intelligence to choose to understand and recognize the difference.

I’ve been watching the erosion of society since I was a teen. I was very aware of it and I’ve always been. I knew the difference because my parents took the time to teach me!

By the way… ask yourself if you’ve been affected by it. If you’re old enough, please consider your life today vs. when you were a teen… call it 20 years ago… or 30, or 40 if you’re that old. Do you think your value set is different today than it was back then? I know mine is. Let’s ignore the context of sex for a minute and look instead at economics. How do you buy and value stuff today compared to 20 or 30 years ago? We’ve been helped and encouraged to become mass consumers who quickly become dissatisfied with what we have today because of what will be made available tomorrow. It’s created a society of “entitlement” and expectation instead of one of gratefulness and contentment. I’m not saying that having stuff or even nice stuff is bad… but what version of Go Pro are we on now? iPhone 5 with iPhone 6 in the wings? Think about it!

Back to the kids who are being charged, someone said to me about them, “they were probably not aware of what they were doing anyway”. “They probably didn’t know the consequences or even that it was harmful or wrong and were just being kids”. That’s the point of what I’ve written here today. They were just being kids and they need to know the difference because they acquired he behaviour somewhere or from someone.

We have a choice with regard to moral foundation and reasonable acceptability in our future of our society. We can continue to lick the lollipop of mediocrity and continue to be spoon fed what comes our way, or we can make a personal choice to become aware of what is happening all around us. If we choose to embrace the latter, we can then choose to effect change within our homes and families.

The choice is yours!

By the way… While I’d like to hear your opinion in form of a comment, I’d rather you instead offered those thoughts for discussion within your family. That’s the point behind this post.

What is marriage? Who is the right partner… “the One”

I recently read this short article written by Lysa TerKeurst and felt compelled to write a response, so please bear with my ramblings.

“One day, I shared with my unmarried friend that when I was single I thought marriage was all about finding the right partner. I thought if you find “the one,” you’ll be happy, secure, and fulfilled. I do think it’s good to have a list of standards that you look for in a spouse. However, it can never be with the expectation that if you find that special someone, he’ll (she’ll) right all your wrongs and fill up all your insecurities. The problem with this thinking is the pressure it will eventually put on your spouse.

To expect another person to make you feel happy, secure, and fulfilled will leave you disappointed at best and disillusioned at worst. Even a great husband makes a very poor God.

Only God can settle those deep heart-needs. A man (or woman) can never do this. If a husband could meet every need his wife had (and vice versa), we’d have no need for God. Therefore, instead of just focusing on finding the right partner, let God work on your heart to help you become the right partner.”

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialLysa/posts/10151798822537694

I have to say that while I agree with the essence of what this article is saying, it does gloss over some pretty important stuff.  First though… I want to agree with one very important point.  It’s wiser to learn how to become “the one” than it is to seek that out in someone else.  Knowing who you are, what you like, dislike, value, hope to achieve and being comfortable in your life with those things will help to create a foundation for a healthy and lasting relationship, or at least, your part of it.   What that means though is that we have some work to do before we even think about getting into a new relationship.  Spending time with yourself and with God to learn how to accept both your strengths and weaknesses is a wise thing to do.  This is where you can let God can help you become a better friend and a better life mate.  Acceptance of ourselves is just as important as acceptance of the person you may eventually spend your life with and it all begins with one very important thing.  Honesty.  Learning how to be honest with God and ourselves about who we are will put us on a path to becoming a lot more comfortable in our own skin.  I’m not talking about being narcissistic but instead, being really willing to honestly look at ourselves in a mirror and to learn to accept ourselves for who we are. This is how we can begin to learn to love ourselves in a healthy way.  It’s also a great way to become aware of the not so nice stuff about us.  When we become aware of our “stuff”, it’s a lot easier to know what to bring to God for help.  It’s also easier to know what NOT to put on our partner to be and to know when we are doing just that!

It is very dangerous to live in the belief that if you find “the one”, all of your hopes, dreams and desires will be met.  What’s even worse, if you carry an unfulfilled need or want into a relationship and place that expectation on your new partner, you’re piling a huge amount of pressure on them that will likely result in anger and regret if and when they don’t meet your expectation.  You also stand a pretty good chance that they’ll become defensive, disillusioned or even betrayed in your relationship with them.

I also agree with what I believe the author was trying to say with regard to having a list of standards, but I would choose to describe it differently.  Finding someone will not remove insecurities from you.  It will not make life go easier and it certainly will not undo the past!  It will do two things however.   It will make life a much less lonely place and it will expose the very things you seek to fulfill (or avoid) through seeking “the one”.  Knowing yourself intimately, your values and goals is so very important.  Understanding your hopes and dreams in a healthy way is also essential and it’s very important that you are able to share them openly and honestly… with God and your new love interest!  The one thing I consistently see in many relationships is a lack of acceptance.  I know that may seem strange to read, but it is my factual observation.  Accepting someone for who they are and have represented themselves to be is a major key to a long lasting and loving relationship.  It’s also a great way to know who NOT to be with.  You can’t make an apple be a potato, nor can you make yourself become something you’re not.

OK… that’s some of the healthy relationship stuff addressed, but what about the heart part?  The part where we feel lonely?  We already know that putting our stuff on someone is not only unfair, it’s also unwise.  So… isn’t our expectation of being delivered from loneliness a part of that too?  Why are we lonely?  What does that look like?  This is the part where singles and people in relationships (especially those in long term relationships) are very disconnected in their understanding of the state of being single.  What we singles need to do however is very important.  We need to learn HOW to accept our singleness and our loneliness and to bring both of those to God.  God made us to be in relationship.  Adam and Eve are absolute proof of that.  God created the first romance between two people with Adam and Eve and so designed what would have been a perfect relationship (until they became fixated on fruit).  Learning to accept that there are times where we are just going to be lonely and there ain’t nothing you can do about it will help to make things a little less frustrating.  Being in relationship is how we were wired by God.  Learning to accept loneliness is just as important as learning how to accept the rest of our stuff.  I’m not talking about learning how to fill those voids (loneliness) with activities because that’s not acceptance… that’s avoidance and there’s a big difference.  Learning how to accept being lonely is very different from trying to figure out what to do when you are.  If the latter is your coping mechanism… well… maybe give what you’re doing another think.  Filling our time with things that bring us pleasure is a good thing, but our motivation is what’s important here.  I love photography, but I never do it when I’m feeling lonely!  My work suffers for it!  When I’m lonely, that’s when I choose to become contemplative and share with God (and sometimes friends if they’re willing) why I’m feeling lonely.  First, I learn what the root of my loneliness is and I try to learn how to accept my loneliness.  That’s not saying I’m becoming defeated, but rather that I’m learning to accept where I am at.

One very important point that this short article overlooks though is this…  Our married friends!  Our married friends have a hope that we’ll meet someone just as we hope to, but they see it a little bit differently.  They have the wise hope that we’ll find someone who will share our values and goals, but they also expect us to be ready to wait for the right person to come along… and then they cozy up to their partner that evening on the couch while they watch their favourite show on TV (or whatever stuff they do as a couple) because that is their reality.  It’s reasonable to think that they’ve become disconnected with singleness.  Well folks… there are two things to consider here and both are about perspective.  It’s always easier to see life from your own perspective and you’ll never fully know what the other person’s perspective truly is.    It’s easy to say “be patient and wait on God… he’ll fill that void”.  Well… how they make or mean that statement can be the difference between being and feeling completely misunderstood or… understanding that you need to spend some more time with God because of what I was talking about earlier.  I’m going to focus on the last sentence of Lysa’s article for a moment “Therefore, instead of just focusing on finding the right partner, let God work on your heart to help you become the right partner.”  If this is what your friends are saying to you, then they’re good and wise friends.  If not, then they need to reconsider their perspective and think about this sentence themselves!  Loneliness to me seems an unnatural thing considering how God created us.  We’re going to be lonely, but here’s the kicker… that can also happen inside a relationship.  That’s why it is important to learn how to be lonely in a healthy way before we get into a relationship.  It will help us to learn how to sort through “stuff” and to better understand our place in any relationship.  That just part of how WE can become “the one” for someone else.

If we do much of this work and self-evaluation, we may just get to meet that one very important person that God wants us to meet (other than Jesus). We may get to meet and truly know ourselves. If we’re going to be in a healthy relationship and get to know someone else… how will they get to know us if we don’t even know who we truly are.

Oh… one last thing… “The One”… what is the definition for the one?  Well, for me it’s a two part answer.  Finding “the one” means finding someone who’ll love and accept me for me, just as I am.  They’ll accept me for me and I too will be willing to do likewise for them.  The second part though I will leave to the words of a man far wiser than I…

“Love is a commitment to the development of the full potential of the other person; to help them become the very best person they are capable of becoming.” – Brian Tracy

You see… relationship is about service and sacrifice.  It’s not about you at all, you’re only one part of it.  It’s mostly about the other person, valuing them and respecting the incredible gift they have chosen to give you.  It’s about respecting the gift of ‘them’!  Your partner will be making a choice to share their life with you and as I see it, there is no greater earthly thing we as people can do!  This choice can at the same time be the most and least selfish thing we’ll ever do.  Knowing the difference between the two will help us to know the right choice to make when we at last find someone that makes our heart skip a beat.