Monday, May 2, 2011
Exs and Ohs
I think it would be safe to say that everyone has been hurt in relationships with others.
When we experience someone hurting in the fallout of a broken relationship (whether friendship, family or romantic) our hearts ache with them because we ourselves have experienced this to some degree.
We can relate.
Time and time again the voices of each generation cry out in song and spoken word, lamenting the anguish of love lost. Questioning why it happened, and yet looking, searching for love anew. Desperately searching for beauty in the midst of pain.
Why do broken relationships take such a toll on the human soul?
I think, that it's because when you offer yourself in a relationship, you are offering yourself to another either physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Depending on the depth of the relationship it may be a healthy mix of all three.
You are taking a risk. Becoming vulnerable. You are essentially handing yourself over for judgement. It is the beginning of a process, to see if you are enough to make the cut.
I know that judgement often has negative connotations associated with it. Maybe it is because of those crazy religious people and their picket signs, or the angry God that is apparently their motivation to act as they do. The God who rains down hatred and condemnation.
We cringe and draw back, we put up our defenses whenever the word judgement comes into the picture.
Society continually pushes the envelop in a crusade to make judgement a dirty word.
After all, who am I to judge someone else? How dare I?
Upon simple, honest, self examination however one finds that we judge and are judged on a daily basis. We all view life through a unique and distinctive paradigm (our way of interpreting the world). So, no matter what sort of wording one may use to deny it, judgement abounds in our society. No, scratch that, our humanity.
It is the catalyst for choice.
It is essential.
Yes, it can be taken to an extreme, but judgement is not something humans can divorce themselves from.
I'm finding that judgement is especially prominent in any sort of intimate relationship (family, friendship or romantic), and as my eyes are opened to this essential truth, I now understand a bit more why the loss of relationship can and is so devastating to the individual.
A broken relationship is one in which one party essentially says to the other 'You are not enough for me' or 'You don't meet my standard.'
You didn't make the cut in other words.
Admittedly, this is not true for every broken relationship, sometimes the decision may be mutual, there may be other motivations too; but I think that, if I am honest with myself , personally, the majority of relationships that have ended in my own life seem to share the common theme from above.
When this happens it downright stings. It sucks. A lot.
No human is a fan of it. We want to be enough for someone. We crave it, long for it.
It is difficult to swallow. It goes down about as well as eating a bowl of construction nails for breakfast, and it lingers in your stomach, leaving an ache slightly reminiscent of a dinner excursion to Golden Corral...only a bit worse.
Sadly, this is a necessary part of life; the discernment, judgement, rejection, or whatever else you choose to deem this moment in your life.
The simple truth is this, the experiences that bring about the most growth and personal revelation are those which have shaken the individual to their core. Trials by fire.
The times when it hurts so bad, that you don't even know if you want the morning to come again.
The nights when you've cried your tears out completely, and are still shaking, aching, and wondering why this happened.
The nights you wonder if God even cares, and if He does, why is He so far away?
It's not easy, but I'm finding that it is necessary. What's more, is the powerful realization that any who have experienced this pain will hopefully come to...
The 'judgement' passed upon us by our ex is not a final statement on our worth.
Let me say that again, because it is certainly something I have trouble believing in the midst of these times...
My worth is not reflected in the outcome of a relationship.
It is very easy for one to internalize self-doubt after being injured by the one they've given themselves to. But it isn't the final word.
Our worth comes from before birth. Our worth comes from the One who holds the framework of the heavens in His hand. You are not alone. You have been created down to the last detail and are loved so much, it transcends all space and time.
Yeah, that's all well and good, but what now?
I mean, sure God loves me, and that's great, but the reality is I'm still hurting. I still feel worthless and rejected. I still feel as if I'll never heal.
I want you to know if you are at this point, or ever find yourself at this point, that you are not alone. I am right there with you. I am working through this as we speak.
I am so fortunate and blessed to have the friends that I do, who have been walking by me a day at a time and encouraging me.
People, it seems, are God's way of physically showing us his love and presence, even in our darkest, most challenging times.
Recently, I've been seeking healing from a relationship-turned-friendship-turned-ex-friendship.
Oh yeah, it's that good.
It is terrible when even the smallest things can trigger just a tiny memory (a song on the radio, or eating at a certain establishment), which in turn re-opens old wounds. Some days it feels damn near impossible to heal.
One thing that I'm learning, though, is that God wants to restore each and every single person who is hurting this way; this restoration begins by forgiveness.
Genuine forgiveness for those who have hurt us deepest, is what God asks of us.
That means everyone.
Whether they've hurt us intentionally or unintentionally, whether they are aware of it or not, or whether they care or not.
Why? Why should I forgive? Especially if they don't ask for it, or even care if I do?
I think that by offering forgiveness it begins to rid us of the hate, bitterness and anger which we tend to hold onto after a broken relationship. It is freeing.
It was Mark Twain who once said that:
"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."
We have the potential to completely wreck ourselves.
Have you ever noticed that?
By forgiving another, a day at a time, we can begin to pour out the detrimental poison within, and begin the process of renewal. Restoration.
It is as much for ourselves as it is for our ex. It brings us back to how we were intended to be.
Whether it is an ex-family member, an ex-friendship, or an ex-relationship, and whether they ask for it or not, this could be the beginning of something new.
If I could say one thing to you, my ex, it is that I will choose to forgive you on a daily basis. You have hurt me deeply, if I am honest, but I want you to know that I love you, just as God continues to love me despite the hurt I cause him.
I sincerely hope that you find the life you were meant to live, and live it to the fullest. If we never see each other again, or restore ourselves to what was, I want you to know that I believe in you, you will be great.
And so will I.
May you continue to live, love and forgive well my friends!